PHC Class of 2019: Where Are They Now?

Posted by Rachel Cochrane on 2/6/20 10:30 AM

Class of 2019-1

It's been almost a year since the Class of '19 left campus. We sat down to catch up with some of them. Read on to see what they're up to!

Melissa Purnell Melissa Purnell

Major: Economics and Business Analytics.

What I’m up to now: I am an Assessments Specialist at the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).

What are the most valuable skills PHC taught you?
An appreciation and drive for excellence has helped me to focus on doing a good job no matter how tedious the project may seem. Studying diverse worldviews at PHC has helped me to tackle working in environments and being friends with coworkers from different backgrounds.

What are your long-term plans?
I’m still trying to figure out my long-term plans, but currently plan to transition toward more economics and analytics positions so that I can use the skills I learned at PHC to serve others.


Esther Katz

Esther Katz

Major: Government: International Politics and Policy Track.

What I’m up to now: I am studying as a Juris Doctor Candidate at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law.

What are the most valuable skills PHC taught you?
PHC taught me to be able to prioritize and juggle the most important things in life. Chapel attendance imbued in me a habit of discipline I can now apply to other areas of my Christian walk. Being surrounded by fellow believers—and experiencing the true soul connection that comes from like-mindedness rooted in Christ—has made me hungry for more of the same. It's motivated me to seek out Christian community when it's not right outside my dorm room... because I know I need it. The mentorship relationships with professors imparted to me a desire to seek out the more mature adults in my life as more than mere 'professors' or 'pillars of the church' or 'parents of friends.'

What are your long-term plans?
Ultimately, I hope to serve as an attorney with the Department of Justice's Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division until I can switch over to part time immigration defense work and full time mom.


Christopher Baldacci Christopher Baldacci PHC Alumnus

Major: Government: American Politics and Policy Track with a minor in Philosophy.

What I’m up to now: I'm a first-year law student at the University of Virginia.

What are the most valuable skills PHC taught you?
PHC taught me how to work hard and still enjoy learning for its own sake. Academics, like anything else worth doing, takes discipline, and that has a tendency to wear people down or make them lose the fire they had to explore, discover new things, and solve difficult problems. I know too many people who went to college loving to learn and lost it. But at PHC my love of learning was grown and nurtured, and I will carry that with me for the rest of my life. Every day in law school I think about how all the skills I need to succeed were drilled into me at PHC. Especially parsing complex texts and writing well under pressure. I'm very grateful.

What are your long-term plans?
I plan to practice law in D.C. after I graduate from law school.


Seth Shepherd Seth Shepherd PHC Graduation

Major: Government: American Politics and Policy.

What I’m up to now: I am currently a first year law student at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law in Malibu, California.

What are the most valuable skills PHC taught you?
PHC taught me to write well. Being able to produce error-free, clear pieces of writing has been invaluable to me post-undergrad. I think PHC also taught me to efficiently juggle many different tasks at a single time, which is a very valuable skill in today's professional environment. PHC prepared me amazingly well for life after college. I would not be where I am today without my time at PHC. I am confident I would not be at Pepperdine today without Dr. Haynes' excellent advice and encouragement.

What are your long-term plans?
Currently, my plan is to become a Judge Advocate General Officer in the U.S. Army after law school.


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