Pardee RAND Graduate School Findings Alumni Newsletter, Winter 2013 – View in Browser

Findings Newsletter

Winter 2013

In This Issue

  • Message from the Dean

  • Around Campus

    Dean's Movie Nights Prompt Discussion of Fracking • $3.6M Gift Funds Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress • Dedication of the James Q. Wilson Collection • Prolific PRGS Publishing

  • Catching Up with Alumni

    New Jobs! • Langley's Dissertation Has Impact on U.S. Air Force • Fischbach Presents Congressional Briefing • Ravich Gives Conference Keynote

  • Events

    IDSS Presents...a PRGS Alum! • Policy Symposium • Dean Plans DC Alumni Lunch

Message from the Dean

Susan L. Marquis

"What's going on?" you might ask. There's certainly no surprise, even as we look on with pride, about the success of our alumni with new jobs, new publications, and alumni mentoring of our current students. We expect that! But ... what's going on with all the new initiatives within the Pardee RAND Graduate School? As you'll see in a quick scan of this issue of Findings, in just the past several months we've had the dedication of the James Q. Wilson Collection, the award of the first ever Harold Brown Faculty Fellowship, and the announcement of the new Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress. I'm pleased to report that these are all the early results from the graduate school's Be the Answer Campaign — our first major fundraising initiative off to a tremendous start. So, that's what's going on!

Our Be the Answer Campaign is a five-year initiative to strengthen the financial foundation of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, to provide the financial assistance essential to attracting and supporting the most capable students from around the world, and to provide a comprehensive educational program unmatched by any other public policy graduate school. The campaign's priorities are tuition scholarships and dissertation fellowships; faculty fellowships; visiting scholars and practitioners; and current and endowed core student support — the flexible funding that pays for needs ranging from health insurance for students and their families to course development and even high-performance "analyst computers" for students.

We began the "quiet phase" of the campaign just under two years ago and are deeply appreciative of the donors who have made significant leadership gift commitments to get us started. As of this month, Pardee RAND supporters have made or pledged gifts totaling $14.1 million. We will be featuring many of these initial gifts and their impact in Findings over the next year, beginning with Fred Pardee's recent $3.6 million gift providing endowed core student support and establishing the Pardee Initiative. You'll hear more about the campaign, and the already visible results of these early efforts, not only in Findings but also in our Pardee RAND alumni events, joint events with the RAND Alumni Association, and in our more informal lunches, dinners, and alumni visits to the school. I'll be working with your alumni representative to the Board of Governors, Samantha Ravich, and other members of our alumni community to find the best methods for getting the word out and for getting your ideas about how to best support the campaign priorities.

I look forward to talking with you about these new initiatives and programs,

Susan Marquis

Around Campus

movie posters

Dean's Movie Nights Prompt Discussion of Fracking

Susan Marquis hosted a Dean's Movie Night in late February with a viewing of "Gasland," a documentary examining hydraulic fracturing, the controversial method of natural gas extraction involving horizontal drilling into shale formations. The discussion continued a week later with the viewing of "FrackNation," a documentary that addresses what the filmmakers claim is misinformation about the process of hydraulic fracturing as described in "Gasland."

After the movie, the RAND project team studying the impact of Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania led a discussion of the two movies. The student discussion leads were Aviva Litovitz (cohort '08) and Shmuel Abramzon (cohort '10); professors Aimee Curtright, Costa Samaras, and Nick Burger also participated.

Read moreRelated PRGS/RAND research

Fred Pardee

$3.6M Gift Funds Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress

A $3.6 million gift from Fred Pardee will establish within the graduate school the Frederick S. Pardee Initiative for Global Human Progress with the goal of creating and leveraging an array of highly creative, genuinely original approaches to solving multinational and global challenges to improving the future human condition. The Pardee Initiative will take an innovative and forward-looking approach, bringing together Pardee School faculty/RAND researchers and outside scholars and practitioners through a visiting scholars program, conferences and workshops, and an assertive web presence that will allow experts from around the world to participate in the initiative's work and share information and new ideas with a global audience.

  James Q Wilson Collection

Dedication of the James Q. Wilson Collection

James Q. Wilson, one of the past century's most honored and influential thinkers, left an indelible mark on American government and civil society. He had a particular influence on RAND and the Pardee RAND Graduate School through his long service on their governing boards. This influence will continue through the gift of his papers and books to PRGS and the establishment of the James Q. Wilson Collection which will be housed in the RAND library.

The Collection includes the James Q. Wilson Archive of Wilson's papers, lectures, correspondence, photographs, annotated books, and other records, which will be catalogued and processed and then made available to scholars and other researchers. It also includes the James Q. Wilson Public Policy Collection, which consists of books authored by Wilson and all of his doctoral students. The Public Policy Collection will circulate and serve as a resource for PRGS students and RAND staff for years to come. A special room in the RAND library has been established to house public parts of the Collection. Please stop by to see it next time you're in LA.

PRGS and RAND celebrated Wilson's influence and impact, and dedicated the James Q. Wilson Collection, on Thursday, January 17, 2013. Following the dedication, a RAND Policy Forum panel that included PRGS alum Angela Hawken (cohort '98) discussed Wilson's legacy.

Read moreView event photos

Read moreListen to the event podcast

Burger Receives Inaugural Harold Brown Faculty Fellowship

PRGS professor Nick Burger has been awarded our first-ever Harold Brown Faculty Fellowship, a two-year award designed to fund a faculty member working in an area with strong student interest but insufficient RAND client funding. Professor Burger will be mentoring two students, Kun Gu and Zhimin Mao (both cohort '11) on an exploratory project related to the greenhouse gas implications of abundant U.S. shale gas resources.

