By Tayler Shaw (Jour, Span’21)
Photo by Kimberly Coffin (CritMed, StratComm’18)

When Max Gannett looks at the world around him, he is struck by how interconnected people are with data and technology and the impact these interactions can have on political systems. 

Originally from Fort Collins, Colorado, Gannett will graduate this month with a bachelor’s degree in information science and the distinction of being the Department of Information Science’s William W. White Outstanding Senior—an award given to students in each department based on a combination of academic merit, professional achievement and service to the college.

You will be amazed at how many opportunities arise from just taking the step of getting involved."

Gannett plans to use his degree, his minor in political science, and his certificate in peace and conflict studies to better understand how people’s use of technology can influence U.S. democracy. As a student in the Information Science Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's Degree program, Gannett will return to the College of Media, Communication and Information this fall to complete his master’s degree in information science.

Throughout his four years in CMCI, Gannett has held many leadership roles, including working as a lead CMCI ambassador, a peer career advisor for CMCI’s Career Services team and president of CMCI Student Government. Before turning his tassel at graduation, he reflected on his college career, and the people and experiences that helped him grow.

 From your time at the University of Colorado Boulder, what will you carry with you into your next chapter?
My time at CU has been filled with amazing experiences and people along the way. I’ve worked in a variety of roles in CMCI, and I will not forget the impact the people have had on me while in those roles. I will carry the experience of leadership, friendship and the amazing community of CMCI with me into my next chapter. 

 Based on what you know now, what is your best piece of advice for other students?
Share your stories and get involved. You will be amazed at how many opportunities arise from just taking the step of getting involved. Also, try things that may seem intimidating to you because you will grow so much from the experience.

A huge part of college is finding a community of people to support you, work with you, mentor you and encourage you. Who was in your herd during college, and how did they shape your experience?

Being a part of the information science department was one of the best and most memorable experiences, and that’s why I plan to continue studying information science in the master’s program at CU. The faculty and students are top notch and make the whole department one of the best on campus, in my eyes. 

Furthermore, the people in CMCI, such as the faculty, staff, students and dean, are some of the best people in the world for their work helping students. 

 Was there a class or club outside of your major area that you found really memorable? 
CMCI Ambassadors was a student group that I found to be one of the most memorable experiences due to the people. I gained a community that I can always count on, now and forever. It was, and still is, a family of people I have lifelong friendships and connections with.

 What’s an area where you feel like you’ve really grown between your first semester of college and today?
In every area. I think that is the beauty of college: You really do become a different person. I know, for one, I am a better leader and friend. I value the maturity and growth I’ve gained from my college experience. 

 Ten years from now, if you could create your perfect career, what would it look like?
My perfect career would be one in which I interact with people and get to hear their stories. A career where I can make a tangible difference for the health of our democracy and the international system. I want to help with the experience of data, interpersonal skills and leadership—to bring those values to our democracy.

Connect with Max Gannett on Instagram at max_g1234.