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A MESSAGE FROM DIRECTOR MARIA P. ARISTIGUETA
The School of Public Policy & Administration (SPPA) is starting the year with great energy and enthusiasm! We are changing the format for Connect to make it more accessible. We have been printing hard copies of Connect for the last 10 years and thought that it was time to move to a more nimble, flexible, and more frequent publication by transitioning to an online format. We hope that you will enjoy the refreshed Connect, and we look forward to your feedback on the new style.
We welcome 6 new faculty members to SPPA! These new faculty will add to our existing strengths in energy and environmental policyCasey Taylor and Kalim Shah, financial policies for low income householdsKatie Fitzpatrick, housing, homelessness and mental healthStephen Metraux, and our newest area of excellence, data scienceGregory Dobler and Federica Bianco.
Some of you may recall that former Vice President Joe Biden challenged us at the NASPAA conference in 2017 to find solutions to revitalize the American middle class. In September 2018, SPPA hosted the Biden Challenge conference and ideas exchange, welcoming 183 academics and practitioners from around the United States to the University of Delaware to present innovative policy solutions to the issue. The overwhelming lessons learned from the Biden Challenge discussions are that the U.S. needs policies that incentivize work, provide a living wage, and enforce contract language that promotes better working conditions to improve the lives of the working poor and rebuild a functional middle class. This is not only a moral obligation as Americans, but a necessity for a strong democracy. We hope that you will join us in keeping this important conversation going. More on the Biden Challenge is found in this issue of Connect.
Along with our master's in Urban Affairs and Public Policy, Master of Public Administration, master's in Disaster Science and Management, and Master of Energy and Environmental Policy, we welcome a new Master of Public Policy program. This professional degree will provide outstanding analytical skills for aspiring policy scientists, with a focus on professional skills in
public policy analysis, evaluation, and communication. It will a complement to
SPPA's existing professional graduate education in public administration and
management (through the Master of Public Administration, MPA).
Our faculty is making a difference in our state policies and communities. In this issue, read about Delaware's new law signed by Governor Carney to reduce racial disparities in student discipline in schools. Professor Leland Ware, an active author on racial disparity, was a member of the commission that influenced the policy.
Our students continue to do well and do good! Our Legislative Fellows and new Judicial Fellows programs allowed two of our MPA graduates to transition to full-time employees. These programs serve our students well while providing opportunity beyond the classroom, and our alumni's employment status reflects well on the students' performance. Our students' achievement is also evident in their selection for various fellowships: an MPA student was recently selected to the competitive ICMA local government management fellowship, and an M.A. student who is now a Ph.D. student has become a Publicly Active Graduate Education Fellow.
Our donors continue to be important to us. Thanks to the generosity of the Messick endowment, we are able to bring leading scholars to the school. Other donors provide support for scholarships, conference attendance, research assistantships, study abroad, and student academic experience enrichment.
Thank you for your continued interest in SPPA. With all best wishes,
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Maria P. Aristigueta
Charles P. Messick Chair of Public AdministrationDirector, School of Public Policy & Administration