Harris Student Organizations are another opportunity to make connections, put policy into practice, and develop and refine your leadership, teamwork, and project management skills. Interested in learning more? Admissions is hosting a series of Harris Student Organization Community Chats, which are casual, conversational meetings with members of HSOs to ask questions in a small group format.

The chats are listed by organization. You can drop down to each organization by clicking the names of organizations in the list below. Register for sessions by clicking the date associated with each session and logging in with your application credentials.

Please note, these sessions are only open to those who have submitted applications or were admitted into the class starting fall 2022. All sessions take place in Central Standard Time (UTC-6).

Black Action in Public Policy Studies (BAPPS)

Black Action in Public Policy Studies (BAPPS) focuses on public policy issues faced by Black communities, nationally and globally. We promote high-quality, policy-based events centered around Black experiences; engage in acts of service and developing partnerships with the greater Chicago community; and provide professional networking opportunities. We believe in the work of critical discourse and its power to influence public policy in Black communities and for Black people.

Joy Kayode, MPP Class of 2022,  has focused her academic career on international relations, international development, and Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa She obtained her B.A in International Affairs from The George Washington University. Her professional expertise is in international development, public policy, and strategic planning. She is also currently a Graduate Associate at Rudd Resources where she assists with community relations and social media. She offers a keen attention to detail, knowledge on trends in social media, communications, and community engagement centered solutions for clients.

Grace Oxley, MPP Class of 2022, is an experienced educator who developed new and innovative solutions that promote equity in urban schools. Grace earned her bachelor’s degree in Urban Policy from The College of William & Mary.

Philippa Paisley, MPP’21, is a consultant in the nonprofit and philanthropic space with a demonstrated history of working in the civic & social organization industry. Phillipa also holds a Bachelor's degree focused in International Relations from The University of the West Indies. 

Back to top

Behavioral Economics and Public Policy (BEPP)

How can biases disrupt policymaking, and how can we use nudges and behavioral sciences to make better policies? If you are interested in these questions, join us to learn more about the Behavioral Economics and Public Policy (BEPP) HSO, and their programs to understand the use of behavioral science and economics in public policy.

Bhargavi Thakur, MPP Class of 2023, has worked in the policy space of behavioral sciences, sexual and reproductive health, and criminal justice pertaining to women. Bhargavi also leads a youth collective, "Sang," which works with underprivileged communities in India. She earned her bachelor’s in economics from the University of Delhi, and her postgraduate diploma in Liberal Studies from Ashoka University, India. After Harris, Bhargavi aims to work in research and impact evaluation roles.

Back to top

Chicago Policy Review (CPR)

The Chicago Policy Review contributes timely, relevant content to the policy community drawn from policy research, preeminent practitioners, and academics, delivered through the journal website and an annual print publication. As a student-run organization, the Chicago Policy Review affords Harris students the opportunity to improve their written and verbal communication skills, develop a focused policy expertise, and gain valuable leadership experience.

Molly Smith, MPP Class of 2023, is the Editor-In-Chief of the Chicago Policy Review. Her work focuses on urban policy and improving the effectiveness and resiliency of mid-sized American cities.

Back to top

International Development Policy Association (IDPA)

The International Development Policy Association has grown rapidly at Harris with the help of new faculty hires, The Pearson Institute, the International Policy Development Certificate, and the diversifying student body around the world. Interested in joining an organization that engages with international development policy research and career opportunities, while creating a space for like-minded students? Join us to learn more.

Kashif Ahmed, MPP Class of 2022, Pearson Fellow, and co-chair of the International Development Policy Association, is interested in bridging the gap between development economics research and policymaking. He has a rich background in research, consulting, and volunteer teaching in the international development space, and holds a BA in honors international development studies with a minor in economics from McGill University. Read Kashif’s full bio on The Pearson Institute website.

Back to top

Latin America(n) Matters (LAM)

Latin America(n) Matters (LAM) seeks to promote the discussion and better understanding of economic, social, and political issues in Latin American countries through a public policy approach. We host activities and share information on Latin American issues and culture with the University of Chicago community.

Oliver Arroyo Ramón, MPP’17, works at the Special and Border Affairs section of the Mexican Embassy where he oversees the cybersecurity agenda and works as a liaison between the Mexican government and its international counterparts. He also monitors and supports La Comisión Internacional de Límites y Aguas (CILA) with water delivery and environmental issues at the border. Prior to working at the Embassy he was General Director in BIENESTAR (Ministry of Social Development) and Chief of Staff for the Ministry of Labor for the State of Mexico where he represented both secretaries in correspondence with federal agencies, NGOs, and international organizations. Before joining government, Oliver collaborated at different consultancy firms related to governmental affairs, strategic planning, mobility, and infrastructure. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico City.

