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

This is an online version of the eNewsletter - please email us if you want to be added to our CIPA in Brief enewsletter mailing list.

Melissa Gradie, MPA '11 and Hunter Gradie, MPA '12 Give Back

Cornell Institute for Public Affairs (CIPA) alumni Hunter Gradie M.P.A. '12 and Melissa Yee Gradie B.S. '10, M.P.A. '11 are a Cornell couple, through and through.

CIPA Celebrates CIPA Class of 2018

At the Commencement Ceremony on May 26, CIPA conferred the diplomas of 97 graduating fellows.  Highlights of the event included a guest keynote by Mary Miller, BA 1977, the former US Under Secretary for Domestic Finance and faculty remarks by CIPA Executive Director Thomas O'Toole, MPA 2003 and PhD 2016, as well as a.  Student reflections were offered by graduates Amal Aun, Sarang Mangi, Marilyn Quaidoo, and Yeareen Yun, with the 2017-18 CPAS President Jonathon Cummings serving as the Master of Ceremonies.  The event was live-streamed and is available to view on CornellCast. Commencement photos.

At the ceremony, sixty members of the class were inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA), the global honor society for Public Affairs and Administration. Along with integrity, professionalism, and effective performance, PAA membership requires that students have a record of outstanding scholarship that includes a GPA of 3.5 or above.

CIPA offers two certificate programs that allow students to obtain advanced training in Environmental Finance and Impact Investing (EFII) or Infrastructure Project Management and Finance (IPMF).  This year, three graduates received EFII certificates and another nine received IPMF certificates.

Summer Happy Hour in Washington, DC Brings Together CIPA Alumni

CIPA Director Maria Fitzpatrick offered introductory remarks at the Alumni Happy Hour, held at James Hoban's in Washington, DC on June 27.  This was the first alumni event that CIPA has held since Fitzpatrick was named director in the spring and about 50 alums were on hand to welcome her, including former CIPA Director David Lewis.  She looks forward to meeting more alumni at future events. 

CIPA Launches e-Cornell Certificate Program: Systems Thinking Leadership

Drs. Derek Cabrera and Laura Cabrera, internationally known for their work in the field of systems thinking, systems leadership, and systems modeling, have been offering CIPA MPA coursework in this subject area since 2015. This month, their coursework became available online through eCornell.

Professor Geddes Offers Expertise on Hyperloop Technology

CIPA core faculty member Richard "Rick" Geddes, a professor in the Department of Policy Analysis and Management and the director of the Cornell Program in Infrastructure Policy, has written extensively on hyperloop technology and its potential for dramatically reducing travel time in the U.S. He has also addressed the regulatory, environmental, and financial challenges that hyperloop technology would need to overcome to succeed.

CIPA Capstone Research Published in Journal of Psychology in Africa

A peer-reviewed article describing findings from research conducted by CIPA capstone teams, in conjunction with their client the Global Livingston Institute, was published in the Journal of Psychology in Africa in May (Volume 28, Number 2).  The article is entitled " Community reintegrating former child soldiers in Northern Uganda: A qualitative study on the road to recovery." CIPA co-authors include Associate Director for Public Engagement Laurie Miller, and alumni Maira Zamir, MPA 2016, and Clifford Chen, MPA 2017.  Additional CIPA Capstone students and alumni are acknowledged in the article.

Cornell-CIPA among the Winning Sites of the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition

In April, the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) and the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy announced the winners of the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition-the largest-ever student simulation competition in higher education. A team of four students (three of them from CIPA), who competed at the Cornell-CIPA site, took Third Place overall. Each received $150 USD from the Batten School's Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming (CLSG) and NASPAA.

Jacquelyn Richards '19 Receives APPAM Equity and Inclusion Fellowship

CIPA Fellow Jacquelyn Richards '19 was one of 40 graduate students chosen from a pool of over 100 applicants to receive a 2018 Equity & Inclusion Fellowship from the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM). This fellowship supports the travel and participation of students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds at the 2018 APPAM Fall Research Conference, to be held November 8 to 10, in Washington, DC.

Alumni Updates

Lindsey Novakovic Oates, MPA 2007, Named CFO of NYC Dept. of Education

Caitlin Handerhan, MPA 2015, Named to Erie, PA List of 40 under 40

Amruta Byatnal, MPA 2017, Publishes Cutting-Edge News

If you are a CIPA alumnus and have something to share, please send it to Lisa Jervey Lennox at