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Why this site August 5, 2008

Posted by ippg in Uncategorized.

In the fall of 1999, several students at the Goldman School of Public Policy came together out of a common interest in applying their skills to international issues and engaging in a cross-border dialogue on policy practices. As members of the International Public Policy Group, students hosted events and social outings while at the same time devising way to enhance GSPP’s international stature. In 2003, several IPPG students issued a year-long study detailing the international resources available at GSPP and recommendations to increase the international content in the curriculum; the student body as a whole then ratified the report. However, since then IPPG has alternated through periods of liveliness and dormancy, falling into near collapse during 2007-08.

GSPP changed during this time as well. In 1998, former US Assistant Secretary for Arms Control Michael Nacht became Dean and injected international security issues into course offerings. GSPP renovated its facilities and began accepting 2-3 times as many students each year, including a growing proportion of students from outside the United States. The faculty attempted to recruit a tenure-track spot for a professor of international development or macroeconomic policy.

In 2007, as part of their semester project for PP260 Leadership, Management, and Social Change, several GSPP students made the case for increasing institutional memory at GSPP. They argued that, in a two-year professional program, students cycle through the school so rapidly that lessons learned and other valuable resources are rarely transferred. IPPG has suffered from this lack of continuity as well, as every year students must rediscover anew the diverse international resources at UC Berkeley, the courses to take and to avoid, the deadlines for internships, the most helpful alumni, and the efforts of students before them to make progress in enhancing GSPP’s international elements. Most importantly, IPPG members that leave GSPP are the most valuable resource GSPP students have, and there has been no forum for keeping alumni and students connected.

That is the inspiration behind this site. This is a space for IPPG members and alumni to share resources and stay connected. In so doing, we can enhance GSPP and the internationally-oriented careers of its students and alumni. And of course, we can have some fun.

You are invited to make this space yours, under the principles of sharing and connecting. Not sure how? You can post:

  • a link to an interesting news article or blog post
  • a commentary on an issue that you are fired up about
  • a review of a course or professor
  • information about an internship you just researched
  • an idea about enhancing GSPP’s international character
  • a question that someone in IPPG would know the answer to
  • the name of someone you found useful to network with
  • announcements of talks/conferences/events
  • pictures or yourself all over the world
  • a comment on someone else’s post and start a discussion
  • information on how to do something at UC Berkeley
  • job leads
  • general insights that just need to be shared

This is your community. You get out of it what you put into it, and your contribution will inspire the rest of us to contribute as well. Ultimately, your time at GSPP and beyond will be better for it!

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