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Engaged alums: Claudia Muñoz (MPP '09)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

For Claudia Muñoz, the collegial working atmosphere at LMI Government Consulting isn't a far cry from her experience in the Ford School community. At the Ford School, she received a well-rounded policy education in a culture and curriculum that emphasizes teamwork—something she relies on every day working with LMI. As a consultant, Claudia works from the Pentagon as Director of the Ministry of Defense Advisors Program, which sends civilians to aid Afghan defense officials.

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James S. House receives University of Michigan 2013 Henry Russel Lectureship

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

James S. House has been selected to receive the University of Michigan's 2013 Henry Russel Lectureship.

The Lectureship, which was established in 1926, is the highest honor the University bestows on a senior member of its faculty. While the award primarily recognizes exceptional scholarship, those chosen to hold the Lectureship are also expected to be outstanding citizens of the University with exemplary records of teaching, mentoring, and service.

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Schwarz: Residence, fundraising and age all factors against run at old U.S. House seat

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ford School lecturer and former U.S. Representative Joe Schwarz has decided not to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg in the 2012 election, Mlive.com reported last week.

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Recent MPP graduate honored for distinguished service in Afghanistan

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two days before receiving his Master of Public Policy, Neal Carter (MPP '12) received another well-deserved honor: the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal.

The commendation dates back to World War II and has been known as the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal since 1994. It is awarded to a person serving in a capacity with the Navy or Marine Corps who distinguishes himself with meritorious achievement or service. A platoon commander in Afghanistan, Capt. Carter was recognized for replacing a senior officer who had transferred to another unit and serving above his pay grade for several months.

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Ford School launches new video series, Policy Points

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Ford School Policy Points is a new series featuring short videos of Ford School faculty members discussing recent research or current events. Policy Points is emailed to journalists and analysts worldwide for use in decision making-, research, or media-related activities. Each video is produced by U-M News Service and includes captions and transcripts.

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Graduate students tackle real-world policy problems with Applied Policy Seminar

Monday, May 7, 2012

Could your organization use the analytic, problem-solving, and communication skills of top-notch MPP students? Join the distinguished list of clients to take part in the Applied Policy Seminar (APS).

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"NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" broadcast includes NPC research

Friday, May 4, 2012

A new study by the Ford School-based National Poverty Center on the financial assistance college-age adults receive from their baby-boomer parents swept across the national airwaves Thursday, receiving mention on "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams" and Fox News Radio.

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NPC: Three in five young adults receive financial support from parents

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A new study by the Ford School-based National Poverty Center headlined a USA Today article on the financial assistance college-age adults receive from their baby-boomer parents.

The study, lead authored by postdoctoral fellow Patrick Wightman, found that 62 percent of young adults receive financial help from their parents. Eighty-two percent of high income-earning parents provided some assistance, while 47 percent of lower-income parents did as well. Both groups transferred about the same share of their overall income to their children, about 10 percent.

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How much money parents give to college-age kids: U-M study

Thursday, May 3, 2012

More than 60 percent of young adults between the ages of 19 and 22 received some financial help from mom and dad, according to a new University of Michigan study. The average amount they received—including help with college tuition, rent, and transportation—was roughly $7,500 a year.

The study is the first to use nationally representative data to calculate parental assistance to young adults and to analyze how help varies by family and individual characteristics. It is based on data from 2,098 interviews conducted between 2005 and 2009, with young men and women and their families, part of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics Transition to Adulthood Study at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).

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MJPA's ninth volume features five Ford School authors

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Michigan Journal of Public Affairs has published its Spring 2012 volume, featuring six articles that address state, national and international policy topics. This marks the ninth edition since the student-run journal was founded by Ford School graduate students in 2003.

"The Michigan Journal of Public Affairs is dedicated to publishing innovative public policy related articles from a wide range of policy professionals and graduate students," said Brendan Egan (MPP '12), one of two editors in chief in 2012 along with Eamonn Scanlon (MPP '12). "This year's articles range from archival research to stakeholder analysis to econometric modeling."

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Dynarski: Complexity of paying for college discourages potential students

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Wall Street Journal quoted Susan M. Dynarski in a recent article about the barriers to education attainment in the U.S. and how that will impact the U.S. economy in the long term. According to the article, the current generation of Americans will accrue less formal education than their parents, breaking a longstanding trend.

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Spring edition of the Ford School's magazine, State & Hill, explores American electoral politics, tsunami recovery in Japan, Marina Whitman's forthcoming memoir, and more

Thursday, April 26, 2012

In this issue of the Ford School's magazine, State & Hill, readers will learn about American electoral politics through the eyes of the Ford School: faculty studying campaign financing and gerrymandering, students interning in Washington, DC, and alums running for office or working on campaigns. Click through the magazine below to read an interview with Marina Whitman about her forthcoming memoir (with a passage from her book), a story about an MPP's work with the tsunami recovery effort in Japan, an examination of the impact of divorce on health insurance for women, and Barry Rabe's reflection on Gerald Ford as "The Global President."

