Student organizations

Opportunities for leadership, service, and teamwork

Student organizations are an integral part of the Ford School community—they recruit policymakers and scholars to speak at the school, provide a forum for students to discuss and take action on shared policy interests, raise money for deserving charities, promote international perspectives, and more.

Nick Tomaino, Betsey Stevenson, Andrew Biggs

Student organizations at Michigan

Search organizations, events, and news for the entire University of Michigan-Ann Arbor campus:

Student raises hand in Annenberg room

Student org events

Events by students, for students

Ford School student orgs host events for fellow Ford School and U-M students to build on their courses with focused and self-directed learning, to promote and sustain community, and to connect with policymakers and leaders around the globe.
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Ford School student organizations

  • The Student Affairs Committee (SAC) supports student organization leaders with funding, guidance, and event facilitation, serving as the primary liaison between the Ford School's students, faculty, and administrators. SAC engages in a number of activities, including organizing days of service and fundraising events to support community organizations, and promoting interaction between students, faculty, and staff. Email for more information.

    Chair: Vacant
    Vice-Chair: Taylor Stensen,
    Director of Communications: Shaylyn MacKinnon,
    Treasurer: Ariel Freed,
    DEI Chair: Young Chan Lim,
    Director of External Relations: Alex Perez-Garcia,
    Social Chairs: Ramsay Ritchie, and AJ Convertino,
    At-large: Crystal Olalde-Garcia,
    At-large: Heather Berg,
    At-large: Miguel Lopez,
    At-large: Doug Ortiz,
    At-large: Kristina Curtiss,
    At-large: Jessica Liang,
    Executive Committee Representative: Fanta Conde,
    DEI Coalition Representative: Scott Haeck,
    DEI Coalition Representative: Jessica Hartshorn,
    Master's Program Committee Representative: Shaylyn MacKinnon,
    Master's Program Committee Representative: Ryan Fogarty,
    Alumni Board Representative: J'Taime Lyons,

    Participation open to: Master's students only

    The Ford School Undergraduate Council is an elected board of undergraduate public policy students. The council consists of 3 senior class students who are elected in the spring of their junior year and 2 junior class students who are elected in the fall of their junior year. The students elected in their senior year will serve a total of 2 semesters, while the students elected in their junior year will serve a total of 4 semesters. The Ford School Undergraduate Council is responsible for planning social events for the undergraduate class, organizing community service opportunities and acting as the liaison to the Ford School Administration. The council meets on a weekly basis. Email for more information.

    President: Alyssa Donovan,
    Vice President: Joseph Timmer,
    External Relations: Matt Weiner,
    Treasurer: Julia Fadanelli,
    Secretary: Leah Leszczynski,

    Participation open to: Undergraduate students only

    The Ford School Charity Auction Committee coordinates and executes the spring Charity Auction. This semi-formal event raises more than ten thousand dollars each year for a student-nominated and elected beneficiary. In the past decade alone, the Charity Auction has raised more than $100,000 for eleven local and international nonprofits nominated and selected by students. All members of the Ford School community attend to eat, drink, dance and bid on silent and live auction items. Committee member responsibilities include fundraising, donation solicitation, decoration, and all other aspects of event planning. The Charity Auction is the major end-of-year event hosted by the Ford School. Past Beneficiaries include Girls on the Run ($10,140), Our House (2014) $16,000 raised; Detroit Action Commonwealth (2013) $9,000 raised; Alternative for Girls (2012) $12,000 raised; Freedom House Detroit (2011) $11,000 raised. Email for more information.

