The Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training

The Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training is housed within the Department of Political Science and focuses on engaging public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the general public through academic and applied research, as well as real world learning. The Center draws on the strength of a team of Texas State University faculty and students to build ongoing relationships and address key policy issues. 

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

We'd love to stay in touch with you and let you know what the CRPPT has going on.

Who We Are

The CRPPT was established by Texas State University on January 25, 2010. It was created to provide an opportunity for Texas State University to assist public officials, agencies, nonprofit organizations, and communities around world conduct research, develop training, and find solutions to problems in public policy. Housed within the Department of Political Science, the Center seeks to engage experts from multiple academic disciplines and collaborate with public and community officials. 


The Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training facilitates collaboration among researchers, public administrators, policymakers, and the public, enables a deeper understanding of administrative and policy issues, and generates sound solutions to administrative and policy issues at various levels of government and nonprofit administration. 


The Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training creates collaboration among researchers, public administrators, policymakers, and the public to encourage an understanding of how public policy can be better understood and bring sound solutions to policy problems. 


The Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training exists to encourage research into public policy issues relevant to our world. Please feel free to contact us for more information, requests for collaboration, or just to talk with us about public policy issues of importance. 


What We Do



Helen Lowman

Dr. Helen Lowman, PhD

Dr. Helen Lowman is Senior Advisor to the Associate Director of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection at the Peace Corps. She also serves as the Director of the Center for Research, Public Policy, and Training and teaches in the Political Science Department, Public Administration Program, at Texas State University. Prior to her return to the Peace Corps in 2022, she was President and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. In this role for approximately five years, she ran the nonprofit, with more than 3 million volunteers and 650 affiliate organizations, that envisions every community to be a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. 

Dr. Lowman is an innovative and experienced leader in international development, environmental sustainability, and organizational change. In July 2010, Dr. Lowman was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as Regional Director for the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia region where she oversaw Peace Corps programs in 21 countries. During her tenure, Dr. Lowman chaired the working group that initiated and implemented the placement of same-sex couples as Peace Corps volunteers. She also led a significant shift in the region’s footprint, including the graduation and strategic phase-out of four countries, and the assessment, establishment, and launch of three additional countries.  

In 2014, Dr. Lowman became Associate Director of Volunteer Recruitment and Selection, overseeing the largest department in the Peace Corps, with staff in eight US-based recruiting offices and Peace Corps Headquarters who were tasked with recruiting, assessing, and placing between 3,000 and 5,000 volunteers in more than 60 countries annually. Within her first year in the role, Dr. Lowman led the agency’s reforms to streamline the Peace Corps application and the recruitment and placement processes. Under her leadership, the Peace Corps surpassed previous records in numbers of applications, including a 5 percent increase in applicants who identify as racially or ethnically diverse. During this time, she was chosen by the White House to participate in the President’s Leadership Workshop, along with a group of select peers across the US Government. Additionally, she was awarded for distinguished service five times between 2012-2015. 

Dr. Lowman was then appointed by President Obama as Director of Individual and Community Preparedness Division (ICPD) for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the US Department of Homeland Security, in October 2015. In her role as Director of ICPD, she oversaw programs that partner at all levels of government, the private sector, and community organizations to increase citizen and community preparedness and encourage the development of disaster resilience across the United States. 

During her career, Dr. Lowman has served as Country Director and Associate Director of the Peace Corps program in China, acting Country Director in Mongolia, and as a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand. She has also held senior leadership positions at AFS Intercultural Programs/USA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Dr. Lowman has served on numerous boards including, but not limited to, Pyxera Global, World Neighbors, Better World Leadership Council, Osgood Center for International Studies, and the Council on Standards for International Travel Education. 

Dr. Lowman completed her undergraduate studies at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in international studies and Spanish. She obtained a master’s degree in international studies from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies, and both a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change from Antioch University. Most recently she was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Austin College.