2022 PPIA Public Service Weekend: Emerging Public Policy Issues in Texas & the American South

Event Status
2022 PPIA Public Service Weekend at the LBJ School of Public Affairs

The PPIA Public Service Weekend is a three-day conference empowering undergraduate students from historically underrepresented backgrounds to consider graduate degree programs and careers in public service. Its primary goal is to introduce students to topics in the field of public policy through the lens of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion. The Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) is a not-for-profit that has been supporting efforts to increase diversity in public service for more than 40 years.

Program Description

This summer, the LBJ School is excited to welcome 30 rising college sophomores, juniors and seniors from across Texas, the South and the Southwest to learn about emerging public policy issues and solutions for the region that also have national implications.

Throughout the weekend, undergraduate participants will focus on the evolving landscape of voting rights, civil rights, civic engagement, immigration, bipartisanship, and housing and affordability across Texas and the South. Participants will learn from leading policy professionals that range the profession, including distinguished academics, nonprofit professionals, policymakers from the field, and community activists — many of whom are LBJ alumni, professors of the LBJ School or currently affiliated with The University of Texas at Austin.

Benefits to Participants

  • Network with current LBJ students, LBJ alumni, PPIA alumni and other program participants as you consider graduate programs and careers in public service and public policy.
  • Participate in interactive presentations and dialogues that focus on helping the next generation of changemakers bridge the polarization gap, including how to be influential in bipartisan and nonpartisan environments.
  • Your voice is important in creating change! Learn the fundamentals of researching, writing and delivering effective, fact-based oral testimony.

2022 Public Service Weekend Cohort

  • Pedro De Anda Plascencia, University of California, Berkeley
  • Jermaine Turner, University of North Texas
  • Cameron Jackson, Prairie View A&M University
  • Jason Dones, University of California, Berkeley
  • Yufei Qi, Rice University
  • Salomon Campos, University of South Carolina
  • Carlos Repetto-Ayala, University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley
  • Nicolas Solis, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Raghav Aggarwal, University of Texas at Austin
  • Alejandro Izaguirre, St. Edwards University
  • Austin Ezzard, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Ryan Nguyen, University of California, Irvine
  • Nykia Wright, University of Texas at Austin
  • Samra Hafeez, University of Houston
  • Camille Meshack, Howard University
  • Eos Sison, University of Houston
  • Samrah Khan, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Franco Leon, Columbia University
  • Ruben Salazar, University of Houston-Downtown
  • Nicholas Ma, Rice University
  • MyKayla Geary, University of Notre Dame
  • Sejal Gupta, Rice University
  • Chantelle Adams, Prairie View A&M University
  • Dajauneke Minor, University of Houston-Downtown
  • Kennedy VanDeMore, University of Houston
  • Elizabeth Bachman, Trinity University
  • Deniff Lara, University of Texas at San Antonio
  • Kaylen Chase, Santa Clara University
  • Alexandria Perez, Santa Clara University
  • Daniella Acosta, New York University
  • Savant Wuthikah Pun, Centre College
  • Manaal Shaikh, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Jayson Martinez, University of Texas at Austin
  • Sundiata Tellem, University of California, Berkeley
  • Maya Benjamin, Syracuse University
  • John Kirkley, Rollins College
  • Simone Till, University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Isabella Martinez, University of California, Riverside

Programming Schedule


  • Lunch & opening remarks 
    • LBJ School Dean, JR DeShazo
    • NASPAA, Director of Membership Development, David Marshall (LBJ ’00)
    • PPIA, Executive Director, Simone Gbolo
  • Panel: Civic Engagement & Voting Rights
    • Angie Razo, Texas State Director, Mi Familia Vota
    • Juan Cardoza-Oquendo, Director of Public Policy, Houston in Action (LBJ ’18)
    • Brencia Berry, Director of Coalitions & Community Engagement, DNC (LBJ ’16)
    • Moderator: Sareta Davis, Chair, City of Austin Human Rights Commission
  • Panel: Policymaking in a Bipartisan Environment
    • Fedora Galasso, CEO, Texas Network of Youth Services (LBJ ‘12)
    • Rudy Metayer, President & ED, Texas Black Caucus Foundation (LBJ ’16)
    • Jamarr Brown, Co-Executive Director, Texas Democratic Party
    • Moderator: Amy Kroll, ED, LBJ Women’s Campaign School (LBJ ’20)
  • Lecture: Delivering Effective Oral Testimony
    • Sherri Greenberg, LBJ Professor of Practice
  • Dinner with LBJ Students 
  • Movie Night: The Fight (2020)


  • Breakfast Lecture: Race, Democracy & Public Policy
    • Dr. Peniel Joseph, LBJ Associate Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Director of LBJ Center for the Study of Race & Democracy
  • Private Tour of the LBJ Presidential Library & Museum
  • Lunch Panel: Housing & the Affordability Crisis
    • Walter Moreau, Executive Director, Foundation Communities (LBJ ’94)
    • Awais Azhar, City of Austin Planning Commission (LBJ ’16)
    • Pilar Sanchez, County Executive HHS, Travis County (LBJ ‘95 & 15)
    • Moderator: Kendra Garrett, Betco Housing Lab (LBJ ’18)
  • Keynote Lecture: Latino Identity & Border Issues
    • Dr. Sergio Garcia-Rios, LBJ Assistant Professor, Assistant Director, LBJ Center for the Study of Race & Democracy
  • Individual Work: Producing Oral Testimony
  • Networking Dinner & Reception with PPIA & LBJ Alumni
    • Victor Sáenz, Professor, Education, The University of Texas at Austin (LBJ ’99)
    • Barbara Kufiadan, Senior Consulting Analyst at Accenture (LBJ ‘21)
    • Julián Castro, Former Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (Keynote)


  • Breakfast Session: Individuals Deliver Oral Testimony. Featured judges include:
    • Jose “Chito” Vela, City of Austin Councilmember, District 4 (LBJ ‘99)
    • Gene Wu, Texas State Representative, Houston (LBJ ‘04)
    • Sherri Greenberg, LBJ Professor of Practice, Former State Representative
  • Advising Session: Graduate School Admissions with the LBJ Office of Student Affairs & Admissions
  • Lunch Panel: The LBJ Experience with Current Students
  • Closing Remarks


Contact Us: For additional information or questions, please reach out to Estevan Daniel Delgado, Director for Justice, Equity, Diversity & inclusion at the LBJ School.

The LBJ School's 2022 PPIA Public Service Weekend is co-sponsored by the Public Policy & International Affairs Program (PPIA) and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).


Date and Time
July 22 to 24, 2022, 9 to midnight
LBJ School