Jared Walczak, '08

B.A. in Political Science, Minor in Economics

Can you tell us something about how Grove City College’s emphasis on Christian faith impacted you while you were at school?
At Grove City, I was fortunate to have professors whose commitment to Christian ethics informed their philosophy and who forced students to challenge their assumptions in the light of the Gospel. The College’s stated commitment to conservative values is unusual among colleges, but for me, the distinguishing feature was a faculty with values rooted in their Christian faith and not just as an extension of conservative politics.

Can you tell us how your academic work and relationships with faculty challenged you while you were at Grove City College?
My professors at Grove City College were always very intentional about cultivating students’ potential and giving them the opportunity to thrive. The classes themselves were stimulating, but I am particularly grateful to have had professors who challenged me to go beyond the coursework and helped identify opportunities for personal and intellectual growth outside the classroom. Years later, I still think of some of my professors as mentors.

Can you tell us how your time at Grove City College prepared you for your vocation?
It may be clichéd, but my time at Grove City College taught me how to think about public policy issues and policy formation and helped me understand the lay of the land. As a legislative staffer, campaign operative, researcher, and policy analyst, I have drawn on what I learned at Grove City College and on the skills I honed there. College, though, is more than just the sum of the coursework, and the discussions and debates I had with my peers are not only a fond memory but, in many cases, a significant factor in my own thinking to this day.

Why did you study political science?
The choices made in public policy, both explicit and implicit, have tremendous ramifications for people’s lives. Sometimes politics and policy seem like they are at loggerheads, but I have found both pursuits to be rewarding, if also exasperating at times. Most of us want to “make a difference.” My chosen path was politics and policy, and for all its frustrations, there’s still something remarkably satisfying about the victories—when you can see how your efforts made a difference in people’s lives.

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