Political involvement started years ago for Lucas

Jane (Tschetter) Lucas was in the sixth grade when a weekly news filmstrip in her social studies class first sparked her interest in politics. “It was the first time I understood that there are political parties that represent different viewpoints,” Lucas said. Little did she know that many years down the road she would be in Washington, D.C., working for a South Dakota senator. p10-Lucas,-Jane-(4c300)

Lucas has been on Sen. John Thune’s Washington, D.C.-based team for the past nine years. Over the years, she has played many different roles within the office, including health policy counsel, legislative correspondent and staff assistant. Lucas’ current position is working as the legislative director.

Each day at the office is a bit different for Lucas. She spends her days working with the members of the legislative team to develop ideas to help South Dakota. She reads bills, reviews press releases and makes recommendations for Thune to consider. Lucas also meets with South Dakotans who have ideas or concerns about federal laws or regulations. She tries to translate their ideas into policy changes that benefit South Dakotans and our economy.

“Working for Senator Thune is like being part of a big family. Senator­ Thune expects us to work hard and put forth our best effort, but he also takes the time to get to know each of us individually,” she said.

Lucas graduated from South Dakota State University in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in business economics and minors in Spanish and leadership and management of nonprofit organizations. Lucas said her business economics degree helped her understand how important it is for policy makers to truly understand how business decisions are made. Her minor in management of nonprofit organizations gave her management skills and public relations skills, which she uses on a daily basis to manage the legislative team and help communicate ideas. Lucas also holds a law degree from Georgetown University.

Lucas is not the only one in her family to graduate from SDSU. Her parents, Wes and Lois Tschetter, are both SDSU graduates and spent their careers working at SDSU. Wes is the vice president for finance and business, and Lois is an associate professor and the assistant academic dean in the College of Nursing. Lucas’ younger sister Emily, who swam for SDSU, is a graduate as well. Lucas grew up regularly attending SDSU sporting events and eating her fair share of SDSU ice cream.

Lucas was involved with many different clubs and activities on campus. She swam two years for SDSU; she was a resident assistant and active as an Admissions Ambassador and in Staters for State.

Lucas said, “The friendships I made at SDSU will last me a lifetime, plus I love the camaraderie with all SDSU grads who came before and after me. I gather with other Jackrabbits who live in the D.C. area to watch big basketball and football games and reminisce about Brookings and SDSU.

“While I may have spent most of the last decade in D.C., my heart is still in Brookings.”

April Entringer

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