Choose Your Track, Part I: Public Policy

The Public Policy Track— one of two tracks offered by the American Studies Program— places you in the middle of current, pressing public policy issues under debate on Capitol Hill.

We focus on the political difficulties that policymakers face when economic, humanitarian, and rule-of-law or national security priorities come into conflict with one another. In order to effectively clarify and compare the moral reasoning behind competing policy positions, we directly engage Washington, DC policy professionals working on all sides of the issue.DHS

For example, in Public Policy’s 5-week group study of immigration policy, we visited with the Pew Research Center and the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn about historic trends in immigration flows and policy. We visited the National Council of La Raza and NumbersUSA to hear two very different perspectives on what good immigration policy looks like. We visited the Republican Chief Counsel and Democratic Chief Counsel on the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security. And we concluded our fieldwork by meeting with the Deputy Assistant Director of Service Center Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (who is also a proud ASP alum). Students will present their findings and policy recommendations at a conference we hold in a Congressional hearing room in April.

Citizenship & Immigration, DHS

James McCament (far right), an ASP alumnus, is the Deputy Assistant Director of Service Center Operations at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

This type of direct engagement is what makes ASP’s experiential education stand apart from on-campus learning. Instead of researching immigration policy by checking out books from your campus library, you will be interviewing the stakeholders themselves. You collect your research straight from the source!

NCLR 3

Students await the arrival of the presenter at the National Council of La Raza.

If you are a major in Political Science, Government, History, International Relations, Criminal Justice, Pre-Law, or Public Policy, we encourage you to consider joining this study track! To learn more, click here.

See below for more pictures of the Public Policy Track at work, both in the classroom and in the field.

World Vision

For research on the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA-UAC), this group interviewed a senior advisor at World Vision. [L to R: Kelsey Munroe (Mount Vernon Nazarene University), Ryan Bolton (Friends University), Ashley Fisher (Vanguard University), and Carlye Poff (Wheaton College). Not pictured: Jillian Pascua (Vanguard University)]

PPI in class.jpg

Discussing policy advocacy and diplomacy in the ASP Classroom.

NCSL

Ann Morse, Program Director of the Immigrant Policy Project at the National Conference of State Legislatures, explains the role of state and local governments in federal immigration policy.

NumbersUSA.jpg

For another perspective on immigration policy, the students hear from Eric Ruark, the Director of Research at NumbersUSA.

ACLU

(L to R) Randy Lohman (Messiah College), Aundrea Piacentini (Fresno Pacific University), Daulton DePatis (Olivet Nazarene University), and Alex Ruple (Mount Vernon Nazarene University) discuss sanctuary cities with policy advocates at the American Civil Liberties Union.

 

PPI: One Month Snapshot {Fall 2014}

ASP has 22 public policy students this semester, and they have done an outstanding job professionally engaging Washington, DC. The professional development process on the Public Policy Initiatives (PPI) track is an adventure. This semester, we are focusing on immigration policy in our first unit. Here’s a brief look at how we spent our first month.

The first sessions focused on “Policymaking 101: What the textbooks don’t teach us.” ASP hosted three professional lobbyists and policy advocates for a panel discussion on Best Practices in Policy Advocacy and Lobbying. Students spent over an hour with Walter Kuhn, Manager of Federal Government Affairs for Apple, Courtney Lang, founding principal of Langco Partners (and formerly in public advocacy roles for Pfizer, Eli Lilly, and the NBA), and Shapri LoMaglio, Government Relations Director for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

Walter Kuhn [left] and Alex Hayes (Warner Pacific College), Shaefer Bagwell (Biola University), and Josiah Sound (Seattle Pacific University)

Walter Kuhn [center left] with Alex Hayes (Warner Pacific College), Shaefer Bagwell (Biola University), and Josiah Sound (Seattle Pacific University)

Courney Lang [center left] and Marion Githegi (Emmanuel College)

Courtney Lang [center left] with Marion Githegi (Emmanuel College)

Justin Botejue [left] (Whitworth University) and Shapri LoMaglio

Shapri LoMaglio [right] with Justin Botejue (Whitworth University)

We then went to Capitol Hill to gain An Insiders’ Perspective on Policymaking in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate. How are congressional offices organized and how do they operate? How did you establish a career on Capitol Hill? How does an office champion a piece of legislation? Is the policymaking process as broken as the media makes it appear? What impact can average citizens really make on the policymaking process? PPI students spent over an hour with Jay Sulzmann, Legislative Director for U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (10 years work experience on Capitol Hill), Melissa Fett, Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (ASP alumna and 4 years experience on the Hill), and Caroline Robinson, Legislative Assistant to U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (ASP alumna and 4 years experience on the Hill).

