In Brief - the Newsletter of Cornell University's MPA Program

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CIPA Consulting Project Slated to Receive Cornell Annual Town Gown Award

Focusing on campus-community initiatives led by Cornell students, the 8th annual Cornell Town-Gown Awards (the TOGOs) will be held Dec. 8, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., in Kulp Auditorium at Ithaca High School.  One of the partnerships to be recognized is one CIPA has been integrally involved with: a countywide task force assessing emergency systems throughout Tompkins County.


CIPA Students Selected as Forbes Under 30 Scholars

This year 17 Cornell graduate students and alumni were selected as Forbes Scholars to attend the Forbes Under 30 Summit in Boston, MA from September 30-October 3, 2018; nine of these were from CIPA. This summit brought together more than 7,000 young entrepreneurs, visionaries, and social innovators for an immersive experience featuring more than 200 world-class speakers including investors, celebrities, musicians, sports stars, cultural icons, political and business leaders. "So many inspiring leaders sharing invaluable experiences - this summit was unforgettable." says Ph.D. student Tibra Wheeler. Cornell student attendees represented a wide variety of interest areas including social entrepreneurship, science, technology, environmental policy, impact investment, law, and public policy.


CIPA Colloquium Reimagined

With a generous gift from CIPA alumni Melissa Yee Gradie '11 and Hunter Gradie '12, CIPA overhauled its Colloquium program this summer and launched the new programming this fall.  Once a general speaker series featuring public policy practitioners, Colloquium is now a career management series that includes interactive speaker forums, professional development workshops and roundtable discussions.  

Assistant Director for Career Development Millie Reed, Engaged Learning Associate Kayla Malone, and CIPA Executive Director Tom O'Toole worked with the Gradies to reimagine Colloquium with its new emphasis on preparing CIPA students to launch successful careers.  

In her blog post, Colloquium: Opportunity on a Silver Platter  first-year CIPA student Jamila Daniel '20 discusses her experience in the course this semester, examining the ways that the course content has prepared her to tackler her summer internship quest.


"Leadership for Public Affairs" Course Streamed from DC

This semester, CIPA students on the Ithaca campus were able to register for CIPA's Washington, DC-based PADM 5118--Leadership for Public Affairs course taught by former U.S. Deputy Secretary for Labor Seth Harris. In the past, this course was only available to students enrolled in the CIPA Washington DC Externship Semester program. Distance learning technology was employed to connect Ithaca students with the course being taught at the Cornell in Washington Center.  

The course examines various leadership approaches and theories in the context of public or public-related organizations. Harris, who served in the Obama administration and is a nationally-recognized expert in employment and labor law and policy, regularly brings in guests to speak to the class.  Guests this semester have included Kathleen Merrigan, former deputy U.S. secretary of agriculture and Jenny Yang, former chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Harris served as a CIPA Executive-in-Residence in 2016-2017 and is currently a lecturer for the program. 

eLab students pitch to NYC business leaders

Elaha Mahboob, MPA '19, a master's student in the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs and an eLab member, said she met potential collaborators at the event who showed enthusiasm about her company, Bright Citizen, whose product is coffee infused with saffron. The company plans to donate 50 percent of its profits to empower and educate women in developing countries.

"The highlight for me was meeting with some people who were from the Middle East, where they use saffron on a daily basis," said Mahboob, who is from Afghanistan and was chosen as one of this year's Forbes 30 under 30. "They were very interested in trying this type of coffee and even helping with the expansion of my product in their countries.


Students Attend Cyber Policy Competition 

Eight CIPA students divided into two teams of four attended the 2018 Cyber Policy Competition at Columbia University in September, led by CIPA Lecturer Rebecca Morgenstern Brenner. The competition was designed for cross-disciplined understand of policy challenges associated with cyber crisis and conflicts. One of the CIPA teams, including Anshuman Gupta '20, Khyatee Tewari '20, Nida Manmud '19, and Bauyrzhan Aigirnov '20,  was awarded the "Best Decision Document" at the competition.  You can learn more about the students' experiences in the Nov. 9 blog post written by Tewari.>


CIPA Launches New Blog: Public Policy in Action

This fall CIPA launched Public Policy in Action, a blog featuring profiles ofstudents and alumni, along with research and experiential projects being completed by faculty and students. Our hope is that this blog will inspire people to learn about the many ways they can promote positive change in the world with an MPA degree.  We invite you to read and subscribe to the blog.  Subscribers will receive an e-mail once a week with a summary of the blogs published during the previous seven days.  