Read moreRead more

  Southwestern Law students at PRGS

Southwestern Law Students Join PRGS Classes

Three students from Southwestern Law School, Max Einstein, Imran Rahman, and Rebecca Simon, attended PRGS classes this fall and winter as part of their certificate in policy analysis. Pictured are Simon (center) and Einstein (right) in a Policy Analysis class.

Read moreLearn more about the program

Professor Paul Light Visits PRGS

Dr. Paul C. Light, NYU Wagner's Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service and founding principal investigator of the Global Center for Public Service, visited PRGS for a week in December. He met with PRGS students and faculty and gave a lunchtime talk on "The Proverbs of Social Entrepreneurship: What Really Counts in Successful Social Change."

Student Research: Prolific PRGS Publishing

PRGS students have been busy writing RAND reports and journal articles. Below is a sampling of recent releases; a full list is available online.

  Predicting Suicide Attacks cover

Catching Up with Alumni

New Job? Congratulations!

Frederick Beddingfield Owen Hill Athar Osama Jeffrey Wasserman Helen Wu






Frederick Beddingfield (cohort '96) is now chief medical officer of KYTHERA Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

Owen Hill (cohort '03) was elected member of the Colorado legislature in November 2012, representing Colorado Springs.

Athar Osama (cohort '99), is the founder of the Pakistan Innovation Foundation, a nongovernmental organization, and was recently named one of the World Economic Forum's 2013 Young Global Leaders.

Jeffrey Wasserman (cohort '85), was recently appointed Director of RAND Health and Vice President of the RAND Corporation.

Helen Wu (cohort '07) recently took a job as policy and research analyst with the Institute for Population Health Improvement at UC Davis Health System.

Alumni Return, Speak with Students

Aaron Martin (cohort '07), works at Northrop Grumman Corporation. He visited in February and gave a talk on "Life after PRGS: Working within the Defense Sector."

Scott Pace (cohort '85), director of the George Washington University Space Policy Institute and professor of practice in international affairs, visited in December and discussed his latest research, "Integrating National Interests in Space."

David Robalino (cohort '95), lead economist and leader of the Labor and Youth team in the Human Development Anchor of the World Bank, visited in March as part of the International Development Speaker Series (see below).

Casey Wardynski (cohort '97), superintendent of Huntsville City Schools, Alabama, and retired colonel, U.S. Army, visited in January for a lunch with students. He talked about his post-PRGS experience, both at West Point and in education more generally.

Alumni in the News

Langley's Dissertation Has Impact on U.S. Air Force

Occupational Burnout and Retention of Air Force Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS) Intelligence Personnel, the dissertation authored by John Langley (cohort '09) appears to be having an impact on USAF decisionmaking.

Langley writes, "It's pretty neat to actually see [my dissertation] getting used the way it was intended — maybe never getting cited by prestigious academic journals or anything like that, but actually having a practical impact on the Air Force. Not everyone gets to do that before starting pilot training, so I'm quite thankful now looking back for what RAND/PRGS allowed me to do."


Fischbach Presents Congressional Briefing

Jordan Fischbach (cohort '04) has continued the research on which he based his dissertation and is now an expert in adapting to climate change in coastal areas. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, Fischbach gave a Congressional Briefing in January on lessons the mid-Atlantic region can learn from the Gulf Coast.

Read moreWatch the video

Thank You, Alumni Ambassadors!

Our Alumni Ambassadors were especially helpful to PRGS candidates during our admissions cycle, speaking to them by phone, in person, and even by Skype. We had more than 50 alumni respond to our call for volunteers and are tremendously grateful for alumni involvement in the school. As one candidate wrote, "It says something important about PRGS when its alumni are willing to interact with candidates."

  Ravich video

Ravich Gives Conference Keynote

PRGS alum and Board member Samantha Ravich (cohort '92) asks whether we are really winning the information revolution.

At last year's Strata Conference + Hadoop World keynote, she discussed the challenges that face strategic decision makers from the wealth of data now provided by advances in technology.

Read moreWatch the video

Our Newest Alumnus

One student completed the requirements for his Ph.D. in the last three months.

Congratulations, Scott, and welcome to the PRGS Alumni Association! And for those who are counting, Scott is the 297th Ph.D. PRGS has conferred. Stay tuned for an announcement of our 300th!

Share Your News!

For more Alumni news, visit the PRGS Alumni News page.

You can also use the online form to submit your updates!

Recent and Upcoming Events

  David Robalino

IDSS Presents . . . PRGS alum David Robalino

PRGS alum David Robalino (cohort '95) returned to RAND on March 15 to discuss his World Bank research on social security, labor markets, and fiscal policy in Latin America and the Caribbean, as part of the International Development Speaker Series. His talk was entitled Incentives, Labor Markets, and the Challenge of Universal Social Protection in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Read moreLearn more about IDSS

Seventh Annual L.A. Policy Symposium, April 5

The annual symposium, a joint effort of PRGS, UCLA, USC, Pepperdine, and Claremont, integrates L.A. area policy school students and faculty with leading practitioners to investigate the pressing policy issues of the day. The keynote speaker this year is Borja Leon, Deputy Mayor for Transportation.

Read moreRead more

Dean Plans DC Alumni Lunch

Dean Marquis will be visiting Washington next month and is planning an alumni lunch on April 10. Invitations will be emailed soon, so mark your calendars!

Be the Answer

Stay Connected with PRGS and RAND

Facebook Linked In YouTube RSS RAND mobile app





RAND Mobile App

RAND Corporation

RAND Corporation. 1776 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401-3208.
RAND® is a registered trademark.

Privacy statement | Manage your subscription