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Mark Jamison
Name: Mark Jamison '11
Residence: New York City, New York
Occupation: business academic manager, Queens County Library System

Mark Jamison 2
Sometimes, career success can be attributed to a simple decision that seemed so small at the time.

For New York City resident Mark Jamison ’11, that decision came when Instructor of Spanish Victoria Uricoechea encouraged him to continue studying Spanish at Winthrop University.

“She always supported me in whatever my ventures were,” he said. “Because of her, I decided to move forward with my Study Abroad and took Spanish for business, which allowed me to be as successful as I am in my career today.”

Jamison, originally from Greenville, South Carolina, chose Winthrop initially because he wanted to study business administration with an international focus and because he fell in love with the campus. He eventually decided upon a modern languages major instead and studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“The experience was amazing, and I would do it again if time permitted,” he said. “The culture was particularly appealing because it reminded me so much of my current city. The ability to access everything I needed and wanted provided me with so much independence and liberty that was a little challenging when you live in a smaller area.”

While Uricoechea was an inspiration, Jamison noted that he had many memorable professors as a student, such as Associate Professor of Political Science Adolphus Belk.

“He really impacted the way I look at politics in the world,” he said. “His passion and enthusiasm about not only engaging students in the material, but pushing students to inquire outside of the class, sparked a major interest in the field of political science that I hadn’t really studied before.”

Less than 24 hours after graduation, Jamison stepped off a plane in New York City with a suitcase, a book bag, a television—and his mentors’ positive influences. He found a job with a Queens elementary charter school, where he developed an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. These programs help the non-English-speaking parents of students with parent-teacher communications.

Jamison currently works in the Queens County Library system as a business academic manager. He formerly was the library's grant project coordinator, but first started there as a literary specialist. Part of his duties included helping groups of Spanish speakers earn their high school equivalency so that they can be competitive in the workforce and post-secondary education. He also earned a master's in language and literacy from City College of New York and teaches in the Queens Library.

“Without understanding the cultures and realities of my students and families—all rooted in the education I earned at Winthrop—I don’t believe I would have been successful,” he said.

Last updated 7/7/17 by NC

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