Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

News: MPA

Because Andrew Merluzzi did not want to find himself trapped in career rut, he thought the University of Wisconsin–Madison's combined program in public affairs and neuroscience would be a good option.

The generalist in Emma Schumann drew her to the La Follette School and its Master of Public Affairs degree, as did advice from a couple of alumni and a faculty members.

Two graduating Master of Public Affairs students, Don Eggert and Ben Emmel, have reached the finalist stage of the prestigious Presidential Management Fellows Program that places recent graduates with federal agencies for two-year assignments.

2011 alum Jonny Hunter received the Forward under 40 award from the Wisconsin Alumni Association for his innovative Underground Food Collective and work in food policy.

After a few years working in politics and for nonprofits, Mike Pearson decided that to have more of a positive impact on the causes he believes in, he should pursue an advanced degree.

Virginia Andersen, a 2015 graduate of the La Follette School of Public Affairs, is a program analyst with the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau.

The first project for which alum Danielle Giese was the analyst in charge hit home: Her father administered a grassroots community program that is funded by the U.S. Office of Community Services.

The opportunity to study nonprofit leadership brought Shiyao Cao to the La Follette School of Public Affairs. "When I was researching graduate schools, not many provided classes in nonprofit management," the second-year student says. "The La Follette School's Master of Public Affairs degree program lets me customize my classes to fit my interests."

An interest in reducing structural inequality brings Demetri Vincze to public affairs and public service. "There is a fundamental inequality of opportunity in this country that is profoundly unjust," the first-year student says, "particularly in relation to race and poverty."

Alisha Bower has a plan that will take her to Latin America and then bring her home to the United States, ultimately to run a farm. "I want to work in international agriculture development," the first-year student says, "then I will return to the U.S., put down roots and work on sustainable agriculture issues, eventually transitioning into farming myself."

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