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School of Public Service News

Public Administration Students at City Hall

Service Learning: Wendy Jaquet's Public Administration students present their research findings to Boise City Mayor David Bieter at City Hall, Photo Patrick Sweeney

Photo: Patrick Sweeney


Public Administration Students Present Homelessness Recommendations to Boise Mayor Bieter
Public Policy and Administration Course Includes Strong Service Learning Component

Thirteen students presented their assessments and recommendations for tackling Boise’s homelessness crisis to Mayor Dave Bieter. The presentations, which were delivered at City Hall on April 20, examined the costs of homelessness to the community, analyzed the resources available to address it, and offered recommendations for reducing homelessness in Boise.

The graduate-level Public Administration in the Public Sector course is offered by the Public Policy and Administration department but draws students from a broad academic spectrum. In addition to Master of Public Administration majors, students come from disciplines as varied as Public Health, Criminal Justice and Political Science.

The project was facilitated by Public Policy and Administration Professor Wendy Jaquet and included a service learning component coordinated by Anna Bailey of Boise State Service Learning. Three teams of students delivered presentations to the mayor lasting 20 minutes each and utilizing large posters they created to illustrate their findings.

Photo Patrick Sweeney

Spencer Kelly presents as Boise Mayor Dave Bieter listens. Photo: Patrick Sweeney

For the service-learning project, the students served meals at Interfaith Sanctuary, participated in the city-led Point-in-Time Count, interviewed stakeholders invested in the homelessness issue, and attended continuum of care meetings. This first-hand, personal contact helped the students get to know the homeless population as people rather than just as data points.

The need for a diverse approach to the issue was a common thread throughout the three presentations. Public Health major Molly Volk sees collaboration across multiple disciplines as both a vital factor in solving the city’s homelessness problem and as an important aspect in the success of her team, which combined health, data, and law enforcement perspectives. “We learned that collaboration is of the utmost importance in Public Administration. This is something we learn in textbooks, but this project demonstrated how important collaboration truly is.”

Service Learning: Wendy Jaquet's Public Administration students present their research findings to Boise City Mayor David Bieter at City Hall, Photo Patrick Sweeney

Photo: Patrick Sweeney

Professor Jaquet adds, “The students worked hard on incorporating their experiences with the homeless community with the academic side of public administration. As a result I am sure that they are coming away from this class with both the practitioner and book-learning components of public administration. I am very proud of them.”

The presentations also examined the costs of homelessness to the community, estimated at $6 million annually in Ada County alone. On average, each homeless person in Boise is estimated to draw $60,000 fro m the safety net system. With this in mind, students saw the cost-savings advantage of a more proactive approach to homelessness.

Coordination of services across various public agencies and the private sector was another recommendation. Master of Public Administration student Chloe Ross stated, “Homelessness cannot be solved by one stakeholder. It must be solved by coordination among multiple agencies.” MPA student McKenzie Case added, “People who are experiencing homelessness come from diverse backgrounds and situations. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution.”

Photo Patrick Sweeney

Professor Wendy Jaquet and students listening to a presentation. Photo: Patrick Sweeney

Mayor Bieter expressed his appreciation to the students for the depth of thought and research they put into the project. “I’m really impressed and I don’t say that lightly. I’m really impressed by the way you’ve brought empirical data but also maintained the fact that these are not just statistics but are people.”

The mayor also appreciated the way the students avoided any “genie in a bottle” approach to the issue. “This is the toughest issue we have by far,” he said. “The level of discourse, the level of research, the level of conversation was very high. That’s what really impressed me.”

Former Congressmen Visit School of Public Service

on the blue croppedFormer Representative Tom Petri (R-Wisconsin) and Former Representative and Ambassador to India Tim Roemer (D-Indiana) visited with School of Public Service students on Sunday, April 17 and Monday, April 18.

Both former Representatives met with Boise State’s Young Republicans and Young Democrat Clubs, as well as meeting with Honors College students, Military Science students and Political Science students. Their visit also featured visits to Boise High and a a presentation to the Boise Committee on Foreign Relations.

The Frank Church Institute and the US Association of Former Members of Congress sponsored the Congress to Campus event. Congress to Campus brings former Members of Congress to campuses for the purpose of increasing civic literacy and participation in democracy.

