On July 19, APSIA teamed up with the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) to pilot a Public and International Service Advisor Training for faculty and staff who counsel undergraduate students.
Christine Omolino, Director of Admission and Financial Aid in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, began the day by comparing and contrasting the landscape of professional graduate degrees. She explained that a Master of Public Administration program explains how to deliver services while a Master of Public Policy analyzes the variables that make for successful delivery. International Affairs degrees weave together a variety of disciplines, Christine said. Graduates develop an understanding of the broader context of change and the flexibility to adapt to different challenges.
Then participants heard from Leigh Morris Sloane, Managing Director at IISS-Americas, and Chris Hemmerlein, Public Policy Manager for Facebook and an alumnus of the University of California, San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. This session, moderated by Don Kettl, Academic Director for the University of Texas at Austin LBJ Washington Center, explored the range of careers available in international affairs, public policy, and public administration. Speakers also considered the overlap and linkages between these fields from the local to the global levels. Leigh and Chris stressed that students need strong writing skills, the capacity to form an argument, and the ability to make connections between what they can do and what organizations need.
Finally, Laurel McFarland, Executive Director of NASPAA, presided over a discussion of ways to pay for graduate school and salary expectations for graduates. Diane Nguyen, Associate Director of Admissions at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and Michael Rizzi, Director of Student Services for the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, shared their thoughts on Public Service Loan Forgiveness, school and university based financial aid, and external loans.
Advisors came from American University, Baylor University, Bowie State University, Davidson College, Georgetown University, Hood College, Howard University, Johns Hopkins University, Randolph-Macon College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Maryland. They agreed to champion public and international service and serve as a communications channel between their campuses and APSIA and NASPAA.
APSIA and NASPAA hope to capitalize on and expand this initial pilot to advance understanding of the professions of international affairs, public policy, and public administration on campuses worldwide.