For over 20 years, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy has prepared cross-sector public leaders through the most unique policy graduate studies curriculum in the country. By melding quantitative analysis with qualitative research and exploration, our students and graduates not only understand the empirical skills necessary to become a great policy analyst, but can put that analysis in historical, societal, and philosophical context. Bringing these two elements together allows our students and graduates to have successful leadership careers not just in government service, but also the private and non-profit sectors.
Showcasing this unique approach to cross-sector policy education, over the weekend of June 15, 2018, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy hosted its inaugural Public Service Weekend. Titled “Civic Engagement, the Public Trust, and Public Policy,” the School of Public Policy, in partnership with the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, welcomed almost 40 undergraduate students and young professionals from across the country for an intensive weekend at our Malibu, California campus exploring the importance of civic engagement.
The weekend began with a thought-provoking lecture by Associate Professor of Public Policy and Edward L. Gaylord Chair, Ted McAllister, on the historical development of American public engagement and how it shaped the foundations of our democratic-republic. A conversation on modern-day challenges to public engagement between Dean Pete Peterson and City of Thousand Oaks City Manager, Andrew Powers, followed Dr. McAllister’s lecture. The second day continued with panels by local government representatives and GovTech leaders, public engagement training sessions conducted by Dean Peterson and Ashley Trim, Executive Director of the Davenport Institute, and guest lectures by PPIA alumni, including Josh Diosomito from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
The students then put all they learned to practice on the final day with team presentations highlighting civic engagement plans and strategies to address major policy challenges, including prison recidivism, housing affordability, food deserts, and police-community relations. The weekend concluded with a passionate keynote from City of Inglewood City Manager, Artie Fields, on how effective civic engagement is strengthening the sense of community and promoting economic development for this diverse Los Angeles County city.
At the heart of public policy is the public. It is all too easy to get bogged down in policy analysis and forget that policy impacts real individuals,” said Pepperdine School of Public Policy Assistant Dean and Adjunct Faculty Carson Bruno, “This is why we chose to focus on engagement for our inaugural Public Service Weekend. To remind future policy leaders of the importance of putting the public back into public policy.”
In an effort to reward those who are committed to becoming next generation public leaders, PPIA is a Pepperdine Policy Partners Program (P4) organization. All PPIA Public Service Weekend attendees and Junior Summer Institute fellows are eligible for the P4 admission and program perks if they apply to the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s Master of Public Policy program. These benefits, based on the applicant’s undergraduate GPA, include upwards of a 70 percent guaranteed tuition scholarship, standardized test and other admissions requirements waivers, and guaranteed admission to the School of Public Policy’s summer Washington, D.C. Policy Scholarsprogram. Contact our Office of Admissions to learn how to apply, visit us in Malibu, or learn more about our programs.