College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Public Administration

Master of Public Administration Newsletter 2013

  • News from the Director, John Collins

    John Collins (3)As I look back over 50 years of my engagement in public service as a student, practitioner, teacher, and researcher, I continually reflect on the changes that have affected the practice of public service. One profound change is the steady decline in public trust in government. As we grow as a society and become more interdependent with the global community, we have a greater need for regulations to protect individuals and to allow predictable transactions between people and institutions. We are more mindful now of the need to account for externalities that affect the less powerful in society, as well as our natural environment. We continue to readjust the balance of roles between national, state, and sub-state governments, and between governments, business, and nonprofits. The rapid change in information technology continues to challenge and change the ways we operate in all sectors of society.

    However, since the Institute of Public Service started offering the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree nearly 40 years ago, the founding values have remained constant. These include the need to understand and practice public service as a sacred trust between public servants and their communities; placing service to the public above service to oneself; honesty, integrity, and transparency are essential for earning the trust of those we serve. We owe our public a life-long commitment to continuous improvement in our capabilities as public servants.

    Thank you for your commitment to furthering your education in the MPA program. We are proud of our students, alumni, and faculty who live out these values every day.

    Kara Preas

    Kara Preas 2Curious about the world of global health, MPA student Kara Preas enrolled in the International Health elective class with instructor Curt Malloy, as one way to learn more about the field. One of the guest speakers in the class was Kiersten Israel-Ballard, Dr.PH, Technical Officer, Maternal and Child Health/Nutrition Division at PATH. Kara comments, "She offered the class an opportunity to reach out to her to learn more, so I set up an informational interview."

    Kara’s meeting with Kiersten included learning more about PATH's work in developing a Human Milk Banking (HMB) Global Implementation Framework. This framework provides guidelines for countries seeking safe and accessible donor milk for infants in resource-limited settings. Many times, breastfeeding may not be possible because of the baby’s slow development, mothers have underlying health issues, or in some cases mothers have died. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently asked countries to promote the safe use of donor milk through human milk banks for vulnerable infants. PATH, July 2011. Strengthening Human Milk Banking.

    Kara explains that the framework “provides a blueprint that policymakers and other stakeholders can use to ensure that HMB systems around the world establish and maintain high-quality management practices that meet context-specific requirements.” Her conversation with Kiersten developed into an internship opportunity to work on a piece of the project to research classifications of human milk, and standards for regulation.

    One challenge is that the classification and definition of use of human milk banks varies by country, so standards and regulations differ throughout the world. Kara conducted a literature review, interviewed experts from a variety of countries about their human milk classification and current system of regulation, and the challenges that exist. She states, "I developed a table that outlined five different areas of human milk bank classifications, which included: food or human tissue, nutritional therapy, medical food or no classification. Each classification included a definition, what regulation would look like for each, potential benefits and challenges, and standardization."

    India and South Africa are two countries looking for guidance around standardization to ensure that human milk banks are safe and accessible to infants that need it most. In Kara's opinion, the issue of human milk banks is really context specific: "You have to look at the country, and the resource systems in place. This will help countries decide what works best for them."

    Kara reflects, “I was amazed at the level of collaboration on a global scale. It is a huge task to develop a global framework for standardizing human milk banks. PATH's ability to bring people with this expertise and knowledge to the table is exceptional and will ultimately save lives."

    Juggling a family, a full-time job at Life Center NW, and graduate school can be tough; however Kara saw this as an invaluable opportunity to gain additional knowledge, understanding and insight about a field that piques her curiosity. Kara remarks, "This internship helped me see the bigger picture, look at the issue on a global scale, network with people all over the world, seek their advice, and learn more about the industry."

    Kara will attend the Human Milk Banking Association of North America annual meeting in Victoria, BC with PATH in April to present the global framework document.

    Check out these interesting statistics:

    • Human Milk banks reduce necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a life-threatening, acute inflammatory disease of the intestines in pre-term infants by 79%. PATH, July 2011. Strengthening Human Milk Banking.
    • Brazil is home to the world’s largest system of human milk banks, with 200 banks supplying milk to 170,000 infants. PATH, July 2011. Strengthening Human Milk Banking.
    • Every year, an estimated 150,000 babies are born prematurely in South Africa. One in four of these infants have difficulties with breastfeeding. For many, donor human milk can be lifesaving. PATH, July 2011. Strengthening Human Milk Banking.
    • The first donor human milk bank in the Northwest is operated out of Portland, Oregon. The Lund Report. July 2013.

