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Oct. 11, 2022

Kucera takes interests in political science, agriculture to Washington, D.C.

Sidney Kucera found her passion for policy during her first semester at Northwest Missouri State University and now has begun her political science career as a senator’s staff assistant in Washington, D.C.

Sidney Kucera graduated from Northwest with a bachelor’s degree in political science. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Sidney Kucera graduated from Northwest with a bachelor’s degree in political science. (Photo by Lauren Adams/Northwest Missouri State University)

Kucera graduated from Northwest in the summer with a bachelor’s degree in political science, but it was a course taught by Dr. Brian Hesse, professor of political science, during the fall of her first year at Northwest that inspired her to change her major from business. Having grown up on a farm in northeast Nebraska, Kucera began to see ways she could use her newfound interest to assist the agriculture industry.

“After that one class, I thought, ‘I kind of want to take more policy classes.’ I enjoyed it more than my business classes,” Kucera said. “And then COVID hit, and I knew it was a good decision.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and forced Northwest courses online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester, Kucera was grateful for the skills she continued to gain.

“We learned to become adaptable,” Kucera said. “A lot of people, especially professors, got thrown for a loop when changing everything to online, and students just had to learn that things were going to be different. We had to be willing to accommodate those changes and work with professors because they were going through the same thing we were.”

Kucera was involved on campus, growing the Northwest chapter of Collegiate Farm Bureau. She also was a member and officer of Sigma Alpha, the agriculture sorority at Northwest, and president of Phi Sigma Alpha, the political science honor society.

Kucera also maintained connections to her farming background on campus as an agricultural communication minor.

“I was able to meet so many people in the ag department and just get a feel of how they felt about Northwest and policy,” Kucera said. “It was just getting my foot in lots of doors and meeting people.”

Her interests in policy and agriculture led her to an internship opportunity in the summer of 2021 with Nebraska Sen. Deb Fischer. After the internship ended, Kucera was offered a staff assistant position for the senator in Washington, D.C., which she began last May.

“I’m looking to do ag policy, and she’s a rancher from Nebraska, so it’s definitely one of her emphases,” Kucera said. “It’s super rewarding to be able to work with someone who has a passion for the industry.”

Kucera says she is appreciative of the faculty and experiences she gained at Northwest that helped prepare her for her career.

“I love Northwest,” Kucera said. “I’m proud to say I’m a Bearcat.”


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215