Author: wag02001

Jason Jakubowski Receives 2017 MPA Distinguished Alumni Award


Jason Jakubowski received 2017 MPA Distinguished Alumni AwardJason Jakubowski Receives 2017 MPA Distinguished Alumni Award

Jason Jakubowski, Vice President of External Relations, Hospital for Special Care (HSC), was honored with the 2017 MPA Distinguished Alumni Award at a gathering of Department of Public Policy alumni, faculty and staff at Real Art Ways in Hartford, on Thursday, April 6, 2017.

Prior to joining HSC, Jason worked as the Director of Corporate & Community Development at Charter Oak State College, where he still teaches courses in Political Science and Public Administration. He also serves on the adjunct faculty at the Central Connecticut State University.

A New Britain native, Jason holds both a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Connecticut. He was elected twice to the New Britain City Council and served two terms as City Treasurer. In 2012, he served as one of Connecticut’s seven Presidential Electors for Barack Obama.

Jason is a dedicated supporter and promoter of the MPA program and the work of the Department of Public Policy.  He is a longstanding member of the MPA Alumni Council who offers his time to the organization and guidance to MPA students.  Jason served as the emcee for DPP’s 40th Anniversary Celebration in 2012, has presented seminars and chaired panel discussions offered to DPP students and participates as an interviewer in our annual Student Mock Interview Night.

In addition, Jason serves as Chairman of the Board at Community Health Resources, Vice Chair of the Board at Leadership Greater Hartford, and he serves on the boards of both the Middlesex County and Greater New Britain Chambers of Commerce. In 2010 he served on the Transition Team for Governor Dannel P. Malloy, and in 2008 he was named one of the region’s “40 Under 40” by the Hartford Business Journal.  Jason currently lives in West Hartford with his wife and five children. He is an avid supporter of the West Hartford Public School System and a longtime coach with the West Hartford Youth Baseball League.

Along with celebrating Jason’s honor, event guests had the opportunity to hear from Sean Fitzpatrick, Director of the Department of Development Services for the City of Hartford.  Sean spoke of a number of new projects under development in Hartford noting new railway service from Hartford to New York, businesses outside of Connecticut looking to relocate to Hartford and the boom of available apartments across the city.  He also spoke about the very exciting opening of the UConn Downtown Hartford Campus in August, the new home of the Department of Public Policy.

Pi Pi Alpha Annual Meeting and Induction of New Members

Pi Pi Alpha ceremony attendees

On April 19, 2017, at the Town and County Club in Hartford, Pi Pi Alpha, the honors society for graduate professional students in public administration and public policy, proudly inducted 26 new members.  The purpose of Pi Pi Alpha is to encourage and recognize outstanding academic achievement and to support graduate public service education.  The honors society hosts and sponsors events that bring alumni and current students together, such as the annual Mock Interview Night, the Faculty/Alumni Meet and Greet for new students and the Annual Induction Ceremony and Business Meeting.

The evening’s special guest speaker was Atty. Eva Jacobson, UConn School of Law 2016 and MPA alumna 2014, from Lawyers Without Borders. Eva has established a career of pursuing and promoting human rights throughout the world.  She spoke of her experiences running programs for refugee children from Nepal and Burma, teaching English to children in Thailand and as volunteer and professional legal advocate for immigrants and refugees.  She also shared her current work with Lawyers Without Borders where she runs a program training lawyers, prosecutors and judges about human trafficking including her recent trip to Tanzania in this pursuit.

Along with our special inductee, Eva Jacobson, DPP welcomes the following 2017 Inductees:

Arthur Atkin Timothy Hanser Sara Nagle
David Barkin Jessica Inacio Hanna Nagy
Danielle Bergmann Michael Izadi Carrie Norris
Jonilda Brahimi Su-Teng Kuan Eric Smith
Sadie Colcord Michael Lepore Samantha Sokoloski
Maria Coman Andrew Ludwig Paul West
Alessia Degrazia Brian Luther Christopher Whitten
Harrison Fregeau Thomas Matthews Emily Wilson
Daniel Gregory Austin Murray

Congratulations to the Pi Pi Alpha Council 2017-2018:

Blaize Levitan President
Douglas Shipman Vice President
Anthony Naples Secretary
Natalie Laven Treasurer
Sara Nagle Membership Chair


“Fake News” Discussed at DPP Student Forum

GAPPS Fake News Event Attendees
On February 21, 2017, the Graduate Association of Public Policy Students (GAPPS) hosted its first “DPP Student Forum” and the topic was “Fact or Fiction: A Conversation on Uncovering the Truth in the Headlines.”

Twenty students, faculty and staff met for a relaxed, yet informative conversation about “fake news.”  The participants first talked about what fake news means to them and who has interest in creating fake news. The group scrolled through President Trump’s Twitter account to see the number of times he called out something as being “fake news.”

Next, the conversation moved to the role of the media and the role of the citizen in presenting, interpreting and collecting data. Ultimately, the group considered the citizen to be the primary shareholder when it came to responsibility. From there, they watched the clip of Kellyanne Conway talking about the Bowling Green Massacre and followed that with a discussion about whether we can forgive politicians for making mistakes. This turned the conversation toward applying education and research while searching for credibility in the news.

Lastly, each participant provided one word or phrase that they believe would combat the issues of fake news. Some answers included: education; censorship; balancing inquiry and advocacy; authenticity; reward good actors; good conversation; read and research; data; respect differences; reason; persistence; understanding and patience.

The GAPPS members thank everyone for attending a great night of discussion.  GAPPS will be planning similar forums on current issues.


GAPPS Welcomes New Officers for 2017


The Graduate Association of Public Policy Students (GAPPS) is the student organization for the UConn Department of Public Policy. GAPPS’ goal is to serve as a social and intellectual forum for students pursuing a degree or certificate in the Department of Public Policy. Throughout the academic year GAPPS members plan and host a multitude of events that enrich students’ social and academic experiences.  They are committed to public service, professional development, and having some fun.

GAPPS members recently elected the following new officers for the 2017 year:

President Fabia Firoze-Doza
Vice President Melissa Durkin
Secretary Emily Klawitter
Treasurer Hanna Nagy
Fundraising Kim Mayer
Alumni Coordinator Mitchell Samal

Congratulations to the new officers!  For more information, please visit the GAPPS Facebook page.