Alumni Spotlight

Emily Buckman

Attended Campbellsville University from: 2005-2009
 Minor: Mass Communication-Emphasis in Public Relations
Hometown: Lebanon, Kentucky

What class(es) helped you the most while you were at Campbellsville University?

The State Government course, taught by Mr. John Chowning, fostered my interest in government and politics. Mr. Chowning’s personal insight and experience with government affairs served as a great tool in the classroom. I recall him arranging a “state government day” for us in which the class traveled to Frankfort for the day while the General Assembly was in session. This was my first visit to our state capitol and I remember being so intrigued by the dynamic between legislators and outside parties. I also enjoyed my Terrorism Studies class with Professor Max Wise. The course curriculum was extremely challenging and by studying various terrorist organizations I was able to improve my analytical skills.

Did you go to continue your education after graduation at Campbellsville University, or did you go straight to the workforce? Is this typical for the job you have?

I originally planned on applying to law school my senior year, but decided that I was not ready for it, instead I decided to return to Washington, D.C. after I graduated and try my luck at finding a job as a hill staffer. (In 2008 I interned for former Congressman Ron Lewis and enjoyed the time I spent working in a Capitol Hill office. It is amazing how impactful six weeks can be on one’s future.)
Typically hill staffers have completed an internship in Washington, D.C. which allows them to build a certain skill set and develop relationships. It is very important to do an internship if you are looking for a job in DC.

You mentioned law school; do you ever plan on applying and following through with that dream?

I do still plan on applying to law school or graduate school; however I believe that I still have a lot to learn about public policy and look forward to furthering my career in public service.

Where do you currently work? What is your job and did they give you any additional training when they hired you?

I currently work for Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) in his DC office. I serve as his legislative correspondent. In this role I am responsible for managing all of the incoming and outgoing correspondence for the office, crafting explanatory language on legislation and assisting senior staff with policy research. This means, I summarize what legislation does and explain how it will impact our state/country.

How did you find out about this job? Did anyone at Campbellsville University help you make connections?

I graduated from Campbellsville University in May 2009, and moved to Washington, DC in September 2009 to do an unpaid internship for Congressman Guthrie. After completing the internship in December, a position became available in the office and fortunately I was offered that position. Congressman Guthrie currently represents Taylor County. He also represents Marion County, where I am originally from.  I have been very fortunate to get to work for my hometown and my alma mater.

Did you do any internships while at Campbellsville University?

I completed two internships as a student at Campbellsville University. I did an internship for former Congressman Ron Lewis (KY-02, now retired) in Washington, DC in the summer of 2008. I also completed the Frankfort Internship Program Campbellsville University coordinates through the Association of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities (AIKCU) in the spring of 2009. I worked for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, worked for the legislative liaison of the department and was responsible for tracking legislation and performing research related to the department.

How do you feel that the political science program at Campbellsville University helped to prepare you or give you an advantage upon graduation?

The political science program at Campbellsville University was relatively small when I was a student, therefore it allowed for more guidance from professors that I may not have received if I chose a different program. I was fortunate to complete two internships prior to graduation, thanks in large part to encouragement from my professors, which gave me a greater advantage upon entering the workforce. Since then, I have advised any student seeking advice that such real world experiences are much more beneficial than any coursework. I would also credit my political science professors, especially Professor Max Wise for creating a positive learning environment, and constantly challenging me to reach my full potential. Strenuous curriculum requirements had a significant impact on my research and writing abilities, which I have since found beneficial in my current position.

What is your advice to any potential students and freshmen?

I encourage students to take their time and take advantage of every opportunity that comes their way. I had a timeline for myself when I entered college, but veered from my plan, took a chance and moved to Washington, DC, and I have been fortunate enough to have some really amazing experiences and a job that I love.

Interview compiled: Meagan Pickett
Photo taken at the Cannon Rotunda in the Cannon House Office Building, Washington D.C.

Tyler Lambert

Attended Campbellsville University from: 2007-2011.
Minor: Homeland Security
Hometown: Paducah, Kentucky

What class(es) helped you the most while you were at Campbellsville University?

Basics of Homeland Security, HLS 200, Terrorism, Political Films

Did you go to continue your education after graduation at Campbellsville University, or did you go straight to the workforce? Is this typical for the job you have?

While at Campbellsville University, I was working Family Video until I graduated. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to transfer to another store in Paducah, where I am from. I was in the hiring process with Customs and Border Protection during this time as well. I continued working for Family Video until I left for training for the CBP job, which I am still currently in. As far the people I work with, everyone is in a different stage of life. I am in training with someone in their 50s, a couple in their 30s, and most in their late 20s. I am one of the youngest in my training class at 22 years old. Some have more than a bachelor's degree, but most just got in due to their experience or prior federal work (Law enforcement in general is popular for former military).

Where do you currently work? What is your job and did they give you any additional training when they hired you?

As I stated previously, I am in training for a Customs and Border Protection Officer position. The training program is about 18 weeks long at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) which is located in Brunswick, GA I must pass the academy to graduate. Should I pass the academy, I will be stationed at Jackson-Hartsfield International Airport in Atlanta, GA when I graduate in the middle of June.

How did you find out about this job? (Did anyone at Campbellsville University help you make connections?)

I found the job through USAJobs.gov, which lists all the federal positions available. Professor Max Wise, who was my advisor while at Campbellsville University, helped me learn the site and getting my applications out there. Our classes with Max always included job tips and more direction for what some of us might want to do. He helped me look into more positions he thought I would succeed in and be able to apply for due to the requirements.

Did you do any internships while at Campbellsville University?

I did an internship during the summer before my senior year. The program was through the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Police Department in Lexington, KY. I was able to see law enforcement in action and learn more about the position as an officer. It helped me realize I didn't want to be a police officer or state trooper really. I knew I wanted to be involved in the federal government but I just didn't know how at this point in my college career. My senior year is when I really was able to learn more about the positions I wanted to apply for.

How do you feel that the political science program at Campbellsville University helped to prepare you or give you an advantage upon graduation?

The political science program offered me the opportunity to learn more about government in a broad sense which really helped direct me in my career decision. I knew I didn't want to take the route of working in politics but I am glad I chose the political science route over criminal justice. I feel like it affected and will continue to affect my decisions as a citizen and now it will impact my authorities as a future officer.

What is your advice to any potential students and freshmen?

My advice to freshmen would be to take advantage of the resources available around them. The professors on campus have connections and great advice to offer. The Career Services Department, talking to Professor Wise or other professors about career choices, and being proactive are all great ways to start on getting ahead of others seeking the same employment. As far as potential students, I would recommend Campbellsville University to anyone. I was able to gain a great education while also growing tremendously as an individual. They offer just about any amenity a larger school could offer with a small town charm. I really enjoyed my time there and look forward to going back when I can. It was one of the best decisions in my life to attend Campbellsville University.

Interview compiled: Meagan Pickett
Photo taken in front of the Kentucky State Capitol Building in Frankfort, Kentucky.