Student Spotlight: Makayla McDermott ’17
Makayla McDermott is in her final semester here at Pace. Working with CCAR since her Sophomore year, Makayla’s work has been centered around voter registration initiatives. Read more to find out what she’s done with the office and how that’s impacted her.
Year of Graduation: December 2017
Major: Political Science
Minor: Religious Studies
I would definitely like to work with an organization like this [CCAR].
What exactly do you do with CCAR?
I am the Political Action Team Coordinator/Leader. I’ve been doing the “Get Out the Vote” initiatives and doing voter registration pushes around election time. I’ve been doing that since my Sophomore year, right before the 2016 election.
How did you get involved with CCAR?
Heather [Novak] was my University 101 professor so that’s how I heard about CCAR. I started working here for my Civic Engagement project in my Sophomore year and that’s when I started the voter registration initiative with Tyler [Kalahar]. That was my part of my community service and I kinda just kept going with it for the past year and a half or so.
What does being involved in your community mean to you?
Being a part of the Pace community, especially, has been getting to know my professors on a really personal level, meeting a lot of different people in different organizations at Pace no matter what age they are. I like just being in this community, seeing people wherever I go and knowing who they are, seeing how they are. Things like that. Attending all different sorts of events and learning about different people, different cultures, different aspects of the community.
How important is that to you?
It’s very important to me. I like to feel like I’m at home when I’m at Pace so just having that sense of home is really great.
What does CCAR itself mean to you?
I think it brings the whole community together. There are so many different events that we do and just reaching out to people, even if we’re just tabling in Kessel — talking to different people, meeting new people, getting people involved with Pleasantville and Westchester — I think it gives us a lot of connections for our future. It gives us a lot of connections for now. [It] helps us make friends and I think that’s really important.
What are some things you’ve done with CCAR or on your own time as a student leader and advocate?
A lot of the work has been voter registration and “Get Out the Vote.” I also did the SLC [Successful Learning Center] Formal as a freshman. I think that was a very rewarding experience. It was a lot of fun. I made new friends. I felt really good after I did it. I just like everything that this office stands for. I think that [event] solidified that I would definitely like to work with an organization like this.
I’m the current President of Model United Nations. That’s been a really rewarding experience. I’ve taught people how to do Model United Nations, I’m kind of like a Teacher’s Assistant almost. I spend a lot more time doing that. I’m definitely a leader there. I’m also the Vice President of the Political Science Association which is a brand new organization on campus. I helped get that kickstarted here at Pace.
It’s been a pleasure having Makayla in the office and we can’t wait to see all of the wonderful things she does post-graduation.