Bill Gates once said “I’m a great believer in any tool that enhances communication has profound effects in terms of how people can learn from each other, and how they can achieve the freedoms that they’re interested in.” In today’s political landscape, communication in any form, from social media to infographics, is crucial to enacting change that accurately reflects the will of the people. Any political organization would be crippled without the ability to communicate, and the College Democrats of Massachusetts is no different. Our organization serves as the hub of progressive thought for an entire Commonwealth of college students, so we simply must have a way to share our ideas, promote causes that we are passionate about, and connect with the broader national community of Democrats. Thus, it is with great pleasure that we introduce those who will fulfill this mission - our ‘15-’16 Communications Team.
The Communications Team is led by Scarlett Ho, a junior International Affairs and Political Science student from Northeastern University. Scarlett’s political experience is impressive, ranging from international policy internships to work in the United States at the federal, state, and municipal levels. She was inspired to join the political arena after volunteering for MA Senator Elizabeth Warren in 2012, who she later worked for on Capitol Hill. In her spare time, Scarlett dreams about what country she’ll travel to next (she’s already been to 15 in the last few years alone) or attends musical and dance performances. She is excited to lead the Communications Team in expanding the reach of CDM!
The ‘15-’16 CDM Graphic Designer is Rachel Dodell, who studies Media Arts and Sciences at Wellesley College. At Wellesley, Rachel is involved in both print and radio journalism; politically, she has interned for the campaign of Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema and served on the Governor’s Youth Commission in her home state of Arizona. Her diverse interests include urban planning, DJ-ing a weekly music show, and sailing on the Charles River. Undoubtedly, Rachel’s creativity will liven up the branding image of CDM!
Katy Dolan serves as this year’s Forever Blue Blog Manager. She hails from Washington State, where she spent a significant amount of time in high school founding and managing a non-profit organization to make music education more widely accessible to students. Katy is going into her sophomore year at Harvard University, where she has previously written blog posts for the JFK Jr. Forum at the Institute of Politics and the Harvard College Democrats. Katy brings her passion for political expression through writing to the Communications Team.
New Hampshire native Matt Sanborn will be serving as the ‘15-’16 CDM Eastern Regional Reporter. He has steadily worked his way up the ranks of political campaigning, from directing then-Congressman Ed Markey’s Get Out the Vote operation in Brockton, MA to working for Senator Jeanne Shaheen and the 2012 campaign of President Obama. Matt attends Boston College in the International Studies program, unsurprising considering his previous travels to countries such as Japan, Kuwait, Quatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Matt is excited to faithfully cover progressive news in the Eastern Region of Massachusetts.
Reed Shafer-Ray, a sophomore at Harvard University, joins the Communications Team as the Website Manager. He grew up in Oklahoma, where he was involved in politics early on as the head of his high school Democrats club which worked to keep public school students safe in light of the deadly tornadoes that are prevalent in his home state. Similar to many of the individuals on the Communications Team, Reed is well-traveled, having visited 12 countries on 4 continents. Reed currently serves as the Communications Directors for the Harvard College Democrats, so he brings a wealth of experience to his latest job of managing the CDM website.
Tyler Shelepak, a junior at Boston College studying Mathematics and Economics, is the ‘15-’16 CDM Social Media Coordinator. He has experience on diverse political levels, having worked on the mayoral campaign of Marty Walsh and the congressional bid of Joe Kennedy III. Tyler has studied abroad at the Kuwait National Assembly and is particularly passionate about the issues of wage economics and public health policy, but he’s not all politics - he has also held a position as an Actuarial Intern for Liberty Mutual and plays rugby at Boston College. Tyler’s diverse experiences will provide a strong base for the outreach that he’ll be doing this year.
Western Massachusetts will be under the jurisdiction of Marie Wilken, our Western Regional Reporter. Marie is a Colorado native, a sophomore at Smith College, and a double-major candidate in Government and English. She is proud to say that she interned for President Obama’s 2012 campaign, organizing for a county that wound up voting Democratic for the first time since 1964. At Smith, Marie serves as a co-President of the Democrats and works as the senior copy editor of the school newspaper. She is looking forward to engaging in political journalism this year for CDM, which is one of her career interests.
Our ‘15-’16 Communications Team is uniquely positioned to create a ripple effect among young Democrats in Massachusetts and beyond leading up to the 2016 presidential election. The Team will be engaged in almost every aspect of CDM’s work, ensuring that all of the organization is cemented as an important member of the progressive landscape in New England. We are excited to welcome these 7 individuals into the CDM family!
To follow the Communications Team on Twitter:
Scarlett Ho: @ho_scarlett
Rachel Dodell: @rdodell
Katy Dolan: @ktydol
Matt Sanborn: @mfsanborn
Reed Shafer-Ray: @kingreed101
Tyler Shelepak: @t_shel94
Marie Wilken: @missmariecwa