Kennedy Carter, Daniel W. Pound Scholarship

Major: Political science on the Create Path to MBA

Minors: Public relations and psychology

Hometown: Gadsden, Alabama

Favorite Experience at UA: I have had the privilege of serving as the Student Government Association Director of Lobby Affairs, where I have had the unique opportunity to lead a cohort of students through various events and initiatives regarding civic engagement on campus. I have also had the honor of advocating for higher education funding within the state of Alabama at the annual Higher Education Day lobbying event in Montgomery, Alabama. This position has provided me insight to the importance of voter education, registration, and participation at the collegiate level, and given me with the opportunity to voice the opinions and concerns of my fellow students to the members of SGA in order to positively progress campus and the surrounding Tuscaloosa community. I have spent this past year collaborating with a diverse group of students, learning from their differing perspectives, which in turn has helped me to grow in both my personal and professional life respectively. My greatest successes derive from my ability to witness first-hand the effects of my efforts on the members of my community. The engagement of students in Voting Matters Week, a collaboration of the Student Government Association Vice President of External Affairs, Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Lobby Board, is an achievement I am most proud of. These departments were not only able to provide reliable resources and guides to students to ensure their success during election season, but also uplift the voices of members within the Alabama community that have previously been underrepresented. Additionally, my work as Lobby Board Director has inspired me to seek civic engagement opportunities within my hometown. This past year I served as an Election Official within my county where I had the unique opportunity to better understand the inter-workings of our state and national election process. This awarded me the opportunity to engage with members of my community and allowed me to see what kind of civic engagement opportunities interested them. With this knowledge in mind, I’ve since worked to implement these ideas into the development of programs and initiatives here at the Capstone.

Favorite Class: I have had the privilege of attending a number of Professor Terry Hughston’s Political Science courses, including Political Theory, Ancient Political Theory, and Theories of National Identity. Professor Hughston’s class was one of the first I have ever participated in that was truly student-oriented. He provides a welcoming and transparent environment for students to express their opinions, as well as learn from the opinions of others. I have not only been able to take the information I have learned from his classes and implement it into the remainder of my academic career, but expand my political knowledge as a result of actively listening to the perspectives of my fellow classmates. I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that his lectures have on the student body. His guidance has helped me to grow into the confident student I am today as well as gain an in-depth understanding of my personal character. I will forever be grateful for his ability to create an environment where students are comfortable with discussing topics they may not be familiar with and facilitating conversations where students are able to learn more from their peers rather than a textbook. Unlike a traditional lecture, Professor Hughston’s curriculum allows for a collaboration between student and professor, which gives him the opportunity to act as more of a mentor figure. He is available and approachable to any student, no matter if they are currently enrolled in one of his courses. I feel as though his efforts have best prepared me for the academic career ahead and provided me with the resources needed to successfully navigate the remainder of my collegiate studies, as well as my future career.

Future Plans: Following my undergraduate career, I hope to obtain a law degree in Constitutional Law from a competitive institution that provides me with an educational experience at the highest level. I then hope to begin a career as a congressional lawyer at a reputable law firm, and foster relations with professionals in my similar career field in order to implement the skills I have obtained to grow my political career at the national level. I strive to implement my passions and interests into an area of government that most closely aligns with my values and character in order to aid American citizens in all aspects of life.