Congratulations Class of 2017!

NASPAA's 2017 Alumni Survey is now open!

It's not too late for your school to participate!

Interested in finding out how to participate?

Contact Stacy Drudy at, or go to the Alumni Survey website.

View last years results here!

Congratulations to graduates of the MPA/MPP Class of 2017! And congratulations to all faculty and administrators of our schools for surviving the academic year!

We'll be excited to learn from programs in their next Annual Data Report just how many students we are congratulating.  Here's a look at how many degrees were awarded last academic year:

(Click image to view by state data)
NASPAA 2017 Annual Awards

The NASPAA 2017 Annual Awards Deadline Is 
June 2!   Nominate A Great Colleague, Student Or Program For This Year!
Great work is accomplished every day by public service education faculty, students and programs. At the NASPAA Annual Conference, we highlight this excellence! You can nominate yourself, peers, students and programs by submitting a few pieces of information;  review the full details here.
  • Staats Emerging Scholars Award: for up to three current Ph.D. students pursuing a faculty position.
  • NASPAA Dissertation Award: to recognize significant research achieved in a dissertation.
  • Duncombe Excellence in Doctoral Education Award: for a faculty member with supervisory responsibilities for doctoral students.
  • Leslie Whittington Excellence in Teaching Award: for a faculty member who has displayed teaching excellence over a period of time.
  • Diversity Award: for a program that exemplifies the highest standards of promoting and supporting diversity in research, teaching and/or service.
  • Social Justice Curriculum Award: for a faculty member or faculty team will show how social justice principles have been incorporated into the syllabus and teaching activities of at least one core course.
  • Social Equity Award: for a program that exemplifies the highest standards of promoting and supporting social equity in research, teaching and/or service.
  • Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter of the Year Award: recognizes excellence in programming and chapter management in pursuit of the PAA goals for scholarship, leadership and excellence.
  • Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter Advisor of the Year Award: for a person who has made outstanding contributions in support of a PAA chapter.
  • Pi Alpha Alpha Master's Degree Manuscript Award: recognizes an outstanding manuscript written by a Master's student.
  • Pi Alpha Alpha Doctoral Manuscript Award: recognizes an outstanding manuscript written by a doctoral student.
    All nominations must be submitted by  Friday, June 2 at 11:59 p.m. ET 
    Winners will be announced in August 2017! 

    Contact David Marshall with questions,  202.628.8965 x114.
Pi Alpha Alpha Mini-Grants

Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter Advisors: 
Apply NOW for Chapter Mini-Grants and a Special Public Service Loan Forgiveness Advocacy Mini-Grant

Submission Deadline is Friday, June 2, 2017 

NASPAA and the Pi Alpha Alpha Committee announce the creation of two new opportunities to help Pi Alpha Alpha chapters expand their work of raising the awareness on the importance of public service and inspiring students to pursue careers in public service. This fall at the NASPAA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, two chapters will receive a Pi Alpha Alpha Chapter Mini-Grant. The $2,000 mini-grants will be used for programming for professional development, networking, community service, and/or the promotion of public service careers. These grants cannot be used for induction or commencement ceremonies. More information and how to apply for the Chapter Mini-Grant.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Mini-Grants will be awarded to two Pi Alpha Alpha
Chapters to implement grassroots/advocacy plans that use students and alumni to outreach to and educate their members of Congress about the significance of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). These $500 grants can be used for organizing letter writing and/or phone calling campaigns; lobbying members of congress in Washington and/or in their local districts, or creating and posting videos to various social media channels. Since NASPAA is a nonpartisan organization, Chapters are reminded that students should present evidence-based policy analysis, and that students with different views are encouraged to participate. More information and how to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Mini-Grant.

Alumni Spotlight Award

Your alumni could be featured in NASPAA's New Alumni Spotlight Award! 

Submission Deadline: June 16, 2017

NASPAA's Alumni Spotlight Award will highlight two alumni of NASPAA Schools who have made significant impacts in their communities and devised innovative solutions to public problems. For the first time, NASPAA will honor an alumnus of BOTH a large university and small university!!

We need your nominations to demonstrate how our schools make a difference in very concrete ways. Please nominate alumni who have solved a public problem through innovation, impact and inspiration.

