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New SPA Group Builds Connections at Annual Minority Brunch

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Students, faculty, and staff at the School of Public Affairs (SPA) continually dedicate their time to provide our community with access to Washington, D.C.’s innumerable opportunities—from internships and lectures, to networking and service activities.

In fall 2014, a group of students led by Master of Public Administration candidates Arie Giles and Crystal Dully developed BRIDGE, a new organization specifically targeted to improve community engagement among SPA students.

Short for Building Relationships while Improving Diverse Graduate Experiences, BRIDGE is on a mission to “Bridge the Gap” between current graduate students at American University, alumni, professional organizations, and the community. It is a multicultural student organization that engages students across the Washington, DC area, hosting social events, connecting students with alumni of similar interests, and being the catalyst for social opportunities across the graduate community.

BRIDGE took its own opportunity to address the School of Public Affairs’ prospective minority students at the Annual Minority Recruitment Brunch. Giles (who also serves as president of BRIDGE) and Dully spoke about their organization’s intent to bring together diverse graduate students at AU for academic, professional, and social development and community engagement. The Minority Recruitment Brunch, which is held on the first weekend every December, is SPA’s only school-wide event, inviting faculty, students and staff from every program and department. For BRIDGE, the brunch was the first step toward its mission to bridge the gap.