MPA Newsletter 2016

MPA Spring Newsletter 2016

From the Director, Larry Hubbell

In April, the MPA program co-sponsored the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) 77th annual conference at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. As a co-sponsor, we attended the Welcome Event at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), and exhibited our program at the conference of 1,375 attendees.

In addition, I chaired a panel on Equity and Social Justice: The Impact of Wage Disparity, Homelessness and Food Security. The panel examined equity and social justice from the perspectives of three sources of security: wages, housing, and food, and addressed how each contributes to the larger issue. Among the panelists was State Senator Pramila Jayapal, who is running for the open seat in Washington’s 7th Congressional District.  Pramila spoke about income inequality and offered prescriptions for how to alleviate it.  Panelist Sharon Lee, Executive Director, Low Income Housing Institute discussed the projects that her organization launched to provide more housing for low income people.  Panelist Yvonne Pitrof, Executive Director, Washington Food Coalition addressed the challenges that the poor face in maintaining a healthy diet.

Finally, students, alumni, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the MPA End of the Year Celebration on Wednesday, June 8th. This event gives everyone an opportunity to converse, connect, and honor our graduating students. RSVP HERE.

Public Service Scholarship Recipient, Katia Garcia

MPA student, Katia Garcia, Management Systems Analyst (MSA) for the City of Seattle’s Fleet Management Division (FMD) is the recipient of the Excellence in Public Service Scholarship. She was nominated by her supervisor, MPA Alumna, Darcy Cinq-Mars. Darcy is the Administration and Motor Pool Manager for Finance and Administrative Services, FMD.

Katia enrolled in the MPA program at Seattle University in the Fall with a goal to become a leader in the public sector. She sums up the past two quarters stating, "I have learned valuable information and techniques, and began to build strong networks that I would not have been exposed to otherwise."

As an alumna of the MPA program, Darcy relates to Katia's experience commenting, "I was always impressed by the variety of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives students shared and represented in classroom discussions and presentations. While I learned quite a bit from texts and lectures, I believe much of the my growth in the MPA program came from the insights shared by my peers."

Katia is part of a team that oversees the operations of the city's 4,500 vehicle fleet across all city departments. She is responsible for high level troubleshooting, data analysis for the data management system, and interdepartmental project collaboration. She also serves as the lead for the department's Race and Social Justice Initiative (RSJI) Change Team.
Darcy knows the MPA degree will have a positive impact on Katia's career trajectory, and points out that Katia has a great deal to contribute to the MPA program and to her classmates. "I believe someone with her breadth of knowledge and experience is perfect for the program, because she has so much to contribute in the classroom and to public service. It is good to be reminded that people like Katia are coming together in SU’s MPA program, and they are sharing knowledge and experiences to become better instruments of public service."

Katia wants to learn the techniques she can use as a leader to improve policy, processes, and procedures, in order to better serve citizens, and improve the working environment within her organization. "The rigorous work that SU professors offer, along with the diverse course work available in the MPA program will assist me toward my goal of becoming a recognized leader within local government that is able to affect and implement change."

Learn more about the Excellence in Public Service Scholarship here.

Faculty Updates

Dr. Tanya Hayes, Associate Professor, presented a paper coauthored with Dr. Felipe Murtinho entitled: “The impact of Payments for Environmental Services on communal lands” at the Midwest Political Science Association conference in Chicago. In April, Dr. Hayes presented her work on environmental management in Latin America at la Universidad Centroamericana (UCA) in Managua, Nicaragua. She also gave a talk on research methods for evaluating resource management programs and discussed the potential for future collaboration with colleagues at Nitlapan, an UCA organization promoting sustainable development. 



Dr. Felipe Murtinho, Assistant Professor, published the article, What facilitates adaptation? An analysis of community-based adaptation to environmental change in the Andes. International Journal of the Commons, Vol 10(1).




