Weekly Recap: The Final Stretch

Weekly Recap: The Final Stretch

Finals are next week, but we still have one more week of classes.

Last week was Fall Recess for the Huskies

  • We rounded out the final days of classes with with Professor Yusun Kim attending the National Tax Association Conference in Tampa, Florida from November 21-23, 2019. Professor Kim presented on “Estimating Returns to Scale in Property Assessment Coordination Among Local Jurisdictions in New York” with Professor Yilin Hou and Professor John M. Yinger from Syracuse University.
  • MPA Alumni, Melissa McCaw was named one of the Women of Distinction in Connecticut for 2019 by Hartford Magazine.

    Yusun Kim presenting
    Associate Professor Yusun Kim presenting

The Week Ahead:

  • On Monday, there will be an information session for the MPA, MPP & Fast Track program from 12:30pm – 1:30pm in HTB 209.
  • On Tuesday, UConn Hartford is hosting a Scholars Strategy Network Connecticut Chapter winter lecture featuring New York Times columnist David Leonhardt from 5:30 – 6:30pm in HTB 145. Please RSVP here.
  • On Wednesday, there will be an online information session for MPA Fellows from 7:00pm – 8:00pm
  • This week there are also multiple candidate job talks.

Weekly Recap: Data and Communication in the Workplace


Weekly Recap: Data and Communication in the Workplace

Our professional development seminars were in full swing last this week!

  • On Wednsesday, students and alumni heard from Lindsey Leininger, Clinical Professor of Business Administration at the Tucks School of Business at Dartmouth College. Dr. Leininger discussed with students what it means to be a Data Translator and how they can best facilitate data work in leadership roles.
  • Dr. Leininger concluded her visit with the DPP on Thursday by presenting her work on health care experiences and expenses of vulnerable, high-need populations.
  • Also on Thursday, District Director for New Britain Congresswoman Jahana Hayes Veronica T. DeLandro (MPA 2015), MPA Fellow and Communications Director for the CT Office of the State Comptroller Tara Downes (MPA 2020), and our Department Head, Mohamad Alkadry, spoke at Central Connecticut State University’s forum Overcoming Gender Pay Inequality. The all-day forum was held on Thursday at Central Connecticut State University.
    Alyssa Carboni, MPA 2015
    Alyssa Carboni, MPA 2015
    • Tara spoke on a panel entitled “The Status of Pay Equity in Connecticut”
    • Veronica and Mohamad spoke during a forum entitled “Overcoming Gender Pay Inequality”
  • Anita Ford Saunders, Director of Advancement Communications, Trinity College, and Lloyd Duggan, Jr., President, gL Marketing Consultants, rounded out the week with their full-day session Connecting with Your Stakeholders: A long-Term Buy-In and A Cultivated Mutual Relationship. The session is part of the DPP’s Public Service Executive Leadership Collaborative.
  • This week in alumni news: We congratulated DPP Alum Alyssa Carboni (MPA ’15) on Thursday for recently accepting a position as Post Award Research Manager with Yale School of Medicine.

Coming Up This Week:

  • Survey Research Info Session – Tonight, November 18, 2019 from 6:00pm – 6:30pm, Online
  • GAPPS-ICMA “Friendsgiving” tonight from 6:30-8PM.
  • UConn Avery Point Career Conversations, November 19, 2019 from 12:00pm – 2:00pm
  • UConn Volunteer Fair, November 19, 2019 from 12:00-1:30 pm, Hartford Public Library

Weekly Recap: Engaging Communities About Sustainability and Economic Growth


Weekly Recap: Engaging Communities About Sustainability and Economic Growth

Last week with the DPP:

