Spotlight on the 48-Hour Memo

Every year, first year MPP students are placed into teams and given a policy question at random — ranging from hog waste to teacher retention on the Isle of Wight. They have 48 hours in which to solve the problem. Learn more about the 48-hour memo experience by watching this video:

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Practical Skills for the Policy World

As a professional degree-granting program, Sanford prides itself in its ability to equip students with practical skills that can be applied to a wide range of policy settings. The Strategic Communication Class is one course offering where students leverage technology to help local community organizations achieve their policy goals. Robin Fail, a current first-year MPP student in the course, found that the course offered “a chance to learn new skills and immediately apply them to real-world issues within the Durham community.” Her classmate, Justin Allen, reported that the course “taught me to efficiently and affordably advocate for social issues. Our instructor encouraged us to go out into the community and make a video for a real client.  Not only was it satisfying to provide a useful product to a local nonprofit, the filming process opened my eyes to the social activism taking place in Durham.” Watch this video to learn more about the Strategic Communication class.

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Durham: 2013 Year in Review

The City of Durham recently released its annual year-in-review recap. Watch the video below for a peek into Durham’s big happenings of 2013:

 

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Music in the Triangle

Durham has a thriving music scene, one that Sanford students like Emily Riehl take full advantage of throughout the year.

As a voice major and a-capalla singer during her undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill, Emily is no stranger to the area’s musical offerings. When considering master’s programs, she was thrilled at the prospect of returning to the Triangle area where she knew she could easily re-immerse herself into the musical community.

At Duke, Emily quickly connected to the music department and joined the Collegium Musicum, a baroque group comprised of members of Duke students and the local community. Her musical talents don’t stop there; in March, she and some friends are gearing up to belt out a tune at the Sanford Talent Show!

Emily singing a Monteverdi concert at Duke.

Emily singing a Monteverdi concert at Duke.

When Emily’s not singing (or putting the finishing touches on a problem set!), she can be found taking in live music at one of many venues in the area: the Durham Performing Arts Center, Cat’s Cradle, Koka Booth Amphitheater to name a few. In her first semester alone, she has attended live shows featuring the Head and the Heart, The Alabama Shakes, and a few cover bands.

Sanford students at the Alabama Shakes concert!

Sanford students at the Alabama Shakes concert!

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Snow Day at Sanford!

Sanford students rolled out of bed this morning, startled by what greeted them outside their windows: snow-covered sidewalks! Soon thereafter, notifications trickled in that Duke University was closing its doors for the day. The snow accumulation, although trivial (1-2 inches) compared to levels found in most northern states, posed a hazard to safe driving.

“Snow Day” cheers erupted over Facebook, as students rejoiced in unison over a day without having to give any thought to deadweight loss triangles and randomly controlled trials. Many took advantage of this rare North Carolinian spectacle by braving the cold outdoors and taking to the parks. Others enjoyed the welcome chance to cozy up indoors and catch up on some good reading.

Laura, Mark and Rachel make the most of their snow day!

Laura, Mark and Rachel make the most of their snow day!

This was a momentous occasion for many of our international students who had never seen snow before. Jimena Rico-Straffon, a first-year MPP student from Mexico, was so excited to catch her first glimpse of snow that she forgot altogether about the uncharacteristically cold temperatures. “I loved walking in the snow!” she commented. “Everything looks amazing. Sanford, the chapel and the forest look even more beautiful. I hope it snows again!”

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Jimena’s first snowfall!

 

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Op-ed Written by Current MPP Student

MPP second-year student Marion Johnson published an op-ed on NC voting restrictions in the online political site, Talking Points Memo. Read it here!

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Duke Scholars Ranked Among Most Influential in Education

Four Duke faculty members were ranked among the most influential scholars in the nation’s dialogue on education in a list released by Education Week on Jan. 8. Three Sanford School of Public Policy professors, Helen Ladd, Charles Clotfelter and Jacob Vigdor, were in the top 75 on the list of 200.  Peter Arcidiacono, professor of economics, also was included. Read more here.

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LAST CALL: Applications due on Sunday @ 5 pm (EST)

Happy New Year! Please be reminded that MPP applications are due this Sunday, January 5 at 5 PM (EST). Note: You do not need to wait for your recommendation letters before submitting your application (they will be matched electronically afterward), so you can submit as soon as you have completed your portion.

We plan to release decisions electronically by mid-March and strongly encourage admitted students to attend our Open House on Friday, April 4. It is a fun day and the best way to learn about our program. To assist with travel costs, we will reimburse up to $100 upon submission of original travel receipts.

If you have further questions, please email us at MPPadmit@duke.edu. We look forward to reviewing your application!

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Reminder: Chat Live with Duke MPP tomorrow @ 3 pm (EST)

A quick reminder about our final online chat session tomorrow (Thursday, 12/12) from 3 – 4 pm (EST). Find out the answers to the questions that other prospective students are asking!

This live chat will be a great opportunity to speak directly with the Director of Admissions and current students about Duke’s Master of Public Policy. Our International Career Advisor and a financial aid representative should be available to chat as well. Please use Internet Explorer and log-in 5-10 minutes before the chat to register: http://bit.ly/dukeMPPonlinechat.

We look forward to chatting with you!

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2nd Annual International Strategic Crisis Negotiations Exercise

In late November, six MPP students from the Sanford School of Public Policy participated in the 2nd Annual International Strategic Crisis Negotiations Exercise organized jointly by the UNC-TISS National Security Fellowship Program, the U.S. Army War College, the UNC Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense, and the Duke Counterterrorism and Public Policy Fellowship Program. This year’s scenario simulated the intensifying conflict between the People’s Republic of China, Vietnam and the Philippines over claims to the South China Sea. Students studied background information on each country and then negotiated based on country parameters.

Second-year MPP student Mark Compton, interested in learning more about current South China Sea concerns and gaining a sense of the challenges involved in negotiating national security positions, attended. As a member of the Philippine delegation, Mark remarked on enjoying the tense role playing negotiations between his team and others that took place over the course of the two-day simulation. Witnessing how important delicate communication is to negotiation Mark commented, “It was very easy for deals to go poorly. This occurred as much on points of substance, as on how we messaged our ideas. Successful negotiations were as dependent on analyzing fellow negotiators as on navigating issue points.”

Second year MPP Student, Mark Compton, with members of the Philippine delegation.

Second year MPP Student, Mark Compton, with members of the Philippine delegation.

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