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Battle of the Super PACs: Campaign financing impacts American electoral politics

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Much of America is mesmerized by the recent and remarkable torrent of money flowing into the 2012 elections by organizations with buoyant names like Restore Our Future and Make Us Great Again. These contributions have dramatically overshadowed expenditures by the candidates and political parties that have traditionally run campaigns. It wasn't always so, explains Ford School Professor Richard L. Hall, who has written extensively on the influence of money in politics and policy.

Prior to the rise of Super PACs, Political Action Committees (PACs) "could contribute such small sums of money to candidates that it was hard to imagine these contributions had much of an impact at all," says Hall. "The better hypothesis was not that PAC contributions were buying something from members, but that they were signaling something to them."

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Down to earth: Marina Whitman talks life and work in "The Martian's Daughter."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

In The Martian's Daughter: A Memoir, economist Marina Whitman talks candidly about her life, her work, and stepping outside of her famous father's shadow

In the fall of 1970, Marina von Neumann Whitman, unnerved by a tight deadline, burst into the office of Paul McCracken, then chairman of the president's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). McCracken had invited the rising young economist to join his staff for a year—in a position that would set the stage for a series of increasingly prominent government appointments. Faced with a routine finance report and a conflicting personal obligation (her brother's wedding), Whitman sought reassurance from her mentor that she was up to the job—an unfounded insecurity that belied her professional achievement.

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Gerrymandering, then and now

Thursday, April 26, 2012

It was the summer of 1971 when the first mandated round of redistricting was taking place across the nation. A series of Supreme Court decisions in the '60s had directed states to create new legislative districts every ten years to reflect population shifts revealed in decennial census counts. The goal was honorable enough: one person, one vote; but so little instruction was offered on how to accomplish the task that it practically invited abuse.

A group of faculty and graduate students led by Ford School instructor and U-M research professor Steve Pollock spent the summer experimenting. The challenge they addressed: could linear programming help craft districts with population equity and contiguity, as well as objective qualities like compactness or competitiveness?

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Sharing Ford School lessons across the aisle

Thursday, April 26, 2012

When Anne Kaiser (MPP/MA '95) presents a bill on the floor of the Maryland House of Delegates, skeptical colleagues rarely catch her off-guard. She prides herself on knowing every question before she gets it—a practice she developed in Richard L. Hall's politics of policymaking class.

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Internships shape recent BA student's career in campaigns

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Up by 6 a.m. scanning newspapers and listening to TV news anchors, Brian Wanglin's mornings haven't changed much from his days as an intern. And he couldn't be happier.

"I knew that after college I wanted to work on campaigns," said Wanglin (BA '11), now working for a Washington, DC consulting firm that specializes in campaigns. His responsibilities include media monitoring and rapid response, i.e., addressing critical media stories and opponents' attacks.

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A different perspective

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Katharine D'Hondt (BA '12) wants to help you find a job. Not you, specifically, unless you've just graduated and have an interest in federal service. An intern in the U-M's Michigan in Washington Program (MIW) in fall 2011, D'Hondt's research paper examined the role economic forces may play in whether recent college graduates decide to enter the workforce or pursue graduate education.

"I was with the Partnership for Public Service (PPS), which is an NGO dealing with federal government hiring reform," D'Hondt explains. "I just love that I was able to help people my age understand what the federal government is doing and understand that there's a role for them there."

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Starting over

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Japan has known earthquakes—the Great Kanto quake of 1923, the Great Hanshin quake of 1995, the Fukui quake of 1948, and hundreds of others—but Japan had never known an earthquake like the 9.0 Tohoku quake that struck just off the northeast coast last March. It was the fifth largest earthquake in recorded history, and the largest ever to hit the Land of the Rising Sun. The damage it left behind—mostly triggered by the massive tsunami that followed—was catastrophic.

The tremors shook southeastern Russia and the Northern Mariana Islands. Houses and buildings crumbled in Jayapura, Indonesia; Kailua Kona, Hawaii; and Pisco, Peru. A hemisphere away, vast portions of the Sulzberger Ice Shelf—two times the size of Manhattan—sheared into the sea. At the headquarters of the nonprofit Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) in Tokyo—230 miles from the epicenter—computers toppled and pictures crashed to the floor. But for Ford School master's of public policy student Yohei Chiba (MPP '12), the Tohoku earthquake hit home.

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Staging a comeback

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"I believe Detroit is too big to fail. We must bail out Main Street, and so we need an all-hands-on-deck approach to help us turn the city around," said an impassioned community activist at a Detroit Financial Review Board meeting in March. The governor-appointed review board had just declared a financial state of emergency, while city and state officials played tug-o-war over a consent agreement that might—or might not—keep Detroit from bankruptcy.

Few would disagree that, even in economic distress, the city is worth saving. The question is how. If Detroit is to change its fate from casualty to comeback, what are some of the long-term policy solutions that might bolster revitalization?

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