Two tables, each with three panelists, and a moderator at the podium
Five Steps to Accelerate Economic Growth in Connecticut panel
  • We kicked off Monday 10/28 with a launch celebration for the Sustainable Global Cities Initiative. Our distinguished visiting professor, Robert Wilson, is the Interim Director for this project, which is an interdisciplinary approach to researching and examining the challenges of cities and city life in Connecticut and beyond.
  • On Thursday, 10/31, the Department had an information table in the Hartford Campus Atrium where they talked with prospective Fast Track students.
  • Thursday was also a great day for our DPP Professional Development Series. The Five Steps to Accelerate Economic Growth in Connecticut panel discussion was a huge hit! The panels panels were moderated by Jay Williams, President, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Thank you to all who participated and attended the event!
    • The two panels featured:
      • Peter Gioia, Chief Economist, PGEcon LLC
      • Keith Phaneuf, State Budget Reporter, CT Mirror
      • David Souder, Interim Dean, UConn School of Business
      • Representative Jason Rojas, 9th House District, Chair, Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee
      • Glendowlyn Thames, Deputy Commissioner, CT Department of Economic and Community Development
      • Matthew Nemerson, Vice-President, Budderfly Inc. and Past President, CT Technology
  • Friday 11/01 was the last day to apply for the spring semester. We look forward to reviewing all applicants!
  • The DPP also welcomed Anne Alzapiedi, HR Professional with GE Global and MPA alumna, on Friday to share her knowledge and experience with students for our 21st Century Job Search Professional Development Seminar.


Coming up this week with the DPP:

  • Monday, 11/04: GAPPS-ICMA Meeting 3:00 pm in DPP Seminar Room, 406
  • Tuesday, 11/05 is Election Day! Get involved with public service not just through your Masters with the DPP but also with your vote!
  • Also on Tuesday: MPA/MPP Info Sessions:
    • Storrs Campus: 12:30PM at Homer Babbidge Library, Class of 1947 Room
    • Hartford Campus: 12:30PM in HTB 209
  • CT Nonprofit Alliance is hosting their Annual Nonprofit Conference at the CT Convention Center on Wednesday, November 6. Look for photos and recap from our Outreach Coordinator Lian Kish and Program Director David Garvey.
  • Saturday, November 9: A Conversation with Spike Lee, 7:30 pm at the Bushnell. Students can purchase up to two tickets for $10 each when you call the Forum to order them at 860-987-5900.

Week 9 Recap: It May Be Fall, But We’re Already Thinking Of Spring

Week 9 Recap: It May Be Fall, But We’re Already Thinking Of Spring

Ashley Bodamer, Yahaira Escribano, Philip Hnatowicz, Andrew Bolger, Jameson Foulke
Alumni Career Panel

Lots going on in the DPP networks this week – friendly faces, awards and accolades all around.

  • Course registration for Spring Semester 2020 opened on Monday!
    • For more information about registration requirements, please read the announcements on the UConn DPP HuskyCT site.


  • On Monday, the DPP also hosted a career panel on the Storrs Campus. Check out who was there:
    • Ashley Bodamer, MPA 18′ is a Program Manager for Hartford Healthcare
    • Yahaira Escribano, MPA 19 is a Partner Program Coordinator for Foodshare
    • Philip Hnatowicz, MPP 18′ is a Marketing Associate for Fiduciary Investment Advisors, LLC
    • Andrew Bolger, MPP 18′ is a Data and Research Analyst for Connecticut Housing Finance Authority
    • Jameson Foulke, MPA 18′ is a Special Assistant to Senator Christopher Murphy


  • Tuesday and Wednesday were busy recruitment days for the department. Current students tabled in the Atrium to share their experience with UConn Hartford undergraduates on Tuesday. Our Outreach Coordinator, Lian Kish, presented our programs at a Survey Research and Fast Track Information Session on Wednesday, also in Hartford.


  • The Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) Annual Conference was held from Monday to Wednesday in Philadelphia, PA. It is an organization which connects and serves universities in urban areas around the world. The conference was attended by Distinguished Visiting Professor and Interim  Director of Sustainable Global Cities Initiative Robert Wilson.


  • Wednesday brought career moves for Jessica Muirhead, MPA Fellow 2020, who accepted the position of Senior Program Manager with the Capitol Region Council of Governments.


  • On Thursday, we heard that Yahaira Escribano, MPA 2019, was selected by the Obama Foundation to attend the 2019 Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, IL. Yahaira is currently working as a Partner Program Coordinator for Foodshare and is a current member of the Obama Foundation’s Community Leadership Corps in Hartford. She was also featured on the Obama Foundation’s social media.


