Steve Criss Receives the 2019 David Walker Award
The David B. Walker Endowment Fund was established from generous donations by 1991 alumnus, Parashar Patel. It honors David B. Walker, who was the former director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and a past Director of UConn’s MPA Program. He dedicated his career to mentoring and supporting future leaders to influence government and politics to improve the country. The award is given to a student who demonstrates outstanding commitment to serving the public in a volunteer capacity. You can learn more or donate to this award on our DPP Giving page.
Steve Criss, a graduating MPA student, is this year’s recipient. Steve currently works as a Marketing and Public Relations Administrator for the Office of University Communications at UConn.
Steve was presented this award at the annual DPP Awards and Pi Pi Alpha Honor Society Induction program on April 17, 2019.
Zane Carey and Luke Switzer Receive the 2019 Mort Tenzer Award
This award is given to an incoming student with undergraduate academic excellence enrolled in the MPA Program. It was established in honor of Professor Morton J. Tenzer, who retired from the University of Connecticut in 1993. He devoted more than 40 years to the development of public administration programming in academia at several nationally recognized universities.
Graduating MPA students, Zane Carey (photo below) and Luke Switzer, are this year’s recipients. Zane is currently interning with the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County. Luke is currently interning with CT Department of Children and Families.
The awards were presented at the annual DPP Awards and Pi Pi Alpha Honor Society Induction program on April 17, 2019.
Joshua Kelly Receives the 2019 Al Ilg Award
The Al Ilg Award is given to a distinguished student who demonstrates interest in local government and the public sector. It was established in 1998 to honor the service off Al Ilg, who served as the Town Manager of Windsor for 32 years.
Joshua Kelly, a graduating MPA student, is this year’s recipient. Joshua currently serves as a Representative to Waterford’s Representative Town Meeting, and is a member of the Waterford Inland Wetland and Conservation Committee. Additionally, Joshua is the Treasurer for Waterford’s CT Green Party and he is currently interning with the Town of Windsor.
Joshua was presented this award at the annual DPP Awards and Pi Pi Alpha Honor Society Induction program on April 17, 2019.
Seth Brohinsky Awarded 2019 Distinguished MASR Alumni Award
The 2019 Master of Arts in Survey Research Distinguished Alumni Award has been awarded to Seth Brohinsky. This award is given to an alumnus who exhibits strong leadership and exceptional communication skills, while maintaining high ethical standards in the field of survey research. Seth has been rapidly rising in the professional survey research ranks for Abt Associates in Boston since he graduated.
Program Director, Graduate Program in Survey Research, Dr. Jennifer Dineen presented the MASR Distinguished Alumni Award to Seth Brohinsky at the annual DPP Awards and Pi Pi Alpha Honor Society Induction program on April 17, 2019.
2019 Distinguished MPA Alumni Awardee John Simoncelli
The Master of Public Administration Alumni Award is given to an alumnus who exhibits strong leadership and exceptional communication skills while maintaining a high ethical standard in the public sector. This year, it is awarded to John Simoncelli, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a leader in providing mental health and addiction treatment to those in need. He was also named as one of 2018’s “40 Leaders under 40.”
Larissa Kottke, MPA 2013, presents the 2019 MPA Distinguished Alumni Award to John Simoncelli at the annual DPP Awards and Pi Pi Alpha Honor Society Induction program on April 17, 2019.
Associate Professor Dr. Thomas Craemer Featured in Washington Post Article
DPP Associate Professor Dr. Thomas Craemer was recently featured in a Washington Post article entitled “Georgetown students vote in favor of reparations for enslaved people.” Georgetown University students have recently voted in support of creating a fund to help the descendants of the enslaved people sold by the University in the 19th century pay off debts. Dr. Craemer worked with a group of descendants to measure the effect of the enslavement. In the article, he noted that he believes that reparations are warranted “because forced labor created wealth for others [and] ’the descendants of the people that actually did the hard work are excluded from that inheritance.” He also adds that he does not know any other examples where members of a U.S. organization have taken it upon themselves to pay reparations directly to the descendants of the enslaved. Therefore, this is a pivotal moment for Georgetown and the individuals affected by the enslavement of their ancestors.
Department of Public Policy Organizes and Hosts Gun Violence Conference in Hartford
The April 4 and 5, 2019 meeting, “Correlates, Causes and Solutions for Gun Violence,” attended by gun violence researchers, government officers, elected officials, and community workers, focused on addressing efforts to reduce violence in Connecticut and across the country. Expert speakers, including DPP faculty Dr. Kerri Raissian and Dr. Jennifer Dineen, spoke to the meeting’s key theme of when gun violence is treated as a public health crisis, there is lot to learn about ways to prevent fatalities.
Dr. Dineen joined a panel discussion of researchers and practitioners from government and community organizations to discuss specific areas of gun violence. Dineen offered that only a very small proportion of children who die from guns die in mass school shootings, but that those shootings capture the public’s and the news media’s attention.
Included in her remarks, Dr. Raissian noted that the idea that without access to guns, people will figure out ways to commit violent crimes is false in the case of domestic violence. “There is no substitution when guns are restricted,” she said. “We don’t stop killing people with guns and start killing them with knives. We just stop killing people.”
Alumnus Christopher D. Brechlin Hosts CT Housing Coalition Workshop
On March 20th, the Connecticut Housing Coalition invited Christopher Brechlin to host a workshop entitled “Mostly Exciting Ways to Use Census Data for Understanding Your Community.” The presentation focused on how the Census Factfinder and IPUMS data sets can help housing professionals explore and learn about the communities they serve. In addition, Chris took a look at housing needs, neighborhood-level demographics and interesting trends. Attendees of the workshop gained new ideas and learned helpful Excel templates that will speed up future projects that work with Census data.
Chris Brechlin earned his Master of Public Policy with an advanced certificate in Business Analytics in 2018, and serves as the Senior Program and Data Analyst on the Planning, Research, and Evaluation team at the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority. He is a specialist at helping mission-driven organizations leverage data and technology for social good. Additionally, Christopher sits on the boards of Hands on Hartford and the Greater Hartford Young Democrats.