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New Maxwell MPA Students Arrive – Inspired by Local Leaders

City of Syracuse Mayor, Ben Walsh, MPA 2005

Robert Simpson, MPA 2001, President CenterState CEO

This past week the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs of the Maxwell School, welcomed its newest class of MPA students. As is tradition, all students start the first week of July with a one week course, Public Affairs Colloquium.

This year, the students worked in teams on a policy analysis memo surrounding a local infrastructure redevelopment project:  What should our local community do about the aging (raised) viaduct of Interstate 81 that runs directly through the middle of downtown Syracuse?  They heard from local leaders on various proposed options, (maintaining the raised highway, a community grid option and even a tunnel).

Professor Saba Siddiki provided an overview of the policy process on Monday afternoon.

They also heard from several faculty on the foundations of public management, what a good policy analysis framework entails, and the tradition of public service which is the hallmark of our program.  Professor Tina Nabatchi lead the entire class through a public deliberation excercise on Friday morning allowing all viewpoints to be heard in a constructive debate of the issue.

They capped off the week with two sessions on leadership. The first from Professor Robert Murrett who will teach their capstone course, Executive Leadership next summer.

The final session, Friday afternoon, featured two of our local leaders (both proud Maxwell MPA alumni) Robert Simpson ’01 President of CenterState CEO and City of Syracuse Mayor, Ben Walsh ’05 who spoke on the Nuances of Leadership in Practice. Their conversation on this topic left the students incredibly inspired and was the perfect ending to this exciting first week of the program!


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