As a non-traditional student, Michael Feeley wasn’t sure what to expect out of his college experience. As the first person in his family to graduate he was even less sure. With his December 2016 graduation on the horizon, Feeley has not only found his way at UNH Manchester, but set out on a clear career path. He is using his education, experience and passion to fuel his run for State Representative of Concord – District 18, Ward 9.
Feeley enrolled at UNH Manchester after serving for over twenty years in the US Army. He knew from a young age that politics were his vocation – he credits this passion to watching the news with his Dad as a child, recognizing the different ideologies and problems that exist throughout the world. He knew, eventually, this was the field in which he wanted to work.
“I find the best way to address issues is to be a part of the process; address the issues where we have the ability to make changes,” Feeley said of his decision to run for State Representative.
Since his retirement from the Army in May 2015, Feeley has pursued his B.A. in Politics and Society. He was encouraged to check out UNH Manchester by his fiancé, an alumni herself. While exploring his options, Feeley was attracted to the small class sizes, which utilized discussions as a regular part of class, and availability of professors as a key factor in his decision to enroll.
It seems his enrollment has been mutually beneficial. The Politics and Society professors appreciate the perspective Feeley has been able to bring to class discussions, acknowledging the evolved views he gained throughout his tenure within the military, and his educated discussion points that come from a vested interest in history and politics for decades.
“My professors were very welcoming as a non-traditional student and a veteran. In some capacity I may have a better understanding of certain things,” Feeley explained. “I spent time in Iraq and Israel during the Iraq War, and have lived overseas, so when it comes to international conflicts I have first-hand experience.”
Now Feeley wants to be a catalyst for change within New Hampshire. The key issues he is focusing his efforts on include: addressing the drug epidemic as more than a law enforcement issue and utilizing all resources available; bettering our care for veterans – particularly helping them reintegrate into society; creating jobs and improving the economy with emphasis on attracting the younger generations to New Hampshire for work; continuing to protect the environment for future generations; and refocusing education.
It was while working on the Rand Paul campaign that Feeley became friends with a State Representative from Manchester, who conjunctively with Bobby Collins, Political Director for the NH GOP, urged Feeley to run in his local community.
In speaking with him one thing is clear: Feeley is not afraid of change, and certainly not afraid to be the one to fight for the necessary changes he sees.