Previewing the Batten Showcase

If you are looking for a “taste” of Batten, the best course for you is LPPP 2000: Batten Showcase: A Collection of Lectures on Leadership and Public Policy. The new Batten Showcase is a one-credit CR/NC seminar that will feature revolving faculty guest lecturers spotlighting their research and other ways they are engaging with the most pressing public policy and leadership issues of the day. It will help you understand the way we approach problem solving at Batten and give you a sense of whether our approach would be helpful as you think about the impact you want to make in the wider world. As a non-graded course, it will not be a heavy academic lift; rather, it is intended to expose you to concepts in a fun, engaging way.

The course will be led by Professor Eileen Chou, an associate professor of public policy at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Her research focuses on the organizational, social, and psychological forces that shape individual and group behavior in organizational settings; students in the Bachelor of Arts and Minor in Public Policy and Leadership will take her LPPL 3210: Behavioral Sciences for Civic Leadership as a part of the core curriculum. Frequently cited as one of students’ favorite professors in the Batten School, you will be able to hear from her–and others–on foundations and concepts of leadership. Her lectures will bookend the course so you can reflect on lessons learned throughout the semester.

Professor Chou will be joined by other Batten scholars, including Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Public Policy and Economics Jay Shimshack (environmental policy), former Dean and current University Professor of Public Policy and Politics Allan Stam (international development), and Professor of Public Policy and Economics Chris Ruhm (health policy). These scholars will be joined by Batten’s Professor of Public Policy and Politics and Director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking Craig Volden who will speak about building a better Congress, and Gerald Higginbotham, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Postdoctoral Research Associate at Batten, who will speak about the impact of culture and identity in politics. Two professors who teach at both Batten and the School of Education and Human Development will talk about education policy: the Newton and Rita Meyers Associate Professor in the Economics of Education and Public Policy Ben Castleman will talk about the innovations to transform the lives of youth, while the Associate Professor of Education and Public Policy and Assistant Director of EdPolicyWorks Allison Atteberry will discuss whether performance pay has an impact on education.

The Batten Showcase would not be complete without also hearing from some of Batten’s amazing faculty practitioners who have spent years in the policy world themselves. You will be able to hear from Professor of Practice of Public Policy and Director of Global Humanitarian Policy Kirsten Gelsdorf on the humanitarian imperative in the 21st century, and also learn from the National Security Policy Center’s Director of Academic Programs John Robinson about national security policy. Additionally, Melissa Thomas-Hunt, the John D. Forbes Distinguished Professor of Business Administration and Public Policy who has joint appointments at Batten and the Darden School of Business, will speak about the value of connection and belonging. Finally, the Batten Showcase would not be complete without hearing from Batten’s Dean and Professor of Practice of Public Policy Ian Solomon on the necessity of creating the leaders of tomorrow.

We hope this is a great chance for you to sample Batten coursework and learn about our mission to create positive change! If you have any questions about the Batten School or any of its academic programs, do not hesitate to email us at or make an appointment with Anne or Courtney!