MPA Newsletter Fall 2016

From the Director, Larry Hubbell

We are happy to announce the approval of the Graduate Public Administration Certificate by our accrediting body. The Graduate Certificate in Public Administration provides public service professionals with practical “hands-on” experience and best practices in policy analysis, human resources, finance, and management skills.

In order to complete the Certificate, students will complete four classes.  Courses will be offered as a blend of on-campus meetings and online instruction. The 12 credit certificate can be completed in one year and may be applied to the 57-credit Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree.

We are seeking individuals who are currently working or looking for employment in the public or nonprofit sectors. We hope students, alumni and faculty will help us spread the word to friends and colleagues about the certificate program.

We are also delighted that the Project on Family Homelessness, a project funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now a part of the Institute of Public Service.  A major component of this grant is to raise awareness about family homelessness in the Seattle area. The initiatives involved with this project are the following:

  • A partnership with Seattle Public Library to present a photographic exhibit entitled “Tiny: Streetwise Revisited.” The exhibit is on display on the 8th floor of the Central Library.
  • Currently, I am teaching a year-long course on homelessness, which will culminate in a number of research projects for local clients.
  • As part of our “Conversation” series, we will host Seattle Mayor Ed Murray and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to discuss West Coast homelessness on Wednesday, January 11th.

We are offering many important events throughout the academic year. These events intend to educate and engage each other around public service topics. Prior to the start of each event, we will offer a social reception with appetizers and drinks for students, alumni, faculty and staff. I hope to see you there.

Public Service Scholarship Recipients

MPA Student, Rebecca Bova, Program Services Assistant, FEMA-Region 10 

Why I decided to pursue an MPA: “I decided to pursue an MPA because I thoroughly enjoy working in public service and I wanted take the opportunity to further develop my knowledge and skill set within the public administration field. I felt that the MPA gave me more of the skills I was seeking in terms of policy research and analysis, budgeting, and leadership management. Pursuing an MPA was a natural progression for me in order to accomplish my goals as I continue advance my career in public service.”  




MPA Student, Adam Campbell, Project Manager, Seneca Family of Agencies

Why I decided to pursue an MPA: “I chose to pursue an MPA degree at Seattle University to complement my career in public service. The MPA curriculum fills in the gaps where my work experience has lacked, and allows me to contextualize the broad knowledge I have obtained through years of service. Most importantly, it makes me a more effective advocate for the young people and families I work with every day.”



Faculty & Staff News

Lee Holmer, Associate Professor, spent the summer hiking Yellow Aster Butte in the Mt. Baker area, the Enchantments, and Lower Robin Lake. Dr. Holmer will retire in June 2017. The MPA program will host a retirement celebration for Lee during Spring quarter, invitation to follow. If you would like to share a few words about what you learned from Lee, share a memory or provide well wishes, please email us at




Olha Krupa, Assistant Professor, wrote an essay on the property tax system in Washington State within a larger project coordinated by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy Research. The Institute created a database of property tax systems in each state available online. The Institute's Property Tax Visualization Tool allows viewers to compare the features of the property tax in as many states as they desire. This site will be valuable to policy analysts, policymakers, journalists, researchers, citizens, and students. Access the Property Tax Visualization Tool HERE. Select Washington from the State Details drop down box to access Professor Krupa's section.

In April, Dr. Krupa presented at the Western Social Sciences conference in Reno, Nevada. In October, she presented at the Association of Budgeting and Financial Management conference in Seattle. 


Kimberly Gawlik, JD, Senior Administrative Assistant, Institute of Public Service and Environmental Studies, was a guest lecturer this summer in the Environmental Studies Department teaching the legal and legislative framework of food safety in the US.





Catherine Hinrichsen, MA, and the Project on Family Homelessness joined the Institute of Public Service (IPS), bringing with them a unique approach to family homelessness advocacy and policy. Funded by a series of grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including a new two-year grant for 2016-2018, the project uses journalism, art and storytelling to engage the community in ending family homelessness in Washington state. The project originated in 2010 under the leadership of Professor Barry Mitzman in the Center for Strategic Communications, where Catherine was an adjunct faculty member; she then moved over to a project management role. When Professor Mitzman left SU this summer, the project moved to IPS. In addition to collaboration on initiatives like StoryCorps, The Moth and Streetwise Revisited, Catherine and her team of student project assistants function as a consultancy for nonprofit partners, creating communication tools like this widely shared infographic on homelessness in King County.

Catherine’s background includes higher education, nonprofit, corporate and agency communications. She is a communications/journalism graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno (B.A.) and the University of Washington (M.A.), and is active in the Public Relations Society of America. Her son is a drama and music student at Pacific Lutheran University, studying abroad in England this year.

Lindsay Ohab, MPA, Graduate Program Coordinator received the College of Arts and Sciences Advisor of the Year award in June 2016.





Jonathan Pierce, Assistant Professor, presented multiple papers at the European Consortium for Political Research in Prague, Czech Republic about social construction, advocacy and public policy. MPA student, Casey Hicks was a co-author on one of the papers. He also presented at the Seattle University Just Sustainability conference on narratives and changing public opinion about climate change with MPA student and co-author, Kaleigh Young. Dr. Pierce and MPA student, Casey Hicks attended a workshop for authors of an edited book on foreign policy in Heidelberg, Germany in October.

Dr. Pierce received a grant from the Center for Environmental Justice and Sustainability to study how to influence public opinion about climate change using experimental narratives. His research team includes: MPA students Casey Hicks and Kaleigh Young, undergraduate students Remington Purnell and Alissa Neuman, as well as faculty from Oregon State University.

Danielle Potter, MPA, Program Coordinator, Institute of Public Service, was awarded Staff of the Year by the College of Arts and Sciences Student Executive Council in June 2016.






Kevin Ward, Assistant Professor
, received the Bill Basl Commitment to Service Award at the AmeriCorps Swearing in Ceremony at Seattle Center on Friday, Oct. 21st. The award, named for Bill Basl, Director of AmeriCorps for the Corporation for National and Community Service, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to public service.

In November, Dr. Ward will present a paper with colleagues on the determinants of lobbying activity among social welfare organizations (501(c)(4) at the annual conference of the Association of Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) in Washington, D.C.

This quarter, he will participate in the Service Learning Faculty Fellows program through the Center for Community Engagement at Seattle U. Through this program, he will convert his Collaboration Across Sectors course offered Winter quarter 2017, into a service-learning based course, in which students will partner with community organizations to map and measure collaborative activity and provide recommendations for improving network connectedness.

Alumni & Student News

Pete Mills ('01) and Vince Herberholt (‘82), graduated from the MPA program feeling equipped with a degree that formed their professional knowledge, and gave them the skills and ability to secure employment working in state and federal government. Vince credits the MPA degree with helping him land a Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) Management Internship, which exposed him to a variety of HEW programs and provided the administrative skills that led to higher level jobs, and ultimately regional management. Vince spent 32 years with the Federal Department of Health and Human Services, including the Social Security Administration, the Public Health Service, and the Administration for Children and Families.  He also served an an Associate Regional Administrator with oversight of public welfare and social service programs for the four state area of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

In 2007, Vince retired and returned to Seattle University to earn a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies along with a certification from the Archdiocese of Seattle as a Lay Ecclesial Minister. Vince graduated in 2010 and began to volunteer with a variety of social justice ministries at the national and local level, which got him thinking about how to involve communities of faith in social justice action and advocacy, and how to build up the social mission of the church.

Pete worked at Seattle University while pursuing his MPA degree, and after graduation he worked as a fundraiser for the Oregon Province Jesuits. He later went to work for Governor Inslee, at the time he was representing the 1st District in Congress. Previously, Pete worked as Congressman McDermott’s liaison in the district for business, trade and the environment for four years. Pete recalls:  “After almost eight years of working for Congress, I was burnt out. I began speaking to people at my church to help discern my next steps and it was suggested that I talk to Vince.”  

A meeting over coffee and the shared inspiration of Pope Francis’ call to action to: “Summon the courage and the intelligence to resolve today’s many geopolitical and economic crises,” led to the idea to create a nonprofit and political advocacy agency called “Network Washington.” Network Washington works locally to provide nonprofits, boards, schools and faith communities with the tools to lobby for change. Pete states: “A huge frustration in the congressional office is how poorly most nonprofits are advocating for their cause.” The focus of their work is to create an advocacy network in Washington State that will organize and lobby for issues of peace, poverty/social justice and care for the environment at all levels of government.

Want to get involved? Network Washington is new and seeking volunteers to help build the organization. Visit

John Dickinson (‘95) ran for legislative district 37, position 1.





Melanie Reynolds (‘98) owns Anchor Guardianship and Case Management Services. She serves as a consultant, advocate and professional guardian to individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and dementia. Melanie and her team work to ensure dignity and quality of life for all those who cannot manage those decisions for themselves. The mission of Anchor Services is to advocate for the vulnerable adult in our communities.

Phung Nguyen (‘15) is the Project Coordinator for the Advanced Home Care Specialist program at SEIU 775 Benefits Group. She helps plan the pilot logistics and implement the training in four counties within Washington State. She serves as the point of contact for the screening and enrollment process of home care workers who are participating in the program. 




Scott Newton (‘16) is a Program Analyst for the Federal Emergency Management Agency.





Jeffrey Tsunekawa (‘16) is the Judicial Operations Manager for the City of Seattle. He was elected to the Board of Directors for the National Association for Court Management (NACM) for a term ending in 2019. NACM is a member organization dedicated to educating court professionals, providing a network of support, sharing information, and advocating on important court and justice system topics. NACM has over 1,700 members from the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries and is the largest organization of court management professionals in the world with members from all levels and types of courts.


Geni Venable (‘17) was hired as a Communications Specialist for the Airport Operations and Customer Service division at Alaska Airlines. She supports internal communications; researching and writing articles for the internal website and newsletter. The division is big and diffuse, with employees in airports all across the country and beyond, so building a sense of shared community is a key challenge in her role.



Jeremiah Allen (‘18) is now the Project Coordinator for TRANSform Washington, a public education campaign supported by the Pride Foundation. The program celebrates the dignity, diversity, and humanity of transgender and gender conforming people. More info at




Katia Garcia (‘18) was promoted to Senior Management Systems Analyst in the City of Seattle’s Fleet Management Division.





Sarah Chamberlin (‘19), Social Worker for Providence ElderPlace, was appointed co-president of the Arts and Sciences Graduate Council. Sarah comments:  “The council is looking for new members and a great academic year ahead for all my fellow MPA-ers! Good luck and have fun!”




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**The Seattle University Institute of Public Service does not support or oppose any political candidates. The views expressed are those of the candidates only.