Falon Weidman is a Governance and International Public Management major in GSPIA's Master of Public Administration degree program. A native of St. Clairsville, Ohio, she is a graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, West Virginia. Her studies focus on program design and evaluation, and she is especially interested in developing opportunities for refugee populations and solutions to rural development issues.  

At GSPIA, she leads Dr. Marolda’s working group on irregular migration in the Mediterranean Sea. She also works with the Grief to Action working group initiated by Dr. Linardi on a project to promote Black-owned businesses around the City of Pittsburgh and writes for Dr. Weber’s energy and environment blog. 

Below you'll find a virtual question-and-answer session we had with Falon about her experience at GSPIA. 


Q: Why did you choose your program or major at GSPIA?

A: I chose my program and major because I wanted to gain some of the more practical and technical skills offered in the MPA program, while still getting some international focus through the GIPM major. Since I am open to working domestically or abroad, I appreciate the flexibility that my GSPIA degree will give me.


Q: What has been your favorite experience in Pittsburgh – both personally and professionally?

A: One of my favorite experiences since I moved here was working at the main branch of the Carnegie Library as a library assistant. I am a book and history nerd, so it was so much fun getting to explore the secret nooks and crannies of the library and museums (they are connected!). I have also enjoyed biking around the city and going urban hiking.

Professionally, my favorite experience has been being a part of GSPIA’s Leadership Portfolio Program where I have had the opportunity to develop my leadership skills through seminars, mentorship, and non-profit board membership. 


Q: Why GSPIA? 

A: I chose GSPIA because the school really stresses the concept of “local to global.” After college, I spent a year working in the Federated States of Micronesia and could not help but notice the parallels between issues there and my native Appalachia. GSPIA has allowed me to investigate these connections and explore my varying interests while giving me the skills to make a meaningful impact wherever I work. Also, I learned that I really enjoy statistics!