In addition to their passion for public policy and governance, La Follette School students bring wide-ranging talents to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. One student, Atiya Rose Siddiqi, recently became a published author.
Siddiqi’s short but powerful book, Loving You, tells a profound love story through poetry. “Emotionally raw and explicit, yet relatable for anyone who has ever been in love, Loving You reminds us all that we are not alone in love, even when we are alone,” the back cover says.
A second-year student in the Master of International Public Affairs (MIPA) program, Siddiqi wrote most of the book during the summer of 2017, when she served internships with the Silethokuhle Foundation and Kruger National Park in South Africa. The internships would not have been possible without the La Follette School’s financial support through the Summer Public Affairs Learning Experience Award Program, she said.
“Not only did I get to apply the skills I learned at La Follette in real-world settings, the remote locations forced me come to terms with emotions I had been repressing for years,” Siddiqi said. “Unexpectedly, La Follette gave me the opportunity to be creative.”
Poetry is new to Siddiqi, who said she is often moved by creative spells. She previously spent time oil painting and learning new musical instruments, and she expects to continue writing poetry. “I’m already working on my second book,” she said.
Siddiqi earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of California, San Diego, and worked for a global skincare company before moving to Wisconsin. A former professor who received his PhD from UW–Madison encouraged her to attend the La Follette School.
“I couldn’t be happier with my decision,” said Siddiqi, who recently accepted an analyst position with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Siddiqi is also a project assistant for La Follette School faculty member Greg Nemet, an associate professor of public affairs and environmental studies. In 2017, Nemet received a Carnegie Fellowship to support his research and writing on how a diverse set of policies and international-knowledge flows have led to inexpensive solar energy.