College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Public Administration

MPA Newsletter

  • Policy Incubator 2015

    We asked the finalists to tell us about the most surprising finding (F) from their policy research and what they enjoyed (E) most about participating in the Policy Incubator Competition. See their answers below ...

     JorjiJorji Knickrehm – “Ending ‘Boarding’: Better Policy Alternatives for Mentally Ill Washingtonians”

    F: There are ten times as many people with mental illnesses held in U.S. prisons today than held in U.S. mental health hospitals.

    E: I developed a deeper understanding about mental health issues in our state and nation. I felt honored to be asked to present my best ideas for how to tackle the issues; it felt great to have the opportunity to try to improve the world a tiny bit by promoting policy changes I believe in.

    David Moser (2)David Moser – “Seattle as an Open City: Undoing Artificial Housing Scarcity”

    F: Even with thousands of people moving to the city looking for a place to live, and a huge housing shortage that is driving low-income households out of the city, it is still illegal to build an apartment building on about half the land in Seattle.
    E: One of my top reasons for doing the MPA program was to have the opportunity to conduct original research, and to learn to present research in a compelling way. I am very appreciative for the opportunity to really push myself and see what I could come up with, and to be able to talk through my ideas with a great panel of judges and an engaged audience.  Thank you to all who put it together. 

    Melanie StoneMelanie Stone – “Saving Lives with Emergency Orders of Protection”

    F: Some perpetrators of domestic violence assaults in Washington State can bail out of jail for as little as $1,000. According to one bail bond agency I contacted, some can bail out for less than the state mandated 10%, if the qualifications of the co-signer are approved by the bond agency's insurance company. Meaning, someone being held for $45,000 cash or bail can get out of jail for $45,000 cash, $4,500 bond, or less, if they have a co-signer with good credit.  They can also arrange payment plans with this lender. 

    E: I was able to highlight the problem of domestic violence while sharing my goal of enacting emergency orders of protection into Washington State law to a panel of distinguished community leaders and an audience of current and future policy shapers. It educated a group of individuals on a current gap in protection afforded to some victims of domestic violence while increasing awareness on the topic itself.  So for that, I must thank the MPA program at Seattle University for not only hosting the competition, but for allowing me to be part of it.  And to the panel of distinguished judges, thank you for selecting me as winner of the 2015 MPA Policy Incubator Competition.

    Amanda FlatleyAmanda Flatley –  “Social Impact Bonds: Reducing Government Spending and Addressing Institutional Racism in our Jails and Prisons”

    F: Youth of color account for 42% of King County's juvenile prison population, yet comprise only slightly more than 8% of the overall county population. This illustrates a major social justice problem in our community.

    E: I really enjoyed the process of researching and writing on a topic that I am passionate about and watching the presentations of my fellow finalists.

    From the Director, Larry Hubbell

    Hubbell, LarryIn March, Dean David Powers, Associate Dean Kan Liang and I visited Macau, one of China’s Special Administrative Districts located near Hong Kong.  During our stay, Seattle University entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST). The MOU provides opportunities for MUST graduates to pursue an MPA degree. Following the signing of the MOU Dean Powers, Professor Liang, and I met with MUST students and faculty.

    Recently, we created an MPA Advisory Committee to provide us guidance towards our goals, curriculum and various initiatives in the works. The committee met in early March to discuss a new mission statement for the MPA program. The group is chaired by MPA alumna, Susan Crane, Executive Director, SkillUp Washington. Members include: Doris Koo, Executive Director, Yesler Community Collaborative; Kent Koth, Director, Seattle University’s Center for Service and Community Engagement; Andre Taybron, MPA alumni and private consultant; Maggie Thompson, Policy Advisor, City of Seattle, Office of Mayor Ed Murray; Marilyn Watkins, Policy Director, Economic Opportunity Institute; and Jessie Muhm, President of the MPA Student Association. I want to thank the members of the MPA Advisory Committee for their time and effort. At the upcoming meeting in May, we will discuss the creation of an MPA Alumni Association, a diversity plan, learning outcomes, and our internship program.

    The MPA program will be conducting a market research study to gather more information about a graduate level public administration certificate. The proposed certificate may include courses offered in our current curriculum and would be delivered through a hybrid model, both in person and online.

    Thank you for your continued support of the MPA program. If you have any suggestions or comments regarding the new initiatives, please email me at

    Excellence in Public Service Scholarship

    The MPA program is offering a new Excellence in Public Service Scholarship. In Fall, Winter and Spring quarters, we will award one $3,000 scholarship to an MPA applicant looking to grow their professional values and management skills. Help us spread the word to public and nonprofit professionals who embody the spirit of public service.  Access the application here ...     

