State of Pennsylvania, 15th District
CLASS OF 2006
Pennsylvania State Representative Jim Christiana credits Washington & Jefferson College with helping him develop the skills needed to become an effective leader and a well-rounded individual. He especially acknowledges the work ethic he gained as a result of W&J’s vigorous academic standards. “Balancing academics, work, extracurricular activities, and a social life is something that W&J actively encourages you to do,” he says. Christiana also notes that the liberal arts experience at W&J gave him a broad knowledge of areas like economics, biology, and political science that has helped him to weigh and interpret proposed legislation.
During Christiana’s four years at W&J, he gained valuable leadership experience both on and off campus. He became active in the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and eventually became president. Christiana’s interest in politics led him to build the foundation for his political career as a student at W&J. During the fall semester of his senior year, Christiana decided to run for the Beaver Borough Council. As he prepared for the election, he received encouragement from many W&J faculty members. In particular, he remembers the support he received from political science professors Joseph DiSarro and Buba Misawa. In 2005, Christiana, at age 22, succeeded in his election to the Beaver Borough Council, becoming the youngest councilman in Beaver Borough history.
Christiana continued to work in public service following his graduation from W&J. In 2008, Christiana was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 15th Legislative District—becoming the youngest current member to hold the position. Once in the House, Christiana focused on ensuring transparency in government communications and introducing several key pieces of legislation.
In 2010, at age 26, Christiana has achieved more than many accomplish by age 65. But he has no intention of slowing down, and he remains grateful for the remarkable dedication of his W&J mentors.