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Vikes Take on Columbus

This March, Levin College of Public Affairs and Education’s Columbus Seminar and Public Budgeting and Finance students visited the state capital to meet with public officials and take an in-depth look at the ins and outs of state government in Ohio.  

Cleveland State students participating in the Levin College of Public Affairs and Education’s “Columbus Seminar” class, led by Dr. Meghan Rubado spent their spring break experiencing Ohio’s government and legislative process for themselves. The Columbus visit, which ran from March 13 to the 17th, allowed students the opportunity to learn from public officials, legislative aides, agency leaders, journalists, and non-governmental organizations including Ohio State Senator Nickie Antonio, Supreme Court Justice Jennifer Brunner, and Deputy Attorney General, Jonathan Fulkerson. Before the visit, Columbus Seminar students met every other Friday over the semester to prepare for the visits. 

Learn more about this impactful experience by reading a story by Cael Shaw, A 2023 Columbus seminar participant, who was featured in the CSU Cauldron.  

Only a week later, Dr. Tatyana Guzman’s Public Budgeting and Finance classes were joined by Levin College’s Dean Roland Anglin as they embarked on their own experience with Columbus public officials. The group visited with Columbus State House leadership to learn about the state budget process and the budget players. Students interacted with heads of the Ohio Office of Budget and Management, the Controlling Board, State Auditor's Office, and several lawmakers, all of whom are actively involved in the State Budgeting process. 

After a tour of the facility, the group met with staff of the Ohio Budget and Management office, including Kim Murnieks, OBM Director and CFO of the State, CSU (Cleveland State University) alum Joy DeMarco, OBM General Counsel and Chief of Operations, and Fletch Zimpher, the Controlling Board President. 

Next, students visited the State Auditor’s Office: Tim Keen, Chief Financial Officer, and Senior Advisor to the Auditor, Robert Hinkle, Chief Deputy Auditor, Nicole Smith, Director of Ohio Performance Team, and Randy Turner, Director of Special Investigations Unit. After students visited the Senate Finance Committee and met with Levin College alumni, Senator Kent Smith. 

This annual trip, which was also featured in the CSU Cauldron, offers both undergraduate and graduate students a hands-on experience in public finance.