Master of Public Administration (MPA)

As a college-trained and award-winning composer and percussionist, Alec Shirer understands firsthand the value of out-of-the-box problem solving and working together with a large and diverse group to make a collective contribution to the betterment of the society. Now, however, in a time where the American political discourse seeks to elevate the loudest voices on both sides instead of the wisest, he seeks to re-instill these virtues he learned through music back into society as a whole. In May 2020 Shirer graduated summa cum laude from Belmont University with a B.M. in Music Composition and a minor in political science. A member of the Dean’s List all eight semesters at Belmont, he was inducted into the Alpha Chi National College Honors Society in the Spring of 2017 and a nominee for the university’s Second Year award the same semester. Despite a busy schedule as a musician participating regularly in ensembles, recitals, and more, Shirer was active in extracurriculars as well. He was a four-year active member of the Omicron Rho chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, serving as its secretary (2017-18 school year) and vice-president (2019-20). Additionally, he served as an executive officer for Belmont’s new Young Americans for Freedom chapter for the 2019-20 school year. As a very recent college graduate with little time yet to earn accomplishments in the professional world, his greatest awards thus far have been the messages of gratitude from select peers for the level-headedness and wisdom of his political insights on social media during the recent time of extreme unrest and incivility. He hopes this respect will grow his reputation and soon make this paragraph a little longer and, more importantly, will inspire others to take up the cause of calm and collected political discourse.

Education

Bachelor of Music | Belmont University | 2020 | Music Composition

In May 2020 Shirer graduated summa cum laude from Belmont University with a B.M. in Music Composition and a minor in political science. A member of the Dean’s List all eight semesters at Belmont, he was inducted into the Alpha Chi National College Honors Society in the Spring of 2017 and a nominee for the university’s Second Year award the same semester. As a student musician, Shirer’s roles included performing for four years in the university’s Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble, and the nationally syndicated seasonal production of Christmas at Belmont. Additionally, he also performed for some time in Jazz Band I and the New Music Ensemble and volunteered his time preparing for his own composition recital and recitals of his peers. The crowning achievement of Shirer’s collegiate musical career, however, was his regular performances on the university’s carillon. Despite this busy schedule as a musician, as well as his academic requirements in the musical and political disciplines, Shirer was quite active in extracurriculars. He was a four-year member of the Omicron Rho chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, serving as its secretary (2017-18 school year) and vice-president (2019-20). Additionally, he served as an executive officer for Belmont’s new Young Americans for Freedom chapter for the 2019-20 school year.

More About

Career Goals:
With the current state of our political climate, those with the greatest influence over the national political discourse often have no firsthand knowledge about how governing works. Lawyers, businessman, community organizers, etc. have important perspectives that belong in Congress, but so do those who have experience actually carrying out the policies and projects that are enacted. While Shirer desires to spend some time working as a city manager (or similar position) and/or with a state Department of Transportation, his ultimate goal is to take that experience and use it to serve the public as an elected official, ideally at the federal level.

Of Note

Belmont University Dean’s List | Eight consecutive semesters from Fall 2016 – Spring 2020

Luray Singing Tower Summer Internship | July 2019 | Prepared and performed two carillon performances at sunset for the community of Luray, VA

Nominee, Belmont University Second Year Award | Spring 2018

Runner-up, Make Music, INC., Young Composers Contest | June 2017

Research Interests

Civility and Tolerance within the Political Discourse Interchange/Intersection Styles

Transitioning to Multi-Modal Transportation within Communities

History of Transportation and its Effect on Rural Communities