Kent Dell (MPP Candidate ’15) developed his interest in public policy while serving in the military. As an Army Parachute Infantryman in Iraq, Kent was quite literally an “implementer” of U.S. foreign policy. The war made Kent really consider important public policy – even the mundane parts – and led to an insatiable appetite for learning about every aspect of the subject.
Kent is originally from Fowler, Michigan in Clinton County and completed his undergraduate studies in public policy with high honors in May of 2014 and has continued his policy studies in the Master of Public Policy program. For his honors thesis Kent studied the use of the Post-9/11 GI Bill and presented his work at the Midwest Political Science Association conference in April of 2014.
Kent has been accepted into the Presidential Fellows Program which offers 75 undergraduate and graduate students from across the country an opportunity to study the U.S. presidency, the public policymaking process, and the chief executive’s relations with Congress, allies, the media, and the American public. Kent’s fellowship project, inspired by his military service, will explore the decision calculus of the modern president when deciding whether or not to use military force.
In the MPP program, Kent names quantitative methods courses as a favorite. He finds the ability to answer difficult policy questions through research and data analysis very empowering. Upon graduating Kent hopes to obtain a position within the state legislature, working for a legislator or policy office. “My primary goal is to work at the state and/or local-level in whatever capacity I’m best suited for,” Kent said. “I want to give back to the State of Michigan and work for my fellow Michiganders.” Kent would love to run for public office one day, specifically at the state-level from his home district, the MI 93rd.
Kent is also a recipient of the Purple Heart and an instructor for the U.S. Army Reserves.
You can read the MSU Today story on Kent’s Presidential Fellowship here