    2nd year Co-Chair: Jon Ashken,
    2nd year Co-Chair: Kellen Datta,
    2nd year Co-Chair: Sarah Truax,

    Participation open to: All students 

    The mission of Domestic Policy Corps (DPC) is to provide a forum for academic engagement and dialogue on current domestic policy issues. DPC plans to foster and activate students’ voices on current and vital policy issues as they arise, believing that the school should be a leader on campus and among its academic peers in discussing, analyzing and promoting domestic policy solutions. The DPC advocates the deliberation of ideas between today’s current policy leaders and tomorrow’s future leaders. In an effort to engage these debates, the DPC coordinates discussions, policy briefs, research, an annual publication, debates, keynote speakers, workshops and training seminars. These experiences will further the path to policy professionalism through practical, hands-on-knowledge and a working ability to explore, learn and express views outside the classroom.

    Co-president: Anna Kelly,
    Co-president: Kylie Claxton,
    Events Coordinator: Zan Rabney,
    K-12 Coordinator: Sharon Ceron Espinosa,

    Participation open to: All students 

    The Environmental Policy Association is a student organization at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy that is committed to protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and promoting equitable and just choices for communities disproportionately affected by environmental impacts. Email for more information. 

    President: Daly Kleaveland, 
    Vice President: Bethany Haddad,
    Communications Co-Chair: Sarah Tresedder,
    Sustainability Chair: Jaclyn Kahn,
    Executive Member at Large: Elena Davert,
    Executive Member at Large: Anna Seifert, 

    Participation open to: Master's students only 

    The Ford+Munk Conference Committee is an annual student-led policy conference between the University of Toronto Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy and the Ford School of Public Policy. Held in the Winter semester, the event brings together students from both schools in a team-based learning environment where they are challenged to analyze, evaluate, and present key findings related to a current policy issue facing both sides of the border. This bi-national case competition is a great opportunity to further your understanding of multi-stakeholder and cross-border policy collaboration and implementation.

    Co-Chair: Kielan Rathjen,
    Co-Chair: Sydney Thompson,
    Co-chair: Maia O’Meara,

    Participation open to: Master's students only

    The Ford School Consulting Club (FSCC) is a club for Ford School graduate students with an interest in consulting. The club helps students find information, meet recruiters, navigate the interview process, and make connections with Ford School alumni in consulting. The club also provides resources and information on consulting for for-profit, nonprofit, government, international firms, agencies, and think tanks. Similar to consulting clubs in other schools, FSCC members gather together to practice case interviewing and learn how to use analysis techniques learned at the Ford School to solve problems in different industries and sectors. The Ford School is unique among policy schools in that its highly quantitative curriculum and complex issue analysis techniques are extremely suitable for strategy, management, and operations consulting both in the private and public sectors. The FSCC aims to help students make the transition from student to consultant and to assist consulting firms with an interest in meeting students as well as in sharing new developments and unique or novel perspectives from the industry.

    Participation open to: Master's students only

    In order to uplift local and student artists and bring musical performances to the Ford Community, Funky Fordies will provide a space for musicians and music enthusiasts to come together in a positive and creative environment. Our organization will create a unique experience for Ford School students by fostering relationships between the policy and artistic communities at the University of Michigan.


    Co-President: Maia O'Meara,

    Co-President: Celia Sawyerr,

    Co-President: Yasin Shafi,

    Gamma Rho Phi, named in honor of Gerald R. Ford, is a professional "fraternity" formed by the B.A. Class of 2010. By taking advantage of the Ford undergraduate community's small size, GRPhi works to increase opportunities for undergrads outside of the classroom. These opportunities broadly fall within GRPhi's four pillars–social bonding, professional development, athletics, and community service.

    In the past, GRPhi has hosted and organized: a "PubPol Progressive," a welcome BBQ for newly admitted undergrads, a Relay for Life team, a trip to Detroit to volunteer at an organic farm, and a mentorship program with a local high school (among other events). GRPhi participates in IM sports such as co-ed volleyball, inner-tube water polo, and broomball.

