Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Sunday, March 14, 2021

Anna Sucsy, MPA

Anna Sucsy, MPA

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Keystone Heights, FL

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree in sociology and French, Bates College, 2017, minor in educational studies

Professional/research interests
Social and early childhood policy

Fulbright U.S. Student Grantee, 2017-2018, English Teaching Assistant to Senegal; Bates College Outstanding Community Engaged Senior Thesis (2017) for “Working with Diverse Families: Parental Involvement in Elementary Education”

Expected graduation date
May 2022

Why an MPA?
I’ve always been passionate about supporting children and families. After a year teaching high school English, I realized that I was most interested in supporting children at a macro-level. I took a job working as a research assistant for the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas–Austin, where I was exposed to program evaluation, policy research, and the link between research and practice. I chose an MPA because I wanted to further develop the toolkit needed to pursue a career translating research into policy to make a meaningful impact on the lives of children and families.

Why the La Follette School?
I wanted a program that would push me to expand my quantitative skills. Having worked in policy research before attending the La Follette School, I was at a point where my career advancement was limited by not having as strong of a quantitative background as some of my colleagues. The La Follette School’s approach to cultivating strong quantitative and qualitative skills in students appealed to me.

Having attended a small college for my undergraduate education, the La Follette School’s small class sizes and opportunities to get to know faculty well were also a big reason I chose the program. The La Follette School has the same feel as a small school while providing access to the perks of a large university.

I was offered an assistantship with the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). As someone who plans to work in public service after graduating, full funding was a major reason I chose the La Follette School.

Career goals
My ultimate career goal is to have a leadership position advancing early childhood policy. I’m open to working in government or in the nonprofit sector.

I am a project assistant for the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP). I primarily work on quarterly research memos for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’ve written about COVID-19’s impact on low-income families and young adults. I also had the opportunity to synthesize Professor Jacob Faber’s work on the historic roots of housing inequality. IRP has been a fantastic opportunity for my professional development and has allowed me to be a part of exciting work!

Summer internship
I will be interning with Child Care Services Association (CCSA) in Raleigh, North Carolina. I will be supporting two projects: 1.) assessing the impacts of CCSA’s COVID-19 relief fund by following up with the 750 childcare programs across North Carolina that received more than $260,000 in grants, and 2.) working to support the healthy development of young children living in family homeless shelters in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Before enrolling at the La Follette School
I was a research assistant at the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas–Austin. Before that, I was a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Senegal.

La Follette School Student Association involvement
I am a fundraising co-chair with LSSA. The pandemic has been challenging, but we’ve found creative ways to raise funds to support graduation and other student activities. Our virtual 5K in the fall was a success!

Is there anything you’d like to add or emphasize?
I love exploring Madison and relearning how to cross country ski! I have a Boston Terrier named Finley, and we’ve hiked and explored lots of dog-friendly parks around Madison together.