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Keisha Parker, Barton class of 2016, will share her story as the featured speaker for the 117th opening convocation at Barton College. Parker is constituent services manager for the office of U.S. Sen. Richard Burr.
The annual campus event is 11 a.m. Tuesday in Howard Chapel.
The traditional convocation service signifies the official opening of the academic year and provides a milestone for freshmen.
“I am pleased to have Keisha Parker return to Barton as our convocation speaker,” said Gary Daynes, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Barton College. “Keisha’s story epitomizes the ways that a student’s hard work, in and out of the classroom, coupled with Barton’s commitment to hands-on learning, leads to a life of success and meaning.”
In her job, Parker oversees the front office staff for the senator’s office, which includes the hiring and supervision of staff assistants, as well as the tour and visitor services coordinator. She also supervises the mail process, including sorting, data entry and distribution to staff; presents written recommendations for Senate pages to the Senate secretary; oversees the internship program; and assists the press team with updating the website, among other responsibilities.
A native of Perquimans County, Parker began in Burr’s Washington office as a congressional intern in January 2016, and, soon after, she was offered the opportunity to serve as a staff assistant following graduation from Barton. The next month, she was named mail manager and intern program manager. This summer, Parker was recognized again with another promotion and increased responsibility in the senator’s office.
“From meeting the president to evening strolls on the National Mall, I can honestly say that there is no place like D.C.,” Parker said when asked about her life in Washington. “The biggest lesson that I have learned from living here is to embrace every opportunity that comes your way. You never know what you might see or who you will meet. I am very excited to return to my alma mater to speak at opening convocation, and I look forward to sharing stories of my time at Barton with the newly enrolled students as they embark on their own Barton experience.”
At Barton, Parker earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications while actively participating in Greek life as a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and in numerous campus activities through the Student Government Association that included Stop Hunger Now, United Way Paint Wars and Super Heroes 2-Miler, among others. She served as president of the Barton College SGA for two consecutive terms. During her college tenure, Parker also had the opportunity to serve as a summer assistant in the internship program at Catholic University of America in Washington following her junior year of college.