Welcome to Advising for the Public Policy Major

Public policy is a unique major, but it also has elements of the three other SPP programs: economics, political science, and sociology.  Governmental structures frequently need to pass and apply policy changes (political science).  Funding for policy programs is limited (economics).  Individuals and society as a whole must accept new policies as legitimate for programs to be effective (sociology).      

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the degree, you can choose to meet with any of our three SPP advisors.  We suggest you choose the one whose program most overlaps with your own public policy focus and interests.

The three advisors are Andrew Edwards (political science), Jennifer Edwards (sociology), and Laura Relyea (economics).  Please use the “Book Now” link next to your chosen advisor.  Also, before booking, please review the advising expectations and tips listed at the bottom of the page.

We look forward to speaking with you!


Political Science – Andrew Edwards            

418B Bexell Hall
E-mail: andrew.edwards@oregonstate.edu

Book Now



Andy Edwards is unsure of where his hometown really is; he needs his own concert t-shirt.  He grew up in North Carolina, attended high school in Connecticut, and has lived in Arizona, Texas, Illinois, Tennessee, Indiana, Germany, and Oregon.  He has bachelor’s degrees in history and political science from Northwestern and master’s degrees in College Administration from Indiana and Sociology from Oregon (boo, hiss!).  Although he tries to suppress his inner geek, it does take over when discussing Lord of the Rings and the Muppets.  He has been an academic advisor for multiple majors at various universities for over twenty years.


Jennifer Edwards, MA, GCDFSociology – Jennifer Edwards

418C Bexell Hall

Email: jen.edwards@oregonstate.edu



Jen Edwards was born and raised in the Southwest (New Mexico and Arizona), but loves living in the soggy Pacific Northwest.  Jen taught high school theatre, history, and English for ten years before discovering the career of academic advising.  She has been an academic and career advisor for over 14 years, and is passionate about helping students learn the value of earning a liberal arts degree and being able to promote these skills to meet their academic, career, and life goals.  Her favorite quote is from Thoreau, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” Jen has an undergraduate degree in theatre from Northern Arizona University, a master's in theatre directing from Roosevelt University, and graduate certificates in education from the University of Adelaide, Australia, and academic advising from Kansas State University.  When not traveling with her husband, she loves cuddling with her rescue cat or going hiking or mushrooming with her rescue dog.


Laura's picture

Economics – Laura Relyea 

418E Bexell Hall

Email: laura.relyea@oregonstate.edu



Laura Relyea has worked in higher education for over 25 years, with previous experience in Office of the Registrar at another university, and Office of Admissions plus other academic departments at OSU. She brings her passion of motivating others to be their best into her academic advising, loves helping students develop degree plans in line with career goals and establishing plans to achieve them. With a degree in Music Education and a Certificate in The Leadership Program for Musicians, Laura has taught public school, private piano and voice lessons, directed choirs for all ages, and still serves as a church musician. Born and raised in Wisconsin and a self-proclaimed Cheesehead, when not assisting or advocating for students you’ll find Laura spending time with her husband, making music, knitting, quilting and cooking.


Advising Tips:

  • Write down the questions you would like to ask when you come for your appointment.
  • Review MyDegrees and write down classes you are interested in taking.
  • Be thinking about goals - graduation by a certain time, study abroad, etc.
  • Make a list of your other commitments - sports practice, work, family responsibilities, etc.  This will keep your plan on a realistic schedule.


Advisor & Student Appointment Expectations

As the student, you should:

  • Know that you are responsible for your own educational decisions and attaining your degree.
  • Learn your graduation requirements and the academic regulations at OSU.
  • Be prepared for your appointment by going through My Degrees, picking possible classes, and making a question list prior to the appointment.  Also, bring pen and paper to take notes!
  • Explore your interests and goals with your advisor and with the Career Development Center.
  • Strive to pick classes that not only hit requirements but also explore these interests and goals.
  • Arrive on time (or early!) to your advising appointments, and cancel the ones you cannot make (note: if you are 10 minutes late to a half-hour appointment you will need to reschedule).

Your advisor should:

  • Outline the pros and cons of your educational decisions, but ultimately leave the choice to you.
  • Clarify academic requirements, policies, and procedures.
  • Highlight classroom and experiential opportunities of which the student may not be aware.
  • Assist students in choosing classes that meet graduation requirements and life goals.
  • Provide referrals to useful campus resources.
  • Encourage you to meet with faculty during their office hours.  They can share methods for improving classroom performance, and provide insight on graduate schools and other opportunities in the field.