Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Joseph Bates (MPA/MPH ’17)

Joseph Bates (MPA/MPH ’17)

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree, Wake Forest University

La Follette School honors
Brenton Health Policy Scholar, 4.0 GPA for all MPA classes

Employer and job title
Congressional staffer for the U.S. House of Representatives, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Primary job responsibilities
The most rewarding aspect of my current position is constituent casework. I enjoy assisting people in the district with federal government concerns related to the U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Personnel Management, Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, Department of Health Services, and several other agencies. In my opinion, assisting constituents with these issues defines what it means to be a public servant and to work in public affairs.

Which La Follette School experiences and skills do you use most often?
The problem-solving skills I developed during my time at La Follette are what I use most often in my current position and in everyday life. Having the ability to draw upon different facets to solve a problem is something I attribute to my La Follette School education.

Why an MPA?
My Congressional internship in 2015 influenced and solidified my decision to pursue an MPA. 

Why the La Follette School?
My interest in combining health policy with public affairs drew me to the La Follette School. I knew I wanted to use these skills to work in politics and public affairs.

Most rewarding La Follette School experience
Finishing my MPA and MPH in two years, being selected as the Brenton Health Policy Scholar, having my capstone paper accepted for publication in the Health Behavior and Policy Review

Most challenging La Follette School experience
Finishing my MPA and MPH in two years

La Follette School mentors
I often sought advice from many La Follette School staff and faculty members. The professors who I spoke with often were Governor Jim Doyle and Professors Jason Fletcher and Pam Herd

Anything else?
I traveled extensively as a tennis player to countries such as Mexico, Jamaica, Canada, and Sweden.  I also prioritize spending time with my German shepherd dogs.

People would be surprised to know that …
I am an avid rock and roll drummer and have been playing since the age of 3.