Why I Give – Wesley Whistle ’12

Current employment
Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy with the Education Policy Program working on federal higher education policy at New America, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C.

Senior Contributor for education with Forbes

“After working in the state legislature, I fell in love with public policy but knew I wanted to work in education, particularly higher education. Once I completed my master’s degree, I worked in institutional research at the University of Louisville before ending up back at Kentucky Wesleyan as the director of institutional effectiveness and research.

“Still, I wanted to work in education policy, and that’s how I ended up in Washington, D.C. I spend my days now advocating on Capitol Hill and to the Department of Education for public policies to make college more affordable and improve the quality of higher education for students. I provide technical assistance and legislative language to Congressional offices on a myriad of higher education issues.”

Memories of Wesleyan
“Wesleyan showed me a community atmosphere I thought could provide the tight-knit experience I wanted for college. The small class sizes offered the opportunity to get to know faculty, which yielded enriched academic engagement.

“In undergrad, Dr. Bill Conroy obviously stands out as one of the most influential people as a student, as my advisor and now friend. Dr. Conroy challenged me in the classroom, provided me with the push I needed throughout my time, made me a better writer, and gave me advice and guidance during my time in undergrad and into my post-Wesleyan life. Conroy was the one who pushed me to apply for the internship with the Legislative Research Commission, which showed me how much I love working in public policy. When I got there, I was prepared to do the job.

“As a staff member, I found a new love and appreciation of Wesleyan. While they were both supportive in my time as a student, my relationships with Paula Dehn and Peggie Greer became incredibly meaningful. Dean Dehn became a mentor, and working for her taught me so much about important higher education issues that I work on today. Peggie was my ‘work mom’ and friend who supported me personally and professionally.

Why do you give to KWC?
“I believe in giving back to the College that gave me so much. As a former Pell Grant recipient and the first generation in my family to receive a bachelor’s degree, I want to help make sure Kentucky Wesleyan has the resources to provide financial aid to students to support them in other ways. I want to support the College so it can give the students of today and tomorrow meaningful experiences and a high-quality education.

Why you encourage others to give to KWC?
“I often think about John Wesley’s famous quote:

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.’

“I can hardly think of a better way to do good than giving to Kentucky Wesleyan, where your gift serves students today and will have lasting impacts once they graduate and become leaders in their communities and do good themselves.”