Diversity & Leadership in Public Service
Winter 2014 Newsletter

Happy New Year!


We are pleased to report that PPIA is off to another fantastic start this year! Through our national office, and with support from our consortium members and partners, we are expanding our services and reaching out to more students in 2014. At the end of last year, PPIA issued a call for our alumni to give back to the organization that helped them achieve their dreams. Our alumni answered and we are looking forward to putting their generosity to work as we launch new projects and programs this year.


This upcoming June, we will kick off the 34th year of PPIA's Junior Summer Institutes. Last fall, we received nearly 600 applications for our four programs, making this our most competitive year to date. The selection committees had to make some very tough decisions but we have invited 105 students to join us this summer. We can't wait to meet them and introduce them to the PPIA network.


In addition to our annual Junior Summer Institutes, PPIA has partnered with NASPAA and will be supporting conferences at Indiana University, University of Chicago, and University of Kansas to expose more students to the skills they need to pursue graduate school and careers in public service. Each event will be unique, but they will all target undergraduate freshman and sophomores and give them a taste of what public service is all about.


PPIA is also growing its leadership this year. We are thrilled to introduce two new members of the PPIA Board of Directors who will be working with PPIA. They are Dr. Barbara Romzek, Dean of the School of Public Affairs at American University, and Carmen lezzi Mezzera, the new Executive Director of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). They join our existing Board of Directors members in partnership with our Board of Advisors to build a sustainable future for PPIA.  


We look forward to sharing more exciting updates with you all throughout the year! 



Martha Chavez, Co Chair
PPIA Board of Directors

James Goldgeier, Co-Chair
PPIA Board of Directors

   The Bloustein School joins the PPIA Graduate School Consortium

PPIA is pleased to announce that the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy has joined our consortium of nationally-ranked graduate programs to support the mission of increasing inclusion and diversity in graduate education. The Bloustein School serves as one of the nation's key centers for the theory and practice of public policy scholarship and analysis. As part of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, the school capitalizes on the strength and resources of this major university to contribute to regional, national, and international communities. Read more about the Bloustein School and graduate programs it offers here
   PPIA Welcomes a New Cohort of Fellows!

 PPIA extends warm congratulations to the recently selected 2014 cohort of Junior Summer Institute fellows! 105 rising seniors have been selected from a national pool of almost 600 highly qualified applicants, the most competitive pool to date.


The 2014 fellows bring a diverse array of perspectives to the program, representing over 70 universities from 25 US states and 4 foreign countries. These talented students have demonstrated a commitment to serving others and a strong interest in pursuing graduate level education. They will be joining our growing network of nearly 4,000 leaders who are making a difference through public service. 

   Alumni Voice: Interview with Mee Moua

"I have always believed that it is better to lead from the heart rather than the head."  


Mee Moua attended the Princeton Junior Summer Institute in 1991. Since then, she has had an impressive career in public service, including being the first Hmong American elected to the Minnesota Legislature and leading Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. In her interview with PPIA National Director Erin Mann, Ms. Moua reveals her advice for staying motivated and inspired even when goals seem out of reach and how she has chosen to lead throughout her career.


Mee Moua is currently the president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, a leading, national, nonprofit organization that works to advance the human and civil rights of Asian Americans and build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. At Advancing Justice | AAJC, Moua leads efforts to advocate for policies and programs that enable Asian American and other vulnerable communities to reach their full potential and address unfair and discriminatory structures and institutions that systematically deny Asian Americans and other vulnerable communities their civil and human rights. Previously, Moua served as vice president of strategic impact initiatives for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a national health justice organization. Before moving to Washington, D.C., Moua served as a three-term Minnesota State Senator and was the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Follow her on Twitter @Mee_Moua.


Read the full interview here.

   Planning Underway for New Student Conferences in 2014!
Last fall, we announced our exciting new partnership with NASPAA, the membership association of graduate programs in public administration, public policy, and public affairs, to host a series of conferences for freshman and sophomore undergraduate students in 2014. We are pleased to report that efforts are well underway, and we are looking forward to three wonderful events! PPIA and NASPAA have teamed up with three outstanding universities to offer programming for students interested in exploring what graduate school and a career in public service might mean for them.

We are excited to be working with Indiana University's School of  Public and Environmental Affairs to host a national conference that will bring together aspiring young leaders from across the country. In addition, we look forward to collaborating with the School of Public Affairs & Administration at University of Kansas and the University of Chicago to develop unique, interactive programming for local students. All three programs will offer curriculum that closely aligns with the skills taught in PPIA's Junior Summer Institutes and the information they need to plan for their futures. In keeping with the mission of PPIA, each event will be free of charge to selected participants.   


PPIA is thrilled to expand its outreach capacity and expose more students to the wide range of opportunities available in the field of public service. While the universities will be planning and executing their own events, PPIA will leverage its expertise to facilitate the application and selection process for each of the three programs, while NASPAA will provide staff support and partial grant funding.  


   Spotlight On: Marshall Scholarship


After completing a JSI fellowship, many PPIA alumni go on to become successful candidates for prestigious national scholarships. These awards include the Marshall Scholarship, which finances intellectually distinguished young Americans to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty talented scholars are selected each year to study at the graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study.


PPIA is proud to announce that Shama Ams, a member of the 2013 PPIA Princeton JSI cohort, has been awarded a two-year Marshall Scholarship. Check out our Q&A with Shama for an insider's perspective on the application process and find out how his JSI experience played a critical role in helping him achieve success here

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