CCI alumna Brenna Parker shares Kent State experience, work on the Biden campaign

Jessica Cobb reporter

Brenna Parker starts her morning meetings pushing public policies and media content for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, along with her colleagues who are spread across five time zones. 

Parker works on the digital and audience development team for the Biden campaign and said she sees her professional growth since her days as a Kent State student. 

After graduating in 2017, Parker watched other students graduate and move into agency work while she decided to explore campaign and cause-driven work in Washington, D.C. 

She had such a valuable experience at Kent State, she said, with many great memories and relationships as a takeaway with her education. 

“What a unique thing to graduate and have such a great relationship with your professors. I think that is really rare,” she said. 

She talks to past public relations professor Stephanie Smith just about every day, she said, and keeps in contact with several other PR professors. 

“It’s been an enormously gratifying experience to watch her take on these responsibilities,” Professor Smith said, “especially with the Biden campaign, but even before that. She’s done so many amazing things.” 

Brenna is a quadruple threat, Smith said. She is a “brilliant strategist, even early on in her college experience.” Along with her talented design and photography skills, she has extraordinarily high integrity which is “a brandmark of hers.”

“She doesn’t even recognize how powerful her example is and what a brilliant role model she is,” Smith said. 

Her willingness to throw herself into any important cause she believes in, such as students and education, shows her willingness to undergo sacrifice and uncertainty, Smith said. 

Parker felt a natural fit with cause work and campaigning, she said, and has done much work with social causes in education and civic engagement. 

Some of her work includes causes such as: College Promise, an initiative that builds support for the funding of postsecondary education; Families Belong Together, which protests the Trump administration family separation policy; and When We All Vote, an organization whose mission is to increase voter participation. 

Parker said she “considered (the Biden campaign) a privilege and an honor to be part of a campaign so historic,” she said. 

“It’s hard to work on any campaign, let alone a presidential campaign against such a big competitor, especially in a global pandemic,” she said. 

But her team created a respectful and collaborative work environment, she said, and everyone understood the importance of digital and social media in this election.

Parker never wanted to limit herself and made effort to try everything she could. 

Her advice to Kent State students is to take advantage of every opportunity possible. Students should use their college experience to build lasting relationships and find their own path, she said.

As for Smith’s advice, she said, “Be more like Brenna.”

Jessica Cobb covers Regionals/CCI. Contact her at [email protected]

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