Pardee RAND Graduate School Findings Alumni Newsletter, Commencement 2014

Findings Newsletter

Commencement 2014

Message from the Dean

Susan L. Marquis

If I may repeat what I said at Commencement last weekend...

Commencements are about beginnings, about moving forward, about moving from a focus on learning to a focus on contributing, about congratulating you on your new degree but looking forward to what you will accomplish in your careers and in your lives.

This morning, we are here not only to congratulate you, but because of our hope in — our belief in — your future. Build on this foundation of support and love, and fulfill the commitment that brought you to here. Take the tools, experience, and education you’ve gained at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and combine them with your talent, intelligence, and heart to make a difference, to make the world a better place, to be the answer.

It was terrific to see our alumni, friends, families, and supporters. Congratulations to our graduates!

Susan Marquis

In This Issue

  • Message from the Dean

  • Commencement 2014!

  • Around Campus

    Students Blog for Pardee Initiative · Cazier Gift Launches Environmental and Energy Sustainability Initiative · Partnership in Law and Public Policy · Huddleson Teaching Award · Student Publications

  • Catching Up with Alumni

    Alumni Leadership Award · New Jobs! · Alumnus Participates in RAND Innovation Speaker Series · In the News · Our Newest Alumni

  • Events

    NYC Lunch with the Dean · Alumni/Student Happy Hour · Summer Faculty Workshop


Commencement montage

On Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21, the Pardee RAND Graduate School hosted a series of activities in connection with its 2014 commencement celebration. On Friday, a policy dialogue featured honorary degree recipients Charles Beck, chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, and Joan Petersilia, Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law at Stanford Law School, along with Pardee RAND alumna Angela Hawken (cohort '98), an associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine University.

The evening's activities also included a dinner for alumni and graduating students, a presentation of the second Alumni Leadership Award to David Maxwell-Jolly (see article below), and tributes to Andrew W. Marshall and Charles Wolf for their myriad contributions to RAND.

The commencement ceremony on Saturday featured an address by honorary degree recipient Senator Elizabeth Dole. Honorary degrees were also presented to Beck, Petersilia, and Lloyd Shapley, Nobel laureate and professor emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Jack Clift (cohort '06) gave the graduate address, noting that the School’s slogan, Be the Answer, "captures what many believe to be the quintessence of the school, evoking, as it does, the timeless gentle wisdom of Mahatma Gandhi ... combined with the unrelenting ass-kicking attitude of a Nike running commercial."

A total of 30 doctoral degrees in public policy analysis and 39 master's degrees were awarded during the ceremony, which was attended by more than 350 people.

Read moreRead more about Commencement, including the full text of all the speeches

Read moreView more photos on Facebook

Around Campus

Students Begin Blogging for Pardee Global Human Progress Initiative

African mother and baby

The Pardee Global Human Progress Initiative has launched a weekly blog. Our first bloggers are Pardee RAND students each focused on a specific policy issue area in Africa and Asia. Julia Pollak (cohort '12) writes on housing issues; Tobi Oluwatola (cohort '12) writes on energy and the environment; Yemi Okunogbe (cohort '13) writes on maternal health; and Mahal Woldetsadik (cohort '13) writes on women's issues. We are looking for alumni with particular expertise on a policy issue related to human progress in Africa or Asia to join our blog. Contact Rachel Swanger ( for more details.

Read the blogs:

$5M Cazier Gift Launches Environmental and Energy Sustainability Initiative

John Cazier

A $5 million gift from engineer and philanthropist John M. Cazier will turbocharge research in environmental and energy sustainability at the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

"John Cazier has been an inventor and innovator in automotive engineering," said Susan Marquis, dean at Pardee RAND. "We're grateful for John’s financial support and his forward thinking on green practices and sustainability."

Cazier noted, "I'm truly impressed with the intellectual capacities of Pardee RAND and RAND. After having success in the engineering and automotive industry, I want to ensure that the right bridges get built between the research powerhouses of RAND and Pardee RAND, the commercial world, and the best practitioners in the field. People around the planet must deal with so many challenges, today and in the days ahead, that we need to share information, get smarter, and do so with all of us in our different spots pulling together."