Dr. Jonathan Pierce, Assistant Professor, conducted a study with public affairs student, Samantha Garrard titled: “Effects of Narratives on the Beliefs of the U.S. General Public about Climate Change.” Learn more about his research and findings HERE

Dr. Pierce attended the Midwest Political Science Association Annual Conference in Chicago, IL in April with MPA student, Samantha Kersul and undergraduate public affairs student, Samantha Garrard. They presented two papers entitled: "There and Back Again: A Tale of the Advocacy Coalition Framework" and "Embracing Your Opponent: Policy Narratives and Public Opinion on Climate Change." The students received travel grants from the university and presented a poster entitled: "Public Opinion and Climate Change."

Dr. Pierce published an article in Society and Natural Resources entitled: "Advocacy Coalition Strategies and Resources in Colorado Hydraulic Fracturing Politics." He published two book chapters in American Governance edited by S. Schechter, T. Vontz, T. Birkland, M. Graber, and J. Patrick. The chapters are "Issue Networks" and "The Advocacy Coalition Framework." The latter is co-authored with Chris Weible.

Dr. Kevin Ward, Assistant Professor, recently finished a consulting project with the Washington Service Corps (WSC), an intermediary that places over 700 AmeriCorps*State members throughout Washington annually. The project helped organizations receiving AmeriCorps members to align performance measures with federally mandated monitoring requirements. WSC is a subsidiary of the Washington Employment Security Division.

He was recently selected as a Seattle University Academic Service-Learning Faculty Fellowship for the 2016-2017 year. The fellowship provides support for developing a course that employs a service-learning model.



Alumni Spotlight

John Dortero ('10) takes the Seattle University mission to heart. Service and social justice are the touchstones of his work as a Compliance Specialist at University of Washington. "UW Medicine is absolutely the place to serve the most marginalized members of our community. We are here to improve the health of the public."

John's previous work as a Campaign Manager for a WA State House of Representatives candidate led to his interest in policy development, education, and outreach. He became interested in healthcare during his employment with King County's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program.

He pursued an MPA degree because he was interested in a higher level professional career of doing human service work. John comments: "I wanted to affect organizational change and be able to support a family doing the work I love." He highlights specific coursework such as Administrative Law, Public Budgeting, and Policy Analysis as valuable tools to frame and understand the ethical underpinnings of health care.

Last year, John was promoted to Compliance Specialist. In this role, John supports a workforce of 25,000 and conducts new employee orientations. He ensures that UW Medicine meets its compliance goals in health and research. His work is guided by the Washington State Ethics Act; maintaining that employees follow policies and procedures, and that organizational practices and relationships are transparent.

Alumni & Student News

Art Ceniza ('84) is the Assistant City Administrator of Lynnwood, WA. He previously held a number of high level management and analyst positions for the City of Seattle and King County. He credits the MPA degree as a "significant factor in his long and successful career in government."

Corbitt Loch ('95) was selected to serve as Lynnwood's first Senior Manager of Strategic Planning. He is responsible for confirming each department's continual improvement and progress toward the adopted community vision. Corbitt will manage the City's effort to develop its first Priority-Based Budget, also known as Budgeting for Outcomes. In 2015, the International City/County Management Association recognized his 30 years of professional municipal service.



Marty Wine ('99) is the City Manager of Tigard, OR.






Carolyn Lanier (’02) was named Northeast Ohio Medical University's new chief of staff and vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion.





Louie LeFevre ('02) is a Senior Property Manager and Florida Realtor. He was elected Director of Policy and Procedure by the Certification Governance Board, National Property Management Association (NPMA) in December 2015. Louie is an active member of NPMA, National Contract Management Association, and American Standards for Testing Materials to ensure property standards and promote sustainability practices.




Jessi Bon ('03) is the Deputy City Manager for the City of Sammamish.





