Member Spotlight: Hannah Litzenberger
Hannah is a young professional practicing P2 in Seattle with EnviroIssues where she works on transmission line and wastewater infrastructure public involvement and community engagement projects. She is a 2009 graduate of North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Hannah has been an active member of IAP2 USA since 2011 when she became active in the Puget Sound chapter and joined the chapter board in 2012. She joined the Certification Task Force in May 2014 in response to a request for Task Force members made during a webinar.
“When I first started getting involved in P2, I actually thought that completing the Foundations course meant I was certified. I didn’t learn until the first day of training that the certificate was a certificate for course completion. Even though I can list the course on my resume as such, I think a certification program is really needed. As far as I know there aren’t any university programs in Public Participation so what we do is somewhat undefined, especially in the broader community. The program will give young professionals clear direction on how to further their careers, and employers and clients a way to know how qualified an applicant or consultant is.”
When joining the Certification Task Force, Hannah felt it was really important to have young professionals represented on the committee, but she was quiet the first few meetings. It didn’t take long for her to learn how collaborative the group was! “I really like how collaborative the group was with everyone having an equal voice.” She quickly learned veteran Task Force members listened to and welcomed her ideas.
Hannah is especially proud of the two levels and the built-in interaction with seasoned professionals.
“It was important to me to make it accessible to people who don’t have 15-20+ years of experience, and offering the two levels – Certified Public Participation Professional and Master Public Participation Professional – does that. It’s important to foster IAP2 professionals within the field, and having the two options gives guidance to younger professionals in what steps to undertake to grow their careers.”
The Certification Task Force intentionally designed the process with a lot of interaction with the assessors and other applicants built in, providing opportunities to learn from each other through the certification process. The application process is really hands-on working with the assessors.
“It’s definitely not a one-way application process. It’s really exciting to think about how much we can learn from each other by participating in the process.”
Hannah is looking forward to the roll-out of the Certification Pilot Program, and is also participating in the newly launched Mentorship Program. There are many opportunities for young professionals with IAP2 USA. Get involved today!