Author: Kish, Lian

Take An Online Summer Course with UConn’s Department of Public Policy

Take An Online Summer Course with UConn’s Department of Public Policy

Whether you are fulfilling an undergraduate requirement or earning electives towards a graduate degree, UConn’s Department of Public Policy is offering a variety of online courses this summer! At the undergraduate level, the DPP is offering a Content Area 2, a W, and a course on research methods. At the graduate level the DPP is offering coursework in Nonprofit Management and Survey Research. Please see our summer offerings below.


  • Nonprofit Management
    • PP 5324: Grant Writing & Fund Development – SS1 (June 1 – July 2): This course provides the student with the essential knowledge of the tools and practices for developing a funding portfolio that supports the work of a nonprofit organization. While the course looks at diverse funding practice it provides specific guidance on grant and proposal writing and government contracts.


  • Survey Research
    • PP 5388: Introduction to Multipopulation Survey Research Methods – SS1 (June 1 – July 2): This course provides an introduction to methods for designing multilingual and multicultural survey research projects. It will also introduce some of the key considerations for designing multinational surveys. Students will be introduced to unique methodological considerations for multilingual/multicultural studies throughout the project life cycle, including: sampling, questionnaire design, fielding, data interpretation and analysis.
    • PP 5332: Advanced Quantitative Methods – SS2 (July 13 – August 21): This course covers a number of basic and advanced statistical methods for public policy and survey research. Students will review some of the basic concepts of statistical analysis, study methods for hypothesis testing appropriate to frequency counts and percentage, discuss methods to analyze data in interval and ratio scale format, and study quantitative methods for conducting and analyzing multiple regression. Students will also explore minimizing error through scale construction and the use of exploratory factor analysis. The end of the course will provide a very brief introduction to the basic ideas underlying confirmatory factor analysis.


  • Undergraduate Coursework
    • PP 1001 Introduction to Public Policy – May Term (May 11 – May 29): Public policy history and institutions, government administration and systems, policy analysis, contemporary policy issues, polling and influences on policy making. (Content Area 2)
    • PP 3020W Cases in Public Policy – SS1 (June 1 – July 2): Exploration of policy analysis using case studies on various contemporary policy topics.
    • PP 2100 Survey Research Methods – AS2 (July 13 – August 21): Theory and practice of surveys, including overall project design, questionnaire development, sampling, methods of data collection and data analysis.


Interested in taking a summer course or enrolling in a program? Contact Outreach Coordinator Lian Kish at to learn more.

DPP Ranked 9th in Public Finance & Budgeting and 38th in Public Affairs

DPP Ranked 9th in Public Finance & Budgeting and 38th in Public Affairs

UConn’s Department of Public Policy (DPP) is proud to announce that the U.S. News & World Report continued to rank the Department’s public finance and budgeting offerings 9th in the nation. The DPP’s public affairs program was also ranked 38th. This public affairs ranking represents a jump of nine spots up from last year. A total of 284 public affairs programs made the 2021 rankings.

Department Head and Professor Mohamad Alkadry announced this achievement to the DPP faculty, students, staff and alumni:

Congratulations to all of us. This achievement is a testament to the scholarly work of my colleagues and the leadership and management of our public affairs programs in the Department of Public Policy.

Hartford Has It, and DPP’s downtown Hartford home have allowed DPP to enhance its initiatives and partnerships throughout Connecticut. This year our MPA and MPP students will complete 36,000 hours of  internship work for public and nonprofit organizations in CT. In 2020-21, it is estimated that DPP students will complete 41,100 hours of internship service. The DPP plans to place over 75 students in paid internships across Connecticut during this upcoming academic year.

Last year, DPP also delivered a total of 1,200 hours of continuing education hours for public and nonprofit officials through the Public Service Executive Leadership Collaborative (PSELC). The Collaborative will be entering its third year this fall.

Earlier this month the DPP relaunched Encore!Connecticut, a retraining program designed to help corporate professionals transition to managerial careers in Connecticut’s nonprofit sector. The DPP delivers nearly 1,600 hours of retraining as part of this program.

Interested in joining the DPP this fall? Admissions for the 2020-2021 academic year are still in progress. Our preferred deadline for fall 2020 is May 15th. For more information please see our online inquiry form. The DPP admissions staff would be happy to assist you.

None of these initiatives would be possible without our network. MPA & MPP Program Director and Professor Eric Brunner noted, Our recent rankings are a testament of hard work and quality of our faculty, staff, alumni, and students. We look forward to our next year ahead and wish everyone health and happiness!

To keep up to date with our department please visit us on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Have news, a job posting, or an event to share? Email us at! We are always happy to support and spread the positivity of our network!

The University of Connecticut’s Department of Public Policy (DPP) is committed to high quality research, teaching and service in the areas of policy analysis, public management, public financial management, nonprofit management and survey research.

The DPP offers top-ranked and nationally recognized masters degrees in:

  • Public Administration (MPA): focusing on management and leadership with opportunities to pursue an executive track
  • Public Policy (MPP): focusing on policy analysis and program evaluation
  • Survey Research (MASR): focusing on qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis

Students are also able to tailor their degree through focus areas and graduate certificates in:

  • Nonprofit Management (NPM)
  • Leadership and Public Management (LPM)
  • Public Financial Management (PFM)
  • Survey Research (SRC)

The DPP network of faculty, staff, students, community partners and over 1,200 alumni continue to serve their communities as leaders in the State of Connecticut and across the globe.

Weekly Recap: Welcome Back To Spring 2020

Weekly Recap: Welcome Back To Spring 2020

Happy New Year Everybody! Here at the UConn DPP we have had quite the Winter Break. We skated around Bushnell Park, cheered on our Husky Basketball teams, and spoke with prospective students from across the country!

Students and faculty conversing over pizza
DPP Pizza Party

For our first week of classes we hosted a Pizza Party to welcome back our students, and held our first PSELC of 2020! We also emailed out our Winter Newsletter. If you did not receive it, but would like to join our mailing list email to let us know!

This week we have two information sessions on Monday, January 27th!

  • FT & Survey Research from 12:00pm – 12:30pm online
  • FT, MPA, & MPP from 12:30pm – 1:30pm in Hartford Times Building Room 209

We are also hosting a professional development workshop on resumes from 2:00pm – 3:00pm on Wednesday, January 29th.

The US Army War College’s Eisenhower Series is also coming to Hartford on Thursday, January 30th. From 2:30pm – 3:30pm there will be an informal conversation, and from 4:00pm – 5:30pm there will be a panel discussion on “National Security Challenges and Risks”.

After a weekend at the Wolf Pack, the DPP is excited to have its first week with Monday classes. See you next Monday!

GAPPS-ICMA Gave Back and Makes Plans for a Housing Panel


GAPPS-ICMA Gave Back and Makes Plans for a Housing Panel

Students hosting a friendsgiving
Friendsgiving 2019

The Graduate Association of Public Policy Students – International City/County Management Association (GAPPS-ICMA) kicked off the semester with a networking event with Pi Pi Alpha. The event brought together current students and alumni at Infinity Music Hall & Bistro. 

Members of GAPPS-ICMA went on to volunteer throughout Hartford during the semester. They volunteered at the Hartford Marathon and cheered on the racers in October. For Thanksgiving the students came together to celebrate with a Friendsgiving! In December they assisted at Footwear with Care’s annual Winter Boot Party. DPP Administrative Coordinator Wade Gibbs also volunteered at the November event and was highlighted by U.S. News & World Report and Hartford Courant.

In the spring, GAPPS-ICMA will be hosting a housing panel! Look out on the UConn DPP social media for forthcoming information about this professional development seminar opportunity.

