Graduation

Information for students and family of the La Follette School about graduation ceremonies, including how to apply for graduation.

2024 graduation ceremony

On Sunday, May 12, the La Follette School’s master’s degree graduates, including 35 MPA students and 11 MIPA students, celebrated their graduation in the Wisconsin Capitol’s Assembly Chamber.

Graduation Awards

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Clara Penniman Prize

Clara Penniman was the founder and director of the La Follette School’s predecessor, the Center for the Study of Public Policy and Administration. The La Follette School presents the Penniman Prize to a graduating master’s degree student who has written the most outstanding paper while at the La Follette School. La Follette School faculty members nominate papers that best demonstrate the school’s writing and analytic skills.

A specialist in taxation and public finance, Penniman was the first female chair of UW–Madison’s Political Science Department. She retired in 1984 and passed away in 2009.

Recipients

  • Zaher Akl, 2024
  • Ethan Dickler, 2023
  • Liz Duffie, 2022
  • Muhammad Shayan, 2021
  • Hayley Young, 2020
  • Abigail Swetz, 2019
  • Stephanie Rubin Murray, 2018
  • Samuel Rebenstorf, 2017
  • Demetri Vincze, 2016
  • Allison Sambo, 2015
  • Katherine Cary, 2014
  • Rachel Polster, 2013
  • Katherine Sydor, 2012
  • Kristina Krull, 2011
  • Rocio Sanchez-Moyano and Michael R. Schultz, 2010
  • Lauren Benditt, 2009
  • Andria Hayes-Birchler and Emily Engel (class of 2009), 2008
  • Kristen Yarber Grill, 2007
  • Martha Kraetsch and Maureen Quinn, 2006
  • David Zanni, 2005
  • Kristin Marie Berg, 2004
  • Ian Crichton, 2003
  • Lucas Szylow, 2002
  • Jeff Sachse, 2001
  • David Saikia, 2000
  • Tamarine Cornelius, 1999
  • Sarah Archibald, 1998
  • Rachel Martin, 1997
  • Ryan Weeden, 1996
  • Cody Rice, 1995
  • Leah Bailey, 1994
  • Elise Jaffe and Barry Delin, 1993
  • John Elliott and Mary Burke, 1989
  • David Morrison, 1988
  • Kevin Piper, 1987
  • Joy Tapper, 1986

Director's Achievement Award

The La Follette School gives the Director’s Achievement Award at graduation to recognize master’s degree students for their outstanding academic record. The main criterion for the award is grade-point average, but the graduating student also must demonstrate evidence of being an outstanding public policy thinker and communicator. The school started the award in 1991, when Bob Haveman ended his term as director.

Recipients

  • Tatiana Paula da Cruz, 2024
  • Amelia Wagner, 2023
  • Matthew Voss, 2022
  • Alyssa Dooley, 2021
  • Eleanor Pratt, 2020
  • Benjamin McBride, 2019
  • Ryan LeCloux, Mia Nafziger 2018
  • Miranda Ehrlich, Kirsten Jacobson, 2017
  • Drew McDermott, 2016
  • Kyle Schroeckenthaler, Eric O’Shaughnessy, 2015
  • Dan Marlin, Michaela Meckel, 2014
  • Miriam Palmer, 2013
  • Hope Harvey, 2012
  • Patrick (Paco) Fuchs and Lara Rosen, 2011
  • Lilly Shields, 2010
  • Lauren Benditt and Collin O’Rourke, 2009
  • Sam Austin, Andria Hayes-Birchler, Joe Fontaine and David Stepien, 2008
  • Dani Fumia, Yeri Lopez, Matt Steinberg, 2007
  • Maureen Quinn, 2006
  • Hilary Shager, 2005
  • Michelle Woolery, 2004
  • Michael Krafve, 2003
  • Rachel Walker, 2002
  • Danielle Tandiwe Jones, 2001
  • Danielle Salus, 2000
  • Heidi Normandin, 1998

Piore Prize for Best Paper in Science and Public Policy

A bequest to the La Follette School of Public Affairs established the Piore Prize for Best Paper in Science and Public Policy. Named for Emanuel R. Piore and Nora Kahn Piore, the prize recognizes the best master’s degree student paper in science and public policy.

Emanuel R. Piore was a research physicist who served as IBM’s chief scientist and helped establish the National Science Foundation. He earned bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in physics from UW–Madison.

Nora Kahn Piore was an economist and health policy expert who advised the City of New York and the U.S. Senate. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UW–Madison, where she also earned a master’s degree in economics.

The Piores passed away in 2000.

Recipients

  • Alexis Madson and Lauren Rhodes, 2024
  • Lucas Knight, 2023
  • Indu Kilaru, 2022
  • Sarah Ebben, 2021
  • Laura Bunn, 2020
  • Tyler Gross, 2019
  • Alison Muscato Harrell, 2018
  • Cole Korponay, 2017
  • Merrill Mechler-Hickson, 2016
  • Dylan Blake, 2015
  • Edward Cubero, 2013
  • Laura Christian and HJ Waukau, 2012
  • Bickey Rimal, 2011
  • Scott Williams and Karen Walsh, 2010
  • Allison Quatrini and Evan Johnson, 2009

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