Noah Karmann
Executive Intake Assistant, Office of Inspector General, Lincoln, Nebraska
Noah Karmann

Change maker

Noah is committed to fighting injustice and creating meaningful change in the lives of others. It’s why he works with two state offices—the Office of Inspector General of Corrections and the Office of Inspector General of Child Welfare (OIG)—in Nebraska. As the watchdogs for the Nebraska correctional and child welfare systems, Noah and his colleagues investigate systemic failures and abuses of power, making recommendations for improvement. He says his Northwestern education empowered him to develop solutions to complex problems—skills he uses in the office and with prisoners every day.

What led you to apply for your current position?
What attracted me most to my current position is the unique nature of OIG’s work. I passionately believe that the government should advance the common good and fight against systemic injustice. Because the government wields an immense amount of power, however, it can often misuse its authority. I appreciate the OIG’s efforts to hold the government accountable while trying to affect change.

In what ways do you recognize God in your work?
The world we live in is deeply broken, and nowhere is that brokenness more apparent than in the correctional and child welfare systems. I talk with people every day who have experienced unimaginable pain, like sexual abuse, child abuse and violent crime. Oftentimes these past traumatic experiences cause individuals to perpetuate their own brokenness. Our society views them as broken, irredeemable and undeserving of compassion—in direct opposition to the message of Jesus. I’ve met individuals who committed terrible crimes in their past and have changed into people who care deeply for others. Those encounters have shown me that no one is incapable of redemption, and I must attempt to be as compassionate and empathetic as Jesus was.

How would you describe NWC professors?
Northwestern’s professors are the most genuine, kind and intelligent people I have ever met. They facilitate curiosity and walk alongside students as they wrestle with tough questions. Their wisdom and teaching have been invaluable to my personal and professional growth, and I will always be deeply grateful for their investment in my life.

What are the strengths of Northwestern’s political science department?
Not once was I ever told what to think; instead, my political science professors guided me through our class readings and helped me develop the skills necessary to think through complex systems and issues. My professors always encouraged questions and were willing to engage students in the work of understanding how to be a kingdom-driven citizen.