Congratulations to DPP alumni, and Adjunct Professor, Alyssa Goduti, as she assumes her new leadership role at Adelbrook, a multi-service agency that provides behavioral and developmental services with a special focus on meeting the unique needs of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Prior to accepting her new position, Alyssa served as President and CEO of the CT Council of Family Service Agencies, a statewide association of human services providers. She brings a wealth of experience in leadership roles in the nonprofit sector to her new position at Adelbrook.
To learn more, visit https://adelbrook.org/announcements/new-adelbrook-ceo/
GAPPS/ICMA Holds Community Service Day
On Saturday, November 17, 2018, GAPPS/ICMA gathered at Keney Park in Hartford for their first community engagement project of the year. Department of Public Policy graduate students worked with park organizers on the Keney Park Sustainability Project, an urban agricultural center educating the public on urban gardening, wildlife preservation, native plant species and aquaponics systems. Working with Park volunteers, students helped to prepare the greenhouses for winter, including moving and replanting, trimming fresh swiss chard, and preparing temperature control blankets to preserve vegetables. Emily Garfinkel, second-year graduate student and Secretary, GAPPS/ICMA noted “It was a great experience to learn all about urban community partnerships, including Knox, a nonprofit organization fostering local community gardens.” In addition, the students heard about volunteer efforts to engage the community in environmental projects. GAPPS/ICMA plans to build more community partnerships during the academic year to engage DPP students in projects throughout Hartford.
Dr. Kerri Raissian, Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Policy, published “Why Low Income Working Parents Need More Than Jobs” on the Scholars Strategy Network. Dr. Raissian addressed how employment can raise the self-esteem of parents and enable them to be positive role-models, but it also has its negative ramifications. Certain kinds of employment can be harmful to the parent’s mental health, and single-parent households need extra support. Dr. Raissian described policy solutions for working parents that would help parents be financially independent, while mitigating children suffering in the process. Read Kerri’s article below on the Scholars Strategy Network:
Why Low-Income Working Parents Need More Than Jobs
Assistant Professor In-Residence, and Program Director of the Graduate Program in Survey Research, Dr. Jennifer Dineen, was featured on UConn 360 to discuss how voters should view polls leading up to elections. Dr. Dineen describes the outcomes of polls to be like taking the temperature of what a race looks like at a particular moment in time, and they do not indicate what the race will be like at the end. Polls are a reflection of likely voters, and participants are carefully selected to reflect a true sample of the population. She discusses that when citizens are reviewing polls, they should pay attention to the body of work that it is reflecting, and not to put too much stock in one poll. Sometimes, poll outliers are an indication of movement, and other times, their estimates are just not close to the final election outcome. Finally, Dr. Dineen concludes that it is important to look at national trends, and the way things are moving in general, not just one poll.
Listen to Dr. Jennifer Dineen on the UConn 360 Podcast: Opinion Polls a Snapshot, Not a Crystal Ball
Dr. David Garvey, Department of Public Policy Director of the Nonprofit Leadership Program presented Key Factors and Lessons Learned in Choosing Strategic Partnerships at the 2018 Annual Conference of the Connecticut Community Nonprofit Alliance, held October 2nd at the Connecticut Convention Center.
In his session, Dr. Garvey presented findings from his research of Connecticut nonprofit strategic partnerships. The study is based on interviews with Connecticut nonprofit leaders who have been identified by their peers as having strong skills in developing and managing strategic partnerships. Those interviewed represented a cross section of Connecticut towns and cities, and various positions held in the state’s nonprofit sector. The core aspect of the finding of the qualitative study was based on two questions asked of the practitioners: 1) describe the dynamics of nonprofit collaboration that you were engaged in that in your opinion worked and explain why. 2) describe the dynamics of nonprofit collaboration that you were engaged in that in your opinion did not work and explain why. The collaborations described by the study participants ranged from nonprofit to nonprofit and cross-sector (nonprofit and government) collaborations. The data from the individual interviews was coded and then aggregated to identify common dynamics that occurred in effective and non-effective strategic partnerships from the study of participants’ perspectives.
