Working with immigrant children in two countries showed Katie Lorenze that too often politicians pass legislation focused on broad, vague ideas and without thought for the often unintended consequences. "In Spain and the United States, I saw how bad public policy affects children and families every day," the second-year La Follette School student says.
The opportunities to learn quantitative skills in an international context and to study Thai brought Ryan Hohler to the La Follette School of Public Affairs.
Amanda Wilmarth wants to improve U.S. relations with China and ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, so 10 years after completing her bachelor's degree in international relations and East Asian studies, she is back at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, pursuing a Master of International Public Affairs degree.
On September 11, 2001, Matthew Mayeshiba was a freshman planning to study viola at the University of Minnesota. But by 2005, with the invasion of Iraq and the presidential election, "there seemed to be so many more important things in the world," says Mayeshiba, who joined the military in 2006 and later enrolled at the La Follette School.
A nongovernmental organization offering development assistance in northern Rwanda and southwestern Uganda has some new ideas for how to expand its services, thanks to recommendations from a group of La Follette School students.
For Erik Dolson, the best way to address a problem is to consider all the possible solutions. When a career advisor suggested he consider public policy schools, Dolson looked at the La Follette School and other master's programs. "Taking apart problems and fixing them with public policy sounded interesting," Dolson says.