Realistic Solutions

Laditka Scholar Connor Muldoon connects to policy studies.

 By Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers

Connor Muldoon in Maxwell Auditorium, with Introduction to Public Policy Analysis, taught by Bill Coplin.

Connor Muldoon first came to Maxwell as one of the dozens of high school seniors taking part in the School’s annual policy-writing competition. That experience cemented his desire to pursue a policy studies degree at Maxwell and work with the program’s guru, Professor Bill Coplin.

For Muldoon, now a freshman, the policy studies program is particularly attractive because of its emphasis on experiential learning. “Actually getting your hands dirty is a lot more productive in my opinion than taking notes in a classroom,” says Muldoon, who plans to add a management minor to his degree.

Another factor in bringing Muldoon to Maxwell was a scholarship from the Laditka Fund, established in 2017 by Sarah ’94 MA (Econ)/’95 PhD (PA) and Jim Laditka ’98 MPA/’02 PhD (PA) to support undergraduates in the social sciences. “Without the Laditka Fund scholarship and the other financial aid I was awarded,” says Muldoon, “I definitely couldn’t have come here.”

Muldoon is looking into internship and community service opportunities while studying poverty issues in Camden, New Jersey, near where he grew up. Encouraged by his first courses in policy studies, he’s focused on making an impact. “Coplin makes sure you know what is a realistic problem that you can actually fix in your lifetime,” Muldoon says, “so you can keep your eye on the ball.”

This article appeared in the winter 2019 print edition of Maxwell Perspective © Maxwell School of Syracuse University. To request a copy, e-mail