Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, August 26, 2016

Joanna Marks (MPA '10)

Joanna Marks (MPA '10)


Maiden/other name
Joanna Young

Job title


Why the La Follette School?
I really liked the down-to-earth nature of the La Follette School and the interconnectedness of research and social policy. It’s not a place where faculty work in ivory towers – there are real applications of research and substantive interactions with policymakers. The Wisconsin culture of public service and the Wisconsin Idea also were important to me.

How have your La Follette School courses and/or experiences contributed to meeting your career goals?
The tools I gained at La Follette have been invaluable in shaping how I perceive the world and opening doors professionally. La Follette gave me both the theoretical and practical knowledge to succeed in the social sector.

Why would you recommend the La Follette School to a prospective student?
A degree from La Follette is extremely versatile and well-regarded. The school is small enough to know professors and feel supported, yet has the resources of a large university to allow each student to carve her own path based on individual interests and priorities.

Any volunteer activities? 
Having recently moved to Colorado, I am still exploring activities and causes to become involved with. I’m part of a local moms’ group and recently led a donation drive for a nonprofit organization serving disadvantaged children. I plan to volunteer at my sons’ schools beginning this fall. When I lived in Madison, I had some involvement with Madison Nonprofit Day and some one-time volunteer events.

Anything else?
Despite moving five times and having two children in the past five years, I’ve been able to sustain a meaningful and satisfying career path, largely thanks to the versatility of my degree from La Follette. I love the variety of clients and activities that come with a consulting practice, and I would not have had the broad set of skills needed for this hands-on work without the experiences I had at the La Follette School.