Consolidating a Distinguished Legacy of Research, Public Scholarship, and Public Engagement: The McCormack Institutes of Public and International Service (MIIPS)

The John W McCormack School of Policy and Global Studies was founded in 1983 as the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs, a center for applied public policy research focused on issues of immediate concern to Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the New England region, and in 1991, the world. In 2010, the Institute grew to become what it is today: a college offering nationally and internationally recognized policy studies training that fuses applied policy research and public service in the same mission.

In addition to three academic departments and fourteen programs, the current school also includes seven major outreach and research centers and institutes – the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC), the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management, the John Joseph Moakley Chair in Peace and Reconciliation, the Center for Women and Politics in Public Policy (CWPPP), the Center for Social Policy (CSP), the Center for Peace, Democracy and Development (CPDD), the Center for Governance and Sustainability and the Gerontology Institute (which includes the LeadingAge Center for Long-Term Service and Support, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), the Pension Action Center [PAC], and Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging). Like the Institute that gave birth to the School nearly 40 years later, today’s conglomeration of McCormack Centers and Institutes provides students and faculty with a bridge to a rich web of connections and partnerships. external with nonprofits, public agencies, and community organizations that create meaningful connections. intellectual and experiential exchanges through extensive community engagement and outreach on and off campus.

In January 2022, Dean Edozie recognized the work of the centers and the institute identifying them as the McCormack Institutes of International and Public Service (MIIPS) and the launch of the MIIPS Public Service Brown Bag series to showcase the exciting work carried out by McCormack Centers and Institutes. These brown bag seminars — all being held virtually via Zoom for now — serve to foster engagement and collaboration among McCormack and UMass Boston students and faculty with the many community research activities, projects, and programs and sensitization of the institutes. Presented in conjunction with McCormack’s Dean’s Office Student Success (DOSS) program, these seminars highlight the work done by MIIPS faculty members, students, centers, and institutes dedicated to public service research. and policies. Each center or institute approaches this fundamental principle in different ways, but is united by a shared mission and commitment to academic excellence and educational opportunities for graduate and advanced undergraduate students through scholarships and of activism.

The MIIPS Public Service Brown Bags series offered three seminars, in February, March and April of this year, each providing a unique window into the remarkable range of work done at McCormack. The Brown Bag series debuted on February 11and with a discussion by Emeritus Professor John Joseph Moakley in Peace and Reconciliation Padraig O’Malley on “The Path of Negotiation: South Africa, Northern Ireland and the Role of the McCormack School”. O’Malley was joined by Dr Marcie Williams, the former chancellor of UMass Amherst, who hailed the University of Massachusetts’ 50-year relationship with South Africa.

In March, the 2n/a Public Service Brown Bag hosted Michael Ward, director of the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management, alongside Mandi Jo Hanneke, Amherst City Councilwoman and former Charter Commission Vice Chair, and Alanna Mallon , Deputy Mayor of the City of Cambridge. In a discussion titled “Modernizing MA Municipal Government,” they discussed “Charters for Towns and Villages, Local Services, Democracy and Power in the 21st Century.”

Most recently, on April 29, Leading Age LTSS co-directors Marc Cohen and Robyn Stone were joined by Leena Sharma, associate director of the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation at Community Catalyst; Kim Brooks, COO of Hebrew Senior Life; and Carolyn Villers, Mass Senior Action Coalition, for a discussion on Massachusetts’ long-term service and support sector and how to make a difference through applied policy research.

Each of these discussions offered valuable insight into the research and policy of the various McCormack Institutes of International and Public Service and exemplified a commitment to local and international public service, and attendance at each event was made up of members of the body faculty, staff and students committed to the community. engagement and conversation.

Other recent events hosted by the McCormack Graduate School include the McCormack Racial Equity Taskforce (MRET) keynote presentation on the “Controversy Surrounding Critical Race Theory” by Randall Kennedy on April 8. Kennedy is the Michael R. Klein Professor at Harvard Law School and spoke at MRET Diversifying the Curriculum Speaker Series. The series is part of the McCormack Graduate School Dean’s Office initiative to promote racial equity in the college and features distinguished speakers to address the intersection of racial equity and higher education curricula. As the most recent keynote speaker, Randall Kennedy spoke about Critical Race Theory (CRT) approaches in the education sector and highlighted the controversy surrounding the teaching of CRT, which has gained popularity and scrutiny over the past two years.

Through event series such as the MIIPS Public Service Brown Bags Series and the MRET Diversifying the Curriculum Speaker SeriesMcCormack celebrates community engagement and scholarly research on public policy and public service and engages community members in critical dialogues that enrich our understanding of what it means to be a member of the community through specialized educational opportunities.

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