Kelvey Vander Hart

Development Assistant & Interim Outreach Coordinator at Show-Me Institute in Kansas City, MO

Bachelor of Science in Social Work

Please describe your position and what you enjoy most about it.

I work on the operational side of a free market policy think tank here in Missouri. This encompasses a lot of different things – some days I’ll be reaching out to donors, other days I’ll be event planning. I also write for several different political and policy organizations. I love that no two days are alike – I’m constantly learning, thinking critically, and doing new things. Definitely stretching my comfort zone!

What aspects of your HLGU experience helped you prepare for your career?

One key thing that stands out is how my critical thinking skills were sharpened at HLGU. I am so grateful for professors who kept me on my toes and required me to present clear and thoughtful answers. By the time I graduated I had lost track of how many times a professor argued with me from an opposing point of view just to help me grasp all angles and hone my rhetoric.

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

As cliche as it might be, I enjoy working in a field that allows me to make a difference. Every day I work in politics and public policy is a day where I’m striving to see a vision of a better America become reality. Even on the worst of days, knowing that I’m playing my part in crafting this vision is immensely satisfying.

What professional accomplishment are you most proud of?

While I have a few moments from my career that stand out, recently being awarded Op-Ed of the Year by America’s Future Foundation for a piece I had published in the Washington Examiner was really satisfying.

What HLGU professors played a part in your success? How did your relationship with faculty help you succeed?

I could sing the praises of the HLGU faculty for hours. I am so thankful for professors who took the time to get to know me and encourage me in and out of the classroom. I’m specifically grateful for my faculty advisor, Dean Schoonover. Mr. Schoonover encouraged me to pursue what I felt called to do, and he was always willing argue the opposing side in order to help me clarify and strengthen what I believed in. His classes were rigorous, and I walked away pondering new information every single time.

Do you have any tips to share with students interested in this field?

As a Christian working in public policy and politics, I have to keep one thing in mind: Jesus always comes first, hands down. Working in this field can encourage you to get swept up in some pretty nasty tribalism and argument – knowing who your King is and where you’re ultimately bound helps you to put your hand to the task while keeping your priorities straight.

What are some of your favorite HLGU memories?

Honestly, the small things are the memories I miss the most. Studying in the library, laughing with friends around the lunch table. The consistency of life together is what I look back on most fondly.

What on-campus activities were you involved in at HLGU?

I was involved in Student Activities and Students Against Sexual Assault, and went on to become the president of both Student Senate and Students Against Sexual Assault.

What is one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you started in the field?

Your work is your work, not your entire life. Boundaries are good – you don’t need to be plugged into the news 24/7.

You can visit to keep up with Kelvey’s personal blog, get connected to her Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and to see a portfolio of her other work.