Melissa Fett [left] with Shaefer Bagwell (Biola University) and Collin Callahan (Biola University)

Melissa Fett [left] with Shaefer Bagwell (Biola University) and Collin Callahan (Biola University)

Caroline Robinson [right] with Diana Nesukh (Warner Pacific University), Trenton Pouncy (Oral Roberts University), and Alex Hayes (Warner Pacific University)

Caroline Robinson [right] with Diana Nesukh (Warner Pacific University), Trenton Pouncy (Oral Roberts University), and Alex Hayes (Warner Pacific University)

Jay Sulzmann [right] with Chris Rednour (Mount Vernon Nazarene University) and Cody Laliberte (Biola University)

Jay Sulzmann [right] with Chris Rednour (Mount Vernon Nazarene University) and Cody Laliberte (Biola University)

Then we turned our attention to a more intensive study of immigration policy. We organized our 22 PPI students into five policy taskforces, each studying a different policy debate relating to immigration. We held one-hour meetings with a number of immigration policy experts at various think tanks and advocacy groups.

Dr. Marc Rosenblum, Deputy Director of the U.S. Immigration Program at the Migration Policy Institute, and Faye Hipsman, Associate Policy Analyst.

IMG_20140922_140103085_HDR IMG_20140922_140447951

Dr. Mark Hugo Lopez, Director of Hispanic Research at the Pew Research Center.

IMG_20140922_151100579_HDR

From left: Diana Nesukh (Warner Pacific College), Marion Githegi (Emmanuel College), Erika Yun (Messiah College), and Madi Carper (Malone University) Photo credit: Diana Nesukh

From left: Diana Nesukh (Warner Pacific College), Marion Githegi (Emmanuel College), Erika Yun (Messiah College), and Madi Carper (Malone University)
{Photo credit: Diana Nesukh}

Eric Ruark, Director of Research at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

2014-09-26 15.09.43 2014-09-26 16.26.19Charles Kamasaki, Executive Vice President at the National Council of La Raza.

Charles Kamasaki [left] with Diana Nesukh (Warner Pacific College), Johanna Kraynak (Mount Vernon Nazarene University), and Erika Yun (Messiah College)

Charles Kamasaki [left] with Diana Nesukh (Warner Pacific College), Johanna Kraynak (Mount Vernon Nazarene University), and Erika Yun (Messiah College)

2014-10-03 14.49.29We also held meetings on Capitol Hill and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

James McCament, Acting Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (ASP alum).

From left: Diana Nesukh, (Warner Pacific College), Abigail Nash (Gordon College), Jasabet Munoz (Oral Roberts University), and Justin Botejue (Whitworth University)

From left: Diana Nesukh, (Warner Pacific College), Abigail Nash (Gordon College), Jasabet Munoz (Oral Roberts University), and Justin Botejue (Whitworth University) {Photo credit: Diana Nesukh}

James McCament [right] with Julie Flower (Seattle Pacific University), Emily Hardman (Palm Beach Atlantic University), and Carly Wortham (Bob Jones University)

James McCament [right] with Julie Flower (Seattle Pacific University), Emily Hardman (Palm Beach Atlantic University), and Carly Wortham (Bob Jones University)

Tom Jawetz, Democratic Chief Counsel for the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary—Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement.

2014-10-06 11.13.57 2014-10-06 11.13.26

Tom Jawetz [right] with Kai Pedersen (Point Loma Nazarene University) and Shaefer Bagwell (Biola University)

Tom Jawetz [right] with Kai Pedersen (Point Loma Nazarene University) and Shaefer Bagwell (Biola University)

PPI concludes its first month by sending each policy taskforce out into the city on their own to conduct 2-3 personal interviews with additional policy stakeholders. In preparation for our field work days, students completed a small group workshop on personal interview preparation and protocols. ASP director, Dr. Peter Baker, and PPI coordinator, Erin Cox, played the primary role in setting up this first round of interviews, which included: American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Immigration Studies, Farmerworker Justice, the Heritage Foundation, National Conference of State Legislatures, Service Employees International Union, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Justin Botejue (Whitworth University), Julie Flower (Seattle Pacific University), Taihla Eddina (Olivet Nazarene University), and Jasabet Munoz (Oral Roberts University) at the ACLU

Justin Botejue (Whitworth University), Julie Flower (Seattle Pacific University), Taihla Eddina (Olivet Nazarene University), and Jasabet Munoz (Oral Roberts University) at the ACLU

Chris Rednour (Mount Vernon Nazarene University), Diana Nesukh (Warner Pacific College), Abigail Nash (Gordon College), and Trenton Pouncy (Oral Roberts University) at the Heritage Foundation...

