Alumnus pursues her passion alongside Congressman Jason Crow

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In February 2020, the President of the United States had just been impeached and the country was teetering on the brink of the coronavirus pandemic. Amid the turmoil and uncertainty, University of Denver alum Mackenzie Fallt has started a new chapter.

That month, she took a job in Washington, D.C., with another DU alumnus, Rep. Jason Crow of Colorado’s 6th congressional district. Since then, she has served as a staff assistant and legislative correspondent, managing the congressman’s front office, coordinating meetings and scheduling tours for visitors. She also connects with Crow voters, who contact daily by phone, email, snail mail and more.

“We hear voters every day talking about issues they are passionate about,” she says. “It’s my job to work with our legislative staff to write letters in response, articulating the congressman’s position on the legislation or the broad area they wrote about.”

When Fallt, who majored in English, psychology and international studies, graduated from DU in 2014, she didn’t yet know where her career might take her. She began working full-time with the DU admissions office, while pursuing a master’s degree at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies in her spare time.

In 2019, after a few years of balancing work and school, Fallt quit his job and moved to Washington, D.C., to participate in the “Korbel in DC” program, which sends graduate students to the nation’s capital for a quarter to take courses. Classes. while connecting with leaders and decision makers. Fallt spent that term interning for Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado’s 7th congressional district, before earning a master’s degree in international studies in December 2019.

It was then that Fallt learned of an opening in Crow’s office. She had watched his campaign for Congress in 2018, and even then she had been impressed with his main areas of focus and his approach to leadership. She jumped at the chance to work alongside him.

“When my program ended, I realized that there was still so much to learn about being safe. [Capitol] Hill and so much work I could do there,” she says. “I had seen with my own eyes all the very hard work that a congressman’s legislative staff does, and I thought that if I could have the opportunity to join a legislative team and have a portfolio questions that touch on things that I’m already passionate about, that would be awesome.”

Just before Fallt joined the team, Crow made headlines as one of seven Democratic impeachment officials suing President Donald Trump in the US Senate. Although she missed the intense work of the trial, Fallt’s time in Crow’s office was impacted by another pivotal experience: COVID-19.

As a legislative correspondent, Fallt spent the early days of the pandemic on the phone with person after person dealing with the resulting chaos: job losses, deaths, ill health, fear and frustration.

“Being given people’s life stories was really deep and impactful,” Fallt recalled. “It really reinforced for me the importance of what our office does – being accessible, being there to listen and advocate. It really set the tone for the rest of the work I will be doing on the Hill. I will never take it for granted.

According to Crow, this hard work and dedication to service cemented Fallt as a key teammate.

“Mackenzie has been an incredible member of the team, leading our front office, playing a key role in managing our constituent communications and helping with speech writing,” he says. “When we hired for the role, it was important that we found someone who could balance the many facets of the job. Mackenzie brought all of that to the table and more, which doesn’t surprise anyone who knows her and certainly doesn’t surprise me as a former DU student.

Fallt plans to continue learning in her role and aims to build a portfolio focused on international affairs, healthcare, the environment, and gun violence prevention.

“I think the opportunities to work on a legislative team or work for a committee in the future would be really beneficial and a great continuation of what I learned in my program at Korbel,” she says. “I have seen our team go from idea to reality delivering legislation that will have a profound impact on the lives of millions of people.”

As her journey continues, Fallt reflects on her time at DU with gratitude: “I don’t know where I would be in my career if DU hadn’t been where I chose to go. I’ve benefited from amazing undergraduate professors and mentors, and I’ve also benefited from some truly amazing people I’ve worked with on undergraduate admissions.

It’s something Fallt and Crow have in common, he says.

“When I moved to Colorado with my wife [a fourth-generation Coloradan] and planned to go to law school, DU stood out as a school that would combine academic study with real-world experience. It was this hands-on learning and focus on collaboration that prepared me to practice law – lessons I still practice working with constituents and my congressional colleagues today. Mackenzie is an example of DU alums doing high profile work around the world.

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