Fall 2019 Employment Updates


Fall 2019 Employment Updates

Sarah Croucher, Director of Academic Policy
Sarah Croucher, Director of Academic Policy

This semester both our alumni and current students have excelled to new careers. Current MPA Fellow Jessica Muirhead (MPA 20’) recently became the Senior Program Manager at Capitol Region Council of Governments. MPA 2020 Sarah Croucher was recently named the Director of Academic Policy at the University of Connecticut.

Our class of 2019 saw three alumni updates this fall. Sneha Jayaraj (MPP 19’) recently accepted an  Economic Development Analyst position with MetroHartford Alliance. Matthew Lenczewski (MPA 19’) was promoted to Eligibility Services Specialist in the Division of Health Services Community Options Unit within the CT Department of Social Services. Carl Goldblatt (MPA 19’) also became a Connecticut Careers Trainee with the Connecticut Department of Banking. He is training to become a Financial Examiner. 

Jessica Seabrook, Fiscal Policy Analyst
Jessica Seabrook, Fiscal Policy Analyst

In other alumni news, Alyssa Carboni (MPA 15’) became a Post Award Research Manager with Yale School of Medicine. Jessica Seabrook (MPP 18’) became a Fiscal Policy Analyst with the State of Massachusetts. Daniel Ray (MPA 16’) became an Associate in the Healthcare-Performance Improvement Implementations Department of Huron. 

Encore!Connecticut also saw two updates from the class of 2016. Craig Adler was recently named the Director of The Thomas Merton Center, and Stacy Goodwin was named the Executive Director of Horizons Bridgeport. We spotlighted them earlier this academic year in a DPP article

Carl Goldblatt, CT Careers Trainee
Carl Goldblatt, CT Careers Trainee

This fall we also saw an alumni and student elected to office in Connecticut. Nicole Tomassetti (MPP 18’) joined the Meriden Town Council and Jessica Weaver (MPP 20’) joined the Board of Education in Newington.

Weekly Recap: Good Luck On Finals!

Weekly Recap: Good Luck On Finals!

Last Week:

  • Associate Professor Kerri Raissian kicked off our week on Monday with a research feature on UConn Today’s newsletter. Her research, completed in collaboration with Megan Feely of UConn Social Work, Lindsey Bullinger of Georgia Tech, William Schneider of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, focuses on macro-level factors of child neglect. Read more on this work at UConn Today.
  • On Tuesday, 12/03, the Scholars Strategy Network Connecticut Chapter presented its winter lecture, “Research and the Free Press: Working Together to Inform Policy,” featuring New York Times columnist David Leonhardt.
  • Wednesday night, 12/06, marked the final class of the semester for Professor Mark Robbins’ Public Investment Analysis class. Each semester, the student with the highest performing investment portfolio wins the coveted “Money Bunny” award. Congratulations to this semester’s winner, MPA ’20 student Najoua Khadrany!

    Mark Robbins, Emily Klawitter, Naj Khadrany, Sam Wynne
    Professor Mark Robbins, Emily Klawitter (MPA 18′), Naj Khadrany (MPA 20′), and Sam Wynne (MPA 19′)
  • Last week we also held two successful information sessions on Monday and Wednesday, attracting students interested in the MPA/MPP Programs, Fast Track, and the MPA Fellows program. Follow us on Instagram to never miss an info session update!
  • On Saturday members of our community participated in UConn Hartford’s Footwear with Care’s annual Winter Boot Party! Our Administrative Coordinator Wade Gibbs was featured on the front page of the Hartford Courant
  • In Alumni news, congratulations to both Sneha Jayaraj (MPP ‘19) and Matthew Lenczewski (MPA ’19) for accepting new positions in their field. Sneha will be starting an Economic Development Analyst position with MetroHartford Alliance and Matthew is a new Eligibility Services Specialist with the Connecticut Department of Social Services.

