Looking Forward to The Year Ahead!

Photo of Dean Paul TeskeAs we enter the fourth week of fall semester I hope everyone is settling into a comfortable and productive routine. Construction on campus and in LoDo continues to throw some challenges into our commutes, but hopefully has been manageable so far.

I want to let students know about some great events and other opportunities at the School of Public Affairs, and touch on some of the exciting things that are happening this year.

The School of Public Affairs offers a wide range of events throughout the academic year, and I encourage students to take advantage of as many as possible. Almost all events are free and food is often served (hint: please register if you plan to attend). Some key recurring events include:

  • Buechner Breakfast First Friday: this is our signature monthly event that is hosted by the Buechner Institute for Governance, the school’s applied research arm. Buechner Breakfasts take place from 7:30-9 a.m. on the first Friday of each month and cover a wide range of topics and issues; our first BBFF of 2016-17 focused on Colorado’s challenging state budget. If you aren’t able to attend, you can watch a livestream or, soon after, view a recording on Views from the West, the school’s official blog.
  • SPA also hosts the monthly Education Policy Networking Series. The series is a forum for both emerging policy-savvy teachers and analysts, as well as education policy leaders. These events take place on the second or third Wednesday of each month from 5:30-7 p.m. The next event, on college success, takes place Oct. 19.
  • The Workshop on Policy Process Research (WOPPR), directed by Professors Tanya Heikkila and Chris Weible, hosts events throughout the year (usually at lunchtime) that feature visiting scholars and others interested in studying the interactions between people and public policy.
  • The Sustainability Series is a monthly networking forum for the public to learn and discuss how local Front Range universities, businesses, nonprofits and governmental agencies have incorporated and defined sustainability in innovative and progressive ways. The Series takes place the first Tuesday of every month at 6 p.m. at the Alliance Center on Wynkoop.

We welcomed three new faculty members to SPA this fall: Associate Professor Deserai Crow, Assistant Professor Will Swann and Senior Instructor Jisun Youm. Deserai joined us from CU Boulder and will focus on environmental policy and emergency management. Will joined us from Florida State University with a focus in local government and public management. Jisun most recently taught at University of Wyoming.

The Bachelor of Arts in Public Service degree program kicked off this fall. This is an exciting opportunity for the school and we are optimistic that the BAPS program will see the same dramatic growth that the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice program experienced when it began several years ago.

Also new this year, SPA now offers a supplementary credential to the Nonprofit Management Concentration in partnership with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. The Certified Nonprofit Professional credential is the only national nonprofit credential preparing students for careers in nonprofit management. Students who complete the credential will gain access to a network of nonprofit career resources and become part of a community dedicated to improving and empowering the nonprofit sector.

We are looking to hire three tenure-track faculty to join SPA in fall 2017. A number will be invited to visit campus this fall for interviews, meetings with students, and other activities. If your schedule allows, I encourage you to attend their research presentations and other events.

SPA continues to receive high rankings from U.S. News & World Report and other organizations, and there’s a reason for that. Our downtown Denver location provides unprecedented access to a diverse urban environment where faculty and students are able to work on crucial issues that affect the entire nation, such as fracking, legalized marijuana, education reform, urban sustainability and water policy. Our faculty’s expertise makes us a go-to resource for state and national policy makers, and for students who want to learn from the best.

Take advantage of all that Denver and SPA have to offer, and stay connected. In addition to receiving periodic emails about events and other activities, you can connect with SPA via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or follow Views from the West.

I wish you all the best in the year ahead!



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