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Our newest graduates help welcome new MPA students

Our 2015 Colloquium GA Team (L-R) Linda, Sean, Maria Laura, Rigo & Mengran

Our 2015 Colloquium GA Team (L-R) Linda, Sean, Maria Laura, Rigo & Mengran

A wonderful tradition of our graduates programs in Public Administration and International Relations is enlisting the aid of our newest graduates in helping us welcome our new students. Our MPA students all start their program with PAI 600: Public Affairs Colloquium in early July, and we seek out applications to be a “PAIA Colloquium GA” in late spring each year.  The Colloquium GA’s not only help oversee the logistics of the course, but also organize evening social events for further engagement and development of the student community. With their help, we are able to help ensure a smooth start to the Maxwell experience.  The 2015 PAIA Colloquium GA’s hail from all over the world and bring with them help, advice, enthusiasm and the answers to many many questions!! We are pleased to have Mengran, Sean, Rigo, Linda and Maria Laura help us usher in the new class of MPA students this week!

Mengran Gao

Mengran Gao

Mengran Gao is from Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, east coast of China. She received her undergraduate degree in Beijing Forestry University, major in Landscape Architecture. After working as a landscape architect in China, she made her decision to come to United States in 2013 to pursue her education. She is now enrolled in a concurrent degree with landscape architecture at SUNY-ESF where she works as a teaching assistant. She was involved in designing community farms for refugees on the north side and volunteered in Northside Learning Center in SUPRA. She is interested in budgeting, interactive communication design, urban agriculture and social factors in design. She will be continue progress toward both of her degrees this coming year as well.

Sean Hood

Sean Hood, MPA 2015

Séan Hood, from Marietta, NY, graduated from Loyola University New Orleans with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Economics. His areas of interest include economics, policy implementation, financial analysis and management, health services management, and environmental policy. While in undergrad, Sean became passionate about public service through getting involved with the rebuilding efforts post-Katrina. Working for organizations like New Orleans Outreach, St. Bernard Project and World Teach strengthened his desire to come to Maxwell and pursue an MPA. Before coming to Maxwell, Sean applied to Teach For America and was working as a high school mathematics teacher in South Central, LA. As an MPA student at Maxwell, Sean was involved with the elections committee and coordinating the DC networking trip. He will be moving to Boston, MA to pursue a career in public sector strategy and operations consulting with Deloitte.

Rigo Melgar-Melgar

Rigo Melgar-Melgar,          MPA 2015

Rigo Melgar-Melgar was born and raised in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He received his Bachelors of Science degree in Enviromnetal Policy, Planning and Law with a minor in Renewable Energy from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF). Rigo is currently pursing concurrent Master degrees in Environmental Science at SUNY-ESF and Public Administration at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University. Rigo is interested in the United Nations international sustainable development policy and implementation, and more specifically in girls education in the developing world. He hopes to eventually begin an NGO focusing on advancing girls education. An interesting fact about Rigo is that he assisted his SUNY-ESF advisor to write and publish a book on Spain’s Photovoltaic Revolution in 2013.

Linda Sok, MPA 2015

Linda Sok, MPA 2015

Linda Sok is from Santa Ana, California. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2010 with a B.S. in Cognitive Science specializing in Human Computer Interaction and Education Studies. As a first generation college student, Linda is passionate about working with disadvantaged communities. She previously worked as a Community Organizer at a grass-roots non-profit organization called The Cambodian Family, providing services and empowering the local refugee and immigrant community in Orange County, CA. At Maxwell, she focused her studies on non-profit management and local government and acted as the unofficial “ourstorian,” capturing Maxwell memories with her hip camera.

Maria Laura Veramendi, MPA 2015

Maria Laura Veramendi, MPA 2015

María Laura Veramendi is a Peruvian sociologist who started her career in educational research and who saw her interests turn towards the area of public administration when she became part of a team in the Peruvian Ministry of Education. Aware of the challenges that the field presents in her country, she came to Maxwell to become a better prepared public servant. She believes the MPA has not only provided her with key skills for this objective, it has also stimulated her interest around topics of democratic governance and the policy making process in Peru and Latin America. For this reason, she is currently looking for a position and for her next academic adventure where she can learn and produce knowledge around these topics, without disregarding her major objective: to contribute to better policies and development processes in both her country and region. Being close to the completion of her MPA, several people asked her what was the most important thing she learned while at Maxwell, to which she answers: in order to accomplish great things as a professional, you need to find (and do) what makes you really happy.

What a great team – and we are pleased they decided to remain with us this week to help usher in our newest class! Thank you All!

 

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