Take An Online Summer Course with UConn’s Department of Public Policy

Take An Online Summer Course with UConn’s Department of Public Policy

Whether you are fulfilling an undergraduate requirement or earning electives towards a graduate degree, UConn’s Department of Public Policy is offering a variety of online courses this summer! At the undergraduate level, the DPP is offering a Content Area 2, a W, and a course on research methods. At the graduate level the DPP is offering coursework in Nonprofit Management and Survey Research. Please see our summer offerings below.


  • Nonprofit Management
    • PP 5324: Grant Writing & Fund Development – SS1 (June 1 – July 2): This course provides the student with the essential knowledge of the tools and practices for developing a funding portfolio that supports the work of a nonprofit organization. While the course looks at diverse funding practice it provides specific guidance on grant and proposal writing and government contracts.


  • Survey Research
    • PP 5388: Introduction to Multipopulation Survey Research Methods – SS1 (June 1 – July 2): This course provides an introduction to methods for designing multilingual and multicultural survey research projects. It will also introduce some of the key considerations for designing multinational surveys. Students will be introduced to unique methodological considerations for multilingual/multicultural studies throughout the project life cycle, including: sampling, questionnaire design, fielding, data interpretation and analysis.
    • PP 5332: Advanced Quantitative Methods – SS2 (July 13 – August 21): This course covers a number of basic and advanced statistical methods for public policy and survey research. Students will review some of the basic concepts of statistical analysis, study methods for hypothesis testing appropriate to frequency counts and percentage, discuss methods to analyze data in interval and ratio scale format, and study quantitative methods for conducting and analyzing multiple regression. Students will also explore minimizing error through scale construction and the use of exploratory factor analysis. The end of the course will provide a very brief introduction to the basic ideas underlying confirmatory factor analysis.


  • Undergraduate Coursework
    • PP 1001 Introduction to Public Policy – May Term (May 11 – May 29): Public policy history and institutions, government administration and systems, policy analysis, contemporary policy issues, polling and influences on policy making. (Content Area 2)
    • PP 3020W Cases in Public Policy – SS1 (June 1 – July 2): Exploration of policy analysis using case studies on various contemporary policy topics.
    • PP 2100 Survey Research Methods – AS2 (July 13 – August 21): Theory and practice of surveys, including overall project design, questionnaire development, sampling, methods of data collection and data analysis.


Interested in taking a summer course or enrolling in a program? Contact Outreach Coordinator Lian Kish at Kish@UConn.edu to learn more.

Special Edition Newsletter: 2020 DPP Annual Awards & Pi Pi Alpha Induction

Special Edition Newsletter:

2020 DPP Annual Awards & Pi Pi Alpha Induction

Greetings from the DPP and welcome to a Special Edition Newsletter! Due to COVID-19, we are taking our Annual Awards and Pi Pi Alpha Induction online.

Each year, the DPP network comes together with our students and their families to celebrate the hard work and dedication of our students, alumni, and faculty.

We are delighted to introduce you to this year’s award winners and Pi Pi Alpha Honors Society inductees.

MPA Academic Excellence

Awarded to the students earning the highest cumulative GPA in the MPA program.

Jillian Cundari, MPA 2020

Jill is graduating with her MPA and MSW this Spring. Currently, she is interning at the Roots Center for Advanced Recovery in Manchester, CT. Jill also works as an Outreach Assistant with the DPP. She completed her Internship and Professional Practice (IPP) last year with Ädelbrook Behavioral and Developmental Services in Cromwell. 


Benjamin Hensley, MPA 2020

Ben is completing his IPP at Capital Workforce Partners as a workforce development intern. He works specifically on strategic development and as a data specialist. Currently, Ben is also a Graduate Assistant with UConn’s Sustainable Global Cities Initiative (SGCI).



MPA Fellows Academic Excellence

Awarded to the students earning the highest cumulative GPA in the MPA Fellows program. This year we have three recipients!

Andrea Alexander, MPA 2020

Andrea Alexander, MPA Fellows 2020

Andrea started her professional career at Yale University. For the past 19 years, Andrea has worked in human services contracting for the State of Connecticut. Andrea currently serves in a centralized contracting unit housed at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.  After completing the UConn Leadership and Public Management certificate program in 2017, she decided to move fully into policy and management. She admires the flexibility of the MPA Fellows Program, which allows her to take classes at a pace that integrates what she is learning into her career.


