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From Bobcat to Aggie: A December Graduate with an Unlikely Beginning

Lindsey Brenner ‘20 came to Aggieland her sophomore year in the hopes of pushing herself academically. She’s done just that while making lifelong friends in the process.

By Mia Mercer ‘23

Photo of Lindsey Brenner

Lindsey Brenner ’20 came to Texas A&M University from Texas State looking for a challenge. Now, she is graduating a semester early after piling on courses in the hopes of getting her Aggie ring at the same time as her peers.

While she was attending Texas State University, political science major Lindsey Brenner ‘20 was just going through the motions. She would wake up, go to class, study, go to sleep…but deep down, she knew she wanted more. Hungry for a bigger challenge and craving firsthand field experience, she found her way to Aggieland to study political science in the College of Liberal Arts.

Brenner’s classes at Texas A&M University gifted her with more challenges than she had ever anticipated. She eventually found her footing but realized she would receive her Aggie ring late unless she found a way to catch up to the number of credit hours her peers had completed at Texas A&M. She viewed this as just one more challenge to take on, and began piling on minimesters and summer courses. Now, with her Aggie ring in hand, Brenner is ready to graduate a semester early on December 9, 2020.

“I’m still shocked at how much I’ve excelled in my education, especially in my political science classes,” Brenner said. “Political science is a critical-thinking world, and here at Texas A&M I am surrounded by people who also love political science and pushing themselves further. That’s what I find so special about the College of Liberal Arts.”

Brenner first realized that political science challenges critical thinkers in high school. In fact, it was her Model Organization of American States (MOAS) sponsor who pushed her to pursue political science as a career.

“Political science gives a voice to the people,” Brenner said. “I’m outspoken and I talk all the time, and I think it’s good to be able to do that for others who don’t feel like they have a voice.”

To gain experience outside of Texas A&M, Brenner did an unpaid internship with U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway during the summer of 2019. In doing so, Brenner gained hands-on experience in her field and sharpened her writing skills. The Aggie value of selfless service was invaluable to her work with the congressman. Her work with Conaway and Aggie values earned her an internship in D.C. this year, which was an opportunity to apply her skills at a national level.

Brenner said her education at Texas A&M prepared her for these internships and her future career. The College of Liberal Arts introduced her to phenomenal professors and surrounded her with other Aggies who taught her to work at a professional level. Now, Brenner is ready for graduation and excited for what the future holds.

“It’s funny how you see the Aggie core values seep into your everyday life,” Brenner said. “I am surrounded by people who uplift me and strive to help others. That’s what the Texas A&M community is all about.”

Her impressive resume and passion for helping others inspired Brenner to apply for the Fulbright grant. This grant is a highly prestigious and very competitive award that affords two individuals the opportunity to travel abroad for a year at no expense. If she gets the grant, she will use it to broaden her horizons as an English teaching assistant in South Korea.

“I love helping others. It’s what made me want to go into political science. It’s really rewarding to see the change you can make in a community,” she shared. “There’s so many fields that you can go into, too. It doesn’t have to be running for office, it can be working for a campaign, working for NGOs, or teaching South Koreans English. It can be almost anything, and you’re giving back which is also rewarding.”

Brenner will know whether or not she received the Fulbright grant in the Spring of 2021. If she does not receive the grant, she will pursue a master’s degree in international relations at The Bush School of Government and Public Service in the fall of 2021.

“Being an Aggie is awesome,” Brenner said. “It makes me a little sad to graduate earlier than most of my peers, but I’m excited to make new memories, knowing I’ll always have a home here in Aggieland.”