2012 alumni celebrate 10-year reunion and share career tips with current students

2012 alumni pose for a group photo on a rooftop terrace overlooking a lake at sunset.
From left to right: Justin Rabbach, Alex Marach, Angela Rampton, Katherine Sydor, Andrew Peppard, Karen Pritchard, Alissa Quade, Brendan O’Brien, Rachel Janke, Ann Chapman, Shane Spencer, Nicole Thiher, Katie Rather.

Members of the La Follette School MPA/MIPA Class of 2012 gathered in October to celebrate their 10-year reunion. Five members of the 2012 class (Alex March, Andrew Peppard, Justin Rabbach, Karen Pritchard, and Katherine Sydor) met with current La Follette students for a career panel to share how they were shaped by their graduate school education and what has served them best in their career development.

Later that day, the group met for an open happy hour at Memorial Union, and then gathered for a formal Class of 2012 dinner the next night to catch up with fellow alumni. Alumni in attendance represented a cross-section of careers made possible through a degree from La Follette: state and federal governments, local and international nonprofits, university positions, and the private sector were all represented.

Class of 2012 graduate Justin Rabbach shared, “It really was energizing to be in the same room with so many high-achieving folks again. The La Follette program is set up to be undertaken as a cohort, a ‘group effort,’ and it was evident as we shared stories 10 years later that the connections formed during long hours of statistics homework or the shared experience of a capstone project stood the test of time. I was reminded of just how wide a network I am a part of due to my time at La Follette, and simply put, I can’t imagine describing the work of our class in the world any better than recognizing it as a complete embodiment of the Wisconsin Idea.”

“Being back in Madison and reconnecting with so many friends from my time at La Follette was a wonderful reminder of how special the La Follette School is,” said Katherine Sydor (MPA ’12). “When I started the program in 2010, I felt a little bit an outsider, but now, ten years later, I feel like these are my people. These people are smart, passionate, and care about the world around them. It was also exciting to learn about the new things happening at the school and how the La Follette experience is growing and changing. I’m excited for everyone who has a chance to experience a part of it.”

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