Nominees from all levels of government as well as the nonprofit and consulting sectors are welcome. A committee comprised of members of NASPAA's Marketing Committee will be featured in a print and digital publicity campaign. Additionally the honorees will receive a trip to the NASPAA Annual Conference in Washington, DC where they will be publicly recognized.

Please see the contest webpage at for more information that you can share with your faculty, staff and alumni to encourage nominations. 

Questions? Contact Meagan Van Gelder at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Member News
Tragedy, Quest for Understanding, and Action at NASPAA Schools  
by David Marshall, NASPAA

Recently, the tragic events in Manchester, England have
Richard Collins
 reminded us yet again of how truly heartbreaking it is when acts of violence take the innocent lives of youth and young adults who are full of promise.  However, when such events happen close to home - indeed to your neighbors and/or family members - it feels even more horrific.  That is how NASPAA feels about the events that transpired early Saturday morning, May 20, 2017 .  That morning in what investigators have called an unprovoked attack, Richard Collins III, a graduating Senior at Bowie State University was fatally stabbed on the University of Maryland College Park campus by a University of Maryland student.  Collins, who was African American, was set to graduate on Tuesday, May 23 and was recently commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army.  The FBI has joined the investigation to determine if Collin's alleged attacker - who is white - belongs to a white supremacist group, and if the murder should be considered a hate crime.
We are truly saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the communities at Bowie State University and the University of Maryland College Park.  With both Bowie State University and the University of Maryland, College Park being in the Washington, DC area, we at NASPAA consider them our neighbors.  Furthermore, since both schools are loyal NASPAA members they are part of the NASPAA family.  Finally, Lt. Collins answered the call to public service, and unfortunately our nation and indeed the world will never experience what he could have offered society.  For all of us who recognize and cultivate public spiritedness in the next generation, Lt. Collins' death is a setback to progress toward a diverse and inclusive society.
David Abrahams, Chair of Bowie State's Department of Management, Marketing, Public Administration and Entrepreneurship was Lt. Collin's academic advisor.  Abrahams said "Unlike most of his peers Richard had a keen sense of duty and purpose for the next chapter in life, having committed the next four years to military service.  My conversations with Richard over the span of one year gave me a chance to hear about his supportive parents and his admiration for his older brother who also is a military service member.  Richard was a person filled with potential and desire to 
make a positive impact in the world.  Richard did everything right."
University of Maryland President, Wallace D. Loh issued a statement saying, "The horrific assault that took the life of a young man on our campus on [the morning of Saturday, May 20] has shocked, saddened, and angered our community and beyond."  President Loh has since tasked the University's Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) to create a trained, rapid-response team for any hate-bias incident.  This action team - comprised of faculty, staff, and students - would provide support and services to any member of our community who is the subject of a hate incident.  The President has allocated $100,000 to this effort.  The entire press release and action plan can see here: .   Robert Orr, Dean of University of Maryland's School of Public Policy said, "This has to be a wake-up call for us all.  Identity politics are seething through our society and through are campuses.  Schools of public policy must lead the charge on seeking solutions not only in the policy realm, but also at the campus level."
Dr. Erroll Southers is the Director of The University of Southern California's Safe Communities Institute (SCI) at the Sol Price School of Public Policy which engages research, interdisciplinary education and collaboration to advance sustainable public safety strategies, policies and programs.  The SCI's Homegrown Violent Extremism (HVE) Studies Program focuses on a diverse collection of homegrown extremist activities, including domestic terrorism and hate crimes.  In an effort to understand the extremist radicalization pathway, the HVE program is engaged in groundbreaking domestic and international research efforts to develop community-driven risk-reduction solutions that resonate with policymakers, community leaders and the general public.  Dr. Southers says "the truth of it is that our nation has been conditioned to view terrorism as the exclusive province of extremist Muslims.  While we wring our hands over the threat from terrorism, this evident violent extremist attack is instead branded as a hate crime.  It's well-past time to expand our collective definition of terrorism, recognize that attacks by non-Muslims are occurring in far greater number and develop strategies that allow us to counter adherents to all violent ideologies."
NASPAA joins other academic organizations and universities in reaffirming our commitment to rejecting hate and divisiveness on every campus and work, through public affairs education, to foster a civil society.  Therefore, we applaud the University of Maryland's Action Plan and the work at the Price School's Southern California's Safe Communities Institute and Homegrown Violent Extremism Studies Program.

