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Lisa Fernandez, BS political science

May 10, 2009

Student helped President Obama get elected

When Barack Obama first announced his presidential campaign in 2007, Lisa Fernandez immediately jumped into action to rally for supporters. Fernandez, who is graduating in political science, founded the Arizonans for Obama committee.

The committee held meetings open to the public, spread the word about Obama’s campaign by creating Facebook groups, posted flyers around campus and talked to local Democratic groups. Fernandez knew her hard work had paid off when there were barely enough chairs during her meetings.

“Once the campaign officially started up, it was unbelievable going into the office and seeing an overflow of volunteer,” says Fernandez, who is from Yuma.

When Obama finally won the presidential ticket in November, Fernandez said the feeling was unreal as she stood there anxiously awaiting the results. When the winner was announced, she knew her hard work had paid off, and she could only describe the experience as “amazing.”

But before Arizonans for Obama, Fernandez started her political career at ASU as President of the Young Democrats Club. She and other members of the club helped local Democratic candidates get elected by volunteering at calling stations and holding rallies.

Along the way she had help and guidance from Dr. Patrick Kenney, chair of the political science program.

“My first class with Dr. Kenney had 300 people in it, but he was still engaging and a really great professor.” Fernandez says.

Currently, she is helping Kenney with an independent study, by coding articles and tracking news coverage on different senators.

As for future plans, Fernandez is happy to have completed her degree and wants to keep her options open.

“I think I probably be an activist in the Democratic Party,” Fernandez says. “I’m going to keep in touch with my connections and people I network with.”