Bloustein Public Service Association Celebrates 10 Years of Civic Engagement, Community Service

November 7, 2016

(this article originally appeared in New Brunswick Today on Sunday, November 6)

by Brett Harris

The Bloustein Public Service Association (BPSA) celebrated their 10-year anniversary with a networking event that brought together students, professors and alumni on October 28.

Along with the student organization’s 10-year anniversary, the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy is celebrating its 25-year anniversary, while the University is celebrating their 250th.

The Bloustein School and BPSA seeks to perpetuate Edward J. Bloustein’s legacy and honor the former Rutgers Univerity President through research, teaching, and outreach in an environment that is rooted in diversity of experience and thought.

The Bloustein School, and its students, try to live up to the ideals of “civic engagement” by striving to improve the quality of public discourse and producing ideas and measures that have impact.

The BPSA was established during the fall 2006 semester, and it currently provides opportunities for networking, as well as participation in a variety of community service activities.

Jasmine Bynes, BPSA’s President, organized the networking event along with her team.

Her plan for the organization is to “bring professional and educational services to students interested in planning, public health, health administration, and public policy.”

One of BPSA’s first programs for the semester was a design “charrette” which showed future planners the importance of community engagement during the design process.

BPSA’s mission is to provide a network for students interested in public service initiatives, career networking, professional development, and professional socialization.

The organization works with various institutions which often involve local government, community-based and non-profit organizations in areas of interest that include community development, health, housing and transportation.

Members of the organization can benefit from participating in BPSA by gaining access to academic and career development activities, as well as mentoring and networking opportunities.

In the past, BPSA has worked with Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and other local organizations.

Although many of the students interested in this organization are enrolled as students at the Bloustein School, the organization is open to all Rutgers undergraduate students.

Duha Magzoub, a past Vice President of BPSA, was among the Rutgers alumni attending the celebration, and said it was great to see the networking event.

“It provides professional development and socialization among bloustein students and professors. I really enjoyed engaging with future planners, administrators and public health agents while also speaking about my experience as a public health major with underclassmen.”

In 2017, BPSA plans to facilitate urban design, public health, and public policy centered professional development workshops.

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