Next Week at the DPP:

  • We have two Job Talks on Tuesday (10/29) and Thursday (10/31)
  • Five Steps to Accelerate Economic Growth on Thursday, October 31st from 11:30am – 1:30pm at the Hartford Public Library
  • Professional Development: 21st Century Job Search on Friday, November 1st from 12:00pm – 2:30pm in HTB 220.

Week 7: A Marathon of Fairs, Networking, and, Well, A Marathon

Students and alums at Infinity Music Hall
GAPPS-ICMA and Pi Pi Alpha Networking Event

Week 7: A Marathon of Fairs, Networking, and, Well, A Marathon

This week, the Department of Public Policy (DPP) crossed the state, traveling to meet prospective students and our graduate students held their first networking event.

  • We kicked of the week by attending the UConn Grad School Fair on the Storrs Campus. In a room filled with UConn departments we emphasized opportunities to pursue electives with others in the room.
  • On Wednesday we traveled back to Storrs for the UConn Majors Fair. Not everyone knows what they want to major in when they first come to college, and the ACES program allows students to explore. Not everyone knows what they want to do after graduation, but the DPP has been training students to develop transferable skillets to be successful in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.
  • Thursday afternoon was spent in Stamford where we held information sessions for UConn Stamford undergraduate students. We also participated in the UConn Stamford Career Fair, along with the School of Social Work and UConn Law. Did you know our entirely online Survey Research degree has a Fast-Track?
  • Later on Thursday, GAPPS-ICMA co-hosted their annual alumni networking event with Pi Pi Alpha at Infinity Music Hall in Hartford. The group spent the evening enjoying pizza and conversation, getting to know their fellow student cohorts and DPP alums!

Next up for the DPP:

Look out for GAPPS-ICMA at the Eversource Hartford Marathon tomorrow October 12th volunteering with hundreds of others to make the marathon a success! Come out and cheer on the runners, marathon begins at 8AM.

Two Encore!Connecticut Fellows Become Nonprofit Executive Directors

Two Encore!Connecticut Fellows Become Nonprofit Executive Directors

Two Encore!Connecticut graduates have recently been selected as Nonprofit Executive Directors. Encore! Connecticut is a program designed to assist corporate and public sector professionals transition their skill-sets and experience into successful professional and managerial opportunities in the Connecticut nonprofit sector.

Craig Adler
Craig Adler, Director of The Thomas Merton Center

Craig Adler, Encore! Fairfield County, 2016

The former finance securities trader became Director of Development for the Norfolk Housing Authority upon graduating Encore! Fairfield in 2016. In September, Catholic Charities of Fairfield County announced that Mr. Adler will become the Director of The Thomas Merton Center in Bridgeport. The Thomas Merton Center addresses issues such as housing, nutritional needs, healthcare needs, parenting issues and youth at risk in the Bridgeport area

Stacy Goodwin, Encore! Hartford, 2016

Stacey Goodwin
Stacey Goodwin, Executive Director of Horizons Bridgeport

Former GE Capital Risk Management Officer, Stacey Goodwin became the Director of Program Evaluation & Quality Improvement at The Child and Family Guidance Center upon graduating Encore! Hartford in 2016. On October 1 she will become the first Executive Director of Horizons Bridgeport. Horizons provides summer academic and enrichment programs to students from under-resourced communities. There are more than 60 Horizons programs nationally, including three serving Bridgeport students. Horizons Bridgeport is a brand-new entity formed to expand program capacity to serve up to 1,000 students in Bridgeport in the future.

Week 6 Recap: Alumni News and a Career Panel

Week 6 Recap: Alumni News and a Career Panel

Week six has arrived and so have our first round of exams! Between studying and taking assessments, we have been interacting with undergraduates and sharing network updates!

