Alexis MumfordMay 3, 2018 — A CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) graduating senior is among 18 students nationwide who were chosen to participate in the American Committees on Foreign Relations (ACFR) Young Leaders Initiative in June.

Communication major/Psychology minor Alexis Mumford, 22, will travel to Washington D.C. along with 17 other students to participate in a pilot program designed to familiarize the future leaders with foreign policy on the federal level.

From June 13 through 16, the students will attend foreign policy briefings, workshops and networking opportunities hosted by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Institute of Peace and other DC-based foreign policy institutions.

“I’m very interested in politics and I’m not quite sure where my career will take me,” said Mumford, who currently serves as CSUCI’s Vice President for Student Government. “This conference is an opportunity for me to see if this is a direction I want to take. I very much care about getting involved politically.”

ACFR Young Leaders Initiative program coordinator George Paik said the program will include briefings at the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Institute of Peace in addition to in-depth discussions at leading policy institutes.

“‘Dinner with a Diplomat” will give students a hands-on, nuts and bolts exposure to some of the priority global challenges of the day,” Paik said. “Students will also be encouraged to invite their DC-based briefers to speak to their local chapters.”

Students were chosen based on their academic achievement and a desire to deepen their knowledge of foreign policy, Paik said.  Students are also charged with sharing that knowledge with their communities.

Local ACFR committees in each student’s district are sponsoring the 18 students in this unique pilot project. Mumford is being sponsored by the Santa Barbara Committee on Foreign Relations.

Mumford, an Oxnard native, believes others her age need to get involved in the political process as it affects almost everything in their lives.

“When you’re driving, you’re following rules and regulations because of politics,” she said. “If you’re working in a restaurant, there are certain policies and protections in place because of politics.”

The CSU system and the environment are two issues that Mumford is passionate about, so she believes her future will always involve advocating for causes in both those categories.

“The environment is going to be one of the biggest topics as my generation grows older and develops more ways to create a sustainable environment,” she said. “For example, how do we make solar panels more affordable? Things like that.”

Mumford found out about the opportunity because Assistant Professor of Communication Jacob Jenkins, Ph.D., one of her professors, thought she would get some valuable professional growth and be an excellent ambassador for CSUCI.

When she was chosen, Mumford got her traveling expenses paid for by Jenkins, Political Science Professor Sean Kelly, Ph.D.; CSUCI research travel funds; and members of the Santa Barbara-based Channel City Club, which sponsors speakers on state, national and international topics.

“Alexis is one of those students who distinguishes herself in every way,” Jenkins said. “She’s not only a wonderful student within the classroom, but also an outstanding citizen beyond it. She’s diligent, innovative and intelligent. She’s also an involved student who understands the importance of community engagement, and the responsibility we all have to leave this world a better place.”