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Spring 2022 Courses — Public Policy Program

PUPOL 100: Introduction to Public Policy
PUPOL 100 is an interdisciplinary course designed to introduce students to basic concepts in policy studies. The course will introduce students to the study of public policy at a time when acute, critical, analysis of governance, policy processes, and the meaning of ‘the public’ are more urgent and necessary than ever. The class will bring our experiences of global pandemic and overlapping crises of capitalism, environment, and human rights into the classroom using an interdisciplinary and intersectional approach to public policy as a subject inextricably intertwined with power relations, political beliefs and values, long established institutions, structural inequalities, and the agency of individuals and groups. Students will have an opportunity to focus on a policy area of their choice as they make ‘real-life’ contributions to the policy process by writing an op-ed, conducting a policy analysis, and finally presenting a policy brief to the class. The class is designed to be accessible to all students and requires no previous study of American politics or government.
Monday/Thursday 1:10-2:25 pm (Roosevelt House Room 204) with Joyce Miller, Founder and CEO of Tier One Public Strategies

PUPOL 400: Public Policy Capstone Seminar
Roosevelt House’s Public Policy Capstone course serves as the culminating educational experience for students pursuing the 18-credit Public Policy Minor and/or 27-credit certificate. During this semester-long seminar, each student develops a substantive project that integrates the practical skills and topical knowledge learned in the Public Policy Program. The Capstone presents students the opportunity to go in-depth with real-world policy questions and ideas, with the aim of discovering, developing, and refining individual policy interests and goals.
Wednesday, 10:10-1:00pm (Roosevelt House Room 304) with Basil A. Smikle Jr., Director, Public Policy Program

GEOG38311: Health Equity in the United States: Policies and Politics
This course will count towards the following concentrations: Urban Policy, Health Policy, Environmental Policy, Immigration Policy, LGBTQ+ Policy, Social Welfare Policy, Law and Public Policy

This course will explore how to transform the current federal, state, and local regulatory and operational framework from one that focuses on “sick care” to one that keeps patients and their communities healthy. The emphasis will be on integrating the “social context,” i.e. social determinants of health into care delivery, and developing policies that blend public health, health care, and human services to address the whole patient. The course will also consider how best to align incentives for patients, payers (commercial and government), care providers, community-based organizations, and pharmaceutical companies. Case studies will examine vulnerable communities, including those who are homeless, involved in the criminal justice system, and undocumented immigrants.
Wednesday, 10:10-1:00pm (Roosevelt House Room 204) with TBD

MEDIA399.19: Changing Media Landscape: United States Policy and Politics
This course will count towards the following concentrations: Media Policy, Law and Public Policy, LGBTQ+ Policy, Social Welfare Policy

The splintering of the Old Guard media establishment, the ascent of social and non-traditional media platforms, and the ever-changing, 24/7 news cycle has fundamentally transformed the American political landscape and the way Americans digest and analyze the news. This course will serve as an introduction to these dramatic shifts that have reshaped American politics and how public officials communicate and implement policy. Using key moments since 9/11 as the narrative framework for the course, from Hurricane Katrina and the financial crisis to Obamacare and the election of President Trump, the course will survey and analyze the media’s impact on American politics. The course will also examine the fundamental question: what’s next? This course will focus on critical thinking about the state of our Democracy and which technologies and communications tools will play a central role in the upcoming political and policy debates.
Monday, 4:10-7:00pm (Roosevelt House Room 204) with Rob O’Donnell, Founder, 38 Paces

NFS 361/NUTR 770: Food Policy
This course will count towards the following concentrations: Urban Policy, Health Policy, Environmental Policy, Social Welfare Policy, Law and Public Policy

This course is a broad introduction to food policy, which includes written laws and regulations, as well as the decisions and actions by government agencies, institutions, organizations, industries, and consumers that influence the production, distribution and consumption of food. Students will gain insight into the food policy process and how policymakers, stakeholders, issues, as well as cultural, social, economic, and political factors all impact food policies. Real-world controversies will allow students to understand the food policies that determine how food gets from farm to fork. All required readings, lectures, videos, and any other media will be posted on Blackboard for every corresponding module. Access to blackboard (and a stable internet connection) is mandatory to access all course content and assessments.
Time TBD (Online) with Charles Platkin, Director of the Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center

