The Batten School Announces Ten New Admissions Partnerships in 2018

New partners bring a diverse range of skill sets and backgrounds to the Batten applicant pool

The Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy is proud to announce ten new admissions partnerships that will incentivize rising policy leaders from a range of backgrounds and sectors to apply to Batten’s Master of Public Policy (MPP) program. These include prestigious think tanks, foundations, and universities—all dedicated to providing individuals with education and training in areas that the Batten community values.

From its inception, the Batten School has embraced the role of “conversation changer.” Guided by a deep understanding that the road to excellence is not a conventional one and requires creating new unexplored pathways, the Batten School’s ongoing effort to build bridges with a broad range of institutions demonstrates its strong commitment to diversity. A preeminent, forward-looking leadership and public policy school will only flourish in an environment that includes community members with different backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, and these new partners represent that commitment. They include: Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; Congressional Hunger Center; Howard University; University of Pennsylvania; American Enterprise Institute; Bonner Foundation; Virginia Wesleyan University; Christopher Newport University; Furman University; and Hampden-Sydney College.

“The Batten School was created to educate and train the next generation of inspired policy leaders. To advance that mission, we felt that we needed to be more proactive in building relationships with institutions with high-caliber potential applicants, those we believe will thrive not only at Batten, but will be leaders of consequence in the policy world in the long run,” said Jeff Chidester, Batten Executive Director of External Affairs. “And in the aggregate, this effort will help us build the kind of diverse applicant pool we value as a school.”

As part of these affiliation agreements, individuals from eligible programs with partner institutions are offered incentives to consider the Batten MPP, including an application fee waiver and a minimum guaranteed fellowship if accepted into the program. The Batten School is given opportunities to meet with prospective applicants each year, providing those interested the chance to engage with Batten students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Currently, Batten is in active discussions with more than 100 institutions, spanning government agencies, fellowship programs, think tanks, nonprofits, advocacy groups, military branches, colleges, and universities, among many others. Each institution is providing their own unique education or training that will make individuals who go through those programs strong applicants, and eventually, strong members of the Batten School. 

“This first group is just the beginning of what we hope will be a constellation of partners that, each year, will encourage a diverse, high-caliber group of students to apply to our MPP,” said Chidester.

Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute

“The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), along with the CHCI Alumni Association are excited to enter into this partnership with the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy,” said CHCI President and CEO Domenika Lynch.  “CHCI’s work to provide young Latinx students with unique experiential learning opportunities and access to our country’s policymakers closely aligns with the Batten School of Leadership’s goal to develop leaders and to solve the world’s toughest public policy challenges,” concluded President Lynch.

For more information on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, visit their website.

Congressional Hunger Center

“With each successive class of Hunger Fellows, we’re working to create a new generation of leaders in the movement to end hunger,” said Shannon Maynard, Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center. “Many Hunger Fellow alums go on to pursue advanced degrees in public policy. That’s why we’re excited to launch this new partnership with the Frank Batten School—the only school of public policy in the country which is explicitly committed to teaching leadership. By making it easier for alums to continue investing in their development as leaders, this partnership will expand our network’s capacity to create real change.”

For more information on the partnership and the Congressional Hunger Center’s work, visit their website.

Howard University

“The Department of Economics is excited about this partnership that would allow our students access to the MPP at the Batten School,” said Omari Swinton, Assistant Professor of Economics at Howard University. ” We are hopeful that many students benefit from the partnership.”

For more information on Howard University’s Department of Economics, visit their website.

The University of Pennsylvania, Andrea Mitchell Center for the Study of Democracy

“We look forward to working with the Batten School to cultivate the next generation of leaders and public policy experts,” said Center Director Jeffrey Green. “We know our students will value the opportunity to learn more about all that the Batten School has to offer”

For more information on the Andrea Mitchell Center for Study of Democracy, visit their website.

American Enterprise Institute

“I am delighted to have had a small part in bringing together the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI),” said Natalie Runkle, Talent Development Associate at AEI. “Scholars and professors at both institutions study today’s important public policy issues, and we are all delighted that one AEI alumnus, staff member, or intern each year will have the opportunity to further their knowledge by attending the two-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the Batten School.”

For more information on AEI, visit their website.

The Bonner Foundation

“After talking with Jeff Chidester, we realized the mission of Bonner and mission of Batten are closely aligned when it comes to preparing students for civically engaged lives of leadership,” said Community Engagement Director, Liz Brandt. “Because the Bonner Foundation predominantly serves low-income students and we know finances are a barrier for many of our students to pursue a graduate education, we are excited to forge this new partnership with the Batten School who will now offer significant scholarships to Bonner Scholars and Leaders for Batten’s MPP program. I hope to see many Bonner students take advantage of this opportunity with Batten and I look forward to exploring other ways we can deepen this partnership.”

For more information on the Bonner Foundation, visit their website.

Virginia Wesleyan University

“The Batten School’s vision aligns perfectly with the Batten Honors College, and the program will allow our graduates to continue their education in a similar environment as they pursue their advanced degree,” said Joyce Easter, the Dean of the Batten Honors College. “This distinctive partnership exemplifies the Battens’ passion for educating tomorrow’s leaders, an impact that will long be felt by our respective institutions and students.”

For more information on the Batten Honors College at Virginia Wesleyan University, visit their website.

Christopher Newport University

“The faculty in the Department of Leadership and American Studies at Christopher Newport University consider our new affiliation with the Batten School of great benefit to both partners,” said Lynn Shollen Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at CNU. “The Batten School’s reputable and distinct program, with its focus on leadership, may be an ideal path for some of our graduates, where they will, in turn, contribute the high caliber work and character typical of our students. We are eager to promote this new opportunity to our students and strengthen our partnership with the Batten School over time.”

For more information on the Department of Leadership and American Studies at CNU, visit their website.

Furman University

“Furman University is thrilled to begin our partnership with the University of Virginia’s Batten School. The Batten School provides an exceptional graduate school education,” said Associate Professor of Politics and International Affairs David Fleming, who will serve as Furman coordinator for the program. ” Its emphasis on leadership and public service is especially appealing to Furman students. Since announcing Furman’s partnership with the Batten School, I have talked to many Furman students and alumni who are interested in applying to the Master of Public Policy program. The Batten School and Furman University share a commitment to engaged learning and high-impact educational practices. I think this partnership will prove to be beneficial to both institutions.”

For more information on the partnership and the Furman University, visit their website.

Hampden-Sydney, Wilson Center for Leadership

“Hampden-Sydney’s mission is to form good men and good citizens, and the Wilson Center builds on that foundation as we focus on preparing men of character for lives of consequence,” said Wilson Center Director Ryan Pemberton. “We are thrilled that the shared vision of our two programs has resulted in this wonderful opportunity for our students, and we look forward to many years of collaboration with the Batten School.”

For more information on the Wilson Center for Leadership, visit their website.

Garrett Hall at Sunset

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