The study respondents when describing the dynamics of collaborations that worked consistently noted eight traits.
- Belief in the value of collaboration by all parties
- Trust between partners
- Clarity of purpose of the collaboration
- Equal value of the desired outcome of the collaboration by all parties
- Appropriate voice and power within collaboration
- A mutually agreed and defined governing/decision-making structure for the collaboration
- Diversity of skill-sets and expertise between partner members (organizationally and individual)
- Partners having strong soft-skill sets for team building (collaborative competency)
An additional ninth finding, especially relevant for long-term partnerships between organizations, is the strategy of engaging collaborative partners in the succession planning, when one organization is seeking to fill a position of senior staff, in which that staff role has been intrical to the collaboration.
Seth Brohinsky, MPA 2007, Project Director, Abt Associates, Cambridge, MA discussed the results of a national WGBH News poll on attitudes and perspectives that Americans have towards higher education with Jon Mathieu, WGBH’s Morning Edition anchor. Seth shared that the poll addresses a variety of issues from whether colleges should factor race into their admissions process to higher education’s role in protecting students from sexual assault. Findings indicate that of the 1,002 Americans who participated in the poll, two-thirds believed in attending college. Seth notes that the results of the poll offers positive views of colleges and universities and the impact they have on society.
Read the interview at: WGBH News Poll: Americans Mostly View Higher Education Favorably
Dr. Lloyd Blanchard, UConn’s Department of Public Policy Associate Professor in Residence and UConn Associate Vice President of Budget, Management and Institutional Research, gave the Featured Alumni Plenary Talk at the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Policy Camp at The Maxwell School at Syracuse University on September 28, 2018. Dr. Blanchard addressed the need for diverse perspectives at the policy table. He shared his experiences as a person of color in a variety of leadership positions of sectors including academia, government, nonprofit, private, and policy areas. Dr. Lloyd Blanchard earned his Ph.D. in Public Administration at The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.
Congratulations to alumna Chelsea Ross on her new position as Associate Director for New England, Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), the Source for Housing Solutions. Chelsea has been with CSH for the past four years most recently serving as a CSH Senior Program Manager. In her new leadership position, Chelsea will continue to expand her work in the area of supportive housing providing both CSH’s and her expertise in the field to the New England region.
Read Chelsea Ross’s Welcome Letter
Mr. Arnett began his new position as the Finance Director of the Town of Coventry, RI on September 4, 2018. John’s previous experience working at both the U.S. Small Business Administration and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDC) in Massachusetts will serve him well in his new position. In addition to his MPA from UConn, John holds a Certificate in Public Finance from UConn. DPP congratulates John and wishes him much success.
Our fellow DPP Assistant Professor, Dr. Kerri Raissian, co-authored The best of intentions: Prenatal breastfeeding intentions and infant health published in the Social Science and Medicine: Population Health journal. The article was featured in UConn Today’s Adding Context to ‘Breast is Best’. Dr. Raissian and Dr. Houston Su’s research brings access to healthcare information for expecting mothers into light. They found that a prenatal mother’s intention to breast feed reflects their knowledge, attitude, and social norms about infant feeding. The infants whose mothers intended to breast feed had fewer incidents of ear infections, respiratory syncytial viruses, and used fewer antibiotics during the first year. Since multiple health organizations recommend breastfeeding for the first six months, the authors realize that mothers who do not intend to breast feed may not be aware of this information, which means they have limited access to healthcare services. The article concludes that policy intervention is needed in order to improve the health of infants.
Read Dr. Raissian and Dr. Houston Su’s The best of intentions: Prenatal breastfeeding intentions and infant health
Read UConn Today’s Adding Context to ‘Breast is Best’