Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

  • Dec 07, 2017

    Ryan LeCloux, MIPA

    I previously was an English teacher in South Korea, and I also worked for an international development organization in Washington, D.C. Pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs was the next logical step in developing myself professionally and seeking opportunities with more responsibilities. Read more...
  • During her internship in Uganda, Kiersten Frobom visited the Great Rift Valley.
    Nov 28, 2017

    Kiersten Frobom, MPA, MPH

    The La Follette School has helped me explore options. I learned about nonprofit work during my summer internship with Health Access Connect and during the La Follette in D.C. career development trip, I saw what private sector and consulting work might be like. Read more...
  • Eric Hepler (back row, fourth from left) was one of 25 graduate-level students selected for the competitive Chicago Mayoral Fellowship.
    Nov 21, 2017

    Eric Hepler, MPA

    During my undergraduate studies, I worked at a municipal consulting firm (Center for Government Research), that worked with local communities to improve government services. I enjoyed the work as well as knowing that we were improving people’s lives. I determined that a public affairs degree would give me the skills that I’d need to pursue that line of work as a career. Read more...
  • Elgin Karls (left)
    Nov 14, 2017

    Elgin Karls, MPA

    Before coming to La Follette, I spent three years living and working in New York City as a home visitor, providing services to Spanish-speaking immigrant families and subsequently as a resource development associate at a nonprofit organization in the New York Housing Authority’s Queensbridge Houses. Read more...
  • Nov 07, 2017

    Eric La Nguyen, MPA

    Learning the theories behind policymaking and public management has been really eye opening. There were so many times in class where I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, that totally happened to me at our organization!” Read more...
  • Dan Spika, far right, performed with The Madhatters, a men's acapella group, as an undergraduate student.
    Oct 31, 2017

    Dan Spika, MPA

    My ultimate goal is to get to a position where I can move the needle on poverty policy. Read more...
  • Casey Hutchison
    Oct 23, 2017

    Casey Hutchison, MIPA

    La Follette offers an accelerated program where undergraduates interested in public policy can start graduate courses during their senior year and finish both degrees in five years. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to participate in La Follette’s world-class program while saving a bit of money! Read more...
  • Oct 19, 2017

    Travis Shoemaker, MPA

    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. Read more...
  • Oct 11, 2017

    Alison Harrell, MIPA

    My advice to prospective La Follette School students is to take quantitative classes, use the La Follette network to learn more about career paths and opportunities, pursue a summer internship, and participate in extra-curricular activities. Read more...
  • Sep 28, 2017

    Chris Meyers, MPA

    Working with professors who are at the top of their field has been the most rewarding experience for me at La Follette. Read more...
  • Jun 19, 2017

    MIPA student Frankel receives foreign-studies fellowship

    Cassie Frankel, a second-year student at the La Follette School of Public Affairs received a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship for the 2017–18 academic year. Frankel will use the fellowship to study Arabic through UW–Madison’s Center for European Studies. Read more...
  • Feb 21, 2017

    Margarita Northrop, MIPA/MPH

    There is no policy school in the Midwest that offers more rigorous quantitative classes than the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Dec 27, 2016

    Vin Gathing, MIPA, JD

    I’ve always been interested in international affairs, development, politics, and governance. La Follette’s MIPA is great with all of them. Read more...
  • Dec 16, 2016

    U.N. urban development conference draws MPA student to Ecuador

    Ken Smith considered the Habitat III conference in Ecuador a possible once-in-a-lifetime experience. The conference – formally known as the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – is held only once every 20 years. Read more...
  • Dec 10, 2016

    Ruanda McFerren, MPA, MS

    I chose to pursue an MPA and an MS in urban planning to gain a deeper understanding of the policies that shaped the social environments I encountered in my work. Read more...
  • Dec 02, 2016

    Garrett Martin, MIPA

    My internship at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) gave me the opportunity to work for a quasi-federal agency and gain valuable experience evaluating bank regulations, risk-management strategies, and consumer protection practices. Read more...
  • Nov 23, 2016

    Elizabeth Doyle, MPA

    The networking opportunities and feedback regarding professional development provided by the school have been particularly helpful in defining my career goals and supporting my career search. Read more...
  • Nov 14, 2016

    Anna Brunner, MPA

    The interviewers at the Government Accountability Office were extremely impressed by the coursework that is offered at the La Follette School. Specifically, Professor Moynihan’s public management course, as well as Professor Wallace’s statistical analysis course. Read more...
  • Nov 07, 2016

    Andrew Merluzzi, MPA

    La Follette has incredible faculty who have provided me insight into the ways in which science can be changed – whether through economics, management, or incentive structures. Those are all possible levers to be pulled when thinking about policy change, and without the faculty and La Follette it’s hard to imagine understanding the true breadth of possible policy routes to take. Read more...
  • Nov 01, 2016

    Matt Smalley, MIPA

    I chose the La Follette School for the emphasis on policy-making skills (quantitative analysis courses and in-depth policy-analysis), the quality of instruction in economics/political science, and the flexibility to tailor a program that best suits me with electives in the MIPA program. Read more...
  • Oct 25, 2016

    Karina Virrueta, MPA

    Something that drew me to the La Follette School was The Wisconsin Idea, and I feel (the Family Impact Seminars and Committee Connect) truly exemplify that mission. Read more...
  • Oct 11, 2016

    Kirsten Jacobson, MIPA

    My interest in policy stems from the idea that if you would like to see positive change, you need to take informed action. Read more...
  • Sep 30, 2016

    Max Pardo, MPA

    I chose the La Follette School because it was highly ranked (particularly in social policy), affordable (particularly with the fellowship), practitioner-focused, and evidence-based. Read more...
  • Sep 24, 2016

