Oct. 31, 2016

The School of Public Policy connects industry, students and alumni

2nd annual Capstone Symposium
A wide range of business, government and not-for-profit organizations from across Alberta joined current students and program alumni for The School of Public Policy’s 2nd annual Capstone Symposium.

A wide range of organizations joined current students and program alumni for the Capstone Symposium.

The School of Public Policy held its second annual Master of Public Policy (MPP) Capstone Symposium on Oct. 4. More than 70 business, government, not-for-profit organizations and MPP alumni from across Alberta attended the event.

Participants observed and connected with graduating students, all of whom presented engaging and pertinent research-based capstone findings across a wide range of public policy areas. New students just beginning the MPP program also attended and were provided a first-hand opportunity to understand the relevancy of the MPP degree.

Dan Allan, president of the Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources, remarked, “I am always impressed at the significance of the subject matter being presented at the annual School of Public Policy MPP Capstone event. Students undertake issues of real importance to Alberta and Canada and do so in an analytical way that is both thorough and thought provoking.”

New this year was an MPP alumni capstone panel, which took place immediately after the symposium. 2016-2017 MPP students heard from a number of program graduates who shared tips about building relationships, overcoming obstacles and topic selection, all key components for creating a meaningful and applied capstone.

UToday The School of Public Policy connects industry, students and alumni

New MPP student Kristy Peterson said, “Alumni provided me insight into the types of capstone questions students need to be asking while giving us some very sound advice as we begin the MPP program.”

One of this year’s Capstone Symposium presenters was Nicole Williams, who examined prairie province domestic violence shelter use patterns. “At the Capstone Symposium, I had the opportunity to present my own research to industry representatives, current students, and previous graduates,” says Williams. “The Capstone panel allowed me to share my own knowledge and advice with incoming students at the beginning stages of their own capstone projects.”

Sean Mallany, a 2013 MPP graduate and a member of the MPP Alumni Council, said, "I was struck at the quality of the research and presentations on display. The students demonstrated that they engage in important analysis on public policy issues that affect Canadians. The symposium brought audiences together to converse with one another in an impactful fashion.”

The MPP program emphasizes delivering policy education that is focused and practical. In the fall of 2015, the MPP program began a student-alumni mentorship initiative where students are paired with MPP alumni. No other Canadian MPP or MPA program offers such an undertaking, particularly one that involves an alumni council whose guidance enhances the mentorship experience.

Ron Kneebone, MPP program director, said, “The significant interest in the MPP is a testament to the value potential employers, including our growing and highly involved alumni base, put on a balanced education concerning matters of public policy.”

Learn more about the MPP Program at The School of Public Policy.