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Public Affairs Report

Spring Brown Bag Luncheon March 19th

The Please  join the department of Public Policy & Administration for the upcoming MPAA brown bag luncheon with Lauren McLean.  Lauren will be discussing her role in the Foothills Open Space Campaign to preserve Boise’s foothills, city council duties and how her MPA degree helped prepare her for a career in public service.

Monday, March 19th, 2012
12 noon
Jordan Ballroom A, BSU SUB

2013 Best Graduate School Rankings

Boise State’s Public Policy & Administration graduate program ranked an impressive #104 in the recent 2013 U.S. News & World Report of graduate Public Affairs programs across the U.S..  This is a 44 spot jump up from #148 in 2012!  Congratulations to all that play a part in making the program a huge success!

Find out which graduate schools rose and which plummeted in the 2013 rankings in U.S. News & World Report.

Panel Looks at Climate Change and Policy March 5

The Department of Public Policy and Administration presents the second panel event in its Science-Policy Interaction Series. “Connecting Science to Policy: The Issue of Climate Change” is at 6 p.m. Monday, March 5, in the Student Union Bishop Barnwell Room. This event is free and open to the public.

Three Boise State professors will discuss issues of climate change, including why scientists and policymakers have difficulty communicating on the topic, how policy should be formed based on scientific research, and the impacts on designing cities and informing the public. The panel will include Les Alm, professor of public policy and administration; Jen Pierce, associate professor of geosciences, and Venkataramana Sridhar, assistant professor of civil engineering.

The series explores the role of scientific research in public policymaking, as inspired by the Environmental Research Building on campus (pictured above). In May 2011, the departments of Public Policy and Administration, Political Science, Civil Engineering and Geosciences moved into the building, creating an opportunity to explore the interaction and relationship of their respective disciplines.

For more information, contact Lesley Krone at

More about climate change and policy at Update

BSU students work with Community Transportation Association of Idaho (CTAI)

Pengyu  Zhu, Professor in the Public Policy and Administration, led his community data class in the development of an alternatives scoring mechanism for a transit infrastructure report card.  The work is to assist the Community Transportation Association of Idaho (CTAI) and the American Society of Civil Engineers in the development of an overall Infrastructure Report Card for the Boise region.

Cherilyn Blender, master’s in community and regional planning graduate student, was awarded an internship with CTAI after completing Zhu‘s course. As part of the internship, Blender currently is developing the transit report card to be presented to legislators on the Statehouse steps March 15.

More about BSU students and Community Transportation Association of Idaho in Update.

Elite Interviewing: Canada-US Borderlands Speaker Series

Dr. Les Alm, Department of Public Policy & Administration, will speak at the next SSPA’s Speaker Series on Wednesday, February 29, from 12:40 to 1:30 p.m. in ILC 315.

The event is free and open to the public.

US & Canadian FlagThis presentation discusses the process of interviewing from a study on the Canada-U.S. borderlands relationship along the two geographic corridors bounded by Lake Superior: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario–Sault Ste. Marie,MichiganandThunder Bay,Ontario–Duluth,Minnesota.

Borderland communities—driven by their shared cultural characteristics (ethnicity, language, religion)—are said to challenge the border as a dividing device and undermine the very essence of international borders.

Moreover, borderlands regions are dynamic and overlapping, providing the first point of contact and interaction between nations.

Our results depict inherent differences between these particular border regions, with each illustrating characteristics that both connect and divide.

Despite the passage of time and both countries’ determined efforts to make the passage safe and less demanding, the peoples in these border regions perceive a continuing frustration with crossing the border and connecting to the people on the other side of the border.

Dean Lavitt Named an Idaho Woman of the Year

Melissa Lavitt, dean of the College of Social Sciences and Public Affairs, was honored by the Idaho Business Review as one of 50 Idaho Women of the Year for 2012.

Honorees will be profiled in the Feb. 24 issue of the Idaho Business Review. The 50 women also will be honored at an awards dinner and ceremony. For its second year, the Idaho Business Review will name one of the honorees as the IBR Woman of the Year 2012 at the awards dinner on Feb. 21.

Read the entire story in the Idaho Business

Learn more about Dean Lavitt Being Named an Idaho Woman of the Year in Update.

Beyond the Blue Podcast: Fact, Myth and Emotion of Immigration

Immigration is a super-charged, emotional issue that is not going away. Greg Hill, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Boise State, discusses what immigration policy is and its place in the American political landscape in a Beyond the Blue podcast, “Immigration: Fact, Myth and Emotion.”

Learn More about Fact, Myth and Emotion of Immigration at Beyond the Blue.

Research published in the journal State and Local Government Review.

Greg Hill, assistant professor and chair of the public policy and administration department, co-authored a paper titled “Managing Undocumented Students: Do Undocumented Students Hinder Student Performance?” that was recently published in the journal State and Local Government Review.

Read about State and Local Government in Update.