    Beth Miller, MPA

    The classmates and professors I’ve met are some of the smartest, most reflective, and most passionate people I have known. Read more...
  • Sep 12, 2016

    Jordan Krieger, MPA

    I hope to use the analytical and management skills I learn at La Follette to fight for opportunity and economic mobility. Read more...
  • Sep 05, 2016

    Sophia Rogers, MPA/JD

    I would like to work in climate-change policy. I’m very interested in solar radiation management and its legality. Read more...
  • Aug 28, 2016

    Genevieve Carter, MPA

    Before starting La Follette, I did not consider statistics my strong suit; however, I now use it in almost every project I do, and I consider it an absolutely crucial part of any good policy proposal. Read more...
  • Miranda Ehrlich (MPA)
    Aug 18, 2016

    Miranda Ehrlich, MPA

    La Follette isn’t just a school; it’s a community. Read more...
  • Aug 12, 2016

    Mia Nafziger, MPA

    Public service is one of the most important ways we can bring about social changes and improve the economic and political state of our country. Read more...
  • Sara Nowakowski, bottom center, served in the Peace Corps in Mozambique before pursuing her master's degree at the La Follette School of Public Affairs.
    Aug 02, 2016

    Sara Nowakowski, MPA

    Why the La Follette School? UW-Madison is universally known as a strong, reputable institution, and La Follette ranks among the top public affairs programs. Other schools had reputable programs, but I ultimately chose La Follette because of its smaller cohort size and the individual attention and assistance the faculty and administration would provide. Read more...
  • Adam Johnson
    Apr 06, 2016

    La Follette student among finalists in policy challenge

    Two University of Wisconsin-Madison students, including one from the La Follette School of Public Affairs, were selected as a team finalist in the 2016 Policy Solutions Challenge USA competition. Read more...
  • Nate Miller
    Aug 20, 2015

    Miller gains tools for improving quality of life for all

    La Follette School student Nate Miller is developing the skillset he needs to help government maximize its effectiveness for its citizens. Read more...
  • Nick Lardinois
    Jun 29, 2015

    Lardinois applies economics, math skills to energy policy

    Nick Lardinois’ love of nature and numbers led him to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Lindsay Garber
    May 10, 2015

    Garber seeks to help nonprofits master digital tools

    When Lindsay Garber's political fever broke about a year after she graduated from college, she turned her attention to the world of nonprofit organizations, and now she is developing her knowledge of management and administrative tools through the La Follette School's Master of Public Affairs degree program. Read more...
  • Garrett Johnson
    May 03, 2015

    Johnson expands science background to include public affairs

    Garrett Johnson is looking for a few more hunters. The first-year public affairs student holds a project assistantship with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, working on a project involving public education and recruitment for hunting. Read more...
  • Apr 26, 2015

    Ale turns attention to energy, environmental policy, analysis

    After years of lab work, Debaki Ale was ready to become more directly involved in energy and environmental policy, so she enrolled in the La Follette School's Master of International Public Affairs degree and its energy analysis and policy certificate programs. Read more...
  • Andy Lick
    Apr 19, 2015

    Lick links economic growth, sustainable energy policy

    Andy Lick likes a challenge, and he has spent the last seven years showing that sustainable environmental policy and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. "My whole life I'd been told that the economy and the environment were opposing forces," the second-year La Follette School student says, "and my interest in energy policy grew out of challenging that assumption." Read more...
  • Ellen Hildebrand
    Apr 12, 2015

    Hildebrand applies skills to state planning, housing grants

    A belief in the power of policymakers to create public policy that helps people led Ellen Hildebrand to a career in urban planning and housing policy. Read more...
  • Andrew Merluzzi
    Apr 05, 2015

    Merluzzi pursues diverse interests through public affairs, neuroscience

    Because Andrew Merluzzi did not want to find himself trapped in career rut, he thought the University of Wisconsin–Madison's dual-degree program in public affairs and neuroscience would be a good option. Read more...
  • Emma Schumann
    Mar 31, 2015

    Schumann adds quantitative skills to planning experience

    The generalist in Emma Schumann drew her to the La Follette School and its Master of Public Affairs degree, as did advice from a couple of alumni and a faculty members. Read more...
  • Mike Pearson
    Mar 02, 2015

    Pearson gains skills to better shape public policy, institutions

    After a few years working in politics and for nonprofits, Mike Pearson decided that to have more of a positive impact on the causes he believes in, he should pursue an advanced degree. Read more...
  • Xin Nong
    Jan 26, 2015

    Nong applies math skills to public affairs, policy analysis

    Xin Nong has wide-ranging interests that he is now exploring through the La Follette School's international public affairs program. Read more...
  • Demetri Vincze
    Dec 02, 2014

    Vincze tackles homelessness, structural inequality

    An interest in reducing structural inequality brings Demetri Vincze to public affairs and public service. "There is a fundamental inequality of opportunity in this country that is profoundly unjust," the first-year student says, "particularly in relation to race and poverty." Read more...
  • Maria Serakos
    Nov 17, 2014

    Serakos works at nexus of community engagement, scholarship

    Because Maria Serakos wants her research to make a difference in public policy, she is pursuing a Master of Public Affairs degree at the La Follette School before she goes on to a Ph.D. program. Read more...
  • Alex Trebek and Mark Japinga
    Nov 11, 2014

    'Jeopardy' champ Japinga gaining quantitative skills to improve policy work

    Mark Japinga hopes to find a behind-the-scenes balance between politics and policy, a happy medium that a Master of Public Affairs degree from the La Follette School will help him achieve. Read more...
  • Kaubin Neupane
    Nov 05, 2014

