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Managing Public Affairs and Technology

Tyriq Jackson

Graduate Studies

Tyriq Jackson

One question Tyriq Jackson gets asked a lot is “When do you have time to sleep?”

It’s a valid question. He works full-time as the public diplomacy and research officer at the Consulate General of Ireland in Atlanta. On Saturday mornings, he’s back at his alma mater teaching engineering and design processes to sixth through eighth graders in the Morehouse College ISTEM-Xe Academy. And on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, he’s attending classes at Agnes Scott College as he pursues a master of science degree focusing on technology and data.

“It’s a lot,” he admits, “but I do find time to take a breath – and get some sleep.”

Even as an undergraduate student at Morehouse College, Jackson kept his plate full. During his senior year he worked as a special assistant to Stacey Abram’s gubernatorial campaign. He then went on to work for the Fulton County District Attorney’s office as a graduate assistant in the Public Integrity Unit. He graduated from Morehouse College in 2019 with a degree in political science and a minor in education. After graduation, he returned to politics first as a special assistant to then-presidential candidate Andrew Yang and later as a special project specialist for Senate candidate Jon Ossoff’s runoff campaign. 

Less than a year after receiving his undergraduate degree, and while still working for Andrew Yang’s campaign, Jackson returned to school to begin his graduate studies at Agnes Scott. 

Though graduate school was on his radar, it was a former professor of his at Morehouse College who told him about Agnes Scott’s graduate programs as a strong match for his interests.

“He sent me the information and said ‘I think this would be a good program for you,’” remembers Jackson. “I checked it out and it did seem like a good fit. I knew it would provide me with the necessary academic and technical skills to fulfill what I wanted to do. And I liked that Agnes Scott is known as an innovative school.” 

Through this program, students are learning to apply technological strategies and systematic thinking that will allow them to lead multidisciplinary teams that can create and implement complex technological solutions. Students can earn either a graduate certificate or a master of science degree.

“With a lot of society’s problems, it comes down to who has the technology and who doesn’t. This program is giving me the skills and confidence to learn how to solve those problems. I’m learning how to build strong teams and implement new technological solutions within any industry.”

Tyriq Jackson

To Jackson, a technology leader is someone who can understand and appreciate the talent they have around them and provide opportunities for individuals to grow and develop in the technological space. “That’s what makes a person a good technology leader,” he says “not necessarily the skills they have, but the skills and opportunities they create and provide to others.”

He is already putting what he’s learning to use in his diplomatic work. He says a huge part of his job is developing a digital presence for the Consulate. He is taking traditional older systems – like contact management –  and embedding them into new technologies. “By keeping up to date with newer technology, we can produce things more quickly,” he says.

One thing that helps him balance his life, work and school is the encouragement he receives from the Agnes Scott community. 

“The best part of the program is the support I’ve gotten from my classmates and the leadership,” Jackson says. “Anything I need, they are here for me. It’s the same support I received at Morehouse, and I appreciate the small size of both the classes and the school. At Agnes Scott I feel like I’m a valuable part of the community. They recognize my thoughts and contributions and I appreciate that, because it helps me learn, and it helps me do better in both work and in school. They want me to succeed and they are invested in my success.”

Jackson, who is scheduled to graduate in May 2022, would ultimately like to construct policies that help Georgians in their communities. He believes this degree will help him do that.

“This program is giving me the confidence and skills to really know what I’m talking about in the future,” he says. “And it will provide me with applicable experience and understanding of how to utilize different methodologies and create new models and strategies to better serve customers and people while embracing the digital culture and enhancing global communications.”

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