Bismark Bliss Owusu is graduating at USask Spring Convocation with an MPA from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. (Photo: Submitted)
Bismark Bliss Owusu is graduating at USask Spring Convocation with an MPA from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy. (Photo: Submitted)

JSGS MPA graduate determined to be a part of the solution

From a young age, Bismark Bliss Owusu was aware of the direct consequences of government policies on the state of primary school education in Ghana.

By Charvee Sharma

“Poor infrastructural development and policies resulted in overcrowded classrooms and leaky roofs during the rainy season, which made equitable access to primary education a challenge for many communities,” he said.

Determined to be a part of the solution, Bliss sought to contribute his part to create a more equitable and effective public education system in Ghana.

His passion to develop policy solutions that empower vulnerable communities led him to the world of public policy and administration through the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS), University of Saskatchewan (USask) campus.

“The MPA program offered a perfect blend of academic rigour and practical application I was seeking,” he said. “JSGS’s emphasis on analyzing policies from various perspectives resonated deeply with my sociological background. By understanding the diverse facets and potential consequences of policy decisions, we can develop more effective solutions that truly address the needs of communities.”

Now, as Bliss prepares to walk the stage at USask Spring Convocation on June 4, he is reflecting on his journey.

“Each course, from governance and administration to public policy analysis, provided a comprehensive picture into the nuances of the Canadian government structure,” he said.

At JSGS, it was not just the formal curriculum that shaped him. The MPA’s rigorous emphasis on critical thinking, problem-solving, and building effective communication skills pushed Bliss to sharpen his analytical acumen and articulate his ideas with conviction.

“Independent research projects were like a proving ground to tackle real-world policy issues relevant to municipal governments,” he said.

Turning the next chapter in life, Bliss encourages future JSGS students to embrace the supportive environment, collaborate with classmates and faculty, and utilize all available resources.

“My most cherished memories aren’t from specific classes but from the collaborative nature of the program,” he recalled. “One particular experience that left a lasting impression on me out is the departmental photoshoot, where I interacted with faculty and students from diverse backgrounds. It was a wonderful reminder of the inclusive and supportive environment that JSGS fosters, and a memory that I hold dear.”

His recipe for success? Don't shy away from challenges; learn from mistakes, and stay focused.

“Remember, your journey will be filled with triumphs and hurdles, but never give up on your dream. Believe in yourself, work hard, and seek opportunities to broaden your knowledge and network.”

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