Bachelor Alumni Profiles
BS in Public Policy, 2002 | JD, Emory University 2005
Director of the Global Health Law and Policy Project
At the Clinical Ethics Service of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Slieper helps clients grapple with tough medical decisions that may involve moral or religious values - when to stop life-sustaining treatments, how to respond if a patient rejects a medically beneficial treatment, or who plans treatment for a patient who cannot communicate or think for themself.
"One thing [the School of Public Policy] emphasizes is the need to facilitate communication between scientists and non-scientists," he says. "In my role as a Clinical Ethicist, I often try to help families and patients understand what doctors are trying to say, and I try to help doctors understand what’s important to a particular patient. Learning to be comfortable where science and real life meet was an incredibly valuable part of my education." In choosing Tech, Slieper saw many advantages. "Going to college on a real college campus that just happens to be in the middle of Midtown Atlanta is a great experience," he says. "I also liked the small size of the school and [students’] close relationships with the faculty. The School of Public Policy also has an outstanding program in Law, Science, and Technology that prepared me well for law school." "Being a part of the School of Public Policy at Georgia Tech is being a part of an amazing community of people committed to learning and to each other."
BS in Public Policy, 2005
Account Executive, Capstrat (Raleigh, N.C.)
As a member of the government affairs team at Capstrat -- a communications, public relations, and government relations firm in Raleigh, North Carolina -- Emily Atkinson is heavily involved in public policy, tracking legislation, and overseeing lobbying reports.
"I am known as the ‘researcher' on staff because I am quick and thorough, two skills which I learned at Tech," she says.
"The public policy program at Georgia Tech is one of the most rigorous and well-rounded programs available. Being based in Atlanta, students will have easy access to the Georgia state government and several federal agencies including the EPA and CDC. Tech students will also have the opportunity to learn from very talented and specialized professors from across the world. These professors provide insight and intellect that cannot be found at other institutions. Also, by attending a liberal arts program at an engineering institution, the student will receive a comprehensive education. By studying public policy in addition to computer science, lab sciences, history and literature classes, a Tech graduate will be much better prepared for the workforce than his peers."
"The professors showed true interest in what they were teaching, which made the students more eager to learn. I also felt like I was allowed the freedom to pursue my own interests. My professors allowed me to write papers and conduct research projects on the subjects that appealed to me," such as on the public's perceptions of the risks of vaccines.
BS in Public Policy, 2005 | MS in Public Policy, 2005
Coordinator of Assessment for School Improvement, Southern Regional Education Board
"I work for the Southern Regional Education Board's ‘High Schools That Work,' a school improvement initiative serving over 1,300 high schools and middle grades schools in more than 32 states. As part of our efforts, we administer an assessment to participating schools. This assessment includes subject tests in reading, mathematics, and science coupled with a student and teacher survey. We provide schools with a comprehensive report disaggregating achievement by student experiences. I not only direct these assessments, but I work with schools, districts, and states on using data for school improvement. I also conduct research and analysis relating to school improvement and other education policy topics."
"I came to Georgia Tech as an undergraduate because Tech was the best college in the state ?and one of the best in the country for that matter. At the time, I wanted to go to law school, so I chose to study public policy. However, I discovered that I really enjoyed public policy and would prefer to continue my studies in that field. The School of Public Policy started the five-year BS/MS program as I was finishing the requirements for my BS degree, and I promptly applied and was accepted."
"While the policy program has a focus on a variety of specific fields, it equips you with an important set of skills that prepare you for a job in almost any related field. You learn how to think critically, evaluate policy, conduct research, analyze results, and communicate orally and in writing."
"My degree from Georgia Tech is highly valued in my professional career. Employers and colleagues know you received an excellent education. In fact, many employers specifically look to Georgia Tech when looking for potential employees. Looking back, I would not change a thing."
BS in Public Policy and BS in Economics, 2005
Master in Public Policy and Urban Planning, Harvard University, 2007
Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank
"After Georgia Tech, I attended Harvard for my Master in Public Policy and Urban Planning," Handelman says. He is now a project associate for Market Street Services, a company that assists governments, corporations, and nonprofits with economic development. Handelman is the lead housing analyst on the Fort Benning Regional Growth Management Plan, utilizing his experience in economic development, real estate financial analysis, and research design methods.
"When I graduated, I knew how to think rationally, to communicate clearly, and to be able to present my ideas,"; Handelman states. ";I found that the professors in public policy genuinely cared about their students; I always felt that I was just like a part of the family. Because of the small size of the program and the small size of the class, everyone in the School knows and supports each other."
Handelman's government experience includes projects with the U.S. Army, U.S. General Accountability Office, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the U.S. General Services Administration.
"At Tech, my professors and mentors really cared about my future. My whole picture of Tech was a school where people genuinely were interested in my professional and personal development; ultimately, at Tech I received a holistic education that has prepared me for my current and future endeavors."