Chris Rednour (Mount Vernon Nazarene University), Diana Nesukh (Warner Pacific College), Abigail Nash (Gordon College), and Trenton Pouncy (Oral Roberts University) at the Heritage Foundation… {Photo credit: Diana Nesukh}

...and at the ACLU

…and at the ACLU {Photo credit: Diana Nesukh}

It’s amazing to see how far we’ve travelled in just a few short weeks. In two more weeks, the PPI taskforces will present their policy reports in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing room. We’ll report back then!

Staff Spotlight (and Official Welcome): Erin Cox

Erin and Phil on their recent trip to Florence

Erin and Phil on their recent trip to Florence

Erin Cox
Public Policy Coordinator & Instructor

Erin Cox is excited to be joining the ASP team this fall and looks forward in particular to working with the public policy track. She recently completed a Master of Public Policy degree at the George Washington University, with a concentration in immigration policy. Prior to moving to the East Coast, Erin spent 5 years in the thriving metropolis of Oklahoma City, OK, where she attended Southern Nazarene University, became a fervent OKC Thunder fan, and spent a year as an AmeriCorps member. She is also an alumna of BestSemester’s Latin American Studies Program. She now lives in Baltimore, MD, with her husband Phil and has become a veteran Baltimore-DC commuter. In her spare time, Erin enjoys playing volleyball, running, hiking, eating (or attempting to cook) ethnic food, and coordinating the young adult ministry at her church.

 

Spring 2014 in Review: Academics

What were ASP students up to last semester before we launched the blog? Here’s a brief overview of the Spring 2014 semester!

ASP joined the National Association of Evangelical's "Christian Student Leadership Conference" for a 45-minute Q&A with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and a tour of the courtroom

ASP joined the National Association of Evangelicals’ “Christian Student Leadership Conference” for a 45-minute Q&A with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and a tour of the courtroom.

Via skype, GDE students reported to their client on their preliminary research into sustainable biofuels in Uganda.

Via skype, GDE students reported to their client on their preliminary research into sustainable biofuels in Uganda.

GDE preparing to present their preliminary biofuels report

GDE preparing to present their preliminary biofuels report

ASP attended a lunch and lecture with Os Guinness, hosted by the C.S. Lewis Institute. Left to right: Peter Baker (PPI track director and ASP program director), Nicole Noyes (Cedarville University), Hannah Wasco (Trinity Christian College), Andrew Cleary (Biola University), and Gerry Hartis (GDE director and ASP faculty member)

ASP attended a lunch and lecture with Os Guinness, hosted by the C.S. Lewis Institute. {Left to right: Peter Baker (PPI track director and ASP program director), Nicole Noyes (Cedarville University), Hannah Wasco (Trinity Christian College), Andrew Cleary (Biola University), and Gerry Hartis (GDE director and ASP faculty member)}

PPI presented their Individual Policy Memos in a House Judiciary Committee hearing room.

PPI presented their Individual Policy Memos in a House Judiciary Committee hearing room.

PPI on the Hill after presenting their Individual Policy Memos

PPI on the Hill after presenting their Individual Policy Memos

GDE attended a conference on international development, hosted by Catholic University.

GDE attended a conference on international development, hosted by Catholic University.

During the middle week of the semester, wonderful group of ASP and WJC alumni spoke on a panel addressing "Beyond 9 to 5: Pursuing a Holistic Approach to Vocation."

During the middle week of the semester, a wonderful group of ASP and WJC alumni spoke on a panel addressing “Beyond 9 to 5: Pursuing a Holistic Approach to Vocation.”

Fall 2013 in Review: Public Policy Initiative

Students in the Public Policy Initiative track of ASP examine national issues through briefings and interviews with policy experts in think tanks, U.S. House and Senate offices, foreign embassies, advocacy groups, federal agencies, and international organizations.  Fall 2013’s group topic was Energy, and students spent class days out in the city as they gained on-the-ground information about energy legislation.

Image

PPI students attended an orientation to the legislative process from Capitol Hill staffers.

Image

Briefing at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Image

Visiting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offices, which are located across the street from the White House, is the perfect opportunity for pictures! ASP director Peter Baker [center] takes a photo with [from left] Chloe Becker (Whitworth University), Drew Grotelueschen (Trinity International University), Sadietou Mayou (Southeastern University), Tony Guidone (Trinity International University), Alexander Archuleta (Whitworth University), and Megan Morgan (Mount Vernon Nazarene University).

Image

Briefing at the Canadian Embassy