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Student Spotlight: Collin Cox, Undergraduate Student

Monday, May 15, 2017

When we saw Collin Cox's name on the list of 2017-2018 Orientation Assistants, we reached out to him to tell us more about himself. Here's what we found out. (Spoiler alert: He's pretty awesome and we're lucky to have him in our undergraduate program.)

Q: How did you hear about the School’s undergraduate program as a prospective student?
A: I heard about the School of Public Affairs and Administration through many mediums. Primarily, there is a strong lineage of public administration in my family. My father, J.D. Cox, graduated from KU with a Bachelor in Business Administration and eventually pursued a career in city management. My sister, Kierstyn Cox, recently received her Bachelor in Public Administration through KU. Through great recommendations from Dr. Shannon Portillo and Dr. Charles Epp, Kierstyn now attends Florida State University, seeking a master’s degree in the field.

Q: What were the deciding factors in coming to the School?
A: With family being recent alumni of KU, I researched programs across the country in regards to which public administration degree would be best on my track to graduation. With KU being the top program nationwide, that was the icing on the cake.

Q: What are your hopes for your time at KU?
A: During my time at KU, I’ve been involved as a student event coordinator for Student Union Activities (SUA) and been actively involved with the Union referendum. I hope to continue my work in the endeavors of revitalizing the KU Memorial Union, as well as continuing my involvement with SUA and Student Senate, pursuing my bachelor’s degree in public administration, and obtaining a minor in German.

Q: What faculty member are you most excited to work with, and why?
A: I’ve had the honor of working with so many great faculty and staff from the School. Susan Keim was my first PUAD instructor, and she opened the doors to the concept of true followership. Stephen Maynard-Moody was a great professor; his class was research-based and hosted great lessons on conceptualizing public analyses and in using SPSS to convey lessons on street-level bureaucracy. I took a class with Misty Grayer on law and public policies of which powerfully represents the roles of law and legal institutions and their processes in policymaking. As for future classes, I am thrilled to be enrolling in classes with Dr. Shannon Portillo as well as Dr. Charles Epp. These professors are truly outstanding and excel in their research.

Q: What is your primary research interest?
A: I am still exploring different areas but I am very interested in the mechanisms of law and policy. I recently received confirmation that I will be serving on a research team with Dr. Portillo over the summer with a topic yet to be determined. [Editorial: Congratulations on this honor, Collin! Whatever topic you decide on, it will be time well-spent.]

Q: What is your favorite memory of being in the program so far?
A: I’ve definitely enjoyed the experience of getting to know so many inspiring leaders of the community.

Q: What is something interesting/fun that we should know about you?
A: My mom was a Baby Jay mascot in 1985 and her experiences at KU shaped who I am today. I am involved with three student organizations and I am developing a plan to renovate and revitalize the KU Memorial Union with leading members of the University.

Q: What would you tell a prospective student about this program?
A: The professors are some of the most genuine and sincere individuals at KU. The school constructs a community that encourages a true sense of belonging.

Q: Of your previous work and life experiences, what do you think most prepared you for the School’s undergraduate program?
A: Being involved with the Union has equipped me with the resources that best prepared me for this program. With being involved as the Executive Outreach Director for the Union referendum, I have connected with past and present leaders of the KU community to develop strategies in creating an institution designed for the students of today. These connections have guided me to be the leader I am today and have most definitely equipped me for the next steps in pursuing my degree in Public Administration.

Q: Do you have an idea of what you would like to do with your public administration degree?
A: I am looking into a federal career in which I can gain experience in foreign affairs and work towards a more political scope in the coming years.

I am proud to be a Jayhawk. Through the many skills I’ve obtained, the connections I’ve made, and the community I’m a part of – there is truly no place like home (KU.)

(Pictures above: Top: Collin searching through law books in Watson Library; Bottom: Collin and his mom in front of the Campanile.)

Collin with Assistant Coordinator, Autumn Crafton, at the SUA Recognition Banquet   Collin at Lippincott Hall


Ruth DeWitt, Communications Manager
KU School of Public Affairs and Administration
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