Guest post – How The MPPA Helped My Career In SEO and Digital Marketing – Nicolai Andersen

In this article, I will highlight the surprisingly many ways that the MPPA program has contributed to the advancement of my career in digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). I graduated with my MPPA degree from Cal Lutheran in 2021. Shortly after, I relocated to Norway. Having worked for years with digital marketing in the U.S., I secured a marketing position in Oslo, which required a master’s degree. I later established an SEO bureau in Oslo.

Many have wondered why a digital marketer would pursue a degree in public policy. Upon reflecting, I can think of countless ways this program has helped me become a better marketer as well as a more well-rounded, informed professional.

Global Perspective

The SEO bureau currently serves clients from several countries across three continents. For technical and design support, we frequently collaborate with international freelancers. In essence, the global perspective I acquired not only from the MPPA program but also through studying abroad has greatly assisted me in conducting business within an international environment. This perspective has proven invaluable in comprehending cultural nuances, understanding diverse audiences, and navigating the complexities of the global marketplace.



I acquired a large number of skills during my time at Cal Lutheran. Notably, my research, analytical, communication, and advocacy skills witnessed significant improvement. These skills are not only convenient but also necessary for a career in digital marketing and SEO. Analytical proficiency, for instance, is crucial when dissecting search data, researching algorithm changes, conducting keyword research, and presenting results to clients.

Advocacy projects were integral components of several courses, contributing significantly to my growth as a marketer. They provided valuable lessons on tailoring messages to diverse audiences and the ability to effectively market or advocate for any product or company.

Furthermore, the skills gained through the process of academic paper writing have substantially enhanced my expertise in content marketing. Blog articles, for instance, often play a key role in SEO. Given recent updates to search engine algorithms, there is a heightened focus on well- crafted, valuable written content.

Upon reflection, the MPPA program has emerged as a cornerstone in my professional journey in digital marketing. The diverse skill set acquired, ranging from ethical considerations to an understanding of how public policy influences business, has not only broadened my horizons. It has also been instrumental in shaping me into a more adept entrepreneur, digital marketer, and SEO specialist.

You can visit my website at –

Government mandated shutdowns are making a case for welfare

With talks of some sort of welfare mechanism for millions of Americans doing the rounds, it looks like Universal Basic Income (UBI) is having a moment of spotlight. Let us not forget that it had its moment during the Democratic Primaries, with Andrew Yang making it his signature policy.

Welfare policies are making a comeback in the U.S. and perhaps around the world, as the world faces one of its worst crises, ever!


So, why should the government give out $1000 or $2000 or any money to anyone? Isn’t it just rewarding laziness and lack of effort? Wouldn’t it be a handout?

There are several perspectives on this issue, but I’ll just deal with one here: the issue of who deserves welfare?

The history of America as a welfare society is somewhat complicated and long one. A solid, scholarly book that you can read about this issue is Arguments for Welfare by Paul Spicker (2017). Of course, there are detractors on the Libertarian spectrum who will disagree and say that most forms of welfare usually are harmful to society.

What Spicker points out about all the arguments for or against welfare is important to remember: these are normative arguments. Meaning that these arguments point to what is good or bad about welfare. And that these are value-laden arguments. Even if someone uses the most sophisticated econometric modeling or in-depth ethnographic study, usually they are making a value-laden judgment about whether welfare is good or bad.

And this value judgment is formed on the basis of one’s political or religious beliefs.

One must also remember that the war on poverty has taken a new turn and since the Regan era, there has been a ‘war on welfare’ as Spicker points out. Even a Democratic Party president such as Bill Clinton ran on a platform to ‘end welfare as we know it,’ effectively changing the very nature of entitlements and cutting millions of people out of welfare programs. Mr. Trump has taken it a step further by limiting who reserves benefits and on what basis.

