Colin P. Murphy '14 of Monson, MA, majored in political science at UMass Dartmouth. He was an active and involved campus leader and served as Student Trustee.
When did your interest in public policy begin?
I've had a fascination with public policy for as long as I can remember. Public policy dictates the rules of our society in ways that are often overlooked. From the rules that affect us financially, to those that affect the quality of services we receive, public policy is a part of our lives every day. The Political Science program at UMass Dartmouth provides the wealth of knowledge that students need to act as change agents in a complex political sphere.
Tell us about your experiences as a student leader.
I've served as Residence Assistant, Orientation Leader, President of the Student Government Association, and Student Trustee. Each position was different in its own way. The most important thing that I learned was to listen more than to speak.
As a member of the UMass Board of Trustees, I had the responsibility of voting on behalf of the 72,000 UMass students statewide on financial, policy, and strategic decisions for the university. It has definitely been life changing to serve alongside wonderful people who work day in and day out to protect the interests of the students of UMass.
What has been one of your most memorable experiences?
During my senior year, I was lucky enough to receive the Michael Dukakis Public Service Internship Award and to intern at Congressman Joe Kennedy's office. This experience shaped my professional goals for the future.
I had the opportunity to interact with stakeholders at all levels and learn what it really takes to run a congressional office. In a time when our federal government is plagued with inaction, it was an honor to work for such a sincere and humble public servant.
What makes UMass Dartmouth special?
UMass Dartmouth is a special place for two reasons: its people and its culture. I've had the opportunity to learn from and with fellow students from all walks of life. Learning about these differences in cultures is vital to being thoughtful and engaged citizens. I'll never forget the amazing friends that I’ve made.
UMass Dartmouth is also a true meritocracy. There are hundreds of students across the campus doing amazing things. There is no cap to what you can achieve; the only cap is how much you are willing to put in.