I’ll give you two answers for why I chose to major in both Public Policy and Computer Science. One is about my mantra about society and one is about the personal connections between the two. Personally, I would drive myself crazy just studying one discipline."
Sonia Sekhar MPP’14 knows the Affordable Care Act like the back of hand. She has to—it’s her job to implement the law for New York. Sekhar is director of policy and planning for New York State of Health, the state’s health exchange.
"Before coming to Sanford, I was in the Peace Corps in Indonesia as an education volunteer. It was there that I saw how bad environmental problems are. I remember when I was hiking in the jungle with some friends, and all of a sudden, we came to a clearing. The whole side of the mountain had been razed. They cut all the trees down. My friend told me that this had been done on government territory. It was illegal and it was going to affect the local economies. Here at Sanford, I'm focusing on environmental policy, specifically as it relates to climate change."
More than 2 billion children worldwide are “invisible,” said Maya Ajmera, MPP’93. The founder and former president of the Global Fund for Children called invisibility “a lack of hope, a lack of opportunity and a lack of access.” Nearly half a billion children live in extreme poverty, 215 million are engaged in hazardous labor, 100 million live on the street, and 1.2 million are trafficked annually.
Judith Kelley, professor of public policy and political science, is an expert on election fraud and international election monitoring. She literally wrote a book on the topic. But until Monday, October 31, 2016, she had never voted.
The reason? She’s Danish, lives in the United States, and did not want to give up her Danish citizenship. Denmark requires voters to reside in country, and, until recently, did not allow dual citizenship. So she couldn’t vote in Denmark or the United States. Here’s what it was like.
This summer, Gregg Behr, MPP/JD’00, was stunned to find himself at the White House, attending an event as a guest of honor. Behr was being celebrated as one of 10 “Champions of Change for Making.” The category honors people who successfully promote hands-on learning and serve their communities through innovation and creativity.
My parents immigrated from China to Singapore when they were quite young for work. As a kid moving from Singapore to the US and fitting in here, I realized my life had been a lot easier. We were really lucky. But it’s so arbitrary. For another family, maybe they had a more difficult route getting here, which makes so much of a difference in where we turn out, but you can’t forget that we all started in the same place.
“Right now in Nigeria, volunteering isn’t so big. We’re still a developing country, so most people are just thinking about how to get through the day. We want to create a culture of volunteerism by making it as easy and fun as possible. We’re also trying to demonstrate impact. So many of our nonprofits are underfunded and understaffed, so even though two hours of volunteer time seems small to us, it’s two hours that they don’t have to pay a professional. If you’re a photographer or an accountant, you can use those skills and put them on your resume. We’re trying to make volunteering a way of life; we want to build a vibrant community of Nigerians who want to change the world.” - Adebimpe Mbang Femi-Oyewo MIDP’18.
I’m majoring in Public Policy and Gender Sexuality & Feminist Studies. My internship experience this summer actually didn’t turn out the way it was supposed to. I was supposed to be working for the U.S. Embassy in #Ecuador…but I didn’t get security clearance. They’ve been having issues getting stuff done on time. It’s a very bureaucratic process. So I ended up interning with an NGO in Ecuador called “Proyecto Transgénero,” which means “Project Transgender.”
My name’s a bit tricky to spell, you might want to look at my Duke ID. Quauhtli (pronounced kwat-lee) means “eagle” in Aztec. It’s one of the symbols in the Aztec calendar, and there are other names that can derive from it. For example, Quauhtémoc was the last Aztec emperor, and his name means “eagle warrior.” It’s a root name.
As Chemonics’ deputy chief of party for the USAID/Colombia Human Rights Program, Laura Zambrano MIDP’04 plays a key role building the capacity of the Colombian government and civil society to prevent and respond to human rights violations. Ongoing since 2000, the program is one of the largest in the world related to human rights.
Mathama and Amina Bility are sisters, both pursuing degrees in public policy and global health. They have produced a documentary on Ebola, shot on location in Lberia, that will premiere at the American Public Health Association Conference in Denver Oct. 29-Nov. 2.