Melissa Sienna

MPA, 2017

Research Associate, UConn Health


Melissa recently graduated in May 2017 from the UConn Master of Public Administration (MPA) program. Prior to obtaining her MPA, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Neuroscience from Wesleyan University (1995) and a Master of Science in School Psychology from Southern Connecticut State University (2005). Melissa is currently employed by UConn Health as a Research Associate in the Department of Community Medicine and Health Care. She has over two decades of experience in behavioral health research, program evaluation and program management related to behavioral health services, particularly substance use services. More recently, her professional focus has been in the areas of translational science (research-to-practice) for public systems, and implementing infrastructure and service improvements to increase access to behavioral health for disparate populations.

Melissa decided to pursue an MPA to formalize her practice-based knowledge of public administration and to build skills in the area of public finance. She enjoys the academic rigor of the UConn program, particularly in the finance courses, and encourages new students to choose courses that not only build upon their strengths, but that help them to develop a more balanced set of skills and perspectives. While balancing the MPA program with full-time work and other commitments can be challenging, it is possible.

Melissa hopes to use her MPA degree to move into a management position within government or a large health care non-profit where she can continue to her work in health systems.

Melissa Sienna
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