  • We kicked of the week by congratulating Sarah Croucher, MPA 2020 on being named the new Director of Academic Policy here at UConn!
  • On Tuesday we held an information session specifically for UConn Hartford’s undergraduate student government.
  • Thursday morning was spent in Storrs where DPP alums spoke on a career panel. The panel consisted of UConn PhD student Tony Patelunas (MPP 2019), Town Administrator of Bolton, CT Josh Kelly (MPA 2019), Lobbyist Nicole Tomassetti (MPP 2018), and Hartford Healthcare Program Manager Ashley Bodamer (MPA 2018).
  • The week ended with a congratulations to Daniel Ray who was recently named an Associate at Huron in the Healthcare-Performance Improvement Implementations department.

Interested in attending our next career panel? On October 21st in McHugh 308 in Storrs, we will have DPP alums from industries from healthcare, financial investing, housing policy, food policy, and the U.S. Senate. Interested in attending? Please RSVP and see our events page.

This coming Monday is our second GAPPS-ICMA meeting of the semester. The meeting will be held in HTB 406 from 3:00pm – 4:00pm.

Week 5 Recap: Budgets, Finance & Prospective Students

Week 5 Recap: Budgets, Finance & Prospective Students

The Department of Public Policy spent the 5th week of classes speaking with prospective students and showcasing research about fellow budgeting and finance colleagues.

Adam Michael Murphy at the Eastern Connecticut State University Grad Fair
Adam Michael Murphy at the ECSU Grad Fair
  • Current MPP student and DPP Ambassador Adam Michael Murphy and DPP Outreach Coordinator Lian Kish chatted with prospective students at Eastern Connecticut State University’s (ECSU) Graduate School Fair on Tuesday.



  • This week Dr. Raissian also weighed in on The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommendations to make hormonal birth control available over the counter. Raissian acknowledged the importance of increasing access to healthcare, but also interacting with your healthcare providers. Her notes can be read in U.S. Today.


  • The DPP took on Storrs this Wednesday. Representatives kicked off the morning by speaking to a Communication class filled with prospective students. Both Lian, and the DPP’s Administrative Program Director Catherine Guarino then spoke with prospective students at the UConn All-Career Fair. The day also included information sessions about each of the DPP’s masters and related fast-track Professor Dr. Eric Brunner joined Lian for the fast-track, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Public Policy session.


  • Thursday through Saturday, various faculty members attended the Association for Budgeting & Financial Management (ABFM) Annual Conference in Washington D.C. The conference gives
    Professor Dr. Bill Simonsen speaking at ABFM
    Professor Dr. Bill Simonsen speaking at ABFM

    a chance for professors from around the country to share research and findings in financial management and budgeting for the public and non-profit sectors. The DPP was well represented by Professor Dr. Eric Brunner, Professor Dr. Mark Robbins, Professor Dr. Bill Simonsen, and Assistant Professor Dr. Yusun Kim.

    • Professor Dr. Bill Simonsen participated on a “Citizens, Experts, and Elected Officials” panel. He presented a paper on “Citizens Relationship to Government: The Connection between Notions of Citizenship and Support for Bond Referenda”.
    • Professor Dr. Mark Robbins presented the Jesse Burkhead award for best paper published in Public Finance and Budgeting to two talented scholars.
    • Assistant Professor Dr. Yusun Kim also presented a paper entitled “Returns to Scale in Property Assessment: Coordination Among Assessing Units in New York”.


Week 4: Conversations and Commitment to Public Service

Week 4: Conversations and Commitment to Public Service

This week the Department of Public Policy (DPP) engaged with individuals committed to social change.


  • On Tuesday, we visited Communication classes in Storrs and spoke about the Fast-Track and Master of Arts in Survey Research (MASR) programs. Our Outreach Coordinator Lian also met with prospective students. If you would like to meet with a DPP representative on your campus, please email Lian at


  • Our first newsletter of the year arrived in email inboxes on Wednesday. We recently went through a redesign that highlights accomplishments of various members throughout the DPP Network. If you would like to receive our triannual letter, please email


  • For our Thursday social media post we highlighted an event on Friday! This semester the DPP is looking to highlight different events in the community to share with our followers. Have an event you would like to share? Let our Outreach Coordinator Lian know at


  • We concluded the week with our first Public Service Executive Leadership Collaborative (PSELC) of the semester on Friday. Members of the DPP Network also participated in the Youth Climate Strike Rally on Friday at the State Capitol in Hartford.


