Meet Our Students: Lauren Pudvah

In the Master of Public Policy program at William & Mary, we take great pride in our students. Each person in the program brings something special to the table and we are thrilled to shine the spotlight on them whenever we get the chance. This is Lauren Pudvah (’18). Lauren is a second-year MPP in the Public Policy Analysis track and Secretary of the Graduate Policy Association. She answered a few questions for us recently.

Lauren Pudvah (1)

Where are you from?

Beverly, MA

What brought you to the William & Mary Master of Public Policy Program?

I am really interested in the intersection of science and policy, especially as it pertains to marine policy and use conflicts. I have a B.Sc. in biology and a minor in chemistry, so I wanted to enroll in a program that would cover a wide range of policy topics since my background in the subject was lacking.

What were you doing before you joined us?

I was working at a private oyster hatchery on Gwynn’s Island, VA propagating larval oysters for the oyster industry.

Favorite thing about the program?

My favorite thing about the program is the networking opportunities. Faculty and staff are more than happy to help connect current students to alumni or others that share their common interests and career path.

What advice do you have for prospective graduate students who may be on the fence about applying to the W&M MPP program?

Follow your gut. I was drawn to this program because I thought it may be the right place for me. The small size of the program, the location, and the interactions with policy-makers and alumni have been more valuable than I initially imagined. There are a lot of networking opportunities within the MPP program and also in the other schools within William & Mary.

Where do you want to go from here?

Long-term, I would like to work on environmental, marine, or coastal policy issues at the state or local level. For the next year, I will be a Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellow sponsored by Virginia Sea Grant and Virginia Environmental Endowment. I am placed at the Virginia Marine Resource Commission in their habitat division.

What are your hobbies?

Anything related to the water and being outside

Describe yourself in three words.

Determined. Candid. Compassionate.

Favorite book?

Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

If you could receive a message from future-you, what would you want it to say?

You find beauty in ordinary things. Do not lose this ability.

If you could meet one person in the world, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I would like to meet Archie Carr because he made remarkable contributions to international sea turtle conservation. His life’s work and legacy have provided an enormous amount of research to the field of herpetology and has had a positive impact on the trajectory of the different sea turtle species.

What has been your favorite class so far and why?
Professor Wilkerson’s National Security class has been my favorite class so far. Not only is he an excellent teacher and a wealth of knowledge, the class also challenges you to make tough policy decisions on national security issues facing our nation.

Who is your favorite professor/researcher you’ve worked with and why?

Professor Joosse has been extremely helpful with fine-tuning my writing skills. Policy memo styled writing is so different from what I was accustomed to. Her constructive comments on papers were extremely helpful to my writing becoming more concise.


Thanks for sharing Lauren!

Stay tuned for more student spotlights. In the meantime, keep up with all our W&M MPP students on Facebook and LinkedIn!

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