News

Alumni Nathan Ohle Lecture

Yesterday we kicked off our Fall Speaker Series with CEO of Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) and Michigan State University alum (#GoGreen), Nathan Ohle. As a former Senior Advisor at the U.S. Economic Development Administration during the Obama administration and Board Relations Liaison for the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Nathan offered insight to national and local policy—and valuable professional development advice:

“The key to every one of my jobs was built on a relationship that I had maintained. You can have as many business cards as you want, but actually putting in the time to build connections goes a lot farther. Even if you don’t have anything to ask of them, showing you care matters.”

We’re grateful to have fellow Spartans invest in our students and our program. Thank you, Nathan!

MPP Student Lauren Lahie Awarded Goodman Scholarship

Lauren Lahie, a first year Master of Public Policy student, was recently awarded the George and Judith Goodman Scholarship by the Michigan Municipal League Foundation.

The Goodman scholarship aims to create a pipeline of qualified individuals by encouraging careers in public service. This scholarship is awarded every November to a Michigan high school or college student pursuing a career in local government with a public policy or public administration degree and is intended to be used for tuition and fees related to pursuing a degree. The scholarship is funded in recognition of George Goodman, who had a long career in public service; he served 22 years as the Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League.

Lauren Lahie plans to pursue a career as a political consultant in local government after graduation. She explains, “The funds from this scholarship give me the opportunity to continue moving towards that goal worry-free.” Lauren encourages other students to apply for all scholarships – especially ones funded by an organization with goals or a mission that you personally believe in.

 

MPP Speaker Series: Susan Reed

Susan Reed, Managing Attorney at Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, spoke with MPP students on Thursday, October 18 about her experience with Michigan’s immigration policy & being an advocate for critical immigration legal issues. Reed described the challenges of coalition-building between civil rights organizations and advocacy groups. She explained how working with different stakeholders can be difficult due to differing values and priorities. In her role as a legal supervisor, Reed deals with a variety of legal issues for immigrants, such as wage theft, work status, and the rights of unaccompanied minors.

Her work has grown in size, scope, and public engagement since Reed entered the immigration policy arena in 2007. There used to be less general public interest in immigration issues, Reed explained, but with the recent family separation policies by Trump Administration, public engagement has increased. Reed believed it is heartening to have more public support behind her work with immigration legal advocacy in Michigan; her organization was even invited to speak in seven different Michigan cities over the past year.

Reed advised MPP students to stay grounded in their core values and to not to betray  one’s constituents with intersectional identities by partnering with coalitions who promote policies which may harm them. Reed emphasized the importance of recognizing the social, cultural, and economic contributions of immigrants, but cautions against simplifying immigrants’ contributions to solely their economic impacts. Immigrants, those with legal status or otherwise, deserve human dignity.