Another side of an Ivy League institution

On Friday December 13th, SIPA Admissions Office, in collaboration with SIPA Students of Color, hosted the Second Annual Diversity Symposium. The symposium, “Public Policy: A Global Perspective” attracted prospective applicants from the tri-state area to learn about SIPA’s MIA/ MPA programs and the admissions process.

IMG_0027The Diversity Symposium was created in order to increase domestic student of color applicants at SIPA. Much like every school, said Executive Director of Admissions Grace Han, SIPA has a  “vested interest to recruit, retain and graduate student bodies that come from diverse backgrounds.” By recruiting throughout the NYC metropolitan area, SIPA Admissions was able to attract students from diverse ethnicities, socioeconomic status and experiences. Students who attended the symposium received information about the admissions process, a “how-to” presentation on funding graduate school and became more knowledgeable about SIPA and its community.  Michael Bustamante, who is applying to the MIA program, said, “ [The Symposium] showed a side to an Ivy League institution that I honestly thought didn’t exist-the genuine drive to diversify their student body.” Throughout the day, participants engaged in conversations with current students, administrators, faculty and alumni.

IMG_0062The alumni panel included 6 distinguished professionals who have made strides in their fields. When the alumni were asked what value SIPA added to their career choice, all the alumni spoke highly of the program including the ability to balance their education while exploring career options. SIPA alumnus Dr. Ann Morning, ‘92,  who is now a Professor of Sociology at NYU, talked about her experience as a Statistics T.A. and the community that SIPA cultivated through their TAship program. It was difficult, she said, but SIPA prepared students towards modern professions all while creating ‘heroes” through the degree program.

 IMG_0086Prospective applicants were also engaged in policy discussions on issues ranging from energy “fracking” to health care access. Students were split into teams and asked to discuss possible solutions to prominent problems – all of which have challenging political and social implications. Michael Bustamante describe the round-tables discussions: great, relevant and engaging.  All discussions were led by current second year SIPA students who have sought to answer some of these pressing questions themselves through their SIPA education.

For the prospective students who attended, this is only the beginning of a process that will hopefully result in a successful application to SIPA… and a step closer to making a difference in the global community. For everyone else who missed out – please keep an eye out for future events.

Good luck with those applications!