POLSC 31734: LGBTQ Policy Studies
This course will count towards the following concentrations: Media Policy, Law and Public Policy, LGBTQ+ Policy, Social Welfare Policy, Law and Public Policy

This course traces the development of LGBTQ rights and politics in America. Its focus will be on how past fights for LGBTQ identity and equality have framed the current policy and legal battles in state legislatures, the Congress, and the courts. The course will examine institutional and non-institutional approaches taken by queer activists over the decades on a number of topics including employment, public accommodations, healthcare access, and immigration. There are no formal prerequisites for this class, although a basic knowledge of American politics and social organization will be assumed.  This is an interdisciplinary course that will examine key lawsuits and policies that delve into LGBTQ rights issues and engage with queer activist critiques of using institutional avenues to accomplish social change.  Consequently, this course will explore the following questions: can the law be used effectively to accomplish social change in a queer context? How does queer history shape and frame our understandings of identity and modern activism? What are the limits of traditional approaches in movements for social change?  How have American racial justice struggles shaped queer activism?
Monday/Thursday, 11:10-12:25 (Roosevelt House Room 204) with Erin Mayo-Adam, Director, Hunter College LGBTQ Policy Center

PUPOL 40N01: Aging Policy and Politics
This course will count towards the following concentrations: Urban Policy, Health Policy, Social Welfare Policy, Law and Public Policy

This course will focus both on the politics of aging, including current generational conflicts, and on aging policy, with an emphasis on aspects of urban life that should be considered part of aging policy, but are not. We think of growing old as an individual, immutable process, striking some earlier and others later according to biological luck.  But, by examining multiple kinds of evidence, we will see that the experience of aging is different in different neighborhoods, different times, and for different groups of people – leading us directly to policy causes and solutions. We will discover the significant limitations of what is currently deemed “aging policy” and begin to derive a more appropriate policy framework. This is a seminar course for upper-level undergraduate students who can interpret quantitative and qualitative data. A final project is required, including both a written paper and a presentation to the class consisting of one of the following: draft legislation; candidate’s platform; mapping; video; photography; oral history; structured learning experience; or academic poster.
Wednesday 3:10-6:00pm (Roosevelt House Room 304) with Ruth Finkelstein, Executive Director, Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging & Professor, Urban Public Health, Hunter College

URBS403.1O: Research Practicum: Income Inequality and Poverty in New York City and the United States
This course will count towards all Public Policy Certificate concentrations OR the quantitative requirement for Minor.

This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to develop their ability to conduct data analysis. Students will learn how to work with large micro-data sets using SPSS or STATA. Students will also further their expertise in statistical methods. Much of the class will be devoted to term papers on student-selected topics that explore specific issues related to the broad questions of income inequality and poverty. Initially the course will run along two tracks. The first is classroom discussion on the topics of income inequality and poverty in the US and New York City. The track will place special emphasis on how these are defined and measured. Students will also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of various publicly available micro-data sets that have been used to measure income and poverty. The second track is a computer lab that will impart the skills needed to use SPSS or STATA with large micro data sets. In addition to these “nuts and bolts” skills, students will grapple with the challenges of interpreting the results of data analysis. What can a researcher responsibly claim his or her analysis has established?
Thursday, 4:10-7:00pm (Roosevelt House Room 304) with Eri Noguchi, Chief Program Officer, Association to Benefit Children

URBS 403.30: Education, Politics, and Race
This course will count towards the following concentrations: Education Policy, Social Welfare Policy, Law and Public Policy

It is imperative for students to understand the socio-political phenomena that influence local, state, and national political life. A significant grasp of the nature of politics will give you a competitive advantage in almost every field. The purpose of this course is to provide you with a broader understanding of the ways that education, race and politics uniquely and collaboratively influence American society. Discussions of these elements will be applied to a wide range of socio-political applications. The course will engage with the intertwining nature of race, politics and education in American society. Education, politics and race interact in powerful ways across the American landscape. One’s level of educational attainment frequently impacts their political leanings and racial perspectives. Legislative bodies draft the policies that dictate the United States’ educational opportunities and diversity initiatives. Race is frequently a third rail that drastically impacts everything from school districting and political contests. This course will allow students to critically explore the intersections of these three phenomena in American life and, thereby, poise them to be more effective change agents in their communities.
Tuesday 10:10 AM – 1:00 PM (Roosevelt House Room 204) with Catherine Voulgarides, School of Education, Hunter College