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Cody Smith

Author: Troy Rutter

Cody SmithAlumni Profile

Graduation year and major

2018, Political Science and Agriculture & Life Sciences Education: Communications Option.

If you attended graduate school after attending ISU, please indicate where you went, area of study and graduation year:

Indiana University Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs,
Master of Public Affairs – Natural Resources Policy in a Changing Climate, 2023.

Where do you currently work, and what is your position?

Senior Policy Advocate at the Iowa Environmental Council.

Why did you choose to attend Iowa State?

I chose Iowa State because I wanted a well-rounded education from an institution that was a global leader on agriculture and policy issues.

Why did you choose to major in political science?

Policy regulates every aspect of our lives from the air we breathe, the water we drink, the size and locations of our homes, and the cars we drive. Understanding the fundamental rules and regulations that shape our quality of life is a key step to creating lasting change. Political science teaches you the tools and resources available to improve the lives of others.

What did you enjoy most about being a political science major?

I really enjoyed the opportunity to understand how our nations system of laws and governance impact our collective reality. From economic activities to personal liberty, the political science program at Iowa State gave me an opportunity to understand our society at a deeper level.

Is there a political science class that you particularly enjoyed?

Science, technology, and public policy helped inform me of the intersection between politics, scientific knowledge, and technology. This class has proven to be instrumental in my career and further education by using a practical example (the space race) to illustrate these themes.

What advice do you have for political science students who are considering graduate school?

My best advice for graduate school considerations is to take some time between undergraduate and graduate school unless you’re 100% certain of what you want to do. Graduate school is hard and also incredible, but loving what you do will set you apart from the rest of the students. Taking time to gain experience and figure that out will pay off.