On behalf of faculty and staff at the School of Public Affairs, I want to welcome you and wish you all the best in your studies this year. No matter what career path you ultimately pursue, the courses you take here will help expand your horizons and provide you with the knowledge and skills that you need to succeed.
I want to let students know about events and other opportunities at the School of Public Affairs, and touch on some of the exciting things that are happening this year.
We welcome four new faculty members this fall:
- Assistant Professor Sebawit Bishu earned her Ph.D. in public affairs in 2017 from Florida International University. Her research interests include public management; city management; representative bureaucracy; organizational culture; and, diversity and inclusion.
- Instructor Sean McCandless earned his Ph.D. in public affairs from SPA in 2017. He previously served as academic support coordinator at SPA. Sean’s research interests include social equity; constitutional law and public administration; and, administrative ethics.
- Assistant Professor Geoff Propheter earned his Ph.D. in public policy and public administration in 2014 from The George Washington University. His research interests include state and local public finance; budgeting and financial management; public management; and, public-private partnerships.
- Assistant Professor Sandy Zook earned her Ph.D. in public management and policy in 2017 from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Her research interests include nonprofit management; international development; and, social entrepreneurship.
The School of Public Affairs hosts 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, so please register if you plan to attend. Some key recurring events include:
- First Friday Breakfasts: this is our signature monthly event that takes place from 7:30-9 a.m. on the first Friday of each month and covers a wide range of topics and issues. In keeping with the recently launched “CU in the City” campaign, in 2017-18 we will focus on topics related to the city of Denver. If you aren’t able to attend a particular FFB in person, you can watch a livestream or, soon after the event, view a recording on Views From the West, the school’s official blog.
- Last year we launched a Topics in Criminal Justice series that proved to be very successful. These events typically take place on the last Tuesday of every other month from 5:30-7 p.m. Topics last year included sanctuary cities, body cameras, and individual experiences with the criminal justice system.
- SPA partners with the School of Education and Human Development to host the 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 twice per semester on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7 p.m.
- The Workshop on Policy Process Research, 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 quarterly networking and speaker series 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 Tuesday evenings at the Alliance Center on Wynkoop. On Sept. 11, experts from the European Union will discuss how state and local governments in Europe are addressing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, with a particular focus on energy.
SPA continues to receive high rankings from U.S.News & World Report and other organizations. As you pursue your studies here I think you’ll find that those rankings are well deserved. Our downtown Denver location provides unprecedented access to a diverse urban environment where policy becomes practice and gives our students many opportunities for experiential learning.
I urge you to take advantage of all that Denver and SPA have to offer, and to 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!