Maria Cappuccitti, MPA 2020

Maria Cappuccitti, MPA Fellows 2020

Maria previously served with the Department of Social Services’ Programmatic Division.  She currently serves at the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Central Contracts Unit. Maria credits her opportunities within the State of Connecticut to the Finance undergraduate degree she earned from UConn. She sees the MPA Fellows Program as helping her become a well-rounded effective leader.


Jessica Muirhead, MPA 2020

Jessica Muirhead, MPA Fellows 2020

Jessica is currently the Senior Program Manager at the Capitol Region Council of Governments. For ten years she worked in higher education, most recently in UConn’s History Department, and previously in Brown University’s Department of Geological Sciences. In 2015, she was awarded the inaugural UConn College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Staff Excellence Award. Prior to the MPA program, Jessica obtained her B.A. in Psychology from UConn.


MPP Academic Excellence

Awarded to the student earning the highest cumulative GPA in the MPP program.

Frederick V. Augur, MPP 2020

Fredrick is completing his IPP internship at the CT Sentencing Commission as a Policy & Research Intern. Van conducts policy research where he drafts reforms on mental healthcare in prisons, the sex offender registry, and racial and socioeconomic disparities. He recently decided to pursue further education at Harvard Law School.


MASR Academic Excellence

Awarded to the student earning the highest cumulative GPA in the MASR program.

Shauna Robinson, MASR 2020

Shauna graduates with her Master of Arts in Survey Research this spring. She recently accepted a new position as a Health Associate for Mathematica. Previously Shauna worked as a research analyst for the Association for Talent Development (ATD).



David B. Walker Award

This endowment honors David B. Walker, former director of the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and Director of UConn’s MPA program, who passed away in 2013. Dave dedicated his career to mentoring and supporting future leaders to influence government and politics to improve our country. This award is given annually to recognize a student in the program who exemplifies tireless dedication to public service.

Esam Boraey, MPP 2021

Esam Boraey, MPP 2021

Esam came to Connecticut after an extensive career in the nonprofit sector. He previously worked across the Middle East, Egypt, and the USA to build democracy and empower youth through grassroots organizing techniques. Currently he serves on the board of several local nonprofits. He was honored for his defense of human rights with several awards including Personality of the Year for fighting for human rights in the Middle East by the National Center for Human Rights. Esam is committed to serving the public in a volunteer capacity.

Albert G. Ilg Fellowship in Local Government

Albert G. Ilg Fellowship in Local Government was established in 1998 in honor of Al’s 32 years of distinguished service as Town Manager of Windsor, CT.  Al’s continued student mentoring and gifts to this endowment are greatly appreciated! This award is given to students who demonstrate local government and public sector interest and this year there are two recipients!

Claire Morris, MPA 2020

Claire graduated with a B.A. in English and a minor in Communication from UConn in 2014. Previously Clair worked in accounting at a mechanical services company in Vernon. She is currently interning with the Town of Southbury in the Fiscal Office.  She hopes to continue her career in local government after graduation.


Kevin Fitzgerald, MPA 2021

Kevin Fitzgerald, MPA 2021

Kevin’s research and public service focuses on urban planning, economic development, and public finance. He currently organizes business development and creative place making initiatives in the Town of Berlin. Kevin is also assisting with the creation of the City of Hartford’s 2035 Plan of Conservation & Development. A life-long Connecticut resident, Kevin graduated with his B.A. in Political Science and Urban & Community Studies in 2018. He plans to further study and contribute to equitable economic development and sustainable transportation initiatives in the hopes of improving the quality of life in Connecticut


The Morton J. Tenzer Fellowship Fund

The Morton J. Tenzer Fellowship Fund Award was established in 1993 upon Mort’s retirement from UConn.  Mort’s relentless advocacy for public administration education is one of the reasons our department exists! This fellowship is given to incoming MPA students who have demonstrated the highest levels of undergraduate academic achievement. 