CIPA co-sponsored Event: A Reporter Paints Vivid Portrait of Opioid Epidemic

"Opiates are the poster drugs of our time, our culture today, an age dominated by isolation, by fleeting connections, by social media and 24-hours-a-day news, by ideological dogma forcing us into these little bubbles," said National Book Critics Circle Award-winning journalist Sam Quinones on the origins and impacts of the opioid epidemic Nov. 7 at Call Auditorium.


Watch this pre-recorded panel discussion: What Authority & Rights Do NFL Owners Have Over Player Conduct    

Since 2016, many NFL players have engaged in the practice of kneeling while the national anthem is played before games in order to both protest and raise awareness of issues surrounding race, law enforcement and criminal justice reform.  These protests have been met with both praise and controversy by elected officials, social activists, and the general public across the political spectrum.

On Oct. 16, CIPA and the Cornell in Washington (CIW) program co-hosted an interactive discussion with two of the nation's leading scholar-practitioners on labor/employment and sports law to consider the rights and authority of NFL owners with respect to player protests:  Michael Huyghue and Seth Harris.  Huyghue is a Cornell alumnus and an adjunct professor at the Cornell Law School. He is widely regarded as one of the most prominent figures in the professional sports industry with a career spanning 30 years, including a term as the Commissioner of the United Football League. Seth Harris is a former Deputy U.S. Secretary of Labor who served for more than four years under President Barack Obama.  A practicing attorney, he is currently a legal, policy and strategic advisor to numerous corporations and organizations.  He is also a CIPA lecturer.


View Photos from CIPA's Fall 2018 Washington, DC Networking Event 

Forty-nine CIPA students attended the Oct. 19 Washington D.C networking event where they had the opportunity to connect with twenty-four alumni employed in the greater DC area. The event, which consisted of both roundtable discussions and a mix and mingle, offered students the opportunity to glean career tips from alumni and to make valuable connections.  Pictures are available on the CIPA Flickr account.


Alumni Gather for Public Policy Discussion on Evidence-Based Management

On Nov. 8 more than 40 CIPA alumni and friends participated in a discussion led by CIPA Director Maria Fitzpatrick and GAO Director of Strategic Affairs Robert Goldenkoff on the subject of "Encouraging Innovation Through Smarter Oversight: A Conversation on Evidence-Based Management."  This discussion and reception was aligned with the 2018 Annual Conference of the Association for Public Policy and Management (APPAM), which drew more than 2,500 scholars and practitioners from across the field of public affairs to Washington, DC.  The conversation, facilitated by CIPA, focused on using evidence to assure accountability and ethical practice in an adversarial political environment.  This event was made possible through the generous donations of CIPA alumni and friends, with logistical support provided by Cornell's Office of Federal Relations.  We look forward to hosting similar conversations in the future. 


Read Recent Publications by Faculty & Alumni


Retirement for Middle-Class Americans is Crumbling  in The Biden Forum, Sept. 2018. By CIPA Lecturer Seth D. Harris, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor under President Obama

Opinion: Trump's Border Stunt Is a Profound Betrayal of Our Military in The New York Times Nov. 19, 2018. Co-authored by CIPA alumnus Isaiah Wilson III '98, a retired Army Colonel

The Use of PPP Arrangements in Street Lighting: A Win-Win Option? in Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, September 2018. Co-authored by CIPA Core Faculty member R. Richard Geddes, Professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management

Conditions of Confinement in American Prisons and Jails in Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences, Vol. 14: 29-47 (Oct. 2018). Co-authored by CIPA Director Maria D. Fitzpatrick, associate professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management


Explore Recent Cornell Policy Review Articles and Podcasts


How Financial Tech Can Aid Financial Inclusion in Mexico By Rafael Morales Guzman, CIPA MPA 2015 / Posted Nov. 16, 2018

The Case for a Universal Child Allowance in the United States By Joe VerValin, CIPA MPA 2018 


An Interview with C. Dixon Osborn: Ensuring Justice for Human Rights Violations (Nov 2018) 

An Interview with Jaime Pessin: Gun Violence and Public Safety Activism (Nov 2018)

An Interview with Natalie Fields: Advocating for Accountability in Impact Investments (Sept 2018)

An Interview with Christian Poirier: Mega Dam Construction in the Amazon Basin (Sept 2018)