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Alumni Spotlight: Mark Wilson '16

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Mark Wilson

​Name: Mark L. WIlson
Graduation Year: 2016
Program: Master of Public Administration
Location(s): Traverse City, MI

Why did you choose Central Michigan University in Traverse City and your specific program of study?

Traverse City is my home.  Being a nontraditional student with a family, career, and other commitments, attending​ graduate school outside of my area was not feasible.  When I learned of the MPA being offered at the CMU Campus in Traverse City, it seemed as if it was tailor-made just for me. I was a recently elected Tribal Councilor with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians when I began the graduate program. From what I learned at the information sessions, I knew the program would give me the tools and the self-assurance I needed to serve as a tribal leader and give the most that I possibly could during my term​.

Please describe your overall experience at Central Michigan University.

The delivery was fitting. I was part of a cohort that I was able to grow with and rely on and had a schedule that worked around my work week. The instructors were all professionals from the public sector and they knew how to relate to our real world situations.

What CMU resources did you find helpful?

The staff at the Traverse City center was great! They took a personal interest in my success and made me feel like part of a greater CMU community instead of being reduced to a student ID number.

How do you expect your CMU degree to help you achieve your career goals?

In the immediate future, my degree will help me continue to be strong in my role as an elected official. With every class that I have completed I've been able to apply the knowledge instantly and better understand the administrators I work with on a day-to-day basis.

In the long-term, I will utilize my MPA - along with many of my other transferable skills - to pursue things that I am passionate about. Working at the federal level for the greater good of all Indian Country or working with nonprofits locally that deal with at-risk youth are both areas that I hope to find myself.

What advice would you give to other working professionals interested in completing a degree or certificate program with CMU?

Do not hesitate. CMU has the options you are looking for either online or face-to-face. Be confident in knowing that the support is there, the staff are just as committed to your success as you are and the classes are appropriate for the program you choose.

What is your favorite thing about CMU in Traverse City?​

I enjoyed the smaller, more intimate setting. Getting to know all of my classmates and instructors personally provided a comfort level conducive to my learning style.


Learn more about the Master of Public Administration degree or Central Michigan University in Traverse City, Michigan​​.

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