Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Sunday, March 21, 2021

Katie Pollock, MPA

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Hometown
Kenosha, WI

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree in political science and communication arts, UW–Madison, 2020

Professional/research interests
Environmental, social, and health policy

Expected graduation date
May 2022

Why the La Follette School?
I have loved my time at UW–Madison for the past four years, and I was excited for the opportunity to continue onto a graduate program in the La Follette School of Public Affairs. I was especially drawn to the Accelerated MPA program because it has allowed me to begin working on my master’s degree while finishing up my bachelor’s degree. The small class size has allowed me to meet some amazing people who have helped make virtual learning easier.

Career goals
I hope to be involved in advancing policies that work to protect our environment. I am very interested in environmental racism and how it has impacted our communities of color in Wisconsin.

Summer internship
Two summers ago, I was a legislative intern for State Sen. Chris Larson. At the time, I was considering the Accelerated MPA program at the La Follette School, but my summer spent at the Capitol solidified that I wanted to pursue this program.

Since then, I have been a civic engagement fellow with the Campus Election Engagement Project, a content creator intern with As Goes Wisconsin, and a content writer with a research institution.

I hope to have a policy-related internship this summer. Marie Koko is an amazing resource, and she complies a spreadsheet with relevant internship postings.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students
Do not worry too much about the quantitative core classes you will have to take! As someone who does not enjoy math, I was not looking forward to taking Introduction to Introduction to Statistical Methods (PA 818) and Microeconomic Policy Analysis (PA 880). But these classes were a lot better than the quantitative courses I took during my time as an undergraduate student, and as long as you work hard and stay on top of the homework, you should do well.

If you are considering the program, reach out to Mo O’Connor. She is an amazing resource, and she is incredibly kind and helpful!

Most challenging La Follette School experience
My most challenging experience has been balancing my graduate-level courses while finishing my undergrad courses. There are very different expectations for the different level courses, so it took a bit of time to determine how to balance everything.

Most rewarding La Follette School experience
As a first-generation college student, my time at the La Follette School has been very rewarding. I am proud of how far I have gotten in my education, and I am so thankful for family, friends, and past educators who have helped me get to this point.

La Follette School Student Association (LSSA) involvement
I am LSSA’s first-year graduation co-coordinator. It has been challenging to plan a graduation ceremony during this time, but we are excited to give the second-year students a great ceremony!

Anything else?
I adopted a 2-year-old cat named Sammie, and he has made staying at home for the past few months so much more exciting.

People would be surprised if they knew that I …
I have a twin sister.