Past Projects

While many projects that our faculty, students and staff have led are now complete, the research and community connections developed during the projects continue to enrich the School of Public Policy.

  • The Five College Public Policy Initiative aimed to enhance collaboration among faculty and students at Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are interested in curricula, research and outreach related to public policy.
  • The Food Access Research and Engagement Partnership served as a bridge between the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus and the broader community, linking the teaching and research capacity of UMass with diverse community partners and decision-makers.
  • The Social Justice Practitioner-in-Residence Program, which ran from 2011-2013, gave Five College students and faculty unique opportunities to engage with and learn from individuals who had hands-on policymaking experience. By offering occasions to interact with those who have chosen lives of service, the residency program helped students imagine careers of their own that might advance the common good.
  • Outsmart Invasive Species is a free smartphone app created for a project that SPP faculty and students collaborated on with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. The project leveraged crowdsourcing to collect valuable data about invasive plants and pests that could harm the state’s natural resources and economy.
  • World Wide Views on Biodiversity integrated everyday people’s voices into United Nations deliberations on global environmental regulations. In 2012, a team of SPP students and faculty helped plan a day-long discussion about biodiversity issues and related public policy topics with 100 Massachusetts residents. That event was one of 44 similar sessions that took place around the globe, the results of which helped shape the agenda for the October 2012 U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity.