Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Friday, January 25, 2019

Liz White, MPA

Liz White Liz White

Potosi, Wisconsin

Undergraduate education
Bachelor’s degree in sustainable community development and business, Northland College, 2016

Professional/research interests
Urban planning and policy, sustainability, community development

Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) for Korean

Expected graduation date
May 2019

Why the La Follette School?
The flexibility of the program. It is easy to take classes from other departments and customize the La Follette program to fit your interests.

Career goals
I want to be part of creating communities that are more just and sustainable, possibly working at the local level for a municipal government or community-based nonprofit organization.

I intern at Downtown Madison, Inc., a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on ensuring downtown Madison offers a high quality of life to everyone. My primary responsibility is researching how peer cities have addressed conditions that Madison also experiences. I love it!

What prompted you to study in Spain this past summer?
I have taken Spanish courses for several years, but I had never studied in, or even visited, a Spanish-speaking country. I saw the summer between my first and second year of graduate school as a natural opportunity to have this experience, so I decided to go to Seville. While I was there, I stayed with a Spanish family and took intensive language courses during the day. Being able to focus this time exclusively to language acquisition was a real treat!

Client-based class projects
For Introduction to Public Management (PA 878), I worked with a team of students on a project for a local nonprofit organization that provides housing to people who had been experiencing homelessness.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students
Graduate school is a time to explore! It is not necessary to start (or end!) school with a clearly defined career goal. The skills you’ll develop during your time at La Follette will be applicable in many fields. Oh, and take some classes simply for fun. For me, that’s been a big perk of being back in school.

Most challenging La Follette School experience
The most challenging part has been striving to find balance between the time I devote to paid work, course work, and relationships.

Most rewarding La Follette School experience
Taking Korean classes! They are not part of my degree program, but they are giving me the ability to communicate with my partner’s family and develop closer relationships with them.

People would be surprised if they knew that I …
have never watched a scary movie, not even one, nor do I ever intend to!