Ohio University

Voinovich School Alumna Lends Expertise to Education Public Policy Leadership Certificate

Capitol Hill

In December, the first cohort of Ohio University’s Education Public Policy Leadership Certificate (EPPLC) gathered in Washington, D.C., for the program’s pinnacle moment – a three-day residency that allowed them to connect with legislators, one another and policymakers, including a Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs alumna who is making a mark in her field.

The EPPLC, which is currently recruiting for its second class, is a year-long graduate-level program aimed at preparing students to become effective participants in the public policymaking process at any level.

A partnership between OHIO’s Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and Voinovich School, the EPPLC is an online program that culminates in a three-day networking residency in the nation’s capital. During the residency, students participate in guest lectures, work with professionals in the policymaking arena, and interact with legislators and their staff, presenting policy ideas and receiving feedback on the policies they developed over the course of the program.

Part of what makes the EPPLC both effective and engaging are the several Washington, D.C.-area Ohio University alumni who gave of their time and expertise during the program’s three-day residency, including Amanda Roberson, a graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Voinovich School. 

Amanda Roberson headshot
Amanda Roberson

Roberson is the director of policy research at the Institute for Higher Education Policy. She participated in the “Overview of Education Policy Lobbying in the Education Policy Arena” panel discussion.

 “I’m a former board member of the (Ohio University Alumni Association’s Nation’s Capital Chapter) and have a deep love for my alma mater,” said Roberson. “When the opportunity arose to speak with current students about how to connect what they are learning with the policy environment in D.C., I jumped at the chance.”

During the panel discussion, Roberson spoke about navigating the higher education policy and advocacy space as a researcher and shared her experiences moving practice to policy and the need for them to inform each other.

After earning her Master of Public Administration from the Voinovich School in 2012, Roberson moved to Washington, D.C. to work at a small, education-focused nonprofit – a position that, she said, ignited her passion for working with students. She transitioned to another small nonprofit where she managed a scholarship program and counseled students through the college admission and financial aid processes.

“Being in D.C., I wanted to have a more macro impact on the students these nonprofits served – primarily low-income students, students of color, and first-generation students,” Roberson said. “This interest in policy led me to my current organization, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, where I started as a research analyst and am now the director of policy research.”

Participating in the EPPLC was another opportunity for Roberson to stay connected to her Bobcat family.

“I was fortunate to interact with the students, share my experience and answer their questions. I also was able to engage with my former professors, which was a delight,” she said. “My six years in Athens hold many fond memories, so I appreciated the opportunity to give back.”

Applications are being accepted for the second EPPLC program, which runs from May 11 through April 30, 2021. The program is open to everyone, and the deadline to apply is April 10. Visit ohio.edu/education/epplc or email epplc@ohio.edu for more information and to apply.

For the complete article, visit Ohio Today.