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MPA Students Gain Valuable Experience through Internships

Posted on December 21st, 2016 by Deborah

The internship experience provides MPA students practical experience in public administration, opportunity to develop their professional skills, and develop relationships with public service professionals locally, in the state, and nationally. In the internship placements student complete special projects and engage with a broad range of government and nonprofit agencies in carrying out its public service commitment.

Congratulations to the following students who shared their internship experiences in Fall 2016 semester:

Breanna Kreutzer: West Virginia University Title IX Office
Marissa Angellatta: Adventure West Virginia
Michael Bloom: Mon General Hospital
Brianna Hickman: Global Law Initiatives for Sustainable Development
Marissa Johnson West Virginia University Admissions Office
John Ferguson: Midwest Music Foundation
Adam Rhome: Greene County Government Offices
Lauren Palmquist: Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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Dr. Holmes selected for international accrediting commission

Posted on November 17th, 2016 by Deborah

Maja Holmes, Master of Public Administration’s chair and associate professor, has been selected to serve on the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration’s international accrediting commission. The accrediting commission is the global standard in public service education. The NASPAA has continuously accredited the WVU Master of Public Administration since the accreditation began in 1980.

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Dr. Karen Kunz was featured on NPR Marketplace

Posted on October 17th, 2016 by Deborah

Dr. Karen Kunz, Associate Professor of Public Administration, was featured on NPR Marketplace discussing how public infrastructure spending looks a little different today than it did in the past. Congressional earmarks to fund big projects are a thing of the past, and have been for years now. So individual states have come up with different strategies to pay for projects.

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John D. Rockefeller IV School of Policy and Politics Open House

Posted on September 13th, 2016 by Deborah

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Lunch & Learn: Explore Graduate Programs at WVU on September 14

Posted on September 1st, 2016 by Deborah

Bring your lunch and join faculty from the Department of Public Administration on Wednesday, September 14 from 12PM – 1PM in room 6117 at Waterfront Place. Learn about the Master of Public Administration (MPA) and Master of Legal Studies (MLS). The MPA degree is a flexible for part-time enrollment tailored to develop your skills in managing public, healthcare, and community organizations. The MLS degree is offered completely online and is designed for mid-career professionals to gain a greater understanding of the American legal system in order to assist those who need to work with, but not necessarily in the legal system. For more information about the lunch and learn please contact

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Dr. Kunz discusses the ROI on Taxes on WalletHub

Posted on September 1st, 2016 by Deborah

2016’s States with the Best & Worst Taxpayer ROI – -

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Dr. Farah appointed to International Law Committee

Posted on August 31st, 2016 by Deborah

Dr. Paolo Farah, assistant professor of public administration, was recently appointed Member of the Coordinating Committee of the European Society of International Law – International Environmental Law Interest Group. This appointment follows his ongoing roles with the International Law Association Committee on Sustainable Development and the Green Economy in International Trade Law, the Committee on Role of International Law in Sustainable Natural Resource Management for Development and the Study Group on Preferential Trade Agreements.

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MPA Student awarded John D. Rockefeller IV Leadership Award in Policy & Politics

Posted on August 31st, 2016 by Deborah

The first recipient of this new scholarship is Michelle Sloane of Paramus, New Jersey, a student in the Master of Public Administration program. As a graduate student, Sloane has been involved in several public service projects, including developing community capacity in Fairmont, West Virginia and exploring budget frameworks for the WVU Extension Fire Service. She serves in a leadership role in the WVU Student Association of Public Administrators and volunteers with the West Virginia Botanical Gardens. Michelle also works as a Graduate Research Assistant at the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center.

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Stout named WVU Eberly College Outstanding Public Service award winner

Posted on April 6th, 2016 by Deborah

Margaret Stout, associate professor of public administration, has been named the 2016 WVU Eberly College Outstanding Public Service award winner, but says the real credit belongs to the 69 students who have participated in service learning projects and the communities she works with to make meaningful changes.

Stout and her students work in small rural towns or urban neighborhoods, particularly those with many low-income and minority residents. Each project is designed to help the community move along a proven developmental path from mobilizing and organizing, to visioning and planning, to program and project implementation, anticipating ongoing evaluation. Each step includes capacity building and participatory practice with the motto “working with, not for the community.”

