Marcy Carlson, University of Wisconsin-Madison
© University of Wisconsin-Madison
Meet Marcy Carlson, APPAM Policy Council Member
March 18, 2014 01:00 PM
In 2011, the membership voted for Marcy Carlson, who serves until 2015 with the Policy Council cohort that includes Scott Allard, Swati Desai, Barbara Devaney, Susan Dynarski, and Joyce Manchester.
Carlson is a Professor of Sociology and Associate Director for Training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE). She is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Institute for Research on Poverty. Carlson's recent work is focused on union formation, fertility, parenting and child wellbeing, particularly among unmarried-parent families.
Prior to her position at Wisconsin-Madison, she was an Associate Professor at Columbia University and a Research Collaborator at Princeton University. Her work has been published in several journals and books, including Demography, Social Service Review, and the Journal of Marriage and Family. Carlson was named the Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy Center for Human Potential and Public Policy in 2008. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.
What do you see as APPAM's biggest strength?
APPAM has an incredibly engaged and committed membership—from a wide variety of fields—that shares the common goal of improving public policy and management. I think many people who work on a range of substantive topics (and from different analytic perspectives) feel ‘at home’ in APPAM as an organization.
How can that strength be leveraged in the coming year?
Maintaining a strong commitment to APPAM’s core activities (the Fall Conference and JPAM) while also expanding in new and innovative directions (such as the Institutional Member Forums and professional development and mentoring activities).
What priorities do you have for the Policy Council in your coming term?
I am particularly excited about APPAM’s efforts to bring in younger people and cultivate the next generation of APPAM leaders, as well the emphasis on integrating practitioners and ensuring that policy research remains relevant to actual policies and programs.
In your opinion, what are the two biggest issues facing the Association today?
First, maintaining a strong identity and a commitment to APPAM’s mission while also diversifying and expanding the membership. Second, I think it’s a challenge to keep researchers connected to policymakers and program administrators – and vice versa. APPAM is uniquely situated to do just that!
Do you have ideas on how to tackle those issues?
I am very impressed by the strategic planning process that was undertaken several years ago (before I joined the Council), and I think the APPAM leadership has been very thoughtful and deliberate in implementing the excellent goals that emerged. I am particularly enthusiastic about the efforts to enhance diversity in the membership, to recruit and support those in early career stages, and to hold fast to the commitment to stay relevant to real-world policy issues.
What excites you about the coming year?
The Fall Research Conference is always an exciting opportunity to learn about the latest research and policy developments and to connect with colleagues, and this year’s conference promises to bring even more energy and innovation.
How do you think members can best leverage their APPAM membership?
I think regular participation in the Fall Conference is key. Also, if members have ideas or suggestions about APPAM, they should pass those along to the APPAM officers and Policy Council members – better yet, members should think about getting more involved by joining a committee or running for Council!