Michelle Obama honors Wagner alumnus Jason Yoon and his nonprofit arts organization

Michelle Obama honors Wagner alumnus Jason Yoon and his nonprofit arts organization

NYU Wagner graduate Jason Yoon (MPA 2006) and New Urban Arts, the Providence, R.I., nonprofit organization he oversees as executive director, were honored by Michelle Obama at the White House on November 4, 2009. New Urban Arts, an interdisciplinary arts studio and gallery for high school students and emerging artists, was one of 15 youth arts and humanities programs nationwide to garner the prestigious 2009 Coming Up Taller Award from the First Lady.

Coming Up Taller is a project of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. It recognizes and supports outstanding out-of-school and after-school arts and humanities programs for children, especially those with great potential, but limited outlets for creative expression. Coming Up Taller Awards honor programs that offer exceptional learning experiences in the arts and the humanities and that have a tangible effect on the lives of young people as evidenced through improved academic scores, enhanced life skills, and positive relationships with peers and adults.

"This award," commented Yoon, "is a testament to all the amazing people who have contributed to our community over the past 13 years, particularly the incredible artists and young people who are the foundation."

On November 12, Yoon returned to the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University to participate in a panel discussion entitled "Careers in Arts and Culture."

The event was co-sponsored by Wagner's Office of Career Services, and Student Network Exploring Arts & Culture (SNEAC). Joining Yoon was Kenita Lloyd (Wagner MPA, 2009) who is Deputy Director of the Museum for African Art, as well as Mark Rossier, the Director of Development and Marketing for the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Michaella Holden, Assistant Director of Alumni Services and Special Events at Wagner, moderated the helpful and engaging discussion -- an opportunity for Wagner students to hear practitioners discussing their career paths and experiences.


Microfinance and social-justice philanthropy

Microfinance and social-justice philanthropy

Professor Jonathan Morduch's research about microfinance, a growing prescription for global poverty, will have him delivering talks this spring at the World Bank, Yale School of Management, Wharton School, Columbia Graduate School of Business, and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He spoke with NPR affiliate KQED out of the San Francisco Bay Area on Apr. 6, 2007 about microfinance and social-justice philanthropy, and was turned to for an article on the microfinance movement in the April 16 issue in Time magazine.

Military Veterans in Focus at Kovner-Behrman Health Forum

Military Veterans in Focus at Kovner-Behrman Health Forum

Dr. Carolyn Clancy

The 18th Annual Kovner-Behrman Health Forum at NYU Wagner featured Carolyn Clancy, M.D., Assistant Deputy Undersecretary for Health for Quality, Safety and Value at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In a spirited and informative keynote speech, she described the Veterans Health Administration and its continung drive toward excellence and high achievement.

Dr. Clancy was introduced with welcoming remarks by Wagner's Professor John Donnellan, who worked extensively in New York City for the VA after earning his MPA from Wagner in 1984. As a graduate student, his professor and mentor was Professor Anthony Kovner, now his colleague, who sat front-and-center in an audience which consisted of many Wagner Health Policy & Management alumni, faculty, and students, and a range of healthcare professionals.

Carolyn Clancy, a general internist, a researcher on disparities in healthcare and other pressing issues, and an accomplished and seasoned U.S. healthcare administrator, described a vast, mission-driven, national VA healthcare system that has led the way in healthcare innovation, safety, efficiencies, and needs-responsive medical services. It consists of 151 medical centers, well over 985 outpatient centers, and 70 mobile health units. Its size, she said, is demonstrated by its staff of 822,000 employees. No less than two-thirds of U.S. doctors have received training in a VA facility. "Pretty amazing," she said.

The organization aims to become even more patient-driven, she noted, adding that the philosophy that comes clearly from the top, and is taken to heart across the agency, is: "We owe it to them [our nation's war veterans] to help them do much better, so they can get back to the rest of their lives."

The Kovner-Berhman Health Forum was established by Professor Kovner in 1996. It convenes leading health experts for a dialogue about how to improve the healthcare delivery sytsem. With extensive experience as both a health practioner and academic, Anthony Kovner saw the value of bridging the gap between the two sectors. Each year, experts at the forum engage a different healthcare topic that is relevant to both practioners and researchers, with the goal of learning from one another and improving overall health outcomes.



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