Skip to main content

Campus leadership, public service points the way for Dawson Spencer

Dawson Spencer


Dawson Spencer, a Hickory native, can look back during commencement knowing that one moment gave him a look forward.

Spencer is scheduled to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in political science and criminal justice. Following graduation, he will continue his educational journey at WCU, seeking a master’s degree in public affairs. His career goal is to work in government, a choice nudged along by his time served with the Student Government Association, including as president this past academic year.

He initially had no intentions of being a politician, even as a student experience. But after consideration and encouragement, along with continuing success, it became a path forward. During his first two years at WCU, he was an SGA senator before serving as vice president as a junior.

“It was a joy and my life changed for the better,” he said, adding that serving as SGA president was a gamechanger for him, leading to his decision to seek an MPA.

“As a part of SGA and especially as president, I worked with policy, budget and logistics and saw how those things, properly applied, help people and organizations that help people,” Spencer said. “Being elected to president cemented things for me. I continue to feel a passion for public service, so that led to my decision for my next step with grad school.”

As SGA president, he was an ex officio member of the WCU Board of Trustees. In his last official function in office, he was commended for being among “the most professional and prepared” of student leaders to appear before WCU Board of Trustees.

Public service and community involvement have been the hallmark for him as a Catamount. It seemed that as his campus and his community involvement grew, so did his resume. He served on the One Book committee, helping make the selection for 2021-2022, and served as an ambassador in integrating reading selection theme into course curricula, campus events, service-learning opportunities and departmental goals. He was a member of the Brinson Honors College student board of directors for 2020-2021.

“All those activities were fulfilling for me, it is what I enjoy doing,” he said. “I see those activities as an extension of my studies, making the most of being a political science major and the potential it opened up for me. I’m a Catamount, through and through, and Catamounts get things done.”

Office of Web Services