On January 5, 2015, Ted Kozlowski ’00 was sworn in as the mayor of Stillwater, Minnesota. His two young daughters, Amelia and Evelyn, stood at his side and his wife Rachael beamed from the front row. It was a proud moment for Kozlowski and his family.
For Kozlowski, Stillwater is more than just a town; it’s his hometown. And being mayor of his hometown is more than just a job; it’s a way to give back to his community.
Kozlowski’s pathway to civic leadership extends back to his days at Edgewood College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in political science and philosophy. “I absolutely loved my time at Edgewood,” Kozlowski says. When asked to describe his time at the College in just three words, he chooses “caring, creative, and ideas.”
The care, creativity, and ideas that were the core of Kozlowski’s experience inspire his work as mayor today. Of his Edgewood College education he says, “It’s really given me the ability to process and question the information presented to me as mayor [and] that allows for better decision making.”
“Critical thinking and reasoning were major themes in virtually every class,” Kozlowski remembers. “I was a political science major and Dr. Steven Davis really challenged us to form well-constructed arguments on our positions and discover the depths of our own ideas.”
What advice does Kozlowski have for others who want to make a difference in their own communities? “Just be involved,” he says. “Volunteer, donate and share your ideas with nonprofits that serve your community. Don't be afraid to run for office or seek a commission or committee position with local, state or federal office.”
“It's been the most rewarding thing in my life at this point,” he says of his tenure in public service. “I would strongly encourage anyone interested to participate.”
(Photo by Joe Issacs, used with permission from the Stillwater Current.)