A Third-Generation Buckeye Makes His Mark
As a young child, Nick Hubbell remembers tagging along with his parents to political rallies, knocking on doors and volunteering at phone banks. Now he is not only following in their footsteps of political activism, he is also a third-generation Buckeye. The political science major has seized every opportunity The Ohio State University at Newark offers. From studying abroad in Liverpool, England, to advancing the Students Pursuing Change student organization, Hubbell is emerging as a leader among his peers.
“Nick is an excellent student. He consistently brings insightful questions and comments to class that show a thoughtful level of engagement with the material,” said Associate Professor Nathaniel Swigger, PhD. “I’ve been very impressed with the energy and enthusiasm he brings to class every day.”
That energy and enthusiasm are apparent outside of the classroom as well. Hubbell held an internship at the Ohio Statehouse working for Rep. Terrence Upchurch. An office intern, he answered phone calls and emails. He assisted the legislative aide in writing literature and outreach to constituents. The experience allowed him to see politics in action firsthand — something he wants to bring to his peers on campus. Students Pursuing Change provides the means to do so.
“Students Pursuing Change is a nonpartisan, student-led organization,” he described. “Our goals are to help drive student engagement in politics at the national, state and local level; educate them on how to be politically effective; and provide some professional development resources and opportunities.” Swigger, who is the group’s faculty advisor, added that while the pandemic has slowed their efforts, the group is still trying to get students more engaged in politics. Last year the student members held get-out-the-vote drives, voter information sessions and debate watch parties to try to bring more students into the political discussion and show them how they can actively make a difference.
For example, the group invited a Newark city councilman to campus for a discussion with students. They engaged in conversation about what the city could do to benefit students on campus, providing an outlet for students to talk directly to those in charge and know that their voices were heard. “It’s important for students because local politics affect your day-to-day life,” said Hubbell. His passion is “voter access and making sure people know that local politics do exist. The turnout rate isn’t really that high [in local elections]. That’s one of the things I think we take for granted — a fair and free election.”
Hubbell plans to make this college extracurricular activity a lifelong ambition. Following his undergraduate degree, he wants to attend law school with the intent of pursuing a career in a nonprofit legal organization or a law office that specializes in elections and voter rights. “In America, voting is one of the most important actions we can take to ensure our government represents all of its citizens equally,” Hubbell said. “When everyone has an equal opportunity to cast their vote, whether it’s for president, congress, statehouse, school board or city council, our representative system is more effective and provides people with a sense that they, too, regardless of their background, have a voice in how their country is governed.”
The Ohio State University at Newark offers an academic environment that is inclusive of diversity, challenging but supportive withworld-renowned professors and access to Ohio State’s more than 200 majors. It’s where learning comes to life. Research, study abroad and service-learning opportunities prepare students for their careers in ways they never expected.