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After spending his summer helping Nassau County get out of debt, Steve Orloff ’04 (Port Washington, N.J.) is furthering his exploration of a possible career in government and law by taking three related courses this semester.

Receiving credit towards his government and law major, Orloff interned under the guidance of Craig Love, commissioner of accounts for Nassau County. Working in the office of the county executive, his duties focused on purchasing, information and technology, fraud, and grants. His accomplishments included debt reduction and updating the technology information system.

“The internship was unique because it was in government,” says Love. “Steve was able to get an understanding of governmental policy, management issues, and, because we were in a fiscal crisis, constraints and cost cutting as well.”

“Steve had a positive attitude and worked well with a team. He was very mature and professional,” adds Love.

“This internship was a great opportunity for me,” says Orloff. “I saw how all the different departments worked, from the comptroller’s office to social services and the health department. It gave me the opportunity to travel all over the county.”

Orloff says that being privy to legislative sessions, where different bills were discussed and passed, and private county ceremonies, such as one held for the newly appointed police commissioner, were highlights of his experience. He also studied technical aspects of the job and served on an ethics committee to help elected officials keep an accurate public record of their position.

Orloff also interned with New York State Assemblyman Thomas DiNapoli, experiencing what he does when the Assembly is not in session.

“I think the government and law department at Lafayette is great,” adds Orloff. “It allows you to explore the field through many different approaches. I like its flexibility.”

He chose government and law as his major after it came highly recommended from several of his varsity soccer teammates. Orloff is now taking Introduction to Comparative Politics with Kevin Cameron, visiting assistant professor of government and law; Introduction to Political Theory with Joshua Miller, professor of government and law; and Political Parties and Elections with Alexandra Cooper, assistant professor of government and law.

Orloff says he enjoys Cooper’s class very much because of the discussions about campaigns and elections.

“It’s interesting this year because the Republicans gained a majority in both houses of Congress,” notes Orloff, who is considering attending law school after graduating from Lafayette. Topics have included the amounts of money that different campaigns have received and why.

The course entails a great amount of writing, and each student has been researching all semester for a paper due at the culmination of the course. Orloff will write about how minor party candidates affected the 2000 presidential elections, focusing on Green Party candidate Ralph Nader and Reform Party contender Pat Buchanan.

An expert on campaign finance, Cooper received a $74,286 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the role of campaign contributions in elections in the United States. She has involved numerous Lafayette students in her research.

In addition to playing varsity soccer, Orloff is a mentor for a youth in LAV Magic Soccer Club and is a member of Kirby Government and Law Society.

Categorized in: Academic News