We seek to enhance the student experience in a variety of ways. Our remit covers connecting current students with alumni, developing students’ career potential, engaging the student body in the local community, raising funds for charity, coordinating social activities and organising a formal Ball at the end of the Lent term.
To give a flavour of what we do, some of our recent events have included day trips to Canterbury and Windsor, working lunches with employers, sector specific alumni networking nights and hikes in the countryside, to name a few.
Every year APPS selects a charity to support. This year we are partnering with Time and Talents, a London based charity set up over 100 years ago by a group of women who wanted to share their ‘time and talents’ with the local community. We are fundraising throughout the year and many students are giving their time via volunteering opportunities. In addition a team of students is working on a data analysis project so the charity can better target their programmes in the community.
The student association also publishes an academic journal, The Public Sphere, providing analytical coverage of current public policy debates.
Moreover, APPS fosters links and togetherness between the School of Public Policy's community past, present and future.
Meet the APPS Executive Committee
Justinian Yi is a Second-Year MPA student. Born and raised in the United States by immigrant parents from South Korea, he and his family have lived in several US states and received his education exclusively from public schools. Before entering the MPA, Justinian attended Penn State University and graduated in 2019 with two Bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Communications.
His work experience includes serving as a policy researcher and intern for the United States House of Representatives, as a policy intern in a renewable energy non-profit in Washington DC, and as the Field Director and staff in several political campaigns in Virginia. Justinian is thankful to have earned his opportunities without relying on elite connections or family privilege, and he strongly values inclusion, peer-to-peer encouragement, and long-term networking between students who are new to the Public Policy discipline or are aspiring professionals with limited working experience.
As President, Justinian has the responsibility to secure the resources and support for the entire APPS committee’s agenda, organise regular committee meetings, and liaise with the SPP staff on behalf of APPS.
Also, as President, Justinian plans to host student-centered public policy skills seminars in areas such as public speaking and campaigning, as well as assist with the SPP’s own professional skills training sessions throughout the year. In his free time, Justinian enjoys meeting with friends, exploring new landscapes and nature around the world, and fixing classic cars. Upon finishing the MPA, Justinian hopes to attend Law School in the US and become a politician representing his home state of Arizona.
Dení Pörtl Ramos
Dení holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de Mexico (ITAM). During her time at university, she worked as a Research Assistant in projects related to health and education in women and children in Mexico.
After finishing her undergraduate degree, she worked in the Mexican government at the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL), creating methodologies to evaluate the performance of federal resources transferred to local governments.
In 2017, she took a gap year and went to live in Freiburg, Germany. She then went back to Mexico and, prior to joining the MPA program at LSE, worked as an independent consultant, engaging in projects related to accountability and social security for the Mexican government and international organizations.
Portia is a second-year LSE MPA student with a strong interest in alleviating inequality due to a background in volunteer work. Having worked closely with both well-off and underprivileged children, she observed first-hand the differences that parental income had on the resources available to them and the subsequent social consequences and hopes to find a way to level the playing ground. Prior to LSE, Portia obtained a degree in Psychology and worked in market research.
Sandra Barletti Salas
Sandra is a second-year LSE MPA student, passionate about the improvement in the provision of public services, especially infrastructure and education, through effective policies focused on reducing gaps and inequality.
She is from Peru and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidad del Pacifico and a Diploma in Public Administration and Management from the Universidad de Piura. Parallel to her studies, she worked for CAPA Peru, an NGO focused on the implementation of sustainable projects in the Peruvian Amazon.
Prior to LSE, she worked for four years for key entities of the Peruvian Government -including the Ministry of Economics and Finance, Primer Minister’s Office and Ministry of Education - to unlock and promote investment by the mechanisms of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and public procurement. Also, she has worked for 5 years as teaching assistant in the Universidad del Pacifico, in design and social evaluation of projects and macroeconomics. In 2018 she presented a research proposal about PPP at the “Annual Conference of the Latin American and Iberian Association of Law and Economics” in Paraguay.
Pankhuri believes that access to quality education should never be down to the good fortune of the place or family one is born into. As a second year MPA student, she intends to employ her knowledge and skills of public policy to overcome educational inequity. She is from India and holds a bachelor’s degree in Management.
Before joining the School of Public Policy at LSE, she was part of Teach For India’s leadership movement and worked with a high-needs school in Mumbai. She taught primary school children for two years and realised that her passion lies in making quality education accessible to all children. Post her teaching fellowship, she joined the school staff and led a school transformation project for another two years. As part of her school transformation project, she visited exceptional schools across the US, UK and Thailand to learn best practices.
Her experience across these schools and communities made her aware of the deep educational and social inequity that her country and communities across the world need to fight. During her time at LSE she aims to upskill herself on the nuances of effective policy making and driving change on-ground. As a Careers and Alumni Secretary, she intends to support the SPP in strengthening networking and career opportunities amongst SPP students and alumni.
Domenica Avila Luna
Domenica is an Ecuadorian political activist and economist. As a Political University Leader, she has been in charge of several projects to improve students´ learning conditions in public universities. She also researched the pertinence of the Ecuadorian admission system for higher education and studied the determinants of academic performance and university dropout to design strategies for intervention. She also has researched fields of Economic Development, well-being, and physical activity and dietary intake in scholars from urban and rural areas in Ecuador.
Domenica also has experience in Strategic Planning in the Higher Education sector, designing guidelines and systems to promote institutional development projects. On her volunteer work, she has been active for seven years, supporting children and teenagers from vulnerable backgrounds. She is also a founder member of Va pa´lante, a volunteering community that works with Venezuelan immigrants in Ecuador to foster social and labor inclusion.
She is also part of Project Access for Rwanda refugees, an initiative aims to break down barriers into higher education. Currently, she is an MPA candidate where she wants to learn how to promote knowledge transfer from academy to politics and public service as a driver for sustainable development while tackling inequality issues.
Gisele is a second-year LSE MPA student. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Universidad del Pacifico (Peru) and a Diploma in Public Administration from the Universidad de Piura (Peru). She studied for a semester at the University of Economics and Business in Vienna (Austria) for her university exchange.
Gisele was Senior Analyst and Partner at Videnza Consultores, a consulting firm specialized in designing and evaluating public policies. The projects she oversaw were related to education, health, corporate responsibility and development. Gisele also performed as President and Fundraising Director of CAPA Peru, a non-profit organization which implements sustainable projects in remote communities of the Peruvian Amazon. She is a Fellow in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) Program of the U.S. Department of State.
Victoria Suárez Rubio
Victoria studied Law and Business Management as her bachelor’s degree. Before finishing her programme, she became a founding partner of TRIVU, an organization that still operates in Spain to help students and companies to adapt to the new, yet changing, labour landscape.
In the meantime, she also led the edification of a civic center in Mathare Slum, Kenya, in collaboration with a local NGO, “Community Transformers”. With the latter, she also organized a business competition among public schools in the area, teaching students entrepreneurial and innovation skills. Finally, before joining the MPA program at LSE, she spent a few months at the US House of Representatives working with Rep. Adriano Espaillat.