Month: August 2019

Week 1 Recap: Welcome Back!

Week 1 Recap: Welcome Back!

The Department of Public Policy (DPP) was happy to welcome over 80 new students to our graduate programs this fall semester. We have had a fantastic 3rd Annual Welcome Reception following New Student orientation on Thursday, August 22nd. At the reception, our new students not only had a chance to get to know each other but to meet the faculty, staff, alumni, and dear friends of the department. Over 150 people were in attendance!

2019 DPP Annual Welcome Back Reception
2019 DPP Welcome Back Reception

Monday began the first official week of classes at UConn. The DPP was busy all week, with over 35 courses taught this semester in Hartford, Storrs, and online! Our new students had an eventful week, starting with either Introduction to Public Policy and Management in Storrs with Professor Raissian or Applied Quantitative methods with Dr. Wilson in Hartford. Additionally, DPP is offering an exciting wide variety of MPP and MPA electives this fall, with options ranging from Social Policy, Diversity Planning and Policy, and Public Investment Analysis, to name a few!

On Wednesday this week, UConn Hartford hosted a Taste of Front Street event to welcome new and returning students. Ted’s Montana Grill, Bear’s Smokehouse BBQ, Blind Pig Pizza, Rush Bowls, Spotlight Theater Front Street, Starbucks, and El Pollo Guapo provided tasty treats and entertainment.

It is our great pleasure to introduce officers of the GAPPS-ICMA. The President of the Association, Carol Miranda, is an MPP student whose career aspirations are concentrated around lobbying or working with data and policy analysis. Vice President Rachel Dzialo is an MPA student who is interested in criminal justice policy and re-entry services. Treasurer Haley Turner Gillman is an MPP student who hopes to focus her career in consulting and program evaluation.  Secretary Steven Della-Giustina is an MPP student with a career focus in political organizing. We are excited to see what our GAPPS-ICMA Officers have in store for us this year! If current students are interested in joing GAPPS-ICMA or learning more about the group, please join their first meeting on Monday, September 9th at 3PM in HTB 406.

Each academic year, the Department of Public Policy front desk is staffed by DPP students. This year, we are happy to welcome three new Student Administrative Assistants! Haley Turner Gillman is an MPP student who received her B.A. in Sociology from the Saint Anslem College. Olena Nagorna is an MPA student who graduated from UConn Stamford with a B.A. in History. Alexandra Thomas is an MPP, and a graduate of the UConn Storrs, she received her B.A. in Political Science. They are in the office from 9 am – 4 pm every weekday and more than happy to assist. Stop by and say hello!

The Year Ahead – Encore!, Interns, Mentorship


The Year Ahead – Encore!, Interns, and Mentorship


For nearly a decade, Encore!Hartford and Encore!Fairfield County have assisted over 100 professionals transition to managerial careers in the Connecticut nonprofit sector. After nearly a decade of success we have retooled the program to meet the needs of Connecticut’s transitioning professional — as Encore!Connecticut.

Encore!Fairfield County Fellows
Encore!Fairfield County Fellows

The redesign will provide a Saturday format in order to allow individuals with varying goals to engage and benefit from this nationally awarded and recognized nonprofit career program (see New York Times and Hartford Business Journal articles).

“Since year one of stating the program we have consistently received calls from employed individuals asking for training to transition to management jobs in the nonprofit sector. For nine years, Encore!Hartford and Encore!Fairfield County were day-time programs tailored to the unemployed, but were inaccessible to employed individuals seeking to prepare for nonprofit work in the future. With the new Saturday format, which we spent a great deal of time and care crafting, we can now serve both populations,” states Program Director, Dr. David Garvey.

All classes will be held at our new UConn Hartford Campus on 10 Prospect Street, Hartford. Encore!Connecticut is intended for individuals seeking to enhance their volunteer capacity, immediate employment, or are planning for a future transition from the corporate to the nonprofit sector. For more information about applying and our redesign please see our Encore!Connecticut page. 


