Cassie Richard is a second-year student in the Master of Public Policy program at Michigan State University. Her undergraduate work is in Applied Sociology, and she also earned a certification in Nonprofit Management from the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. Because of her experiences in both her undergraduate and graduate careers, Cassie earned an Oregon Summer Fellowship from the Hatfield School of Government in Oregon. This is a nationally competitive summer internship program seeking to enlist “the brightest graduate students from across the country” into careers in public service. Cassie’s internship involved working with the City of Wood Village in Wood Village, Oregon (Portland Metro Area).
The City of Wood Village hired Cassie to bring their municipal and signage code up to date by researching best practices and enforcement techniques. Through this project, Cassie has investigated how other cities design their municipal and signage codes and how well their enforcement techniques work. She has also surveyed Wood Village to see what signs are currently being used, including their density and style. Upon gathering this information, she revised the city code and will present it to the City Council for discussion and possible adoption.
Through her internship, Cassie has learned many lessons, including the importance of hierarchy in local government and phrasing and word choice when reflecting community standards. She has also come to understand that local governments are often willing to help one another and share their experiences on various issues. Cassie’s projects have given her the opportunity to reach out to code enforcement officers from other municipalities, all of which have been very open to her about their experiences and offered sound advice.
Upon graduation, Cassie would like to contribute to research on policy issues surrounding gender, labor, and international affairs. She hopes to lend her skill set and energy to researching and addressing gender-based policy globally through work at a university, think tank, and/or advocacy based non-profit.