    President: Megan Tigue,
    Vice President: Sarah Niemann,
    Treasurer: Aaron McDonald,
    Social Chair: Emma Smith,

    Participation open to: Undergraduate students only

    Global Fordies is a student organization of international students at the Ford School, focused on establishing a global and multicultural community of engaged public servants. GF’s objective is to collaborate within the Ford School to ease the transition for international students, maximize their potential and career opportunities and encourage them to contribute to the school community. Our mission is to provide a unique platform for international students to engage with the Ford School community, voice their issues and bring positive change by promoting multicultural perspectives with the peers and colleagues at the entire Ford School.

    Co-chair: Yi-Chia Hwang,
    Co-chair: Farwa Haider,
    Events Chair: Aditya Benyamin,
    Alumnx Chair & Treasurer: Maheen Zahid,
    Policy & Advocacy Chair: Clary Baudraz,
    At-large Board member: Milagros Chocce,
    At-large Board member: Shiyu Guo,
    At-large Board member: Yanjing Fu,
    At-large Board member/Domestic Liaison: Alyshia Dyer,


    Participation open to: All students

    The Health Policy Student Association (HPSA) provides and supports educational and professional development opportunities for all students interested in health policy.

    Members come from many disciplines and degree programs including public health, public policy, law, social work, business, medicine, dentistry, and nursing. HPSA is a place for students to participate in health policy related events including guest speakers, local and national level meetings, panel discussions, policy outreach efforts, and a variety of social activities.

    HPSA is a growing organization with opportunities for leadership roles, career enhancement, skill development and networking in the health policy world.

    Email for more information.

    President: Amira Haider,
    Vice President: Rachel Domzalski,
    Education Chair: Abigail Lindsay,
    Advocacy Chair: Ketan Revankar,
    Professional Development Chair: Jumanah Anwar,
    Finance Chair: Hassan Kourani,
    Marketing & Communications Chair: Kyra Martin,

    Participation open to: Master's students only

    Intramural sports is a fun way to meet some great people and enjoy Michigan. For those of you interested in a bit more competition, we offer a slate of competitive teams in all of the major sports; for those who want to come out and simply enjoy your evenings, we will also offer recreational teams. 2014 Champions: Mens and Grad Sand Volleyball, Flag Football, and Wally Ball. 2014 Runner-ups: Basketball, Co-Rec and Grad 5-5 Basketball, Indoor Soccer, Co-Rec and Women's Swimming, Dodgeball, and Indoor Volleyball.

    Participation open to: Master's students only

    International Policy Student Association (IPSA) promotes, facilitates, sustains, and provides opportunities for the study of international policy issues at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. IPSA provides networking and skills-building to help students to explore international careers, to network with global organizations, and to learn about international policy in a professional and academic environment. IPSA also compiles information about international policies, international organizations, and relevant international events for students resources.

    IPSA benefits from distinguished Ford School faculty members who are experts in the fields of international political, economic, and social policies. IPSA maintains a close relationship with International Policy Center (IPC) at Ford School which is one of nation leading institution for interdisciplinary research, education, and policy dialogue on international economics, security, and human rights.

    Co-president: Rebecca Mendelsohn,
    Co-president: Christian Ilarraza Colon,
    International Policy & Security Affairs Chair: Mathew Rigdon,
    International Social & Cultural Affairs Chair: Nomindari Gousakoff
    Communications Chair: Joel Wheeler,
    Undergraduate Co-Chair: Zayna Syed,
    Undergraduate Co-Chair: Lucia Lopez,

    Participation open to: All students

    The Michigan Journal of Public Affairs (MJPA) is the student-run academic journal of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. The MJPA promotes dialogue on a wide range of public policy issues by publishing a diverse group of contributors, ranging from students to public policy professionals. Co-editors-in-chief, to be selected. For more information, email

    Editor in Chief: Nicholas Birdsong,
    Managing Editor: Maxwell Kaufman,
    Web Editor: Kalena Thomhave,
    Assistant Web Editor: Matt Shrsweeney,
    Communications Director: Kristina Curtiss,

    Participation open to: Master's students only

    Co-chair: Javi Pineiro,
    Co-chair: Kristina Curtiss,

    Participation open to: Master’s students only

    Out in Public is the LGBTQ and ally group at the Ford School of Public Policy. We seek to create a welcoming space for LGBTQ people at the Ford School, engage the wider Ford School community in dialogue about LGBTQ issues and connect with other LGBTQ groups across campus. Bachelors students, Masters students, PhD students, faculty and staff are all welcome.

