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Nathan Strum, '06

Nathan Strum, '06Nathan Strum, a 2006 graduate from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, double-majored in political science and communication.

Nathan says, “When I was making my mind up about colleges, my mom challenged me as to whether I wanted to be a ‘big fish in a small pond’ or a ‘small fish in a big pond’? After weighing my options and realizing that I wanted to make an impact on campus, I chose Muskingum (and the irony that our mascot is fish was not lost on me, either).”

Following graduation, Strum married fellow Muskie Christy Kaminski and the two settled in Zanesville for a few years, where Strum served as the Planner/Zoning Administrator. After a few years, the two ventured back to Strum’s hometown, where he first worked for Allegheny County Economic Development and later the Regional Industrial Development Corp of Southwestern PA. In that role, he focused on redeveloping brownfield sites and diversifying the local economy throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.

In late 2015, Strum was named Economic Development Director for the Licking County Chamber of Commerce & Executive Director of GROW Licking County, Licking County's public-private non-profit that focuses on creating new job opportunities throughout Licking County.

Strum says that the liberal arts education he earned at Muskingum has been to his advantage: “The wide range of classes, topics, and general conversations students cover over the course of their four years […] have aided me tremendously in my work in economic development since my field of work covers a vast array of industries, communities, personalities, and perspectives.  Without the broad brush of knowledge I received from Muskingum, I am not sure how successful I would be in my current field.”

One of Strum’s favorite experiences was working for WMCO, the campus radio station. His time in radio helped to hone his public speaking skills, but it also aids him by calming his nerves when he gives radio interviews in the course of his job.

Strum is grateful for the “lifelong friends I […] made (who are now more like family). From our dear friends […] whose kids think of us as their aunt and uncle to our amazing Muskie friends in Cincinnati who just had their 2nd child & asked me to be his godfather – these are lifelong friends who I cannot envision my life without having them in it.  Everyone makes friends in college – but those are the types of friends you make a Muskingum.