    Neupane hopes to improve lives, environment in developing countries

    Kaubin Neupane can make sense of the duality in his life only if he studies in the United States with the intent of contributing to help people in his native Nepal and in other developing countries. "When I was growing up in Kathmandu, I took the local environmental problems for granted and accepted them as another facet of difficult life," the first-year student says. Read more...
  • Alisha Bower
    Oct 20, 2014

    Bower plans to apply management skills in sustainable agriculture

    Alisha Bower has a plan that will take her to Latin America and then bring her home to the United States, ultimately to run a farm. "I want to work in international agriculture development," the first-year student says, "then I will return to the U.S., put down roots and work on sustainable agriculture issues, eventually transitioning into farming myself." Read more...
  • Christopher Russell
    Sep 22, 2014

    Russell gains analysis skills to be better global citizen

    After serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in eastern Ukraine, Christopher Russell came to recognize Americans should strive to protect and improve the U.S. justice system. "I realized during my travels that our country's rule of law, while far from perfect, is a unique and very important characteristic," the La Follette School student says. Read more...
  • Sam Matteson
    Sep 08, 2014

    Matteson takes broad view of public affairs

    Sam Matteson came to policy analysis by way of studying music at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, and then transferring to the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point to earn his degree in psychology. Read more...
  • Aug 26, 2014

    Straka tackles pressures of globalization

    Alex Straka wants to help solve the problems rooted in global economic integration. “The pressing issues of today are not just international but global,” the La Follette School student says. Read more...
  • Sierra Fischer
    Aug 22, 2014

    Fischer applies research, analysis skills in variety of settings

    La Follette School student Sierra Fischer is promoting strong and safe communities by helping the National Council on Crime and Delinquency calculate how many probation and parole agents, supervisors and support staff are needed at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections and predict future workload demand. Read more...
  • Keo Lo
    Aug 13, 2014

    Lo gains policy analysis skills to make positive impact

    Looking for ways to apply the survey design, research and data analysis skills he developed as an undergraduate, Keo Lo came to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Megan Humphreys
    Aug 08, 2014

    Humphreys wants to advocate for people in need, create better policy

    While Megan Humphreys was in Costa Rica with the Peace Corps, she came to realize how many aspects of daily life she took for granted in the United States — and that realization brought her to the La Follette School to earn a Master of International Public Affairs degree. Read more...
  • Aug 04, 2014

    Global perspective engages Blake

    For Dylan Blake, East Asia is the place to be and understand. “I see East Asia as the most rapidly changing, exciting part of the world, both now and for the foreseeable future,” the La Follette School student says. Read more...
  • Gabrielle Elzinga-Marshall
    Jul 19, 2014

    Elzinga values critical thinking, quantitative skills

    An undergraduate course on inequality in the United States prompted Gabrielle Elzinga-Marshall to pursue public policy instead of the political science/research track. Read more...
  • Tyrel Zich
    Jul 11, 2014

    Zich applies skills to energy sector

    When Tyrel Zich graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire, he knew he wanted to add a strong quantitative skill set to his foundation of qualitative skills, so he came to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Apr 22, 2014

    Coleman advances women's health

    Michele Coleman wants to know why people make the decisions they do about their health to help them lead healthier lives. To that end, the public affairs and public health dual-degree candidate is presenting a paper about the influence of religion on the abortion decision-making process and experience at a national conference. Read more...
  • Mar 07, 2014

    Van Buren deepens involvement in policymaking

    After years of working as an outside observer with peripheral influence, Matt van Buren decided to involve himself more deeply in the policymaking process. The former journalist and political fund-raiser is in his second semester at the La Follette School, exploring public management and nonprofit leadership in addition to the school's core courses in microeconomics and statistics. Read more...
  • Feb 19, 2014

    Chaudary hopes to help Pakistan with development

    Tahira Chaudary is investing in her own education with an eye toward someday helping people in Pakistan develop their own human capital. Read more...
  • Jan 13, 2014

    Filer wants to use quantitative skills to address social problems

    Angela Filer's desire to create change by developing policies and programs that reduce social ills brought her to the La Follette School to earn a Master of Public Affairs degree. Read more...
  • Scott Wood, left, served on the organizing committee for The First Tee’s Champions 4 Kids Gala, a fund-raiser that has brought in more than $350,000 for the Madison chapter. Also attending the 2014 event were, from left, Pat Richter (former professional football player and University of Wisconsin–Madison athletic director), Joe Loehnis, (executive director of The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin) and Deb Denure, event chair of the Champions 4 Kids Gala).
    Jan 07, 2014

    Wood expands leadership, analysis skills through MPA program

    For Scott Wood, graduate school has been about opportunities — and making the most of them. In doing so, the second-year La Follette School student has become an expert on Wisconsin's economy and employment prospects, and on domestic violence conviction rates in Milwaukee. Read more...
  • Dec 30, 2013

    Toniolo helps strengthen communities

    Maria Toniolo is broadening her expertise in international trade, finance and economic development through the La Follette School's Master of International Public Affairs degree program. Read more...
  • Dec 16, 2013

    Christiansen applies engineering approach to public policy

    Carl Christiansen knew he chose the correct public policy graduate program when he went to a seminar on the Affordable Care Act given by a well-known economist and encountered 10 other students from the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Dec 10, 2013

    Rosales Mitte explores development, effects of policy

    The opportunity to choose classes and explore possible career paths prompted Diana Rosales Mitte to change her study-abroad semester into a three-year stay — and then to pursue a Master of International Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Andy Behm
    Dec 03, 2013

    Behm deepens knowledge of energy policy

    Andrew Behm enjoys working in a policy area that is beginning to change after decades of equilibrium — energy policy. Read more...
  • Nov 12, 2013

