Major: Public Relations
Why did you decide to choose a minor (or graduate certificate) in Nonprofit Studies?
Nonprofit work has always been a huge part of my life. I have completed hundreds of
hours of volunteer work with various organizations. During my time at USM, I was a
part of the Luckyday Scholars Program where I had the opportunity to complete more
volunteer work. When it came time for me to pick a minor, I learned about Nonprofit
Studies through Dr. Kinnell. I knew instantly that I wanted to minor in Nonprofit
Not only was nonprofit work a huge part of my life, but it paired perfectly with a Public Relations degree. I knew I could easily make a career out of both degrees.
Tell us about a course that you took at USM that enhanced your interests in Nonprofit
Studies? If possible, identify the instructor as well.
I wouldn’t say a specific course enhanced my interests in Nonprofit Studies. My love
of volunteer work, the Luckyday Scholars Program, and Dr. Kinnell all had a huge impact
on my decision to minor in Nonprofit Studies. I was already familiar with nonprofit
work, and I enjoyed it. It made sense for me to pick a minor that worked well with
my degree and was also enjoyable.
How did minoring in Nonprofit Studies enhance your major studies at USM?
Nonprofit Studies and Public Relations work well together because both require you to build relationships between organizations and the public. When working at a nonprofit, you have to maintain a relationship with your board members, donors, and the people you serve. When working in Public Relations, you have to focus on the public’s perception of you by maintaining a relationship with your target audience. In both careers, you must focus on maintaining relationships with the people receiving or buying your services.
I am extremely grateful to USM for having a Nonprofit Studies Program. The program allowed me to have a career doing what I love, which is helping people. Without Nonprofit Studies, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do what I love every single day.
How did Nonprofit Studies influence your career?
Even though Nonprofit Studies was only my minor, it was what I wanted to focus my career on. I knew I wanted to work at a Nonprofit once I graduated USM, so I was extremely focused on my Nonprofit classes. Everything I learned in the Nonprofit Studies Program prepared me for the job I have today, which is a program manager at United Way of the Pine Belt Region.
I am extremely grateful to USM for having a Nonprofit Studies Program. The program
allowed me to have a career doing what I love, which is helping people. Without Nonprofit
Studies, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to do what I love every single day.
Tell us more about your role at United Way of the Pine Belt Region.
Within United Way, I run a program called First Call for Help, and I spend my days helping others. The program I run assists people with utility bills and refers people to churches or other organizations based on their needs, because each organization and church helps people in different ways.
My organization, United Way of the Pine Belt Region, partners with over 20 organizations
and nonprofits. United Way of the Pine Belt Region raises funds for those partners
and distributes the funds to our partners accordingly. Our main goal is to make sure
those organizations and nonprofits are running smoothly, and to focus on raising money
to support them.