News and updates from the Program in Public Policy
at the Bloustein School
Rutgers University
New Urban and Community Development concentration added to public policy graduate curriculum
This past spring, the Program in Public Policy created a new “Urban Policy and Community Development” concentration.  Expanding upon a long-standing concentration in community development, the new concentration will clarify the expertise in urban policy housed at the Bloustein School.  As the program is fortunate to share a building with a world-class urban planning program, many students come to Bloustein to reap the combined benefits of the two programs.  In addition to a significant amount of cross-registration in courses across the two programs, numerous students pursue a joint degree in planning and policy.

Professor Julia Rubin, a worldwide expert in community development noted, “The faculty at the Bloustein School are national leaders in community development and urban policy. Our students are exposed to cutting edge research on gentrification, foreclosure prevention and mediation, community development finance, and nonprofits management. And, our applied research approach and location - close to Newark, Jersey City, Philadelphia and New York - enables students to explore these ideas in a real-world context.”

The coursework within the concentration examines the processes through which communities change; the relationship between community development and local, national, and global institutions and forces; participatory and community planning methods; issues of gender, race, class, and power; and social and economic policy formation; implementation and evaluation. It is designed to meet the needs of students with a range of interests, including downtown redevelopment, community revitalization, urban poverty, community economic development, health, and housing. 

News from the
Program in Public Policy

June 2014


Greenberg discusses environmental impacts of Keystone XL pipeline
Bloustein professor Michael R. Greenberg, author of  The Environmental Impact Statement After Two Generations: Managing Environmental Power, was interviewed by Scientific American recently about the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which forces agencies to consider the environmental consequences of their decisions, and the economic impact statement (EIS) developed for the possible expansion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline into the United States.


TransCanada’s Keystone XL would carry up to 830,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada more than two thousand miles to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, crossing six American states including Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Click here to read the interview at Scientific American.
 

A deceptive "surge" in public transit
Bloustein assistant professor Mike Smart, along with David King, assistant professor of urban planning at Columbia University and Michael Manville, assistant professor of city and regional planning at Cornell University, wrote an interesting op-ed for the Washington Post about the deceptive surge in public transit use. They noted that while U.S. transit trips have continued to rise between 2008 and 2013, the original report by the American Public Transportation Association failed to note that the U.S. population significantly increased during this same time period. Read the full story here 


Heldrich Center for Workforce Development to present "Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century" in October
Join the Atlanta and Kansas City offices of the Federal Reserve along with the Heldrich Center for the conferenceTransforming U.S. Workforce Development Polices for the 21st Century. The event will take place October 15–17 in New Brunswick, NJ.

Workforce development and labor market issues have come to the forefront as the nation continues its recovery from the Great Recession. National experts will share their perspectives on transformative education and workforce development strategies and policies to:

  • Improve opportunities for job seekers, students, and workers, especially those who face the greatest difficulties in the labor market
  • Meet the needs of employers and society for a highly skilled, well-educated, competitive, and productive workforce
  • Deliver effective and efficient solutions that can be adopted by federal, state, or local/regional governments as well as by educational institutions, businesses, and nonprofit organizations.
Workforce development providers, postsecondary educators, federal, state, and local policymakers, community-based organizations, researchers, lenders, the philanthropic community, and students are encouraged to attend. Register before the early bird deadline of Friday, July 18 and save $50.
 
RECENT NEWS FROM THE BLOUSTEIN SCHOOL
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Science recently announced that professor Clinton J. Andrews was reappointed to a three-year term to the NJDEP’s Science Advisory Board, and professor Michael R. Greenberg was reappointed to the Public Health Standing Committee. The Science Advisory Board and the four standing committees (climate and adaptation sciences, ecological processes, public health, and water quality and quantity) provide independent peer review and advice on scientific and technical issues relevant to the DEP’s mission.
 
