Alumni News – August 2022

From left to right: Jordan Krieger (MPA ’17), Ari Brown (MPA ‘19), Katie Pollock (MPA ’22)

Jo Ann Oravec (MA ’84) recently released a new book titled “Good Robot, Bad Robot: Dark and Creepy Sides of Robotics, Autonomous Vehicles, and AI.” The book focuses on the negative aspects of robotics such as deaths by robots and autonomous vehicles. In the book, Oravec argues that social science, public policy, and psychology have a long way to go to mitigate and contain these emerging problems. Oravec is a professor of information technology and supply chain management at the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater.

Nick Osborne (MPA ’05) was recently hired as assistant city administrator for Waukee, where he will work closely with the city administrator and other department directors to provide professional management support and guidance, ensure that special projects align with city policies and goals, assist in the city’s overall daily administration, and recommend organizational enhancements. Prior to this role, Osborne served as Polk County’s chief administrative officer in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin and as assistant to the county administrator in Rock County, Wisconsin.

Jordan Krieger (MPA ’17) won Northwestern University’s 2021-2022 Charles Cheney Hyde Prize for his paper titled “Section 338: A Powerful Relic of the Tariff Act of 1930 and Its Potential Constraints.” The Hyde Prize is awarded to the student writing the best paper relating to public international law. Krieger is currently a J.D. candidate at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. While at La Follette, Krieger worked as a project assistant for La Follette School Professor Dave Weimer, where he assisted with economic literature review and data analysis to support research on the impact of additional experience on job performance for cardiac artery bypass surgeons. He also worked with Professor Susan Yackee to examine tuition assistance benefits offered to employees of higher education institutions and their dependents.

Ari Brown (MPA ‘19) was recognized for his work at the Wisconsin Policy Forum by the Governmental Research Association. Brown was the main researcher on the Municipal DataTool, which won best data visualization. He was also a contributor on several other projects that were recognized. Brown has worked as a senior research associate for the Wisconsin Policy Forum since 2019. While at the La Follette School, he worked as a project assistant at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

Mary Morris (MPA ’20) has been promoted to senior associate at Grant Thornton Public Sector. Morris started working for Grant Thornton in 2020. She collaborates with a team of consultants to develop data-driven performance management tools for security and defense clients in the federal government. While at the La Follette School, Morris interned with the City of Madison, where she developed and implemented a performance measurement tool designed to advance the goals in a ten-year strategic plan set forth by the city.

Lauri Luosta (MIPA ’21) wrote a letter to the editor of the Wisconsin State Journal that was published in the Sunday edition of the paper. Luosta is currently pursuing a PhD in consumer behavior and family economics at the UW–Madison School of Human Ecology. His research interests include family policy, poverty, issues of domestic violence, substance abuse, and crime. Currently, he is working with La Follette School Professor J. Michael Collins to provide experimental evidence on the effectiveness of the Money Matters online financial education program.

Owen Bacskai (BA, CiPP ’21) joined the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice in Washington, D.C. as a policy associate, supporting the center’s efforts to strengthen and expand American democracy at the federal level. Previously, Bacskai worked for a year as a scheduling assistant in the Office of the Vice President. While at UW–Madison, Bacskai majored in communication arts and political science and received a Certificate in Public Policy from the La Follette School.

Katie Pollock (MPA ’22) is starting a new position as an ORISE nuclear energy justice policy fellow at the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. She will work on efforts to integrate energy justice into program areas, create and implement training materials, develop policy briefs, and collaborate with communities, tribes, and other outside stakeholders. While on campus, Pollock served as graduation coordinator for the La Follette School Student Association and worked as a civic engagement fellow with the Campus Election Engagement Project, a content creator intern with As Goes Wisconsin, and a content writer with a research institution.