Alumni Council

The Department of Public Policy Alumni Council helps current and future students connect with alumni to explore the wide variety of career opportunities available to UConn DPP graduates. Alumni Council members also connect and network with their former classmates.


In 2019, the UConn MPA Alumni Council combined with the Survey Research Alumni Council to form the DPP Alumni Council, supporting alumni of all DPP programs. The MPA Alumni Council was established more than a decade ago to support both the MPA program and its students. Over the years, Alumni Council members have served as mentors and role models for our aspiring administrators. Alumni are willing to talk with students, review resumes, and set up job shadows in order to help students have the same great opportunities as the people who went before them.

UConn DPP graduates have taken jobs both in Connecticut and throughout the country in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Connecting our alumni with students – and with each other – is at the core of the Council’s mission.

2021-2022 Council Members

NC = Nominating Committee members | AC = Awards Committee members

President: Larisa Kottke '13 MPA
Vice President: Doug Shipman '16 MPA
Secretary: Christopher Brechlin '18 MPP

Term Expires June 30, 2022

Melissa Appleby '13 MPA, NC
Deputy Town Manager
Town of Simsbury

Christopher Brechlin '18 MPP, Secretary, AC
Senior Program & Data Analyst
Connecticut Housing Finance Authority

Candace Fitzpatrick '06 MPA, NC
Alumni Relations & Development Director
Department of Public Policy, University of Connecticut

Jayhon Ghassem-Zadeh '15 MPA
Senior Management & Strategy Consultant
The Lafayette Group, Washington D.C.

Hanna Nagy '18 MPP
Planning Analyst, Health Systems
Connecticut Office of Health Strategy

Doug Shipman '16 MPA, Vice President, AC
Executive Director
Windsor Historical Society

Term Expires June 30, 2023

Lauren Hunt '18 MPA
Development Program Coordinator
Yale School of Public Health

Alissa Johnston '07 MPA
Performance Measurement Coordinator
Capital Workforce Partners

Larisa Kottke '13 MPA, President
Vice President for Finance & Operations
Leadership Greater Hartford

Jessica Legnos Kearney '12 MPA, AC
Second Vice President
Travelers Institute

Jennifer McDermott '13 MPA
Vice President, Senior Underwriter, Public Sector Finance
Webster Bank

Ron Schack '93 MPA
The Charter Oak Group, LLC

Term Expires June 30, 2024

Janice Castle '11 MPA
Director, Office of Community Engagement
City of Hartford

Tara Downes '20 MPA
Assistant State Comptroller
Connecticut Office of the State Comptroller

Parashar Patel '91 MPA
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Market Access
Viewray, Inc

Tony Patelunas '19 MPP
National Institutes of Health

Ashley Plosky '07 MASR, AC
2VP, Business Insurance (BI) Sales Analytics and Execution
The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Matt Robinson '11 MPA
Senior Consultant
Systems Evolution, Inc.


Maureen Goulet '20 MPA, Alternate (2023)
Director of Purchasing
Town of Manchester

Charlie Grab '18 MPA, Alternate (2024)
Director Business Operations & Mobility Services, Central Administration
Harvard University

Morgan Spencer '12 MPA, Alternate (2025)
Compliance and Quality Control Officer
Mindful Urgent Care

Department Representatives

Department Head

Mohamad Alkadry
(959) 200-3858

Program Director, MPA and MPP

Eric Brunner
(959) 200-3795

Program Director, Survey Research

Jennifer Dineen
(959) 200-3799

Student Representative

Paula Norato