Noah Karmann ’21
Columbus, Nebraska
Noah Karmann

Politically engaged

A double major in political science and history, Noah plans to spend a semester in Washington, D.C., and then enroll either in law school or in a political science graduate program on his way to a career in policy-making. In addition to serving as a tutor and student representative on the college's Academic Affairs Committee, he is co-president of a campus political organization, has been a county delegate, and is getting hands-on experience as a political campaign volunteer.

Fit decision

I took a gap year to figure out if college was for me. My older brother attended Northwestern, and it was a transformative time in his life. He expanded his horizons and made lifelong friends. Many of my friends went to big universities and had nowhere near the great experiences my brother did, so I knew if I went to college it would be Northwestern. What finally drove me to enroll is Northwestern's size and strong community, as well as the strong emphasis on the liberal arts.

Major decision

The presidential election of 2016 played a huge role in my decision to study political science. That divisive election forced me to figure out where I stood in my political beliefs and why. I was also greatly saddened by the rhetoric that pervaded the election. I saw anger and hate replace empathy and compassion in our politics. I want to live in a political system that cares about others as much as Jesus commands. I want our politics to abide by the ethic of loving your neighbor as yourself. Hopefully, by studying political science, I can do that more effectively. (I added a history major simply because I love history and wanted to study it further.)

All politics is local

The political science department at Northwestern is small, but this is what I love most about it. My professors cover a massive range of topics expertly. They teach the nuances of politics and political theory in a way that enables me to understand just how complicated politics is. And most importantly, they don't tell me how to think. They create the space for me to wrestle with what I believe, while providing the tools to do so effectively.

Faith in politics

Studying political science has given me a broader perspective. In one of the classes I took, we spent an entire semester delving into the question of how Christians should engage with politics. This class greatly challenged many of the ways I used to think about this issue. That's what studying political science has done for my faith: challenge how I think about certain issues. It's forced me to appreciate the perspectives and stances of those I disagree with, and that alone has been immensely valuable for my faith journey.

Community development

What I love the most about Northwestern College is my fellow students and my professors. My love for these people would not be possible without the smaller size of Northwestern's campus. If I went to a big university, it would be much harder for me to develop the many close relationships I've made. It would also be impossible for me to have a close relationship with my professors. The atmosphere of Northwestern facilitates the development of close relationships, and that reason alone is why I came here.