Skip to main content
Latest News:

W Booth School Opens Doors for Professional DevelopmentApril 16, 2018

Good things can happen when students seize extracurricular growth opportunities.

This has been the experience of Akosua Pepra, a graduate student studying public policy at the W Booth School of Engineering Practice and Technology, McMaster University.

During the 2017-2018 winter semester, Akosua took part in Mapping the Global Dimensions of Policy. Hosted by the Department of Political Science at McMaster University, this two-day graduate conference explored how global institutions and structures intersect with national and subnational jurisdictions to produce particular policies and outcomes.

She was featured on an interdisciplinary panel devoted to environmental aspects of climate change and moderated by Dr. Robert O’Brien, a professor with the Faculty of Social Sciences, McMaster University. Akosua presented highlights of her draft policy paper that outlines the negative impacts caused by the wide spread availability of single use plastic bags and proposes several policy alternatives to help address this growing challenge.

According to Akosua, the conference provided a public platform to develop as a communicator, contribute to a specialized body of knowledge and benefit from the feedback of professors and peers. “I learned about the need to be more focused in my research and to use scholarly language,” she said, referencing the goal of submitting a refined paper to targeted academic journals.

The draft paper — a product of course work at the W Booth School under the supervision of Dr. Greig Mordue — draws on Akosua’s past role as a regional coordinator of the National Waste Bin Distribution Program in her native Ghana. Hundreds of field personnel enrolled in the country’s National Service Scheme collected data from households on sanitation practices. Results are being used to plan for the developmental needs of the West African nation.

This summer, Akosua will work as a co-op student with the Water Technology Acceleration Project (WaterTAP Ontario), a leading not-for-profit organization committed to making Canada one of three innovation hubs for water technology globally. In addition to diving into various work assignments, Akosua looks forward to completing a policy thesis required for graduation that supports the mandate of WaterTAP.

A special thanks to the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) for connecting our school to WaterTAP Ontario, and to Dr. Gail Krantzberg, Public Policy Professor at the W Booth School, and Dr. Lesley Herstein, Manager of Policy at WaterTAP Ontario, for helping Akosua secure this placement.