Name: Marla Robertson

Hometown: Conway, South Carolina

Education/Background: B.A. in English (2006) and a Master of Public Administration (2019) from the College

Job title: M.P.A. Program Coordinator and Community Assistance Program Director

How long have you worked at the College? This past January made 16 full years.

What are your job responsibilities? I manage the application and recruitment processes for the M.P.A. program. I also handle our department’s website, experiential learning programs and budget and work with the MPASA [M.P.A. Student Association) organization and support the M.P.A. faculty. I assist students in finding internship opportunities, part-time jobs and post-graduate employment. I also supervise graduate assistants that work with the M.P.A. program and the Community Assistance Program (CAP). In directing CAP, I work with the Riley Center, community organizations, local government agencies and graduate students on client-based capacity-building projects.

What do you like most about your job? I enjoy working with and supporting the professional and personal development of our students. I also enjoy working with our local government agencies and community members.

What question do you get asked most in your job and what’s your typical answer? I oftentimes get asked by prospective students, “Am I able to pursue this program and still have my normal life?” My answer is always, “YES!” Our M.P.A. program is designed to accommodate working professionals as well as recently graduated undergraduate students. When I pursued my M.P.A., I was a full-time employee, full-time student, spouse and mom – and even had a part-time job. Even with all that on my plate, I was still successful in the classroom, made meaningful connections with peers and professors, and felt deeply integrated into the program. If I can do it, so can you!

What’s your favorite location on campus and why? My favorite location on campus is the Riley Center, mostly because of the outstanding view of Brittlebank Park across the street. At any given moment, you can get a breathtaking view of the Ashley River.

What are your hobbies? That’s a good question … I think one of my long-lasting hobbies is doing people’s hair. I’ve done this the last 25 years, and it makes me feel good to help others feel like they look good.

What personal and/or professional accomplishment are you most proud of? I am most proud of being a support system for my friends and family.

Name a creative work (book, movie, performance, etc.) you enjoyed recently and why. I recently went to see Jill Scott perform in Savannah, and it was AMAZING!!

What was your favorite TV show growing up? I always watched Family Matters on TGIF programming nights.

What’s next on your bucket list? I want to go back to Jamaica.

What is something your campus colleagues would be surprised to know about you? They may be surprised to know I was a Starbucks barista for five years, back when you pulled the espresso shot by hand (not by button).

What was your first job? I worked at Burger King.

What’s your favorite Lowcountry restaurant? Blue Note Bistro in North Charleston

Describe your perfect day: No work, no home responsibilities, endless finances, and family and friends near.

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