    Lorenze takes global approach to helping others

    Working with immigrant children in two countries showed Katie Lorenze that too often politicians pass legislation focused on broad, vague ideas and without thought for the often unintended consequences. "In Spain and the United States, I saw how bad public policy affects children and families every day," the second-year La Follette School student says. Read more...
  • Nov 08, 2013

    Emmel looks forward to exploring big picture

    Ben Emmel is looking forward to gaining more skills to help people. "I am interested more in the bigger picture, in issues and public policy," the first-year student says. Read more...
  • Sara Koliner received an inside view of the U.S. health-care system during and after her pregnancy. Her son was born in May.
    Oct 29, 2013

    Koliner helps shape health policy

    Sara Koliner was in a job training session when she got a crash course on the U.S. health system. What she learned eventually brought her to the La Follette School to pursue a public affairs degree. Read more...
  • Oct 14, 2013

    Stupar wants to serve public through energy analysis

    Rob Stupar turned to public policy for graduate school because no matter which professional field he considered as an undergraduate, he felt that there was no better way to help solve national problems than through public policy. Read more...
  • Oct 08, 2013

    Boyce manages career path in nonprofit sector

    After six years in the private sector, Claire Boyce knew she wanted to hone her management and analytical skills. Read more...
  • Oct 01, 2013

    Hohler strengthens knowledge of international affairs

    The opportunities to learn quantitative skills in an international context and to study Thai brought Ryan Hohler to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Amanda Wilmarth
    Sep 23, 2013

    Wilmarth gains skills to improve diplomacy, streamline systems

    Amanda Wilmarth wants to improve U.S. relations with China and ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, so 10 years after completing her bachelor's degree in international relations and East Asian studies, she is back at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, pursuing a Master of International Public Affairs degree. Read more...
  • Sep 12, 2013

    Mayeshiba seeks broad knowledge base, quantitative skills

    On September 11, 2001, Matthew Mayeshiba was a freshman planning to study viola at the University of Minnesota. But by 2005, with the invasion of Iraq and the presidential election, "there seemed to be so many more important things in the world," says Mayeshiba, who joined the military in 2006 and later enrolled at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Sep 09, 2013

    Scholarship will help Drazkowski gain skills to help others

    Ann Drazkowski wants to do something about the extreme inequality and poverty she has seen. The first-year student brings to La Follette School a blend of domestic and international experience in social policy. Read more...
  • Aug 12, 2013

    Trifone finds public affairs synthesizes nonprofit, leadership experience

    After a year as a La Follette School student, Dan Trifone is gaining a better sense of all the options he has for a career in nonprofit management. Read more...
  • Aug 02, 2013

    Brenner wants to improve patient safety, health systems

    La Follette School student Kayla Brenner is spending her summer convincing businesses to do more to improve the health of people in Wisconsin communities. Read more...
  • Jul 17, 2013

    Racine seeks to advance science that helps people

    Spurred by her desire to help people and translate scientific findings into better health policy, Annie Racine came to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the only U.S. campus to offer a dual degree in public policy and neuroscience. Read more...
  • Jul 02, 2013

    Dolson applies problem-solving skills to international development

    For Erik Dolson, the best way to address a problem is to consider all the possible solutions. When a career advisor suggested he consider public policy schools, Dolson looked at the La Follette School and other master's programs. "Taking apart problems and fixing them with public policy sounded interesting," Dolson says. Read more...
  • Jun 25, 2013

    Hoppenjan wins recognition for school project in Uganda

    Troy Hoppenjan's efforts to build a rural school last summer in Uganda garnered him honors with the Wisconsin Without Borders Recognition Award for Global Engaged Scholarship. Read more...
  • Jun 14, 2013

    Gargano Ahmed finds La Follette experience opens health policy doors

    Anne Gargano Ahmed wants to make sure consumers are helping to shape health care policy. "My family experienced the devastating consequences of being uninsured, and I am dedicated to protecting other families from similar experiences," the continuing student says. Read more...
  • Jun 10, 2013

    Loritz finds training, internships broaden opportunities to help families

    Megan Loritz enrolled at the La Follette School to acquire the technical skills she needs to bring about policy changes that will improve the lives of families with autistic children. Read more...
  • Jun 09, 2013

    Wolf pursues policy degree to enhance education system

    Student Leni Wolf is combining her teaching experience with policy analysis tools so she can improve the educational system and students' everyday experiences. Read more...
  • Phillip Duran
    Jun 06, 2013

    Duran applies public affairs training to energy analysis

    Wanting to develop a professional career in which he can apply his technical background in engineering to pressing policy issues, Phillip Duran came to the La Follette School to pursue a Master of Public Affairs degree, in addition to a master of science in environment and resources at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Read more...
  • May 31, 2013

    Koplin applies quantitative methods while conducting hunger survey

    Empathy in action — caring about other people and acting to help them in some way — draws Lacee Koplin to public service. "I volunteered at my local food pantry a lot while I was growing up, and that got me interested in social issues in a hands-on sense, but I felt like there was so much more I could do," the public affairs student says. Read more...
  • May 20, 2013

    Wilson-Tepeli values good management, planning

    A talented and creative manager first got John Wilson-Tepeli thinking about the value of public affairs training and eventually led him to enroll at the La Follette School in the double-degree program in urban and regional planning. Read more...
  • Apr 23, 2013

    Choi focuses on performance management

    When Iseul Choi completes her graduate school training, she can see herself helping South Korea's performance management system perform better or maybe aiding South Korea's international development efforts. Read more...
  • Apr 17, 2013

