Conferences & Events


2017 Public Policy Camp

APPAM Public Policy Camp

APPAM’s Public Policy Camp took place on Friday, September 15th. The inaugural #APPAMcamp event was held to introduce the field of public policy to a group of students who might not otherwise be familiar with it, as well as increase the pipeline of diverse students into APPAM institutional member graduate public policy and public affairs schools. Nearly 50 undergraduate students from around the DC area joined policy professionals for the day to discuss the study of public policy and analysis, what a career in policy might look like and how diversity impacted their studies and career paths.

The format of the day was a mix of interactive/participatory programming for the students at individual tables, coupled with an opening and lunch plenary session for the entire group. During lunch, the group heard from a panel of APPAM members who work in the policy field, in a variety of positions. They took questions from the students, gave their best advice and talked about how their diverse backgrounds have impacted their career and education choices.

The panel included:


Each participant gave an overview of their career path, on their way to where they are now.
Read more about their
unique stories as researchers, academics and government employees here!


The panel was asked about the best advice they’ve ever gotten:

  1. Rachel Breslin: Always build on your past experiences, don’t throw them away.
  2. Sebastian Tello-Trillo: If you don’t ask, you already have a no. Some of the best opportunities are created and you need to make those opportunities wherever you can.
  3. Emmanuel Caudillo: Ensure you have a mentor. If you don’t naturally have one, ask someone to be your mentor.
  4. Crystal Byndloss: Think about what’s important to you, a nontraditional path is okay. A straight, linear path is not the way everyone arrives at where they want to be.

Finally, the group was asked about stereotypes: how do you battle them?

They all agreed that constant reminders that they belong and their voices not only belonged as part of the conversation but were vitally needed was important. They agreed that these reminders were certainly necessary at the beginning of their education/career path but become less important as they became more comfortable on their respective paths. Exhibiting confidence and credibility are key.


Table Leaders/Speakers/Moderator


  • John Martinez, Director of Program Development, MDRC, APPAM Policy Council Member and Chair, APPAM Diversity Committee

Table Leaders

  • Rachel Breslin, PhD Candidate, George Washington University, Senior Operations Analyst at The Lab @ DC
  • Emmanuel Caudillo, Senior Advisor, White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
  • Nina Harris, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, University of Maryland
  • Charmaine Runes, Research Assistant, Urban Institute
  • Sebastian Tello-Trillo, Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of Virginia

Camp Sponsorship

Special thanks to our sponsors who helped make this student programming happen! 

Gold Sponsor


Silver Sponsor




Bronze Sponsor



Special thanks to George Washington University for donating space for the inaugural APPAM Public Policy Camp!

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