Student Competition Countdown to Nominations!


OCTOBER 11-13, 2017 

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

DEC. 1

Nomination Window for Deans (or Program Directors) and Pi Alpha Alpha Advisors to select students!

Deans (or Program Directors) and Pi Alpha Alpha Advisors will have 24-hours to select the student of your choice to represent your school at the competition. You will receive an email on Thursday, December 1st with nomination instructions and link. (Nominating a student takes only 60 seconds.)

Student Self-Nomination / Registration
Students will participate at their closest regional site on Saturday, February 25, 2017. The eight host sites include:
  • Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
  • Columbia University, New York City, New York, USA
  • George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia, USA
  • Indiana University Bloomington and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, hosted in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
  • Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands
  • Tsinghua University, Beijing, China **on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017**
  • Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
  • University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
What you need to know:
  • Graduate students from NASPAA schools will compete at 8 global sites around the world in a dynamic daylong competition. They will analyze a Food Security problem (related to UN Sustainable Development Goal #2) and present their solutions to a panel of expert judges. The competition will feature a simulation model, which requires students to apply the skills they learned in the classroom and implement systems thinking. 
  • This year the competition is on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at all US, South American, and European sites, and it will be held on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017 at the China site.
  • While the focus this year is on Food Security, students do not need to have expertise or experience in this area to compete.
  • Participants will be notified of their selection late January/early February and will be matched to a site close to their location.
  • Students nominated by Deans (or Program Directors) and Pi Alpha Alpha advisors will be given preference to represent their schools, then additional spaces will be filled with students that have self-registered.
  • Participation is free, but students do need to travel to a host site. (We ask that schools financially support their student travel expenses, but if this is not possible, NASPAA has a small travel budget to help defray travel costs.) 
  • This competition is only open to current graduate students at NASPAA schools. 
  • Students requiring a visa to travel to a site should contact

Please click links below to download a poster announcing this year's  competition: it will look great on your MPA student bulletin board! 

Download Poster size 8.5 in x11 in

Download Poster size 17 in x 23 in

See why 95% of past participants say they would compete again:

2015 Competition
2015 Competition

2016 Competition
2016 Competition


Students concerned that a potential hiring freeze or other imminent executive actions may adversely harm the US government's Presidential Management Fellowship program (PMF), should be reassured, at least for the time being. The 2017 program is going on as planned, and the deadline for applying is midnight EST, December 1!

As previous issues of this newsletter have detailed, the PMF program has recently been overhauled and transferred to a more appropriate division of the Office of Personnel Management. New strategies have been put in place to: 
  • "Engage agencies early in the process to support their leadership succession planning needs,"
  • "Assure an objective, rigorous, and credible assessment process," and 
  • "Deliver a high-quality leadership development program." 
This year, the plan is for finalists to be named and hired by the end of the winter. 
For more details on the rehab of the PMF, and its new features and timetable, please see

For details on how to apply for the PMF, please see

What's been your experience with this year's PMF process? Please share your comments with NASPAA's Executive Director, Laurel McFarland, at

NASPAA Welcomes New Members
Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Centre for Public Administration
By Professor Liu Hong, Director of Nanyang Centre for Public Administration and Chair of School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Nanyang Centre for Public Administration (NCPA) at Nanyang Technological University   (NTU) in Singapore is one of the leading institutions in Asia that provides graduate education and executive training in public governance and administration. We offer wide-ranging programmes conducted in both English and  Chinese, including Master of Public Administration (MPA), Master of Science in Managerial Economics (MME), Masters of Arts in Contemporary China, and Executive Training Programmes. First launched in 1992, NTU was the first international university to provide executive training programmes for middle and senior ranking Chinese governmental officials. Committed to multidisciplinary approaches to addressing important policy issues, and focusing on Asia through a global and comparative perspective, NCPA is dedicated to preparing and inspiring future leaders for the public, private, and non-profit sectors. We aim to enhance the quality of governance with our cutting-edge curriculum, top-quality research, and extensive engagement in the policy community.

As a new NASPAA member, we hope to become more integrated with the public policy community and fellow schools of public administration worldwide. Through various NASPAA global platforms and collaborating opportunities with other member institutions, we aim to attain international recognition for our programmes with the highest quality of graduate education and executive training in public governance. More details about our programme can be found at

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies

The Middlebury Institute of International Studies is a graduate school for students and faculty who want to contribute to continued positive change in the world.

Our students come from
MIIS Monterey Aerial
 more than 40 countries and speak 30 languages, fostering an international community on our close-knit campus. Our curriculum across all degree programs emphasizes deep collaborative learning that immerses students in culture and language, and gives them the opportunity to acquire and apply practical, professional skills.

Our degree programs focus on areas of critical importance in rapidly growing fields, including international security, human rights and social change, translation and interpretation, sustainable development, and global management. Students build a foundation in theory at our coastal Monterey, California, campus, and also perform research, data collection, and internships in relevant locations around the world, like Colombia, Rwanda, Spain, and Nepal. They return to the classroom to analyze their experiences and findings, and formulate prospective policy-all alongside faculty who are both research experts and practitioners in their fields.

