Month: September 2018

DPP Launches a Mentoring Effort to Connect Alumni and Students

Mentoring has been shown to benefit professional productivity and success for both mentors and mentees. This fall the Department of Public Policy (DPP) will announce the kickoff of the DPP Alumni-Student Mentoring Network!  The program was developed in response to alumni and student feedback in favor of more alumni-student engagement and professional mentoring opportunities.  With a national network of over 1,000 alumni, DPP alumni represent a wealth of professional experience across the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

Alumni and students will be contacted by email and invited to sign up as mentors and mentees.  Once mentors and mentees sign up, DPP staff will organize a mentoring kick-off lunch meeting for mentors and mentees to meet.  Mentors and students will plan a mentoring schedule that will work for them. While this is initially being launched as a student-alumni event, there are future plans to include mentoring of recent graduates.

If you’d like to participate in the mentoring network or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Candace Fitzpatrick at:

Dr. Joshua Hyman’s Research Featured in New York Times Article


Joshua Hyman

NY Times article, A Surprisingly Simple Way to Help Level the Playing Field of College Admissions, by Sahil Chinoy, addresses how low-income children are at a disadvantage when it comes to taking the SAT.  It addresses how minority groups typically only take the SAT once, as opposed to affluent students who usually retake the exam.  This is important because on average, retaking the SAT improves scores by about 90 points out of 2,400.  The NY Times article extracted data from a scholarly article written by Dr. Hyman.  His ACT for All: The Effect of Mandatory College Entrance Exams on Postsecondary Attainment and Choice article examines the effects of paying and making it mandatory for all public school students to take this entrance exam.  Dr. Hyman discusses how for every ten poor students that earn college ready scores on the SAT or ACT, there is an additional five students that do not take the exam, but would score a college acceptable score.  He calculates that implementing this policy is more cost-effective at boosting postsecondary attainment than traditional student aid.  Read the NY Times article and Dr. Hyman’s publication below.

NY Times: A Surprisingly Simple Way to Help Level the Playing Field of College Admissions

Joshua Hyman: A Surprisingly Simple Way to Help Level the Playing Field of College Admissions

DPP Alumni Blaize Levitan Urges Us to Stop Hating Connecticut


Blaize LevitanBlaize Levitan, former UConn Student and MPA graduate, wrote a compelling article for the Hartford Courant.  Published on August 12, 2018, Blaize suggests steps to take to improve CT residents’ mentality in order to improve our state.  He urges residents to observe all the things they love about the state, including being the “forefront of fights for civil, consumer, and environmental rights.”  He suggests avoiding malicious pessimism towards Connecticut, and to get engaged by writing or calling local and state elected officials when you want to see change.  Blaize Levitan is now the senior management analyst of the town of Greenwich.

Hartford Courant: Let’s Stop Hating On CT

Dr. Kerri Raissian co-authors “Washington Is Biased Against Babies” (Wall Street Journal)


Kerri Raissian“Washington Is Biased Against Babies” (WSJ Op-Ed, July 26, 2018) co-authored by Dr. Raissian, Assistant Professor of Public Policy, UConn and Dr. Leonard Lopoo, Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, considers “policies encouraging underpopulation pose a long-term threat to America’s vitality.”  Drs. Raissian and Lopoo address the impact, nationally and internationally, of declining populations and attempts to increase fertility.  Focus is given to policies that both intentionally and unintentionally result in reduced fertility potentially working against working women who want to have children and a notable decline in America’s future workforce.

View Article

DPP Welcome Reception and Student Orientation


Fall 2018 DPP Welcome Reception

On August 23, 2018, the Department of Public Policy welcomed new and returning students to a full-day, information-filled department orientation followed by the opportunity to mix and mingle with fellow students, DPP faculty, staff, alumni and colleagues at a welcome back reception.

Students attended orientation sessions designed to offer information on their chosen degree of study (Master of Public Administration or Master of Public Policy), participated in an ice breaker activity facilitated by our student organization, GAPPS/ICMA, learned about the DPP Honors Society, Pi Pi Alpha, and the very active Alumni Association.  Additional sessions were presented for students in the MPA Fellows Program and those working as Graduate Assistants in 2018-2019.

Close to 100 guests attended the welcome reception held in the beautiful Zachs Atrium of the Hartford Times Building, UConn Hartford Campus, to kick off the new academic year.  Dr. Mohamad Alkadry, Professor and Department Head, and Dr. Edith Barrett, Professor of Public Policy and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, thanked all for coming and shared that they were looking forward to seeing students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community partners at future DPP events throughout the coming year.  The event was a big success and a great beginning to the 2018-2019 academic year.

Welcome Back from Dr. Alkadry


Mohamad Alkadry

Welcome back!

It is my pleasure to welcome you to a new academic year.

We had a very productive and successful 2017-2018 academic year. Thanks to Dr. Deneen Hatmaker’s exceptional leadership, and the work of DPP faculty and staff, our MPA program was reaccredited by NASPAA for 7 years. We received excellent reviews and a special mention of our Internship and Professional Practice program by the site visitors. Our programs continued to achieve excellent national recognition. In 2018, the U.S. News and World Report rankings of public affairs programs placed us again in the top 50 among public affairs programs and top 10 among public budgeting and finance specialty areas. Kudos to our faculty and staff who have helped us maintain top rankings.

Two of our programs, MPA Fellows and our Master of Public Policy (MPP), will have record enrollments in 2018-2019. Our fall 2018 MPP class is almost double the size of our class last fall. Thanks to the efforts of Dr. Hatmaker and Dr. David Garvey, our MPA Fellows program successfully re-launched as a Saturday program. This fall we welcome a cohort of 18 new MPA Fellows who come into our program with exceptional achievements in public service. I understand that having a cohort of seasoned public service professionals presents its challenges to both staff (recruitment & student services) and faculty (pedagogical needs), and I want to recognize and thank our colleagues who have willingly agreed to teach in that track.

We are also very excited to welcome some new faces to our Department in 2018-2019, and to see some familiar faces take on new roles in the Department. Dr. Eric Brunner has assumed the role of MPA and MPP Programs Director.  Under Dr. Hatmaker’s leadership for the past four years the programs witnessed record enrollment and many exciting program and curriculum developments.  Many thanks to Dr. Hatmaker for her exceptional leadership of these two programs, and we look forward to working with Dr. Brunner in this new role.

Catherine Guarino, an MPA Alumna and a member of the DPP Alumni Council, has joined the staff of the DPP as the new Administrative Program Director. We are very excited to see Catherine in this role and we all look forward to working with her for years to come. Welcome home Catherine.

Dr. Bob Wilson joins us for the first year as a Distinguished Visiting Professor. Dr. Wilson is a renowned scholar in our field, and is Professor Emeritus at the LBJ School (University of Texas at Austin). Dr. Claude Joseph joins us as Visiting Assistant Professor for 2018-2019.

We have some University and State fiscal challenges, but I am very optimistic about DPP’s ability to thrive despite these challenges. I am hopeful because we have a solid staff team, excellent students, exceptional faculty, and our graduates add tremendous value to the State’s economy and communities.

I look forward to a great 2018-2019!