As his recent Executive Order pointed out, there should be some form of work requirement for people to receive entitlements. The spirit of this EO is very clear, to get people off welfare and make them ‘economically self-sufficient.’

It says “While bipartisan welfare reform enacted in 1996 was a step toward eliminating the economic stagnation and social harm that can result from long-term Government dependence, the welfare system still traps many recipients, especially children, in poverty and needs further reform and modernization in order to increase self-sufficiency, well-being, and economic mobility.” This 1996 reform that the EO is referring to was the one initiated by Bill Clinton.

So, in many ways, the winds of change that have blown towards shaping the world of welfare have been

The Washington Post wrote – as a $2 trillion proposal heads to the Senate – that “But Senate leaders were still working to avoid a number of last-minute snags. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, demanded changes to help his state deal with a flood of new cases. Three Republican senators said a provision in the bill needed to be fixed immediately or it would incentivize people not to return to work. And House Democrats wouldn’t provide a firm timeline of when they would vote to pass the bill.” The stimulus package is seen as an ‘emergency’ measure to help institutions and people whether this terrible situation we are all faced with.

The mood in the country and perhaps around the world is one of reflection and the somber realization that many people will need help. The weakest members of our society, the poor, homeless and destitute will need it more than others. And there is a growing realization that the government should do more.

Whether politicians will get this right is another question, that remains to be seen!

How Can Statistics Support Critical Thinking

Dr. Lara-Gonzalez

I am a professor of statistics at one of the local universities. In the last week of my last term, Spring 2020, I posted the following question to my students; should there be a prerequisite course or preparation course before this class? I have been doing this activity for the last four years and the answers are always the same: mathematics, algebra, and Excel. But this time, I received an original answer, not related to mathematics or any other data analysis tool. What I read surprised me. This student suggested a class of logical thinking to analyze and interpret the attributes of a data set. In my view, logical thinking will be helpful. But critical and analytical thinking skills will be beneficial and essential for students who are taking statistics to interpret and draw inferences about a population by evaluating statistical data sets and present and communicate with clarity, accuracy, and precision of the implications and consequences of their findings.

I have been teaching mathematics and statistics for the past 10 years. It is a simple transition. However, in an informal conversation with colleagues and friends, I have maintained that teaching statistics is more challenging than teaching mathematics. Learning statistics is more demanding and stimulating than mathematics. In statistics, for teaching and learning a real-world application require three specific competencies that are a link to critical thinking skills:

  1. The ability to connect statistics and real-life situations;
  2. The knowledge of basic statistical concepts such as probability distribution, statistical significance, hypothesis testing, and regression; and
  3. The ability to integrate the elements of a statistical study and to communicate the results clearly.

As a professor, I have encountered all kinds of students taking a statistics class. The minority of those students are excited to learn about statistics. While the majority are nervous because their previous experiences with statistics were not pleasant, or they have heard the negative stories from other students and their experiences of taking statistics. I regularly listen to freshman students expressing their uneasiness about statistics; “I took statistics once and hated it; memorizing all those formulas is impossible.” Similarly, I have encountered students who do not know what to expect from the course. My academic experience indicates that when students do not know what to expect, they are not fully prepared. Thus, it can affect their success in the course. Particularly statistics that is a technical and creative discipline where students can see and experience the usefulness in action. This practical and creative discipline requires an intellectual process.

Image result for critical thinking


Scriven and Paul (2003) describe critical thinking as an intellectual process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information gathered or generated by observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. Because of this intellectual process, the use of critical and analytical thinking skills is vital. It is a requisite to have critical thinking skills to select the right statistical analysis or the right statistical model for a particular problem. Then, students have to have the same analytical and critical skills for interpreting, inferring, and evaluating the implication and consequences of the results. Last, communicating the findings to address the stated problem with clarity, accuracy, and precision, it is essential to display intellectual integrity.


Scriven, M. & Paul, R. Defining critical thinking. Foundation for Critical Thinking. Retrieved from