Grace Welsh

Grace Welsh

  • Hometown: Evans, GA
  • Capstone project: State Funded Scholarships in Georgia: The Disparity of Opportunity Amongst Home Study Students
  • Why did you choose your degree program? The MPA program has been on my radar since dual enrolling at Augusta in high school. When I became a full-time college student, Dr. Williams Hatcher would come and present on the program during intro political science courses. This was my first introduction and I was interested but not ready to commit. I joke with Dr. Hatcher and Dr. Meares applauding their persistence because it only took 5 years for me to join the program. Ultimately, I chose the MPA because it would provide the best foundation for a future in higher education. My goal is to be a pracademic and the field of Public Administration is a perfect fit for this career.
  • What is the greatest words of wisdom you have learned from your professor?

    "You are more than capable of success…mindfulness is key in attaining it.” My advisor understands the struggle of balancing life, work, and school all at once. This person truly reminds students like myself of the value of mindfulness and how it can reshape your perspective on the day to day. Without these nuggets of wisdom, I would probably not be as close to degree completion as I am now.

  • What have you found most beneficial about your program? The MPA program strives to provide its students with realistic, applicable methods of learning that actively increase understanding and knowledge in the field. Not a single class meeting occurs without some real-world application. MPAers are truly prepared to finish the program and enter into their career fields.
  • What words of advice do you have for someone considering this program? You can do this. The MPA program is composed of the most diverse group of students and faculty. There are students from every walk of life; parents, fresh college graduates, young professionals, seasoned professionals, military personnel, and everyone in between. This true diversity is a direct contributor to the rich and valuable class discussions.
  • Have you been involved in any AU groups or activities? I have had the opportunity to serve on the MPA Student Association board from the very beginning. Now, I currently serve as president. The most rewarding experience thus far has been the Trunk or Treat event hosted by the Office of Civic Engagement through Student Life. It was so meaningful to see the next generation of the CSRA run around and experience Augusta University in such a way.
  • What have been some of your most rewarding moments while in your program? I attended the Georgia Political Science Association (GPSA) Conference in Savannah, GA and presented my research "Stated Funded Scholarships in Georgia: The Disparity of Opportunity Amongst Home Study Students".  My paper was accepted by the conference and recommended for an award by the panel chair. Although I did not win an award, I presented a current issue and raised awareness in my field. The conference and positive feedback from faculty throughout the USG encouraged me to explore my research further. Hopefully, I will be able to present the paper to members of the Georgia Legislature soon and begin to address the issue. 
  • What are your career goals? My short-term goal is to become an adjunct professor, hopefully at Augusta. I have always been curious about teaching at the collegiate level and upon completion of the MPA program, I will be eligible to do so. Long term, which is subject to change of course, I would like to pursue a Doctorate in Public Administration. This would elevate my credentials and launch my future as a pracademic. If I chose to leave higher education and pursue opportunities in the community, this degree would open quite a few doors. The Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) is home; I want to stay and serve my community in whatever that capacity that may be.
  • What courses stand out as most beneficial and enjoyable? Grant Writing and Urban Development have really been my favorite courses. Mostly because of how much active learning was involved. I learn best when I can apply concepts from class to my everyday happenings. Both classes quenched that thirst and piqued an interest I did not know I had.
  • What is your favorite AU memory? If I had to pick one memory as a graduate student, I would say going to the NCAA DII Championship watch party in Christenberry Fieldhouse and being asked by my colleagues to sit on the front row because I was the “most hype” student. I laughed because I thought he was joking, but he was in fact not joking.
  • What do you do for fun? Right now my hobbies include watching House, MD when I’m not working or doing school. Other than that, I enjoy being outside. I’m happiest in nature either kayaking, walking, or biking. If someone gets me running, that means I really like them because I strongly dislike running. Also, trivia nights are some of my favorite nights…even when we don’t win!

Former Student

Marcus Allen

"One of the experiences that solidified my choice to apply to The Graduate School was attending several information sessions during my undergraduate degree to get a better understanding of the MPA program, and how it fit my goals. The MPA is tailored for me to have the skills necessary to create positive change in the community."

 Meet Marcus >>