Institute alumni find fulfilling careers at organizations like the United Nations, U.S. State Department, and World Bank, as well as at for-profit companies in Silicon Valley, and in banking and consulting.

The Institute also oversees several prominent research and program centers, including the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, the Center for the Blue Economy, the Center for Social Impact, and the Center for Conflict Studies. Faculty, current students, and a global network of alumni actively address some of the most critical issues of our time.

Founded in 1955 as the Monterey Institute of International Studies, the Institute became an official graduate school of Middlebury in 2010, enhancing our network, resources, and worldwide reach. We are excited to join NASPAA, as we share their commitment to excellence in public service education and training.

University of Louisiana Monroe's 
Master in Public Administration 

The University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) offers a 36-hour online-only MPA Program designed for graduate students anywhere in the world. The degree program was created with the central purpose of producing graduates with the fundamental public management and policy analysis skills for professional careers in domestic and international public, nonprofit, and private sector organizations. This online program is open to students globally without previous public or private sector experience as well as individuals presently employed in the public or private sector seeking to advance their careers. The courses are offered in eight-week and sixteen-week formats every semester, allowing the degree to be completed in as little as 12 months. Students may choose from concentrations such as Public Management, Administration of Health, Administration of Justice, Administration of Education, and Administration of Management. In April 2016, the program was named one of the nation's most affordable by ULM joined NASPAA to continue improving its MPA programming and to contribute to the MPA community while sustaining high standards. For more information on the program, visit

University of Montana's Masters of Public Administration
The University of Montana's (UM) Masters of Public Administration (MPA) was founded in 1976 and located in the stunning natural landscape of Missoula, Montana. Because of our close proximity to local, state, federal, and tribal governments, we have developed a strong regional presence. The mission of the UM MPA program is designed to prepare students for administrative careers in public and nonprofit agencies for both pre-career and mid-career students.  To fulfill our mission students have the ability to take courses online or in-person. We also offer a joint degree option with the law school. Our non-profit track was recently ranked within the top 40 in the nation. We recognize the incredible role that NASPAA and its member institutions have played in promoting quality public policy/service education and practice for more than 4 decades. We see joining this extraordinary organization as a natural progression in our continued commitment to such standards here in the state of Montana. NASPAA membership positions us for future accreditation and supports our goal of promoting excellence for public service professionals.

University of the Philippines Los Baños, College of Public Affairs and Development 

The College of Public Affairs and Development (CPAf) of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), since its creation in 1998, has made - and is continuing to make - its mark in the fields of development management and governance, rural/community development, agricultural education, extension education, public affairs and development. CPAf is one of only two colleges and schools in UPLB that solely offers graduate academic programs. Particularly, CPAf offers a doctor of philosophy degree in development studies; master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees in community development, extension education, and agricultural education; master and master of science degrees in development management and governance; and a master's degree in public affairs. 

In addition to its academic program offerings, CPAf is also active in various research and public service programs and projects. Its research programs are geared along the thematic areas of community development, education, management science, information science, public administration, global studies, agricultural education, policy studies, development studies, and governance studies.

Under the current leadership of Dean Virginia R. Cardenas, CPAf is on track towards becoming a world-class graduate research and public service college. It continues to expand and improve its curricular and research programs to address development issues not just in the Philippines, but also in the ASEAN region and the global scene.

NASPAA Co-hosts Seminar on Quality Assurance of Graduate Public Service Education
January 24-25, 2017 | Mexico City, Mexico
NASPAA, partnered with the Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública (INAP), will host a meeting on "Quality Assurance of Graduate Public Service Education in Mexico" on January 24-25, 2017 in Mexico City. NASPAA is pleased to be working with INAP, as it is considered one of the most influential public affairs research and education institutions in Mexico. The meeting will serve to improve the understanding about Mexican public service education and quality assurance of graduate public affairs programs and to assess the interest and feasibility of global quality assurance of Mexico's leading public affairs programs. NASPAA will be represented by Nadia M. Rubaii, Chandler Stolp, among others, and will be joined by colleagues at the Inter-American Network of Public Administration Education (INPAE). Also attending will be representatives of Mexican graduate public administration and policy programs, the Mexican government, and Mexican accreditation organizations. If you are interested in learning more about this meeting, or if you have an interest in Mexican graduate public administration education, please contact Maryan Carbuccia (, NASPAA's graduate intern, for more information.

NASPAA International Quality Conference
April 3-5, 2017 | Doha, Qatar 
NASPAA is holding, in partnership with our member school Doha Institute of Graduate Studies, an international conference on the "Quality of Public Affairs Education in the Middle East" to be held in Doha, Qatar this April 3-5. Download a preliminary conference program here.

The conference will provide an opportunity for schools in the region and internationally to:
learn more about program management and NASPAA accreditation standards,
participate in meaningful dialogue about the challenges faced by programs in the Middle East, discuss the role Public Service Education can play in building capacity for governance in the Middle East, enhance the scholarship surrounding topics important to the region, including sustainability goals, and institutionalize their collaboration in the future in the form of a public affairs association or a regional section of a larger association.

If you are interested in participating in the conference, please contact Stacy Drudy at for further information.

