Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, October 19, 2017

Travis Shoemaker, MPA

Travis Shoemaker, MPA

Hometown
Lake in the Hills, Illinois

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degrees in earth, society, & environmental sustainability and anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Expected graduation
May 2018

Research interests
Fisheries, environmental policy, renewable energy, public lands, natural resource management, climate change

Summer Internship
I worked as a performance management assistant with the Monterey Resource Management Agency of Monterey County in Salinas, California. I wrote memos, assisted the agency leadership in revamping its performance measures, and conducted research for Katie Battiato, management analyst for the agency and former career development coordinator at La Follette. As part of my internship, I built a predictive model to extrapolate the deterioration of all county roads based on road quality data and presented the results at an agency-wide meeting.

What drew you to the La Follette School?
A combination of factors attracted me to La Follette, including the blend of quantitative and qualitative skill courses, the influence and reputation of UW–Madison, and I liked the idea of being part of a small school on a large campus.

What are your career goals?
I would like to work on environmental policy or environmental management. To supplement my MPA, I enrolled in the Certificate in Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility Program, which has helped me develop the skills to analyze how businesses incorporate sustainability measures and whether those measures are effective.

Project assistantship
I am a project assistant for Associate Professor Greg Nemet, who is studying the factors that have led to solar energy becoming inexpensive as well as policy decisions that may drive down costs in similar technologies.

Supportive alumni, colleagues, friends
Kate Battiato mentored me on my writing techniques for government and agency leaders, especially memo writing. She also gave me hands-on experience with the type of work that I had previously done only in an academic setting.

Most rewarding experience at the La Follette School
Getting to know my classmates and the faculty has been great. Apart from that, it’s been very helpful to receive training in the hard skills such as statistical analysis that I did not get from my undergraduate degree.

Practice of the Wisconsin Idea
I put the Wisconsin Idea into action this summer by taking my newfound La Follette knowledge to California to help Monterey County improve performance management practices.