Ever since he was a child, Illinois State University senior Lawrence Landfair has been enthusiastic about engaging in politics to make his mark on the world.
“I remember watching presidential debates and primaries, even though I didn’t understand what they were saying,” said Landfair, a political science and sociology double major. “But I found it interesting that there are people out there trying to make the world a better place in some capacity.”
In high school, Landfair said he was an involved student and recalled working with administration to generate change.
“As I was growing up, even though I wasn’t determining policy or anything like that, I would still advocate on behalf of people,” he said.
It’s not surprising that Landfair carried his political ambitions to Illinois State where he started off as a political science major. However, Landfair said, “I realized if I truly want to make change, I have to understand people.” This resulted in an added sociology major.
Beyond the classroom, Landfair has immersed himself in the campus community. He serves as a public relations intern for the Stevenson Center, as the executive director for the Student Legislative Advocacy Coalition, as vice chair of the Student Fee Board, as vice president of the Sociology Club, as a sociological ambassador for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and as a program coordinator for the Peer Navigator program. He is also involved with the College Democrats and is a member of the Delta Chi fraternity.
“Part of the reason I’m so involved is because I find myself to be a person who can bridge things together,” said Landfair.
When it comes to politics, Landfair is driven by discussions, debates, listening, feeling heard and understood—and making others feel the same way.
This passion led him to an internship with Sen. Dick Durbin in Chicago during the summer of 2022. His internship work included helping people with immigration matters and passports, engaging in community outreach, and helping with the press team by reviewing news releases, monitoring current events, and writing memos.
He also attended events on behalf of Durbin’s office, including an event with the Chinese American Service League and an announcement at Shedd Aquarium regarding funds to help clean up part of the Chicago River’s South Branch.
“You truly see the benefits of coming together and actually helping those in your direct community to see actual change,” Landfair said.
At Illinois State, Landfair reflects positively on his involvements, contributions, friends, and staff which have all played important roles in his journey. Landfair said one of his proudest accomplishments in college involved passing legislation he wrote as a Student Government Association (SGA) senator last year regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) training focused on intersectionality.
After graduating this spring, Landfair said he might pursue a master’s degree in public administration. In the future, he sees himself becoming a city manager or opening a nonprofit organization.
Landfair said he is looking forward to “making true, tangible change to people’s lives.”