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Political science grad reflects on time working for Rep. Gabby Giffords


Brenna Hansen
November 22, 2011

For Brenna Hansen, being part of the Sun Devil family runs in her blood, as her four older siblings and father all have graduated from Arizona State University. But for her, the personal and professional experience she has received goes beyond family tradition.   

“ASU is not just a university, it is a community," Hansen says. "It is the place where my friends and I meet to catch up and reminisce. The educational experience here has also exceeded my every expectation.”

The political science major is well on her way to having a successful career, as she has garnered many outstanding internships. She worked as an intern with the Office of Boards and Commissions with former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. She also was an intern with U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick at her district office in Casa Grande and continued working with her during her 2010 re-election campaign.

Hansen was awarded an internship with U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords this past summer in Washington, D.C. She was one of three students from Arizona selected for the opportunity and the only student from ASU.

“The amazing aspect about working for Giffords’ office was how determined and focused each of the staffers were," she says. "It was easy to see how deeply devoted they were to the congresswoman, and they set such a high standard of what they expected out of each of us."

Hansen is expecting to graduate from ASU in December with honors. Looking ahead, she has a postgraduate internship planned with Sen. Kent Conrad’s office in Washington, D.C. Hansen also plans to attend graduate school to study international affairs.

Her future plans are to work in the Foreign Service sector for the U.S. Department of State, focusing on policy in Washington, D.C.

“As an intern in Giffords’ office, I was given the chance to attend House Armed Services briefings which only increased my interest in foreign policy matters. In the future, I wish to be active in U.S. foreign policy helping to make America safer, as well as helping to create better diplomatic ties with others,” Hansen said.