Public Policy Department Celebrates 20 Years

2 min read

Nick Cimillo ’26

Staff Writer

In a panel last Wednesday, Feb. 28, Public Policy and Law professors, alumni and the current President’s Fellow gathered to discuss the program’s 20-year history, its impact on students and goals for the future. Professors Abigail Williamson, Adrienne Fulco and Glenn Falk were joined by Genevieve Quinn ’12, Brendan Clark ’21 and Gabriela Seguinot ’24 (a current President’s Fellow).

The development of a redesigned Public Policy program began in 2001 among a small group of faculty members who taught law, economics, and politics, including Professor Fulco. She remarked that their efforts focused on creating “an interdisciplinary program that would not only engage students intellectually but would also inspire them to engage with the real world of law and policymaking.” In addition to teaching practice-based skills in its foundational courses, the new Public Policy and Law program became the first at Trinity to require an internship.

Since its introduction in the 2003-04 academic year, the program has grown from under a dozen majors to nearly 120 today, becoming the fourth largest major at the College. The program’s interdisciplinary nature has been a significant point of appeal for students. “In every step of my career,” remarked Genevieve Quinn ’12, “whether it’s grad school, UN [Women] or my current job… all of these skills and all the knowledge I’ve gained have been really integral at every point.” Quinn is currently a visiting assistant professor at Quinnipiac University.

Looking forward, the program aims to lean into its interdisciplinary nature through increased collaboration with other departments and better prepare students for the ever-fluctuating political and legal realms. “I think there are always going to be issues that emerge,” says Professor Falk. “We [should] help students prepare for whatever the future holds, to learn how to think about problems.”

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