Each year, we spotlight our Highland Capital Management Tower Scholar Seniors. We enjoy hearing about their journey through the program and how their perspective on the importance of sound policy evolved when combined with their own academic interests. This year, we asked our incoming and current scholars to interview the seniors and were delighted by the conversations captured.

Alex: I had the opportunity to talk to Humon  about his experiences during his time in the SMU Tower Scholars Program and goals for the future. Humon’s majoring in Economics, Public Policy, and Political Science with the TSP Public Policy and International Affairs minor. Here are the highlights of our conversation.

How did the Tower Program impact your time at SMU?

I had the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with courses. In Gateway to Policymaking, I developed those valuable skills. The junior year class gives you real world experience – we had to resolve policy issues for the Hunt Oil company. I’d much rather employ and develop hands-on skills instead of sitting in a lecture.

What is your most important takeaway from the program?

Mainly the skillset it provides; it is simply extraordinary. I developed work-place skills like collaboration, communication, problem solving, critical thinking, being put on the spot, and putting my mind to work, which are all crucial to join the work force. Those skills add much value to a college graduate in the long run.

What are your post-graduation plans?


I plan on taking a gap year after graduation and working at my family-owned engineering firm to learn the ropes and management skills. After that year, I will entertain either law school or getting an MBA.

What is your dream job?

My dream job is to go into policymaking and make some change. Whether that is in the state house and/or eventually the U.S. Congress, I just want to make meaningful change. I know it might sound silly to set such high goals, but that’s the dream! Regardless, I especially want to effect change with criminal justice reform.

Why do you have a passion for criminal justice reform?

I became interested in this issue in high school. Specific criminal justice policies that I learned about were mandatory minimums for non-violent crimes. I got to dive more in-depth sophomore year in Gateway to Policymaking when I had to write a policy memo in which I picked this as my subject. I also took criminal procedure and the 5th amendment, which helped to learn in-depth legal procedures revolving this issue. I found it fascinating.