Jennifer French Giarratano
Public Relations Manager
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
Lauren Rose could have attended any university in the country. Her brother, after all, goes to Dartmouth. Already Michigan, Virginia and Georgetown have accepted this high-achieving graduate into their law schools, with additional prestigious options still in the running.
However, after doing her research, the Lambert High (Forsyth County, Ga.) honors, Zell Miller Scholarship and Georgia State Honors College student chose to attend the Public Policy program in Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies.
“I’m big on looking at news and rankings and knew the Andrew Young School was ranked among the top schools in the nation,” Rose said. “The faculty teaching its graduate programs also teach undergrads. Why wouldn’t I choose to learn from these top professors?”
Even with this laser focus on academics, Rose admits she favors application over theory. So, when any interesting experiential opportunities arose, she applied.
Rose served as an undergraduate research assistant after Lauren Forbes, a doctoral fellow at Georgia State, posted an announcement at the Honors College.
“Lauren has a public health background, so for her dissertation she was looking at the relationship between urban farms and minority ownership,” Rose said. “I worked with her in the summer of 2021, then left to study for the LSAT.”
As an economic policy intern for the World Trade Center in Savannah, Ga., Rose’s research focused on improving access to affordable housing for lower-income families and individuals in the metro Savannah area.
“The scope of the problem in Savannah is sporadic, with pockets of chronically unhoused,” she said. “Savannah was trying the Housing First model in which the unhoused secure housing before gaining employment, to see if it helped them retain housing in the long term. While an effective model, it was not cost-efficient. We were exploring ways to make it more sustainable for Savannah’s needs.”
Rose took stock of what Savannah was doing, then looked at what other cities were doing to see if any of these models could be modified to satisfy the needs in Savannah. To create funding opportunities for World Trade Center Savannah and the Savannah Economic Development Authority, she filled out grant applications for affordable housing initiatives. She also filled out grant applications for possible economic development projects in Chatham County.
“It was a good time,” she said. “I had to take an internship to satisfy my major. The requirement got me interested in this type of work.”
During her last two years, Rose helped lead Panthers in the District, a signature program of the J. Mack Robinson College of Business and the Andrew Young School that immerses students in the nation’s capital, connecting them with potential employment opportunities in D.C. and beyond. Rose ensured member biographical profiles were accurate and that their professional development needs were being met by the program.
“Panthers in the District was, by far, my most meaningful experience at Georgia State,” she said. “We practiced meeting professionals and developing our interview skills. It culminated in a trip to D.C., where we met on the steps of the Capitol Building and listened to representatives for Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock detail their backgrounds and daily activities, and met with the senators for a photo shoot. We also met with professionals from the Urban Institute, Deloitte Consulting and the Office of Management and Budget.”
Rose plans in March to choose the law school she’ll attend.
“I’m looking for a school that has access to education law, one that shows the relationship between education law and public policy,” she said. “I want to see whether well-intentioned education laws — those that promote equity and equal access — are maintained at the local level.”
She believes her favorite things about Georgia State’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies — the caliber of its faculty, diversity of courses offered and wealth of professional development opportunities available — make it a top choice for undergraduates.
Photo by Carolyn Richardson