    Halverson thrives on crafting smart policy in political arena

    After five years immersed in state and congressional politics, Brett Halverson decided the time had come to go back to school so he can work at a higher level of legislative policy creation and analysis. Read more...
  • Mar 27, 2013

    O'Connell acquires technical skills to make positive impact

    After 13 years in the information technology industry, Joe O'Connell took a step back when he realized he did not find the work all that satisfying. "I started to wonder about the kind of mark I wanted to leave on the world," says the second-year La Follette School student. Read more...
  • Feb 25, 2013

    Pugh explores education policy

    For Christa Pugh, education is the key for people who are poor or underserved by society to improve their lives. "I hope that by working in education policy, I will be able to empower students to achieve the goals they set for themselves," the first-year public affairs student says. Read more...
  • Feb 19, 2013

    Lu values practical training

    Jiaqi Lu is confident technical skills in policy analysis will help him find work with an international organization and help him advance reforms underway in China. "I want to learn knowledge and skills about how to solve social issues and do my best to make some contribution to build a better world for everyone," the first-year international public affairs student says. Read more...
  • Jan 29, 2013

    Mabrey focuses on quantitative skills

    First-year student Steph Mabrey wants to have her career both ways. She wants to be able to analyze AND interpret someone else's analysis. Read more...
  • Dec 17, 2012

    Frerick pursues variety of policy experiences

    For Austin Frerick, education is the best way to improve society and the best way democracy can achieve equality. "As a first-generation college student, education has empowered me, and I want to make sure that others have the same opportunity," the first-year student says. Read more...
  • Dec 10, 2012

    Dickinson plans to advocate for poverty policies

    Student Michele Dickinson's desire to lead a nonprofit organization and advocate for state policies to address poverty arises from her experience as a single, teen mother in concert with her undergraduate majors and volunteer activities. Read more...
  • Nov 06, 2012

    Marlin pursues quantitative training to use in education policy

    After a few years as a paralegal, Dan Marlin wasn't sure of his next career move, but he knew he didn't want to be a lawyer. "I didn't want to argue for a living," says the first-year public affairs student, "and I have always been intrigued by policy and politics." Read more...
  • Oct 30, 2012

    Simon tackles how social problems affect health

    After finding that people in Wisconsin and in the Dominican Republic encountered many of the same issues related health, environment and education, Norma-Jean Simon decided to pursue a dual degree in public health and public policy at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Oct 22, 2012

    Bakken looks forward to tackling environment, health

    A recommendation from a La Follette School professor led to a possible career path for Erik Bakken. Read more...
  • Oct 16, 2012

    Deng explores Southeast Asia, nonprofit management

    The opportunity to combine nonprofit management with Southeast Asian studies brought Mengwei "Weiwei" Deng to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Oct 10, 2012

    Miller tackles bureaucratic entanglements

    Bryan Miller wants to weed out inefficiencies. "Working for the Department of Veterans Affairs, I found the deeply embedded bureaucracy made local policy innovation difficult — even though individual regional facilities were relatively efficient," the second-year student says. "I want to make program and policy improvements on a bigger scale." Read more...
  • Sep 18, 2012

    Waltz applies MPA experience to social work research

    Angela Waltz is finding answers to some of her questions at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Sep 17, 2012

    Chapman sees how sound analysis can help communities tackle problems

    From Mali to Salt Lake City, La Follette School student Anne Chapman has seen the importance of well-informed, motivated community leadership — and the essential role a skilled analyst can play in sharing expertise about policy ramifications. Read more...
  • Aug 07, 2012

    Eisner wants to take broad approach to education policy

    After a couple of years in Milwaukee helping public school students figure out how to apply and pay for college, Ryan Eisner decided to switch his energies to making structural change, and so he enrolled in the La Follette School's Master of Public Affairs degree program. Read more...
  • Jul 01, 2012

    Levine explores, applies analysis tools

    Nick Levine came to the La Follette School to pick up a few more analysis tools. "I have a background in the humanities, in East Asian studies with an emphasis on China," Levine says, "but my analysis suffered from a lack of understanding involving the economics, statistics and legal precedents used in the law and social sciences." Read more...
  • Jun 25, 2012

    Journalist Mukherji applies hands-on international public affairs

    Taking questions and comments from early morning callers to Wisconsin Public Radio is just one component of 2012 alum Naya Mukherji's engagement with people from different backgrounds. Read more...
  • Jun 18, 2012

    Kulig applies public affairs skills

    With Wisconsin's Senate changing hands in 2010, Steven Kulig needed a new plan after spending three years as a legislative aide. He ended up following advice from a La Follette School alum and applying to the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Jun 12, 2012

    Internship in Ecuador lets Polster apply human service, community development experience

    Rachel Polster is mapping her future. The international public affairs student is spending the summer in Ecuador on a community development project to increase resident participation in the governance of Ibarra, a city of 110,000 people. Read more...
  • Jun 12, 2012

    Miller develops program for orphanage in Uganda

    Christina Miller does not take her kitchen faucet for granted. "While I was in Tanzania in 2008, I watched a girl who was about 10 years old carry a 5-gallon water barrel to a community well," the international public affairs student says. "She filled it, put it on top of her head and walked off. I don't know how far she had to go, but I did not see any homes in the distance." Read more...
  • Jun 05, 2012

    Hartung develops analytical skills, methods

    Curiosity about statistical methods brought Adam Hartung to the La Follette School. "I wanted to have a better understanding of how public policies are created and evaluated at a level higher than when I'm talking about a news story with friends," says the second-year Master of Public Affairs student. Read more...
  • Jun 05, 2012

