Our Team

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The YYC Policy blog is an independent think tank based in Calgary, Alberta, and founded in September 2018. Our mandate is to bridge the gap between universities and the public. As current University of Calgary Master of Public Policy candidates, we built this blog to enhance our learning experience and engage in public discourse. We research in the following areas: big data and privacy policy; energy and environment policy; fiscal and economic policy; international policy and trade; and social policy and health. If you have any comments or would like to get involved, we welcome submissions from industry leaders and former MPP graduates.

editorial board

 
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Visit her LinkedIn profile.

sarah hertz – Editor

Sarah Hertz is working towards her MPP at UCalgary's School of Public Policy. Her Capstone project, supervised by Dr Myles Leslie, is a comparative study of Calgary and Detroit that examines whether propping up a single industry will ’save’ a city. She is also working as a Research Assistant for Dr PG Forest, in the School’s new Urban Policy division, and is collaborating on a citizen-led civic engagement project, called Calgary On Purpose. She holds a Master's (MPhil) in Renaissance literature from the University of Cambridge and a BA Honours in English from the University of Calgary.

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Visit his LinkedIn profile.

christian louden – Associate Editor

Christian is an editor and co-founder at YYCPolicy. Prior to starting his grad program in public policy, Christian worked in student affairs at the University of Calgary, coordinating a major academic support program for the Faculty of Science. As an undergrad, Christian studied philosophy and spent his free time working in campus media and as a student representative and research assistant for the Students’ Union. He currently consults as a research associate and policy analyst for the Graduate Students’ Association.

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Visit her Twitter account.

Brooklyn sutton – Associate Editor

Brooklyn is a Masters of Public Policy student in the 2018-2019 cohort. Before joining the MPP, she earned her Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Alberta with a minor in Political Science. During her undergraduate degree, she focused her studies on Canadian politics and public finance. Her current research focuses on reproductive rights for women in Canada and Canadian fiscal policy. When Brooklyn isn’t studying, she can be found at a gymnastics gym, where she is either judging a competition or coaching her athletes.

regular contributors

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Visit her personal website.

Isabelle Puppa

Isabelle is a Master of Public Policy student in the 2018 – 2019 cohort. Before joining the MPP, she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration-Finance from the University of Florida and pursued post-baccalaureate studies in Biomedical Sciences. Isabelle is a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen with a vested interest in the relationship between the two countries. Her current research is on economic regulation, fiscal policy, data privacy rights, disability rights, and corporate governance. When Isabelle is not studying or writing on current affairs, she enjoys watching NHL games, running, cooking, coffee dates with friends, and exploring new corners of the city.

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Visit his Twitter account.

Devin tuttle

Devin is a Master of Public Policy student in the 2018 – 2019 cohort. Before joining the MPP, he earned his Bachelor of Political Science (Honours) from MacEwan University, where he studied the impact of technology on political and economic relationships. His current research deals with the monopolization of data ownership and how this impacts relationships between institutions and actors. He is also working on a project to quantify factors relating to urban growth, and the success and well-being of cities. In his free time, Devin can be found in the gym, watching horror movies, or exploring new restaurants around the city.

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Visit his Twitter account.

frano Ćavar

Frano Cavar is a Masters of Public Policy student in the 2018-2019 cohort. Prior to joining the MPP, he earned a Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario, where he specialized in strategic public opinion and policy analysis. His current research interests include civic affairs and governance. In his professional life, he is the Communications and Policy Liaison to Councillor Jeff Davison of the City of Calgary.

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Visit his Twitter account.

Jairo Yunis

Jairo is a Masters of Public Policy student in the 2018-2019 cohort from Barranquilla, Colombia. He holds a BS in Political Science and International Relations from Universidad Javeriana in Bogota. During school, he worked as an intern for a strategic communication consulting firm in Bogota. Following graduation, he was employed with the Secretary of Economic Development for the City of Barranquilla, where he worked for nearly three years on competitiveness and economic development issues. Jairo has supervised business-strengthening programs, the creation of economic clusters, and investment climate strategies to improve the World Bank's Doing Business ranking. His pastimes include soccer, listening to salsa, rock (old and new), electronic and indie music, reading, and watching films.

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Visit her Twitter account.

brianna solberg

Brianna is originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, however, she has lived in Calgary for the past five years. She earned an Honours degree in Development Studies from the University of Calgary, while playing for the University’s varsity volleyball team. Throughout her undergraduate program, she focused primarily on the development of sustainable, participatory social policy. This led her to pursue a Master of Public Policy degree in social and health policy. Her research focuses on Canada's marginalized and vulnerable populations, and the structural barriers that impede their access to social assistance programs. Brianna currently works as a program lead for the Autism and Aspergers Friendship Society, leading inclusive strength training activities for groups of 10-20 children and adults on the Autism Spectrum. She also volunteers with The Mustard Seed, handing out breakfast to shelter guests.

Shamus Hardie

shamus hardie

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Visit her LinkedIn profile.

ai-men lau

Ai-Men is a Masters of Public Policy student in the 2018-2019 cohort. Before joining the MPP, she earned a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Alberta. Ai-Men is a disability rights advocate with a vested interest in inclusion and accessibility policies. She has a personal connection with autism spectrum disorder and has over seven years of professional experience supporting individuals with autism. During her free time, Ai-Men enjoys listening to podcasts, reading, cooking and drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee.

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Visit his LinkedIn profile.

tom lange

Tom is a Masters of Public Policy student in the 2018-2019 cohort. Before joining the MPP, he completed a Bachelor of Science in medical microbiology and minored in political science at the University of British Columbia. During his undergraduate degree, Tom worked as a researcher for UBC, contributing to the school’s strategy on suicide prevention and the UBC Cannabis Policy Framework Report. He currently works as a Graduate Research Assistant for The School of Public Policy, examining policy impact of quality-adjusted life-years in healthcare decision-making. His current research focuses on sustainable pharmacare expansion and patient access to treatment innovation. In his off-hours, Tom is either snowboarding or playing Lego with his niece and nephew.

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riley kendrick

Riley is originally from the Greater Toronto Area, but has lived in Alberta for the past 6 years.  He attended the University of Alberta, where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specializing in business economics and law.  He then attended the University of Calgary, graduating with a Master of Public Policy degree in 2018. His graduate research focused on NATO’s enlargement policy, Canada’s stance on the policy, and the overall impact the policy has had on NATO-Russian relations.  Outside of global affairs, Riley enjoys following the NFL, English Football, and playing with his son.