After enjoying her high school experience at Marin County’s San Domenico School, Julia Reinhard ’22 elected to stay closer to home for her college experience. It was an easy choice for Julia, who realized the benefits of a smaller educational setting.
“Dominican’s community environment and small class sizes inspired me to come to Dominican. I knew I would be able to develop close relationships with my professors and peers and get involved in on campus extracurriculars just like I was able to at San Domenico,” says Julia, who was named Dominican’s Class of 2022 “Outstanding Student” at Commencement last year.
“Additionally, the Dominican values of study, reflection, community, and service have highly resonated with me since I was introduced to these core values at San Domenico, and I wanted to attend a college that was centered around a similar mission.”
Julia was hired full-time as an aide for Marin County District 1 Supervisor Mary Sackett. That opportunity stemmed from an internship in Marin County Supervisor Katie Rice’s office and the County’s Public Information Office from June 2020-August 2021. Julia’s internship supervisor, Nancy Vernon, connected her with Mary Sackett and Julia ultimately became her campaign manager.
“ I am honored to serve District 1 residents as part of Supervisor Sackett’s District 1 team,” Julia says. “As one of Supervisor Sackett’s Aides, some of my responsibilities include serving as a point of contact for the office, assisting in solving constituent problems, researching issue areas, writing talking points, helping to manage the Supervisor’s schedule, and attending meetings on behalf of Supervisor Sackett.”
At Dominican, Julia immediately embraced her Dominican experience, working as a peer mentor and as a student worker in the Student Success Center and joining the executive boards of both the Dominican Political Science Association and the IGNITE Club. She has also been a tutor on campus and a volunteer on the Sustainability Subcommittee.
As a rising senior, Julia embraced new opportunities while serving as a congressional intern in Washington, D.C. Julia is one of many Dominican students to be selected for the prestigious Panetta Institute for Public Policy internship, the last being Johana Jaimes '23.
During the summer of 2021 Julia went to the Panetta Institute in Monterey to attend a two-week orientation/training before working in D.C. as a congressional intern.
“My goal with the Panetta internship was to absorb as much knowledge as I could and to serve my office to the best of my ability,” she says. “The experience helped me learn more about public policy and discover the different occupational opportunities in public service. I want to shape my career around serving others with the ultimate goal of contributing to lasting change that will fortify our democracy and address systemic barriers to equity.”
Julia’s interest in Political Science was inspired when she took a “Campaigns and Elections” class the first semester of her freshman year with Alison Howard, assistant professor and chair of the Division of Public Affairs in the School of Liberal Arts and Education. Those class discussions plus a class “Introduction to American Politics, Policy & Society” the following semester convinced Julia to declare Political Science as her major.
“Alison Howard has been the most influential person for me at Dominican. I could not have dreamed of having a more supportive academic advisor and I feel fortunate to have been able to take four of Professor Howard’s classes,” says Julia, who served as a Teacher’s Assistant for her this past academic semester. “Professor Howard inspired me to stay curious about learning new things and to feel empowered about our complex political system.”
Julia also found inspiration and help from another Allison – Kustic – and Katya Palacios ’21. They had been interns for Marin County Supervisor Katie Rice and suggested Julia pursue the internship. She was tasked with continuing the 2020 Census outreach that Allison had started. Julia also helped create Emergency Operations Center COVID-19 communication and other County communications for the Board of Supervisors, Health and Human Services, and the Equity Team plus she supervised seven county interns and served as project manager for intern projects before her internship concluded last August.
“Through my work, I became proficient in community outreach, developing public information messaging, project management, and public speaking,” Julia says. “I am thankful for my wonderful supervisor, Nancy Vernon, District Aide to Supervisor Rice, who provided me with many opportunities to grow. I am also grateful for all of the connections I made with County employees and my fellow interns.”
Julia received the Mother Mary Raymond Scholarship Fund to attend Dominican. It provides tuition assistance to legacy students pursuing an undergraduate degree at the University. Julia’s mother, Lee Ann Wise, graduated from Dominican in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and Psychology.
Julia’s list of supporters and advocates at Dominican has extended beyond Political Science starting with Naomi Elvove in the Student Success Center who registered her for classes as an incoming freshman. Julia also is grateful for the guidance and skills given to her by Stacy Poe, Jennifer Labovich, Kristen Coleman, Christina Mayes, and Giulia Welch. They are on Julia’s long list of influencers at Dominican that include Dr. Ben Rosenberg, and Dr. Vania Coelho, who led Julia and other students on a biology field trip to glaciers in Iceland in March 2020 to study biodiversity and sustainability issues.
In addition, Julia is thankful for a psychology class she took with professor Afshin Gharib and a geology class she took with professor Amy Young that motivated her to add minors in psychology and ecology and environmental sciences.
“I have always been curious about how the human mind works and think that understanding psychology lends itself to studying political science because of the interdisciplinary connections that can be made between the two fields. I also have appreciated how my knowledge from the psychology courses has informed my self-awareness, awareness of others, and emotional intelligence; this has helped me in my role as a peer mentor and in working in different team environments,” Julia says.
“I am passionate about the environment and mitigating the climate crisis and wanted to add ecology and environmental sciences as a minor so that I could develop a strong foundation of the subject. I feel that my knowledge from these courses will help gear me towards a future working on environmental policies as well as make decisions in my everyday life to try and live more sustainably.”
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Upon graduation it was Julia’s goal to pursue a career in public service. Her focus for now is strengthening her skill set to be the best aide she can be for Supervisor Sackett and District 1 in Marin County. But she has her eye on getting a masters degree in Public Policy in the future.
Being named “Outstanding Student” at Dominican in 2020 enhanced her dream.
“It is a tremendous honor. I am so thankful for all of the courses I have taken at Dominican, and with Dominican’s small class sizes I was fortunate to get to know my professors and fellow peers on a personal level,” Julia says. “All faculty and staff that I know have been extremely supportive. I especially want to thank Alison Howard and Naomi Elvove for their mentorship.”
It was a fitting ending to Julia’s Dominican journey.
“My Dominican experience has taught me the importance of both pushing myself to be an active participant in my community and taking steps back from various efforts when possible so I conserve my energy,” she says. “I did my best to pass along opportunities to fellow students, and I really enjoyed getting to serve the Dominican and broader Marin community alongside some of my peers.”