Public policy & society

Public policy is the language used to formalize a society’s priorities and commitments to its members. The School of Public Affairs faculty conduct research in a wide range of substantive policy areas, such as education, health, and urban policy, as well as the social impacts of policies on marginalized populations and the nature of the policy process itself in a democratic society.


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Alumni stories

Our School of Public Affairs alumni make a huge impact in Colorado and beyond! Read their stories.


  • Monica-Caballeros-Capstone-850w

    MPA Capstone Highlight: Center for Community Wealth Building

    Sep 10, 2020 by Joan Fishburn
    When MPA alumna Monica Caballeros (MPA ’20) went looking for a capstone project, her focus was on public health and reproductive rights. Caballeros, who is the PR and Communications Director for Connect for Health Colorado, is passionate about equitable access to healthcare. However, when she could not find a good fit in her field, she turned to the school’s list of sourced capstone projects. She found a powerful partnership with the Center for Community Wealth Building that allowed her to look at issues of equity through a lens of economic development.
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Our faculty quoted in other media


Featured webinar

COVID-19 and Public Affairs: A Conversation with CU Denver School of Public Affairs Faculty

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Faculty OpEd

  • Worker repairing electrical line after winter snow storm

    The Unequal Cost of Brittle Power Infrastructure

    Mar 18, 2021 by Dr. Serena Kim
    The Texas winter storm in February 2021 and the ensuing blackout exposed problems of the unregulated power market, aging electricity infrastructure, and the lack of preparedness for frequent extreme weather events. But it also revealed social inequities in such problems. Dr. Serena Kim discusses the lessons that Coloradans can learn from Texans.
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  • Opioid-OpEd

    Addressing the Opioid Crisis Amid Increasing Uncertainty

    Jan 19, 2021 by Dr. William L. Swann
    Before the arrival of COVID-19, the United States was amid one of its worst public health crises in decades: the opioid epidemic. To those experiencing, treating, and supporting someone with opioid use disorder (OUD), the deadliest pandemic since 1918 couldn’t have come at a crueler time. Dr. William Swann describes his recent research on the opioid pandemic.
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Latest news about public policy & society

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    Kennedy, Marks Share Challenges, Opportunities for CU and CU Denver

    Mar 8, 2021 by Toula Wellbrook
    On March 5, the CU Denver School of Public Affairs hosted “The Future of Higher Education for the CU System and CU Denver,” part of the First Fridays with the School of Public Affairs virtual event series. Guest speakers were CU President Mark Kennedy and CU Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks. The conversation was moderated by School of Public Affairs Dean Paul Teske.
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  • Alec-Garnett-AMPA-Alum-850w

    Alec Garnett, Colorado’s next House speaker, hopes you won’t think of himOpens in a new window

    Jan 11, 2021
    Colorado House of Representatives Alec Garnett poses for the portrait at the House chambers of Colorado State Capitol in Denver, Colorado on Thursday. November 12, 2020. Garnett, who is a CU Denver School of Public Affairs alumnus of the Accelerated Master of Public Administration program, will lead 73rd Colorado legislative session as speaker.
    Opens in a new window Full story
  • Alan-Kennedy-Democratic presidential elector-850w

    Colorado Democratic electors cast nine votes for Joe BidenOpens in a new window

    Dec 14, 2020
    Colorado’s nine Democratic presidential electors cast their votes for Joe Biden at the state Capitol on Monday. First-time elector Alan Kennedy, an attorney and doctoral student at the CU Denver School of Public Affairs, said he hoped Monday’s nationwide vote brings acceptance of Biden’s presidential victory.
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  • The Pivot: How Governments Are Changing to Meet the Needs of Our Time

    Dec 11, 2020 by Emma Martz
    On December 4, the CU Denver School of Public Affairs hosted its First Friday event centered around how governments are changing to meet the needs of our time, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Comprised of experts from state, city, and county governments in Colorado, the panel took a deep dive into the pivots that organizations have made during the tumultuous year of 2020, what processes would continue, and their hopes for the future.
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  • Economic-Development-Class-Canon-City-850w

    Economic Development Class Strengthens Two Southern Colorado Communities to Come Out of COVID-19 Stronger Than Ever

    Nov 23, 2020 by Guest Contributor
    The School of Public Affairs Economic Development class has been credited by communities for providing an important service at this time of need. Read about how students and partners Downtown Colorado Inc. helped two Southern Colorado communities -- Cañon City and Rocky Ford -- adapt and help their small businesses, youth, and residents stay hopeful.
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  • What happened in our elections?

    Nov 20, 2020 by Emma Martz
    On November 6, the CU Denver School of Public Affairs hosted What happened in our elections?, its third installment of the First Fridays virtual event series, to unpack a range of topics from the presidential election (which had not yet been called at the time of the event) to the state and local ballot results. Moderator Paul Teske, Dean of the School of Public Affairs, was joined by Saja Hindi, reporter for The Denver Post; Mike Littwin, columnist for The Colorado Sun; and Sean Walsh, election consultant for Sean Walsh Consulting.
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