The Marietta Effect
Phil York '10
Major: Political Science
Certificate: Leadership Studies
Additional Education: Master of Arts, Texas A&M
Current Job: Director of Development, Waco Habitat for Humanity
Hometown: Frederick, Md.
Clubs/Organizations: College Union Board, Charles Sumner Harrison Organization, and Student Senate
Athletics: Intramural Basketball (5 on 5 and 3 on 3)
Favorite Professor: Dr. Mike Tager, Dr. Mark Schaefer, Dr. Gama Perruci and Jeff Walker
Education Abroad: I traveled abroad with my best friend and roommate who is from Beijing, China, during winter break, 2008. We traveled to Beijing, Shanghai and several smaller cities in eastern China. I was able to see the Great Wall, eat genuine foods, learn some basic Chinese and deepen my appreciation for Chinese culture.
When did you know Marietta College was the right school for you?
I knew Marietta College was the right school for me when I first learned about the McDonough Leadership Program. I was impressed by the possibility to place political ideas, concepts, and leadership techniques to practice through the McDonough Leadership Certificate Program. No other schools on my list of candidate schools offered such a direct application of lessons and the opportunity for service learning.
Favorite Marietta moment?
I have three.
One of my Marietta moments was annual: Marietta was a place where my fellow Pioneers became my extended family. I was impressed that Marietta College offered a “Thanksgiving” themed meal before the holiday. Each year I shared Thanksgiving meal with turkey, stuffing and all the fixings but without any of the dishes.
Another Marietta moment came after the first week of freshman classes. My roommate and I debriefed each other about how our first weeks went. Then we said, almost simultaneously, “let’s clean up” (keep in mind the only items that needed to be cleaned were two pizza boxes and two soda cans). As two neat people it was fun, and reassuring, to know we were on the same page. This Marietta Moment planted the seeds of a life-long friendship that remains strong to this day.
One year I invited my roommate home to spend the winter break with my family in Maryland near Washington, D.C. When we returned to Marietta, he said, “OK, next year, I will take you to my home. That way we can say that we both saw each other’s capital cities.” I saved up. About a year later, I was in Beijing, China, living out a promise made the year before. The marks in my passport always remind me of this great Marietta Moment.
Describe what life was like during your time at Marietta College.
Life was busy during Marietta College. I had a challenging course load in Political Science and History. Both required long hours of reading, writing and critical thinking. I also had full weekends with volunteer work at the YMCA and the Ely Chapman Center to name two. The College Union Board provided weekly tasks as I served as Music Chair and later Vice President of operations. It was a joy to work with my colleagues to bring quality special events, music, and student programming to campus year-round.
The natural beauty of Marietta provided a nice break from the fast pace of campus studies and extracurricular duties. I will never forget the beauty of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers on a fall evening.
Most importantly for me, Marietta was diverse. I participated in as many multicultural events as possible so I could increase my cultural awareness. As a lover of food, I enjoyed the many cultural events that offered unique foods and desserts from across the world.
What impact did Marietta College have on your career?
Marietta College continues to have a significant impact on my career. My involvement in the College Union Board and Student Senate allowed for critical leadership development opportunities.
When I left Marietta I felt prepared for the next step in my professional and personal development. I was able to thrive in my graduate studies at Texas A&M (one of the largest Universities in the United States) because of the one-on-one mentorship and training I had at Marietta.
As the Director of Development of Waco Habitat for Humanity, life continues to be busy but I use the same organizational and leadership skills I developed at Marietta to make a positive impact in Central Texas.
What does it mean to be a Pioneer?
Each Pioneer has their own response to this question but this is mine.
I am proud to be a Pioneer.
Pioneers are intelligent
We make decisions based on data but we also consider the cultural and global implications of our decisions. I credit my liberal arts degree for equipping me with the ability to think both within the confines of my field but to also consider the broader implications of a decision that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Further, thanks to my McDonough Leadership training, I have a solid understanding of my own leadership style and the style of others. This allows me to lead teams, projects, and proposals with higher efficiency. Self-awareness and the awareness I have of my team’s strengths and opportunities for growth allow me to be a better leader for my agency and community.
Pioneers are bold
Marietta College offers the Washington Semester Program through The American University. I took advantage of this semester-long course during my final semester of College. Most attend this program earlier in their Marietta careers. I was inspired by the late Dr. Jackie DeLaat of the Political Science Department to pursue training in American’s Public Law course. The American University experience deepened my passion for public service and later led me to my professional degree at Texas A&M University. If I ignored the inspiration of my professor I would have missed a great opportunity that later proved to be a career-defining experience.
Pioneers are life-long learners
My four years at Marietta College inspired me to draw inspiration from my world for constant growth. Just as I drew inspiration from brilliant professors and beautiful rivers, I continue to draw inspiration from my current surroundings here in Texas. Municipal leaders now replace professors and the Ohio Valley is replaced with the Texan landscape. But I remain a life-long learner who is sensitive to the needs of my community thanks to my professional and educational experience at Marietta College.