Next week we will be at Eastern Connecticut State University and UConn Storrs for various information sessions and recruitment events. Check out our Instagram @UConnDPP to learn more!

Welcome from the Department of Public Policy


Welcome from the Department of Public Policy

Annual DPP Welcome Back Reception in Zach's Atrium
2019 DPP Annual Welcome Back Reception

A few days ago we held our annual Department of Public Policy Welcome Back reception. The 150 students, alumni, faculty, staff and community partners added to our excitement about what our community of faculty, students and alumni accomplished last year and what we are well positioned to accomplish this coming academic year.

We had a very successful 2018-2019 academic year. The 2020 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. Many thanks to our faculty, students and staff who helped us maintain these top rankings. We have been regularly posting news about our student, faculty and staff achievements on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Follow us on any or all of these media if you have not already done so. We promise to not disappoint.

Last year, we relaunched the MPA Fellows program as a Saturday cohort program. Our current and incoming Fellows cohorts are full, and have a diverse and exceptional record in public service. This Fall we welcome 80 new students to our MPA, MPA Fellows, MPP, and MASR programs – which is a record number of incoming students in our Department.

Thanks to our alumni and community partners, our Internship and Professional Practice program is also seeing record engagement this year. Our welcome luncheon for Internship supervisors reminded us of the importance of these community partners to DPP. It also reminded us of the value that our interns add to the professional community that we serve. This academic year, our interns will spend a total of 30,825 hours working in these placements. Our internship program is central to our community engagement.

Our mentoring program engaged many of our alumni in its first year and is off to an excellent start this year. If you are interested in joining that program, please email Candace Fitzpatrick. As a token of appreciation for their efforts, our mentors will also enjoy free enrollment in any Public Service Executive Leadership Collaborative workshop when they accompany their mentees to that workshop.

We will continue to post all job announcements on our alumni LinkedIn and Facebook pages. Because we realize that many alumni might miss these announcements, our staff are launching a new moderated career listserv as a service to our students, alumni and regional employers. If you have a position announcement to make, please email it to and we will forward to the listserv and post to our social media. We would appreciate you letting your HR staff know that we have this free service. We automatically added all current students and recent graduates (2 years out) to the listserv. All our alumni are also welcomed to join. If you would like to receive these job announcements, please join the listserv by:

  1. Sending an e-mail to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.UCONN.EDU
  2. Leaving the subject blank
  3. Entering in the body of the e-mail this command, filled in with the respective information:
    1. To subscribe: SUB DPP_CAREERS-L Firstname Lastname
  4. We will be very careful to only send relevant career announcements to this listserv, and every message we send will give you the option to unsubscribe if you wish to do so.

Last year, we launched the Public Service Executive Leadership Collaborative, which brought professional development opportunities to our alumni and the State’s public service community. In its inaugural program, we enrolled more than 150 trainees in the first 6 workshops. The reviews were excellent. This coming year, the Collaborative is offering 9 workshops, and we are able to continue to offer our alumni a 50% discount.

Encore!Connecticut has now been redesigned to accommodate private sector working professionals who are interested in future public service careers. The new program will be run over four Saturdays in March-May 2020 with fellowships running through the end of June 2020. If you wish to recommend a friend or colleague for this program, please let Dave Garvey know.

We are also very excited to welcome some new faces to our Department in 2019-2020. Dr. Yusun Kim (Syracuse University) will join our faculty. Maura Maloney has joined our staff as an operations coordinator. Three exceptional public servants will also join our adjunct faculty: Matthew Hart (Town Manager, Town of West Hartford), Penny Davis (Chief Human Resources Officer, CT Department of Social Services), and Paul Sullivan (Sr. Vice President, American Red Cross).

We are all looking forward to an excellent 2019-2020.


Mohamad G. Alkadry, Ph.D.

Professor & Department Head