Posted May 2, 2017

Next stop: U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

After finding a home at Temple, political science major Jemie Fofanah is moving to the nation's capital to put her degree to work. 

Photography By: 
Joseph V. Labolito
While studying at Temple, political science major Jemie Fofanah developed the independence and leadership skills that resulted in her hiring at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Name: Jemie Fofanah
Major: Political science
Minor: Economics
Hometown: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Why did you choose to study political science at Temple?
I took AP Government and Politics as a senior in high school and that opened my mind to the idea of studying political science in college. It wasn’t about a career path at the time, though. I was just very interested in politics, history and government. Then I visited Temple and heard a presentation from [political science faculty member] Joseph Schwartz, and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
How has Temple impacted your life?
I was born in the United Kingdom, I moved to Gettysburg to live with my father when I was a child, and I never really had a hometown, per se. Temple is the first place in my life that I consider home. There are always going to be things that keep me coming back to Temple, whether it’s my friends or my political science professors, especially Heath Fogg Davis, who is overseeing my senior thesis.
What’s your next stop after Commencement?
I will be moving to Washington, D.C., to work as a research assistant and reader to the Hon. Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
The D.C. Circuit is unique in that it handles a lot of federal administration, such as the Environmental Protection Agency. A lot of interesting cases come to the D.C. Circuit, and they don’t have to go through a lower court before they end up there. Rulings end up affecting lots of federal policy, which technically makes it a step below the Supreme Court.
How has Temple prepared you for your next stop?
Temple has given me room to grow in a way that I was not expecting for myself. I grew up in an environment where I got a lot of support from family and friends, but here it was kind of like, “you can do this by yourself. And you should trust that you can do this by yourself.” So I grew into leadership positions. I conducted independent research and did so many things on my own that I would have never expected from myself, which has set me up for life after Temple.
—Joseph Master