Month: May 2018

DPP Students Undertake Project with Mansfield Public Schools

Bill SimonsenStudents in Professor Bill Simonsen’s Capital Financing and Budgeting course took on a real-world challenge as they worked with the Town of Mansfield and the Mansfield Public School System (MPS) to address issues of school building renovation vs. new construction, and the challenge of operating three elementary schools efficiently in the face of declining enrollment.

One of the key steps in the project was developing cost estimates for various renovation and new construction scenarios for Mansfield Public Schools (MPS).  This work included calculating the bonding amounts; estimating the bond structuring and sizing and producing a projected annual debt service; and projecting the impact on the tax rate and the average household.  This information served as part of the MPS citizen involvement process.  The students also conducted a debt affordability analysis for the town using an innovative propensity score matching technique for choosing towns for benchmarking Mansfield’s debt.  In addition, the class conducted a review of the Town’s debt policies by comparing them to best practices.

At the conclusion of the Spring 2018 semester, the class produced a final report and presented their analyses to the Town Finance Director and the MPS Board Chair.

GAPPS Recognized as ICMA Student Organization


2014 GAPPS members service trip to Everglades
2014 GAPPS Service Trip to Everglades

GAPPS, the student organization for the UConn Department of Public Policy (DPP), recently became an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) student organization.

GAPPS’ goal is to serve as a social and intellectual forum for students pursuing a degree or certificate in DPP. GAPPS is committed to public service, professional development and having fun.  Throughout the academic year GAPPS hosts a number of events that enrich students’ social and academic experiences.

As a recognized ICMA student organization, GAPPS-ICMA students will increase their opportunities to be introduced to and integrated into the local government management profession and become familiar with ICMA members and resources.  Nine GAPPS-ICMA students are scheduled to attend the 2018 CTCMA (CT Town & City Management Association) Annual Conference on June 1, 2018, at Saint Clements Castle in Portland, CT.

Officers for GAPPS-ICMA 2018-2019 are Yahaira Escribano and Mariah Brennan, Co-Presidents, and Emily Garfinkel, Secretary.

Congratulations to the new officers!

DPP Celebrates 2017-2018 MPA, MPP and MSR Graduates

2017-2018 DPP Faculty & Graduates (Hartford Campus)

On May 4, 2018, the Department of Public Policy held its 2017-2018 Graduation and Awards Ceremony honoring the achievements of fifty-seven MPA, MPP and MSR graduates at the Front Street Bistro and Spotlight Theatres in Hartford.  Dr. Kerri Raissian, Assistant Professor, presided over the ceremony of speakers, award recipients and the participating thirty-nine graduate students.

Speakers offering congratulatory remarks included Dr. Mohamad Alkadry, Professor and DPP Department Head, Alissa Johnston, MPA 2007 and President of the MPA Alumni Council, and Alleya Renee Jenkins, DPP Class of 2017-2018 Student Speaker.

The ceremony included the presentation of awards established in the names of three individuals which continue to support DPP and recognize the achievements of its students.

The Mort Tenzer Award is given to meritorious students upon entering the MPA program.  This year’s recipient was Christopher Brechlin. The Albert Ilg Award is given to a student with outstanding dedication and commitment in the area of local government administration. This year’s recipients were Qiuyi (Lexi) Allegue for 2017 and Emma Morelli for 2018. The David B. Walker Award is given to a student in the MPA program who exemplifies tireless dedication to public service.  This year’s recipient was Fabia Firoze-Doza.  Mort Tenzer and Albert Ilg were in attendance and personally congratulated the awardees after the ceremony.  Sadly, David Walker has passed away, but his legacy lives on.

Also recognized for their achievements in proven academic excellence were graduates in the MPA, MPP and MSR programs.  The Master of Public Administration Academic Excellence Award recipient was Ashley Bodamer.  The Master of Public Policy Academic Excellence Award recipient was Tyler Terbrusch.  The Master of Survey Research Academic Excellence Award recipient was Emil Czechowski.

Congratulating the graduates, twenty-five MPA, twelve MPP and two MSR, as they walked across the stage, were Dr. Raissian, Dr. Alkadry, Dr. Deneen Hatmaker, Associate Professor and Director, MPA and MPP Programs, and Dr. Jennifer Dineen, Assistant Professor-in-Residence and Director, GPSR Program.

At the conclusion of the ceremony graduates, family, friends, guests and DPP faculty and staff celebrated with a reception at the Front Street Bistro.

Congratulations to all the graduates!

Dr. Edith Barrett New CLAS Associate Dean

Edith Barrett

Dr. Edith Barrett, Director of Urban and Community Studies Program and Professor of Public Policy at the UConn Hartford Campus, has been named to serve as the CLAS Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Regional Campuses.

Dr. Barrett has been on the faculty of the Department of Public Policy since coming to UConn in 2011.  In her new role she will oversee the Urban and Community Studies Program along with the Departments of Anthropology, Communication, Economics, Political Science, Public Policy and Sociology.  Dr. Barrett will also serve as CLAS liaison to UConn’s four regional campuses.

Read more in “CLAS Names New Associate Deans”

Pi Pi Alpha Honors Society Inducts 26 New Members

2018 Pi Pi Alpha Inductees

Pi Pi Alpha recently held its 2018 Induction Ceremony at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to welcome 26 Master in Public Administration or Master of Public Policy students into the honors society. The purpose of Pi Pi Alpha is to encourage and recognize outstanding achievement and to support graduate public service education. To be honored with membership, students are required to complete at least half of their coursework while achieving a grade point average of 3.7 or above.

Receiving an honorary membership were faculty members Dr. Deneen Hatmaker, Associate Professor and Director of the MPA and MPP Programs, and Dr. Joshua Hyman, Assistant Professor.

Guest speaker for the evening was Patrick McMahon, MPA graduate and Pi Pi Alpha member.  Patrick is the CEO of Connecticut Main Street which is dedicated to community and economic development and is committed to bringing Connecticut’s commercial districts back to life socially and economically.

The honors society supports graduate students in public administration and public policy by hosting events and trainings.  Along with its continued support of a practice interview night conducted by real public, nonprofit and private sector managers, a Meet and Greet event with faculty and students, Pi Pi Alpha has initiated a new professional development scholarship to encourage students to seek learning opportunities that augment the DPP curriculum.

The event also included the announcement of the Pi Pi Alpha 2018-2019 Board members:

Douglas Shipman, President
Blaize Levitan, Vice President
Anthony Naples, Treasurer
Jessica Seabrook, Secretary
Sara Nagle, Membership Chair

Congratulations to all the new inductees and Board members!