Moffett Deftly Mixes Track and Politics
CHICAGO - Ivy Moffett is on a fast track---whether she is running track for DePaul or perhaps someday running a political campaign.
Deftly balancing scholastic demands, competing in track and cultivating a budding career in the political world brought the personable Moffett a nice reward on Dec. 4.
That's when she was formally notified that the Blue Demon senior had been accepted into U.S. Senator Richard J. Durbin's internship program.
Actually, Moffett had been tipped off about the opportunity a few days earlier.
"The internship application asks you for information on other internships you have served," Moffett said. "On the form for Sen. Durbin, I wrote down that I had worked for Sen. Barack Obama in the fall of 2008.
"Right after my interview, I received the internship offer for Sen. Durbin."
Those were heady times for Moffett from September to December in 2008, working for Obama while he was a senator, a presidential candidate and eventually the President-elect.
"I never got the chance to meet Mr. Obama, and that's one of the biggest goals in my life," Moffett said. "I went into his office one time during my internship, but he wasn't there. Maybe it will happen when I start working in Washington, D.C."
Moffett plans to work in our Nation's Capital for two years after graduating from DePaul and then apply for law school. She is hopeful that contacts she has made in the White House and Pentagon will lead to a job opportunity.
This savvy finance major with a minor in public policy has also interned for the Department of Homeland Security (summer of 2008) and for Ald. Leslie Harrison (summer of 2009).
"It was pretty hectic working for Sen. Obama," Moffett said. "He was a candidate, a President-elect and still a senator. A lot of us on his staff had to do a lot of his work.
"It's very complex work dealing with a lot of private and delicate information. You need to have a high level of sensitivity because you are working with constituents of different ethnic backgrounds and economic levels.
"I learned to deal with all kinds of people living in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. That happened my senior year in high school. I was relocated to Dallas for my senior year."
Former Blue Demon assistant track coach Kim Carson was the link in bringing Moffett to Lincoln Park. The sprinter and long jumper had also been recruited by Vanderbilt and Texas Christian (TCU).
Why did she choose DePaul?
"I wanted to come to a big city up north and experience a different environment," Moffett said. "Everyone was always telling me that Chicago is a city of opportunity.
"That has turned out to be so true."
As a sophomore, Moffett ran the third leg of the 4x100 relay that set a school record with a time of 47.03. So far in the indoor track season that began Dec. 4, Moffett has either re-set or tied her career bests in the 60 and 200-meter dashes and the long jump.
Her goal for the indoor season is to qualify for the BIG EAST meet in the long jump and 200. For the outdoor season, Moffett wants to qualify in the long jump, 100-meter dash and place in the 4x100 relay.
"She can accomplish all of those---absolutely," said assistant coach Dave Dopek, DePaul's greatest track athlete and the first to win an NCAA championship (200 meters at 1995 NCAA Indoor Championship).
"Now that she has her post-collegiate plans solidified, she is less stressed out at practice. I think you're going to see some of her best performances this season---both indoor and outdoor."
Track has always had a place in Moffett's busy schedule.
"Track has helped make me into the person I have become," Moffett said. "It has taught me about leadership qualities and time management. I've learned to balance working as an intern with going to school and running track.
"Coach Dopek was very helpful during my internship with Sen. Obama. I couldn't practice on Wednesdays, and he worked around my schedule.
"Even though track is an individual sport, you learn to work with others. I've been running track since the fifth grade. That's when I discovered I could run faster than other kids."
As a senior captain this season, Moffett has embraced the role of looking after her younger teammates.
"All the freshmen look up to her," Dopek said. "Sometimes they tease her with the nickname 'Grandma.' Ivy always provides guidance for them, especially outside of practices and meets. She makes sure they don't have that feeling of being on an island by themselves.
"Ivy is a joy to be around. There hasn't been one moment of an issue from her. With Ivy, it's always fun, work hard and just have a good time. She always has a smile for everyone.
"It will certainly be a different team next year without her around."
Get ready, D.C., because Ivy Moffett will soon be heading your way.