Karcher-Ramos Delivers on the Promise of his Political Science Degree
Muneer Karcher-Ramos graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Currently he runs a place-based education initiative in the Frogtown/Rondo/Summit-University neighborhoods of Saint Paul. As Director of the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood (SPPN), he leads the work to address the “education debt,” where historic public disinvestment in neighborhoods of color has disproportionately resulted in the disinvestment in schools attended by children of color.
“The political science major taught me how big public institutions work and how laws are made,” Muneer reflects. “I gained the knowledge to know how big public institutions work in the classroom, while also learning how big systems impact real people on the ground through internships. It’s the combination of the classroom and on-the-ground experiences through the Political Science Department that positioned me well for a career in education and public policy.”
The skills Muneer gained from the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Political Science gave him the confidence and ability needed to lead an organization that is addressing tough issues facing our community.
“The most rewarding part of my job is seeing transformational change,” Muneer says. “Through SPPN and its community partners, our children are participating in culturally-based literacy programs where they learn the truth about themselves and make reading gains at the same time. And parents are embracing the power they have to influence public decisions that impact their lives at the state capitol, which is located in the backyard of our neighborhood.”
Muneer chose the University of Minnesota Twin Cities to complete his undergraduate degree because “it was a place where I could start and go anywhere with my pursuits.” Through our University, “located in the heart of Minneapolis,” Muneer was able to find academic, internship, and volunteer opportunities that set him up for the success he finds today. Outside of the classroom, he was able to take advantage of the many parks, lakes, and eateries Minneapolis and Saint Paul have to offer.
If Muneer could give advice to our current undergrads, he would share the Chinese proverb, “To know the path ahead, ask those coming back.” In other words, “seek advice from those who have already walked the path you are wanting to go down. Lead your undergrad journey by asking questions, not always trying to provide the right answer.”