MPA Student News

Cal State LA MPA students are active in their fields and in the broader community. Recent accomplishments, contributions and activities of Cal State LA MPA students can be found here.


Six current and former Cal State LA MPA students participated in a 3-week study abroad course on Art in Public Spaces led by Cal State LA MPA lecturer Thomas Lynch across Italy, France, Spain and Monaco this summer. The course examined the process of promoting, creating, delivering and supporting public art in Western European cities that represent significant, long-term commitments to initiate, preserve and enhance public art. Accompanied by Cal State LA MPA Assistant Professor Dr. Jessica DeShazo and international artists John Fisher and Sandy Oppenheimer, students interacted with community leaders, sponsors, museums, galleries, artists and local experts in the field of public art who collectively contribute to compose and produce art reflecting the cultural values and history of their communities. The course culminated in the development of public art strategies for Los Angeles County communities that describe, communicate and demonstrate the importance of public art, which were presented and shared with elected and appointed officials within Los Angeles cities and county. 

Public Art Team Photo 3
Public Art Team Photo 1
Public Art Team Photo 2


In the Fall 2017 elective MPA course POLS 5840 Issues in the Metropolitan Area, eight MPA students in partnership with Master of Public Policy students at Pepperdine University served as consultants to four Southern California cities--the City of Glendale, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Paramount and the City of Santa Monica--on a diverse array of issues identified by the client cities. Under the guidance of lecturer Thomas Lynch, students conducted research on their client issue, and developed creative and innovative recommendations to address the problem. Information on the projects, and links to student presentations and client letters of appreciation can be found below.

CSULA MPA students Luis Orendain and Edward Padilla completed research and analysis on three projects for the City of Glendale's Dept. of Innovation, Performance, and Audit. Projects included analyzing "super users" of the city's 911 service, researching the establishment and operation of audit committees in 10 municipalities, and compiling research on fire prevention strategies from 12 municipalities. 

City of Glendale Student Presentation
City of Glendale Appreciation Letter

City of Glendale Team Members
Cal State LA MPA students Luis Orendain (far left) and Edward Padilla (far right)

Cal State LA MPA students Susana Lopez and Peter Miranda analyzed and provided recommendations to the City of Los Angeles' Information Technology Agency regarding potential job re-classifications for five ITA positions based on market research in the public and private sectors. 
Team Members Gaby Andrews, Susana Lopez, Peter Miranda and Zack Decker
Cal State LA MPA students Susana Lopez (far left) and Peter Miranda (third from left) 

Cal State LA MPA student Erika Estrada conducted research for the City of Paramount's Public Safety Department on homeowners associations in the city and the role they play in addressing community concerns with the goal of creating a resource guide for Paramount residents that informs them whom to contact to address community concerns. Cal State LA MPA student Belinda Martinez worked with the City of Paramount's Public Information Officer and City Manager to provide creative ideas to raise awareness of the city's new "Shop Local - Spend in Paramount" campaign. 

City of Paramount HOA Student Presentation 
City of Paramount Shop Local Student Presentation

Team Paramount Photo
Cal State LA MPA student Erika Estrada (left)
Team Paramount Shop Local Photo
Cal State LA MPA student Belinda Martinez (second from left)

Cal State LA MPA students Jose Chavez and Ivett Zazueta examined ridership and safety concerns regarding the City of Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus public transit system by analyzing data collected by the city and conducting a literature review of industry best practices with the goal of identifying successful strategies to address ridership and safety concerns. 

City of Santa Monica Big Blue Bus Student Presentation
City of Santa Monica Appreciation Letter

Team Santa Monica Photo
Cal State LA MPA students Jose Chavez (second from left) and Ivett Zazueta (second from right)