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Michael Caplice ’01: A Passion for Politics


Michael Caplice


June 2, 2014

Michael Caplice ’01: A Passion for Politics


by Rachel Voorhees

“Going to Adelphi, I received a liberal arts education and it really cultivated an interest in a lot of different things.” – Michael Caplice ’01

When Michael Caplice ’01 entered Adelphi University, he lacked a clear direction. But while working toward a degree in philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences, he developed the interests that paved the way for a successful career in politics.

As the Long Island regional director for New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, Mr. Caplice works daily with local politicians to resolve constituent issues. 

“Being able to make a difference in people’s lives is so rewarding and that’s exactly why I got into [politics] in the first place,” Mr. Caplice said.

Mr. Caplice had no interest in politics before meeting then-first lady Hillary Clinton at Adelphi in 2000. He was among a group of Honors College students chosen to participate in a roundtable discussion with Mrs. Clinton, who eagerly addressed Mr. Caplice’s concerns about health insurance.

“From that point on, I was sold on how powerful politics can be in helping people,” he said.

The meeting with Mrs. Clinton inspired Mr. Caplice to seek out volunteer opportunities with local politicians. In the office of then-Congressman Gary Ackerman, he gained experience working on campaigns. Mr. Caplice also attributes his success to taking philosophy courses with Adelphi professors Stephen Greenfield, Ph.D., and Paul Mattick, Ph.D.

“I think philosophy teaches you how to think, how to sort through conflicting viewpoints and see both sides of the argument,” Mr. Caplice said.

While at Adelphi, Mr. Caplice also explored subjects outside of his major. He took an acting class with the late Nancy Miller, studied Russian with Honors College Dean Richard Garner, Ph.D., and was a writer for The Delphian student newspaper.

“Going to Adelphi, I received a liberal arts education and it really cultivated an interest in a lot of different things,” Mr. Caplice said.

After graduating, Mr. Caplice coordinated Mr. DiNapoli’s campaign for an assembly seat representing Great Neck, New York, interned for Mrs. Clinton, who was then a United States senator, and worked for Democratic Congressman Steve Israel of Long Island.

Mr. Caplice also served as a liaison for the Suffolk County community relations unit. His extensive involvement in politics led him to accept his current position in the state comptroller’s office in 2007.

“Michael was always a student interested in ideas and the connection between ideas and the real world,” Dr. Garner said. “It’s wonderful to have someone like Michael there to bring philosophy and politics together.”

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