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Alumni Essay: Kirk Marston '86 (Politics and History Double Major)

In 1982 I arrived at Whitworth College a freshman with a declared major of physical education (PE) with the idea of being a high school PE instructor, a sports coach, and maybe a history teacher on the side. Furthermore, at this time my development as an individual in the areas of faith, intellect, and personal development (communication skills, etc.) were very rudimentary. During my four years at Whitworth College, I grew enormously as an individual in the previously mentioned areas of faith, intellect, and personal development. The Whitworth College experience gave me a foundation in these areas that developed me into a mature, responsible, and productive individual within my family, my local community, my church body, and in my career. By the time I left Whitworth I had developed a strong faith in Christ, was doing well in all of my classes and in my professional development. Additionally, I had developed personally with excellent communication (oral and writing) skills that enabled me to get along with all types of people and in particular within our every changing societal environment (aka the work place).

In 1986, I graduated from Whitworth College with a Bachelor of Arts double major degree in History and Political Science. I took a year off from school and worked a labor job with a private sector business. In 1987 per the advice of my former Whitworth College professor/counselor Dr. Dan Sanford, I went back to school to get my masters degree at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management. In 1989, I graduate with an M.B.A. from Willamette University, with a concentration in Public Policy Analysis and Management. In the summer of 1989, I started my professional career as a government auditor with the California Office of the Auditor General. At that time, the office of the auditor general was part of the California Legislature. After about two years with the auditor general, I began my civil service career (state employee) as a government auditor with the State of California. During the following 16 years, I have worked for the following state departments: consumer affairs, conservation corps, insurance, housing and community development, and most recently the highway patrol.

My goal after my education at Whitworth and Willamette was to give something back to society and in a sense serve in the public interest. As a government auditor I have tried to serve Christ and be a public employee that is independent, objective, and above reproach. Being accountable and responsible in all of my actions. I believe that the aforementioned foundation that was provided by Whitworth College is one of the primary reasons that I have been able to serve the government and the public of California all of these years in a accountable and proper manner. In serving as a governmental auditor I have tried to provide management with findings and recommendations that promote the following of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies. Moreover, I have attempted to develop and present findings and recommendations to management that improve governmental performance and in the end improve efficiency and provide cost savings. The moral/spiritual, intellectual, and personal development at Whitworth in my humble opinion has assisted in making this happen.

Finally, I would encourage current Whitworth University students that want to have a life and career that is morally, intellectually, and personally fulfilling to get the utmost out of their Whitworth experience. Remember to make the most of the small class sizes and ask questions and promote thought provoking conversations with fellow students and faculty. Also, take the time outside of the classroom to discuss and debate topics with fellow students and friends to develop and polish your communication skills. Furthermore, take advantage of the programs, events, and lecturers the University and Spokane community have to offer. These events and the individual's involved can assist you in your personal and professional development and will only assist you in your life and career after your Whitworth experience has been completed. Everyone will have their own unique and different Whitworth journey, however I strongly recommend that all students really put some time, thought, and effort into their time behind the Pine Cone Curtain to truly prepare themselves for their future life and experiences. Personally, this has worked for me and though I fondly look back at my Whitworth days as some of the best of my life, my life and career after Whitworth have been even more fulfilling and personally challenging, making my life and career experiences fun, challenging, and rewarding. Thanks for this opportunity to share with you my Whitworth and life after school experiences and I hope my thoughts and words can help you in some way in your future development and life. If you have any questions or would like to talk with me sometime, please get my contact information from Dr. John Yoder and get in touch with me. I hope and pray that God continues to bless you all.

Kirk Marston