Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Sunday, September 3, 2017

Orientation features students learning from peers

Orientation features students learning from peers

Moynihan Waukau Willing DSC 0503 smHill Fest 2017

Despite unseasonably cool temperatures, more than 100 students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends attended the La Follette School's annual welcome back picnic September 5 on Observatory Hill.

Krista Willing (MPA ’08) looked back at her La Follette School experience -- including the Performance Management course -- and the impact it has had on her career. Willing recently was named assistant administrator of systems, fiscal, and operations management at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ Division of Medicaid Services.

More photos on the La Follette School Facebook page

The La Follette School welcomed the 2017–18 incoming class of 53 students Thursday, August 31 during Orientation at the Pyle Center.

Associate Director Hilary Shager led the program, with assistance from staff, current students, and faculty. Shager’s presentation included information about curriculum, career planning, the Wisconsin Idea, outreach activities, and various resources.

New this year was a panel of six continuing students, who shared their experiences with the La Follette School’s dual-degree and certificate options.

  • Ian Korpel: Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility Certificate
  • Kiersten Frobom: Master of Public Health
  • Sophia Rogers: Juris Doctorate
  • Ruanda McFerren: Urban Planning
  • Rohan Rao: Energy Analysis and Policy
  • Marisa Ross: Neuroscience (PhD) and Public Policy

“A really nice thing about the dual-degree option is being plugged into the School of Medicine and Public Health. The professors are amazing,” said Frobom. “Classes are a little bigger than they are at La Follette, but I’ve had classes with people who are going to be doctors, nurses, PA, pharmacists who are at all different stages of their careers. So in terms of getting real-world expertise, it’s a really nice way to do that. You meet people who work in a clinical environment and people who are going to be general public health professionals.” 

Chris Meyers, president of the La Follette School of Public Affairs (LSSA), and six other LSSA Board members also welcomed the new students and led them on an ice-breaker activity before answering questions during a student-only session. Participating were Matt Burr, Cassie Frankel, Dominic Habjan, Casey Hutchinson, Ryan LeCloux, Mia Nafziger, and Morgan Pair.

In addition, faculty members Menzie Chinn, Jason Fletcher, and Rourke O’Brien introduced themselves, responded to questions, and joined the students for lunch along with faculty members Maria Cancian, Greg Nemet, and Bobbi Wolfe.

Of the 53 first-year students, 40 are pursuing master’s degrees in public affairs (MPA), and 13 are seeking master’s degrees in international public affairs (MIPA).