Congratulations, Spring and Summer 2022 Graduates!

The School of Public Policy is proud to graduate bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. students this spring and summer. They will soon join the ranks of Georgia Tech alumni, where they will represent the School, the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts, and the Institute as a whole.

Congratulations, Class of 2022! We can’t wait to see what you do next.

Meet some of our soon-to-be graduates below.

Alexander Baldwin

B.S. in Public Policy

As an undergraduate student, Baldwin has been involved with the Department of Economic Development Research. After graduation, he plans to start his career and eventually pursue graduate studies.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

The environment created by the professors and students. Everyone is kind and respectful, as well as being engaged in policy work and helping the world.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

Being surrounded by other young people who are passionate about change.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

Leslie Ross, congratulations on the next step in your career away from Georgia Tech. Thank you for guiding myself and my public policy peers through Georgia Tech.

Alana Barr

Headshot of Alana Barr in graduation regalia.B.S. in Public Policy, minor in health, medicine, and society

Barr has been involved in a number of extracurriculars during her time at Tech, including Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Stamps Health Ambassadors, Undergraduate Public Health Association, and the School of Public Policy undergraduate committee. She has held leadership roles as treasurer of the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, former president of the Foundation for International Relief of Children, and founder and president of the Junior Healthy Heart Coalition. She also interned with the Atlanta City Council.

After graduation, Barr will return to Tech to pursue her M.S. in Public Policy.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

Being able to learn from my peers, engage in meaningful conversations with students from other majors and backgrounds, and expand my knowledge of the world around me.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

I will miss the amazing faculty, and my bright peers the most from the School of Public Policy.

Jack DellaPenna

Headshot of Jack DellaPenna.B.S. in Public Policy, minor in earth and atmospheric sciences

DellaPenna is currently an undergraduate researcher with the Living Building Science: Air Quality Vertically Integrated Project. After graduation, he will continue his work as an environmental planning, licensing, and permitting intern with TRC, a consulting, engineering and construction management firm. In the fall, he will return to Tech to begin the Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management program.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

Networking with alumni. They have a wealth of experience and are usually willing to share.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

About SPP? The people. I was an engineer before switching to public policy, and my cohort instantly made me feel at home. About Georgia Tech? Late nights. Campus was empty during the pandemic. I'd visit the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons or D.M. Smith to study, and there wasn't a single soul around me.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

Environmental law and policy with Stephen O'Day was a highly involved class with material foundational to my environmental policy knowledge.

Katie Earles

Photo of Katie Earles outside.B.S. in Public Policy

Since coming to campus, Earles has participated in the Ramblin’ Reck Club, undergraduate research, the Ivan Allen College Student Advisory Board, study abroad, and Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Upon receiving her degree, she’ll head to Carnegie Mellon University to pursue her M.S. in Information Technology.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

I've loved the thought-provoking classes and the ability to curate projects to specific policy interests. I've been able to learn about information privacy and security in some way in almost all of my classes because of this flexibility.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

I’ll miss the public policy community!

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

Richard Barke, Nadiya Kostyuk, and Peter Swire have hugely shaped my Georgia Tech experience for the better. I feel so lucky to have such incredible mentors.

Lucy Grant

Headshot of Lucy Grant in graduation regalia with the Georgia Tech incorporation sign.B.S. in Public Policy, minor in physics

On campus, Grant has been a student worker for the School of Public Policy and a member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. This past summer, she participated in a fellowship with the Scheller College of Business’ Institute for Leadership and Social Impact, where she worked with local nonprofit Ubuntu Community Catalyst. There, she said she “learned the importance of empathetic nonprofit management and effective and sustainable community support systems.”

After graduation, she will begin a role as an optimization associate with Search Discovery.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

My favorite thing about public policy at Georgia Tech is that you can pursue any policy topic that you're interested in and be supported by your professors throughout that research.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

I will definitely miss the people the most. Public policy is like a big family of students, staff, and professors, and it has provided a wonderful community for a lot of people with diverse backgrounds and interests.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

I'd like to highlight professor Hoffmann, who was one of my most inspirational professors. He taught my philosophical analysis class, which really opened my eyes to the structure of arguments and decision making, which forms the basis of policy, and, quite frankly, all forms of discussion.

Garry Harris

Headshot of Garry Harris.Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management

Harris will graduate this summer with a Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management. His extracurriculars have included Serve-Learn-Sustain, the Regional Center for Expertise working in education for sustainable development, and working with students and faculty across the Institute on a variety of science-based social justice projects. To date, his work has engaged with nearly 40 different projects, activities, and programs to help underserved and underrepresented communities when it comes to sustainable development.

