PS Alumni Panel Speaks with Undergraduates

The Political Science Undergraduates were recently treated to a visit from several alumni, Max Walko, Matt Singer, Sally Stadelman, and Wendelyn Pekich.


Max B. Walko is a Pittsburgh-based attorney with over a decade of experience in the public sector. He presently serves as an Assistant Solicitor in the Mental Health field. As a former prosecutor, Max also maintains a private criminal defense practice. He holds a BA and a JD from the University of Pittsburgh.

Bits of advice: Look for scholarships in as many places as possible. There are so many different scholarships available, and sometimes there are very few applicants for each one. Also, do not get discouraged if things to do not work out as planned. There is a lot of doubt along the way but if you persevere you will succeed.

Matt Singer is the Legislative Director in the Office of Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O'Connor. He obtained a BA in Politics and Philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently working on a Master of Public Management at Carnegie Mellon.

Bits of advice: Do not underestimate the value of an education in the humanities and social sciences. Learning how to synthesize new ideas and concepts, make arguments, and write effectively are skills that will be valuable in whatever career you pursue.

Sally Stadelman is the Government and Community Affairs Liaison for the City of Pittsburgh Department of Permits, Licenses, and Inspections.  She obtained a BA in Political Science, with a minor in Spanish and a Certificate in EU Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.

Bits of advice: Pursue as many different life experiences as possible. You need to be able to relate to people from many different backgrounds. This will make you more understanding and empathetic, but it’ll also make you more approachable.

Wendelyn Pekich is the Vice President of Marketing, Strategic Communication, & Proposal Development at Wexford Health Sources. She holds a BA in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. Wexford Health Sources provides health care to those who are involved in the criminal justice system and are not covered by other health insurers. Wendelyn has found her political science degree helpful when advocating on behalf of her company and clients and encouraging governments to expand Medicaid services.

Bits of advice:  Work with your professors whenever you have an opportunity to do so. Become a Teaching Assistant or help write a research grant. Those experiences will help you develop skills and contacts that will be useful in whatever career path you choose.