    Employer Spotlight

    Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

    Fred Hutch

    When Curt Malloy, JD, MPH, Administrator, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division (VIDD) started his position at Fred Hutchinson a year ago, there were already three MPA graduates working in his division. In his seven years of teaching the Global Health course in the MPA program, Malloy has observed several important skills such as accounting, finance, and grants management that MPA graduates bring to the workplace. "The Seattle University MPA degree equips students with strong writing and communication skills; they are more prepared to hit the ground running.” Pictured above left to right: Kara Preas ('15), Samantha Mastridge ('11),  Matt McElroy ('12), and Curt Malloy.

    When a position for Project Manager became available in his division, Malloy reached out to Kara Preas who was enrolled in his Global Health class and encouraged her to apply. Now with Kara and the other MPA alumni working in his division, Malloy conveys the value of Seattle University MPA graduates employed at Fred Hutchinson: “Seattle University students are motivated and strong candidates for employment. They are both visionary and pragmatic. They have a collective ambition, which creates an environment for great teamwork."

    The Global Health course teaches students to develop a framework for analyzing and addressing global health promotion and disease prevention in the areas of infectious diseases, nutrition, maternal child health, chronic diseases, access to sanitation and water infrastructure, and mental health.

    Swedish Health Services

    Tony Armada

    Chief Executive of Swedish Health Services, Tony Armada spoke at the College of Arts and Sciences Leadership Council meeting in February about the value of student internships and its partnership with Seattle University. MPA students Phung Nguyen (‘15) and Kristine Kleedehn ('15) have held internships with Swedish since the Summer 2014. Armada spoke about the one year internship as “an experience that is not only proctored, mentored, and coached, it also leads the students to a substantial experience that challenges them.” Pictured above left to right: Phung Nguyen, Tony Armada, and Kristine Kleedehn.

    Swedish treats their interns as part of their leadership team. They attend cabinet meetings and interact with the senior leadership team who run the $2.4 billion operation. Armada goes on to say, “we’re able to sit down with Kristine and Phung to understand and learn from them their passion, and where they need improvement, and tailor their experience learning towards that goal. At the end of the year, they can say they are a lot better than when they came in." 

    Alumni & Student News

    Meng BoMeng Bo ('98) is the Associate Dean and Director, International Cooperation and Exchange for the School of Public and Policy and Management at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. This was one of the first piloted MPA programs in China, and now there are 180 MPA programs nationwide. The MPA program was one of the first outside of the U.S. to be accredited by NASPAA in July 2014. The program offers English-based International programs (IMPA) for officials from developing countries, and an MPA degree in International Development for all international programs.

    Melanie ReynoldsMelanie Reynolds (’98) started her own consulting practice in geriatric care management in 2010 and is now a Certified Professional Guardian (CPG). Melanie was recently joined by a business partner, Jim Anderson, CPG.  Together they launched Anchor Guardianship and Case Management Servicesin Olympia, Washington.  Melanie and Jim provide advocacy, consultation services, case management services, guardianship services and trust fund management for vulnerable adults and their families throughout southwest Washington.

    Danni OrneDanni Orne ('05) is the new Executive Director of the Transitional Care Unit at Kindred First Hill. Kindred's mission is to ‘promote healing, provide hope, preserve dignity and produce value for each patient, resident, family member, customer, employee and shareholder they serve.’



    Anne Luce HeaveyAnne (Luce) Heavey ('09) is an Account Manager for Team Soapbox, a communication, advocacy and public relations firm in South Lake Union focused on helping nonprofit organizations amplify their mission and voice. Anne specializes in public affairs, strategy development and public relations.


    Lindsay HerbstLindsay Herbst ('09) is a Research Analyst with Shook, Hardy and Bacon LLP.






    Melanie Locke ('10) is a Technical Training Instructor for the Social Security Administration. 

    Emma Meinig Tkachuck ('12) is a Project Manager at University of Mississippi, McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement.

    Raul AlicdanRaul Alicdan ('13) is the Associate Director for Rainier Valley Corps (RVC). RVC is a nonprofit startup with the mission of cultivating leaders of color to strengthen the capacity of nonprofits led by communities of color and create space for collaboration between diverse communities to affect systemic change.



    Roseanne Hampton ReichRoseanne Hampton Reich ('13) is the Research Center Business Manager, Child Health & Behavioral Development at Seattle Children's.



    Laura OchoaLaura Ochoa ('13) is a 2014 Presidential Management Fellow and received her placement to work with the Department of Defense.




    Teresa PanTeresa Pan ('13) is a Human Services Program Manager and Instructor at Highline College.




    Leslie HarrisLeslie Harris ('14) was appointed to the City of Newcastle's Community Activities Commission. The Commission is comprised of seven community members who volunteer their time and expertise to serve as a review and advisory body to the City Council on City-owned park planning, design, and construction, park and facility development, renovation, trails and paths, recreation program and special community events.

    Mary Beth FalknerMary Beth Falkner (Haselfeld) ('14) is the Assistant Director, Off-Campus Study at Claremont McKenna College. She is a new board member with Girls on the Run in Orange County, CA.