He plans to continue this work after graduation, including with the Center for Sustainable Communities, Sustainability Solutions Group, and Institute and ECO District Hampton Roads.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

Being able to freely contribute my knowledge and experience to the classroom.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

I will still be affiliated with Georgia Tech beyond my graduation; to date, we have mentored, coached, and provided internships for over 200 students and worked with 12 departments and faculty on a wide variety of social justice, equity, sustainability, resilience, and climate issues to help build vibrant sustainable communities.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

Shout out to all my professors. You were great!

Greg Horstmeier

Headshot of Greg Horstmeier standing near Tech Green.Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management

Since coming to campus, Horstmeier has been involved in Grad Pride and intramural volleyball, as well as attended social events with his cohort and the Public Policy Graduate Student Association. After graduating this summer, he plans to continue his career as an environmental consultant in the environmental remediation field.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

The students, faculty, and staff that make the School of Public Policy welcoming and friendly.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

Events and chance meetings with peers and professors on campus.

Aubrey DeVeny Incorvaia

Headshot of Aubrey Incorvaia.Ph.D. in Public Policy, minor in methods in public policy analysis

After graduation, Incorvaia will start as a postdoctoral associate at Duke University’s Science and Society Initiative.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

I am grateful for the strong methodological training I received at SPP.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

My committee, which included chair Aaron Levine, and members Roberta Berry, Lindsey Bullinger, and Juan Rogers, was invaluable. I am deeply grateful for their thoughtful contributions to me and my work. (I also valued external member Chaplain Robert Drake from Compassion and Choices.)

Max Koptik

Headshot of Maxwell Koptik.Master of Sustainable Energy and Environmental Management

After receiving his degree this summer, Koptik will head to South America for a few weeks with a friend, where they’ll hike in Patagonia in Chile and Argentina. He will then begin working for Cox Enterprises in their corporate social responsibility team, focusing on environmental sustainability.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

Learning more about environmental sustainability and the policy side of making the world a more sustainable and equitable place to live.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

Shout out to Marilyn Brown for being such a great supervisor and resource. I very much enjoyed being her graduate research assistant, and I am thankful for all of her great support.

Whit Lill

Headshot of Whit Lill standing on Tech Green.B.S. in Public Policy

As a student, Lill has been involved in Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. He has applied to the M.S. in Public Policy program at Tech and hopes to return after graduation.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

Talking with people with diverse views and learning new ideas and policy solutions to problems that I had never thought of.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

Hopefully I will be accepted to the master's program and still be around for two more years, but if not, I will miss having the motivation to research topics and write papers on political issues that are important to me. I will also miss the new Student Center because it seems like it will be very cool.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

Shout out to Robert Kirkman. He's the best philosophy teacher anyone could ask for, and I always appreciate his passion for what he teaches and how he tries to get his students that passionate as well.

David Shoemaker

Photo of David Shoemaker speaking at a podium.B.S. in Public Policy

This year, Shoemaker served as president of the Baptist College Ministry on campus. He has also worked at a homeless shelter, on campaigns, in IT departments, for his local Board of Commissioners, and in the House of Representatives in D.C., but his favorite experience was being a campaign manager for a state senate race.

After graduation, Shoemaker will be staring work at his church, M28, as the pastoral intern/college director, as well as pursuing a Master of Divinity online at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

I have really enjoyed being challenged to think critically about the problems facing us today.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

I will miss the atmosphere of everyone being passionate about something to change the world.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

I want to give a shoutout to Michael Polak. I took his state and local government class, and it is the best class I have ever taken.

Kyle Smith

Headshot of Kyle Smith.B.S. in Public Policy, minor in international affairs

Smith is currently the vice president of research for the Association for Sustainable Investment and a student assistant in the Office of Minority Education and Development. After graduation, he plans to work on Capitol Hill before returning to school for a joint master’s degree in public policy and Juris Doctorate.

What has been your favorite thing about public policy at Tech?

My favorite thing about public policy at Tech has been the preparation that I have received from my classes for real-world applications in the policymaking and research spaces. Throughout my experience at Georgia Tech, I have been able to apply the skills I learned to the organizations I led or the internships I had and that has been extremely rewarding.

What will you miss most about the School of Public Policy, and Tech as a whole?

I will miss the support and encouragement that the School of Public Policy provides for its students. Whether it be internship postings or professional networking opportunities, the School makes sure that its students are prepared for life after Tech and this will certainly be missed. Most of all, I will miss the people at the School and at Georgia Tech as a whole. Tech is full of so many students and faculty who have a passion for using their education to advance progress in our personal and professional lives. The last four years have allowed me to learn firsthand from so many individuals, and I will miss the ease with which I could access them and learn from them.

Are there any public policy classes, faculty, and/or staff that you want to shout out?

Richard Barke, Leslie Ross, Lindsey Bulliger, Michael Hoffmann, and Cheryl Leggon have all been instrumental in my public policy journey, and I have appreciated their insight and support as a student.