Sofia Potes, MPP Class of 2022 and president of LAM, is focused on economic and social development issues. She previously worked in Mexico as a Specialist for the Economic Inclusion and Youth Business Development at the United Nations Development Program, Advisor to the Underminister of Planning, Evaluation and Regional Development and Deputy Director of Political and Social Analysis in the Office of the Minister of the Ministry of Social Development. She also worked as a Liaison with Congress in the Directorate of Political Coordination of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, and experience working in civil society organizations and municipal governments. Finally, she is a co-founder of Míticas, an organization that seeks to promote and strengthen the political leadership of women in Mexico. Sofia earned a degree in International Relations from Tec de Monterrey, a master's degree in Human Rights from the Universidad Iberoamericana.

Back to top


OUTpolitik is committed to fostering a community of future policy professionals interested in issues affecting the LGBTQIA community. We strive to make Harris a welcoming and engaging center for LGBTQIA students and the study of LGBTQIA policy.

Patrick Gallagher Landes (He/They/She) , MPP Class of 2023, is Co-President of OUTpolitik, a student board member on the Dean's Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Board at Harris, and a Harris Community Action Fellow. They have worked with arts, tech, and community development organizations. Their policy interests are at the intersections of housing, health, and arts and culture policy.

Back to top

University of Chicago Public Policy Podcasts (UC3P)

University of Chicago Public Policy Podcasts (UC3P) is a student-run podcast network based at Harris that aims to promote public discourse by creating a series of multi-segment, multi-format podcasts that discuss policy issues using an interdisciplinary approach. On UC3P, students share their thoughts and interests in policy in a real-world setting.

Charlie Lowe, MPP Class of 2023 and Co-President of UC3P, is an energetic and collaborative leader with over five years of experience in Project Management and Human Resources roles in both the public and private sectors. 

Audrey Baer, MPP Class of 2023 and Co-President of UC3P is a research assistant for the Metropolitan Planning Council working on equitable financial incentives research. Prior to that, she spent 4 years at J.P. Morgan Chase working in affordable housing investments. 

Sarah Lueling, MPP Class of 2022 and Treasurer of UC3P

Back to top

Urban Policy Student Association (UPSA)

The Urban Policy Student Association (UPSA) is a community of UChicago students interested in the policy decisions, political dynamics, and social issues that shape cities around the world. UPSA aims to help Harris students tap into the unprecedented energy in cities across America. We host creative thinkers in urban policy and innovation, visit leading organizations in Chicago, and offer professional development and networking for Harris students energized by urban policy. 

Emily Rice, MPP Class of 2022, is interested in creating more equitable cities. Prior to Harris, she worked in political fundraising and data for a variety of Chicago-area candidates and organizations. In her free time, she is slowly learning piano and how to enjoy running and will take any chance to visit a museum. 

Erin Yancey, MPP Class of 2022, is interested in sustainable urban development, housing, and food security. She is originally from the St. Louis area but has lived in Chicago for nine years. Prior to coming to Harris, Erin spent nine years working in the communication field at several design agencies. 

Back to top

Women in Public Policy (WiPP)

Women in Public Policy (WiPP) is a Harris Student Organization whose mission is to strengthen the Harris feminist community and foster inclusion and empowerment of gender minorities.

Taylor Ortiz, MPP Class of 2022, was a middle school math teacher in both the Chicago Public Schools and the Archdiocese of Chicago before coming to Harris. Taylor works for State Representative Kelly Cassidy’s district staff as her Constituent Advocate and is interested in pursuing education and social policy after graduation.

Claire Brindley, MPP Class of 2022, is from Minnesota and has a BA in anthropology from UChicago. Prior to Harris, she worked in the nonprofit sector and health care consulting. She is interested in inequality and poverty research, especially as related to the social determinants of health.

Heather Weller, MPP Class of 2022, is originally from a very small town in Minnesota called New York Mills. She found her way to UChicago through Questbridge and then began the five-year joint BA/MPP program. Her BA was also in public policy with a minor in human rights, and she is most interested in social policy, especially disability policy.

Vera Jónsdóttir, MPP Class of 2022, is originally from Iceland—which also happens to be the most gender-equal country in the world. Her background is in political science and international relations. Vera worked for the Icelandic Committee for UN Women, a formative experience learning about inequalities in Icelandic society and abroad. Currently, Vera is an analyst at the Women Business and the Law Division of the World Bank, where she researches legislation on gender issues and equality.

Back to top