Virginia Bonds

Posted November 16, 2007 at 6:18pm

As student government president at Radford University, Martin Mash had the opportunity this past May to introduce Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) as a graduation speaker.

[IMGCAP(1)]Now, Mash, 23, proudly serves as the Senator’s legislative correspondent, working on judiciary, homeland security and transportation issues, among others.

“I like the opportunity to be involved with politics,” he said.

Mash, from Chilhowie, Va., earned his degree in political science from Radford, but not before he tried his hand at a major in classical guitar.

“My talent and ambition weren’t compatible,” he said.

One of his favorite pieces is Johann Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.”

As a piano player, Climbers can relate. She once played “Canon in D” for her cousin’s wedding, and had a good time doing it.

Webb also added Jackie Ball, 31, as a legislative assistant in agriculture, veterans affairs, energy and the environment. She just finished a five-year stretch teaching Advanced Placement government and politics at Fairfax High School.

Why the switch?

“I wanted to do government instead of teach it,” she said. But her work experience has many advantages.

“It’s nice to have some of the background and history and see how it all interacts,” she said.

Ball, a 1998 graduate of Wake Forest University, was a goalkeeper for the school’s varsity soccer team, the lady Demon Deacons. She recently coached a youth soccer team in Fairfax but had to give it up with her new job.

But this native Virginian has no regrets.

“I think Sen. Webb is great because he really thinks through an issue and makes the best decision not only for Virginia, but for the nation,” she said. “He’s a rare politician today — it’s exciting to work for him.”

[IMGCAP(2)]Tapping to a New Beat. Alexis Miller majored in music history at Northwestern University, playing the trombone and becoming heavily involved in the School of Music there.

She’s now playing the tune of legislative correspondent for Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.).

“I’m honored to be working for him,” Miller said.

With her music background, Miller is especially interested in the politics surrounding the arts, but she is excited to be working on a number of issues for the Congressman.

“I grew up in a political family, and I decided it was time to try it out for real,” she said.

Miller, 32, is from McLean, Va., and was in the Delta Zeta sorority while at Northwestern. For now, she is happy to stay on the Hill and see where it takes her.

“Who gets to do music history and then come to the Hill?” she said.

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