APPAM’s Five Minutes with… series was introduced in March 2019 to illuminate the work of individual APPAM members, and promote connections between members based on their shared interests. The opportunity to be profiled on our website and social media through these interviews is an exclusive APPAM member benefit! Asked to answer five to nine questions in enough time for a five-minute read, interviewees are professionals, students, institutional representatives, or retirees.
Are you an APPAM member interested in being interviewed?
Contact Rebecca Cox, firstname.lastname@example.org to get your interview set up!
Stone Washington, PhD Student at Clemson University
"I was influenced to research the United States Supreme Court's decision-making (certiorari) process during my first year in the Policy Studies Program at Clemson. My inspiration came both from my previous Constitutional Law studies at Emory Law School where I took a strong interest in several important cases that the court reviewed. Through my Public Policy graduate course at Clemson, I learned about the unique position of the U.S. Solicitor General."
View Stone's complete interview here.
Rob Moore, Principal at Scioto Analysis
"I have always been a rather left-brain thinker, but have also been someone who has been passionate about social issues, poverty, and inequality. Policy analysis is a great place for people who have the engineering mindset but an interest in making society as a whole better."
"Before becoming an analyst, I was an organizer in Omaha, Nebraska. My experience organizing neighborhoods in Omaha and public health advocates throughout the state has given me an on-the-ground perspective to balance against the broader empirical evidence my policy analysis training taught me to collect."
View Rob's complete interview here.
Wendy Hunter Barker, Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and Marketing at UCSD
"In my youth, we moved a lot and I experienced many different states and American subcultures. We often lived with other single-mother families and met a wide variety of people. In my teens, I was fortunate enough to spend a summer in Europe and my love for exploring different cultures was cemented. I knew I wanted to work in a field that allowed me access to people from around the world in a way that promoted the best globalism has to offer."
View Wendy's complete interview here.
Rebecca Miller, PhD Student at Stanford University
"I realized that I loved working in environmental fields as a freshman in college. After graduation, I moved to Washington, D.C., and worked as a Science Policy Fellow for the Science and Technology Policy Institute. In supporting a project on local adaptation planning for the Obama Administration, I realized that the academic literature had only limited information as to why municipalities designed adaptation plans or even how to define a “good” adaptation plan."
View Rebecca's complete interview here.
Dylan Bellisle, PhD Student at the University of Chicago
"I had an interest in community and societal issues, and a curiosity of how to create a more just and equitable world. This curiosity was elevated by my work as a Peace Corps volunteer, as this experience helped refine my concern about economic inequality and the inequitable access to education, resources and opportunity throughout the world.
As an aspiring scholar, I view academia as the ideal location to conduct high quality critical research into important social issues, while simultaneously having the humbling opportunity to help shape the next generation of critical social workers who will work collaboratively to solve the societal and community level issues we will face in the future."
View Dylan's complete interview here.
Anil Deolalikar, Founding Dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside
"I am a development economist by training, which means almost all my research is about public policy – policies to improve living standards in developing countries by investing in people (namely, their nutrition, health and education) and allowing them to
participate more effectively in the process of economic development."
"For the longest time ever, I had been your typical professor who had never ventured beyond research, teaching and occasional consulting. But when I was asked by our university leadership some ten years ago to head a faculty task-force on the ways in which our campus could offer a program in public policy studies, it was a new challenge for me. But I decided to take it up despite some initial reservations. Our task-force suggested creating a new School of Public Policy on our campus, which I was then tasked with getting off the ground. It took years to actually get the School approved (given the vast UC bureaucracy), and when it was finally launched five years ago, I was asked to lead it. This is how I landed up as Founding Dean of UC Riverside’s School of Public Policy! If someone had told me a dozen years ago that I would be the dean of a policy school, I would have never believed that person!"
Mariam Khan, PhD Student at American University
"I have interned with several congressional offices, including former Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, Senator Mark Warner, former Congressman Frank Wolf, and the House Committee on Education and Workforce. In these internships, I learned how legislation gets it initial shape and structure and how it reaches its final outcome, either becoming a law or just another legislative effort. However, my interest in public policy was sparked when I interned for former Congressman Frank Wolf in the summer after my freshman year of college. This was my first congressional internship. During my internship, I really enjoyed talking to constituents and addressing their concerns, since I felt I was making a difference. After interacting with constituents, I came to realize the importance of bipartisanship. In my opinion, individuals don’t necessarily have a 'right' or 'wrong' view, they simply have a different perspective, which can be shaped by their background and experiences in life. This is very important for me when I conduct public policy research in that I am approaching the data in an objective and neutral manner. Overall, my experience with Congressman Wolf was an unforgettable experience, and I was fortunate to work with a supportive staff who helped me grow professionally. I also had the opportunity to witness a lawmaker who truly cared about his constituents, regardless of their political affiliation or background. The dedication he and his staff members had toward the constituents truly inspired me for a public service career."
Matthew Kraft, Professor at Brown University
"My experiences as a public school teacher in Berkeley, California, motivated me to go back to school and study education policy. Teaching raised so many questions for me about why our public education system is designed the way it is - and whether our current approach is the best for students and their teachers."
"I'm currently working on a line of research about the amount of time students spend in school and how that time is used. There is considerable variability in the total number of hours public schools are in session across districts and states. Some kids are in school over 200 hours longer than others simply because of where they live. Equally important is how this time in school is used. Preliminary evidence from our work shows that the frequency of both teacher absences and outside interruptions to class (e.g. intercom announcements and administrators knocking on the door) vary considerably across schools."