Benjamin Pontz ’20 of Strasburg, Pennsylvania, is a Political Science and Public Policy double major with a minor in Music.
Ben is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha, Omicron Delta Kappa, and ranks in the top one percent of the senior class. He is an Abraham Lincoln Scholar, the college's top merit scholarship.
Ben interned with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue after winning the James A. Finnegan Award for writing the year's best public policy paper. The following summer he interned with the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership where he conducted research on behalf of the organization's CEO to ensure compliance with state regulations and to spur new investment in affordable housing, and this last summer with WITF's "Smart Talk" public affairs radio program, where he produced nearly two dozen shows on topics ranging from the Supreme Court and Iran to surprise medical bills and challenges facing rural Pennsylvanians. He has also completed summer fellowships with the Hertog Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and serves as a regular contributor to LNP, his hometown newspaper, where one of his columns was the subject of a segment on CNN and remains the paper's most-read online article ever.
On campus, Ben is editor-in-chief of The Gettysburgian and drum major of the Bullets Marching Band. He has completed the Garthwait Leadership Center's Leadership Certificate program, has been a member of the Sunderman Conservatory Wind Symphony (which toured in China), and currently serves as a member of Gettysburg College President Bob Iuliano's Presidential Transition Team. He works in the Department of Political Science as a Research Assistant and Peer Learning Associate, in Musselman Library as a Peer Research Mentor, and for WZBT campus radio as News Director.
During the 2019-2020 academic year, Ben is working on an independent study senior capstone project examining the roles and effects of local government, civic institutions, and political polarization in public policy making and problem solving. The project is supported by the Gladfelter Award, given annually to a Gettysburg student pursuing advanced research in American Studies.
Ben's involvement with the Eisenhower Institute includes participation in Inside the Middle East and a year as the Communication & Program Manager for the Fielding Center.
Upon graduation, Ben is considering law school, graduate study in political science, and entering the workforce either through a think tank or a local government institution as he aims for a lifetime of public service.