It is my pleasure to present the Public Policy Center's Annual Report for academic year 2019-2020. It's been an extraordinary year in many ways. The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the way we work and I have been overwhelmingly pleased with the way the Public Policy Center (PPC) has risen to this challenge. Not only have our researchers and staff effectively adapted our work environments to stay productive, but many have pivoted or broadened their scope of work to include important research related to the implications of the pandemic.
Equally important, the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the shooting of Jacob Blake have raised our collective consciousness about the systemic racial injustices that have significant policy implications across all program areas at the center. Equity and inclusion have been at the heart of the research conducted at the PPC; however, we know there is more we all need to do. We are committed to using AY 2021 as an opportunity to increase the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion activities at the PPC and strive to move forward to improve racial justice, particularly in issues of importance to the black community.
In fulfilling our campus-wide mission, we had the pleasure of collaborating with colleagues in over 50 units on campus this year. These collaborations involved the conduct of interdisciplinary research; the sharing of research through engagement activities; and grant development, data collection and methods workshops through our Iowa Social Science Research Center.
The academic rigor of our policy research programs was again evident with the many publications in top journals, including Health Affairs, Military Medicine, Journal of Health Economics, International Studies Review, Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, Journal of Safety Research, and many more.
Of particular note, we broadened our research programs to include the Media, Policy and Public Opinion Research program (MPPO) this past year, led by Professor Kajsa Dalrymple from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The primary mission of the MPPO is to conduct research on media policy and the implications of media coverage and public opinion of policy issues.
Our ongoing efforts to find ways to engage more students in meaningful, policy-related, experiential learning opportunities have not only continued, but are expanding in coordination with the University's Path Forward Strategic Plan implementation. Students want to change the world, and we are creating opportunities for career and life discernment. This year we incorporated the Life Design class for undergraduates into the PPC, supporting David Gould's efforts to help students discover the interests to which they are innately drawn and inspire them to achieve. Another example is the establishment of the Iowa Political Opinions Lab (IPOL), by Kajsa Dalrymple and Fred Boehmke, Professor of Political Science and Director of the PPC's Iowa Social Science Research Center (ISRC), to engage a team of undergraduates in public opinion survey research and policy assessment.
Speaking of the ISRC, they supported a record number of grant applications in AY 20 (84 proposals) and conducted research-related data collection activities for units across campus. Our commitment to supporting social science research as part of the OVPR is a key part of our mission.
To fulfill our community engagement mission, the PPC hosted events ranging from lectures, to symposiums, panel discussions, and a podcast on race in society in partnership with WNYC: The United States of Anxiety. The PPC co-sponsored numerous events with other campus colleagues, including Stacey Abrams' visit and the Legatum Institute's United States Prosperity Index webinar.
To help us self-reflect, the Public Policy Center engaged students from Tippie's Marketing Institute to help evaluate how we can better share our research and services with the university community. The PPC has launched several initiatives based on their recommendations after a year-long review.
I feel privileged to lead the center's dedicated staff and faculty and am grateful for the hard work and creativity that leads to our success in generating new knowledge and sharing it with the campus and beyond. On behalf of all of us, thank you for your support, and we look forward to working with you in 2020-2021.