Government students encouraged to explore public service opportunities

District 3 Phoenix City Council Vice Mayor Debra Stark speaks to a group of students about the inner workings of government during a Public Square Series talk.

Photos by Ralph Freso

Grand Canyon University’s Government Relations hosted Vice Mayor Debra Stark on Monday as the third speaker for its Public Square Series. Government students gathered to hear about the vice mayor's background in politics and had a chance to learn about various career opportunities they can pursue in government relations.

“The goal of the Public Square Series is to hear from civic leaders to encourage and inspire students to be civically engaged regardless of their program of study,” said Dana Drew Shaw, vice president of GCU Government Relations.

With a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s in planning, Stark always has had a passion for serving the community and improving quality of life.

Stark first started out as a planner for the city of Phoenix. Once she earned her master’s degree, she moved on to serving as planning manager for Maricopa County, where she led the Planning Division and contributed to the Maricopa County Comprehensive Plan. She followed with fulfilling the role of community development director for the city of Peoria and helped implement the design review ordinance for Peoria alongside the mayor and city council.

Senior Tristan John Jandles directs a question to Vice Mayor Debra Stark regarding her experience in government relations.

With her heart remaining in Phoenix, Stark returned to the city yet again as a planning and development director of the next seven years. She transitioned to fulfilling that same role for Maricopa County for another four years until she made her final return to Phoenix to be appointed as councilmember in 2016.

Since she was first appointed to represent District 3 on the Phoenix City Council, Stark has served as a president of the Arizona Chapter of the American Planning Association, as well as a board member of the Maricopa County Trial Court Selection Commission and Arizona Council of the Urban Land Institute.

"If we are not doing our job, we are adding to the problem," Stark said.

GCU students were encouraged to get involved in serving their local community and to do so for as long as they can after hearing how Stark is still active in planning today. She is the city’s chair of Transportation, Infrastructure and Planning Subcommittee and a member of the Economic Development and Housing Subcommittee and Fast Track Cities Ad Hoc Committee.

“In addition to hearing about different career paths, students learn that their God-given gifts and passions can be used for in different ways to serve in local, state and federal positions,” added Drew Shaw.

Matt Gress, Arizona State Representative, will be the final speaker of the Public Square Series at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Student Advising Services Building, Room 403.

Calendar

Calendar of Events

M Mon

T Tue

W Wed

T Thu

F Fri

S Sat

S Sun

3 events,

2 events,

1 event,

3 events,

3 events,

5 events,

3 events,

1 event,

2 events,

0 events,

1 event,

0 events,

1 event,

2 events,

0 events,

0 events,

0 events,

3 events,

5 events,

0 events,

2 events,

1 event,

0 events,

3 events,

3 events,

3 events,

1 event,

0 events,

GCU Magazine

Bible Verse

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you... (Galatians 4:19)

To Read More: www.verseoftheday.com/