Andi (Watkins Davis) Savage

Andi (Watkins Davis) Savage

July 17, 2018

Andi (Watkins Davis) Savage (2017)

Andi Savage lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, where she is a law student at the University of Colorado pursuing a career in family and juvenile law. She volunteers for the Korey Wise Innocence Project and the Women’s Law Caucus. This summer, Andi is interning with a local nonprofit taking family law cases for low-income clients, and as a judicial clerk. She previously completed an MA degree in Communication at the University of Colorado, where she studied organizational texts and juvenile incarceration. When not studying, you can find Andi playing in the mountains and teaching cycling classes.

What year did you graduate and what was your concentration?

I graduated in 2015 with a concentration in communication studies.

What extra-/co-curricular activities did you do?

I was heavily involved with the Truman Media Network (TMN) — Detours, Index, TMN Online.  I also was a member or Alpha Phi Omega and Enactus.

Andi (2nd from left) and friends from Alpha Phi Omega (2014).

Did you go to grad school? If so, where?  Was it immediately after you left Truman or did you wait?  Why?

Andi (center) and friends graduating with their MAs from CU (2017).

I went to graduate school for communication at University of Colorado Boulder. I went right after Truman.  Then I went straight to Law School at University of Colorado Boulder (CU), where I am now.

I went to grad school because I wanted to teach and wanted to study juveniles in the criminal justice system. I did those thing, and loved them, but when it came time to decide to pursue a PhD or do something else, I knew I wanted to be working directly with people in the legal system, so I went to law school.

What was your first job after graduation?

In my graduate program I was a TA teaching Group Interaction classes to undergraduates. This summer I’ll being working with a Boulder nonprofit, Bridge to Justice, taking family law cases for low-income client. I’ll also be clerking for a judge in the 17th district of Colorado.

What work do you do/What are you doing now?

I’m in law school at CU, planning to do juvenile and family law.

How has your Liberal Arts/COMM education helped you?

My liberal arts and COMM educations have brought a lot of depth to my study of law. One of the most valuable things I got from liberal arts education was an ability to think about problems from many different perspectives. Law is all about problem solving, and being able to think about problems from a variety of vantages points helps me find more creative solutions.

Andi (blue jacket) making a presentation during her her MA program (2017).

I think it has also made me more patient in handling areas of the law, or problems, that I don’t find intuitive. At Truman, I had to take so many classes outside my communication comfort zone—I’m grateful now that I learned how to work through the difficulty of confronting problems that aren’t in my wheelhouse. Plus, the type of law I’m interested in requires a shocking amount of math!

Which class did you dislike at the time you took it, but now you’re grateful you took it?

I didn’t love the research methods class, but it has become so important for me to understand how social science research is conducted, because such research is increasingly becoming an important component in both deciding legal cases, and in creating policy changes in the criminal justice system. One day I may have to be able to explain cutting-edge social science research to a judge. Luckily, I have a basis for understanding how that research is conducted.

Andi (2nd from left) with law school classmates (2018).

What was your greatest accomplishment at Truman?

Being part of the transition team at TMN that launched the online component of the network. It was so much fun to work with my peers and professors to create something new.

Why is Truman a good place for a student to study?

It’s such a great community! Everywhere I went, I could find friendly faces from classes or organizations—but there were always new people to meet and new things to do. I never felt like I would get lost in the crowd of the school because of how wonderful the students and faculty were.

What would you say a COMM student should absolutely do while at Truman?

Join TMN. You learn so much about the school and the town by working in the news. Plus, speaking, writing, and interviewing skill are valuable in any profession—and it’s a lot of fun!

Andi (far right) and some friends from the TMN crew (2014).

What advice would you give someone who wants to go into the same line of work as you?

Learn to love reading! Law school, and being a lawyer, involves knowing the law inside and out, and the only way to do that is to read about it. Loving reading will make it a more enjoyable process, and will make you a faster reader.

What do you miss most about campus/Kirksville?

Andi at graduation with Drs. Yaquinto (L) & Self (R) (2015).

I miss the community. The relationships I made with friends and professors will last a lifetime, but nothing beats being all together on such a beautiful campus.

If you could come back to Truman and teach a class for a semester, what would be its title and what would it be about?

Persuading a Jury: Communication tactics in the legal profession

There is both a plethora, and a complete lack, of research about juries and courtroom persuasion. I’d love to delve into it with students to see how the legal system thinks about training attorneys to argue in court, how juries are persuaded, and how those tactics line up to everyday persuasion work.

What did we not ask that you think is important for people to know?

College is not just about getting a job, but it’s also great for following other types of passions. While at Truman, I discovered that I love to teach and had professors who helped me cultivate teaching skills. Although I haven’t becoming a traditional teacher, I put my love and skills to good use teaching indoor cycling classes in my community. The COMM department gave me so many tools for teaching and making connections with people. Now, I get to marry those skills to the hobbies I love.

If you would like to learn more of Andi’s story or if you want to learn more about the Department of Communication, contact us!