Conferences & Events


2020 Public Policy Camps

About our Policy Camps

The Public Policy Camp is an APPAM initiative aimed at introducing the field of public policy to a group of students who might not otherwise be familiar with it, and increasing the pipeline of diverse students into APPAM institutional member graduate public policy and public affairs schools.  We know that only by having all voices at the table can we be successful in our efforts of improving critical public policies for all.  

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 OutbreakUniversity at Albany Public Policy Camp on May 1st has been CANCELLED. The Penn State University Public Policy Camp on April 24th has been postponed, and Georgia State University Public Policy Camp has been postponed to Spring 2021. 


Penn State University

New Date 
August 31, 2020 


University at Albany

May 1, 2020



Georgia State University

September 25, 2020

Postponed to 2021



2020 APPAM / Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs Policy Camp

August 31st, 2020 New Date
8:30 am - 6:45 pm
Penn State Harrisburg Campus & Pennsylvania State Capitol
Register Now

On April 24, Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management will host a Public Policy Camp. The event is a way for undergraduate students to discuss the study of public policy and analysis and potential career paths with policy professionals. There is a particular interest in recruiting underrepresented undergraduate students from colleges in the greater State Capitol and Central Pennsylvania to take part in this day-long event. The programming will be interactive and designed to show these students what public policy is and what a career in the policy world might look like.



August 31, 2020

Penn State Harrisburg Campus & Pennsylvania State Capitol

8:30 am

Registration, Welcome, Program Overview, and Kick-off Networking    
Educational Activities Building, Penn State Harrisburg Campus   

  • Dr. Marvin Overby, Professor and Director, School of Public Affairs
  • Dr. Alexander Siedschlag, Professor and Program Head, Political Science and Public Policy   
  • Riley Cagle, President, Penn State Harrisburg Student Government Association; student, School of Public Affairs, Public Policy program  
  • Saahir Shafi, Ph.D. student, School of Public Affairs; President, Public Administration Doctoral Students Organization (PADSO)  

Breakfast served

9:00 am       

Breakfast discussion: What Public Policy Is, How to Study It, and How It Affects Different Populations

  •  Opening remarks by faculty experts and student leadership 

10:00 am      

Mini Fair on Public Policy Studies and Careers

  • School of Public Affairs programs
  • Student clubs
  • Honor societies 
  • Career Services
  • Pennsylvania House of Representatives: PA House Legislative Fellows Program     

10:45 am      


11:00 am      

Small Public Policy Simulation (Local Government Simulation), Part I

This small public policy simulation will focus on a scenario of a contentious issue in the problem space of public transportation. Students will learn to balance majority and consensus considerations with responsiveness to underrepresented population concerns, including but not limited to social equity, access, and underserved areas.

Part I will set the stage, present the scenario, background information, policy choices, role descriptions, learning outcomes, and assign students to role groups with a focus on underrepresented populations.

  • Moderator:  Wayne Martin, City Engineer, City of Harrisburg
  • Coaches: Players will be concurrently coached by Nolan Ritchie (alumnus of the School of Public Affairs and Executive Director of the Senate Transportation Committee for Sen. Kim Ward’s office) and Mike Passiment (alumnus of the School pf Public Affairs and Judicial Programs Analyst, Administrative Office of PA Courts). The coaches will help the groups reach, substantiate, and defend a final policy choice.

12:00 pm      

Bus to the Pennsylvania State Capitol

Box Lunch served

1:00 pm

Session with the State Civil Service Commission: The Importance of Public Service Culture and Talent Next-Generation Acquisitions
Pennsylvania State Capitol

  • Opened and moderated by Nicholas V Soccio, Staff Secretary at the Office of Governor Wolf

1:50 pm



2:00 pm        

Small Public Policy Simulation (Local Government Simulation), Part II

Students will discuss all policy options provided from the point of view of their respective roles. Different ways of assessing and advocating the policy options will be available to acquaint students with alternative routes for policy advocacy and fostering positive policy change (such as researching related issues, writing op ed pieces, writing petitions, writing media pieces.

  • All groups will then make their policy recommendations to the plenary of all participants
  • The simulation will end in an evaluation and constructive feedback given by an expert jury

3:30 pm     


With opportunities for informal conversations on State Capitol Hill

4:00 pm

World Café conversation

With graduates and Advisory Board members of the School of Public Affairs as well as experts from partner schools and public sector representatives, including staffers from the Capitol

  • Current and Emerging Workforce Requirements in the Public Policy 
  • Employment Outlooks for Policy graduates
  • Practical career insights

5:00 pm           

Tour of the Pennsylvania State Capitol

  • Sen. Argall, alumnus (Ph.D. graduate) of the School of Public Affairs

5:45 pm

Awarding Certificates of Completion to all participating students         
Pennsylvania State Capitol East Rotunda

6:00 pm

Networking Reception sponsored by the Keystone Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA)

  • Host: David Margolis, President, Keystone State Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA); Retired Director of Fiscal Management, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

Light refreshments served

6:45 pm

Bus transportation back to Penn State Harrisburg Campus and end of program