Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, January 31, 2020

Diana Pavón, MPA

Diana Pavón Diana Pavón

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Hometown
Chicago

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree in political science and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies, UW–Madison, 2018

Professional/research interests
Poverty, education, housing, and immigration

Honors
UW–Madison Global Gateway participant, Jesus Salas Academic Activist Scholarship

Expected graduation date
May 2020

Why an MPA?
I participated in the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program at Duke University, which is designed to introduce students to the world of doctoral study in political science. I researched public opinions on immigration policies using the Latino National Survey of 2006. However, I realized that I was not interested in becoming a political science professor or performing research for the rest of my career. I searched into other academic opportunities that would allow me to support my community back home. I learned how public policy and public management programs would better align with my interests and passions.

Career goals
I plan to work in Chicago either in the public or nonprofit sector after graduation. I would love to work in the local government such as Cook County or the City of Chicago.

Project assistantship
I am a project assistant for La Follette School Assistant Professor Lindsay Jacobs. I am helping conduct research on the growing elderly population and their future in the United States.

Summer internship
I participated in the Cook County Fellowship at the Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security, assisting with budget analysis, policy memos, human resource training, and other projects. During my internship, I learned how to work with various teams inside the department to gain more skills and experience.

Client-based coursework
In fall 2019, I took Cost-Benefit Analysis (PA 881) and was part of a team of students who worked with the Hudson Institute on a project related to the amount of fentanyl coming into the United States through the US Postal Service. Our task was to develop options for decreasing this pathway beyond the current physical inspection process and to estimate the net benefits.

Most challenging La Follette School experience
I do not have strong quantitative skills which made several courses difficult for me. However, I took initiative to find the necessary support to succeed.

Volunteer activities
I volunteer at the Immigration Justice Clinic to help Madison residents who need assistance in their applications.

People would be surprised if they knew that I …
went ziplining in an adventurous sports center and had to be pushed to finish one of the adventures because I froze.