New Jersey residents who were surveyed four months after Hurricane Sandy battered the East Coast of the United States in October 2012 expressed strong support for government policies to reduce the likelihood of severe damage from future hurricanes, but only a small fraction of those surveyed—about one in five—were willing to contribute to a fund to pay for implementing the government policies. The study was concluded by Rutgers University and Bloustein School researchers in order to gauge public support for policies such as prohibiting housing in high risk flood zones, requiring houses to be constructed to resist storms, and taking other steps to reduce the vulnerability of areas prone to hurricane and severe weather damage. The report, “Public Support for Policies to Reduce Risk after Hurricane Sandy,” surveyed 875 residents, and was published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal in April 2014. Read the full analysis of the study.


On May 9 the Rutgers Economic Advisory Service (R/ECON) semiannual subscriber forecast and conference examined the pace of New Jersey’s economic recovery and provided insight into aspects of the real estate market that are helping establish momentum for the state’s comeback. Anne Strauss-Wieder, principal of the transportation, economic and strategy consultancy that bears her name, discussed New Jersey’s role as one of the nation’s leading hubs for distribution and supply chain activity. The supply chain industry is the largest employer in New Jersey.
 
On April 23 the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development convened its annual workforce diversity forum. One hundred participants gathered to discuss disability employment and inequality in the workplace and society. There was also an expert panel discussion on inequality and a vision for a more equitable America. Panelists included Dr. Carl Van Horn, Distinguished Professor and Director, Heldrich Center; Robert L. Lattimer, Senior Fellow, Diversity Studies, Heldrich Center; Kathy Krepcio, Executive Director, Heldrich Center; Randy Lewis, retired Senior Vice President, Walgreens; David Dante Troutt, Professor of Law and Justice John F. Francis Scholar, Rutgers School of Law–Newark; Bill Hackney, Managing Partner, Atlanta Capital Investment Managers; and Hattie Dorsey, President, HBDorsey & Associates, LLC. The forum proceedings are available here.
 
On March 25, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) of Middlesex County and the Bloustein School co-hosted the 2014 NCADD Legislative Event Annual Policy Forum, “Marijuana: A Complicated Issue. Let’s Talk. ” At the event, participants had the opportunity to discuss multiple perspectives related to medical use, legalization, and the decriminalization of marijuana, featuring speakers who discussed various aspects relevant to the question of the legalization of marijuana, including medical science, the economic impact, and addiction from a clinical and personal perspective, with a goal of gaining a broader, shared understanding of the complex issues involved in society’s new approaches to marijuana use.

 
 
OF NOTE
Joel Cantor, director of the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy, is the principal investigator of an award totaling $303,513. The project titled Informing Strategies for Better Care for Vulnerable Populations in New Jersey is being supported by The Nicholas Tersigni Memorial Foundation.
 
Executive producers Raphael J. Caprio, Ron Chen, John Farmer, and Sandy King have been awarded two New York Chapter Emmy Awards for the Rutgers-produced public TV series, Due Process. Due Process is a presentation of School of Law–Newark and the Bloustein School. One Emmy is for Best Public Affairs Programming on the Good Samaritan bill, and a second for Best Criminal Justice Programming. Due Process has now won 24 NATAS NY and Mid-Atlantic Chapter Emmys.
 
Stephanie Curenton 
has been awarded a three-year grant in the amount of $443,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for a project entitled, “Expanding Ethnically Diverse Urban Preschoolers’ Oral Language: The Conversation Compass Professional Development Intervention.”  Curenton and Iheoma U. Iruka, Associate Director and Scientist at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, served as guest bloggers on the NIEER blog, Preschool… today!  where they discussed the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans, and what the initiative can mean for early childhood education, by focusing on what educational structures are needed to ensure African Americans/Blacks are on the path to success even before they enroll in the K-12 system.
 
Frank Felder, director of the Center for Energy, Economic, and Environmental Policy is the principal investigator of an award totaling $1,802,498. The project titled Clean Energy Evaluation and Market Assessment is being supported by the N.J. Board of Public Utilities.
 
