Trustee Stephen Miskin
When asked about his undergraduate years at Temple, Trustee Stephen Miskin, ’91, sighs.
“Let’s just say I learned that Temple was a hard place to leave,” he said, acknowledging that he graduated a decade after his enrollment. “I was probably not a model student.”
Unconventional perhaps, but hardly unproductive.
In fact, Miskin’s long and successful career as a political insider began soon after he came to Temple. While an undergraduate, he worked as a staffer or campaigner for Rep. Tom Foglietta, Sen. Arlen Specter, the late Sen. John Heinz, the Republican National Committee and state Auditor General Barbara Hafer.
In the years since leaving Temple with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Miskin worked for the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Ridge and Lt. Gov. Mark Schweiker.
Now the chief spokesman for state House Majority Leader Sam Smith and the state House Republican Caucus, Miskin campaigns for another cause: Temple.
“I have to,” said Miskin, who became a member of Temple’s Board of Trustees in 2003. “I’m outnumbered here in Harrisburg — I’m surrounded by Penn State people.”
“Defending Temple is challenging when it comes to football,” he admitted. “But when it comes to academics, Temple is leading the way, and people here are paying attention.”
Miskin’s long-term relationship with Temple gives him an insider’s take on the positive changes now under way at the University.
“Temple has grown since I was an undergraduate, and grown in a positive way,” Miskin said.
“The Main Campus and the student body have changed. I grew up on Long Island, but all my friends were commuters. Today there are apartments and dorms all around the Main Campus, and people from a ll over the state and the world. And now we’re changing the curriculum, making it better and tougher.”
Miskin believes that these changes will help fight a growing concern in Harrisburg: brain drain.
“Pennsylvania has lost electoral votes and lost from our congressional delegations because college graduates are going other places,” he said.
Temple, he said, can be part of the solution.
“For students who are thinking of living in Pennsylvania, Temple is a great choice,” Miskin said.
“Temple is an integral part of Philadelphia and the state, and because Temple professors know what’s going on in the region, they will open doors for graduates. Temple opened those doors for me, and I know it can help others just as much.”
- By Hillel J. Hoffmann