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Alumni Stories

Political Science Alumni Stories – Jerry Clark

Jerry ClarkMy mother attended Mars Hill until 1983 and remains in contact with many of her fellow Lions, which encouraged me to learn more about this beautiful college town in western North Carolina. Returning to university after sitting a few years out was both exciting and nerve-wracking. However, my experience at Mars Hill was truly life-changing after meeting Dr. Hawn and Dr. Rose. Originally I planned on studying economics, but with further experience as a campaign specialist, I decided to finish my degree with a concentration in Political Science.

Not only did I meet many students with a common interest in domestic and geopolitical issues, but also gained an insightful understanding of the many career pathways I would be able to pursue post-graduation. I am currently working at the City of Gastonia as a Case Manager in the Community and Housing Development Department. We provide housing counseling assistance to income-eligible residents looking to purchase their first home, offer rental/utility assistance, and act as project managers for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funds to build low-income-based housing or homeless shelters via the McKinney –Vento Homeless Assistance Act.

Throughout my time within the Political Science Department, Dr. Rose taught me a thorough understanding of the local, state, and federal government apparatus and how at times it can make the implementation of policies difficult. The passionate and open-minded discussions led by Dr. Hawn, not only instilled in me more confidence to have conversations about current events with those of differing opinions but also taught me the overall importance of logically meeting people where they are no matter where you find yourself in life.

–Jerry Clark ’20