Student Achievements

Back to Blog February 1, 2017

Community Development Student a Member of the First Temple Student Parliament

Author: Tracy Purdy
CDev student Jacob Kurtz at a political protest

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely.” These words spoken by Franklin Roosevelt were the call to serve on the first ever Temple University last November, a call which Jacob Kurtz (CDEV ’20) answered.

Jacob’s first class in the major, Introduction to Community Development, cemented his love for it. Of the experience, he said, “Dr. Doshna gave an incredible and in-depth look at all aspects of development and where we, the practitioners, do our work. I was hooked to say the least. No other major, I think, is as singularly focused on how you can positively impact the lives of those around you. It is because of this class that I decided to run for Parliament.”

Like many others, Jacob’s senior year of high school was mostly spent trying to figure out what he was going to do in college. He originally planned to become a high school English teacher or a journalist. He spent a lot of time watching and reading the news, as he did, realized that his heart wasn't in writing the news but in being a part of the news. So he changed his focus to Political Science, with the hope of someday becoming a politician. As he looked over course catalogs and progress tracks at various universities it became clear that Political Science was a lot of theory and book work but didn't involve the human interaction he longed for, when he found the Community Development major, which brought in some of the political elements but always brought it back to how he could directly help people. 

Jacob feels that Parliament will give him the opportunity to actually put the practices of organizing and interacting with a community into practice. It will also give him a chance to experience some of the Political Science side of things that he still loved. “I chose to be the Tyler School representative because I want to build political power for the school and hopefully leave such an impact that others want to follow. It may seem self-defeating but my greatest accomplishment on Parliament will be if next semester someone else takes over as the representative.”