Congress to Campus

Congress to Campus logoThe Frank Church Institute and the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress are sponsoring “Congress to Campus” on Sunday, April 17 and Monday, April 18. Two former senior members of Congress will be on the Boise State campus all day Monday.

School of Public Service students who are interested are invited to attend:

  • A pizza meeting on Sunday April  17, 6:00 pm in the Honors College, Driscoll Hall
  • Or a pizza lunch on Monday April 18, noon in the SUB Bergquist Lounge.

timothy roemerCongressman Tim Roemer, a former six term Democratic Representative from Indiana, most recently served as U.S. Ambassador to India, one of America’s largest diplomatic missions.  In Congress he focused on international trade and investment, education policy, and national security. He also served as a member of the 9/11 Commission. Since leaving Congress, he has served as President of the Center for National Policy; as a member of both the Aspen and the Washington Institutes; and as Senior Counselor to APCO Worldwide.  He holds a Ph.D. from Notre Dame University.

TommypetriCongressman Tom Petri is a former eighteen term Republican Representative from Wisconsin, where he focused on reforms in health care, welfare, and student loans, as well as transportation issues as Chairman of the Highways and Transportation Subcommittee. In addition, he served as Chairman of the U.S. House -British Parliamentary Exchange; the U.S. House-Japanese Diet discussions; and the House French and German Caucuses. For his work, he was made an honorary Officer of the British Empire; and he received honorary membership in the Order of the Rising Sun. He holds a law degree from Harvard University.

New Leadership Idaho

NEW 2016 will be May 22 – 28.  

UPDATE: Applications are no longer being accepted.

National Education for Women’s Leadership Idaho (NEW) is an exciting hands-on leadership program designed to inspire young women to become leaders in their communities.

College women from across Idaho are invited to spend a week in Boise learning about the important role that politics plays in their lives, studying leadership skills applicable in both public and private sector positions, addressing diversity matters and mingling with other students dedicated to making a difference in their communities. Students will have the unique opportunity to interact with and learn from many of Idaho’s local and state elected officials, as well as a wide variety of community and private sector leaders.

NEW Leadership is a national bi-partisan program developed by the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP).  The program was designed to address the under representation of women in American politics. Participants represent a wide range of socioeconomic, ethnic, racial and educational backgrounds, and academic majors.


Politics for Lunch – LIV Boise

PoliticsforLunch_logoThis popular lecture series features local, regional, and state politicians and pundits in a casual lunch setting. Lectures deliver balanced, insightful presentations and discussions on the issues that challenge Idaho.

“Politics for Lunch” is held at the Andrus Center in Bodo. Our address is 301 S Capitol. Doors open at 11:30 and speakers begin at Noon. Lunch and lecture is $12; lecture only is $5.  Reservations are required and can be made via email. Just let us know how many are attending and if you would like lecture only or lunch and lecture.

Payment can be made online with Visa, MasterCard or Discover, or at the door with Cash or Check only.

Podcasts of past events are available.

Inside the Public Policy Research Center: A View to the Future

Eric LindquistJoin us for this Exciting Brownbag Session featuring Boise State Professor Eric Lindquist.

  • April 15
  • Noon
  • SUB Alexander Room

Eric Lindquist, Director of Boise State University’s Public Policy Research Center will give a talk titled Inside the Public Policy Research Center: A View to the Future.

Politics & Policy Brownbag Series – Understanding BRICS

BRICSFaculty, staff and students are invited to this Brownbag exciting series session.

  • Friday, April 1
  • Noon
  • Multipurpose Classroom 201

Cameron Thies, Director of Arizona State University’s School of Politics and Global Studies, will present a paper titled Rising Powers and Foreign Policy Revisionism: Understanding BRICS Identity and Behavior through Time.


Final Filibuster Session is This Week

2016-Idaho-Filibuster-Sessions-ImgurThis final session, at 5:30 pm on Weds., March 30, will be held at a *new location*, The Mode Lounge, 800 West Idaho St., at 8th St.

Several Boise State faculty and other experts will discuss the 2016 session highs and lows, in the context of our current national and local political climate. On the docket: how higher ed fared, the middling public schools budget, gun bills, and the lack of movement on health care reform in Idaho, and anything else you’d like to discuss!

