May Alumni Spotlight: Patrice Arent

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Patrice Arent has devoted her life to public service. Currently representing District 36 in the Utah House of Representatives, she has also served in the Utah Senate, as a Division Chief in the Attorney General’s Office, and as Associate General Counsel to the legislature.

As an undergraduate, Arent made the Hinckley her "home" on campus completing multiple internships and other Hinckley opportunities. Indeed, she interned with two of the Hinckley's most prestigious host offices at the time: Utah Governor Scott M. Matheson and U.S. Senator Frank E. Moss. 

"During my internships, Governor Matheson and Senator Moss let me participate in some of their strategy meetings. This helped me better understand how to work effectively with colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I was also able to learn from their incredible integrity, work ethic and willingness to take on hard issues."

Arent was also a student host for Coffee and Politics (now known as our Hinckley Forums and Pizza and Politics series). Hosting gave Arent the opportunity to work directly with those involved at the Hinckley Institute, including professors J.D. Williams and R.J. Snow, and she got to know the Hinckley family. In fact, J.D. Williams not only taught Arent political theory, but was one of the first to encourage her to run for office. J.D. helped her canvas in a legislative district that nobody thought she could win. He shared his favorite "door-to-door" techniques as well as his political opinions. 

Through the Hinckley, Arent had the opportunity to spend time with Israeli Prime Minster Yitzhak Rabin when he was a Hinckley Fellow. She introduced his campus lecture and talked with him about peace in the Middle East. 

In 1978, Arent graduated from the U with a bachelor's degree in communications  and went on to secure a JD from Cornell University in 1981. 

Since her time as a Hinckley student, Arent has been instrumental in fostering a love of public policy and real world political experience with current university students. Over the years, the Hinckley has been privileged to place dozens of interns with Arent on Capitol Hill and on her campaigns. Additionally, Arent has been an powerhouse speaker in many Hinckley forums and at the Huntsman Seminar for Teachers.

"These students and teachers are an inspiration to me and have helped me better understand some of the complex issues facing our state."