Second-year student lands internship on Capitol Hill

Political science major finds ‘home away from home’ at UC

Although Janice Rotich was originally drawn to the University of Cincinnati because of its neuroscience program, the second-year student from Texas fell in love with the sense of community she found at UC.

 Now, Rotich is a political science and Africana studies double major, and her internship and campus groups have opened doors for the honor student. It made UC her home.

Janice Rotich smiles for a professional photo against a gray backdrop.

Janice Rotich, a second-year honor student in UC's College of Arts and Sciences, is passionate about social justice.

During the spring before her first year at UC, Rotich was invited to attend the Darwin T. Turner Scholars end-of-year reception, and she immediately admired the program.

“I went to UC, visited the campus, went to the event, and I fell in love with both,” Rotich said. “I was seeing an organization that I would be a part of where I could be with other people that are just as passionate as me.”

Alongside her double major, Rotich is working toward a certificate in social justice. She plans to attend law school and become a criminal and civil rights lawyer.

“I could fight for people and literally save their lives,” Rotich says. "Especially as a product of the South, I want to give back to the community that made me the woman that I am today.”

Rotich currently lives outside of Washington, D.C., where she works as a legislative intern for U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

“It’s honestly been such an eye-opening experience,” Rotich says of her work on Capitol Hill. As a legislative intern, Rotich takes calls from constituents, studies current legislation and researches her congressman’s top policy areas such as police reform among other duties. “I know this will definitely open a lot of doors for me,” she says.

Janice Rotich smiles for a photo with her friends at Nippert Stadium while watching a football game, her favorite sport.

Rotich (bottom left) with some friends at a UC football game.

Along with her internship in the federal government, Rotich has been involved in the UC Women’s Center and the African American Cultural and Resource Center, and she holds positions in both student government and the UC chapter of the NAACP. Next year, Rotich plans on working as a resident adviser.

“I want to make sure that our campus community is a safe space for everyone,” Rotich says. “I definitely want to make a lasting impact in any way that I possibly can.”

Rotich says she recognizes that she’s lived a privileged life, as both of her parents came to the United States from Africa with the goal of giving their children the best education and opportunities to succeed. Rotich says she sees giving back as the least she can do.

“I feel that I should use my privilege to bestow blessings on people who don’t have as many as I do,” the honor student says. “If I can use my education — my passion — to save peoples’ lives, then I will.”

One of her favorite memories from college so far, Rotich says, is seeing the UC African Student Association culture show in February.

If I can use my education — my passion — to save peoples’ lives, then I will.

UC student Janice Rotich

“Just seeing the Black excellence amongst all the people who showed up, all the people who performed, it made me really proud to be Black,” Rotich says. “It made me proud to be part of the UC community.”

Janice Rotich smiles for a selfie-style snap with two other friends, dressed nicely for the Kuamka event.

Rotich (on right) smiles for a photo with some friends before Kuamka, one of the African American Cultural and Resource Center’s biggest annual events.

Being from Texas, Rotich says the hardest thing about acclimating to life in Cincinnati was finding a support system outside of what she’s always known.

“It wasn’t hard, but it was definitely something I had to work toward,” says Rotich. “I’ve found so many people in different spaces throughout all of campus who’ve got my back, who are willing to support me in any way possible and who want to see me go as far as I possibly can.”

The political science student says she loves all the organizations she is involved in and hopes to complete more internships during her years at UC. “Now, I’m just excited to go back in the fall.”

Featured image at top: Janice Rotich delivers a speech at the Darwin T. Turner Scholars ceremony. All photos provided.

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