Read moreRead More

Partnership Between Law and Public Policy

Rebecca Simon (center) with Molly Selvin and Susan Marquis

On April 21, Rebecca Simon became the first student from Southwestern Law School to earn a Certificate in Public Policy through a Southwestern/Pardee RAND partnership to provide students from both schools an opportunity to complement their degree programs with additional training.

Dean Susan Marquis said, "Rebecca demonstrates the power of the partnership between the Pardee RAND Graduate School and Southwestern Law School: bringing together the talented students from each school to learn the fundamentals of law and policy analysis from courses and each other. With our joint certificate programs, we are taking one more step in training tomorrow's public policy leaders."

Huddleson Award Presented to Roland Sturm

Huddleson award recipients Roland Sturm and Jeanne Ringel

2014 Huddleson Award recipient Roland Sturm
(left) and 2013 award recipient Jeanne Ringel.

The 2014 Huddleson Teaching Award was presented to Roland Sturm at the Saturday Commencement ceremony. Student Clinton Saloga (cohort '11) shared this about Professor Sturm:

"I had the privilege of taking Roland's Advanced Econometrics class and serving as his TA the following year. In his class we expand on the theoretical foundation of several econometrics concepts and explore when they are truly appropriate for policy analysis. This approach to the material has been incredibly valuable in developing my own research questions and determining the best methods for addressing them.

"Roland was always happy to talk to students about how his materials could be used in the context of their own research and OJT. His deep knowledge of the subject and interest in how students used it make him a great asset to Pardee RAND students as they develop the empirical skills needed for rigorous policy analysis."

Read moreRead More

Student Research: Prolific Student Publishing

Pardee RAND students — and alumni! — have been busy collaborating on RAND reports and journal articles. Below is a sampling of recent releases; a full list is available online.

book cover

Catching Up with Alumni

David Maxwell-Jolly receives award

David Maxwell-Jolly (right) received his award
from fellow alum Mark Albrecht (cohort '73), the
2012 award winner.

Maxwell-Jolly Receives Second Pardee RAND
Alumni Leadership Award

David Maxwell-Jolly (cohort ’77) received the Alumni Leadership Award on June 20 at the Celebratory Dinner during Commencement Weekend. In a career spanning more than 30 years, David compiled an extraordinary record of excellence in government service, while successfully passing, implementing, and administering critical changes to California's health care and child welfare policies. Most recently, David was appointed to be the Chief Deputy Executive Director of the California Health Exchange, California's successful response to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. David's significant contributions to the government of California demonstrate a deep knowledge and passion for policy.

Read moreRead his acceptance speech

New Job? Congratulations!

Bryant Levaux Lundberg Mason





Mahnovski Morales Rohozynsky Tong Xia






Ben Bryant (cohort '05) is now a postdoctoral scholar at The Natural Capital Project at Stanford University.

Hugh Levaux (cohort '94) is now a principal at Hugh Levaux Consulting.

Russell Lundberg (cohort '07) is now assistant professor of security studies at Sam Houston State University.

Bryce Mason (cohort '01) is now assistant vice chancellor at the University of California, Riverside, leading an office dedicated to strategic academic research and analysis. Bryce is also the president of the California Association for Institutional Research.

Sergej Mahnovski (cohort '98) is now director in the Utility of the Future team at Con Edison. He is still an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs.

Leo Morales (cohort ’95) is now affiliate associate professor at the Center for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Oleksandr "Alex" Rohozynsky (cohort '00) is now senior evaluations lead, SERVIR Project, at Development Alternatives Incorporated.

Daochi Tong (cohort '94) is now assistant minister in the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

Nailing Xia (cohort '04) is now associate secretariat services officer for the Fifth Committee, General Assembly of the United Nations.

Alumnus Participates in RAND Innovation Speaker Series

David Apgar

David Apgar (cohort '80) returned on May 2nd to speak in the RAND Innovation Speaker Series, part of the Emerging Policy Research and Methods division. He presented a talk entitled, "Planning to Evolve: How Impact Scorecards Accelerate Learning." Apgar is currently the manager of a small-business fund for Haiti as senior program officer at the Inter-American Investment Corporation. A long-time member of the Council on Foreign Relations, David has extensive international experience throughout Southeast Asia, China, India, the Middle East and North Africa, and is the author of numerous publications, including two books: Risk Intelligence: Learning to Manage What We Don't Know and Relevance: Hitting Your Goals by Knowing What Matters.

Alumni in the News

  • "When you go in to see a medical provider, you are completely flying blind" about the cost of medical procedures, noted Cheryl Damberg (cohort '89) during a health care forum in Pittsburgh in May.
  • "Often lost in the debate over [automatic admission] policies is a more basic question: do they benefit the students who receive automatic admissions?" ask Lindsay Daugherty (cohort '05) and professor Paco Martorell in The Texas Ten Percent Plan's Impact on College Enrollment, published in the summer 2014 issue of EducationNext.
  • "The dynamics of the market — producers, consumers, and non-consumers — within the current education system in Pakistan is such that a disruption is utterly imminent," writes Athar Osama (cohort '99) in Why education is ready to be #DisruptEd.
  • Michael Shires (cohort '90) once again compiled Forbes magazine's annual list of Best Cities for Jobs. (He also describes his methodology, for those who are interested.)
  • Brad Stein (cohort '97) and colleagues are evaluating the development, quality, and effectiveness of collaboration among student mental health program partners in elementary and higher education. Preliminary findings are now available and further research is underway.
  • "Health care reform is arguably our toughest domestic problem, so it seems an obvious candidate on which to focus the laser of our innovative talents," writes Jeffrey Wasserman (cohort '85) in a RAND blog, Health Care Innovation: The Challenge Ahead.

Our Newest Alumni

Isley Lau McLaren Sussell Tassot






Congratulations and welcome to the Pardee RAND Alumni Association!

2014 graduates

Standing, left to right: Kimberly Hale, Russell Lundberg, Daniel Waxman, Christopher Lau, Kay Sullivan Faith, David Johnson, Xiao Wang, Eileen Hlavka Steven Isley, Stephanie Chan, Benjamin Bryant, Ruopeng An, Christopher McLaren, Caroline Tassot, Haralambos "Bobby" Theologis, Alessandro Malchiodi, Jesse Sussell, Sarah Kups.

Seated, left to right: Matt Hoover, Helen Wu, Amber Didier, Jeremy Didier, L.A. Police chief Charles Beck (hon. degree recipient), Pardee RAND dean Susan Marquis, Sen. Elizabeth Dole (hon. degree recipient), RAND president Michael Rich, RAND alumna Joan Petersilia (hon. degree recipient), Tewodaj Megistu, Lisa Klautzer, Jim Burgdorf. Not pictured: Jack Clift, Scott Hiromoto, Seo Yeon Hong, John Langley, and Kevin O’Neill.

Read moreView larger image

Share Your News!

For more Alumni news, visit the Pardee RAND Alumni News page.

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

Recent Events

NYC Lunch with the Dean

Dean Susan Marquis visited New York in late April and enjoyed meeting up with alumni Yuhua "Catherine" Bao (cohort '99), Sergej Mahnovski (cohort '98), Anga Timilsina (cohort '01), and Xiao "Shelly" Wang (cohort '08) for lunch. We will be sure to let you know when the Dean will next be traveling to your area!

Networking Happy Hour

Happy hour Happy hour
Happy hour Happy hour

Alumni and students had a great time networking at Lotería Grill in Santa Monica on June 19. Clockwise from top left: Brooke Stearns Lawson (cohort '05) and Julia Pollak (cohort '12); Ruopeng An (cohort '08), Melissa Felician (cohort '13), and Nelly Mejia (cohort '11); Mike Beltramo (cohort '70) and Clinton Saloga (cohort '11); Jack Clift (cohort '06), Jordan Fischbach (cohort '04), and Lindsay Daugherty (cohort '05).

Upcoming Events

July 21–25: Second Annual Summer Faculty Workshop in Policy Research and Analysis

Through this workshop, a diverse group of faculty who have already distinguished themselves in other disciplines will spend a week learning tools of policy analysis, and afterward be able to inspire their own students to consider careers in public service or advanced education in public policy.

Read moreLearn more about the Workshop

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