CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: Resources and updates for Liberal Arts students, faculty, and staff.

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School of Public Policy

School ofPublic Policy



Nine undergraduate students from our Next Gen Leadership Academy embarked on an enlightening journey to Washington, D.C., where they spent the day immersed in insightful discussions, making valuable connections, and exploring the nation’s capital.

Penn State School of Public Policy MPP students Kenny Gatten, Jeremy Hoffman, ShiAnne Mack, Christian Manalac, and Qian Zhang recently participated in the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration’s (NASPAA) annual student simulation exercise. The all-day event took place on Saturday, March 4, at the Ohio State University.

MPP student Pete Kurtz-Glovas’ on-the-ground reporting from the recent Penn State event featuring Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes has been quoted in several mainstream media outlets.

Penn State will host the 8th Annual Environmental Politics and Governance (EPG) Conference on June 28 – July 1, 2022, building on the success of previous conferences in Seattle, Zurich, Bloomington, Stockholm, Santa Barbara, and Oslo. The conference’s primary goals are to showcase the best empirical research on environmental politics and governance from relevant disciplines and provide a venue for scholars to strengthen their networks and shape future research directions.

Rep. Bryan Cutler will discuss his commitment to public service and career on Zoom, hosted by the School of Public Policy

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Alina Salganicoff, senior vice president and director of women’s health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), will discuss her career path during a talk at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, on Zoom.

Professor of public policy’s latest book details how the wealthy influence policy and politics

In a new book and project, Anthony Bertelli, Sherwin-Whitmore Professor of Liberal Arts and professor of public policy and political science at Penn State, explains public administrators’ critical role in effective administration and how democratic values shape their decision-making process.

Emily Pakhtigian discusses a new research project that is investigating how the transition away from coal-fired power plants is impacting the environment and health of communities in Pennsylvania.

Janiyah Davis is one of a dozen undergraduates teaching a course through Students Teaching Students this semester.

Vipul Kapoor, Alex Lutz and Rebecca LaBelle found success thanks to their liberal arts backgrounds and passion for helping others.

School of Public Policy discussions to profile experts’ career paths and experience

A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant will provide funding to a team of Penn State faculty as they evaluate the effect of an innovative housing program on neighborhood racial and economic equity in Pittsburgh.

When Jon Ortiz was studying criminology as an undergraduate, he knew two things: he wanted to go to graduate school, and he eventually wanted to work in law enforcement administration. Those aspirations led him to Penn State’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) program.

Master of Public Policy (MPP) graduate student Kaj Althaus has great ambitions for reforming juvenile justice policy. As he prepares to become one of the MPP program’s first graduates this May, Althaus is working diligently to refine his capstone project with the Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing.

The Experiment Lab for Public Management Research (EXPMR) of the KDI School of Public Policy and Management invites you to our second international conference, December 3-4, 2020. The virtual conference will focus on the topics of behavioral and experimental research in public policy and administration with Penn State faculty Anthony M. Bertelli, Emily L. Pakhtigian, Christopher Witko, Johabed G. Olvera, Maithreyi Gopalan, and Tima T. Moldogazîev. Registration for this virtual conference is open to the public.

Anthony Bertelli, Sherwin-Whitmore Professor of Liberal Arts and professor of public policy and political science, presented “Democracy Administered: Understanding the Role of Public Administration in Representative Government” for the Midwest Political Science Association’s 2020 Herbert Simon Award lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020.

Chris Witko, associate director of Penn State’s School of Public Policy, discusses economic inequality on latest Democracy Works podcast

Resources for the Future (RFF) Awards $300,000 to Researchers to Quantify the Economic and Societal Benefits of Satellites.

Through the call for proposals for Grants for Assessing the Benefits of Satellites (GABS), RFF sought proposals for research that can quantify the benefits of using satellite data in decisions that improve socioeconomic outcomes for people and/or the environment.

Economic inequality is a growing problem that has attracted more public and media attention in recent years. Many look to the national government to provide policy solutions to this problem, but Congress has done little to help and when the usually gridlocked contemporary Congress has managed to make substantial policy changes – such as the tax cuts passed at the end of 2017 and the Bush tax cuts in the early 2000s – the changes have typically made inequality even worse. Authors Chris Witko and William Franko show that over the last few decades a number of states have actively sought to address inequality using a wide variety of policy tools.

Current accelerated integrated undergraduate/graduate master of public policy degree options include criminology, sociology, and political science.

Jeff and Sharon Hyde recently made a $500,000 estate commitment to create the Hyde McCourtney Endowed Career Development Professorship in the College of the Liberal Arts. The Hydes hope that curriculum developing communication and negotiation skills students need to succeed in public policy negotiation will be an integral component of the new Master of Public Policy program being launched by the Penn State College of the Liberal Arts.

Lilliard Richardson joins faculty as inaugural program director; Christopher Witko also joins as Public Policy faculty.

As income inequality has grown in the U.S., so too have movements to increase taxes on the wealthy, such as the addition of the “Buffet Rule” to President Obama’s tax plan. But what drives support for these so-called “Robin Hood” tax initiatives? Using data taken from Proposition 1098, a citizen initiative to impose an income tax on the wealthy, Christopher Witkoalong with co-authors William Franko and Caroline Tolbert, find that personal gain is only one motive for supporting these policies; an ideological concern with inequality and allegiance to the Democratic Party are also significant predictors of support.

2018’s midterm election brought an estimated 113 million Americans to the polls, the highest total for a non-presidential election in U.S. history. As we continue to look at the demographics from exit polls, a look back at past voter turnout and a test of the hypothesis that the more the class bias in voter turnout is skewed toward the rich, the more likely we are to see income inequality, and less likely to see egalitarian legislation.