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Florida’s first Master in Public Policy students get to work at JU Public Policy Institute

By Chelsea Wiggs

JU Communications Senior

The banner welcoming them to orientation read, “World Changers Wanted.”
The inaugural Master in Public Policy (MPP) class for the JU Public Policy Institute at the recent MPP Orientation Program. Photos by Chelsea Wiggs/Jacksonville University
For the 14 students seeking Florida’s first Master in Public Policy degree, offered by the JU Public Policy Institute, that challenge appears to be one they’re ready to accept.
The students, meeting in the Jacksonville University Davis College of Business for an MPP Orientation Program, were joined recently by JU MPP faculty members, President Tim Cost, JU PPI Advisory Board Chair Richard Sisisky and JU PPI Director Rick Mullaney as they began their journey to put their world-changing plans into action.
The JU MPP program prepares students for leadership and diverse career opportunities in the public, private and non-profit sectors, and to solve community problems. JU is the first university in the state to offer an MPP program – an accomplishment Mullaney is proud to be a part of.
JU Public Policy Institute Director Rick Mullaney addresses MPP students, guests and faculty during orientation.
“There has never been a more dynamic or exciting time to be at Jacksonville University than right now,” he said.
The Institute is offering a Master in Public Policy degree, as well as the first MPP-JD (juris doctor), MPP-MBA (master in business administration) and MPP/MA-MS/MSC (marine science) dual degree programs in the state. The MPP-JD is being offered in conjunction with Florida Coastal School of Law.
All the programs have been approved by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accrediting agency.
JU President Tim Cost talks with incoming students for the JU Public Policy Institute at the recent MPP Orientation Program.
The JU MPP degree is a two-year, 48-credit program, and students have the opportunity to intern after their first year core courses at one of 15 public, private and non-profit organizations, including the Governor’s Office, Congressional Offices, Mayor’s Office, Jacksonville Port Authority, Jacksonville Transportation Authority, JEA, Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville Public Education Fund, The Community Foundation, JCCI, CSX, Florida Blue and more. MPP graduates work in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
In addition to Mullaney, students and guests at the recent orientation were addressed by Sisisky, who praised the hard work of Mullaney and the faculty, and by Cost, who talked about the importance of public policy and how JU has implemented it.
“What you’re doing, what you’re studying … you’re going to have enormous opportunities,” Cost said. “There is life in public policy after this program.”
Faculty members gave brief summaries of their professional experience and what role they would play in the students’ journeys while completing the MPP program.
JU PPI faculty with the incoming MPP students.
Mullaney told students what was to be expected throughout the program, including its first-semester curriculum, summer internships and second-year capstone project.
While the orientation prepared the MPP students for the hard work that lies ahead, Mullaney, JU PPI faculty and Sisisky emphasized their willingness to help the students succeed — and their eagerness to see just what these world-changers will accomplish.
“A lot of people have said to me, ‘Rick, you seem pretty excited,’ ” Mullaney concluded. “The answer to that is, ‘Absolutely.’ ”
To learn more about the JU Public Policy Institute or to apply, visit www.ju.edu/ppi, e-mail rmullan1@ju.edu or call (904) 955-1857.