Student Profiles, Uncategorized

Student Profile: Boitshoko (Bo) Molefhi

Picture MPP_Bo.jpgBoitshoko Molefhi, a first year MPP candidate, is passionate about bio-ethics, education policy, and sustainable community development.

Boitshoko, who also goes by Bo, desires to work as a consultant between public and private sectors related to his areas of interest. Bo’s long-term goal is to teach policy and methodology.

Before joining the MPP program, Bo worked for Seed of Gratitude Foundation, a non-profit in Botswana, where he designed operational frameworks for projects and evaluated programs funded by the foundation. Bo states that his role was “pivotal in understanding the importance of both the funders and community-based organizations.” However, Bo believes that it is essential for community-based organizations to seek self-sustaining financing in the long-term for the benefits of increased flexibility and control.

In addition to policy work, Bo also worked as a photographer for the organization. Bo suggests to “be water – allow yourself to flow, adjust, learn, and be an asset in whatever way you can within the organization,” as the possibilities can be endless when you are open to new experiences. Bo advises future students to never sell themselves short, adding “the worst they can say is no, and the best thing that can happen is having the experience of a lifetime!”. Besides photography, Bo’s other hobbies include writing, music production, cooking, and co-creating.


Student Profile: Chayse Hurley

chayseChayse Hurley, MSU Master of Public Policy student, is passionate about criminal justice policy and plans to use legislation to reform the prison system. She is interested in rehabilitation of the incarcerated and the school to prison pipeline. Chayse plans to practice criminal defense and then focus on crafting legislation.

Chayse entered the public policy field because she “finds it essential in the world we live in to be able to quantify the impact of actions, especially from an economic perspective.” Chayse also stated, “I believe the tools I gain in this program will be important in the work I plan to do to ‘push the boulder along’ on many systematic problems.”

Chayse spent her last summer interning with Detroit Future City, a non-profit focused on land use, where she evaluated the Land + Water Works Coalition. Chayse also had the opportunity to interview community members who had installed gardens through the organization’s Mini-Grant Program. Interning with Detroit Future City showed Chayse the importance of evaluating policy in a variety of ways, the significance of funding for nonprofits, and how essential it is to have community involvement in decisions that  require community buy-in. She found the internship through the MSU InnovateGov program.

MPP Speaker Series

Speaker Series: Aaron Seybert, Social Investment Officer

aaron seybert.pngAaron Seybert, social investment officer at The Kresge Foundation, recently spoke with MPP graduate students about careers in the private sector, community development, and social investment.

Seybert is a Michigan native and Michigan State University alum, graduating from MSU College of Law. He first started his career in impact investing at Cinnaire, formerly the Great Lakes Capital Fund, where he focused on affordable housing.

 Taking part in an answer and question forum with the MPP students, Seybert spoke about his previous work experience with JPMorgan Chase Bank, where he was involved with community development banking, and how he transitioned into his current role with The Kresge Foundation.

The Kresge Foundation is a private, national foundation based in Michigan that works to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture, education, environment, health, human services, and community development in Detroit. In 2018, the Kresge Foundation awarded $144.2 million in grants, and currently operates in over 230 cities nationwide. As a social investment officer, Seybert leverages the foundation’s assets in ways beyond traditional grants to better support markets not well served by the private financial sector. 

The MPP program thanks Aaron Seybert for sharing his advice and experiences with the MPP program at MSU!


Ira Polley Scholarship Awardees

Ming WuCongratulations to Tyler Thur, Alex Stegbauer, and Ming Wu on being awarded the Ira Polley Memorial Scholarship! Tyler, Alex, and Ming were selected for the Ira Polley Memorial Scholarship for their excellent academic performance and recommendations from faculty and MPP Director.

Alex Stegbauer participated in the InnovateGov Internship program last summer, and performed exceptionally well in his internship with Quicken Loans. Ming Wu (pictured above) is interested in quantitative data analysis and education, health, and environmental policy.

image-14Tyler Thur (pictured right) is interested in environmental policy, and interned as a policy analyst with Anderson Economic Group last summer.

Ira Polley was a professor at Michigan State University and had a 50-year career dedicated to education and public service.

Congratulations, Tyler, Alex, and Ming! 


Student Profiles

Student Profile: Shomari Tate

image001.pngShomari Tate, a second year Master of Public Policy student, is passionate about social justice, urban development, and sustainability.

He is seeking a degree in public policy because he wants to directly influence change in urban communities and develop a robust understanding of effective policy implementation. He would love to work in Washington D.C., and describes it “as the mecca of the political arena”.

Previously, Shomari graduated from Michigan State University with a political science pre-law degree. In 2016, he worked on Bernie Sanders’ Presidential Campaign.

Shomari’s capstone research topic for the MPP program centers on crafting a “policy recommendation, which would mandate police officers to obtain four-year college degrees before joining the police force.”  His favorite part of the MPP program has been the hands-on approach to policy analysis and interpretation.

