The UMass Amherst School of Public Policy launched the new academic year with invited keynotes on “getting things done” in public service by state Senator Jo Comerford and Springfield civic leader Samantha Hamilton at the school’s kick-off event last week. UMass Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy welcomed incoming SPP students, staff, faculty, and the larger community at the event held in the Old Chapel. Dean Karl Rethemeyer presented a cogent perspective on the state of public policy and the vital role of public service.
Western Massachusetts civic leader Samantha Hamilton shared her “selfish why” – that is, why she loves her work in public health and public policy – with incoming SPP students and the UMass Amherst community at the SPP Fall Kick off on September 1, 2022 in the restored Old Chapel on campus. Hamilton is the program manager of the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts’ LiveWell Springfield Coalition.
Karl Rethemeyer, dean of the UMass Amherst College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and professor at the School of Public Policy, welcomed new SPP students at the Fall Kick off event at the Old Chapel on September 1, 2022. His remarks are reproduced here:
Good afternoon and welcome to the Fall 2022 term. We are very excited to have you here as we start a more normal term, though one still occurring in the shadow of COVID.
Bridgette Davis, an award-winning teacher and an expert on anti-poverty policy and implementation, nonprofit organizations, social inequality, and administrative burdens, joins the UMass Amherst School of Public Policy this fall as an assistant professor. Her dissertation research, Access delayed; success denied: How administrative burdens shape college opportunity for first-generation, low-income students, follows first-generation college students through their first two years of life after high school.
Rubaba Azad, MPPA ’23, has been ambitious long before starting her path at the School of Public Policy (SPP). Rubaba began her career with a focus on public service in her home country of Afghanistan. She had trouble landing her ideal role without connections so she sought further education. Attending a prestigious institution in India, she was only the third Afghani student in the school's history. This helped her realize how critical it was that she find a way to champion her home country.