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SPEA Aims to Prepare Students to Make a Difference

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Image: spea.iupui.edu

Felix Rippy is a professional with a range of experience in the field of law, having founded his family’s law firm, Rippy Law, and having served as an election judge more than a dozen times for Williamson County in Texas. Recently, Felix Rippy has turned his attention to public finance and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs at the Indiana University-Purdue University School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA), where he recently secured a position as a graduate student research assistant with Professor Doug Noonan and recently provided (with equal assistance from Borst Scholar and co-author Thomas Bray) to the Muncie Community Schools with a 12 point plan to raise money to help address their approximately $10 million debt.

The graduate programs at SPEA were created as a Department by Indiana University in order to address some of the concerns that traditional school models often overlook. Here, at SPEA, the focus is on preparing students to use skills like policy- and law-making to contribute to a healthy, safe, and sustainable community. Programs like the master of public affairs (MPA) aim to help students make an impact in their communities through hands-on work and real-world experience.

SPEA’s MPA program offers concentrations that students can focus on, including nonprofit management, urban affairs, criminal justice, urban sustainability, policy analysis, and public management. Most of the graduates (63 percent) go on to work in the nonprofit (charitable) sector, but 15 percent work in state government and another 15 percent in the private sector. Two percent of the graduates move into the federal government. Felix Rippy’s focus in graduate school is on public policy, particularly as it relates to the sustainable financing of public schools, and Felix Rippy focuses on the K-12 levels.


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