    Shannon pursues interests in energy policy

    After a few years with Madison health-care software company Epic, Sam Shannon started thinking about his next career move. His interest in electricity brought him to the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Jun 04, 2012

    Public affairs blends Ley's career interests, experiences

    For Emily Ley, every experience builds on another. The study of ethics and religion led her to nonprofit leadership, which, in turn, eventually brought her to the La Follette School to gain skills in management and program analysis. Read more...
  • Selina Eadie
    May 29, 2012

    Eadie plans to tackle education policy

    Two years of students dropping out, violence in school and disengaged parents brought Selina Eadie to the La Follette School to earn a Master of Public Affairs degree. Read more...
  • Apr 06, 2012

    Inglis Steinfeld gains tools to change system through dual MPA-law degree program

    After college, Nate Inglis Steinfeld spent two years watching dedicated public servants within the complex world of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, D.C. Eventually he decided he needed more education to pressure the system to aid communities, and so he enrolled at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Mar 12, 2012

    High school experience drives Hill's interest in education reform

    For Kelsey Hill, involvement in the causes that interest her and affect her the most is of paramount importance. That tenet brings her to the La Follette School to pursue a Master of Public Affairs degree with an emphasis on education policy. Read more...
  • Feb 24, 2012

    Williams gains new outlook on management, policy analysis

    Ben Williams is finding new perspectives on problem-solving as he pursues a Master of Public Affairs degree at the La Follette School as part of his transition from the private sector into nonprofit management and community development. Read more...
  • Linda Collins with Rosalynn and former president Jimmy Carter at the Carter Center in Atlanta
    Feb 09, 2012

    Collins plans to use technical skills to advance program, policy design

    After working for several years in refugee resettlement, Linda Collins decided to broaden her skill set by going to graduate school. "I wanted to prepare myself for positions of greater influence or responsibility for program and policy design," the second-year MIPA student says. Read more...
  • Jan 25, 2012

    Sletten seeks to explicate effect of public policy

    First-year student Phil Sletten sees himself at the intersection of politics and public policy, in a position to help policymakers see and understand policy ideas that might otherwise go unexamined. Read more...
  • Jan 12, 2012

    MIPA training prepares Palmer for international work

    Miriam Palmer is ready for anything. After a summer internship researching tax policies for a Mexican think tank, the second-year student knows she is building a strong set of quantitative skills that are preparing her to work in different aspects of international public affairs. Read more...
  • Dec 29, 2011

    Hernandez applies management skills to health care

    By the time Shaun Hernandez was wrapping up his bachelor's degree, he was pretty sure he wouldn't go on to medical school. Read more...
  • Dec 17, 2011

    Myatt values, uses empirical data

    The belief that objective evidence and rational conclusions can be engineered to craft sound public policy brings Jason Myatt to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Dec 08, 2011

    Brunjes melds analysis, humanitarianism in pursuit of international degree

    The opportunity to blend interests in China's language, culture and socioeconomic problems brings student Emily Brunjes to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Dec 02, 2011

    Cubero shifts focus from finance to energy analysis

    After five years as a financial analyst, Ed Cubero is turning his attention to studying energy policy and analysis and public affairs at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Nov 25, 2011

    Roets values international, personal connections

    In the end, cultural differences do not stand in the way of friendship and diplomacy, Kelsey Roets has found. The first-year student is pursuing a Master of International Public Affairs degree as a step toward a life of international public service that builds on her undergraduate experiences in Latin America and graduate studies at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Nov 16, 2011

    Anam explores U.S. health policy

    La Follette School student Tawsif Anam has shaped his curiosity about the U.S. health-care system into a career path. Read more...
  • Oct 28, 2011

    Mentzer wants to remove political barriers to education reform

    Education policies too often get in the way of student learning, La Follette School student Ciara Mentzer discovered when she was a fourth-grade bilingual teacher in the South Bronx in New York City. Read more...
  • Oct 19, 2011

    Fellowship enhances Walsh's pursuit of degrees in public affairs, public health

    For student Andrew Walsh, receiving the Ina Jo Rosenberg and Shiri Eve Leah Gumbiner Fellowship makes possible the whole endeavor of earning dual master's degrees in public affairs and public health. Read more...
  • Oct 03, 2011

    Thiher pursues interest in economic development in Asia

    Change really has to be experienced firsthand, no matter how many graphs one has to chart economic and social transitions, student Nicole Thiher came to realize during the weeks she spent in Delhi, India, last summer. Read more...
  • Sep 22, 2011

    Kleinmaier seeks to sustain economic, social progress

    Public policy can help sustain an improved standard of living, says La Follette School student Dan Kleinmaier."Our society has achieved many great things and improved the standard of living for many," Kleinmaier says. "However, it appears we have done so in a manner that is unsustainable." Read more...
  • Sep 13, 2011

    Sydor keeps in mind the people public policy affects

    The U.S. tax code is an important tool to address social policy problems, Katherine Sydor came to realize during her first year as a student at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Sep 02, 2011

    Waukau wants to take on complex international issues

    The shrinking world draws Hilary "H.J." Waukau to international public affairs. "The world is becoming increasingly connected in a way never seen before," he says. "The unprecedented level of exchange across borders, not only in trade, commerce and communication, but also in ideology and culture puts a premium on all of us to think about how our actions affect communities around the world." Read more...
  • Aug 22, 2011

    Kruse values giving back to community

    After graduating from Luther College in 2007, Katie Kruse moved to Madison committed to working for a nonprofit organization, preferably one whose mission focused on health and social services. Read more...
  • Jul 19, 2011

    Molzahn applies engineering skills to energy policy

    Public policy is one of the variables that makes engineering needs for the electrical power system nearly impossible to forecast, but Dan Molzahn has a little more insight than some electrical engineers. Read more...
  • Jul 07, 2011

