Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Students honored for academics, leadership

La Follette School photo by Andy Manis taken July 17, 2009
Joanna Marks

La Follette School photo by Andy Manis taken July 17, 2009
Emily Plagman


Rocio Sanchez-Moyano


Mike Schultz

La Follette School photo by Andy Manis taken July 17, 2009
Scott Williams

La Follette School photo September 2009
Karen Walsh

La Follette School photo by Andy Manis taken December 19, 2009
Lilly Shields

The La Follette School Student Association gave its inaugural Leadership Award, and the faculty recognized students' academic achievements at the school's May 15 graduation celebration.

Graduation celebrates class' achievements, contributions to public service

Farha Tahir has no doubt her classmates will take extraordinary measures to put their passion for public service to work. "When we walk across this stage, it signifies a change, a transfer of power," she told her classmates gathered in the Assembly Chamber of the Wisconsin Capitol for the La Follette School's May 15 graduation celebration. Read more ...

10 students join national honor society

In recognition of their academic and professional accomplishments, 10 members of the class of 2010 joined the La Follette School's chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society in public affairs and administration. Read more ...

Students pursue multiple degrees

This year's graduation of the La Follette School's class of 2010 marks two firsts. Students in two new dual-degree programs were among the graduating class of 45. Read more ...

LSSA honored Joanna Marks to recognize her contributions at the La Follette School, on campus and in Madison. Marks' "peers find her to be a good friend with a great attitude about school, work, and life," LSSA president Emily Plagman said while presenting the award at the school's graduation celebration at the Capitol on May 15. "One of her peers wrote that 'she's focused on making a difference in as many ways as possible' and that she 'wants her colleagues to succeed so that they can also make as big a difference as possible.'"

Marks was often one of the first to volunteer for a LSSA community event, Plagman noted. She informed students about the Teaching Assistants Association and opportunities for professional development and grant-writing. Marks helped to establish the student chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

LSSA established the award this year "to recognize that exemplary leadership is more than just academic excellence — and that the work we do outside of the classroom to better our community takes time and commitment that we cannot quantify through grades," Plagman says. The award is given to a student who is not on the LSSA board.

Academic achievements

Several graduating students received accolades for their academic records at the May 15 graduation celebration at the Capitol. Associate director Donald Moynihan presented the awards.

Rocio Sanchez-Moyano and Michael R. Schultz received the Penniman Prize for the writing the most outstanding paper while a public affairs graduate student. The two students, who graduated with master degrees in public affairs, wrote the paper "Analysis of the Hispanic Wealth Gap" for professor Carolyn Heinrich's public affairs 819 course Advanced Quantitative Methods for Public Policy.

The 2010 Piore Prize for Best Paper in Science and Public Policy went to Scott Williams and Karen Walsh for the paper "Reducing Black Carbon in the South: Is the Clean Development Mechanism the Right Governance Strategy?" They wrote it for professor Greg Nemet's PA 866 course, Global Environmental Governance. Walsh is a first-year student in the domestic public affairs program. Williams earned a Master of Public Affairs degree and an energy analysis and policy certificate.

Lilly Shields won the Director's Award, which goes to the student with the most outstanding academic record who demonstrates the ability to apply policy analysis and management skills. She graduated with a dual degree in law and public affairs.