Wauseon High School graduate Lucy Frank is quickly closing in on becoming 2017 University of Toledo graduate Lucy Frank. With the four-year experience at the University, she has taken full advantage of opportunities along the way.
The Political Science major with a minor in French, has had several summertime internships that have all assisted her in gaining a full grasp with her major while, at the same time, allowing her to add much excitement outside the rigorous workload of the classroom.
“My first two summers during college I spent interning in the Toledo mayor’s office under D. Michael Collins (2014) and Paula Hicks-Hudson (2015),” Frank said. Those internships were gained through the Office of Undergraduate Research at UT and I was paid a stipend for my internship and research. The internship experiences showed me that I picked the right field (political science) and that I wanted to learn more about state and federal politics.
In the spring of 2016 I was an intern with the Ohio Democratic Party in the Toledo HQ downtown. This was done for school credit, to expose me to party politics, and to get a taste of the campaigning that was soon to approach Ohio for the general election. My most recent internship, again with the Ohio Democratic Party but in Philadelphia through The Washington Center (TWC), an internship/educational program ran from D.C., gave me the most opportunities of all.”
Frank had two highlights this past summer and fall that the UT senior that tops her list.
“I attended “The Washington Center’s Academic Seminar: Democratic National Convention 2016” which was a two-week seminar prior to the convention, located at Temple University in Philadelphia,” Frank explained. “The first week was spent having speakers in the morning and class in the afternoon with papers due nearly every day. The second week was my internship placement, with the ODP and the Ohio Celebration Committee (the official organization that organized the Ohio Delegation at the convention). I had met with Bill DeMora of the ODP in May to interview for this placement and it was him that I worked under, along with other staff and volunteer members, during the convention.”
With the seminar completed, Frank was on her way to the Democratic National Convention. She was able to attend the first two nights of the convention and then the climatic ending Thursday evening to witness history as Hillary Clinton became the first woman to become the Democratic candidate for President. “I was lucky enough to gain a credential for the first night of the convention (Monday), travelled to the convention center by myself, and had one of the best nights of my life.” Frank said with a smile. “Security was tight, the hallways of the arena were packed with people, media, celebrities, politicians, interns, etc., and it was hard to find an open wall outlet. There was always noise and chatter, even during the speeches and musical performances. It was similar to watching a sporting event, sitting in the seats of the arena eating concession food.” Then came the historic final evening of the event. “There was not a dry eye in the room during Clinton’s speech. It was powerful. It was motivating. It brought me to tears just to think that a new precedent had been set and for the first time, I had the blessing to take part of something so much bigger than myself. It was truly an amazing and life changing night in that convention hall in Philadelphia.”
With the advent of her final year at UT, came another ‘once in a lifetime’ event. “I stayed in contact with the people I worked with during the convention,” Frank said. “Some are involved with the Ohio Democratic Party and a few people joined Hillary Clinton’s Ohio campaign.
My involvement with the ODP after the convention has included aiding with the Ohio Democratic State Convention (where Democratic Ohio electors for the electoral college were chosen) these electors are no longer relevant to the presidential process because Mr. Trump won Ohio – the Republican Ohio electors who were chosen at the Ohio Republican State Convention will vote for their candidate this December and the Ohio “State Dinner”, with guest speaker President Obama. Bill DeMora, secretary of the ODP, is my connection.”
With the convention behind her, Frank returned to UT for her senior year. Networking and ‘knowing people” are crucial in any area of work, and for Frank her connections set her up with one more experience in the fall that is another one that she will not soon forget. “My involvement with the Clinton’s campaign went through Todd Rensi, who worked on the Ohio State Delegation at the DNC with Bill DeMora and others, and it was Todd who asked if I was interested in driving presidential surrogates during the fall.” It took some work in confirming that Frank was available to help, but she indeed was. “Then the process was for Todd to either email, text, or call me asking if I was available to drive on a given day, Frank explained. “If I was available, I would receive an email with more information, schedule, notes and briefings for the surrogate. I would have to print these things out and give to the surrogate when I picked them up.” Just like with previous driving experiences, Rensi asked if I was interested in driving in the Vice President’s motorcade in Toledo.” This ‘job’ was a bit different for Frank compared to the other driving assignments she had obtained. “I had to send in much more information to received a background check before I could be approved to drive in the motorcade.” In the other driving experiences, Frank was usually given a Ford Focus or other smaller car to be able to shuttle people from one event to another, this time around instead of a smaller car she was given a 2017 van to drive. “There were three miles on the van when I got in.” Frank said. “Each van was assigned to a specific group of people from the Vice President’s plane. Frank was selected to drive Showtime’s “The Circus,” cast, a political show that had followed the entire 2016 presidential election. Frank was able to have a picture take with the Vice President, a picture that will keep alive the memory of the experience she took part in, an experience of a lifetime by taking part in the Vice President’s motorcade.
Frank will now look forward to finishing her bachelor’s degree and will be graduating in May 2017. “I am not sure what I want to do quite yet, but I do want to spend time after graduation in the public sector gaining work experience before I go to graduate school for a Masters Degree in Public Administration. I enjoy working on campaigns and would like more experience with that in the near future as well.”
The sky is the limit for this fiery redhead and knowing Lucy Frank, it is sure that she will make a name for herself as her life unfolds.
Bill Bray may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org