Loyola University Chicago

Masters of Urban Affairs and Public Policy


Practitioner Series

The Graduate Program in Urban Affairs and Public Policy invites all Loyola University students, faculty, and staff to its Practitioner Speaker Series for the Spring 2020 semester. We have invited distinguished public policy practitioners to speak with students about their organizations and the current issues they face, their own career paths, internship and job prospects, and qualities that they look for when hiring. Pizza will be provided for these events, which are free to attend and typically meet for about an hour in the Corboy Law Center.

Check out the Spring 2020 Practioner Lectures Series Schedule for more details and to learn about this year's speakers.


March 9th:

Jeff Garceau is a Policy Analyst at the City of Chicago in the Office of Emergency Management and Communications. Starting during his graduate studies at Loyola, he worked as the research coordinator and editor at MuniNet, a content provider on state and municipal government fiscal issues. Jeff has an MPP (2017) degree from Loyola University Chicago and a BA in History from Central Michigan University.

Danish Murtaza is Director of Policy in the Office of the City Clerk in Chicago. He has worked on the fee/fine forgiveness program that the City Clerk rolled out last year to promote greater equity in enforcement of the city wheel tax. He previously served as a Policy Associate for the Better Government Association. He completed his BA in political science from Loyola University Chicago and a Masters of Public Policy & Administration from Northwestern University.


March 23rd:

Benjamin Davidson is a Projects Administrator for Public/Private Partnerships in the City of Chicago. He started with the City of Chicago as a Senior Budget Analyst and previously worked as the Economic Development Coordinator for the Borough of Etna, PA. He received his Master's of Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University in 2015 and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Communications from Syracuse University.


March 30th:

Jade Dill is a Budget and Grants Analyst for the Chicago Public Schools. She has worked on education and financial issues throughout most of her career. In Texas, she was a School Performance Review Analyst for the Legislative Budget Board. Later through the Urban Leaders Fellowship in Dallas, she worked with a school board trustee on the problems of affordable housing and declining school enrollments in the Dallas Independent School District. She has a Masters of Public Policy from Loyola University Chicago and a BA in Psychology from Hampton University.


April 13th:


Catherine Turco (MPP, 2013) is a General Manager at Kivvit, a private firm offering public affairs strategic consulting and other public relations services. Over five years with the company, she has moved from Senior Associate to Principal, and now General Manager. She has managed a portfolio of clients across a range of industries, including education, land use and economic development, healthcare, technology, and energy. Prior to Kivvit, she worked as an Assistant Press Secretary in Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s administration. She started as a Press Aide in the Mayor’s office while a student in the MPP program at Loyola. She also has a BA in Political Science and Theater from Miami University in Ohio.

Caitlin McElroy (MPP, 2013) is the Legislative Director for Cook County Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison in the 15th District. She has moved between government positions and nonprofit organizations across her career. Previously, she was Manager of Government Relations at the Shedd Aquarium, Director of Community Affairs for Chicago Alderman James Cappleman, and a Program Associate at the Concussion Legacy Foundation. An MPP graduate from Loyola University Chicago, she also has a BA degree in Education from DePaul University.

Alexis (Lexi) Silvers (MPP, 2013) has worked extensively in the fund-raising realm. Currently, she is Manager of Individual Giving at Keshet, an organization that a focuses on programming for individuals with special needs. She has also been Finance Director for various political candidates in Indiana, working for Donnelly for Indiana (U.S. Senator) and Indiana Senate Democrats (13 state senate candidates). On her return to Chicago, Lexi worked ad Director of Community Affairs for Alderman Cappleman. She graduated with a BA in Sociology and Political Science from Augustana College, and has an MPP degree from Loyola University Chicago.