A seventh-grade world history teacher, Munro sought the Persuasive Writing Credential to hone his writing skills.
Headshot of Alex Munro
Alex Munro

“I'm an educator first and foremost,” said Alex Munro, PWC’23 and a seventh-grade world history teacher at Francis Parker School in Chicago. “I passionately believe in humanistic education and expanding understanding of the world—and life in general—for my students.”

Munro earned his undergraduate degree in sports management from Saint Augustine's University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and arrived in Chicago in 2014 when he enrolled at the DePaul College of Law. “However, after about a year and a half, I realized law wasn’t the path for me, so I stepped away and started teaching in Chicago Public Schools. Right away, I knew I could wake up every day and teach.”

Munro subsequently earned his Master of Education from DePaul in 2020, then moved with his wife to Bangkok, Thailand, where he taught English and social studies for a year. “Eventually, we made our way back to Chicago, and I’ve been at Parker since 2023.”

Munro said his educator mindset also inspired him to explore the Persuasive Writing Credential. “I’m often looking for opportunities to improve my writing, so when I saw an ad for the PWC on Linkedin, I showed it to my wife, and she said, ‘Yeah, you should go for it.’”

One facet of the PWC Munro said he immediately appreciated was that the writing topics were at the participants’ discretion: “It’s definitely easier to approach a topic when you’re passionate about it.”

For the paper, Munro said, he wrote about how international travel and study abroad can improve economic and health outcomes for African Americans. “Then, for the policy memo, I recommended that since so few African Americans have passports, HBCUs [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] should mandate incoming freshmen get a US passport. Then, those same students would get a stipend their junior year to use towards international travel. Hopefully, this recommendation could then expand to other organizations.”

The solutions narrative portion of the policy memo, Munro said, presented his experience traveling abroad since he was young, and the benefits he saw from that. “I also found great qualitative research related to Kehinde Wiley, who painted Barack Obama's official presidential portrait. Wiley grew up in South Central Los Angeles and had a unique chance to travel to Russia as a child, which, he said, put him on the path that got him to where he was now. And, of course, through researching the policy memo I found data supporting the ideas that students who study abroad not only have stronger earnings over their life but a higher chance of getting a job within their first year after graduating university.”

However, the most valuable elements of PWC, Munro said, were the discussions and group work. “I appreciated that [Program Director] David Chrisinger always brought in one of our topics to use as an example—he was clearly aware of what everybody was writing. And the group work is incomparable. It’s incredibly valuable to have all those eyes on your writing, and we all pushed each other to produce our best work. Plus, Megan Sanders, our TA, was extremely flexible when it came to meetings.

“PWC was rich, informative, and influenced the way I think. Most importantly, it has informed how I engage with my students.”