Chuck Herman | Public Policy Analysis | Sociology

From: Bethel, Alaska

Pomona Days: Class of 2014 | Public Policy Analysis – Sociology

Current Employment: Alaska College and Career Advising Corps; City Council Member


I am from Bethel, Alaska. Bethel is a town of about 6,000 people, approximately 400 miles west of Anchorage. It is accessible only by plane, though we get to the surrounding villages by boat in the summer and the ice road in the winter. I did not step foot on the Pomona campus until the first day of orientation. Luckily, it was an amazing fit.

At Pomona, I was heavily involved with the Indigenous Student Alliance (though I myself am not Native). Bethel is about 60% Yup’ik, an Alaska Native tribal group, and I attended a Yup’ik Immersion elementary school. This meant that I brought some context to being an ally. I also worked a lot on college access, interning with Bright Prospect and as a counselor at Pitzer’s Native American Pipeline to College.

During the job hunt, I considered a bunch of different jobs. It generally came down to taking a job in the political world (something I was interested in) and working on college access (something I am passionate about). College access won out. Through the Alaska College and Career Advising Corps, I have been able to work in my old high school. It has been more rewarding than I could have imagined and, ironically, I am as involved in politics as I would have been had I taken a “political” job.

In my “spare” time, I serve on Bethel’s City Council. This has been a much more demanding position than I anticipated, though also rewarding and has broadened my views of what I want to do with my life.

I am looking into applying to Master in Public Policy programs at the moment.

I am more than happy to speak with anyone about college access, life in elected office, Alaska, the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship, the Hope Institute Fellowship, or anything else.   


Programs I have done that may be of interest:

Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship at UC Berkeley

Public Policy and Leadership Conference at the Kennedy School

Hope Institute through the DNC

SURP Research with DML (who is the bomb)

SIT study abroad in Kenya