Alumni Success Stories
Thank you for everything you do to make getting an education at Martin Methodist College possible for our students. You are changing lives, and we want you to fully understand the good you do in the lives of our students. Therefore, we are going to periodically introduce you to an MMC alumnus/alumna and tell his or her story.
From Small Town Boy to Big Town Success
If not for Martin Methodist, I would not be where I am today. –Brandon Baker
Brandon Baker is originally from Asbury, AL, and he is one of Martin Methodist College’s alumni heroes. He always knew he wanted to go to college, but his family questioned whether a four-year institution was in their budget at the time when Brandon was looking at college options.
Therefore, when he learned about the Church Leadership Scholarship (aka Alford Scholarship) at MMC, he went for it and won the competition, receiving a full-ride scholarship to Martin Methodist.
‘That was a life changing moment for me because it allowed me to attend a four-year institution, and I quickly realized Martin Methodist was simply where I was supposed to be. It was my home for the next four years,” said Brandon.
“I flourished at MMC. The academic rigor was excellent, but my experience there was much bigger than the knowledge I gained in the classroom. I grew as a person and as a leader. The success I have had in my career is a direct result of my Martin experience. I had mentors at MMC who saw talent in me and encouraged me to develop my leadership skills. I thought my path in life was to enter the medical field, but because of my Martin experience, I realized my talent was in helping other people achieve their own goals. I learned that my true calling was to work with philanthropists to help provide opportunities for students to attend college, to create a better life for not only themselves, but their families and the world around them.”
After graduating from MMC in 2006, Brandon moved to New York City and attended New York University (NYU) where he received his master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. During his graduate program, he was offered an internship in the office of external relations at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Those experiences and opportunities at Columbia and NYU propelled him to where he is today, at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as the assistant dean of external affairs at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science. At this point in his career, Brandon has raised over $100M to support financial aid for students, research for innovative technologies and new buildings for research and teaching.
Brandon concluded, “I am proud to be a Martin Methodist College RedHawk! The campus will always hold a special place in my heart. The friends I made and the experiences I had in and out of the classroom shaped me into the person I am today.”
Loving Life Because of MMC
Kenzie Herd knew she would be the first person in her family to graduate from college—that was never a question in her mind. When she graduated from Giles County High School in 2011, she already had all the details worked out to go to school in Knoxville. However, Kenzie started really analyzing the financial commitment of college and decided to take a look at Martin Methodist College (MMC).
“I honestly thought I couldn’t afford MMC,” said Kenzie. “But when I was told about all the scholarships I could get, the decision to stay at home in Pulaski was simple.”
Just a few days before leaving Pulaski, Kenzie canceled everything in Knoxville and didn’t look back. “I would make the same decision again if I had to do it all over. MMC was where I needed to be. My teachers were wonderful, always willing to lend a helping hand to ensure my success. I would never have gotten that kind of personal attention at a larger school,” Kenzie explained.
Attending MMC changed Kenzie’s life in ways she never imagined. The internship she had with Magneti Marelli through MMC turned into a full-time job after she graduated in 2015, and she has gone from small town girl to world traveler as a buyer with the international car parts manufacturing company.
I love my job, and I love MMC! I feel like I’m living a dream, and I am where I am because of MMC.
I want to thank all the generous people who provide resources for the scholarships that make an education at MMC affordable for everyone.
Kenzie has returned to MMC and is currently enrolled in the MBA Program.
Recommend an Aluma/Alumnus
To recommend an MMC alumna or alumnus for a feature story, contact Sissy Garner at 363-9815 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.