“Politics and Public Service: K-Plans and Career Paths” was the theme of the Week Six (Oct. 19) Community Reflection in Stetson Chapel. Co-sponsored by the Center for Career and Professional Development and Alumni Relations, the reflection hosted a panel of Kalamazoo College alumni working in the areas of politics or public service.
College Republicans Co-Leader Aubry McIntyre ’15 and College Democrats President Alex Werder ’15 began the Reflection with a mock political debate. They sparred over the issues central to this year’s presidential election, modeling “civilized political discourse” for the audience of students and alumni present for Homecoming weekend.
Arnold Campbell ’72 spoke about his meandering path from study abroad at K to the United States Foreign Service, where he currently serves as Officer and Chargé d’Affaires for the U.S. Embassy in Malta. After studying abroad in Germany, he said he found his calling. “I no longer wanted to be a tourist in the world; I wanted to be participating in those other cultures, and that was because of what I’d experienced here.” His wife, Martha Campbell ’72, also held office in the Foreign Service after K, most recently as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Marshall Islands. She said her K education prepared her for a rigorous, demanding, and exciting job.
Lastly, Amanda Stitt ’02 read from an essay chronicling her journey in Michigan politics rooted in a few influential K classes. She founded K’s chapter of the College Democrats and opted to leave school during her junior fall to help with the 2000 election. Stitt served as former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s political director, ran a statewide nonprofit, and now works with the UAW. She said her K-Plan helped her develop the communication, networking, and leadership skills she would later need in the political world.
Community Reflection offers a unique forum for discussion, worship, performance, and community expression each Friday at 10:50 AM in Stetson Chapel. The campus community and general public are invited. [Story and photo by Elaine Ezekiel ’13]