Marcelle Howard's journey toward the Pepperdine School of Public Policy began with a love of numbers and a desire to give back to society—a passion she considers to be something of a family trait. "My parents were very involved with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization," Marcelle remembers. "They were always teaching us ways in which we could serve and give back."
Marcelle earned a degree in finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, but wasn't sure what her future had in store. That's when she met economist Angela Hawken, a professor at the School of Public Policy. "I came out to the school for an interview, not even sure if it was what I was looking for," Marcelle recalls. "By the end of the interview, I couldn't wait to get started. Professor Hawken opened my eyes to a realm of possibilities."
Now in her second year of graduate school, Marcelle serves as a teaching assistant for professors Luisa Blanco Raynal and James Prieger, both teachers of economics, which is Marcelle's chosen specialty within the program. "They've given me so many tools on assessment. I've learned argument and advocacy—how to put words behind my data," Marcelle says. "I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to receive advice from professors who have been where I want to go. They inspire me."
Marcelle plans to pursue a career in market analysis and forecast. "I want my work to have a greater purpose," Marcelle concludes. "Whether it's helping to maintain ethics in the private sector or creating public programs that effect change, I know I will be making a difference."