Christopher Lamperelli

Chris is honored to be a recipient of the Morton J. Tenzer Fellowship Fund Award. After graduating from Quinnipiac University in 2017, Chris began work at Truth in Advertising, a consumer education nonprofit located in Madison, CT. While working as a project manager, Chris learned the just how much nonprofit organizations can make a difference. After two and a half years he decided to go back to school to receive his MPA from UConn. He would like to thank Morotn Tenzer and the faculty and staff of the Department of Public Policy for this award.

Teaching Recognition Awards

Faculty Teaching Recognition Award: The first Distinguished Faculty Award, voted on by students, goes to a core faculty member who:  “has intriguing research, accessibility to students, and engaging teaching style.”  This year’s award goes to Bill Simonsen. Bill’s research focuses on public finance, financial management, capital finance, citizen participation techniques, and public policy. He teaches “PP 5340: Introduction to Public Policy and Management”, “PP 5370: Applied Research Design”, “PP 5373: Budgeting in Public Service Organizations”, and “PP 5376: Applied Quantitative Methods”. 


Adjunct Faculty Teaching Recognition Award: The second Distinguished Faculty Award, also voted on by students, goes to an adjunct faculty member who:  “has accessibility to students and engaging teaching style.”  We have two winners this year!

Penny Davis

Penny Davis

Penny teaches “PP 5365: Human Resource Management”, and comes to the DPP with 2o years of public sector experience across all dimensions of Human Resources. She has a track record of partnering with business leaders to develop solutions from design to implementation, and has practiced working within highly unionized environments. Currently, Penny is the Chief Human Resources Officer for the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS).


George O’Brien

George O'BrienGeorge teaches “PP 5325: Labor-Management Relations, Negotiations, and Contract Management”, and has practiced labor and employment law for more than forty years. Currently George works at Littler Mendelson, and is a longtime member of the New Haven Inn of Court and the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. He has also served on the boards of Connecticut nonprofit organizations involved with the arts, education, legal services and charitable activities. Fun fact about George, he met his wife in the Hartford Times Building where he now teaches!

DPP Distinguished Alumni Award

This award is given to an alumnus who exhibits strong leadership and exceptional communication skills while maintaining a high ethical standard.

Damara Cockfield, MPA 2005

Damara Cockfield

Damara created her own focus area in preventative and public health while pursuing her MPA. She also won best capstone project in her graduating year.  After graduation she conducted clinical PTSD research trials at military treatment facilities and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers nationwide. Damara worked at Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation as a military health subject matter expert. While there she focused on process improvements in medical care for wounded, ill or injured service members. Currently, Damara is the Chief of Clinical Quality Improvement at the National Capital Region Market.

DPP Outstanding Service Award

This award is given to a member of the DPP community for their service to the department.

David Garvey

David Garvey

For over twenty years, Dave been a practitioner, editor, research, teacher, and education designer in the nonprofit field. Dave directs the Nonprofit Leadership Program, Encore!Connecticut, and the DPP’s Internship programs. The Nonprofit Certificate has helped to strengthen the education, communication, and research infrastructure of the Connecticut and American nonprofit sector. Encore!Connecticut, is an award-winning experience and skills transition program for individuals transitioning from the private to nonprofit sector. This year the IPP program provided 36,000 ours of internship work for public and nonprofit organizations across Connecticut. 

Pi Pi Alpha Honors Society

Pi Pi Alpha is the Honors Society for graduate professional students in public administration and public policy. It is open to all students who maintain a 3.70 GPA or higher after completing at least half of their coursework. Below are this year’s inductees.

Adriano Cirioli • Alexandra Garcia • Andrew Oravecz • Autumn Ives • Ben Hensley

Boyd Canfield • Bridget Inzirillo • Carol Miranda • Charlotte Nelson • Claire Morris

Dana Begin • Dyshawn Thames • Fredrick V. Augur • Haley Gillman • Hannah Nguyen

Jessica D. Weaver • Jessica Muirhead • Jillian Cundari • Judy-Ann Staple-Stewart

Kara Sene • Katherine Lange • Kelly Flannery • Kendra Shakir • Kyle Abercrombie

Kyle Cipriano • Lauren Goulet • Maureen Goulet • Megan Levenworth • Melanie Goodin

