This year marks the 20th anniversary of UNI’s Graduate Program in Public Policy. A number of events were held to commemorate the milestone, which included a panel of alumni who hold leadership positions in community and economic development speaking on the topic of current issues in community development.
The MPP program continues to be heavily engaged in the community. In June, it was awarded a grant from the Guernsey Foundation to conduct study circles for residents of low income neighborhoods in Waterloo. A study circle is a structured conversation in which residents express their hopes and ideas for neighborhood improvement and come up with concrete strategies to pursue their ideas. Five study circles have been held to date, involving approximately 60 people, and at least three more are planned. The grant will also fund a community-wide planning conference on November 12 in which study circle “graduates” will meet with community leaders to arrive at a joint vision of how to move forward on issues of concern to the neighborhoods. Additional funding for the project has been provided by New City Ministries, Inc., a program of the United Methodist Church.
Photo: Director Al Hays (center) with anniversary celebration guests Marina Filonenko Mateski (left), MPP alumnus, and Vincent Chukwuemeka (right), current MPP student