Personnel Profile: Hanna Snider

UC Center-Sacramento recently picked Corvallis-native Hanna Snider as its program and outreach coordinator. A 2010 UC Berkeley graduate, Snider brings the international experiences she received while traveling the world to the position.

Tell us a little about yourself.
Having worked in the State Capitol and studied political science, I am deeply passionate about public service. This interest was fostered during my early college years, when I took my first few courses in political science and was immediately drawn to the concepts of citizenship and public service.

I grew up in Corvallis, Oregon, where I learned to love mountains, rivers, lakes and trees. I am an avid backpacker, and I feel very much at home in Northern California. In the winter, I take to the slopes and ski the snow-covered mountains in Tahoe, a habit I also picked up in Oregon, where I was on my high school’s ski team.

My life is marked by travel and a keen interest in people from other countries. I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina during my junior year of college and traveled to Bolivia, Peru, Chile and Uruguay. While in Peru, I volunteered with All Hands Disaster Response by helping clear the rubble left behind after an earthquake quake hit the country’s coastline in 2007.

At UC Berkeley I worked as a program coordinator and a resident assistant for the International House. During my senior year, I was the student director for Berkeley’s Cal-in-Sacramento Fellowship Program and a teaching assistant for an upper division political science course on campaign strategy and media. These positions gave me a lot of exposure to the joys and challenges of working with students.

After college I did the proverbial backpack trip around the world, where I made a point of visiting a number of developing countries. I was in Indonesia, India, Nepal, Russia, Jordan, the West Bank Palestinian Territory, Turkey, and I also made stops in Australia and Israel. I volunteered at the Mother Theresa Hospital in Calcutta, India, and at the Rising Lotus Orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal. As a way of staying connected to my international experiences, I volunteer at the International Rescue Committee in Sacramento by helping refugees study for the citizenship exams.

As for education, I split my college years between two University of California schools: UCLA and UC Berkeley. I earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UC Berkeley in May of 2010, but took a wealth of additional classes to flush out my education and explore other fields. In the Capitol I interned for Assemblymember Cameron Smyth (Summer 2009), Senator Loni Hancock (Summer 2010), and Assemblymember Michael Allen (Spring/Sumer 2011).

I lead bicycle tours of Sacramento once a month, which I researched and planned. The tours showcase Sacramento’s art, history, architecture, and nature. Looking back on it, I’ve always loved bringing people together. Whether planning an end-of-summer party at my house, a scavenger hunt with my neighbors, or a backyard campout, I think outreach is simply in my nature.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I like to let whatever I’m doing in the present shape where I go and where I see myself in the future, so I am fairly open to outcome. I do have a guiding philosophy: I see myself involved in a public policy-related field. Whether that’s in a more direct capacity or through something like I’m doing now is less important than whether I’m true to my passion for public service.

What made you want to go into this type of career?
I was drawn to this position for two reasons. First, because it is public policy-related and second, because I get to work with students. I love researching ideas on how to make society run more smoothly. I’m deeply interested in how government can improve education, promote sustainability, and defend human rights. Because the UC Center Sacramento is about bringing researchers from the University of California together with the policy community in Sacramento, this position meets my desire to learn how to improve statewide, national, and international public policies. The second reason I wanted to go into this type of career is because I want to share my joy and passion for public policy with others. As a former resident assistant, teaching assistant, and student director, I get a lot of energy out of working with college students and helping others discover their own passions and interests.

What I love most about my job is that it’s policy-related. I get to meet with my former colleagues in the Capitol on a regular basis, and I’m expected to stay current on state, national and international policy issues. It’s a dream to get paid to do what I am passionate about. In addition, I get to introduce students to the excitement of the policy world in Sacramento.
I am deeply extroverted and I love working with others. I am excited about this position because I will be helping students find their place in the Sacramento policy community. More fundamentally, though, the enjoyment I get out of helping others is at the heart of what drew me to public service in the first place. Public service is about just that – being in service to other people.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
What I enjoy doing the most is very much dependent on my mood, what I haven’t done in a while, and how much free time I have. If time is short, I love catching up with family and closest friends, the people who know me best. On any given weeknight, I love working with the refugees at the International Rescue Committee; I always leave there feeling elated. If I have a whole weekend of free time, I most enjoy backpacking or skiing in the mountains or going to a concert with good friends. If I have several weeks, I will likely be crossing international borders to explore or volunteer.

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