Jay Hartz is a 1993 graduate of Ashland University and the Ashbrook Scholar Program. He later received a Master of Arts in History from Villanova University. He now serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the President of the Kentucky State Senate where he assists senators in identifying key issues, drafting bills to accomplish their legislative goals, managing the day-to-day flow of legislation through the Senate and its committees, and coordinating the messages the Senate communicates regarding its activities.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST UNIQUE ASPECT OF THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM?
I would say spending time with all the speakers who came to the Ashbrook Center. It is unusual for undergraduates to have the opportunity to sit down in an intimate setting with nationally-recognized public figures and ask questions, rather than simply sitting in a large crowd and listening to their prepared remarks. For instance, I was able to ask Ed Rollins, Director of the Reagan-Bush ’84 campaign, why he abandoned the Republican Party in 1992 to work for Ross Perot.
WHAT DIFFERENCES DO YOU SEE BETWEEN YOURSELF AND COLLEAGUES WHO WERE NOT EDUCATED IN THE ASHBROOK SCHOLAR PROGRAM?
My Ashbrook experience means I bring a unique perspective to the crafting of public policy. Most of my colleagues ask practical questions regarding “how” a program should operate; I ask about its nature and “why” it should exist at all. As an Ashbrook Scholar you consider deeper questions in the study of politics and government such as “what is the best form of government,” “can free men govern themselves,” and “what are self-evident truths.” Politics and philosophy are thereby brought together with the discussion of politics elevated by philosophy, and philosophy brought down to earth with the examination of politics.
HOW DID YOUR INTERNSHIP EXPERIENCE AFFECT YOUR CAREER?
I interned with the 1992 Bush-Quayle re-election campaign in Ohio. Not a day goes by that I don’t use a skill or apply a lesson I learned in the office or on the road helping to plan and implement campaign strategy. While the Ashbrook Center placed me in the internship, it was my responsibility to perform at a high level. The skills, contacts, and confidence I gained that summer laid the groundwork for me to have a successful professional career ever since.