Returning to the Sessions are Justin Vaughn and Jaclyn Kettler, both political science professors with relatively fresh eyes for Idaho politics and expertise in several areas of political science including rhetoric, campaign finance, legislatures and women in politics.

The Canadian Studies Program Presents : Canada Week 2016

Click Here for a printable flyermaple leaf

MONDAY, MARCH 14 2016, 10:30 AM-1:30 PM: Canadian Trivia Contest
Atrium, Boise State Students Union Building

Come learn more about Canada and enjoy a free Canadian chocolate bar.

TUESDAY, MARCH 15 2016, 8:45 AM–10:30 AM: Free Pancake Breakfast

Boise State University Quad

Enjoy a pancake breakfast complete with Canadian maple syrup.

3:00 PM-4:30 PM: “How Canadian Culture Has Transformed Ours Through Music, Literature, and Comedy”
Lookout Room, Student Union Building.

Presentation by:
Norm Weinstein, Canadian Studies Program, Boise State University

Discover how major Canadian writers, musicians, and comedians have impacted American culture in memorably provocative ways. Poet/novelists like Michael Ondaatje and Margaret Atwood will be celebrated along with singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen and members of the Saturday Night Live comedy team. Emphasis will be placed on how these Canadians wryly dramatize in uniquely Canadian terms their ambivalent feelings about American culture.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2016, 6:00-7:30 PM: “Clean Energy Progress in Canada and the United States: New Opportunities, and Possible Partnerships”
Barnwell Room, Student Union Building.

Presentation by:
Ryan Katz-Rosene, School of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
Ines Piccinino, Assistant Deputy Minister, Government of British Columbia
Michael Hagood, Energy and Environment, Idaho National Laboratory
Moderated by: James Hill, Consul General, Canadian Consulate, Seattle

The new Canadian Prime Minister has brought with him a refocus on clean energy at a time when economic realities are favorable for new clean energy development. This panel will discuss the debate over what constitutes “clean energy” and detail the efforts being made in both Canada and the United States in the area – with a focus primarily on the Western region of each country. Opportunities for cross-border cooperation will be highlighted and efforts at bi-national regional partnerships will be discussed.

All events are free and open to the public

Rakesh Mohan To Receive the Prestigious Stone Practitioner Award

Rakesh MohanLongtime Friend of School of Public Service to Receive Award in Seattle

The School of Public Service at Boise State University is pleased to announce that the Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM) of the American Society for Public Administration has awarded Idaho’s Rakesh Mohan the Donald C. Stone Practitioner Award. Since 1981, SIAM-ASPA has recognized outstanding practitioners for their contributions to intergovernmental management.  Mr. Mohan, Director of the Office of Performance Evaluations for the Idaho State Legislature, has been on the forefront of public sector performance benchmarking for decades.

Mr. Mohan has worked with the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government in Idaho, Washington, Louisiana, and Kansas in assessing the implementation of varied public policies across multiple levels of government and across the collaborative efforts of the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Mr. Mohan is actively involved across the United States in professional societies that set the standard in program evaluation, a critical component of the work that public managers do. Managers in all levels of government and across economic sectors engage in regular and informed evaluation and assessment of the public programs in their charge.

Increasingly, legislative bodies at the state and local levels heed the feedback of such managers in fine-tuning the particulars of policies. His experience and contributions to this aspect of public management has benefitted four states and countless local governments directly. However, indirectly, he has reached the public and nonprofit management community as a whole in providing training for a diversity of audiences from Brazil to Canada and across the United States.

Mr. Mohan was nominated by Dr. Elizabeth Fredericksen, Professor of Public Policy and Administration in the School of Public Service at Boise State University. She is a member of the executive council of SIAM-ASPA, the professional section charged with developing links between federal, state, and local governments through its newsletter, Intergovernmental News, occasional papers on timely intergovernmental topics, and its special projects and workshops. The section publishes State and Local Government Review.

Mr. Mohan’s service to Boise State includes his valuable consulting during the building of the Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy and Administration Program, with its emphasis on policy analysis & program evaluation. This focus is increasingly important to good governance.In addition, he’s worked with several members of Boise State faculty and has hosted Boise State interns as director of the Idaho Legislature’s Office of Performance Evaluation.