Spiritual Activism

Shayna Solomon '16 poses outside of the Tower of London. Photo courtesy of Solomon.

Shayna Solomon '16 poses outside of the Tower of London. Photo courtesy of Solomon.

Shayna Solomon ’16 

For someone who struggled with choosing a major, Shayna Solomon ’16  seems like she was born to study political science. Whether she's working with one of her many campus groups, interning on Capitol Hill or simply loving her classes, Solomon grabs activism and political science by the horns at Dickinson. Read on to see where she's been and where she's going.



Political science and Judaic studies.


Clubs and organizations:

Hillel (president), J Street U (treasurer), Students for Social Action (vice president) and Office of Religious Life (student worker).


Why I chose Dickinson:

I wanted to be a part of a globally aware community. I liked how so many people had half of their attention in Carlisle and the other half in another country, where they had lived or studied. Being surrounded by people with a broad outlook makes everything more interesting.


Favorite place on campus:

The Milton B. Asbell Center for Jewish Life.

Favorite class:

I loved Religion in American Politics. I care very deeply about religion’s intersections with politics, and this class gave me the theoretical and informational context for this interest. I looked forward to every class period and every reading. Still, I’m hesitant to call it my favorite class, because I love all of my classes, especially my politics classes.



My surprising hobby:

Foosball, although I would prefer to consider it a very serious sport.


If I could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, it would be ...

... Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, because he beautifully combined the ideas of Jewish religion and social movements. He influenced both politics and religion in tremendous ways, which makes him very interesting to me.


In a perfect world:


Each aspect of the human experience would be seen as valuable and meaningful.

On my internships:

I loved interning in Congress because I got to see the workings of the American political system from the inside. It gave context to my political-science education. I have [also] interned for the Faith and Politics Institute (FPI), also on Capitol Hill. I loved interning with FPI because it combined both of my academic interests (religion and government) and showed me how the combination of those two volatile subjects can be productive rather than destructive.


From both internships, I learned practical skills and knowledge around my subject area. Not only did I learn to send professional correspondences, but I also learned how government interacts with those outside of government. Not only did I learn how to research policies and write a policy brief, but I learned what factors help a member of Congress make decisions. Experiencing government deepened what I had learned in class.

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Published May 29, 2015