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The Scarlet & Black

Trustee starts policy program

A lot can be done with $840,000. Trustee member George Moose ’66 and his wife Judith R. Kaufmann have gifted the College that amount to establish the Program for Experiential Learning in Public Policy. Moose is developing this program for students to further their education in a different environment, with the ultimate goal of contributing to society in a meaningful way.

“What Judith and I hope to accomplish through this fund is to promote the development of ethically-informed, public-minded student leaders and College graduates, to encourage students to consider careers in public service, and to help ensure that students can afford to participate in career development opportunities that will enable them to achieve these goals,” Moose wrote in an email to The S&B.

With an extensive career in public policy, Moose personally understands the dedication and sense of fulfillment that comes with serving others. Throughout his career he has traveled to many places in his involvement with the U.S. State Department as a diplomat. Moose eventually achieved the highest rank in the U.S. Foreign Service, career minister, from which he retired in 2004. He currently serves as vice chair for the U.S. Institute of Peace.

The grant will give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge in public policy and provide them with the tools they need to expand their career opportunities. It can allow students to take part in programs they may not be able to pursue without funds, like unpaid internships or unfunded travel prospects — gateways that proved pivotal to Moose and Kaufmann in their professional development. The experiences that they gained through seeking experiential learning in places like Brazil, Tanzania and Washington D.C. ultimately helped push them towards careers in public service.

“Those experiences greatly expanded our understanding of the world, and how this world is impacted by public policy,” Moose wrote.

In particular, Moose and Kaufmann have drawn three key lessons from their time abroad and the interconnectedness of the world they witnessed first-hand.

“The first is the importance of substantive, academic preparation, which Grinnell is justifiably famous for providing. The second is that while academic preparation is essential, it cannot substitute for direct engagement and experience. Lastly, we have come to appreciate that substantive knowledge and experience must always be informed by ethics,” Moose wrote.

As for Moose’s particular interest in public policy issues, it was largely shaped by two major political and social issues that were going on when he first arrived at Grinnell in 1962: the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement.

“I chose American Studies as a major because its inter-disciplinary approach provided an academic framework for studying and understanding the historical, cultural and social backgrounds of both issues,” Moose wrote. From there, he joined the U.S. Foreign Service soon after graduating from the College.

With the aid of his gift, Moose hopes to see students put their Grinnell education to use in a practical manner.

“I know that internships, educational travel and other forms of experiential learning have become hugely important for today’s students … [among other things,] they help students learn how to navigate the world of work, and they give them needed experience and confidence in building relationships and networks,” Moose wrote.

With the Program for Experiential Learning in Public Policy, students will be able to maximize their reach in the world. They may even be able to reciprocate the generosity that Moose and Kaufmann have granted to Grinnell.


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