Three Illinois State University Alumni returned to campus to discuss their career paths with students in POL 296: Professional Development taught by Professor Nancy Lind.

4 adults standing in a classroom

James Keith ’86, Don Necessary ’74 and Karen Wilson ’12 with Nancy Lind (center right)

Don Necessary ’74 graduated more than 45 years ago as a math major before becoming intricately involved in the Progressive Democrats movement, where he was the campaign manager for many candidates at all levels of government.  He had previously worked for the CIA and as a teacher.  He has supervised many Illinois State interns.

James Keith ’86, M.S. ’10 received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and was a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army, from which he retired at the rank of lieutenant colonel.  He had served two tours in Iraq and returned to Illinois State as a part of their ROTC program before becoming the United Way director of community impact of Decatur and Mid-Illinois.

Karen Wilson ’12 graduated from Illinois State University as a nontraditional student in Communications and Political Science before becoming a community activist for state and local candidates and for the interests of African Americans. She is currently patient access registrar at Unity Point Health in Peoria.