Local government, policy issues and making communities the best they can be are driving forces for Grant Mathis.
When he first came to Lipscomb University as a freshman to pursue his undergraduate degree in government and public administration, Mathis had no idea that just a few short years later he would be serving in not one – but two roles – to make a difference in the world around him and would have completed a graduate degree that helps him in that work.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, Mathis walked across the graduation stage to receive his Master of Arts degree in leadership and public service.
“As an undergraduate student at Lipscomb, I had an incredible experience with all of my professors and mentors I gained through courses, extracurricular programs and student organizations. It was through my professors and mentors that I found how deeply connected and involved Lipscomb is in the city of Nashville,” says Mathis, a native of Chattanooga, Tennessee. “As someone who is fascinated by local government policy and loves the city Nashville and its people, this graduate program was a perfect fit for me.”
Mathis is already putting his degree to work on the job or, in his case, jobs. He works part-time as the city project manager for Bloomberg Associates, an international philanthropic consultancy founded by Michael Bloomberg working with city governments to positively impact the quality of life for their citizens. Bloomberg Associates is composed of multiple teams with expertise in disciplines such as urban planning, economic development, transportation, sustainability, and others. Each team works with the Mayor’s Office and other city agencies with projects corresponding to their disciplines. As the city project manager, Mathis works across multiple teams and policy areas as a direct liaison for Bloomberg's partnership with the office of David Briley, mayor of Nashville Davidson County, and other city agencies.
He also works part-time in the mayor’s office as the consumer protection fellow. With support from the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, Mathis is developing a municipal consumer protection complaint system. Integrated into HubNashville, the consumer protection complaint system will connect residents to resources and services when they’ve become targets of predatory, unfair, misleading or fraudulent business practices.
“As someone who's fascinated by local government policy, I have the incredible opportunity of working in two unique roles which allow me to dive into a wide breadth of local issues every day,” says Mathis, who earned his undergraduate degree from Lipscomb in 2017.
During his undergraduate studies at Lipscomb, Mathis said he first felt a desire to continue his learning experience beyond a bachelor’s degree.
“I found I truly enjoyed my classes and their content,” he recalls. “It was after I graduated with a degree in government and public administration I realized my need and desire to further my education to pursue my career goals.”
Pursuing that additional education at Lipscomb was a natural for Mathis.
“As an undergraduate student at Lipscomb, I had an incredible experience with all of my professors and mentors I gained through courses, extracurricular programs, and student organizations. It was through my professors and mentors that I found how deeply connected and involved Lipscomb is in the city of Nashville,” he says. “As someone who is fascinated by local government policy and loves the city Nashville and its people, this graduate program was a perfect fit for me.”
Beyond the educational and professional knowledge gained through this program, Mathis credits his instructors and courses with teaching him how to “get curious and to ask the right questions when presented with any given issue.”
“While seemingly simple on the surface, it’s those skills that have transformed the way I approach problems before me. Additionally, being a part of a tight-knit cohort consisting of many different world views, backgrounds, and experiences presented me with the space to question and wrestle with issues I previously considered to be conventional knowledge and wisdom in new ways,” says Mathis.
The knowledge and experience gained through the journey to complete his graduate degree changed the trajectory of Mathis’s career and he says are ultimately responsible for the opportunities he has currently with Bloomberg Associates and the mayor’s office. “My degree equipped me with skills and knowledge I will be able to use in any job, sector or life situation,” he says.
He says he is most grateful for the impact Lipscomb has had on his life and career.
“With two degrees and having attended Lipscomb as both an undergraduate and graduate student, I have a lot of love for this school. Most importantly, I cannot speak highly enough of Lipscomb’s professors,” he admits, “I am beyond grateful for the professors and advisors I encountered during my time as a student. Lipscomb’s professors are not only passionate about educating students, but they are dedicated to seeing their students succeed in all of life. I owe much of who I am and where I am to my incredible professors who have invested in me, molded me and pushed me to new levels.”
The Master of Arts degree in leadership and public service is housed in Lipscomb’s College of Leadership & Public Service.
Want to know more? Visit www.lipscomb.edu/leadership.