Alumni Advisory Board
Master of Public Policy, 2010
Chair, Alumni Advisory Board
The Political Science Alumni Advisory Board continues its efforts to maintain contacts with alumni, support faculty and students, and produce events of interest to a wide variety of participants. In addition to working throughout the year to reach these goals, the board also meets biannually. I am pleased to report that the board is in a period of growth and development, having added three additional seats with five new members in total.
New presentations under the ongoing “How Does It Work” series included a particularly interesting and well-attended presentation by distinguished alumna Lisa Haines Heppelmann (B.A., Political Science, 1989), vice president of public affairs for Disneyland. I also presented this year, discussing the intersection of the skill set acquired in a political science education and the public policy issues pertaining to running my vampire fang manufacturing company.
Because there is no discussion by the state Legislature to restore the education budgets we enjoyed years ago, it continues to be important for alumni to maintain their support for the political science program. Your generosity makes a meaningful difference in the department’s ability to sustain the excellence we all associate with the Cal Poly Political Science Department. In addition, I am pleased to report that a new university fund is now in place specifically for the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program. This fund will support MPP students in their work, fund special programs, and provide a new incentive for prospective students to enroll in the program — thus raising the caliber of the program and in turn, the prestige of the program and the department.
If you have questions about the board, or if you are interested in serving, please contact the department.
Mary A. Harris,
B.A., Political Science, 1980
Vice Chair, Alumni Advisory Board
I’m very happy to be serving on the Political Science Alumni Advisory Board, as it affords me the opportunity to give back to the department. I have such great memories of my years at Cal Poly, and most of them are based in the experiences I had as a political science major. The department was very close-knit, and many lifelong friendships were forged, both with fellow students as well as with faculty. From all that I have seen so far, the qualities of the program that meant so much to me as a student are still alive and well, carried along by an outstanding faculty and staff and involved, passionate students.
In the coming months, I’ll be reaching out to my former classmates for ways to involve more alumni. The advisory board is hoping to build on its existing efforts of mentorship, speaker recruitment, and strategic fundraising for the enrichment of student programs and activities. I look forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new connections with recent grads and current students. We can’t meet at the Darkroom any more, but there are plenty of spots where we can build new traditions and friendships!