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Alumnus Visits India through US State Dept Initiative

September 7 Wednesday 01:47 PM

Louay Constant, who received his Ph.D from the Martin School in 2002, recently visited India through a U.S. Department of State initiative. Dr. Constant is a researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor through the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His body of research has focused on education policy. You can learn more about Dr. Constant's work at RAND by clicking here.

During the two week trip, Dr. Constant spoke to a variety of audiences about the challenges and opportunities of aligning skills development with workforce needs through career and technical education, which are a big focus for a government initiative, the National Skill Development Corporation.

Wish you could have heard Dr. Constant speak during his trip in India? You can watch a clip or read some of the press coverage below!

 


Alumni in the News

September 7 Wednesday 03:34 PM

A couple of Martin School alumni have made it in to print in the last few weeks. Below are a few highlights!

 

Herald-Leader: Bevin's Medicaid proposal may give nonprofits unwanted 'volunteers'

In this frontpage story, Danielle Clore is featured as the voice of the nonprofit community as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Nonprofit Network. The article discusses a proposal from the Governor's office to add a volunteerism component to the state Medicaid program.

 

Herald-Leader: Don't cut Kentucky Medicaid, build on it

In this op-ed, Dustin Pugel, who is a research and policy associate at the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, argues that Medicaid expansion in Kentucky has benefited recipients. 

 

Smiley Pete Publishing: Shake-up at Downtown Lexington Corporation

Renee Shepard has led the Downtown Lexington Corporation for ten years. In that time, the article states that "'DLC’s budget tripled, the Downtown Lexington Management District was established and DLC was recognized as a driving force behind the positive changes in downtown Lexington.'" She is leaving her position as the Executive Director to start a new consutling venture.


Washington DC Professional Development Trip 2016

August 29 Monday 12:44 PM

Quick quiz for current students! Do you...

A.) Desire to learn more about working in federal government, national non-profits, and beyond from the experts?

B.) Want to network with professionals in public service careers?

C.) Dream of visiting some of DC's top sights?

 

If you picked A, B, or C, then you should sign up for the annual Washington DC Professional Development Trip! New and returning students are welcome to join us as we visit the offices of major agencies and organizations in our nation's Capitol. Last year's itinerary included panel talks wtih folks from the Council of State Governments, the National Governors' Association, the Social Security Administration, the Congressional Budget Office, and the American Red Cross. We also visited the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Education, the State Department, and toured the Capitol. It was a packed trip, and we don't expect this year's trip to be any different!

You likely have a few questions about the trip, and we've got answers! Read on for more information about the trip. If you would like to attend, e-mail Sarah Smith at sarah.ausmus@uky.edu by September 7.

How much does it cost?

We try to make this trip as affordable as possible for students. The Martin School pays for the single largest expense of this trip-- the hotel rooms. Students are responsible for meals and transportation. Students can choose to fly (tickets are hovering around $250 roundtrip right now) or drive in a carpool. We are happy to help arrange carpools, with the expectation that all passengers contribute to the cost of gas and parking in DC.

What about classes? Won't we miss them?

The faculty is aware of the dates of this trip. Work with your professors to reschedule any assignments.

How will we get around DC?

We will take the Metro! It's a great way to get around the city. We will travel together from place to place. You will also have a copy of all addresses, contact information, and the itinerary so that if we do happen to get separated, you will know where we are headed and how to get in contact with the group. With this being said, wear comfortable shoes!

How will we prepare for this trip?

We will meet as a group a couple of times before the trip to get to know each other, go over the schedule, and talk through expectations. 


Undergrad Creates Kentucky Charter School Model

July 29 Friday 11:54 AM

I think anyone who has worked with Dr. Toma would agree with Ben Childress' description of her-- passionate, energetic, and "super smart!"

Ben Childress, an undergraduate student and Chellgren Fellow, has been working with Dr. Toma on a research project focusing on charter schools in Kentucky. While charter schools are not currently available in Kentucky, they may be in the near future. Ben's research, as he describes in the podcast below, seeks to answer the question, "If Kentucky had charter schools, where would they be and how many would there be?" Using data from Tennessee, he creates a model to predict the answer to that question.

Ben describes his research as "academic, but [with] real-world applications that will affect a lot of people." Music to our ears! At the Martin School, we are committed to positively impacting our society and the public good through thorough, dedicated research.

Listen in! Ben's portion of the podcast starts around the fifth minute. To learn more about Undergraduate Research, visit their website.


MPA-JD Student Spends Her Summer Interning at the City Finance Dept

July 25 Monday 10:00 PM

Hannah Walker, a joint MPA-JD student, is interning in the city's Department of Finance here in Lexington, Kentucky. Hannah describes her experiences in this position below. 

My internship has been with the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG). I started there in October 2015 when I began a fellowship in the Mayor’s Office. In May, I moved into the Department of Finance. When I began my experience at LFUCG I was promised that this was not your stereotypical internship. I have never had to fetch anyone coffee. The work I’ve been doing has been meaningful and productive.

This summer my fellow intern, Jordan Keeton, and I have completed several large projects. In the beginning, our main project was a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Report. TIFs are an economic development tool that is used frequently in Lexington. The success of the 20-page TIF report led to us writing another report on all of LFUCG’s economic development programs. We’ve also worked with preparing transparent apolitical documents relating the recently adopted FY 2017 LFUCG Budget. This includes a pamphlet and a 20 page electronic document for public consumption. It is the hope of the administration that these documents will lead to citizens having a more thorough understanding of LFUCG, the Budget, and the processes behind appropriating these expenditures. Our last large project was creating a new position at LFUCG. During the recent budget cycle the Urban County Council appropriated funds for the creation of an Officer of Diversity and Inclusion and a Workforce Development Grant. Jordan and I researched and contacted many cities who had similar positions. We were tasked with writing the official Job Analysis Questionnaire (JAQ) that outlines the job requirements and responsibilities, education requirements, and other information for the position.

My day-to-day activities vary depending on what is happening at LFUCG. When Council is in session, I will attend their Committee and Work Session meetings. Because full Council Meetings occur after work hours, the interns are required to attend at least one every summer. In addition to Council related meetings, the interns attend a variety of meetings within the government. There are two main types of meetings that interns attend: board meetings and administrative meetings. The various boards make decisions on very specific issues or projects. These decisions receive final approval from Council. Interns will commonly attend the Economic Development Investment Board meetings. This group administers the Lexington Jobs Fund, an economic development tool that incentivizes job creation in Lexington. The administrative meetings are usually centered on a specific project or policy. These meetings require the coordination of multiple departments and/or divisions in order to address the needs and concerns of the various areas of government. The Department of Finance attends nearly all of these meetings. Finance and the Law Department are the only two departments in government that are truly needed to address every project or policy change. Because of this, interns are able to see the ever changing role that the Department of Finance plays within the LFUCG.

Perhaps the best part of my internship is that it validates my belief that my education at the Martin School is relevant and worthwhile. Firstly, interning at LFUCG has given me the opportunity to see the variety of local government careers that Martin School graduates have pursued. Secondly, I use my education on a daily basis. The projects at my internship sometimes perfectly aligned with my coursework. I put the public finance, budgeting, and economics skills that I’ve learned at the Martin School to work every day. Lastly, I probably wouldn’t have this opportunity if it weren’t for the Martin School. Dr. Eugenia Toma originally connected me to my current supervisor and Martin School alum, Wes Holbrook, and they both encouraged me to apply for the internship. Once I started the internship, I would not have been successful at this internship without the guidance of Lauren Kesselring, recent Martin School alum, who helped show me the ropes and set an excellent example of what a good intern looks like.  


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