    Johnson plans to inform public policy decisions

    Three years in Japan gave Rachel Johnson such intriguing insight into domestic social policy that now she is exploring U.S. domestic policy by earning a Master of Public Affairs degree at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Jun 10, 2011

    Rabbach develops skills to advance collaboration

    The week Justin Rabbach spent in Nicaragua only reinforced his decision to earn a Master of International Public Affairs degree from the La Follette School. This summer he is interning with the U.S. State Department in Honduras. Read more...
  • Apr 26, 2011

    Williams advocates for underrepresented communities

    Dominique Williams' career plans did an about-face after she got to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. She expected to work as an attorney to advocate for underrepresented communities after she completed her dual degree in law and public affairs. "I originally thought I would be a practicing attorney and that my policy degree would be supplemental," she says. Read more...
  • Apr 14, 2011

    Fuchs hones technical analysis skills

    Presidential Management Fellowship finalist Patrick (Paco) Fuchs came to the La Follette School for two reasons. One is academic. He took undergraduate courses from two La Follette School professors in the fall of 2008, an inspiring time to debate public policy. The other is the sense of public service his parents instilled in him. Read more...
  • Apr 04, 2011

    Estol-Peixoto welcomes practical application of MIPA program

    After Rosina Estol-Peixoto started working at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C., she saw how her research influenced public policy in Central American countries. Now she is pursuing a Master of International Public Affairs at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Mar 27, 2011

    Braden advocates cruelty-free diet

    Pete Braden's life work is to bring an end to factory farming. "Industrial farms torture animals, destroy the land, spread disease and cause unnecessary human hunger," says the first-year La Follette School student. Read more...
  • Mar 27, 2011

    Rimal's analysis of career leads to public policy

    A few years out of college, Bickey Rimal found his professional interests shifting from chemistry to public policy, and he decided to pursue formal training at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Mar 11, 2011

    Smith looks to career in international copyright law

    Addison Smith has found a way to bring together his diverse interests: a dual degree in international public affairs and law with a career goal of working in international copyright law. Read more...
  • Mar 02, 2011

    Eagan serves country, pursues international interests

    Having applied his commitment to public service, as well as his organizational and planning talents, to the U.S. Army, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, French high school students and a food service for homeless people, Isaac Eagan now wants to serve the federal government by advancing U.S. interests abroad. Read more...
  • Feb 09, 2011

    Jones looks to food policy to sustain communities

    Wherever life takes Erika Jones, she intends to always be involved in public service. Her training and experiences through the La Follette School are helping her advance her career interests in fostering stronger communities and public policy that supports sustainable agriculture. Read more...
  • Feb 01, 2011

    Hood hopes to use data, research to resolve health inequities

    Having moved to Vietnam to teach English, Carly Hood kept finding she wanted to do more. She eventually enrolled at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Jan 20, 2011

    Christopher values process of community engagement

    The process of engaging people is far more important than the end result, believes Colin Christopher, a first-year international public affairs student. Read more...
  • Jan 12, 2011

    Rosen tackles structures to shape social and urban policy

    Academic debate in the classroom wasn't quite enough, Lara Rosen found, a discovery that eventually led her to enroll at the La Follette School of Public Affairs to study social and urban policy at the state and local levels. Read more...
  • Jan 05, 2011

    Marach welcomes opportunity to apply analysis to solve policy problems

    First-year student Alex Marach likes solving problems and building solutions, and the practice of policy analysis and recommendations will enable him to do just that. Read more...
  • Dec 20, 2010

    Legislative policymaking appeals to Wedgewood

    Through her internship experience with the governmental aspect of policymaking, student Monica Wedgewood came to realize her interest in state policy and the legislative process. Read more...
  • Dec 06, 2010

    Internship gives Winter taste of life in foreign service

    La Follette School student Jen Winter spent much of her summer going to meetings and trying to schedule meetings. As an intern with the U.S. Mission to the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, she gained an up-close introduction to the U.S. State Department, the European Union and the life of a foreign service officer. Read more...
  • Nov 23, 2010

    Kock wants all children to succeed in school

    When her second year as a teacher ended, Sara Kock left her South Dakota school district saying, "I have to do something more to help those children succeed." She came to the La Follette School the next fall to gain the technical skills she needs to inform education policy. Read more...
  • Nov 15, 2010

    International experience prompts Durkin to consider domestic affairs

    Experience as a Fulbright scholar in Germany brought student Christine Durkin back home to Wisconsin to focus on domestic public affairs. Read more...
  • Nov 08, 2010

    Krull hones skills in program evaluation, performance management

    The secret to greater government efficiency is program evaluation and performance management, believes Kristina Krull, whose interests have broadened during her three semesters at the La Follette School. Read more...
  • Oct 25, 2010

    Harvey seeks to improve public policy in fight against inequality, poverty

    A desire to fight poverty by improving public policy brings Hope Harvey to the La Follette School. She finds that the Master of Public Affairs program is teaching her the quantitative methods she needs to strengthen her understanding of the theoretical aspects of poverty and policies formed to alleviate it. Read more...
  • Oct 12, 2010

    Frost seeks to share neuroscience implications with policymakers

    For C.P. Frost, evil is not an absolute. As a neuroscientist, he understands that a quirk in a person's brain may lead to what society deems criminal behavior. Read more...
  • Sep 30, 2010

    Hartzman approaches health policy systematically

    Avid debate about health-care reform gave Alex Hartzman the career focus he was looking for. Daily discussions with co-workers about the pros and cons of the federal health reform inspired the astrophysics major that he decided to study health policy in graduate school. Read more...
  • Apr 23, 2010

