Major: Political Science (BA 2019), Minor: History, Human Rights Studies
When Alex Mullenix completed high school, he never dreamed he would become a Purdue graduate who is now pursuing a master’s degree in urban planning at the University of Southern California (USC). He enrolled in community college after high school, but soon dropped out. After working a variety of jobs, he decided to re-enroll in community college and at age 21 transferred to Purdue as a sophomore, determined to become the first college graduate in his family.
Alex navigated his Purdue experience by seeking out mentors, who guided him towards research opportunities, internships, and study abroad. He delved into his political science courses and discovered a passion for human rights, but was also eager to gain political experience. With determination and resourcefulness he applied for dozens of internships and secured funding to conduct research through the Purdue Policy Research Institute.
Alex spent a semester at the Indiana General Assembly as a legislative intern for Senator Jean Breaux (District 34), staffing committees on local government, utilities, and commerce and technology. As a summer policy intern at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C., Alex conducted research and analysis for its Division of Consumer and Community Affairs. He also found time to squeeze in a Maymester study aboard trip. He joined an interdisciplinary group of students to explore human rights in Hungary, Slovakia, and Germany.
The combination of his experiences helped to steer Alex towards wanting to pursue urban planning, in particular affordable housing and homelessness. As a political science student, he took advantage of diverse opportunities and trusted that each experience would help guide him to a career path. “I look back and realize that all these experiences created a comprehensive narrative that led me to urban planning.”