From Art History to Government Relations

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Tessa (Bray, C’02) Frost
Director of Federal Government Affairs for the Christian Science Committee on Publication, U.S. Federal Office

Near the end of high school, Christian Science became increasingly important to Frost. Then a visit to Principia made the college decision easy, despite her previous Ivy League plans. For Frost, Principia was an “invaluable place to learn to be a healer in the world.”

During college, Frost went on an eye-opening abroad to Peru, which led to work there in ecotourism after graduation—and singing in cafés on the side. That singing has now blossomed into soloing at branch churches and The Mother Church, as well as composing and producing inspirational solos with her husband, pianist Jay Holcomb Frost, including those on their CD Soulshine and two tracks featured on the Celebration CD recently produced by The Mother Church.

After returning to the United States from Peru, Frost cultivated a sense of servant-leadership while working on two successive presidential campaigns and earning recognition as a top national field organizer in 2008. She continues to deepen that experience as a teaching fellow for Harvard Professor Marshall Ganz in courses on leadership, organizing, and public narrative. Her work in community organizing and advocacy also led her to the Committee on Publication Office and, eventually, to her current role as U.S. Federal Office Director.

The DC scene sometimes feels like a “thought jumble,” Frost says, but she credits Principia—and specifically her oral exams with Professor Emerita of Art History Collette Collester— with developing the crucial skills of “identifying and communicating meaning” while also seeking mutual understanding.

Frost also credits Principia with a significant transformation and deepening of her character. “Because of Principia,” she says, “I learned to trust God with my desires and to follow Her lead. Each day the opportunities to grow and give are more exciting and fulfilling.”

This is an abridged version of an article that first appeared in the Winter 2018 Purpose.