This Week:

  • Final Exams begin on Monday, December 9th.
  • Information Sessions: To RSVP please see our info session page
    • MPA Fellows Information Session: Tuesday, December 10th  from 12-1PM in the 4th Floor Faculty Lounge of HTB.
    • Survey Research & Fast-Track Information Session: Wednesday, December 11th from 8:30-9:00AM, online session.
  • Professional Service Executive Leadership Collaborative (PSELC) on Team Development, Friday, December 13th 2019, from 9am-4pm.
  • Also this week: All current DPP students check your email for information about candidate job talks.

Weekly Recap: The Final Stretch

Weekly Recap: The Final Stretch

Finals are next week, but we still have one more week of classes.

Last week was Fall Recess for the Huskies

  • We rounded out the final days of classes with with Professor Yusun Kim attending the National Tax Association Conference in Tampa, Florida from November 21-23, 2019. Professor Kim presented on “Estimating Returns to Scale in Property Assessment Coordination Among Local Jurisdictions in New York” with Professor Yilin Hou and Professor John M. Yinger from Syracuse University.
  • MPA Alumni, Melissa McCaw was named one of the Women of Distinction in Connecticut for 2019 by Hartford Magazine.

    Yusun Kim presenting
    Associate Professor Yusun Kim presenting

The Week Ahead:

  • On Monday, there will be an information session for the MPA, MPP & Fast Track program from 12:30pm – 1:30pm in HTB 209.
  • On Tuesday, UConn Hartford is hosting a Scholars Strategy Network Connecticut Chapter winter lecture featuring New York Times columnist David Leonhardt from 5:30 – 6:30pm in HTB 145. Please RSVP here.
  • On Wednesday, there will be an online information session for MPA Fellows from 7:00pm – 8:00pm
  • This week there are also multiple candidate job talks.

Melissa McCaw Named a Women of Distinction in Connecticut

Melissa McCaw Named a Women of Distinction in Connecticut

Melissa McCaw
Melissa McCaw, Secretary of OPM (photo credit: Brad Horrigan / Hartford Courant)

The Hartford Courant recently named Melissa McCaw, MPA 2014 a “Women of Distinction in Connecticut”. McCaw was one of thirty women selected this year based on her contributions in making a “…significant difference in the life of [her] community”. Currently, McCaw is the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) for the Lamont Administration. In her role, she is responsible for the policy, planning, budgeting, and management of state government. She has been in the role for just over a year, taking office on January 9th in 2019. 

McCaw, a lifelong Connecticut resident, previously served the City of Hartford community as the Chief Financial Officer and Director of Budget Management & Grants. She also worked as the Budget Director for the University of Hartford, and began her career as a Budget Specialist with the Health and Human Services and General Government at OPM.

Weekly Recap: It’s Still Time For A Turkey-Thirty

Weekly Recap: It’s Still Time For A Turkey-Thirty

Before we left for Thanksgiving Recess, here at the Department of Public Policy (DPP) we traveled around Connecticut and to Tampa, Florida!

  • On Monday, we hosted a Fast-Track and Survey Research online information session. Our final session for the semester is December 11th at 8:30am. To RSVP please see our information session page.
  • Monday night GAPPS-ICMA also hosted their Friendsgiving celebration! Be on the lookout for a photo from the event later this week!
  • Tuesday we spoke with students at UConn Avery Point and UConn Hartford! At Avery Point, we participated in Career Conversations and spoke about opportunities related to environmental policy and healthcare. In Hartford, we participated in the Volunteer Fair and talked about the work DPP students and alums are doing in our community.
  • Associate Professor Kerri Raissian co-presented with Assistant Professor Megan Feeley of UConn School of Social Work and Ph.D. Candidate Kelley Fong of Harvard Sociology on Wednesday at the CT Data Conference. The trio shared how they use micro and macro data to challenge assumptions about child maltreatment.
  • The week ended with Assistant Professor Yusun Kim attending the National Tax Association Conference in Tampa, Florida from November 21-23, 2019. Professor Kim presented on “Estimating Returns to Scale in Property Assessment Coordination Among Local Jurisdictions in New York” with Professor Yilin Hou and Professor John M. Yinger from Syracuse University.

