Cody Rogers graduated from the University of Utah in 2011. As an undergraduate, he enrolled in every Hinckley opportunity made available to him. The courses he most enjoyed were the Forum Series, in which he was also a forum host; Dr. Dan Jones’ course Voting, Elections, and Public Opinion, for which he later served as Dr. Jones’ teaching assistant; and Campaign Management with Doug Foxley and Frank Pignanelli. Through this last course, he was able to intern for Utah Representative Jim Dunnigan’s campaign.
Rogers also served as an intern in D.C. with Senator Bob Bennett’s press office. This led to him getting a permanent position in the Salt Lake City Office starting as the Staff Assistant and rising to the Office Manager and Bennett’s State Scheduler. Additionally, Rogers completed a global internship with the Public Affairs section of the United States Mission to NATO in Brussels during his last semester as a University of Utah student. He reflects that this was great bookend to his time at the University.
Rogers credits his relationships with Dr. Jones, former Hinckley Institute Director Kirk Jowers, Hinckley staff, and numerous other professors and mentors from the University of Utah as the catalysts for many of the unforgettable experiences during his undergraduate career. As a winner of the prestigious Truman Scholarship, Rogers felt that this feat was due in part to the encouragement and cheerleading from the Hinckley Institute and dedicated support from his professors.
His unique course load, prestigious Hinckley internships, and Truman Scholar status are what he cites as allowing him to get into the University of Virginia Law School. The letters of recommendation and the tutelage provided by his Hinckley professors and mentors gave him the skills and experiences he needed to stand out as a law school applicant and eventually succeed in that career path.
When asked to recall his favorite Hinckley Institute memory, Rogers responded: It's hard to list just one especially because I could list several favorite memories of Dr. Jones alone. But there is still one experience that I remember exactly where I was when it happened. I just sat down to my first LSAT prep course and we were about ready to get started when my phone rang. I knew that the nominating institutions had been told who the winners of the Truman Scholarship were that day and since it was late in the day, I figured someone else had gotten it and that they were now getting around to telling those of us who did not. So, I got up and answered the phone, expecting disappointing news, and was caught off guard when [then Hinckley Director] Kirk Jowers informed me that I had become a Truman Scholar. I don't think my feet hit the ground for several days. The next day, I was sitting in a class in OSH and I remember Dr. Jones saw me, walked in, and beaming, announced to the entire class the good news. I think that's what always set the Hinckley apart in my mind...the ability to believe in students and celebrate and champion their successes with no conditions.
Today, Rogers finds that the contacts he made and the experiences he had with the Hinckley Institute remain useful. His current practice focuses on development projects in low-income communities. Looking back on all of these experience and opportunities, Rogers feels he would not have had them at any other institution and he will always be grateful for the Hinckley Institute.