Philip Nelson lives his life by his philosophy of servanthood: “The most valuable thing we have to offer our communities is our time and ourselves.”
Nelson is a lieutenant with the Tyrone Police Department in Georgia, where he has served for 11 years. His recent award of the Robert G. Mayes Memorial scholarship will give him the opportunity to complete his MBA in public administration, bringing his dreams of becoming a police chief closer to reality.
“There is the obvious benefit of meeting more requirements, as far as credentials are concerned, for promotion,” he said. “I am more looking forward to empowering myself with more tools and knowledge to help me mature and evolve into a more capable leader and a better well-rounded person.”
Serving in his community is not just part of his job description; Nelson continuously seeks out ways to serve for the betterment of those around him.
”I strive to give back to my community by volunteering as a firearms and general instructor at the police academy. I also develop community outreach lessons that I teach to the general public on courses as diverse as situational awareness, fraud prevention, and bullying prevention,” he said. “I attempt to lift up those I meet during my daily journey in the hopes that at least one person ‘saw’ them during the day, that at least someone noticed them and their beautiful uniqueness.”
After some setbacks when he graduated high school, the loss of his father and the reality of being a single parent, Nelson put his education on hold and focused on his daughter and his career.
“When I first began my degree with CSU, I was in my 40s, had been out of a formal school setting for over 25 years, and was a detective at my current department,” he said. “The nagging feeling of unfinished business loomed in the recesses of my heart and soul. My current department was a Learning Partner with CSU and the flexibility of their degree program allowed an old cop to make a distant dream a current reality.”
The MBA public administration is the third degree that Nelson has pursed with CSU. He earned his A.A.S. criminal justice with CSU in 2011 and his B.S. criminal justice in 2012.