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#4ScoreSPA

#MySPAHistory

Students and alumni share their experiences at the School of Public Affairs, from career success to in-class impact. 

"From day one, I was hooked and began to enjoy the immediate benefits of what I was learning. I was in a group of incredibly talented classmates and brilliant professors that prepared me for the grueling world of politics, policy and government administration that is now my daily life. I look back at my career and I can identify many transformation points, none greater than when I joined the AU family."
Hassan Aden, SPA/MPA ’09 #MySPAHistory

"I truly enjoyed my experience at SPA and have continued to benefit from the concepts to which I was exposed by professors who challenged me and set expectations for the highest quality work.Similarly, the breadth of experiences and interests of my fellow students inspired me to co-found with other classmates the student journal The Public Purpose, which I am so proud to see continues to flourish. It was an AU and SPA alum who hired me at GAO, and I aim to continue to pay it forward!"
Allison Bawden, SPA/MPA ’04 #MySPAHistory

“My education at AU was one of the best. In my later life—the career paths I chose—the AU experience was truly helpful. The School of Public Affairs truly enabled me to do a much better job in my work life.”
John Boyer, SPA/PhD ’89 #MySPAHistory

"The School of Public Affairs community is very supportive. Professors encourage independent thought, and give you a lot of room to explore academically and express yourself freely."
Duilio Correa, SPA/MPA ’13 #MySPAHistory

“You’re making the world a better place in a way that I think is very unsung. I think I really picked the right program at SPA. I have great professors—every one of them has been magnificent. It definitely reinforced my future career plans.”
Jennifer Fernandez, SPA/MPP ’15 #MySPAHistory

"My SPA experiences helped drive me towards a career in public service through nonprofit management. The skills I learned in undergrad, getting my MPA, and the alumni network I discovered upon graduation, all contributed to my career and development of my business. SPA graduates are everywhere - and being able to note that connection from the outset has helped advance a number of conversations critical to strategy and coalitions for the nonprofits I have led."
Erin Fuller, SPA/BA ’93 and SPA/MPA ’94 #MySPAHistory

"I came to SPA because of the school's historic commitment to public scholarship. I stayed at SPA because of the ongoing faculty commitment to doing outstanding scholarly research that was also relevant beyond the classroom or the walls of the academy. These were among the best decisions I've ever made."
Marguerite Jimenez, SPA/PhD ’13 #MySPAHistory

"My classes in SPA were great, but it was the people that helped me grow outside of the classroom. We are a community of world-class minds and roll-up-your-sleeves-to-get-something-done leaders—something our national officials should emulate."
Andy MacCracken, SPA/BA ’11 and SPA/MPA ’14 #MySPAHistory

"My experience at the School of Public Affairs Key Executive Program prepared me to lead during challenging times, and cemented my belief in the importance of public service."
Jodi McCarthy, SPA/MPA ’10 #MySPAHistory

“I’m proud of my time at SPA, and I’m grateful for the opportunity it gave me to meet some incredibly interesting people. I believed then – as I believe now – that public service is an honorable calling. And I’m confident SPA will continue to prepare its students for meaningful careers for at least another 80 years.”
Congressman Jim McGovern, SPA/MPA ’84 #MySPAHistory

“My time at the School of Public Affairs was invaluable to me. With an undergraduate degree in international relations, an MPA from American University’s SPA was the perfect complement. Of course, being in Washington to gain first-hand experience in public administration proved to be an additional asset in preparing me for a career in the Foreign Service.”
Ambassador Kenneth Merten, SPA/MPA ’86 #MySPAHistory

"I am energized and proud of the School of Public Affairs: its objectives, faculty, and student opportunities. What better location than here in the nation's capital to inspire and motivate our future leaders to engage in public service!"
Connie Morella, SPA/MA ’67 #MySPAHistory

"I’m looking forward to getting to work for the people of the District on critical issues like affordable housing and education. As a proud SPA graduate I hope to inspire other future leaders to run for office as well."
Brianne Nadeau, SPA/MPP ’06 #MySPAHistory

“I was always impressed with how SPA combined traditional academics with real world experiences in public affairs. As students we had amazing exposure to thought leaders and experiences on both the 'political' and 'science' sides of American government.”
Mike Panetta, SPA/BA ’93 and SPA/MA ’94 #MySPAHistory

“I hang both my AU diplomas proudly in my office and I feel the value of my degrees have grown every year. Knowing the quality of AU’s programs, I always make sure to recruit from SPA.”
Adam Rosenblatt, SPA/BA ’06 and SPA/MA ’07 #MySPAHistory

"I feel very fortunate to have chosen a program with attentive professors that took time to get to know me. They have offered advice for life in and outside of the classroom, and some that even helped guide me professionally."
Zachary Rybarczyk, SPA/MPP ’15 #MySPAHistory

"SPA's ideals of serving society and putting ideas into action have shaped me personally and professionally. SPA is a unique place to learn and produce knowledge, with passion and rigor, about public affairs."
Pablo Sanabria, SPA/PhD ’12 #MySPAHistory

"My MPA experience certainly added to my ability to think critically, evaluate ideas, debate concepts and simply agree to disagree without raising my voice. In the heart of Washington, DC, I was offered unique, up-close exposure to the inner workings of our government.”
Vivian Santora, SPA/MPA ’97 #MySPAHistory

“The School of Public Affairs provides a fantastic opportunity to build your personal leadership tool kit in order to foster a more responsive and dynamic organizational culture that will thrive in these challenging times.”
Gwen Sykes, SPA/MPA ’01 #MySPAHistory

“My time at AU was transformative in many respects. Not only were my fellow classmates as interested in the world as I was, but we were being taught by some of the brightest academic minds in the country – those professors who were not full-time academics were leading practitioners in their field. To this day, I still maintain relationships from my time at AU that benefit me both personally and professionally.”
Fred Turner, SPA/BA ’93 and SPA/MA ’95 #MySPAHistory

“There’s always going to be someone at SPA willing to reach out, help you out. Honestly, I don’t think I’d be here at this moment without AU and these opportunities,” he said. “For that, I’m forever in debt and grateful.”
Carlos Vera, SPA/BA ’15 and SPA/MPA ’16 #MySPAHistory