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Task Force Student Q&A: Jennifer Swisher

April 23, 2024

Jennifer Swisher

Jennifer Swisher

In winter quarter 2024, 50 international studies and global and regional studies students plus two other Social Science majors completed the Jackson School’s Donald C. Hellmann Task Force Program, a capstone course that involves eight weeks of research, writing and group collaboration on a current global issue. Student-led and guided by faculty, the program culminates during Task Force Evaluation Day, when each Task Force presents to an external, senior-level foreign policymaker.

Name: Jennifer Swisher
Expected to graduate in: Spring 2024
Major/Minor: Global and Regional Studies with a minor in Japanese
Task Force Title: We Are Not Invisible: The Impacts of Climate Change on Young Persons with Disabilities
Task Force Instructor: Megan McCloskey
Hometown: Spokane, WA 

What has been your favorite Task Force experience?
Not only did my team investigate research that had already been done, but we also got to interview organizations and person with disabilities from around the globe to get insight for our report. This was memorable as we were getting firsthand insight of how climate change has affected these persons with disabilities while also learning the process of conducting interviews.

Key skills learned in Task Force?
Task Force is fast paced, but in the end, you will realize how much you gain from the program. I was quite nervous going into it as I had never done anything like it before and knew that it was going to be a demanding class. What I took away from the program was the ability to work with a team, have better time management, take initiative, take critiques in the process, and educate myself in various areas of topic in such a short amount of time. With these skills gained, I can see myself feeling more confident when entering future workplaces as I can now say I have been through a challenging and fast-paced environment.

What impressed you about the Task Force Evaluation Day?
The most rewarding part of presentation day was seeing what our evaluator had to say about the report itself! The team spent so much time piecing together information and diving into certain topics, and sharing this gained information to the evaluator when questioned about parts of the report was exciting!

What career are you interested in pursuing after graduation?
After this experience, I’m more intrigued with public sector work now! I intend to go to graduate school for public administration or public relations, and hopefully I will find myself in a position where I will be part of policy/decision making for the bettering of communities locally, nationwide, or globally!