Meet our 2014 PPIA Fellows

June 9, 2014

An anthropology major from Ghana; a liberal arts major from Jamaica; an international studies major from Livonia; a business administration major from Los Angeles; an economics major from West Virginia; a sociology major from Santa Ana; a political science major from Mexico; the list goes on. Altogether, 18 undergraduate students have been selected for the Ford School's Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute, an intensive summer training program for aspiring public servants.

Since its inception in 1981, more than 4,000 students have participated in the Public Policy and International Affairs program, a national initiative launched by the Sloan Foundation to help underrepresented minorities prepare for graduate school and, ultimately, leadership roles in public service. The Ford School is proud to report that more than 15 percent of those graduates have completed their summer institute right here in Ann Arbor.

What these PPIA fellows accomplish when they leave the institute and finish graduate school (the majority of them complete master's degrees in public policy and international affairs) has been truly impressive. Today, alumni of the Ford School's Junior Summer Institute include U.S. Foreign Service officers with USAID, senior policy advisors at the United Nations, community development managers for major banks, program managers at national nonprofit advocacy groups, and more.

This year's PPIA Fellows will take economics, writing, and statistics courses (Justin Thomas, who has been recruited to Yale, has agreed to stay on for the PPIA institute). They'll take GRE-test prep courses, and will attend a graduate school fair at the University of Chicago Harris School. They'll take a variety of policy modules—international policy with Yazier Henry, domestic policy with Anmol Chaddha, and monetary policy with Susan Collins. They'll go on a guided bus tour of Detroit with city historian Reynolds Farley, will meet with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, will see a Tigers game and visit Eastern Market, and will participate in video conferences with a variety of Ford School and PPIA alumni.

"We are delighted to welcome our 2014 PPIA class to Ann Arbor for the summer," says Beth Soboleski (MPP '89), associate director of student and academic services and a member of the executive board of the national Public Policy and International Affairs Program. "Once again, these students come from across the country and represent a wide range of interests and ambitions. The Ford School is so proud of our long history as a PPIA Junior Summer Institute host. Our PPIA alums have contributed greatly to the field of public policy and international affairs and we are confident our new class will continue that tradition."

View bios and photos of this year's PPIA students here.