Student Spotlight April 2023

    Hailey Mattingly is a master's student studying Political Science. 


    Q: Describe your educational background.

    A: During my undergraduate career, I had major interests in political campaigns and elections. I actually took a campaign management class and thought for sure that would be my future career. A class on public policy really sparked my interest and showed me that I could combine my love for political science with my love for protecting the environment. My senior year, I became a fellow for the Commonwealth Policy Coalition; a student-led think-tank affiliated with UofL, and joined a group of students working to pass legislation on proper waste management of the harmful distillery by-product, stillage. 

    Q: What brought you to the University of Louisville?

    A: I participated in the Metro College program through UPS. I am graduating debt-free thanks to this program and my Graduate Assistantship!

    Q: What are the specific areas of your research?

    A: My love for public policy only strengthened when I realized that I could write my own policy proposals. I have found a lot of meaning in researching renewable energy policy, as having the right regulations and guidelines in place for this new market is of utmost importance as we transition away from traditional energy markets. Thus, my specific areas of research has mostly been renewable energy policy (e.g. biomass, solar, hydrogen, nuclear), energy efficiency standards for building, and theories of policy diffusion. 

    Q: What do you feel is the greatest challenge that graduate students face and how have you dealt with this challenge?

    A: The biggest challenge by far is imposter syndrome. Sometimes balancing everything can become very overwhelming and it is easy to get in your head and think that it may be too much to handle or that you’re not knowledgeable enough to be sitting at the table. It is so important to remind yourself that you are in your program for a reason and that you will see the other side! I have struggled quite a bit in my comparative and international politics classes because I am simply stronger in American Politics. When I take these classes, I have had to remind myself that I am not as strong in these subjects, not because I am a bad student or because I shouldn’t be in this program, but because my strengths lie elsewhere. While it is important to be well rounded, it is also extremely valuable to know how your knowledge can best contribute to the conversation!

    Awards, honors, publications:

    • Honor: Policy Fellow for the Commonwealth Policy Coalition, 2021-present

    • Publications: 

      Merry, M. K., & Mattingly, H. (2023). Framing the climate crisis: Dread and fatalism in media and interest group responses to IPCC. Review of Policy Research

      Kessler, S., Gabhart, A., & Mattingly, H (2022). Support New Business to Solve Old Problems with Kentucky’s Keystone Waste from Bourbon & Brewing. Commonwealth Policy Papers1(1), 2.

      Kessler, S., Gabhart, A., & Mattingly, H (2022) "Draft Legislation: A novel policy system of income & refundable property tax credits for sustainable use of “keystone” stillage and spent grain wastes to stop pollution and surge business growth," Commonwealth Policy Papers, 1(1), 3.

    Fun Facts:

    A talent you have always wanted: I was never particularly interested in learning to play an instrument when I was in grade school; however now I wish I had been more musically inclined. I would love to learn to play the piano!

    Favorite book: Anthem by Ayn Rand

    Role Model: My Nana! She has been through so much in her lifetime, but is still the sweetest and most kind-hearted person I know. She would do anything for anyone in need – even a stranger.

    Favorite thing to do or place to go in Louisville: My favorite thing to do is hiking or kayaking. My favorite places to hike in Louisville are Waverly and Jefferson Memorial Parks. I usually travel outside of Louisville to kayak, but Floyd’s Fork is a great option in town!

    If you weren’t in graduate school, what would you be doing now? I would be traveling as much as I could. I want to see every national park in the United States. To celebrate my graduation, I have a trip planned to mark three more parks off this list!