CAHSS Alumna Abigail Negley: One Year Later
A heart for people with disabilities, a penchant for philosophy, and a knack for civil discourse are charting a unique vocational course for Abigail Negley. The 2018 graduate's multifaceted passions have opened the door to her current role as public policy and advocacy coordinator for the Arc of Colorado, where she focuses on public policy as it affects people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
At DU, Negley double-majored in French and Francophone studies and socio-legal studies. Most of her socio-legal courses also contributed to her philosophy minor, which she says has been invaluable in her post-graduate experience fighting for those with special needs.
"In all cases, I find that my background in philosophy has helped me to create better and more substantial arguments," Negley said. "Cogent reasoning matters in policy, and at DU, I learned how to identify a bad argument and how to reason well to create my own arguments."
In March, Negley made the most of a unique opportunity to put her argumentation skills to work. On behalf of the Arc of Colorado, she testified before the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee on a bill that would abolish the death penalty in her home state.
"This may not seem like a major accomplishment, because anyone can sign up to testify, but to me, it was one of the most affirming moments I have ever had in my life," she said.
Recently, Negley has focused on issues at the intersection of disability and the criminal justice system. She's grateful for the chance to work toward her vision of a system that leads to both justice and rehabilitation.
Overall, she sees her DU experience as an integral factor in her post-graduate success.
"My professors at DU and my classes made me a better and more thoughtful person," she said. "My understanding of the world and my community is impacted for the better because of their hard work, and I think that translates into the way that I conduct myself professionally."