Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Online-only Visit Day brings together admitted students

O'Connor Mo

Mo O'Connor

The La Follette School of Public Affairs held its annual Visit Day for prospective graduate students March 23. With COVID-19 interrupting the typical semester at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, this became a virtual visit day with 35 to 45 admitted applicants in attendance.

Although the event was moved entirely online, students still spoke with staff, faculty, and students about the advantages of a degree from the La Follette School. Previously, admitted students unable to visit campus for Visit Day participated via teleconference.

La Follette School Director and Professor Susan Webb Yackee began the day giving students an overview of the program and updates on the School’s mission and vision. Associate Director Steven Kulig and Student Services Associate David Wright-Racette then outlined the La Follette School’s curriculum and core courses as well as the School’s emphasis on small class size, and the flexibility of dual degree programs and electives.

Admitted applicants also spoke with six current La Follette School students: Ayal Weiner-Kaplow, Andrew Busker, Eleanor Pratt, Jessica Rutstein, Emma Cleveland, Sean Jackett, and Victor Escalona. Students answered questions about their experiences, funding opportunities, and what they enjoyed most while living in Madison. [LINK]

The day ended with a panel discussion with faculty members Geoffrey Wallace, Yang Wang, and Lauren Schmitz discussing their classes and research. With the La Follette School’s small class sizes, the faculty emphasized their ability to work closely with students on classwork and to hire research assistants for various projects.

“While this was not a typical La Follette School Visit Day, our goal was to create a virtual event that was both robust and meaningful for admitted students,” said Student Services Coordinator Mo O’Connor.

Admitted applicants were excited for this opportunity and grateful that the La Follette School held the event despite the extenuating circumstances. Writing in at the end of the session, admitted applicant Emma Heins stated, “Thank you to everyone who participated! This day really helped me in my decision-making process!”

The La Follette School continues being resilient in the face of adversity.

“There is such joy in knowing that despite our current social distances, the La Follette School continues to be a community that comes together to make things happen and really show what kind of special school we are,” said O’Connor.

- written by Emma Cleveland