Michael Bzdyra • Michael Cocchiola • Michelle Huggins • Nicholas E. Pigeon

Nicole Simonsen • Noah O’Connor • Olivia Otto • Padraig Barry • Peter Hopko

Samantha Staffin • Sarah Croucher • Shirley Pilkey • Steven Della-Giustina

Tara Downes • Tiffany Tran • Timothy Bergin

GAPPS-ICMA Gave Back and Makes Plans for a Housing Panel


GAPPS-ICMA Gave Back and Makes Plans for a Housing Panel

Students hosting a friendsgiving
Friendsgiving 2019

The Graduate Association of Public Policy Students – International City/County Management Association (GAPPS-ICMA) kicked off the semester with a networking event with Pi Pi Alpha. The event brought together current students and alumni at Infinity Music Hall & Bistro. 

Members of GAPPS-ICMA went on to volunteer throughout Hartford during the semester. They volunteered at the Hartford Marathon and cheered on the racers in October. For Thanksgiving the students came together to celebrate with a Friendsgiving! In December they assisted at Footwear with Care’s annual Winter Boot Party. DPP Administrative Coordinator Wade Gibbs also volunteered at the November event and was highlighted by U.S. News & World Report and Hartford Courant.

In the spring, GAPPS-ICMA will be hosting a housing panel! Look out on the UConn DPP social media for forthcoming information about this professional development seminar opportunity.

Weekly Recap: It’s Still Time For A Turkey-Thirty

Weekly Recap: It’s Still Time For A Turkey-Thirty

Before we left for Thanksgiving Recess, here at the Department of Public Policy (DPP) we traveled around Connecticut and to Tampa, Florida!

  • On Monday, we hosted a Fast-Track and Survey Research online information session. Our final session for the semester is December 11th at 8:30am. To RSVP please see our information session page.
  • Monday night GAPPS-ICMA also hosted their Friendsgiving celebration! Be on the lookout for a photo from the event later this week!
  • Tuesday we spoke with students at UConn Avery Point and UConn Hartford! At Avery Point, we participated in Career Conversations and spoke about opportunities related to environmental policy and healthcare. In Hartford, we participated in the Volunteer Fair and talked about the work DPP students and alums are doing in our community.
  • Associate Professor Kerri Raissian co-presented with Assistant Professor Megan Feeley of UConn School of Social Work and Ph.D. Candidate Kelley Fong of Harvard Sociology on Wednesday at the CT Data Conference. The trio shared how they use micro and macro data to challenge assumptions about child maltreatment.
  • The week ended with Assistant 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.

The Week Ahead:

  • This week the students are on break for Thanksgiving Recess, but our offices will remain open through Thursday! We will be back with another weekly recap that looks ahead next Monday.
Three people standing with turkey hats
UConn DPP student Haley Turner, MPP 2020 helping with Turkey Thirty Fundraising at her IPP at Goodwin College

In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in Foodshare’s Turkey Thirty! 2020 MPP Haley Turner Gillman helped to collect funds and turkeys at her internship at Goodwin College last week. CEO and President of Foodshare Jason Jakubowski, MPA 2001 has been all across Connecticut platforms reminding us all about food insufficiency in Connecticut, and the impact our donations can have on families across Connecticut. To help Foodshare reach it’s goal of 15,000 turkeys and $450,000 please see their website.

The DPP faculty and staff would also like to wish every member of the DPP Network from students, to alumni, to community partners, and collaborators a Happy Thanksgiving!

Weekly Recap: Voting and Public Service

Weekly Recap: Voting and Public Service

On this Veterans Day, the Department of Public Policy (DPP) would like to thank all of the military Veterans for their service! Thank you for protecting our freedoms!

The DPP celebrated our alumni, current students, and made lots of new friends last week.