    Board Member: Colin Foos,
    Board Member: Doug Ortiz,
    Board Member: Kate Randall,
    Board Member: Kailyn Simmons,


    Participation open to: All students

    Policy for the People is a space for students who are interested in learning more about Leftist ideology through discussions, speakers, and direct actions. We are dedicated to supporting, advocating for, and establishing socially, politically, and economically equitable institutions, policies, and systems in local and international communities. We understand that social, political, and economic issues are inherently intertwined so that to address one we must address the others.

    Chair: Javi Piniero,
    Communications Chair: To be announced
    Treasurer: Corey Miles,
    At Large: Mandy Miles,
    At Large: Rebecca Mendelsohn,

    Participation open to: All students

    The mission of SCPP is to create an environment at the Ford School and within the University of Michigan campus community in which public policy students of color can succeed emotionally, academically, and professionally. SCPP meets regularly to provide a place for discussion of policy and personal issues and to organize activities. The organization, which welcomes all interested students.

    Chair: Marissa Uchimura,
    Communications Chair: Janice Le,
    Events Co-Chair: Fanta Conde,
    Events Co-Chair: Karina Hernandez,
    Outreach Chair: Celia Sawyerr,
    Public Affairs Chair: Selene Rangel,
    Finance Chair: Priyanka Panjwani,

    Participation open to: Master's students only

    Public Affairs is generally defined as an organization’s relationship with stakeholders on specific issues. It is the goal of those working in public affairs to explain organizational policies and views on public policy issues, assisting policymakers and legislators in amending or laying down better policy and legislation. These professionals provide information on issues that have the potential to impact an organization’s ability to operate successfully. Public affairs work combines government relations, media communications, issue management, corporate and social responsibility, information dissemination, and strategic communications advice. 


    President: Justin Fisher,

    Chair: Janani Gandhi,
    Vice Chair: Michaela Minnis,
    Executive Coordinator: Alexa Patrick-Rodriguez,
    Social Coordinator: Riya Prasad,
    Treasurer: Gerald Sill,

    Participation open to: Undergraduate students only

    WeListen is a grassroots, campus-based organization working to bridge the American political divide. Through biweekly discussion sessions on topics ranging from gun control to free speech, we facilitate small-group conversations (not debates!) between people with divergent political viewpoints. We're looking for students of various backgrounds with views across the political spectrum (Democrats, Republicans, or neither) who are interested in learning why someone might not agree with them. We hope to show that political disagreement is not inherently hostile, and that constructive political discourse is both possible and valuable.

    Co-President: Hanna Kelly,
    Co-President: Jasper Scheiber,
    VP of Finance: Ciara Nolan,
    VP of Operations: Leo Lofy,
    VP of Content: Raj Aryal,
    VP of Outreach: Caroline Martin
    Head Moderator: Taylor Smith

    Participation open to: All students

    Formed in 2002, Women and Gender in Public Policy engages the Ford School community in a dialogue about gender and related domestic and international public policies. WGPP promotes professional development activities by facilitating communication and networking among current students, Ford School alumni, faculty, and working professionals to form a lasting community of policy professionals.

    Chair: Amy Weber,
    Events Chair: Tara Lanigan,
    Communications Chair: Vivian Kalumbi,
    At Large: Kate Randall,
    At Large: Clary Baudraz,
    At Large: Linh Tran-Phuong,
    At Large: Justine D’Souza,

    Participation open to: All students

Students gather around an ofrenda for Black lives

Student voices

Student organizations speak on Black Lives Matter.

Seven Ford School student organizations released statements of solidarity with the Black community and the movements for Black lives.
Read their messages and learn more.

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