Alumni News – September 2022

Profile photos of Richelle Andrae (MPA’17), Noah Roberts (MPA ‘19), and Carte’cia Lawrence (MPA ’22)
From left to right: Richelle Andrae (MPA’17), Noah Roberts (MPA’19), and Carte’cia Lawrence (MPA’22)

Richelle Andrae (MPA’17) spoke about community health centers and workforce issues during a September episode of Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show” hosted by Kate Archer Kent. Andrae is a government relations specialist at the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, the professional association of Wisconsin’s 17 federally qualified health centers. These clinics serve both rural and urban patients, primarily those on Medicaid, uninsured, or under-insured.

Stephanie Murray (MPA ’18) wrote an article for the Atlantic titled The Pain That is Unlike All Other Pain about why society treats labor pain so differently from other types of pain. Murray works as a freelance journalist, and in addition to the Atlantic, she has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME, the Guardian, and FiveThirtyEight. As an MPA student, she won the Penniman Prize for the best paper demonstrating the school’s writing and analytic tools. After graduation, Murray worked as a researcher at the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

Signe Janoska Bedi (MIPA ’19) was promoted to senior IT specialist (data science) at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), where he will conduct data analysis, support cloud migration, and manage Unix-based IT systems. Previously, he worked as an IT specialist and an analyst for the GAO. Prior to working for the GAO, Bedi worked for the U.S. Army Reserve and for the Sifting & Winnowing Foundation. In addition to receiving a MIPA, Bedi received a master of studies in Greek and Roman history from the University of Oxford in 2021, and he is currently pursuing a doctor of law from the UW–Madison Law School.

Noah Roberts (MPA ’19) started a new role as a director at the American Clean Power Association, an organization that unites companies providing solutions to the climate crisis, creating jobs, driving technological innovation, and revitalizing the American economy. Previously, Roberts worked as state federal director for the governor’s office, where he served as a liaison and advocate for the people of Wisconsin before the national government in Washington, D.C.

Lauren Jorgensen (MPA ’20) is starting a new position as a senior budget and policy analyst at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Previously, Jorgensen worked as senior budget and policy analyst for the State of Colorado, where she reviewed budget requests from state agencies to make recommendations to the governor and other senior staff.

Tia Westhoff (MPA ’21) has been named associate director for human life and social concerns at the Wisconsin Catholic Conference. Previously, Westhoff worked as the public relations coordinator at the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership.

Isobela Solberg (BS, CiPP ’22) started a new position with Cigna as a health engagement consultant. Prior to this position, Solberg held an internship with the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative in the Community Economic Development Department, where she learned about some of the challenges facing rural health in Wisconsin. Solberg graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in health promotion and health equity and a Certificate in Public Policy.

Clare Porter (BS, CiPP ’22) discussed a behind-the-scenes look at the imperfect and iterative processes of quantitative ethnography research on the Quantitative Ethnography Podcast. While at UW–Madison, where she received bachelor’s degrees in economics and environmental studies and a Certificate in Public Policy, Porter worked as a senior research intern at the Epistemic Analytics lab and was president of the Women in Economics student organization. She started a position at Rand Corporation this summer.

Carte’cia Lawrence (MPA ’22) is joining Kids Forward as a senior racial equity policy analyst. As part of her new role, Lawrence will embed antiracist orientation into the organization’s research, analysis, engagement, and advocacy. She is excited to advance racial justice from community engagement to policy solutions for Wisconsin children and families, especially those from BIPOC communities and those furthest from opportunity. While at La Follette, Lawrence worked as a project assistant with Humanities Education for Antiracism Literacy. She was student speaker at the May 2022 master’s graduation ceremony at the Wisconsin Capitol.

Yahvi Mahendra (BA, CiHP ’22) recently started as a program administrator for the American Medical Association. She will be working on the Practice Transformation team, focusing on a physician well-being program entitled Joy in Medicine. Her team is focused on improving physician satisfaction in the workplace and reducing burnout by ensuring that health systems are made to be sustainable and adaptable to physicians’ needs. Mahendra graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and health promotion and health equity and completed Certificates in Health Policy, Global Health, and Leadership. She was one of the first three students to complete the new Certificate in Health Policy.