The Pat Walker Missouri Public Affairs Academy brings talented high school students from throughout the state together to develop their understanding of public affairs. Judith Rowland, a 2005 Academy graduate and Missouri State University alum, was inducted into the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame in 2017. She us an insight to how Public Affairs plays a role in her life now, and shared advice to future MPAA participants.
What impact did the Missouri Public Affairs Academy have on you as a high school student?
MPAA helped me to better understand how I can bring my passions together in a way that serves our state and the greater good. The Academy helped me connect the dots between the topics I was learning about in my high school and ways that I could use those lessons to help address poverty, homelessness, hunger and other issues impacting both our state and our world. As part of the academy I had an opportunity to form lasting relationships with other students from across the state – some of which endure now, 15 years later!
The focus of MPAA is “working for the greater good.” How do you integrate this and Public Affairs into your life?
My objective is to ensure that every aspect of my life, from my career to the way I spend my weekends, helps to benefit the communities I’m blessed to be part of. Missouri State’s focus on ethical leadership, community engagement and cultural competence is a strong blueprint for how we can each work for the greater good.
What advice would you give Missouri high school juniors interested in MPAA?
Attending MPAA is a great opportunity to gain exposure to the many career paths that allow promising students in Missouri to have a positive impact on our state.
The MPAA has three main goals:
- To help students understand their role as citizens working “for the greater good”
- To provide a forum for discussion with distinguished speakers including community leaders, government officials, journalists, and university professors
- To provide students with the leadership skills necessary to become actively involved in their communities