May 27, 2021

By Alaina Uricheck ’24

Alexandra Angelopoulos ’22, a history major and political science minor, has been accepted into the 2021 NEW Leadership Summer Institute at Chatham University’s Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics.

The NEW Leadership™ summer institute is an intensive, nonpartisan, five-day program where students meet with women leaders, learn about women in American politics, and develop and practice leadership skills through panel discussions, workshops and hands-on projects.

Angelopoulos applied to the program because she wants to experience the perspectives her peers bring to politics.

“I tend to look at politics through a historical lens, as I am aware that history doesn’t exist in a void and that decisions made in politics in the past hundreds of years have very real effects on our current day problems,” Angelopoulos said. “I am very excited to see if other students share my views or have completely different ones that I haven’t even considered yet.”

The historical significance of Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sitting behind President Biden at his 100 days address did not escape Angelopoulos. Their presence marked the first time in history two women have flanked a U.S. president during a joint address to Congress.

“What’s really interesting about the historical event of two women sitting behind the president is that it happened right after the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote,” Angelopoulos said. “Kamala Harris being the first female vice president and Nancy Pelosi being the first female speaker of the House are direct results of those actions 100 years ago.

“But when we stop counting how many women have held those government positions, we will be even more equal. After all, no one counts who the third male Speaker of the House is or the seventh male senator from PA,” Angelopoulos added. “I hope that in the future, women in positions of power will not be extraordinary, but simply the norm.”

After college, Angelopoulos, a member of the Reserve Officer’s Training Corps, plans to enter the U.S. Army and eventually continue her education at graduate school.