Zach Runge - Alumnus Update

We recently heard from one of our previously featured alumni, Zach Runge '17, and wanted to share more of his story. Zach credits Harford with propelling him on his path to success. He earned a Communications Studies AA degree in May 2017 and a Business Management-Marketing AAS degree in December 2017 from the College. After commencement, he transferred to Towson University. In fall 2019, Zach graduated from TU with a double major in Communication Studies and Political Science, earning a BS degree in both fields.

Here’s what he’s been up to since graduating from HCC: Zach believes in getting involved, and during his time at Towson he joined organizations, held jobs and volunteered. He worked both on- and off-campus, first as a marketing assistant in the Office of Partnerships and Outreach, and the following year as an assistant at a local law firm. He also provided peer mentoring for Towson’s Public Communication Center. Zach participated in Towson’s Big Event, the college’s biggest day of community service where students, staff, faculty and alumni give back to the community. Through the Honors College, he served as the community service and fundraising chair for the National Society of Leadership and Success, participating in a variety of volunteer efforts including food drives for the Maryland Food Bank.

As a Towson student, Zach participated in two study abroad trips. In June 2018, he traveled to Barcelona for a course focused on global communication and competence. During winter 2019, he went to Scotland for a course titled "Identity, Expression and Social Action." Both faculty-led programs included cultural immersion activities. Students visited different cities and cultural attractions throughout Spain and Scotland, including the Sagrada Familia (Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the site as a minor basilica in 2010) and Loch Lomond. Zach said, "These were among my favorite experiences at Towson, and I have developed some great friendships because of them."

This past semester he worked with a professor on an independent research project titled "Spreading Rights: LINGOs and the Spread of LGBQT+ Rights." It is focused on better understanding the role that international nongovernmental organizations play in the acceptance of LGBTQ+ rights, specifically within Latin America. In addition, he won a $1,000 Research Impact Award from Towson's Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry Committee, and he will be presenting at their student research forum in April.

Zach is currently a full-time service coordinator for Home Instead Senior Care. He started working there part-time while finishing his last semester at Towson and said it has been a very rewarding job. "On a daily basis, I am working to ensure seniors have the care they deserve, and I've become part of a really cohesive, compassionate team."

He plans to attend graduate school in the near future. He recently applied to the University of Baltimore for their program in global affairs and human security. Ideally he would one day like to work for an NGO or other nonprofit that focuses on the promotion of LGBTQ+ rights.

Zach said Harford gave him the start he needed to succeed. "I feel HCC prepared me 100% to excel in my future. Had it not been for the courses and professors I had while there, I would have never pursued my interest in political science; they helped me explore and grow my interest for intercultural communication and advocacy. HCC provided a great stepping-stone to propel me into a successful undergrad experience at Towson, and I look to my future plans knowing I have the preparation and support to back me up."