Doha Institute Campus
Doha Institute Main Entrance

PPIA-NASPAA Public Service Weekend Recap

Binghamton University hosted its first PPIA-NASPAA Public Service Weekend from October 27-30, 2016
Based on a regional PSW model, we hosted 24 students from institutions based in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, from a total pool of 49 applic ants. 
Mayor Svante Myric

The students attended panels led by Binghamton University College of Community  and  Public Affairs faculty,  staff, students and alumni on a variety of topics including  public service career preparation, networking, how to apply to graduate school, innovation in public affairs,  activism, and philanthropy. The students were treated to a screening of the film He Named Me Malala, about Malala Yousafzai the Pakistani teenager who became the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The Keynote Speaker of the event was Ithaca, NY mayor Svante Myrick, who is the city's first mayor of color and its youngest mayor.

After the weekend, students felt more prepared to choose a graduate school major, were more aware of what a Master of Public Administration degree was, and were more likely to pursue an MPP or MPA degree after graduation. They had more knowledge about the types of work performed by people who hold MPA degrees, and were more familiar with the role and definition of philanthropy. Overall, the students said that they knew their personal strengths and limitations better after participating in the weekend's activities.

Binghamton University's MPA program was excited to host its first Public Service Weekend and would welcome an opportunity to do so again in the future.

student break-out sessions

Binghamton CCPA faculty and staff

From left to right:  Komla Dzigbede, Nadia Rubaii, David Marshall (NASPAA), Kristina Lambright, Thomas Sinclair, Joann Lindstrom, Debra Collette-O'Brien, and George Homsy


Program Director's Corner

2016 NASPAA  Career  Professionals Conference in Charlottesville, VA -- Registration closes December 1!
This year's NASPAA  Career  Professionals Conference is filled with information that can have immediate and lasting impacts on your campus. The planning committee is proud to share this year's official agenda Don't miss the opportunity to hear keynote Betty Shotton, CEO, Author, & Speaker!  The conference is generously hosted by the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy at the University of Virginia. The conference begins Wednesday evening, December 7, with a welcome reception and dinner. The conference will run all day Thursday, December 8 and will end at 2:00 pm on Friday, December 9. There is still time to register to save your spot at this year's conference! Sign up today at For further details contact Leigh Anne Elliott, Conference Manager at .

National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) 2017 Scholarships 
In conjunction with its annual conference, FORUM 2017, The National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA) will again award scholarships to eligible students. The scholarships range from $1,000 to $10,000 and will be awarded during FORUM 2017 which will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas, April 19 -23, 2017. To learn more, interested students can go to:
Should you want additional information, please contact Marcia Conner, Interim Executive Director, at or 202 408 9300.

2016 Self-Study Instructions & Policy Statement  
COPRA released its annual updates to the Self-Study Instructions for NASPAA Accreditation, as well as the October 2016 Policy Statement. The statement officially extends the current expectations regarding student learning assessment and Standard 5.1 to programs in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 cohorts and announces changes to the collection of student completion rates, which are reflected in the Self-Study Instructions.  The Self-Study Report form in the NASPAA Data Center will open in January 2017 for those programs submitting reports in August 2017. 

ICYMI: 2014-15 Annual Accreditation Data Report
Learn more about NASPAA Accredited Programs in the 2016 Annual Accreditation Data Report! The AY 2014-15 Report provides increased insight into our field, and the faculty, students, and alumni of our accredited programs. Thank you to each NASPAA-accredited program for providing the data in the report.

Site Visitor Training at ARNOVA
On November 18 at the ARNOVA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, COPRA hosted its final Site Visitor Training of the year. Thank you to all of the nonprofit management experts who joined Crystal Calarusse and Heather Hamilton to learn more about the role of the site visit in the accreditation process and volunteer for future site visits.

Interested in becoming a NASPAA Site Visitor? Stay tuned, COPRA will be hosting a training at the ASPA Annual Conference in March 2017!

Journal of Public Affairs Education: CALL FOR PAPERS 

Member News

Penn State Harrisburg Chapter Pi Alpha Alpha Recognizes Excellence

Thirty-eight students and alums were inducted into the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society on October 16, 2016. The chapter has many events planned for the year and the October induction ceremony is the annual "kickoff" event. Professor Jane Beckett-Camarata is their Chapter Advisor and Stephanie Ponnett is their current Chapter President.

Pi Alpha Alpha Induction Ceremony at Savannah State University
The Master of Public Administration Program at Savannah State University celebrated its 30th anniversary on October 28, 2016. More than fifty people attended the event including current students, alumni, current and former professors, and family members. The Pi Alpha Alpha induction ceremony was a featured part of the evening's program. Five MPA students were inducted into this prestigious honor society (from left to right): Natavis Harris, Shenna Simmons ,Godlove Binda and Brianna Dean. Not pictured, Kiera McKinney, was unable to attend the ceremony because she is doing an internship with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation in their Miami field office. Dr. Otilia Iancu, MPA Program Coordinator and faculty advisor for the SSU PAA Chapter, led the students in the Pi Alpha Alpha oath and then presented them with their certificates and pins.

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