    Sanchez-Moyano puts helping people at forefront of policy work

    The questions "So what? Who cares?" are not evidence of indifference or despondency for student Rocio Sanchez-Moyano. Rather they are a challenge and an impetus to understand the greater implications of her work. Read more...
  • Mar 31, 2010

    Berger builds on local involvement in pursuit of MPA

    For Melissa Berger, local trumps global. After completing a bachelor's degree in international political science, the La Follette student worked as a real estate agent and grounded herself in Madison and its myriad development and city management processes. "I find I enjoy making a local difference," she says. Read more...
  • Feb 26, 2010

    Bi wants to eliminate barriers to sustainable environment

    For Xiaojia "Lydia" Bi, public service is about breaking down barriers, whether in helping people in developing countries or supporting sustainable wetland restoration in New Orleans. Read more...
  • Feb 10, 2010

    Shields tackles complexity of health care systems

    At the macro level, good health policy is a matter of choice for Lilly Shields. At the micro level, choices may not be so clear. The four years Shields has spent as a public affairs and law student thinking about the effects of health-care legislation and policy have only solidified her belief that the policy a society enacts is a matter of choice. Read more...
  • Feb 08, 2010

    Lamichhane blends engineering with interest in policy, sustainability

    Santosh Lamichhane is on a quest to improve economic efficiency in the allocation of resources as a means to increase sustainability and facilitate economic development. Read more...
  • Nov 20, 2009

    Research energizes student on EPA fellowship in Seattle

    Evan Johnson was pretty sure he would go on for a Ph.D., and his experience at the La Follette School has only confirmed that career goal. Read more...
  • Nov 12, 2009

    Crespo focuses on health, environment

    Good health and a clean environment are inseparable for Jami Crespo, and she looks forward to applying her policy analysis and legal skills to ensure people have both. Read more...
  • Nov 10, 2009

    Fredericks helps others build foundation for academic success

    Sylvia Fredericks has experienced the good and the bad of Florida's higher education policy. The state covered her tuition, fees and book expenses for the four years she spent at the University of Florida. When she went to work for her alma mater, she saw students who were not prepared for college struggle and drop out. Her experiences prompted her to enroll at the La Follette School of Public Affairs. Read more...
  • Oct 27, 2009

    Marks looks to structural changes to counter poverty

    Joanna Marks still thinks about the families she met in Kentucky as a volunteer coordinator for a nonprofit agency that helped people navigate the court system. Read more...
  • Oct 22, 2009

    Williams coordinates energy analysis, research

    Even as Scott Williams shifts his career from journalism to energy analysis, he finds his communications skills coming in handy as he researches and organizes information for the U.S. Department of Energy and the University of Wisconsin–Madison Energy Institute. Read more...
  • Oct 16, 2009

    Tahir applies interest in development, international aid to research, Uganda island

    For Farha Tahir, gender analysis is the key to helping impoverished communities, even those she has never visited. "Good international development policy must consider the different roles men and women play in the communities the policy seeks to help," the La Follette School student says. Read more...
  • Oct 14, 2009

    Hunter adds food policy to career menu

    September was busy for Jonny Hunter. Not only did his start his second year of graduate school in the Master of Public Affairs program, but he helped to prepare a meal for author Michael Pollan the night after the writer lectured to 8,000 people as part of the University of Wisconsin–Madison's Go Big Read program. Read more...
  • Sep 25, 2009

    Athlete applies training to pursuit of public affairs degree

    Sarah Hurley finds she has little trouble pacing herself as she starts her pursuit of a Master of Public Affairs degree with a focus on education policy. Read more...
  • Apr 15, 2009

    Student winding up service on university Board of Regents

    Colleene Thomas has a lot of context for her classroom learning at the La Follette School. The first-year Master of Public Affairs student is nearing the end of her two-year term on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. Read more...
  • Apr 09, 2009

    Paramedic applies management skills to research on flooding, highways

    Erik Viel is no stranger to disaster. The public affairs student has more than five years of experience as a paramedic and ambulance dispatcher, aiding people in the midst of personal crisis. Read more...
  • photo
    Feb 23, 2009

    Rotary trip to India gives student insight on U.S. public affairs

    Second-year student Gail Kiles Krumenauer got a new perspective on her career interests in the intersection of local economic development and domestic social policy. Read more...
  • Jun 18, 2008

    Eno leadership conference helps student map route for transportation career

    This summer, La Follette School student Michael Rodriguez is taking his firsthand knowledge of how national transportation policies are developed on the road to Chicago. Read more...
  • La Follette School of Public Affairs photo by Bob Rashid taken February 4, 2008
    Apr 03, 2008

    Student accepts city management fellowship in Kansas City

    Throughout her academic career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Carissa DeCramer has been narrowing her focus. As an undergraduate, she double-majored in international relations and political science. As a graduate student at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, she followed the domestic track. Read more...
  • Nov 28, 2006

    Internship puts public affairs student to work on international legal affairs

    Jamisen Rueckert got a taste of her dream job last summer and an idea of what it takes to land it permanently some day. The La Follette School student interned with the Commercial Law Development Program, housed in the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of the General Counsel in Washington, D.C. Read more...
  • Bryan Gadow has accepted a yearlong internship with the city of Kansas City, Missouri. The LP Cookingham Management Internship Program is one of the most competitive in the country. Applicants come from some of the nation's largest public affairs schools.
    Apr 01, 2005

    Student wins prestigious city management internship

    Bryan Gadow has accepted a yearlong internship with the city of Kansas City, Missouri. The LP Cookingham Management Internship Program is one of the most competitive in the country. Applicants come from some of the nation's largest public affairs schools. Read more...