    KristineKristine Kleedehn (‘15) is the new Transportation Services Coordinator at Swedish Health Services. She is responsible for the Parking and Commuting Services functions on all Swedish campuses. Kristine will coordinate Swedish's Transportation Management Plan and its Commute Trip Reduction Program. 

    Erin PovakErin Povak ('15) is a Graduate Student Admissions Representative with Pinchot University.





    Michael MartinMichael Martin ('16) started a one-year planning internship with the Port of Portland in February. He is working in the Long Range Planning Department, splitting his time between marine and industrial development and aviation planning. 


    Faculty Updates

    Tanya HayesDr. Tanya Hayes, Associate Professor works with the World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF) and the Global Consortium for Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to understand and address long-term trends in livelihoods, governance and land-use change in key ecological landscapes. As part of this effort, Dr. Hayes developed a set of data gathering tools to identify how community, regional and national resource management rules influence land-use practices. This data gathering tool was recently applied in Western Amazon (Peru and Bolivia) and is now being implemented in Cameroon.

    HolmerDr. Lee Holmer, Associate Professor caught a 13 pound king salmon at the mouth of the Columbia River during the annual spring chinook run.  




    Nafziger, RichRich Nafziger, MPA Faculty was appointed by Mayor Ed Murray to the Governing Board of  the Pacific Medical Center Public Development Authority. The Governing Council allocates $2.5 million per year to community health organizations that directly address the issue of health care disparities. The Council also oversee the iconic Pacific Hospital on Beacon Hill. Nafziger was actively involved creating the Beacon Health College and Innovation Center, which is now occupying the entire building. The Center links direct health services, Seattle Community Colleges nursing and allied health programs, the SEIU training partnership for homecare workers and nonprofit health care advocacy groups. 

    Nicoll - CrannyNeil J. Nicoll, former president and CEO of the YMCA of the USA and Mary Kaufman-Cranney, Director of Philanthropy, Washington Nature Conservancy will teach PUBM 5870 – Nonprofit Resource Development Summer quarter 2015. This course will explore the principles of philanthropy and fundraising, focusing on the key role of resource development.

    Nicoll began his career at a local YMCA and rose to the top leadership position at the national organization in 2006. As president and CEO of the YMCA of the USA, he established and executed the organization’s strategic priorities to ensure that more children have access to healthy food and physical activity.

    The Washington Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization in the world. Kaufman-Cranney directs the organization’s philanthropic efforts, securing $10 million annually for Washington and worldwide priorities. She is currently leading a team to increase philanthropic annual goals and launch a $150 million campaign later this year.

    Pierce, JonathanDr. Jonathan Pierce, Assistant Professor published two book chapters titled: “Research Design and the Narrative Policy Framework,” with Aaron Smith-Walter and Holly L. Peterson, and “Exploring the Policy Narratives and Politics of Hydraulic Fracturing in New York,” with Tanya Heikkila and Christopher M. Weible in The Science of Stories: Applications of the Narrative Policy Framework in Public Policy Analysis, edited by Michael D. Jones, Elizabeth A. Shanahan, and Mark McBeth. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan 2014).
    Dr. Pierce received a Student Research Assistantship Grant from the College of Arts and Sciences to support the work of public affairs student, Samantha Garrard. Samantha is collaborating with Dr. Pierce, and MPA student Laura Crandall, as well as academics from several universities to review how and to what effect the policy process theory of advocacy coalition framework has been applied to understand competitive policy making.

    Dr. Pierce is also a recipient of the 2015 Summer Faculty Fellowship, awarded by the College of Arts & Sciences. Dr. Pierce and MPA student Jessie Muhm will engage in a faculty-student research project titled: “Changing Positions: How Information and Policy Narratives Influence Beliefs.”

    Larry WrightLarry Wright, Chief Operating Officer, College Success Foundation will teach PUBM 5860 - Fundamentals of the Nonprofit Sector during the Summer quarter 2015.




    Jessie Muhm, MPA Student Association President

     JessieIt’s hard to believe another academic year has come and gone. As a community of compassionate students seeking to increase our intellectual abilities and practical skills, we have accomplished quite a lot together. Beyond the pages read, thoughtful weekly discussions, papers written and presentations delivered, we have served each other and our community. Through our holiday donation drive, we rallied together to donate 18 hefty gift bags full of holiday cheer, making the season a little brighter for homeless women. We continually supported and celebrated each other, often frequenting neighborhood establishments like The Chieftain and Rein Haus. What makes me most proud of having served on the student association this past year is knowing that in and outside the classroom, each and every MPA student has advanced his or her personal mission to be a thoughtful public servant. It is a privilege to be part of such a remarkable community.

    **The MPA program is looking for new MPA Student Association representatives for the 2015-16 year! Ballots go out in May.

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