In 2019, PPIA hosted 11 Public Service Weekends in partnership with NASPAA to introduce more students to the broad range of opportunities available in the field of public service. Below you will find recaps of the conferences!

School of Diplomacy Hosts PPIA Public Service Weekend

“As a PPIA graduate school consortium member, we wanted to engage the student community in a meaningful and proactive way.” – says Daniel Kristo, Assistant Dean for Graduate Enrollment Management. “The diversity of our shared PPIA network,” he continues, “is a top contributor to an enhanced understanding of relevant public diplomacy topics from a global as well as local perspective. Focused on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), as both a case study and a call to action, our conference offered an unparalleled learning experience for this year’s cohort, while providing unique access to the United Nations community.”

Wilder School Hosts Dynamic Cohort for First-ever PPIA Public Service Weekend

“In total, 24 students from 17 states and 21 universities attended the intensive, three-day conference which focused on the theme “Social Equity in Public Policy Analysis.” Highlights of the conference included a keynote address by Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder, a tour of the Virginia capitol, and meetings with state and local policymakers. Students also attended technical and professional development workshops hosted by research faculty from the Wilder School’s Center for Public Policy. Simone Gbolo, executive director of PPIA and David Marshall, membership director of NASPAA, were also ohand to greet participants. The weekend culminated with students presenting their own empirical analysis of regional disparities within the Richmond region in areas such as housing, economics, crime and transportation.”

Milano School Inspires a New Generation of Public Servants

“The Milano School hosted its first-ever Public Service Weekend in partnership with the Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). Focusing on the theme “Engaging a New Generation to Restore Trust in Public Service,” the two-day conference provided thirty-two undergraduates and recent graduates from universities across the metropolitan area and beyond the opportunity to learn more about the career field.

At a time when trusted public servants are needed perhaps more than ever before, Milano, PPIA, and NASPAA came together with the common goal of inspiring rising public servants to use their diverse backgrounds and perspectives as they work towards becoming community leaders.”

Public Policy Hosts Weekend of Learning and Service

“About 30 undergraduate students from California and beyond convened at UCLA for a weekend of learning and public service, part of the not-for-profit Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) program. UCLA Luskin Public Policy hosted the program, “Advancing Social Justice Through Public Service: Lessons From California,” with senior lecturer Kenya Covington coordinating a full weekend of lectures, conversations and off-campus experiences.”

Aspiring Young Leaders Get a Taste of Grad School at Public Service Weekend

“The students came prepared for the discussion, sharing their desire to learn more about the Humphrey School and about how they can be involved in addressing society’s problems.

“I want to be engaged with other students of color who are passionate like me,” said one University of Minnesota student. “Many of the issues we talk about impact people of color more, so we need to have a seat at the table. We will make a lot more progress if everyone is represented.”

The students spent the better part of the weekend working in small groups; each of them researched a specific human rights topic, evaluated various options to address the topic, and presented their recommendations to the larger group.”

Leading from the front

“UC San Diego is driving positive change locally and worldwide. Recently designated as a Changemaker Campus by Ashoka U, making positive change has become part of our DNA. Co-sponsored by the Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA), the inclusive weekend drew underrepresented undergraduate students from across California to GPS to amplify their voices in the social justice realm.

This year’s theme, Leading from the Front – Understanding Your Role in Changemaking, brought together expert panel discussions and skill building exercises designed to set students on a path to becoming adept at boundary breaking, redefining the status quo in their communities to become the next generation of global leaders.

“Your biggest advocate should be yourself,” stressed Hugo Salzar, PPIA alumnus. “Be like a laser – find your mission statement and focus on that particular area.””

Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy and the Walsh School of Foreign Service

The McCourt School of Public Policy and the Walsh School of Foreign Service hosted their third annual PPIA Public Service Weekend on November 22-24. This year’s theme, ‘Diverse Voices in Public Policy,’ was engaged in keynotes, networking opportunities, and a facilitated case study lecture and discussion. In addition, the weekend showcased a number of graduate school and career development workshops. From a pool of 240 applicants, 30 participants traveled to DC and spent the weekend reflecting on and engaging with issues ranging from career paths in public service to the role of US diplomacy in a changing political landscape. Participants hailed from all corners of the country – including Texas, Florida, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, New Jersey, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. -, and brought with them a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives on public policy and international affairs.

The weekend kicked off on Friday evening with an opening keynote speaker, Mauthukumara S. Mani: Lead Economist, South Asia Region Office of the Chief Economist. On Saturday students participated in a lecture and case study presentation given by Jointly Appointed Professor for the McCourt & Walsh Schools, Jishnu Das and a facilitated group discussion of the case study was led by McCourt Professor Jennifer Tobin. The evening keynote was given by Zaid Zaid, member of the Public Policy & Strategic Response Team at Facebook. Dean of the McCourt School, Maria Cancian, gave the closing keynote on Sunday afternoon.

In addition to these presentations, students explored issues related to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, career development in public policy and international affairs, and the graduate school application process. The weekend was filled with lively and inspiring discussions drawn from the energy of 30 outstanding scholars from around the country who brought their commitment to, insights on, and aspiration for careers that impact the world.

Advocating for a Better Future: Rockefeller Hosts 2nd PPIA Public Service Weekend

In partnership with the Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) and NASPAA, the University at Albany’s nationally ranked Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy hosted 29 undergraduate students from 19 universities spanning the country for a weekend dedicated to exploring opportunities in public service, October 25-27 in Albany, N.Y. PPIA’s mission is to promote the inclusion and full participation of underrepresented groups in public service and to advance their leadership roles throughout civic institutions serving domestic and international affairs. With a theme of “Ensuring Accountability and Integrity – Public Service as a Force for Positive Change,” Rockefeller College’s Public Service Weekend helped students gain a better understanding of career options in public service and the knowledge and skills needed to get them on the path of their choice.