The Week Ahead:

  • This week the students are on break for Thanksgiving Recess, but our offices will remain open through Thursday! We will be back with another weekly recap that looks ahead next Monday.
Three people standing with turkey hats
UConn DPP student Haley Turner, MPP 2020 helping with Turkey Thirty Fundraising at her IPP at Goodwin College

In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in Foodshare’s Turkey Thirty! 2020 MPP Haley Turner Gillman helped to collect funds and turkeys at her internship at Goodwin College last week. CEO and President of Foodshare Jason Jakubowski, MPA 2001 has been all across Connecticut platforms reminding us all about food insufficiency in Connecticut, and the impact our donations can have on families across Connecticut. To help Foodshare reach it’s goal of 15,000 turkeys and $450,000 please see their website.

The DPP faculty and staff would also like to wish every member of the DPP Network from students, to alumni, to community partners, and collaborators a Happy Thanksgiving!

DPP Faculty Conference Recap: Fall 2019


DPP Faculty Conference Recap: Fall 2019

Fabiola Bachinelo, MPA 19' and Professor Mark Robbins at NASPAA
Fabiola Bachinelo, MPA 19′ and Professor Mark Robbins at NASPAA

This semester UConn DPP Department Head, Dr. Mohamad Alkadry, Director of Communications for the CT Office of the State Comptroller, Tara Downes (MPA Fellow 20’), and Assistant State Comptroller Michelle Gilman presented their findings on “The Connecticut State Workforce: An Analysis of Representations and Compensation Equity Across Gender and Race-Ethnicity” across the state at various presentations. The trio presented at the Legislative Office Building in September and at Central Connecticut State University’s “Overcoming Gender Pay Inequity in Connecticut” forum in November. DPP alum Veronica T. DeLandro also spoke, and current MPP student Caleb Pittman helped moderate. 

At the end of September, Professor Eric Brunner, Professor Mark D. Robbins, Professor Bill Simonsen and Assistant Professor Yusun Kim attended the Association for Budgeting & Financial Management (ABFM) Annual Conference in Washington D.C. During the conference, Professor Simonsen and Assistant Professor Kim presented papers. Professor Robbins presented an award. 

We kicked off October with Associate Professor Kerri Raissian presenting research on the connection between poverty and child maltreatment. Professor Raissian presented with UConn School of Social Work Assistant Professor Megan Feely at the Department of Children and Families/ Community Support for Families Annual Meeting.

In mid-October, the DPP headed to the 50th Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California. Both faculty and staff presented on

 a variety of topics, which can be recapped in our NASPAA 2019 Instagram post. MPA 2019 Fabiola Bachinelo was also in attendance. Fabiola accepted an Accreditation Associate position with NASPAA earlier this year.

At the end of October, Distinguished Visiting Professor and Interim Director of the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative (SCGI) Dr. Robert Wilson attended the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) Annual Conference in Philadelphia, PA. SCGI launched earlier this semester as a university-wide interdisciplinary research unit that examines cities across the globe and develops new models of democratic, health, and sustainable urban life in partnership with public and private organizations.

We started November with Director of Nonprofit Leadership, Internships & Partnerships, and Encore!Connecticut Dr. David Garvey attending the CT Nonprofit Alliance Annual Conference in Hartford.

Mid-way through November Professor Brunner and Assistant Professor Kim presented at the Association of Public Policy Analysis & Management’s (APPAM) 41st Annual Conference in Denver, CO. 

We concluded November and the semester with Dr. Raissian co-presenting with Dr. Feely and PhD. Candidate Kelley Fong of Harvard Sociology at the CT Data Conference. The trio shared how they use micro and macro data to challenge assumptions about child maltreatment. Assistant Professor Kim also presented at the National Tax Association (NTA) Conference in Tampa, FL.