Expected MPA 2018
B.A., Economics, University of Connecticut
Stephen Yenke grew up in Trumbull, Connecticut. In high school, he served all four years on the Trumbull High School Student Council and earned his Eagle Scout award. After graduating Trumbull High School in 2008, Stephen attended the University of Connecticut in Storrs where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, with a minor in History.
As a senior at UConn, Stephen interned three days a week for a state senator at the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford. After graduating UConn in May 2012, he worked as a canvass supervisor on a congressional campaign in the summer, and then as a campaign organizer for two state house campaigns in the fall. When the state legislative session began, Stephen was appointed by the Connecticut General Assembly as the assistant clerk for the Executive & Legislative Nominations Committee. He also worked as a commission clerk at the Town of Simsbury. In the following legislative session, Stephen was promoted to an assistant clerk for the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee.
Following the 2014 legislative session, Stephen worked for several years as the Executive Assistant at the Partnership for Strong Communities, a statewide research and advocacy nonprofit based in Hartford dedicated to ending homelessness in Connecticut and promoting affordable housing across the state. He worked closely with the Executive Director to manage her calendar, formatted and distributed three newsletters each week, and helped plan informational forums in support of the goal that every resident of Connecticut should have access to a safe, secure, and affordable place to call home.
Since 2013, Stephen has been an ensemble member of Sea Tea Improv, a professional comedy company based in downtown Hartford. He teaches improv classes at Sea Tea Improv Studios and performs improv and sketch comedy shows at Sea Tea Comedy Theater.
Stephen has long been interested in public service, and already has years of experience working for state and local governments, and a nonprofit. Therefore, the Master of Public Administration program at UConn’s Department of Public Policy is a perfect fit. The courses have helped him at work, and his work has helped him in the courses. He thinks the faculty is knowledgeable and responsive, and his fellow students are hard-working and ambitious. He is excited for UConn’s move into downtown Hartford, which will put students even closer to the government offices and nonprofit organizations of Connecticut’s capital city. Stephen plans to use the skills he has learned and the connections he has made through the UConn MPA program to continue working for governments and nonprofits to make the world a better place.