Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, April 16, 2021

Jenna Greene, MPA

Jenna Greene, MPA

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Hometown
Delafield, WI

Undergraduate Education
Bachelor's degree in environmental studies, Carleton College, 2017

Professional/research interests
Climate and energy policy, community engagement, sustainable transportation and housing

Expected graduation date
2022

Why an MPA?
I had been working for a few years before deciding to come back to school. I wanted to continue working in climate and energy policy, but I realized that I needed to build skills in quantitative analysis (like statistics and an understanding of energy systems) and a better understanding of the policymaking process in order to help make change. A MPA seemed like an opportunity to achieve both of those goals.

Why the La Follette School?
I originally applied to the La Follette School in part because I’m originally from Wisconsin and have family here. Particularly over the course of the past year with the pandemic, it became more important to me to live somewhere where I had a support network.

After learning more about the La Follette School, I was drawn to the small cohort size, the Energy Analysis & Policy program, and the wonderful students, alumni, and staff I spoke with as I made my graduate school decision. I was also concerned about funding in my graduate school decision, and at La Follette I was also offered a project assistantship working with Professor Greg Nemet, which informed my decision to choose LFS.

Career goals
I would like to work on policy research in the climate and energy realm. I’m especially interested in the relationship between climate change mitigation efforts and social wellbeing, so I hope that my future career will allow me to make those connections.

How has the La Follette School set you on the path to meeting your career goals?
I’ve been able to build more analytical and quantitative skills at La Follette and take energy-specific classes through the Energy Analysis & Policy program. Also, La Follette School professors and alumni have shed light on different career paths that MPA students may take after the program, which has helped me understand the (many!) carreer options that involve policy.

Professors Greg Nemet and Morgan Edwards have both helped me with my summer internship search and in shaping my course load to align with my professional and academic goals. And of course, Mo O’Connor has been incredibly helpful and kind throughout my graduate school process, from my decision to come to the La Follette School, to any questions I’ve had since coming to LFS.

Assistantship
I am a project assistant for Professor Greg Nemet. I began the year working with him to prepare content for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th Assessment Report. Since then, I’ve worked on research for projects on policies related to technological innovation, low energy demand, and carbon removal.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students
Try to still make time for things outside of graduate school that bring you happiness and calm!

Most rewarding La Follette School experience
I feel really grateful for all that I’ve learned from my classmates. Everyone has been really gracious with sharing their perspectives in class discussions and I appreciate all that I’ve learned from my cohort.

Before the La Follette School
I spent a year living in Omaha working in community engagement and service learning projects at the University of Nebraska Omaha. That position shaped the way I think about community partnerships and the importance of community connections. After that, I worked at Great Plains Institute in Minneapolis working on local climate action planning and renewable energy programs and policies.

People would be surprised if they knew that I …
Started to learn about woodworking during quarantine and I built my own bedside table!