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Kalamazoo College

Emily Kowey

Public Policy and Urban Affairs

Long Beach, California
Political Science
Public Policy & Urban Affairs and Community & Global Health
Study Abroad:
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor:
Tossup between pistachio and double chocolate
Best Adjective to Describe You:

In 15 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
PPUA allows you to take interdisciplinary classes that broaden your community outlook and global engagement.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I was first interested in PPUA because I didn’t fully understand what public policy was and I wanted to take a class to find out! Since that first class I’ve been coming back because of the variety of classes to choose from public health to economics to epidemiology to political science. All of the classes have been engaging and often have intersecting themes which allows concentrators to understand the broad range of the ways that public policy can connect to health, housing, public spaces, food access, education and more. This concentration also draws students from different majors and offers an opportunity to collaborate and learn with new individuals.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
This concentration allows multiple options to fulfill the requirements so take classes that are outside your major. You never know if you’ll like that Econ or Anso class until you try it!

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I am also completing the Community and Global Health concentration and I have found that my PPUA and CGH classes often crossover and utilize knowledge from both concentrations in campus and community projects that I have been working on. Public policy connects to every aspect of our lives and I love the way that I can see the intersections in groups I work with on campus, locally, nationally, and abroad.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
I’ve learned to ask for help. On this campus it is easy to fall into a mindset that you can do it all, from academics, extracurriculars, to athletics we’ve got the motto “More in Four”. I’ve put myself in the position countless times where I took on too much and only after the quarter ended did I look back and think I should have reached out and asked for assistance. From peers to professors, reaching out to ask for that extension, or clarification on a reading, or for help planning a club campus event will not only help with your personal school/life balance but it will allow for the creation of stronger relationships with professors and classmates. Also get off campus; the Kalamazoo community is amazing and home to so many wonderful organizations, business, and groups!

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class has been Contemporary Issues in Public Health. This was my first service learning based class and I loved the ways that our readings and discussions were integral to the community project we were working on, allowing me to see the connection between practicum and theory and programming/ policy implementation. Working with community partners allowed me to understand the ways that health policy affected community members, both positively and negatively, and I was able to hear their individual experiences their opinions on what should change or stay the same. Learning the necessity of the community voice has been vital to my understanding of developing and sustaining successful public policies and public health programing.

What is your SIP?
My SIP is in the political science department and I am doing a narrative policy analysis of Title IX implementation and programming at select schools in the Great Lakes College Association.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I would like to get a Masters in Public Health and Public Policy, focusing on reproductive health justice and access.

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