In elementary school, Allison Kustic ’21 first learned to dream of having an impact on the environment. Dominican helped shape that dream.
After spending the summer interning in the Sacramento office of U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, Allison is studying abroad in London this fall. She is studying Political Science at Regent’s University and stay on course to her goal of changing environmental policy.
“Dominican showed me what the true path to that is,” Allison says. “I’ve known from a young age I’ve wanted to care for the earth and then realized that Political Science is a way to do that.”
Dominican was the ideal place for Allison to develop her focus. Before her senior year at St. Francis High School in Sacramento, where she participated in a “Youth and Government” program, Allison visited several colleges, yet Dominican grabbed her attention.
“I was walking around campus and I couldn’t stop smiling,” Allison recalls. “My dad tells me now that he knew as we were driving home that this was the place for me, but he didn’t want to tell me then. I came back in October and the professors I met in August remembered my name – even though I wasn’t even a student here. I thought `It’s small. It’s beautiful. It has internship and study abroad opportunities. Dominican was just right.' ”
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Allison proceeded to make her mark. As a freshman, she connected with Samantha Hunt ‘18, also a Political Science major who became a mentor. Allison jumped at the chance to join the debate team and participate in a Campus Ministry immersion trip to El Salvador.
By the end of her first year, Allison became president of the Dominican Political Science Association (DPSA) and represented Dominican at a national conference. And, through her experiences with DUC students Samantha Easley ‘19, Gabriella Tassano ’19, and Hallie Balch ‘18, who were Student Ambassadors, Allison became one herself. When she gives campus tours, she tries to tell prospective students of all the clubs and organizations she is involved with on campus. She often runs out of time.
“The list is long and a little embarrassing because I have little free time,” Allison smiles. “I am grateful for the many opportunities I’ve been able to take advantage of.” One was the chance to coordinate a photo shoot on the Dominican campus to create a dog calendar.
That passion and persistence to succeed in any endeavor earned Alison a summer internship in Senator Harris’ office a few weeks before the U.S. Senator announced her candidacy for President of the United States. Alison Howard, chair of Dominican’s Political Science department in the School of Liberal Arts and Education, encouraged Allison to pursue the internship. It allowed Allison to attend a regional meeting on the 2020 Census and connected her to thousands of constituents, plus Dominican alumna Sydney Lewis ’13 and Samantha Maciel ‘17, who both work out of Senator Harris’ Sacramento office.
The opportunity to study abroad came through Dominican’s Global Education Office. At Regent’s University, Allison, who has a concentration in American politics, aims to take a Global Politics and Media class. She also plans to take a course entitled The International Politics of the United States.
“I hope to have a broader perspective of the United States’ role in the world,” she says.
Before London, she is visiting exchange students she met last year at Dominican in Poland, Germany, and Austria. “I’ve made friends and connections here at Dominican. I’ve never stopped saying, `hi.’”
Photo: Allison Kustic being interviewed by KTVU Fox TV during State of the Union Address in 2019