Major: Politics and History

Hometown: Hastings, Nebraska

My fellowship experience:
Through my fellowship I’ve grown professionally, academically and personally. Most importantly, it helped me learn how to function as part of a focused team. The biggest takeaway for me is the knowledge that I've only scratched the surface of a vibrant and complex community that keeps things running (we hope) in America. I certainly learned a lot; working on Capitol Hill was like setting foot on a new continent. Yet for me most of that continent remains unexplored, and I know that my education in this new world has really only started.

View Thomas' Cornell Fellows Showcase presentation here.

Thomas Cooke

Thomas Cooke '15

Mansfield Foundation Fellow in Representative Government

Office of Senator Charles Grasley
Washington, DC

Aims of the Fellowship
I hope to increase understanding and experience with basic office skills and etiquette.  I will also become more informed about future career paths on Capitol Hill and in the legislative branch of government in general. This will consist partly of building relationships with people who work in Senator Grassley's office to lay a foundation for further opportunities and partly of learning about what kind of jobs are available there.  Using the insight I gain at this office, I would like to write a policy memo that delineated the standards by which drones could be employed to domestically spy on US citizen(s) without violating the 4th Amendment. This issue has been drastically changed in just the last few months by new technology, the rapid advancement of which has outpaced our ability to effectively regulate its use. In the absence of standards for using this technology, it is impossible to hold our leaders accountable for their actions, and in the absence of accountable leadership there can be no democracy.

Faculty Sponsor
Robert Sutherland, Politics