A list of students and alumni who are available for prospective La Follette School graduate students to contact.
Karina Virrueta Running, MPA ’17
"The workshop course was as challenging as it was rewarding. I also made lasting friendships with my peers and the professors."
Hilary Shager, MPA ’05
"La Follette is the epitome of the Wisconsin Idea. And it’s certainly not just about Wisconsin—the staff and faculty have done so much to connect students with alumni and new, real-world opportunities."
Sophia Rogers, MPA ’19
"La Follette has prepared and empowered all of us to do amazing things."
Muhammed Fofana, MPA ’22
"The client-based project was one of my favorite experiences at La Follette. I worked with a great team of faculty, client, and classmates."
Jess Rutstein, MPA ’20
Alum Jess Rutstein works as a FoodShare Program and policy analyst for the WI Department of Health Services.
Ryan LeCloux, MIPA ’18
"The small cohort size really allows you to get to know your classmates and interact with the faculty."
Yixuan Cheng, MIPA, MPH ’21
"The small class size and ability to gain quantitative skills also drew me to the La Follette School since I had limited experience with them as an undergraduate."
Mikhaila Calice, MPA ’19
"I am extremely grateful for how flexible the program is. Its design allows students to craft a curriculum that suits their own specialties."
Nikolai Kapustin, MIPA ’19
"The La Follette School has a professional-oriented curriculum that focuses on giving you an applicable skillset and list of experiences that will make you a desirable candidate in future applications."
Mark Moralez, MPA
"The coursework alone is top-tier, but talking to my peers and hearing their stories was a surprisingly invaluable source of knowledge and growth for me."
Angela Maloney, MPA
"Learning more about the human impact of policy as well as the benefit of being able to obtain an MPA with just one additional year post-undergrad were huge draws for me."
Troy Wilson, MPA
"I would like to use my La Follette education and previous experience in legislative and NGO settings to make a difference and promote the Wisconsin Idea."
Casey Hanson, MPA, MPH, Certificates in Gender and Women’s Studies and Intervention and Prevention Sciences
"I was drawn to La Follette because of the renowned faculty and opportunities to network with alumni and other important individuals in the policy realm."
Victor Escalona Aldana, MPA ’21
"My client-based projects gave me useful real-world experience that can be transferred to other settings."
Mitchell Wenzel, MPA
"Madison has a plethora of opportunities for government agencies and nonprofits as the state’s hub of those sectors."
Sukhvir Singh, MPA, MPH
"The MPA program allows me to supplement my public health knowledge with analytical tools."
Gillian Giglierano, MPA
"The access to resources and connections you receive when you’re a La Follette student is incredible!"
Samuel Landowski, MPA
"I am continuously inspired by my peers’ expertise and passion and am happy to call many of them close friends."
Ben Vargas, MIPA
"I was drawn to the Accelerated MIPA program when I learned that I could gain skills and earn a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in five years by the age of 22."
Elizabeth Johnson, MPA, MPH
"If you are looking to create a better future for yourself or the world, you will have the opportunity to learn how to do that here at La Follette."
Liliana Keomanivong Teniente, MPA
"As a true believer in 'The Wisconsin Idea,' I have always sought to take my own learning beyond the boundaries of this campus, help others, and create positive change."
Nichole Springer, MIPA
"One of the most rewarding experiences at La Follette is being surrounded by a great cohort. Their talent, passion, and hard work also lifts me up as I continue to study."
Jean Vilbert, MIPA, MA
"After two years as a Badger, I learned that the University of Wisconsin is not just another university but an institution with something different to offer."
John O’Malley, MIPA
"My status as an accelerated student has allowed me to apply for numerous internships that I otherwise would have never had access to."
Migena Vula, JD-MPA
"I am very much fascinated with both law and public policy — especially the interplay of the two. As such, pursuing the dual degree was an easy choice."
Sam Schneider, MPA
"During COVID I had a lot of time to reflect on the importance of public policy and was inspired to get involved to make a larger impact on society."
Sarah Nesci, MPA
I spent a year working at a rural homeless shelter in Colorado. This experience sparked my desire to work in policy, specifically housing and welfare policy. I am hoping to use my MPA to help make housing more accessible for everyone.
Manman Ding, MIPA, EAP
"In Cost-Benefit Analysis (PA 881), our team — three fantastic students plus me — is working for La Crosse County to address its shortage of childcare providers."
Ethan Dickler, MPA
I worked in student government as an undergraduate and loved the policy making process. It was the highlight of my freshman year and I knew I wanted to pursue it as a career.
Austin Fraley, MIPA
"The La Follette School is great at providing connections with alumni who can give you great advice about what courses to take, what the ups and downs of their jobs are like, and just give you great guidance all around."
Kao Lee Yang, MPA, PhD in Neuroscience
I intended to pursue a career as a psychologist. However, my grandmother passed away from dementia, and that changed my career trajectory. I wanted to learn more about dementia and how scientific knowledge of dementia could impact policies and practices that affect people living with the illness.
Nova Tebbe, MPA, MPH, Energy Analysis and Policy Certificate
"I went to a small school for my undergraduate studies, and I wanted to keep this tight-knit community while also having the resources of a large and world-renowned research university."
Henry Hundt, MPA, EAP
"Being able to bring together my experience working with renewable energy technologies and the policy lessons from the EAP Program will be incredibly valuable as I move forward in my career"
Jackson Parr, MPA ’20
The breadth of coursework I completed at the La Follette School provided me the opportunity to approach challenges through an interdisciplinary lens. Flood events trigger many different social and institutional dynamics that all must be considered when identifying solutions.
Jenna Greene, MPA, EAP
"I’ve been able to build more analytical and quantitative skills at La Follette and take energy-specific classes through the Energy Analysis & Policy program."
Lauri Luosta, MIPA
I recommend (that prospective students choose their) courses carefully and ask for plenty of advice from faculty, alumni, etc. You may realize you could use certain kinds of skills for your future career, and if you learn about them early, you can pick appropriate courses. You have only four semesters at the La Follette School, so every course counts.
Emma Cleveland, MPA ’20
Having professors like Dave Weimer and Greg Nemet consistently challenge me—asking questions, throwing curve balls into assignments, and making us do some serious critical thinking—has really helped me become a more confident employee.
Laura Bunn, MIPA
"Use your time at the La Follette School to explore options and take a variety of electives to develop and apply skills and knowledge."
Ruanda McFerren, MPA, Master of Urban and Regional Planning
On a near daily basis, I am in meetings that relate to a real-world version of grad school group work. Whether it is assisting in development of a new citywide housing policy, compiling information on digital innovations, or coming up with ideas for #cityhallselfie day, much of the work I’m engaged in involves a deep level of communication and collaboration.