May 31, 2018

Batten's Gratz Among UVA-Record 16 Fulbright Scholars

Editor’s note: This excerpt, part of a larger story at UVA Today, is posted with permission.

Maggie Gratz of Doylestown, Pa., a May graduate of the accelerated Master of Public Policy program at Batten, will be an English teaching assistant in Jaffna, Sri Lanka beginning this fall.

“My interest in Sri Lanka intensified when I was researching the country for a past internship,” she said. “I wrote technical proposals for U.S. government-funded projects that focused on the transportation and land sectors, the political economy, as well as public-private-partnerships for supporting sustainable development within the country. This not only ignited my desire to gain a more tangible and personal context for the work, but also my hope to discover Sri Lanka as a microcosm for economic, environmental and education policymaking.”

Gratz is no stranger to Asia. She studied abroad in Thailand and conducted research alongside an agricultural development organization in Cambodia through a Jefferson Public Citizens grant.

“I am personally and professionally intrigued by South and Southeast Asia,” she said. “My graduate and undergraduate programs have allowed me to broaden my knowledge of the historical, political, religious and economic complexities that exist within these regions.”

As a graduate student, Gratz served as president of the Batten Graduate Council, a Tri-Sector Leadership Fellow, a Class of 2017 trustee, a graduate teaching assistant for two courses, and a senior editor of Virginia Policy Review. She also earned consistent mention on the Dean’s List.

She was honored with a 2018 Pilot Award as a top Batten graduate student, and she also received the Edgar F. Shannon Award, named after UVA’s fourth president, from the Z Society. The award is presented to the best graduating student from each of UVA’s schools “who has pursued academic greatness with fervent ardor and keen insight while never forgetting the importance of those priorities aside from school.”

Gratz also was named to Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for students of public administration.

As an undergraduate, Gratz was president of Students Helping Honduras and a member of the University Guide Service, the Class Councils, the women’s club basketball team and the Alpha Chi Omega sorority.

She was an advocate and peer educator for One Less, which provides educational resources on sexual assault, respect and consent. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Raven Society, and the I.M.P. Society. She served as an orientation leader and won the inaugural Kishore Memorial Scholarship Award. She graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Development Studies, with distinction, and she minored in Global Sustainability.

A graduate of Central Bucks West High School, Gratz wants to work in the field of international development.

“I aim to understand the field of international development from all sides and sectors,” Gratz said. “Therefore, I seek to one day play a role in furthering conversations about how to most effectively coordinate and streamline the efforts of international entities. In the long term, I hope that exposure to the parallels and contradictions between development work abroad and development in the United States will allow me to eventually return to state and local politics and policy.” 

Batten’s Gerry Warburg, Professor of Practice of Public Policy, described Gratz as a “rock star” who is also an outstanding teaching assistant in Batten’s largest undergraduate course, Warburg’s “Public Policy Challenges in the 21st Century.”

“She is the best of Batten and she will represent UVA and the country ably,” he said. “She is dedicated to public service, she writes well, speaks well, and has discerning judgement.”

Gratz also served as a graduate teaching assistant for Batten Associate Dean Craig Volden’s fall course ”Introduction to Public Policy.”

In an e-mail message, Gratz said that her “Batten Graduate Council (service) absolutely guided my Batten experience.

“From collaborating with staff and faculty members for events to thinking up opportunities for the (Batten) School to more thoughtfully engage with the Charlottesville community alongside the BGC team, it allowed me to gain an even deeper appreciation for my peers, professors, our alumni, as well as the many individuals who work each and every day to make Batten all that it is.”

Gratz’s Applied Policy Project, “A Transformational Legislative Workplace: Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Colorado General Assembly,” involved working with with a Denver-based investigative law firm, Investigations Law Group, as her client.

“My project explored the issue of sexual harassment in state legislatures and offered specific recommendations for stimulating cultural change in the Colorado General Assembly’s legislative workplace. In addition, my advisor, Professor Raymond Scheppach (Professor of Public Policy), offered invaluable guidance and support throughout.”

(photo by Dan Addison)

Gratz is among 16 UVA scholars who will pursue work on foreign shores with the help of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program this year—a record number for UVA, which recently was cited among the top producers of Fulbright recipients in the nation.

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board offered the grants to the UVA alumni and students, who will be among the more than 1,900 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad for the 2018-19 academic year.

UVA’s Fulbright recipients will teach English in foreign countries such as Argentina, Georgia and Sri Lanka, or pursue research and graduate study in Cambodia and the United Kingdom.

“This is fantastic to have so many of our students and alumni rewarded for their hard work in discerning their fit for and pursuing the Fulbright,” said Andrus G. Ashoo, who directs UVA’s Office of Citizen-Scholar Development.

In This Article

Professor of Public Policy and Politics, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Center for Effective Lawmaking
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Garrett L040
Professor of Practice of Public Policy
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Professor of Public Policy
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