La Follette visits Washington, DC

In January, students and staff from the La Follette School visited Washington, D.C., where graduate students had the chance to meet and learn from staff and alumni working on a variety of public policy issues at public, private, and nonprofit organizations. “If you have the opportunity to go on this D.C. trip, I would absolutely recommend it,” says Stephanie Mertens, an MPA student who attended this year’s D.C. visit. Mertens said that having the chance to connect with recent alumni broadened her perspectives.

EXIM Bank leaders converse at the front of a room.
During a visit to EXIM Bank, EXIM Vice President Kevin Warnke (left), President and Chair Reta Jo Lewis (center), and Director Owen Herrnstadt (right) graciously took the time to meet with La Follette students.
La Follette Students pose for a group photo with EXIM Bank leaders.
Thirty La Follette students attended the trip to D.C., a two-day career development program.
Four alumni address current students in a conference room.
The visit included a panel with local alumni. Alumni, left to right: Katherine Sydor (MPA ’12), Alexis MacDonald (MPA ’08), Kassandra Martinchek (MPA ’19), Christopher Meyers (MPA ’18).
Students listen to alumni during a panel discussion.
Students listen during the alumni panel. “Information was shared that you could never Google,” says MPA student Andrew VanderMeer, one of the D.C. trip attendees. “I felt a genuine connection with quite a few of the presenters.”
Outreach staff take a selfie in front of the U.S. Capitol.
La Follette School outreach staff Mindy Walker, Lisa Ellinger, and Angela James, along with La Follette School Director Susan Webb Yackee, visited all 10 offices in the Wisconsin congressional delegation.
Susan Webb Yackee sits in front the National Mall with the Washington Monument in the distance.
La Follette School Director and Professor Susan Webb Yackee stopped for a photo in front of the National Mall between meetings.
Students listening to GAO leadership.
Students also visited the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Julius Svoboda presents to a group of La Follette students.
Julius Svoboda (MIPA ’07) speaks at a visit to the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he works as an energy officer for Europe and Eurasia.
Students and alumni socialize in Clyde's of Gallery Place.
Nearly 100 people attended the La Follette in D.C. Alumni Reception at Clyde’s of Gallery Place, allowing current students to connect with some of the school’s many alumni and Board of Visitors members living in Washington, D.C. MPA student Doniqua Smith commented that the alumni social was the highlight of the trip: “I did not realize how many alumni were actually in D.C.”

MIPA student Haoyan (Ken) Wang also documented his experience on our 2023 Washington, D.C. trip in a vlog. Follow along on visits to organizations and government agencies and meetings with alumni working in D.C.

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