Embodying engagement and leadership

Alan Roy

U of M graduate student Alan Roy already has about five resumes’ worth of accomplishments. And to think … he’s just getting started.

Meanwhile, the honors keep coming. This spring Roy was awarded the 2017 Mary A. McEvoy Award for Public Engagement and Leadership—open only to students who also earned the President’s Student Leadership and Service Award. And the master of public affairs (MPA) candidate recently earned the Best MPA Paper Award from the Humphrey School, as well as the Integrative Leadership Case Award from Center for Integrative Leadership.

Roy, 33, is a member of the White Earth Band of Chippewa, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, a husband, and a father of two, and he shows no signs of slowing down. Prior to enrolling in the MPA program, Roy earned three degrees at the U of M—in political science, journalism (strategic communications), and American Indian Studies—with a minor in sociology for good measure.

He has also deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009 with the 1st Cavalry Division, and worked for the state on behalf of Indian Affairs, even helping White Earth secure $6 million to address economic disparities in the region.

That latter accomplishment was tied to his action-learning project in the MPA program. “I was adopting concepts that were being taught by the Humphrey School,” Roy says. “The strategic communications really laid the foundation for PR work … and this really dovetailed into what the Humphrey School was teaching.”

Down the road, he plans to do more work in Indian affairs to help address high rates of poverty, homelessness, and unemployment.

Says Roy: “I want to make things better for all of Minnesota but especially tribal communities, because they suffer from the highest levels of social, economic, and health disparities in the state.”

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities