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Student Leaders

Student perspectives are valued at the Sanford School and at Duke, and students can find and create numerous opportunities to serve in leadership roles. These are the Sanford School student organizations that provide input and suggestions to the school’s leadership team.

Sanford MPP Student Council

The Sanford Student Representative Council is responsible for bringing any concerns, questions and recommendations regarding the MPP program (e.g., curriculum, faculty, facilities, etc.), to the administration. The Council facilitates student involvement in Sanford School planning in partnership with the Director of Graduate Studies and MPP Director of Student Services.

2016-2017 Representatives

-          Second-year Representatives: McSwain Forkoh, Kiera Vinson
-          First-Year Representatives: Michael Darden, Kavya Sekar
-          Dual-Degree Representative: Peter Gorman
-          Council Liaison: Thu Pham
-          Treasurer: Matthew Gerken
-          Honor Board Representative: Hunter Buckworth
-          Duke Graduate and Profession Student Council Representatives: Colleen Cox, Madhu Vulimiri

MPP Academic Committee

The MPP Academic Committee serves as a forum for student concerns regarding topics such as requirements for academic concentrations, course offerings and electives, core curriculum needs, Master’s Projects and faculty and student interaction and advising.

The Public Policy Studies Majors Union (PPSMU)

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  • Photo of students on lawn talking with the dean

    Student Leaders Host Welcome Picnic

    Members of the undergraduate Public Policy Studies Majors Union (PPSMU), including 2013-14 president Matt Barnett, left, talk with Sanford School Dean Kelly Brownell. PPSMU hosted the zero-waste picnic for the public policy community.

The Majors Union is the official organization representing undergraduates at the Sanford School. Led by PPS students, the Majors Union engages students in the life of the Sanford School and provides opportunities to learn and network outside of the classroom.

PPSMU provides student input on administrative and academic matters; plans community-building events involving students, faculty and alumni; and creates networking and other professional opportunities for students. The Majors Union coordinates student-faculty dinners at Durham restaurants.

The group’s career guidance series, CareerTalk, brings policy practitioners to campus to talk about employment opportunities in the field. PPSMU also assists with hosting the school’s biannual Board of Visitors meetings, and serves as the primary source of student perspectives for the Sanford administration and faculty.

2016-2017 Majors Union Officers

PhD Executive Committee

PhD student members: Andrew Heiss, Zoelene Hill, and Danielle Vance-McMullen

Board of Visitors

Students serve as ad hoc members of the school’s advisory Board of Visitors, providing student perspectives during the board’s biannual meetings.

  • PhD Representative: Ying Shi
  • MPP representative: Blair Lanier
  • MIDP Representative: Betty Tushabe
  • Undergraduate Representative: Christie Lawrence

Need Advice?

Here are some tips, from the student perspective, for how to thrive at Sanford: