Keeping Our Eye On: Parker Wiseman
Education: B.A. (Mississippi State University); M.P.A. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; J.D. (University of Mississippi)
Current Position: Mayor of Starkville
Parker Wiseman said that it was a seemingly insignificant conversation with a close friend that led him to his current job as mayor of Starkville, Miss. “I was back at home visiting my family during the summer after my first year in law school,” Wiseman says. “I thought I knew where my life was headed.”
Over the next several months, Wiseman says that he “couldn’t shake the notion” that being mayor of a city where he was born, raised and attended college would be a great job.
“I picked up a passion for local government from my dad,” Wiseman says. “My wife and I were still dating at the time but I knew I wanted to ask her to marry me. I told her I wanted to run… and she said, ‘I think you should do it.’ My mind was made up.” Wiseman says that he now has a job that is more passion than work and that each day, while challenging, is also exciting and incredibly fulfilling.
While an undergraduate at MSU, Wiseman earned numerous honors and awards including “Mr. MSU” and “Greek Man of the Year” and served as vice-president and president of the MSU student body. Wiseman also founded a voter registration council that resulted in the election of the first full-time student to the Starkville Board of Aldermen.
As a graduate student, Wiseman served as vice-president of the UNC graduate and professional student body and was co-founder of the Carolina Society of Future Leaders. While studying law at Ole Miss, he was a summer associate at Wise Carter Child and Caraway and prior to his 2009 election he was an associate with Knight Mozingo and Quarles, PLLC.
Mississippi’s best kept secret: The Cotton District
Must-have Mississippi food: Fried Cheese from the Grill
Favorite Hangout: Mississippi State University
Favorite Television Show: House
Favorite Movie: Coming to America
Favorite Band: Sir Mix-A-Lot
Last Book Read: “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis
Best Role Model: My Dad
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