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By Matthew Kredell

Students (from left) Kristina Hummel, Kristin Butts, Margaret Ferrill and Steve Ozinga in front of the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Dora Kingsley Vertenten)

Haynes Award-winning Capstone Analyzes Refugee Perceptions

The impact of USC Price’s Master of Public Administration online capstone projects expands far beyond the classroom. The team of Kristin Butts, Margaret Ferril, Kristina Hummel, and Steve Ozinga delivered their report “Austria and the Refugee Crisis: An Analysis of American Sentiment in Social versus Print Media” for the Embassy of Austria to the United States, as well as to Chicago for the annual Midwest Political Science Association conference.

The Austrian Embassy’s goal was to determine whether Americans had a negative reaction to the 90,000 refugees it accepted in 2015, but the assignment gave the students an opportunity to analyze American sentiment towards refugees more broadly.

The team went on to win the John Randolph and Dora Haynes Foundation Recognition Award as the USC Price School’s outstanding capstone project. “We knew we had a very good product, but it’s an honor for all of us to win the Haynes Award, let alone speak at a conference and eventually be published. It’s well beyond our expectations,” said Ozinga.

MPA student Jeremy Martinez, right, with Dean Jack Knott (Photo by David Giannamore)

Haynes Honorable Mention Seeks to Improve Homeless Services

A second team of Waunetah Goins, Morgan Golin and Jeremy Martinez addressed “Servicing Homeless Families with Young Children: Exploring Smart Practices for Use in Los Angeles County” and received honorable mention for the Haynes Award. Their client, the California Child Care Resource Center, asked for a needs assessment of the current homeless family policy landscape and to identify gaps in care programs for the county.

The students’ created targeted recommendations to maximize aid for families who are homeless. “Our work with the capstone students from USC Price provided us with valuable research and insight on the best practices nationally for working with families who are homeless,” said Donna Sneeringer, director of government relations for the California Child Care Resource Center. “We are now taking that information and engaging in local conversations in Southern California.”

To learn more about how these two groups of Price MPA online students are translating their classroom learning into real world change, read the full article.

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