Deb Swackhamer – Humphrey School of Public Affairs Professor
My name is Deb Swackhamer and I teach in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy program.
The MS-STEP program is incredibly unique. It's a combination of having both a science background or an economics background and then learning about policy and being able to integrate and work at that interface of science and policy.
Our Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy students, when they graduate, they have a wonderful skillset that is really unique to any other program I have ever heard at the University or even elsewhere in the country.
They are understanding of the science issues which are very complex in today's society and they have an understanding of the policy issues, whether they are environmental policy issues or science and technology policy issues. They have an understanding of how that interface works and how to influence and make and analyze that policy.
The students are most interested in what kind of career they can have after they get through the program.
Our students are very popular in the private sector. Businesses are very interested in their skill set. We're very interested in placing students in nonprofits, as well as state agencies or federal agencies. There's probably no sector they are not eligible to work for.
By the time they graduate two years later, they are this wonderful mix of well-rounded students that can communicate, they can think, they can critically analyze things. They understand the science and now they really understand the policy.
These students have a unique set of skills really being able to talk to both policy makers about science issues, they can influence policy making, analyze policy from a science prospective. They have a wonderful skillset that is very attractive to employers.