NASPAA Annual Conference

Annual Conference Updates

NASPAA received over 130 panel proposals for this year's conference. Most of the submissions were excellent and of high quality - the conference committee has a tough job determining which ones will be accepted. Look for notifications in mid-June!
Conference Sponsorships are nearly sold out! We have just a few spots left and need your help with the Accreditation Institute Breakfast and several of the afternoon refreshment breaks. Sponsors of these events will receive the Bronze and Copper sponsorship level benefits, as well as recognition onsite through signage and a branded service item, such as napkin or cup. Contact us now to secure a space for your school.
There is still space available to exhibit at the conference and advertise in the conference program . This is a key opportunity to promote your program's faculty and new initiatives in the NASPAA community.
The preliminary schedule of events has been posted. Please note that registration will open in July. NASPAA has reserved a block of rooms at the conference hotel, The Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, and hotel reservations are now being accepted.

Questions about the conference? Contact Leigh Anne Elliott.


2016 NASPAA Next Participants

Now Accepting Nominations from Deans, Program Directors, and Senior Faculty

NASPAA is thrilled to announce the return of NASPAA NEXT at the 2017 NASPAA Annual Conference in Washington, DC on  Wednesday, October 11 . The four-hour workshop, will provide emerging leaders in their departments or programs with practical tools that will enable them to become more engaged and dynamic members of their campuses and communities. Participation in NASPAA NEXT is by invitation only, and invitations are based on recommendations from deans and other senior faculty, professional reputation and scholarly research, as well as participation in NASPAA activities.

In response to the 2017 NASPAA Annual Conference Theme - " Confidence in Public and Nonprofit Sectors: How is it Built, How is it Lost, and How is it Regained?" - this year NASPAA NEXT will focus on Track 3 of the conference:  Building Public Trust Through Responsible Policy Communications and Advocacy. Participants will learn strategies for communicating groundbreaking research to public policy leaders, nonprofit practitioners, and the public at large. Additionally, emerging faculty will discuss the importance of advocating for the use and implementation of public policy analysis from NASPAA schools, faculty, and students. Also important is the ability to communicate and advocate for ideas that are generated in other countries and being able to identify what programs can be implemented domestically and vice versa. Through these actions our public and nonprofit institutions can inspire public confidence by implementing policies based solid empirical analysis that deliver results. Moreover, participants will learn how to become more fully engaged with NASPAA by ensuring their talents and knowledge base are strategically aligned with leadership opportunities for the association. Finally, participants will engage in a group project after the Annual Conference designed to make public policy analysis visible to policy makers and the general public. We are in discussions with several faculty members to lead this dynamic workshop.

NASPAA is currently accepting nominations from Deans, Program Directors, and Senior Faculty for faculty who have recently received tenure or at an equivalent stage of their academic and professional development.  Nominations should be sent via email to David Marshall, Director of Membership Development, at

Public Service Weekends

UC San Diego Public Service Weekend Recap

The UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy's Public Service Weekend, April 22-23, 2017, was an interactive weekend designed to expose underrepresented undergraduate students in Southern California to the myriad of career opt ions available to them in the public sector. Day one included expert career panels drawn from San Diego and Los Angeles, covering areas like education and public health policy, non-profit advocacy, environmental sustainability, and civil service through elected office. Students learned how to write a policy brief and craft a polished resume, and were treated to an advocacy boot camp by a distinguished practitioner in the field. The second day was focused on next steps, and explored higher education as a possible path forward. The weekend engaged all members of the GPS community - faculty, students, staff and alumni - and began building deeper ties with regional community and 4-year colleges with the hopes of broadening the School's student pipeline and increasing the diversity of its student body.
Upcoming Public Service Weekends:

Infographic from NASPAA 2016 Alumni Survey

NASPAA's Alumni Survey gives us insight into our 
Graduates, answering questions like: 
How Prepared are Alumni on the 5 Universal Competencies?

(Click image to enlarge)

Program Director's Corner

NASPAA Admissions Professionals Meeting: A Message for Deans and Admissions Directors
As you may be aware, the 2017 NASPAA Admissions Professors Meeting is scheduled for July 13, 2017 from 10 AM- 3 PM EST at American University's School of Public Affairs. As in previous years, this event will provide members of the admissions community to discuss the most pressing issues such as recruiting and financial aid.

Please forward this invitation to your colleagues and those who have admissions duties at your respective institutions. To access the registration page, please have them click here.
Additionally, we are asking registrants to complete a brief survey here so we can identify the topics of greatest interest among our participants.

