Chris Besse Turning Up the Spotlight in Public Affairs

Roanoke College isn’t just all about the classroom. In fact, at Roanoke your classroom experience is just as important as your experiences outside the classroom. Senior political science major Chris Besse has made his short time at Roanoke into a valuable experience. Chris who is originally from Middleboro, Massachusetts, was drawn to Roanoke for the small campus setting. Before Roanoke, Chris describes himself as the shy, quiet guy who was afraid to get involved. Since freshman year, Chris has changed quite a bit and has evolved into a well-rounded student involved in nearly all aspects of campus life.

Outside of the classroom, Chris works in the office of Outdoor Adventure as a senior lead guide. In addition, Chris has served as the Risk Management chair for his fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi. Chris can also be found throughout the community working on various projects with Habitat for Humanity or tutoring at the Presbyterian Community Center.

Now a senior, Chris is beginning to think about life after Roanoke.  In Spring 2013, Chris participated in the Lutheran College Washington Semester where he interned at Jubilee USA Network. During his internship he gained hands on experience identifying and shaping policy efforts in our nation’s capital. Chris shared that he had the opportunity to speak to senators as well as their aids about specific legislations. While in D.C., he was also permitted to attend congressional hearings and court cases, which solidified his understanding of our legal system.  It was not long after ending his experience in D.C. that Chris had already committed to another internship. During the summer Chris interned with the Salem Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

Senior Chris Besse
Senior Chris Besse

Through the sum of all these experiences Chris knew that he was being called into a career path in the legal system. When I asked him why he felt Political Science was so important he said, “If you do not show an interest in politics or the government, the government is still going to show an interest in you. Politics and government are a part of our everyday lives.”

This fall Chris is preparing to take the LSAT. Though he is nervous, he is ready for the next chapter in his life and he is thankful to Roanoke and the Department of Public Affairs for helping him to grow into who he is today.  He encourages others to do what he did: push themselves to excel in the classroom and seek out challenges outside class.