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Alumni Essay: John Fisher '02 (International Studies Major)

After Whitworth I did a year as an AmeriCorps Vista volunteer and then went and got my master's degree in urban and regional planning at EWU. I focused my research and internship on community development and on how to develop and foster community participation in tackling neighborhood issues and concerns. After graduating with my master's, I began work as a housing developer for Community Frameworks, a nonprofit agency in Spokane. We build single-family homes for low- and moderate-income families in Spokane and Cheney. I work on the land development and construction side of the program. Through self-help, our families work on one another's homes and gain sweat equity in their own homes while earning their down payment and closing costs. It is great giving a family a quality home to build its future in.

Looking back, one thing I would encourage students in the political science department to do would be to gain as much exposure to new ideas, cultures and work environments as they can while they're at Whitworth. As an undergraduate, I never went abroad to study. Looking back, that is the one regret I had during my four years at Whitworth. I would encourage everyone to go study, work or live abroad before finishing at Whitworth. I would also encourage people in the PS department to take extra courses in economics, math or accounting. No matter what type of job you choose, these skills will be necessary. In my career I deal with budgets and costs every day, and I wish I had taken a few classes on the fundamentals of accounting.