  • Our GAPPS-ICMA Chapter met on Monday, 11/04 and discussed fundraisers, DPP swag, and plans for next semester. They are also hosting a “Friendsgiving” pot-luck on Monday, November 18th. For more info on this next event, please email gapps.icma@gmail.com.
  • Tuesday was an eventful outreach day on the Hartford and Storrs Campuses. Current student Lena Nagorna tabled for the department in the UConn Hartford atrium and talked to many prospective Fast Track students. It was also Election Day! The DPP encouraged people to serve their communities at the polls and with a masters! Information sessions on both campuses garnered lots of interested students for the Fast Track, MPP, and MPA programs.
  • On Wednesday, DPP staff attended the CT Nonprofit Alliance Annual Conference. The conference provided our staff with great networking opportunities and a chance to hear from nonprofit leaders from around the state.
  • On Wednesday, we received news that Nicole Tomasetti, MPA ’18, won a seat on the Meriden City Council and Jessica Weaver, MPP ’20, won a seat on the Newington School Board.
  • In Denver, Colorado, the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) held their 41st Annual Conference from Thursday to Saturday . The conference brings together professionals and institutions from around the globe and invites them to present research on the topic of public policy and management. Professor Eric Brunner and Assistant Professor Yusun Kim both presented their research for conference attendees.

The holiday’s are quickly approaching, and DPP alum Jason Jakubowski is officially on the hunt for turkeys! The President and CEO of Foodshare recently spoke with Scott Haney regarding the Turkey+30. Foodshare is looking to raise 15,059 turkeys and $451,770 by Thanksgiving. To learn more or donate please visit Foodshare’s website.

Next Week:

  • Wednesday, November 13th: Becoming Analytics Translators from 2:30pm – 4:00pm in HTB 220
  • Thursday, November 14th:
    • Speaker Series with Dr. Lindsey Leininger from 12:00pm – 2:00pm in HTB 216
    • Research & The Free Press: Strengthening Democracy Together from 5:30pm – 8:00pm on the HTB 2nd Floor Landing
  • Friday, November 15th: Connecting with Your Stakeholders from 9:00am – 4:00pm in HTB 227

Week 8 Recap: In the Golden State with Public Service On Our Minds

Week 8 Recap: In the Golden State with Public Service On Our Minds

This week the Department of Public Policy (DPP) championed runners and public servants.

  • Last Saturday members of GAPPS-ICMA volunteered at the Hartford Marathon and cheered on the runners.
  • On Wednesday, Associate Professor Kerri Raissian presented with the School of Social Work Assistant Professor Megan Feely at the Department of Children and Families / Community Support for Families Annual Meeting. Dr. Raissian and Dr. Feely presented their research on the connection between poverty and child maltreatment.

    Mohamad and Dave at the NASPAA 50th Anniversary Luncheon
    Department Head Mohamad Alkadry and Director of Nonprofit Leadership Dr. David Garvey
  • From Wednesday through Friday, members of the UConn DPP faculty and staff attended the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (or NASPAA) 2019 Annual Conference. This year’s conference theme is “Reconstructing Governance for the Next 50 Years” and our faculty and staff presented on a variety of topics. To learn more about their panel presence, see our most recent Instagram post.
  • On the career front, Carl Goldblatt, MPA 2019 recently accepted a Connecticut Careers Trainee position with the Connecticut Department of Banking. He is training to become a Financial Examiner.

Next Week:

  • On Monday, October 21st we are hosting a Professional Development: Alumni Career Panel in McHugh 308 at 5pm in Storrs. To RSVP please email our Outreach Coordinator Lian Kish at Kish@UConn.edu.
  • On Tuesday, October 22nd we will be hosting an information table in the Atrium of the Hartford Times Building from 11am until 1pm to share information about our programs and professional opportunities..
  • On Wednesday, we will be hosting an in person information session for our Fast-Track and Survey Research programs from 1pm until 2pm in Hartford Times Building, Room 209. To RSVP to the session please see our info session

UConn Department of Public Policy Joins PPIA

UConn Department of Public Policy Joins PPIA

DPP is pleased to announce that we have recently become a member of PPIA, Public Policy & International Affairs Program. ” The Public Policy and International Affairs Program (PPIA) is a not-for-profit that has been supporting efforts to increase diversity in public service for over 30 years. PPIA believes that our society is best served by public managers, policy makers, and community leaders who represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives. To achieve this goal, PPIA has an outreach focus on students from groups who are underrepresented in leadership positions in government, nonprofits, international organizations and other institutional settings. Furthermore, international affairs are increasingly mixed with local concerns. Addressing such global issues make diversity a critical goal in professional public service.”  DPP is looking forward to working with PPIA and its membership.

Check out the featured article on DPP in the PPIA Winter Newsletter.