As we always like to stress to prospective students here in the Admission Office, one of the most valuable resources available at Valpo is the relationship between professors and students. From small class sizes to a faculty devoted to helping students succeed, Valpo is set apart by our dedicated professors. Just ask 2004 graduate Robb Kolstad. Through the help of Political Science Professor Richard Balkema, Robb was introduced to the field of public administration leading him to continue his studies at graduate school and eventually find an exciting career in local government management.
After graduating from VU with degrees in Political Science and Spanish, Robb began work on a Master of Public Administration at Indiana University – Bloomington School of Public and Environmental Affairs. By concentrating in public finance and local government management, Robb prepared himself for a career in that field. In addition to coursework, Robb landed an internship with the City of Cincinnati City Manager 's Office, worked as a teaching assistant, and even found time to play club rugby.
Following his time at IU, Robb is now living in Missouri working a yearlong postgraduate fellowship with the City of Kansas City . As a Cookingham Management Fellow, Robb works for the City Manager and will rotate through four city departments including the City Manager's Office, Capital Improvement Management Office, Management and Budget Office, and Finance Office. Currently, he is participating in a Municipal Court process improvement team, staffing an economic development policy task force, and leading a project team charged with developing a comprehensive graffiti abatement program.
Looking back on his days at Valpo, this VAN member says his favorite memories are the friendships he's made. From weddings in Chicago to trips to Indiana , wherever he goes he knows there'll be opportunities to visit with old Valpo friends. Along with the great professors, it is these friendships that truly helped create the “Valpo Experience”—an experience which not only keeps alumni linked to the University but also helps recruit new students to Valpo every year.