Michael L. Lahr, president of the Southern Regional Science Association, presented  "Square Dancing with the Stars to Enhance Dynamic Hirschman Linkages: Up and Coming Regional Economic Management?," at the March 29 Association meeting. He will be a keynote speaker at the International Input-Output Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, July 13-18, where he will present his ideas on the modeling of intra-national trade flows among regions and of challenges in regional economic modeling more generally. He is also slated to co-present the several other papers at that conference.
 
Robert L. Lattimer was appointed to the fledgling Cultural Diversity Network. Network members will exchange diversity and culture research and information regarding the impact of culture in society, create a repository of information, and host an annual conference.
 
Dawne Mouzon quoted in the Los Angeles Times article “Tenn. study: Black workers less supported at work -- but happier?” Mouzon’s research examines the “race paradox” in mental health, which refers to the finding that Blacks generally have better mental health than Whites, despite their less favorable social standing in the United States. Her research seeks to identify causal mechanisms to explain this. She notes that most scholars attribute this anomaly to the belief that Blacks have more supportive family relationships than Whites, but her research has found that there are minimal differences in the quantity and quality of family relationships between Whites and Blacks.

Marc Pfeiffer, faculty fellow and associate director of the Bloustein Local Government Research Center, received a $38,900 grant from the Municipal Excess Liability Joint Insurance Fund to research best practices that can be employed by New Jersey local government officials in order to identify and manage risks related to the use of technology in local government activities.
 

Julia Sass Rubin has been selected to be on the Education Transition Committee for Newark, NJ Mayor Elect Ras Baraka.

Hal Salzman participated in a live chat discussion hosted by Science journal on Thursday, January 16. The discussion, “The Making (Or Breaking) of a Science Major,” (opens a recording of the proceedings), focused on undergraduate STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education and the scientific workforce. The panelists discussed how attrition among STEM majors compares with rates in other fields, what happens to STEM dropouts, and what can be done to attract and retain students who want to earn a science and engineering degree. Also participating in the discussion were Susan Singer, division director for undergraduate education at the National Science Foundation, and Science Senior Correspondent Jeffrey Mervis.

Dona Schneider is the principal investigator of an award totaling $2,587,869. The project titled N.J. HIV/ AIDS Coordination of Prevention and Care Planning and Capacity Development Initiative is being supported by the N.J. Department of Health.
 
Stuart Shapiro authored a chapter “Reforming the Regulatory Process to Consider Employment and Other Macroeconomic Factors” in the new book , Does Regulation Kill Jobs? (Penn Press, 2014). The book examines the topic of regulation and provides a balanced perspective with novel insights about the connection between regulation and jobs. Shapiro finds that the current process that the federal government uses to evaluate the impact of regulations on jobs is wanting, and proposes some reforms that would lead to a closer examination of this critical question. 
 
In her blog, Linda Stamato wrote about the benefits of studying public policy and planning at Rutgers.
 
Veda Truesdale, a Senior Research Associate with the Environmental Analysis and Communications group, is the principal investigator for a project to support New York's Cleaner, Greener Communities (CGC) Program, administered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The program has received funding totaling $775,000 in two phases to encourage communities to create public-private partnerships and develop regional sustainable growth strategies in such areas as emission control, energy efficiency, renewable energy, low-carbon transportation, and other carbon reductions. 
 
Carl Van Horn  was promoted to Distinguished Professor of Public Policy by the Board of Governors of Rutgers University.
 
Michelle Van Noy, Research Project Manager at the Heldrich Center, is serving on a National Academies committee studying the barriers facing two- and four-year undergraduates who intend to major in STEM, and the opportunities for overcoming those barriers. The committee will examine current evidence and will culminate with a report presenting conclusions and recommendations to inform policies and programs to attract and retain students in STEM fields. The project is sponsored by the S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.



 


RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Crowley, Jocelyn Elyse and Stanislav Kolenikov. 2014. "Flexible Work Options and Mothers'  Perceptions of Career Harm." The Sociological Quarterly. 55(1): 168-195.
 