Student Profiles

Student Profile: Amanda Miller

003_amanda_miller__5-7-18.jpgAmanda Miller, a second year Master of Public Policy student, values practical experience; her favorite part of the MPP program is the exposure to various speakers from the policy world through the MPP Speaker Series and learning concrete skills to use in the workplace.

Before entering the MPP program, Amanda considered attending law school after graduating Michigan State University with her B.A. in Political Science Pre-Law. However, after taking a political science course with Dr. Shu Wang, Amanda’s interest in policy was sparked. Amanda went on to work as Dr. Wang’s research assistant, where she assisted with coding emails related to the Flint Water Crisis. As a senior undergrad at MSU, Amanda entered the MPP program as a linked student in Fall 2017.

Since January 2018, Amanda has worked at Scofes and Associates Consulting, a lobbying firm in downtown Lansing; she attends committee hearings to track legislation and gather notes on supporting and opposing testimonies.This past summer, Amanda planned Comics for Cancer, a charity comedy show to benefit Sparrow Herbert-Herman Cancer Center in Lansing.

Amanda is also a Graduate Assistant in the Office of K-12 Outreach in MSU’s College of Education. As a Graduate Assistant, Amanda assists in writing grant proposals and learns about federal, state, and local education policy.

Amanda is interested in education, health, veterans issues, and government affairs. She is interested in a career in government relations or public affairs, and enjoys lobbying, writing, and event planning. When Amanda is not working with policy, she loves to read and has a passion for fitness and travel.

Student Profiles

Student Profile: Cody Proudfoot

cody-proudfoot_800px.jpgCody Proudfoot, a second year Master of Public Policy student, is aiming for a career where he can solve problems through policy change. However, Cody hasn’t always felt this way. He explains, “I originally wanted to be a lawyer, but eventually found out that wasn’t the career choice for me. However, I learned about the impact of public policy on the world and wanted to continue working in the field.” Cody’s policy interests are energy and environmental policy.

In addition to being a student, Cody works as a consultant for a public policy research firm in Lansing. His favorite aspect of the MPP program at MSU is the program’s willingness and flexibility to work with employed students.

Outside of public policy, Cody enjoys hunting, going to the gym, and working on cars. He has lived in Michigan his whole life and states he has “no desire to leave” the state after graduation.

Student Profiles

Student Profile: Max Raphelson

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 5.27.49 PM (1).pngMax Raphelson, a first year Master of Public Policy student, is interested in sustainability, environmental policy and healthcare. Max is a ‘linked’ student, or a fourth-year undergraduate student, in the MPP program; he is majoring in political science with minors in environmental studies and the environment and health.

Max is seeking a degree in public policy because he desires to help others. He hopes to improve his data analysis and research skills to become an effective policymaker for his community. Max is most looking forward to working with the professors of the MPP program and meeting his new cohort.

Max dreams about moving to the Pacific Northwest after graduation and working in Portland or Seattle. He loves spending time in nature, hiking, and fly fishing, explaining “when I am not at school I love to be outside, whether that is wading through a river or simply sitting on a porch with friends.”

Student Profiles

Student Profile: Lauren Lahie

Lauren Lahie.jpgLauren Lahie, a first year Master of Public Policy student, spent her past summer interning with Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, through the Michigan State University InnovateGov program.In her role as a digital media consultant, Lauren updated the organization’s website and monitored their social media accounts.

Interning at a nonprofit taught Lauren about the large impact nonprofits can have on a community. She explained that “by interacting with members of the community we helped, I was able to find out the areas that needed improvement, and understand that policy can be an effective way to make positive change.”

Lauren advises future interns to not be afraid asking for help or advice from more experienced staff members. In her experience, “the people working with you are very valuable resources” and most will be eager to help you. She also recommends getting to know your supervisor and building connections for the future.

Lauren first became interested in public policy as an undergraduate student, and is particularly interested in researching the impact policies have on different subsets of the population. Lauren specializes in social justice policy, and plans to work as a political consultant in Washington D.C. after graduation.

Student Profiles, Uncategorized

Student Profile: Ming Wu

ming-wu.jpgMing Wu, a second year Master of Public Policy student, is interested in public policy because she desires to solve societal problems. She is particularly interested in quantitative analysis  and using data to better understand political issues. Ming is focused on education, health, and environmental policy. She hopes to one day work for a government institution or a NGO.

Ming, an international student from China, described herself as initially feeling a little afraid before coming to Michigan and entering the MPP program because she didn’t know what to expect. Ming now feels at home, positively describing all the people in the MPP program as being helpful: “the professors, the classmates, staff, everyone is kind.” Her favorite class in the program has been PPL 801, Quantitative Analysis, with Professor Marty Jordan.

In the future, Ming hopes to live in Hangzhou, China, where she was born and where her family currently resides. Ming describes Hangzhou as the most beautiful and comfortable city she’s ever visited. Ming enjoys traveling, and has been to over ten countries, with California being her favorite destination.