By Lisa Bailey, Axiom News
Thinking outside the box is what makes Presidio Graduate School students, faculty and alumni unique, and for Judi Brown, it’s also what energizes her studies.
Brown is one of five Presidians who will present at the March conference of the American Society for Public Administration. The second-year MPA student, who was also president of the Student Representatives body, rallied colleagues and professors to submit papers to the ASPA conference in particular because of its focus on governance and sustainability.
Four papers were accepted, including Brown’s case study on Nevada’s medical marijuana program and making the case for taxing and regulating cannabis at the recreational level to create a resilient local economy.
Brown calls this development “pretty big” for Presidio’s MPA program which, on only its third cohort, is considerably smaller than Presidio’s MBA program, which is now on its 18th cohort.
“We’re not necessarily known for all of this really cool public-sector innovation,” Brown says. “If there’s a sector that needs a little more innovation, it’s definitely on the public side.”
She says the fact that a good handful of Presidio papers were selected for the conference speaks to the school’s unique integration of sustainability into management.
The MPA program aims to prepare students to lead a shift in public policy and administration, improving organizational performance and creating a broader social impact.
From a systems-level perspective, Brown says, research done at traditional institutions has not helped to create a more sustainable world.
“I think Presidio represents an alternative to that,” she says. “It’s like Einstein saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I think as more people shift their thinking, then institutions like Presidio will be there to serve people who get it and then want to do something about it.”
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