Greenberg, Michael R., et al. "Public support for policies to reduce risk after Hurricane Sandy." Risk Analysis (2014).

Greenberg, Michael R. "Energy policy and research: The underappreciation of trust." Energy Research & Social Science 1 (2014): 152-160.
 
Zhang, Hayian and Michael L. Lahr. (2014) “China's Energy Consumption Change from 1987 to 2007: A Multiregional Structural Decomposition Analysis,” Energy Policy, 67, 682–693.
 
Zhang, Hayian and
Michael L. Lahr. (2014) “Can the Carbonizing Dragon Be Domesticated? Insight from a Decomposition of Energy Consumption and Intensity in China, 1987-2007,” Economic Systems Research, 26, 119–140.
 
Dietzenbacher, Erik, Manfred Lenzen, Bart Los, Dabo Guan,
Michael L. Lahr, Ferran Sancho, Sangwon Suh, and Cuihong Yang. (2013) “Input-Output Analysis: The Next 25 Years,” Economic Systems Research, 25, 369–389.

Rodgers, Bill, Sara Horowitz and Gabrielle Wuolo. "Evolving the U.S. Department of Labor for the New Workforce."  Industrial and Labor Relations Review, May 2014.
 
Salzman, Hal. (2013). “What Shortages? The Real Evidence About the STEM Workforce,” Issues in Science and Technology, pp. 58-67.

Schneider, Dona and Meredeth Turshen, “Political and Social Violence: Health Effects,” Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, Elsevier, 2014. 05-Feb-14 doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.09048-5

Shapiro, Stuart. 2014 “Agency Discretion as Whac-a-Mole: The Challenge of Restricting Agency Use of Non-Legislative RulesHarvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. Spring 2014.
 

Turshen, Meredeth. “A Global Partnership for Development and Other Unfulfilled Promises of the Millennium Project,” Third World Quarterly. 2014, 35 (3).

Van Horn, Carl and Donald Baumer. (2013). Politics and Public Policy: Strategic Actors and Policy Domains (4th edition). Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press.
 

Van Horn, Carl. 2013. “What Workers Really Want and Need,” HR Magazine. pp. 45-51.

 

STUDENT AND ALUMNI NEWS

A team of graduate public policy students from the Bloustein School competed in the regional finals of the 5th annual Hult Prize in Boston on March 7-8, 2014. Members of the Bloustein team were Sayan Kundu (Kolkata, India), Neha Mehta (Skillman, NJ), Kushyup Shah (Livingston, NJ), Jared Sussman (Edison, NJ), and Becky Kelleman (Old Bridge, NJ). The teams’ skills included medical expertise, business, and field experience combined with passion and determination. This is the second year a Bloustein team has advanced to the regional finals. This year’s competition focused on the 250 million slum dwellers around the world suffering from chronic diseases who need help. The business idea for the Bloustein team identified lack of education and economic resources as two primary causes of poor health, and sought to improve diagnosis, care and treatment of non-communicable diseases and chronic illnesses through an all-encompassing community approach.
 
Sara Meyers MPP ‘09 was selected as a finalist for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals in the Call to Service category. The medal recognizes a federal employee whose professional achievements reflect the important contributions that a new generation brings to public service.  Sara has served as the Director of the Sandy Program Management Office at the Department of Housing and Urban Development where she “Created a sophisticated data analysis system to evaluate the performance of federal housing programs, and set up processes to track $13.6 billion in economic stimulus and $50 billion for Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery.” Details on all the finalists can be found here and more information about Sara is here.
 
Erica Nava, a graduate student in the MPP program and a policy analyst for New Jersey Policy Perspective, wrote an anaylsis on how federal immigration reform would help New Jersey’s immigrant population have a chance to participate in the state’s economy as well as boost the economy.  
 
 Bloustein School MPP student Becky Kelleman gave a student perspective on the
 Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) spring conference, which is typically devoted to the administration of public policy (and public administration) programs. Her commentary is available online.

 
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