WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s career in politics began while he was still a student at Illinois State University.

As a 20-year-old sophomore at Illinois State, he successfully challenged a longtime incumbent to win a seat on the McLean County Board. Now, at age 37, Kinzinger is serving his third term in Congress, representing Illinois’ 16th Congressional District, which includes a large swath of Northern Illinois.

Kinzinger, who graduated ISU in 2000, is the only Redbird serving in Congress today. During a recent interview in his Washington, D.C., office, Kinzinger talked about his Illinois State roots.

“I just see ISU continue to get even better and stronger,” Kinzinger said. “I feel like to some extent, I invested in a good stock. I got my degree from ISU, and it’s only appreciating every year that goes by.”

Kinzinger, who is a past recipient of the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award, was a political science major in the Department of Politics and Government.

“It was a great place to learn not just about politics, but how to deal with each other in a political environment,” Kinzinger said. “Frankly, it made me a much deeper thinker.”

Learn more about Kinzinger in the video interview above.

Contact STATEside’s editor at rmdenha@IllinoisState.edu.