We appreciate your commitment to public service education and hope to see admissions community from your schools attend this meeting in Washington, D.C.!

Important Accreditation Dates:
Stay up-to-date with happenings in accreditation!

* June 1, 2017 - Site Visitor training at the SELC Conference at the University of Nebraska at Omaha
* August 15, 2017 - Self-Study Report deadline for 2017-18 cohort
* August 15, 2017 - Eligibility application deadline for first-time applicants
* October 11, 2017 - Accreditation Institute at NASPAA Annual Conference
* October 23, 2017 - Site Visitor training at the ICMA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas
* November 16-18, 2017 - Site Visitor training at the ARNOVA Annual Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Thank you!
Spring 2017 accreditation site visits are complete! Thank you to all of our host programs and volunteer site visitors for making the process smooth and successful. Don't forget to send your requests for reimbursement directly to NASPAA.

If you are interested in training to be a site visitor stay up-to-date with opportunities here or contact

2017 Accreditation Institute
Start planning now! The 2017 Accreditation Institute will be held October 11, 2017 at the NASPAA Annual Conference in Washington, DC. Plan to join your colleagues for a full day of training, followed by a reception hosted by West Chester University.
Interested in presenting the Accreditation Institute? COPRA is seeking facilitators for the day-long training. Read the request for proposals here.

Interested in supporting the Accreditation Institute? We are still offering sponsorships! For more information, and to see what is still available, contact

In Case You Missed It!
COPRA released the Self-Study Instructions, for programs in the 2017-18 cohort. For the 2016 release, COPRA focused on completion rates, enhancing the quality and comparability of one of the most critical outcomes of public affairs programs and ensuring the comprehensive context of students continuing to graduation outside of four years.

COPRA also released a policy statement announcing the implementation expectations of programs in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 cohorts, with regard to Standard 5, as well as additional information related to the completion rates data requirements.


NASPAA Welcomes New Intern
Welcome Summer graduate intern
Matt Shor:

Matt Shor joins NASPAA this summer from a Ph.D. student in political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is primarily interested in American campaigns and elections. This summer, Matt is helping create an election administration "commons" to make election administration graduate training more widely accessible. Matt can be reached via email at, or via telephone at (202) 628-8965, ext. 112. 


Meet NASPAA-BATTEN Student Simulation Competition Prize Internship Winner: Sergio Peláez Sierra

Sierra was one of the members of this year's winning team at the Bogotá, Colombia host site. He is currently pursuing his Master's Degree in the Economics of Public Policy at Universidad del Rosario in Bogotá, which he will complete in December 2017. Sierra is passionate about both economics and public policy. He has had the opportunity to work in the private sector, at a steel company as a commercial economic analyst, as well as in a educational setting, in which he serves as an assistant professor of economics. Outside the realm of economics and public policy, Sierra enjoys reading, tennis, and playing the guitar.

We recently interviewed Sierra before he embarks on his journey Rome, Italy to serve as an intern at the World Food Programme's (WFP) Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Program Unit (OSZIR) on June 3, 2017.

1. What are the most exciting things about interning at the World Food Program?
"WFO is the largest organization in the fight against hunger in the world. It is an honor to be part of a work with such a strong impact on people's lives. Moreover, knowing their practices as implementers of food policies and strategies will be a tremendous learning opportunity."

2. What are you most excited about to work on based on what you have been told about the internship?
The information I have is that I will work on the Climate and Disaster Risk Reduction Program Unit (OSZIR). This is a unit within the WFP that recognizes the strong link between climate change and vulnerability in terms of poverty, food, and malnutrition among those most affected. OSZIR has a strong technical team that provides studies and guides on how to mitigate the effects of climate change on the goal of eliminating hunger. It seems to me that this is a key axis for WFP to achieve its goals, and I am very happy to be part of this unit."

3. What do you hope to take away from the internship?
"Learning! I will pursue this internship with an open mind to extract information from the best in the field. I hope to gain leadership skills and broaden my knowledge about WFP by working with the WFP team. I'm also excited to be exposed to a new culture, language and work setting."

4. Is this your first time in Rome? What are you looking forward to most about the city?
"Yes, this will be the first time I visit Rome. Rome is a city with a rich history that spans around three millennia of civilization. I am excited to learn about the city's history, experience the culture, food and people."

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