By: Luke Morgan
My journey to starting my MPA at EKU started long before I knew such a program of study existed. As a youth, I was involved in Scouting and I earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Heading into college, I was caught up in the euphoria of the 2008 presidential election. I got involved and eventually helped co-lead EKU’s Students for Barack Obama chapter. This experience exposed me to the American political process and the importance of American democracy. Then, I realized that I wanted to get more involved with public service in a more direct fashion. It was from there that I ran and won a Senate seat in EKU’s Student Senate. I quickly fell in love with Student Senate and tried to get involved in as many things as possible. For the next two years, I worked on a variety of issues affecting EKU’s student body. I also served in leadership positions in Student Senate that gave me more opportunities to work with university administrators, sit on university-wide committees, and a chance to learn the ins and outs of public institutions like EKU.
Upon graduation from college, I elected rather than to head immediately into my first professional job, to do a year of volunteer service. The organization I joined was FrancisCorps. Similar to AmeriCorps, FrancisCorps is a faith based service organization. My acceptance into FrancisCorps took me outside of Kentucky to Syracuse, New York. During my year in FrancisCorps, I served as the Assistant Outreach Coordinator at the Franciscan Church of the Assumption. In my assignment, I coordinated food aid, legal aid, and healthcare outreach programs.
My experience in FrancisCorps opened my eyes to the realization that I wanted a career in public service. I decided to enroll in EKU’s MPA program. Nearly two years later, I am still proud of my decision. My past public service experiences have blended remarkable well with the MPA’s coursework. The program has allowed me to grow academically and professionally. I was able to have one of my research essays published and attend a conference to present another research essay. Thanks to committed faculty and the breadth of the MPA degree, I am confident I will be prepared for a professional career once I graduate.