hours are long, the work grueling, but two TCU alumni say that for them,
civil service is...
By Nancy Bartosek
YEARS AGO, Lovell Brigham '88 had a great job and a bright future in public
relations at Parkland Hospital in Dallas.
So when she
resigned to prime democratic party pumps at county fairs and chili dinners,
many wondered about her sanity.
Brigham spent that time greasing her own political machinery and in 1998
landed what she had set her sights on -- a political appointment in Washington,
director for Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, Brigham
spends her days directing satellite feeds, taping interviews and dealing
with the broadcast media in the heart of our nation's capital.
it's a lot more than just a job.
most political appointees would feel that way," she said. "You
see that what you are doing really makes an impact on the lives of others."
And the perks?
Invitations to White House events. Access to inner circles of government
the product of a single-parent home from Tyler, Texas," she said.
"Coming from those humble beginnings to our nation's capital and
working for a cabinet secretary, with all the pomp and circumstance that
goes with that, has been more than I could have ever imagined."
And as her
mother might say, with that privilege comes great responsibility.
can never forget that I am a presidential political appointee," she
said. "Whether I'm on the job or not, I can never forget that."
write their own job descriptions, but that's what happened when Mark Kitchens'
boss asked him in 1997 to survey ways the White House Press Office might
serve the Internet-based press.
research was complete, Press Secretary Joe Lockhart asked, "When do you
want to start?"
Kitchens '94, assistant press secretary and the first director of Internet
news for the White House, has been racing around the capital answering
questions, orchestrating on-line conferences and uploading the President's
sprinted down the street after the presidential motorcade.
I got left; and when the President goes, they don't stop," he said. "Thank
goodness they were only going a few blocks down the street to do the town
imagined he'd be chasing down a President when he was trying to figure
out in college how to combine his passion for politics and his love of
He got his
first political break when he landed a job with Congressman Pete Geren
while still a student. That led to a position in Vice President Al Gore's
later, Kitchens moved to the White House Press Office as a news analysis
coordinator, a position often referred to as the political residency for
the press corps.
is "crazy and hectic," Kitchens said, but the work satisfying.
thing about the Internet is that it is dynamic and changing," Kitchens
said. "I get to invent my job each day."