Message from PA Program Interim Chair Christopher Galik
Though we are small in number, we continue to make outsized contributions to the study and practice of public service at the state, regional, national and international level. The MPA program remains one of the “Best Public Affairs Programs” in the country (ranked #49 overall) and one of the best programs in nonprofit management (ranked #24). Just last week, we were one of 11 global sites to host the annual NASPAA student simulation competition. Following graduation, 97% of our MPAs have found placements. Our Ph.D. students are regularly landing highly-sought positions in government and higher education.
This past year has also brought changes to our department. Last fall, we said goodbye to our long-time colleagues RaJade Berry-James and Richard Clerkin. In the coming months, we will welcome two new colleagues to the Department. Iseul Choi is a public management scholar, and will be joining us from the University of New Mexico. Serena Kim is a computational social scientist, and will be coming to us from the University of Colorado Denver. We cannot wait for them to join us in Raleigh this fall.
The strength of our program lies in the people of our program, and our faculty continue to excel. Our faculty have brought in over $1.6 million in new grants since 2022. Multiple faculty have received college nominations for prestigious university awards, or won college-level awards themselves. On top of their research and teaching accomplishments, our faculty likewise continue to serve critical roles in the university and in the community. Jerrell Coggburn and Bruce McDonald are serving our national accrediting organization, NASPAA, with Jerrell as a member of the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA) and Bruce as a member of the Executive Council. The public safety leadership initiative continues to yield public safety CEOs under the expert guidance of James Brunet. On campus, Jeff Diebold and Jennifer Kuzma continue their work with the Data Sciences and Genetics and Genomics Academies, respectively, and I’ve recently joined the Global One Health Academy as a member of their executive team. Elsewhere on campus, Branda Nowell has been tapped to serve a year-long fellowship with the Office of Research and Innovation. Tracy Appling’s work with on- and off-campus partners is a direct contributor to that commendable placement rate I mentioned earlier, while Mandi Stewart’s work with the Leadership Fellows Academy is creating transformational professional learning experiences across NC and three other states. Throughout, our graduate academic advisor coordinator, Meggie Romick—who is in the process of pursuing a doctorate herself—has been instrumental in helping to bring new students to campus, while also helping those already here continue on their path to success.
Finally, I want to recognize you, our alumni and supporters, for all that you give to our people and program. You help make what we do possible.
Professor and Interim Department Chair