Patrick McKenna Jr. ’20 is a Public Policy & Political Science double major who grew up in New Hampshire and now lives in Jefferson City, Missouri. He is a recipient of the Abraham Lincoln Scholarship, Gettysburg’s highest merit scholarship.
During the past three summers, Patrick has focused on public service at the state level. In the summer of 2017, he was awarded the competitive Kolbe Fellowship from Gettysburg College to study state-level transportation policy across a variety of different geographic and political states. In the summer of 2018, he was awarded the William C. Baer Award from the Finnegan Foundation for his research on Philadelphia’s sugary beverage tax, and through the Foundation he interned in the Policy Office of Pennsylvania’s Department of Labor & Industry where he researched a variety of state-level labor and analyzed legislation on issues such as Paid Family & Medical Leave, the minimum wage, and minimum wage overtime eligibility requirements. In the summer of 2019 Patrick interned for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf in the Legislative Affairs Office.
On campus, Patrick is involved with the Student Government, most recently having been elected as President of the Student Senate. Before this, he served in a variety of other executive roles for the Senate, including as Parliamentarian, and has had the opportunity to work closely with the Board of Trustees on drafting campus-wide legislation on issues such as freedom of expression. Patrick is also involved on campus as a tour guide, a teaching assistant and a research assistant in the Political Science Department, as President of Model Arab League, and as an Inter-Fraternity Council Representative for the Sigma Chi Fraternity. During the Fall 2018 semester he studied international relations and public health in Berlin, Germany.
Patrick first became involved with the Eisenhower Institute during his first year at Gettysburg as a participant of Inside the Middle East, a program focused on information and intelligence analysis that culminated in an experiential learning trip to Israel and the West Bank. He has continued his involvement as a program assistant for Inside the Middle East and as a participant in the Environmental Leadership program, which culminated in an experimental learning trip to Guadeloupe studying how European Union fishing policy is implemented on the ground in member state territories.
Upon graduation, Patrick plans to pursue a career in government relations.