Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Student Spotlight: Isiah Peter Iniguez '17.5

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Concentration: Public Policy & Education Studies '17.5

Tell me about your time this summer at Princeton. Why did you decide to focus on research methods? How does that prepare you for a career in public policy?

I spent this past summer at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. I was selected by the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program to participate in their Junior Summer Institute as a PPIA Fellow. For one of my courses, I used research methods and worked with a group of three other students as we looked at the connection between education and health outcomes. We provided recommendations to a panel of health policy experts, including the Deputy Medicaid Director for the State of Rhode Island on how the state could bridge health and educational related programs to maximize the health of medicaid beneficiaries. This allowed me to use both theory and practice to formalize recommendations that are feasible and effective. This project also allowed us to research current health and education policies, analyze trends and data, and evaluate their effectiveness.

How has your time at Watson shaped your approach to Public Policy?

Watson has been an incredible resource during my time at Brown. It has allowed me to step out of my own policy comfort zones. Given my experience and education, I am most passionate and knowledgeable about education policy. However, Watson has pushed me to explore other policy arenas, especially those that relate to foreign policy. One of my favorite courses I've taken is Latin American Politics. This course was one of my first introductions to Latin American history, and it was the reason why I've become interested in learning about political stabilization and social policies in the region. Watson has also recently partnered with the Swearer Center to help facilitate the Brown in Washington D.C. program, which I am currently participating in and has really complimented my studies at Brown and has given me important hands-on experiences.

What are your plans post-graduation? How about in 5 years from now?

Post-Brown, I will be joining Teach for America in Los Angeles as a secondary math teacher. My time at Brown has truly ignited my passion for public service and I want to return to my own community to serve. Brown has given me a better understanding of systemic issues that exist and I hope to join my community as we hope to gain a more equitable and just environment, especially for our most marginalized communities. Post Teach for America, I would like to enter graduate school and enroll in a MPA/MPP program. Ultimately, I hope to stay in Los Angeles and become involved in local government/politics.

 -Interview by Amalia Perez '18

Learn more about the Brown in Washington Program