Hometown: Waterford, Michigan
Major: Political science
College: College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Job Title: Operations Specialist at Cascade Partners
Alexander Hawkins' background has a recurring theme: Make the most of everything he learns and use it to move toward his ultimate goal. For Alex, that includes earning his bachelor's degree while stationed in the Middle East.
This May, he graduates with his degree in political science. He finished his program online while deployed with the Army National Guard in Kuwait and Iraq.
His journey to his bachelor's degree began back in 2016 when he was active-duty Army. He had attended explosive ordinance disposal school the year before and was looking for a university that appreciated the hard work and training he had been through. He found CMU was willing to work with him on earning credits for his military training.
"CMU has the best record with the military," he said. "They realized how much I learned in Army training courses and awarded me credits for courses that applied to my major."
Reviewing Alex's Joint Services Transcript of all the training and military courses he had taken, our advisors assigned equivalent CMU courses. Alex was glad to hear that the leadership and management aspects of his military training fulfilled most of the electives for his degree, a huge savings of time and money.
By 2018, Alex had become a member of the White House bomb squad. While traveling all over the country, clearing the route for the president and vice president of the United States, he continued to take one or two classes each term. He was back home in 2019 after completing his Army service, where he joined the Waterford Police Department. But, the call of the service wasn't quite done with him yet. He joined the Army National Guard bomb disposal unit, all the time working on his courses.
While in the National Guard and taking classes, he began an internship with U.S. Sen. Gary Peters in Detroit. His first taste of politics was doing casework for the senator's constituents. It was an eye-opening look at the personal side of political life where service to the public comes first.
"It wasn't until after I finished my internship with Sen. Peters that I found out about CMU's Planned Experience Credit," Alex said. "I mentioned the work I had done, and even though I didn't plan it out in advance, my advisor helped me complete the paperwork. I earned three credits toward my major."
Finally, during his recent Middle East deployment with the National Guard, Alex was able to take classes full time and earn his bachelor's degree. He'll be graduating with his diploma and a new job with Cascade Partners in Southfield.
In this new business environment, he's using the leadership and statistic skills he learned in his program. This introduction to business mergers and finances will serve him well as he looks forward to someday running for public office. With his bachelor's degree firmly in hand and years of leadership experience, Alex is already building his new civilian life.