Intern Orientation, students sitting at desks
Intern Orientation

This year the DPP has the largest group of interns to date. Over 50 students are participating in both the Internship and Professional Practice (IPP) Program and the Sponsored Internship (SI) Program. Student interns gain managerial and/or analytic experience in a public or nonprofit agency from late August to early late May.

The IPP program is open to second year Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Public Policy (MPP). SI interns consist of full time first year MPA and MPP students not awarded Graduate Assistantships. Select Fast-Track students may also be eligible to participate in the SI program. 

Interns for the 2019-2020 academic school year are working in a variety of areas including, but not limited to program development, economic development and planning, program evaluation and leadership, public policy and advocacy, strategic operations, human resource management, budget analysis, procurement and contract compliance, data analysis, finance and grants, and QI data analytics. 

Interested in hosting an intern? Please contact our Director of Public Policy Internships, David Garvey.

DPP Alumni-Student Mentoring Network

For a second consecutive semester, the DPP will be providing students with an alumni mentor. Last semester’s inaugural matching was a “… pilot that provided valuable lessons as well as some terrific mentoring successes” says Candace Fitzpatrick, a DPP alum who directs alumni relations for the department. 

Mentors provide their mentee with professional guidance during graduate school and help them prepare for a future career. 

Shortly after matching this year’s participants, Fitzpatrick was “…contacted by numerous alumni and students to tell [her] how excited and grateful they were for the opportunity to be part of the DPP Mentoring Network.”  She added, “We are fortunate that our alumni are always very generous with their time and talents, especially when they are enhancing our students’ graduate experience.” Thanks to them, every student who requested a mentor has been matched! 

Interested in becoming a mentor? Please contact Candace Fitzpatrick.

The New Faces of the DPP


The New Faces of the DPP

Incoming Students

Incoming MPA and MPP Students
MPA and MPP New Student Orientation

UConn’s Department of Public Policy (DPP) is happy to welcome 80 students to graduate study with the department this fall. Over 35 undergraduate institutions are represented among our three masters degrees. Students sought undergraduate degrees in social science, humanities, business and STEM fields. Both online and in Hartford, we have students attending class from more than 10 states. This incoming cohort holds 10 advanced degrees and is 55% female. 

Our newest cohort of MPA Fellows consists of 22 professionals from across sectors. Many of the incoming Public Administration (MPA) and Public Policy (MPP) students are receiving financial assistance through graduate assistantships, internships, or student employment. 

Survey Research has recently begun a collaboration with UConn’s Communication Department, and introduced a “Media and Communication Campaigns Track” this fall. Further tracks are in development, which will allow students to tailor their degrees. 

We are excited to welcome our newest members to the UConn DPP network!


Assistant Professor – Yusun Kim

Yusun Kim

Assistant Professor Yusun Kim is joining our faculty from The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Her teaching and research interests include public financial management, state and local finance, tax property, health policy, public health insurance, and Medicaid. Dr. Kim says she is “..very honored and excited to join the wonderful community at UConn DPP.”

This fall, she will be teaching “Economic Analysis for Public Policy and Management” for our MPA and MPP students. To learn more about Yusun, please visit her bio

Operations Coordinator – Maura MaloneyMaura Maloney

Maura Maloney is joining the DPP staff as a former graduate of the department’s Encore!Connecticut. Prior to joining the DPP, Maura worked in various capacities at ESPN. in her role she will oversee the departmental calendar and events, and assist with the coordination of Encore!Connecticut. She is “excited to be a part of the UConn family and [is] looking forward to working with the DPP faculty, staff and students!” To learn more about our Maura, please visit her bio

Adjunct Faculty – Penny Davis

Penny Davis

Penny Davis is the Chief Human Resources Officer for the CT Department of Social Services (DSS). She directs Talent Management, Employee Relations, Labor Relations, Payroll and Benefits, and Staff Development functions. This fall, she will be teaching “Human Resource Management”. To learn more about Penny, please visit her bio

Adjunct Faculty – Matthew Hart

Matthew Hart

Matt Hart is the Town Manager of West Hartford, Connecticut and a DPP alum. He has focused on building partnerships with the community, hiring talented professionals to lead the town’s public safety departments, creating a fresh brand for West Hartford. This fall, he will be teaching “Administrative Functions for Local Government”. To learn more about Matt, please visit his bio.


