Get Involved

SPEA Alumni Leadership Network- Get involved today!

Every day, SPEA students enter the classroom eager to absorb methods, data, and theories while finding direction in their lives. They graduate from SPEA ready to make a difference, and want to give back to the School in meaningful ways. In consultation with our alumni, the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at SPEA has developed the new Alumni Leadership Network (ALN) through which graduates are able to use their talents, perspectives, and connections to benefit current students. More than 100 SPEA alumni are active ALN participants, but we want to get more alumni involved to serve our growing student and alumni populations.

Below you will find four main ways that we ask alumni to participate, but we are able to work with interested SPEA grads on other projects of interest as well. Below you will hear about the ways our alumni choose to engage, and some of their reasons for supporting the School.

To join the Alumni Leadership Network, contact Alison Polley, director of alumni relations and advancement, at or (812) 855-7781.

  • Recruitment Ambassador

    Part of what makes SPEA special is our ability to attract top talent to our programs. Recruitment ambassadors serve the School by attending Preview Day for undergraduate students or Experience Day for graduate students as alumni panelists, chatting with prospective students on the phone about the power of a SPEA degree, and providing alumni features in recruitment materials.

    Amishi KumarAmishi Kumar
    Dual Degree, MSES/MS Geology ’15
    Science and Technology Policy Fellow
    U.S. Department of Energy
          “I am passionate about providing clean and reliable energy to our global society through sustainable methods. By applying both my multidisciplinary SPEA education and past related industry knowledge, I hope to make a difference.”

    Noelle GipsonNoelle Gipson
    BSPA’16, Public and Nonprofit Management
    Contract Compliance Analyst – Financial Audit Team
    Indiana Department of Child Services
          “I know first hand what the SPEA experience can do for students and helping with recruitment is just one way I can pay back IU and SPEA for helping me become the leader I am today. It is my hope that my experiences can help our world’s next leaders choose wisely by choosing SPEA.”

  • Career Advisor

    When you think back to college or graduate school, did you feel secure in where you were going next? Career advisors in the ALN provide current students and fellow alumni with career advice during roundtables and career panels at Career Networking and Exploration Trips as well as over the phone or Skype through informal conversations. We share career advisors’ names and employment information with students through the Career Development Office and facilitate student to alumni introductions.

    Katherine GenslerKatherine Gensler
    MPA’02, Policy Analysis and Public Financial Administration
    Director of Government Affairs
    Solar Energy Industries Association
          Katherine has been mentoring SPEA students for five years and served as a roundtable participant at the annual Washington, D.C., Career Networking and Exploration Trip. Her dedication to students has been invaluable in their career advancement!

    John CostenbaderJohn Costenbader
    MPA’03, Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management
    Senior Development Specialist, Climate Change and Natural Resource Management
          Costenbader provides informational interviews for current students interested in careers in consulting, international development, and climate change. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Mali’s remote Dogon Plateau region, John has since worked to develop solutions to climate mitigation and adaptation, natural resource, and clean energy issues in Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific.

    Yecenia TostadoYecenia Tostado
    MPA’16, Policy Analysis, Urban Sustainability, IUPUI
    Senior Program Director
    Indiana Latino Institute
          Yecenia graciously appears on alumni panels for SPEA, sharing career advice and information on her work in health and education programming as well as advocacy and research at the Indiana Latino Institute.
          “It’s important for me to give back to SPEA because my experience as a graduate student provided me with an opportunity to build my knowledge and skills and grow as a professional. I had a number of professors and classmates who enriched my experience. I also really appreciated the opportunity to network with professionals as a student.”

  • Event Planners

    The SPEA Alumni Relations team plans alumni programming nationally, including in cities such as Indianapolis; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; New York; Seattle; and Denver. We need event planners’ help on the ground to identify venues of interest, attract speakers, and promote alumni attendance.

    Lisa StreisfeldLisa Streisfeld
    Division of Transportation Systems Management and Operations
    Colorado Department of Transportation
          Lisa helped plan the June 2017 Denver alumni gathering, with expertise only a SPEA alumna could provide! “By both investing and providing resources to SPEA, we will prepare students to become thoughtful and skilled leaders of the future.”

    Michael WurzbacherMichael Wurzbacher
    Operations Account Manager
          Michael identifies venues of interest in Washington, D.C., for smaller, concentration-specific alumni events. “The SPEA alumni network is an inspiring community filled with individuals making incredible impacts in their fields and the world. I’m thrilled to ensure there is quality programming for the incredible number of SPEA alumni in the Washington, D.C., area. SPEA alumni programming is vital for us to continue to connect and learn from like-minded individuals.”

    Rusty CarrRusty Carr
    MPA’14, Policy Analysis, IUPUI
    City of Indianapolis – Department of Metropolitan Development
          Rusty helps plan targeted programming in Indianapolis for the more than 8,000 SPEA alumni in the area.

  • Organization Lead

    SPEA alumni can be key points of contact at nonprofit, public, and private sector employers. Organization leads serve as connections to the School for employers with three or more SPEA alumni. They share job and internship opportunities, maintain updated contact information for SPEA alumni at their organization, host site visits for current students or networking events, and raise awareness of matching gift opportunities when available.

    Alicia Antonetti-TrickerAlicia Antonetti-Tricker
    Government Consulting Principal
    Crowe Horwath LLP
          Alicia hosts current SPEA students at the downtown Indianapolis Crowe Horwath office so they may learn more about consulting.

    Kristiana MooreKristiana Moore
    Homeland Security and Justice Analyst
    U.S. Government Accountability Office
          Kristiana helps facilitate the SPEA site visit to GAO every January in Washington, D.C. 
          “It’s rewarding to be part of an inspiring community filled with dynamic and passionate individuals making incredible contributions to the world through sound policy analysis and as advocates of social change. I’m happy to help other SPEA alumni and students in their job search as so many helped me with mine; I am keeping my promise to one of those SPEA alumni by paying it forward.”