Desmond Mantle ’23: Thriving on open-minded debate

Headshot portrait of Desmond Mantle ’23
August 4, 2021

Desmond Mantle ’23

Hometown: Pasadena, Calif.
Major: Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and Government major, Computer Science sequence

  • Appel Fellow
  • Research assistant at the Rose Institute
  • Chief financial officer of ASCMC
  • Model UN team member
  • Mock Trial team member

Desmond Mantle ’23 chose to attend Claremont McKenna College for many reasons. The good weather, CMC’s proximity to his hometown, Pasadena, and “the small size of the community paired with the resources of the wider consortium” all factored into his decision. But his assessment of his first two years at CMC centers on cultural concepts like open-mindedness and inclusivity.

Photo of Desmond Mantle ’23 on campus wearing a backpack

“I think my favorite thing about CMC is that my peers generally engage in respectful dialogue about controversial issues,” he said.

“The fact that these conversations occur even during our ‘free time’ is something I consider extremely valuable.”

Mantle has found a similar open-mindedness in his favorite professor and Appel Fellowship advisor, Jack J. Pitney, Jr., whose Introduction to American Politics honors class he describes as “an excellent introduction to CMC academics.” He especially appreciates the professor’s “openness to debate, his availability as a resource, and his endearing sense of humor.”

Looking ahead toward possible career paths, Mantle is considering law. He feels drawn to the field of constitutional law and said that his dream job “would probably have to do with the Fourth Amendment and digital privacy.” 

Currently a research assistant at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at CMC, he is interning this summer at a think tank, the Reason Foundation. He is also active in student government and as a member of the Model UN and Mock Trial teams.

Mantle describes the CMC community as friendly, inclusive, and accepting. “I know that might sound very basic,” he said, “but I think that culture means a lot to many first-years coming from the socially difficult world of high school.” 

His own experience has been to feel welcome in all campus spaces, from the classrooms to the dining hall, and from the dorms to the computer labs. “I'm very happy here,” he said, “and while that's not exactly surprising, it's still a wonderful thing.”

Christina Schweighofer


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