Adjunct Faculty – Paul Sullivan 

Paul Sullivan

Paul Sullivan is the Senior Vice President of Donor Services for the American Red Cross. He is responsible for over 7,500 professionals and many more volunteers who collect millions of blood donations a year. This fall, he will be teaching “Theory and Management for Public Organizations”. To learn more about Paul, please visit his bio

Thomas Craemer – Reparations


Thomas Craemer – Reparations

Thomas Craemer, associate professor of public policy, at the UConn Hartford campus. (Bri Diaz/UConn Photo)
Photo Credit: Bri Diaz / UConn Photo

Since the spring, Professor Thomas Craemer has been regularly featured in the media regarding reparations, a topic he’s been discussing for almost a decade. When the topic became a mainstream issue for Democratic 2020 candidates, Craemer became part of the regular discussion. 

Most recently he was on the Capitol Report “After Hours and Capitol Watch Podcast where he talked about his research into reparations and how growing up in Germany shaped his thinking. Earlier in August, he was on the front of The Hartford Courant discussing the political debate among Democratic Candidates, with Daniela Altimari. 

Earlier this summer, he was a guest on Full Frontal with Sam B talking about “How to Take Reparations from the Hypothetical to Reality.” He was also featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and UConn Today

This fall, he will be teaching “Public Policy Issues/ Special Topics: Diversity Planning and Policy” in Hartford for undergraduates and graduates. He will also be teaching “Attitude Formation” online for graduates.

Eric Brunner – Education Policy


Eric Brunner – Education Policy

Getting Down To Facts II - Technical Report - Financing School Facilities in California: A Ten-Year Perspective
Cover of the Brunner and Vincent Technical Report

Professor and MPA and MPP Program Director Eric Brunner has recently been highlighted for his research regarding education in Connecticut and California.

Together with Jeffrey Vincent from University of California Berkeley, Brunner published a technical report on “Financing School Facilities in California: A Ten-Year Perspective” last fall. The report for Getting Down To Facts, a California research project, has been gaining recognition in California for highlighting the inequitable funding among districts. 

More recently, John Arnold of Arnold Ventures, a philanthropy that tackles pressing problems and social issues in the United States, tweeted about a working paper done by Brunner, DPP affiliated faculty Dr. Stephen Ross, and Dr. Shaun Dougherty from Vanderbilt University.  In the tweet, Arnold calls the paper the “…most interesting K-12 finding I’ve seen in a while…” He goes on to highlight the paper as “…the largest, most robust paper on causality of CTE… [that] demands attention and replication in other settings…” 

This fall, he will be teaching “Applied Policy Issues” in Hartford for graduate students. 

Kerri Raissian – Gun Control Reform

Kerri Raissian – Gun Control Reform

In August, Assistant Professor Kerri Raissian discussed gun violence, domestic violence and the role of regulation and public policy on The Full Story WHSU, an NPR news podcast. The podcast is hosted by journalist Ron Ropiak and was aimed toward discussing the possibility of Connecticut and New York being viewed as a model for the nation in passing tough gun laws.

Prior to pursuing her PhD, she worked with domestic violence victims. She has also been published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management regarding the 1996 Federal Gun Control Act Expansion and its effect on domestic homicides.

Form that states "Request for Criminal Background Check" with a pen
Photo Credits: CYH/

In April, she hosted a conference for junior and senior scholars to present, debate and discuss research on gun safety, gun policy creation and efficacy of gun policies. Following this event, she was invited to participate in the Legislative Informational Forum on Fun Safety and Public Health with Assistant Professor In-Residence Jennifer Dineen. State Representatives Jillian Gilchrest, Matthew Ritter, and Christine Palm, as well as a panel of leaders in healthcare, law and policy also participated. 

This fall, she will be teaching “Cases in Public Policy” and “Child and Family Policy” in Storrs. The former is open to undergraduates, and the latter is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. In Hartford she will be teaching “Introduction to Public Policy and Management” to graduate students.