Most Valuable Classes, Contracts, & Internships

Every step of the way, I have been: 

  • expanding my knowledge of nonprofit administration,
  • developing my skills related to research projects and public policy, and
  • demonstrating my ability to transform problems in public administration into solution-oriented opportunities for local and global change.

My aggregate takeaway is based on a collection of memorable academic experiences:

  • do what you love, and love what you do! 

For the most part, the screenshots below include the course title, quarter, description, and readings.

The readings for internships and learning contracts, however, are listed in the captions for each relevant photo. 

Underneath the set of screenshots, I detail why each course is valued so highly and reflect on the set of KSAs that I have been integrating for years. 

  1. I value Public Law (Winter 2015) because it taught me how to find, analyze, and actively participate in/with policies and laws.
    • Learning about the Revised Code of Washington the Washington Administrative Code helped me greatly the following year, when I faced housing discrimination. Most notably, I was able to view that problem as a process, much like public policy. Specifically, I researched tenant rights and then submitted a powerful legal memo to my former landlord, clearing me of allegations and leading me toward a career that highlights activism in public policy.
    • When I recently provided consulting services for the Campaign to Free 40, I recalled a guest speaker’s presentation from Public Law about the death penalty. This knowledge helped me think in terms of systems, so I was able to reframe the challenges of mass incarceration as empowering opportunities for community-building between public administrators and inmates throughout WA State.  
  2. I value The Context of Public Administration (Fall 2015) because it taught me how to express my concerns with the state of public administration.
    • Three readings stood out to me: Scarry's (2012) Thinking in an Emergency, Meadows' (2008) Thinking in Systems: A Primer, Deloria & Lytle's (1998) The Nations Within: The Past and Future of American Indian Sovereignty. A couple years later, I was able to review my seminar papers and recontextualize my perspective with current events like the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.
    • Now, I am able to integrate my knowledge from other readings and topics - including the nonprofit sector, social media, and capitalism vs. the climate - to improve my work in public administration. In learning how to discuss theories and evaluate values, I have become able to present with passion, purpose, and compassion, often engaging those with privilege in conversations that lead to personal and professional changes in public administration. 
  3. I value Doing Democratic Public Administration (Winter 2016) because it taught me how to fully participate in group projects. 
    • My group's Teach-to-Learn presentation was titled, "Learning to Value Invisible Work: The Importance of Emotional Labor," and it clearly prepared me for the future entrepreneurial decisions I'd be making. Thanks to those lessons, I am able to identify my own emotional labor in public administration, to remain aware of its effects on personal stress and burnout, and to create my own barter-system business culture that is sure to compensate workers for their contributions. I am stronger and respect myself more because I gained the ability to define emotional labor in the first place! 
    • As I began to see my "invisible" work, I learned to value my strengths as an observer and then step into different roles in seminar. My participation increased, and my seminar skills definitely improved this quarter. I remember being able to listen to different opinions and still express my truths during challenging discussions related to Miller's (2011) Extreme Government Makeover. Since then, I have honed those skills and been able to facilitate 40+ seminar conversations with friends, family, and community members on tense topics like sexual assault. 
  4. I value Assisting the LEAD Program (Winter 2016) & Building Community Within the LEAD Program (Spring 2016) because these ILCs showed me how to teach, learn, and role model accessibility as a necessity in nonprofit administration.
    • Whether recruiting tutors, conducting interviews, co-facilitating a group training, or visiting tutor-learner pairs at TESC and St. Martin's, I trusted myself with countless administrative responsibilities and remained in line with the mission of the organization and the vision of the program. I was able to wear many different hats or complete a variety of tasks, like planning events or even responding to emergencies. These experiences were worthwhile and, fortunately, appreciated as well. I have held onto that inclusive sense of community and - to this day - honor the individual tutors, learners, and administrators for the unique gifts they bring/brought to this world. 
  5. I value Analytical Techniques for Public Service I & II (Fall 2016 & Winter 2017) because it taught me how to lead my own research idea/project while maintaining a strong spirit of collaboration. 
    • Yet again, I gained more confidence in my ability to participate in the various processes within public administration. In researching the experiences of students with disabilities at TESC, I recognized my own experience with internalized ableism and - based on the group's research findings and recommendations - practiced speaking up in seminar and advocating powerfully on behalf of the public.
    • During our group's final presentation, I read aloud a handwritten letter to Evergreen's ADA Coordinator/Access Services Director. She was touched by my kindness and later met with me individually to further analyze the results of the group's research study. Since that, I have written many personalized letters to public administrators and treasure the ongoing lessons stemming from those communications. 
  6. I value Network-Centered Design (NCD) in Public Administration (Spring 2017) because it taught me to build community based on a set of values.
    • This ILC was life-changing in several ways. In opting to complete capstone in the upcoming year, I suddenly had the time and space to focus on my creative needs and abilities. At this point in life, I stopped complaining and started making big changes. I took the train cross-country with my service animal and had the adventure of a lifetime. 
    • In exchange for my support as a Lead Playtester, an MPA peer taught me graphic design skills with Adobe Illustrator. Throughout the quarter, he and I collaboratively promoted game design in public administration, helping me see rules and programs in a whole new way. I felt empowered to redesign my own realities and felt safe to let my artistic skills shine. From photojournalism to musical performances, I began to connect public administrators in a way the cohort had not yet experienced.
  7. I value Social Entrepreneurship in Public Administration (Winter 2018) because it taught me how to make a living and a life as a creative practitioner. 
    • This ILC has shaped my identity in unbelievable ways. While following along with the undergraduate program MALL, I led a weekly entrepreneurship lab and developed a coaching curriculum. I ended self-destructive habits, resolved addictions, healed complex mental health disorders, legally changed my name, and even calmly presented to a large group without practicing ahead of time :o 
    • After researching social entrepreneurship initiatives in public administration, I began integrating my knowledge, skills, and abilities and stepped into my true calling. I am now collaboratively designing a community-based healing center and family-friendly plant camp in the Peruvian Amazon. This idea showcases sustainability, accountability, and social innovation - a model fit for all nations. From writing a business plan to creating fundraising pages to editing marketing videos, I am proudly making a living and a life!