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Meet Casey Rife

Master of Public Administration Student

I am passionate about environmental justice, the layers of racial and socioeconomic inequality that underlie it, and comprehensive policy solutions that work toward a more equitable and just world.

Growing up in the age of social media and increasing political tensions, young people have had a front row seat to witness the damaging effects that unjust and unequitable policies have had on our community and our world.

Seeing the disproportionate impacts of the worsening climate crisis, I wondered what role I could play in addressing inequities in my own community. This led me to crave a deeper understanding of the environmental issues we face here in Ohio and across the globe.

I earned my BS in Environmental Science and BA in Global Studies from Otterbein University while serving as president of the student body. At first, I didn’t realize how the skills and experiences I gained in student government would translate into a career but bringing people together, listening to their concerns, and advocating for equitable solutions to complex problems are key facets of good policymaking.

Upon graduating, I knew that I wasn’t done learning. Senator John Glenn once said, “we have an infinite amount to learn both from nature and each other,” and I was eager to keep learning from both.

As I considered the many different policy solutions necessary to combat the environmental crises we are facing, I decided to pursue my Master of Public Administration from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs.

The Glenn College is home to a community of passionate public servants and collaborative problem solvers. My colleagues and professors at the Glenn College have taught me how deeply connected many of our country’s racial, socioeconomic, and gender inequities truly are, and the importance of social justice focused work. From working with Dr. Kim Young on an infographic focused on making the federal income tax equation more accessible, to working with Dr. Chris Rea on an environmental law research project, the professors at Glenn have challenged me to apply myself inside and outside of the classroom.

I’ve also had the honor of serving as President of the Public Affairs Student Association (PASA) and making connections with the incredible network of Glenn College alumni who are out in the world working hard to better our communities.

The knowledge and experience I have gained in pursuing my MPA have equipped me to be a better advocate and policymaker.

As I finish my final coursework at the Glenn College, I have begun working full-time at the Statehouse as a Legislative Fellow with the Ohio Senate.

Addressing the climate crisis and environmental injustices facing so many communities across the world requires local and global solutions. I hope to continue my career in local and state government by working toward comprehensive policy solutions that create not only a more equitable and just Ohio, but a more equitable and just world.

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