Dem Summers: Allison Gofman’s Academic Greatness

The Dems have been busy over the summer: interning, working, volunteering, traveling, and of course, indulging in some leisure time not oft found in Cambridge (leave it to a Harvard student to be busy spending leisure time.) This is part VII of an indefinite series. If you’re a Harvard Dem (or rising pre-frosh with interest), we’d love to hear what you’ve been up to. | E-mail

This summer I took a break from partisan politics to do some research and work for a nonprofit. I was research associate to Patricia Duff, Founder of nonprofit The Common Good, and Stuart Sundlun, Managing Director of BMB Group. My assignment was to research international statistics for an upcoming book – a 390 page report later, I’m finally done. Whewh. Comparing the United States to the rest of the world was an interesting project; the conclusion: we are no longer number one on many metrics, but I believe in our country enough that I’m sure that with enough dedication, we can remedy faults in the categories we need to focus on (the middle class and female health/representation are among our weakest points). Favorite fun fact is that we produce the most cheese in the world.

I also had the opportunity to intern with The Common Good, a non-partisan political nonprofit committed to a mission of increasing involvement in the political process and encouraging civil dialogue. Although I’m usually a firm Democrat, this was a great opportunity to encourage genuine discussion and debate across the isle, which is something that our political process does not have nearly enough of. We ran a large number of events over the summer, ranging from policy discussions on the Middle East, events with Representatives Shelley Berkley and Barney Frank, and larger events with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, a panel on social media in politics, and co-hosting the premier of documentary Life in a Day at the Museum of Modern Art.

During a bout of nerdiness and boredom, I wrote an article about the politics of Lord of the Rings. I’m looking forward to returning to the Dems in lovely Cambridge, where civil dialogue is almost always the norm!