The newly created Andrew Young School Alumni Board has hosted two well-attended “Policy and Pancakes” breakfasts its inaugural semester. The events brought together alumni interested in mental health and incarceration policies in February and those interested in the challenges in policy responses to public health outbreaks in April.
“Many public policies are formulated at events such as the Policy and Pancakes breakfast,” says board member M. Lee Brooks. “Many of the policies surrounding the Civil Rights movement began at a breakfast at Pasqual’s on Hunter Street or after a church social on Auburn Avenue, right here in the heart of Georgia State University.”
The attendees embodied the mission of the board, bringing together Andrew Young School alumni across all degree programs. Likewise, the various themes of the Policy and Pancakes events aim to foster discussion across disciplines.
“Mental health is something that impacts people in the criminal justice sector as well as those providing services in the social work sector,” says Colleen Perry, the school’s director of career services. “From the first, our events have brought alumni from multiple degree programs and other disciplines under the Andrew Young School together to discuss important policy issues.”
“Join us for one of these events; you will be amazed at the passion of those involved!” Brooks says.
The new alumni board members are leaders in their respective fields and are engaged in policy and public service, positively impacting their communities. Members of the inaugural Alumni Board include:
- Kehli Higdon (M.S.W. ’12) is a workforce development specialist with CobbWorks, Inc. Higdon also works on developing parenting and life skills with teen mothers in the foster care and juvenile system.
- Andre Dickens (M.P.A. ’13)is an Atlanta city councilman and the assistant director of outreach initiatives for Georgia Tech’s OMED: Educational Services in the Office of Diversity.
- Lee Brooks (B.S. and M.S. in Criminal Justice) is a retired deputy chief of police for the Atlanta Police Department’s Criminal Investigations division and a deputy court administrator for the Superior Court of Fulton County.
- Jason Delaney (Ph. D. in Economics, ’10) is an assistant professor of economics at Georgia Gwinnett College.
- Seth Kroop (M.P.A. ’12) is the special assistant to the Chief of Staff at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a former Presidential Management Fellow in the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. Prior to joining the CDC, Kroop was a Fellow at CARE USA.
The Andrew Young School has alumni across the Atlanta area, and they’re all impacting policy,” Perry says. “These professionals cross each other in their fields, so why not give everyone a chance to know each other and share a sense of pride in graduating from the Andrew Young School? Our board exists to build a sense of community among our alumni.”
Future Andrew Young School alumni events may partner with the Georgia State Alumni Association or involve current students in their activities.
“It’s still very new,” says Perry. “Our goal is to start small and host some activities that bring alumni together across disciplines. So far, these activities are academic and professional policy conversations, but we’re hoping to do some other fun things, too.”
The next Andrew Young School Alumni Board event will be in conjunction with the Georgia State Alumni Association on June 16 at Dark Horse Tavern at 5:30 p.m.
To learn more about the alumni board events and how to get involved, email Parnell Fleming in the Career Services- Alumni Relations office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Perri Campis, MPP Student