For as long as he can remember, Colin Phillips has been fascinated by politics. From a young age, his parents instilled in him the belief that as a citizen of the United States of America, he has the power to make a difference through the use of politics.
A 2015 graduate of Waynesburg University, the history alumnus will begin coursework for his Ph.D. in political science at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, this fall. This program will allow Phillips to entirely bypass the master’s program, and immediately begin working toward his Ph.D., an opportunity afforded to him as a result of his undergraduate success and impressive GRE scores.
Phillips’s involvement with Waynesburg University’s Stover Scholars Program, a program dedicated to the study of U.S. government and policy, also helped to cement his aspirations and work toward his calling.
Through this program, Phillips received the opportunity to further his knowledge of the United States government and Constitution through various discussions and experiences.
“Through this program, I not only was able to be around successful people in government who were able to shed light on how they got to where they are at, but also was able to have in-depth looks at current matters in our society and apply both moral reasoning to them, as well as Christian ethics,” Phillips said. “Through this, and the gain of a firm understanding [of] the Constitution, the Stover Program allows for its scholars to certainly have an experience that puts them ahead of the others that they encounter outside Waynesburg University.”
In addition, Phillips believes that having strong mentors in Dr. Waddel, professor of political science, and Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law and director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership, taught him, motivated him and encouraged him to understand leadership and cultivate change.
“Both men played an enormous role in growing my knowledge and interest in politics,” said Phillips. “My private casual discussions with them about life and other matters turned out to be very influential. They both proved to be very caring and interested in my future, making sure that I had what I needed to go on and be successful. I was truly blessed to have them while at Waynesburg.”
Phillips believes that his time spent as an undergraduate student and a variety of interactions at Waynesburg University helped to further develop his leadership skills. It wasn’t long before he found himself becoming more of a leader both inside the classroom and out, citing these skills as incredibly useful in his various internship experiences.
Due to these past internships with United States Representative Pat Tiberi, Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Ohio Board of Reagents, Phillips has been able to map out a potential future for himself. As a result, upon completion of graduate school, he intends to pursue a career in politics.
“With these experiences, I was able to get a first hand look at how different sectors of our government work,” Phillips said. “In doing so, I was able to see what things I liked, what changes I would make and plan out a path for myself within politics."