Mark Dombroski ('06) was appointed by the City Manager of Austin, Texas to serve as the Interim General Manager of Austin Energy, the 8th largest public utility in the U.S, serving 450,000 customers. He previously served as Director of Finance for Seattle City Light and was the City Manager of Bainbridge Island, WA.




Alex (Elizabeth) Monroe ('06) is the Labor Relations and HR Operations Manager for the Washington State Department of Ecology. She recently received certification from the National Public Employer Labor Relations Association as a Certified Labor Relations Professional.




Tara Lee ('07) started a new job as the Deputy Communications Director for Washington state Governor, Jay Inslee.



Claude DaCorsi (’11) was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to a four-year term on the Washington State Affordable Housing Advisory Board, which advises the Department of Commerce on housing and housing-related issues.




Lincoln Vander Veen ('11) started his position as the External Affairs Manager for the Marketing and Communications Department at Seattle University in November. He works with Scott McClellan,Vice President of Communications to increase Seattle University's presence among the SU community, businesses, and nonprofits.




Jessica Minick ('12) began a new job as Executive Director of Continuing Medical Education at UW Medicine.





Ryan Mielcarek ('13) is the South Sound 1st Platoon Leader for The Mission Continues, an organization that empowers veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. South Sound 1st Platoon deploys as a united Veteran volunteer force to eliminate homelessness and housing insecurity in the South Sound through holistic community empowerment. Their work focuses on strengthening the bond between service members of South King, Pierce, and Thurston Counties, inclusive of sacred tribal communities. In April, South Sound 1st Platoon worked to transform the student activity center of Rainier Beach High School.


Kristen Morgan ('13) is the Director of Prison Programs at The If Project, Seattle Police Foundation.





Keith Van Essen ('13) is the Director of Programs for the College Success Foundation, Seattle region. He also serves on the board of the Aurora Commons, an innovative nonprofit serving the unhoused along Aurora Avenue North in Seattle.




Erin Thurston Arya ('15) serves as a Young Professional Board Member at Bloodworks NW. She is currently employed with King County Council as a Public Relations Specialist.




Kara Preas Huertas ('15) was accepted to Washington State Bar Association's (WSBA) Character and Fitness Board. The board deals with matters of character and fitness bearing upon qualifications of applicants for admission to practice law in the state of Washington or the rehabilitation of petitioners for reinstatement after disbarment. Upon referral from Bar counsel, it conducts hearings, prepares written decisions, and makes recommendations to the Washington State Supreme Court.




Wendy Price ('15) is now the Executive Director for College For Working Adults at Seattle Colleges.





Devin Glaser ('16) is a policy analyst with Upgrade Seattle. He is working to gain support for a city-run broadband network. Devin was interviewed by the Seattle Times to comment on Mayor Ed Murray's position that a public-private partnership is a better option than a costly municipal broadband. Devin used the paper he wrote in the Policy Analysis class to support his comments. He credits the Seattle University MPA as being crucial to his success as a Policy Analyst stating: "Professor Krupa's Government Finance class taught me how to project the necessary tax rates and Professor Pierce's Policy Analysis course laid the groundwork for our current legislative push. It's been an amazing experience getting to apply my studies, in order to work for real social change." Read his comments HERE.

Stephanie Lennon ('16) started a new position as a Policy and Advocacy Coordinator with School's Out Washington.





Joy Liechty ('16) was promoted to Supervisor in Power Operations & Marketing at Seattle City Light. She has almost 20 years of experience in energy marketing and scheduling, operations, contract administration and IT project work. She serves on the City of Mercer Island's Arts Council, and volunteers with Mount Baker Junior Crew, and her sons' local scout unit.




Michael Martin ('16) is a Planning Intern for the Port of Portland.






Sergiu Prisacari ('16) accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Treasury in the Office of Inspector General in Washington D.C.





Matthew Mauer ('17) is now the Veterans Affairs Representative: King County Veterans Outreach Coordinator at United States Senate: Office of Senator Patty Murray.




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