ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT:

Price School alumna lands leadership role supporting coverage of child welfare issues

January 25, 2019

By Sarah Fisher

USC Price School of Public Policy alumna Christie Renick was recently named the new Vice President of Fostering Media Connections, a nonprofit media outlet that provides nationwide coverage on issues of child welfare and juvenile justice.

“In my new role, my goal is to help our organization grow sustainably while ensuring our talented staff have the support and resources they need to craft stories that change lives and policy,” said Renick.

Renick graduated from USC Price with a Masters of Public Administration and Public Policy Certificate in 2015. She chose these programs because she “was looking for a graduate program that would allow me to combine my interests in public policy, nonprofit management and government,” and adds “USC Price seemed like the perfect fit.”

Her Price education helped set Renick on her way to fulfilling her lifelong goals.

“I knew one thing from a very early age: I wanted to help people through writing,” she said. “I wanted to share my own story so that other kids wouldn’t feel alone in the world, and so they would know that the hardships they faced would pay off someday. As I became aware of my mom’s story of aging out of foster care at 17 in rural Kansas, that dream evolved and I knew I wanted to use writing to help kids in foster care.”

Renick’s experience at USC Price was everything she hoped for. When asked if any particular USC Price courses inspired her, many rise to the top.

“I thoroughly enjoyed almost every class I took, even the introductory public administration classes, so it’s difficult to single one out,” she said. “But my top three were Media for Policy Change – because it combined my interests in journalism, public policy and child welfare – as well as a course on program evaluation and one that focused on self-assessment and workplace culture.”

Renick applauds USC Price for giving her the foundation she needed to succeed in her career.

“We have a youth voice program that provides young people with foster care experience the opportunity to learn journalism skills, get their pieces published and earn a stipend,” she said. “My coursework at Price taught me the importance of program evaluation and why it has to be built into the very structure of a program. If you can’t measure your initiative’s impact, you will have a much harder time finding the financial support you need to run it.”

Her advice for current USC Price students: Think about how every assignment can help you in your career.

“I encourage students, both graduate and undergraduate, to use their courses and assignments as a means to explore topics they are interested in pursuing professionally,” she said. “Sometimes the subjects of your papers or projects are determined for you, but very often you are allowed to choose. In my time at Price, I found a way to focus on a topic related to child welfare in probably 75 percent of my assignments. This left me better prepared to enter the nonprofit field in my area of interest.”