“In reflection, deep involvement in community development work can be very messy and challenging. As one student said, teams ‘become like families’ embedded in the community, with all the dynamics these relationships infer,” said Stout. “We share the frustrations of community conflicts and failures along with celebrations of success.”

Stout says her work contributes in a meaningful way to WVU’s Land Grant mission, helping to create a human resource pipeline for community development in the state. Her ongoing public service goal is to build local governance capacity and help create a stronger, more integrated system of community development in the state through the combined efforts of numerous WVU outreach and service learning programs, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.

“Margaret is the unusual academic who understands how to be an effective practitioner in the field. She has shown the ability to work with county and city governments (the public sector), businesses (the private sector), and non-profit organizations such as the Hub (the civic sector),” said Kent Spellman, West Virginia Community Development Hub executive director. “In doing so, she has brought value to communities by helping them build their capacity for effective improvement, and has strengthened her non-profit partners through her strategic thinking and deep understanding of the sector.”

Each semester, Stout and her students make three service learning visits to conduct field research, meet with stakeholders, and engage the community in planning and development activities. Each day ends with guided reflection that is captured by each student in fieldwork journals. When teams have to stay overnight, the community provides homestay or cabin accommodations that develop strong bonds among team members. When not completing work assignments, the team participates in community barbecues, school sporting events and street decorating, fundraising competitions, holiday celebrations, meals at local restaurants, and parties with homestay hosts; experiences that are highly valued by students.

“It was very insightful, and actually somewhat amazing to me, how the class had, over three semesters, put together so much for the community. It seems like a sort of alchemy, the way Dr. Stout and the graduate students enrolled in the class took information and input from residents and made tangible deliverables for the community,” said Andrew Benjamin, forestry graduate student.

Recipients of this award are listed on a plaque in Woodburn Hall on the WVU Downtown Campus, and are awarded $1,000 to pursue professional development opportunities.

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Debbie Koon-Friel awarded Eberly Outstanding Staff award

Posted on April 5th, 2016 by Deborah

WVU Eberly College announces 2016 Outstanding Staff Award recipients

The WVU Eberly College of Arts and Sciences has named four recipients of the 2016 Outstanding Staff Award: Deborah “Debbie” Koon-Friel, Robert Phipps, R. George Parnell and Ronny Thompson.

Deborah “Debbie” Koon-Friel has worked as an administrative assistant in the Department of Public Administration for more than 35 years. Her devotion to the department’s students and their organizations has been noted by many.

“Her knowledge is extensive, her commitment is unwavering, and she is dedicated to ensuring faculty and students receive excellent service,” one faculty member wrote in a recommendation.

Robert Phipps, professional technologist in the Office of the Dean, is always willing to offer his computer expertise and lend a helping hand. Several recommendations commended him for being attentive, responsive, knowledgeable, service-oriented and compassionate.

“To say he goes above and beyond is an understatement,” said members of the Outstanding Staff Award Committee.

R. George Parnell, accounting clerk in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, came into the position after three months of vacancy and years of mishandled work. His dedication to the job, pride in his work and personality has helped bridge the gap between faculty and vendors and has earned him the respect of everyone in the department.

According his coworkers, Parnell frequently goes above and beyond in his position, substituting for others in the office when they are absent and making sure everything is taken care of.

“He has done an amazing job of bringing a high level of organization and efficiency to a job for which both are extremely challenging,” said Paul Cassak, associate professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy. “He really has quickly become a fixture in the department and a very steadying influence on the faculty and staff.”

Ronny Thompson, program assistant in the Department of Political Science, has consistently provided excellent customer service for the last nine years and has become invaluable to the department by how she helps with undergraduate advising.

Her reputation has extended to the Undergraduate Advising Office where everyone enjoys working with her because she is punctual and pleasant. Her supervisor is impressed by her willingness to take on additional duties and responsibilities.

“Ronny is a joy to work with. She is efficient, knowledgeable, and above all dependable,” said Philip A. Michelbach, associate professor in the Department of Political Science. “Ronny does her job with a cheerfulness that makes any interaction with her a pleasant experience. Our department would be lost without her help.”

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