    Faculty Updates

    Hayes, TanyaMurtinho, Felipe

    Dr. Tanya Hayes, Associate Professor and Dr. Felipe Murtinho, Assistant Professor continued their research project in Ecuador. They interviewed several indigenous community members to better understand the impacts of an environmental conservation program in the Andes of Ecuador.   

    Holmer, LeeDr. Lee Holmer, Associate Professor published her article "Understanding and Reducing the Impact of Defensiveness on Management Learning: Some Lessons from Neuroscience" in the Journal of Management Education.




    Krupa, OhlaDr. Olha Krupa, Assistant Professor presented two research papers at the American Budgeting and Financial Management Conference on October 3-5th in Washington DC.




    FelipeDr. Felipe Murtinho, Assistant Professor published two papers on his previous work on adaptation to climate change in the Andes of Colombia: 

    Murtinho, et al., 2013. "Does external funding help or hinder adaptation? Evidence from community-based water management in the Colombian Andes." Environmental Management.

    Murtinho, et al., 2013. "Water scarcity in the Andes: Contrasting climate, land use and socioeconomic changes to local perceptions." Human Ecology 45-5. 

    Rich NafzigerRich Nafziger, Lecturer was interviewed by KOMO news to comment about the newly elected Seattle mayor. On November 21st, Rich will serve as a faculty panelist for the Seattle University event, "Money Matters: Liberal and Conservative Views on Government Spending" from 7:00pm to 8:30pm in the Wykoff Auditorium. Rich will discuss his economic view of the recent Congressional debates on government spending, the national debt, budget deficits, and entitlement programs with a panel of faculty, students, and alumni.

    Rich received a grant from the Northwest Area Foundation and Express Credit Union to study an emergency small loan program for low-income adults. 

    He also received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to study business, education and job services delivery in southeast Seattle. MPA students Ellen Greene and Christine Park are also working on the study.  

    Kevin WardDr. Kevin Ward, Assistant Professor published his article "Cultivating Public Service Motivation Through AmeriCorps Service: A Longitudinal Study" in the Public Administration Review. His research demonstrates the immediate and lasting impacts of participation in AmeriCorps programs on individuals’ public service motives. In addition to the impacts that AmeriCorps has on the communities and nonprofit organizations they serve, the program also produces important effects among participants.

    In November, Dr. Ward presented “Avoiding Bored Boards: Understanding the Motives of Board Members,” with Katrina Leigh Miller-Stevens, Old Dominion University and “Applying Cooperative Biological Theory to Nonprofit Networks” with Nathan Grasse, Central Michigan University, at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) annual meeting in Hartford, CT. 

    Dr. Ward also gave a research talk with the Corporation for National and Community Service titled: “Assessing the Impact of AmeriCorps on Participants’ Public Service Motives and Participation in Disaster Relief Efforts Later in Life.”

    Alumni and Student News

    Dave WillbrechtDave Wilbrecht (‘89) was appointed city manager of Blaine, Washington.






    Carol Mizoguchi ('03) was nominated to the board of trustees for the Southeastern Council of Foundations.

    Elizabeth Rawlings ('10) graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary with a Master's of Divinity in May 2013. In September, she began a nine month position as pastor for Lutheran Student Ministries at the University of Washington. She was ordained to the ministry of word and sacrament in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church on November 9th.

    Adam Tousley ('12) is a field manager for Aide Medicale Internationale at Mae La refugee camp in Western Thailand.

    Janet PopeJanet Pope ('13) is the new Executive Director of Compass Housing Alliance (CHA). CHA is a nonprofit organization that develops and provides essential services and affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in the greater Puget Sound region. CHA employs over 200 people and engages more than 1100 volunteers. With an annual operating budget of $13 million, it operates more than 930 housing units and programs in over 30 locations. 

    Melissa Tribelhorn ('13) is the Program Director at Northwest Parkinson's Foundation. 

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