SPPA Community

SPPA Society

The SPPA Society is a student organization that serves the interests of all students in the School of Public Policy and Administration by promoting academic growth, social enrichment and professional development. Through events, information sessions, student advocacy and representation across campus, the SPPA Society is committed to helping SPPA students have an exciting and high quality graduate experience. The SPPA Society has a steering committee consisting of a president and three vice-presidents, as well as a broader executive team consisting of program representatives, two liaisons to the Graduate Student Association, and a Professional Development Representative – all of whom are elected by the SPPA student body.

Each year, the SPPA Society organizes a banquet near the end of the winter term. For more information on the banquet and other SPPA Society events, please visit the website.

David Wink Conference

Since 2011, the PhD students have held an annual research conference. Named in memory of David Wink, a PhD student who passed away in 2009, the conference occurs in the winter term of each year and features research presentations by SPPA PhD students.

SPPA students in all years and at all stages of their research are encouraged to participate. The conference serves as a supportive and collegial environment to exchange ideas on their research and receive feedback from faculty. Each year, a graduate of the PhD program is invited to offer a keynote address reflecting on their experiences post-graduation and sharing their unique insights with the current cohort.

Keynote speakers to date include:

  • 2016: Luc Julliet, PhD Carleton
  • 2015: Mark MacDonald, PhD Carleton
  • 2014: Monica Gattinger, PhD Carleton
  • 2013: Basma Abdelgafar, PhD Carleton
  • 2012: Michael Orsini, PhD Carleton
  • 2011: Denis Saint Martin, PhD Carleton

Public Management Case Competition

Carleton won the First Annual Public Management Case Competition in February 2011 hosted by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina. Carleton came in 4th in 2012 hosted by Queen’s University’s School of Public Policy. The 3rd Annual Public Management Case Competition will be taking place on February 1, 2014 at the University of Toronto. In 2015, three SPPA group projects made the top 10. The case for the competition is provided on January 25, and teams are expected to have a completed presentation in advance of the competition on February 1.

This is an opportunity to compete for the School, and to share your talents in a competitive environment. Ten universities compete each year, including Simon Fraser University (won in 2012), the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, the University of Alberta, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, Dalhousie University, and the University of Waterloo. This is a great way to network with other schools, and to participate in a truly national event.

For more information, please visit the CAPPA website.

Professional Skills Workshops

The workshops bridge the professional aspect of the Master’s program with the academic. They are structured to provide students with practical skills that are highly applicable in public sector jobs. For example, a number of workshops will focus on communications skills and will instruct students how to write briefing notes for executives and ministers, prepare memoranda for cabinet and effectively deliver presentations. They are taught by experienced public servants and consultants, most of whom are alumni of the SPPA.

To obtain the Professional Skills certificate, students must participate in five different workshops during the course of their degree. This means that you do not have to complete all five sessions in one year of study, and if you miss an important workshop, you will have the opportunity to take it the following year.

It is highly recommended that students take advantage of the workshops. It will demonstrate to potential employers that you have specific skills training and have taken initiative to prepare yourself for the demands of public sector employment.