On Friday, May 5, 2017, the Department of Public Policy proudly honored the accomplishments of our 2017 graduates with a ceremony and reception held at The Front Street Bistro and Spotlight Theatres in Hartford. Degrees were bestowed on fifty-eight graduates with thirty-nine receiving a Master of Public Administration, nine receiving a Master of Public Policy (our newest degree) and ten receiving a Master of Arts in Survey Research.
The event also recognized a number of academic award recipients. The Best Capstone Award in Causal Program Evaluation was a tie presented to Group A – Maria Coman, Timothy Hanser and Thomas Mathews, and Group B – Nicholas Arace, Daniel Gregory and Su-Teng Kuan. The Best Capstone Award in Applied Management Project was presented to the Northwest Community Center team members – Richard Coore, Joel DiLoreto, Brian Luther, Sara Nagle, Carrie Norris, Melissa Sienna and Matthew Streeter. The Mort Tenzer Award, given to meritorious students entering the MPA program, was presented to Austin Murray. Melissa Sienna received the MPA Academic Excellence Award and Kristina Swindell received the GPSR Academic Excellence Award, both awards given annually to a graduating student with proven academic excellence in their chosen field of study. The Albert Ilg Award, given to a student with outstanding dedication and commitment in the area of local government administration, was presented to Brian Luther. Rachna Kaul received the David B. Walker Award honoring a student in the MPA program who exemplifies tireless dedication to public service. Additionally, the twenty-six new inductees of the Pi Pi Alpha Honors Society were recognized for their academic achievement.
Selected by the graduates, the event included inspiring remarks by the 2017 Department of Public Policy Distinguished Professor Awardee, Josh Hyman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, and Student Speaker, Melissa Sienna, recipient of the MPA Academic Excellence Award. Participating in the presentation of the graduates were Candace Fitzpatrick, MPA 2006; Mark Robbins, Ph.D., Professor and Department Head; Deneen Hatmaker, Ph.D., MPA and MPP Director; and Jennifer Dineen, Ph.D., GPSR Director.
Congratulations to the 2017 Graduates and best wishes as you begin your new careers!