The College of Public Service at Tennessee State University

Fall/Winter 2018
About the Department of Public Administration
We are part of the College of Public Service at Tennessee State University. We house a NASPAA-accredited Master of Public Administrationthe sole PhD program in Public Administration offered by a public institution in the state of Tennessee, graduate certificates in Nonprofit Management and Public Policy, and the Masters in Professional Studies (Collaborative online degree). In addition, we are pleased to continue our partnership with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee Board of Probation, Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC), Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, and Tennessee Department of Human Resources in providing the College of Public Service's Command College including the Public Administration Executive Leadership Certificate.
Dr. Michael Harris, Dean & Professor, College of Public Service
Dr. Michael Harris, Dean and Professor, College of Public Service
From the Dean's Desk
Dear students, faculty, staff, and alumni,
In this edition of The Public Servant, we focus on Embracing Culture to Guide Public Service. As we continue to focus on educating the leaders of the public sector in Middle Tennessee and beyond, we are reminded that our society is more diverse than ever!  This reality presents a historic opportunity to rethink how individuals and organizations understand and embrace diversity, inclusion, and equity. The time has come to realize and embrace the idea that we do not only need to address the issue in terms of race, religion, gender, and nationality of origin, but there's also an important and complex emotional dimension to diversity.

As the Dean of the College of Public Service, my foremost goal is to cultivate a climate where students, staff, and faculty can thrive. In order for that goal to be effectively pursued, it’s incumbent that we all embrace the important history of TSU as an HBCU while keeping our eyes focused on the horizon of future challenges and opportunities. The definition of what constitutes a thriving organizational culture is continuously changing, and is currently undergoing extensive examination across the higher education sector. It’s vital that all stakeholders drawn upon their personal and professional experiences to guide us forward.

I have experienced a variety of cultures, religions and nationalities through my life. Born in South Africa, raised in Israel, living in the USA, and fortunate to travel the world in five capacities: as a kid, an IDF officer, a member of the commune who represented our production of flowers and furniture, a tourist, and as an educator. These travels allowed me a unique and vast opportunity to interact, engage, and learn much about others from different cultures and backgrounds. You can describe the necessary conditions for mutual respect and equity in so many different ways, but based on my experiences it comes down to one essential condition – civility. 

Civility is at the core of one’s ability to respect, value, and interact with a variety of cultures. You can only lead when you recognize that there are a wide variety of needs, concerns and dreams. Learning about different cultures allows us to recognize, in a civil manner, that everyone has a story and everyone’s story is central to their identity. Therefore, a starting place to explore "Embracing Culture to Guide Public Service," is to recognize the profound value of civility and integrity. A genuine embrace of those values may not be visible in a spreadsheet or within a performance measurement system, but it will be undeniably visible in the culture of your organization!

Regardless of whether you’re reading this as a student, an alumnus/a, or stakeholder, I can ensure you that you’re in a position where you can make this world a better place. Taking on the most important challenges to improve the world can be daunting and overwhelming, but you’re not alone – my colleagues and I are here to assist you, support you, and celebrate your efforts. I encourage you to find inspiration within this newsletter, to reflect on your understanding of equity, and to take the first step…you’ll rarely regret letting your heart guide your actions in this life.

Michael Harris, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor
College of Public Service
Dr. Rodney Stanley, Chair & Professor, Department of Public Administration
Dr. Rodney Stanley, Chair & Professor, Department of Public Administration
Message from the Department Chair

Dear alumni, current students, colleagues, and community members,

As I reflected upon the theme of this issue of TPS, one question continued to resurface--why is diversity so important? For me, I appreciate the multitude of different perspectives that are shared when a diverse group of professionals work together in pursuing the public good. In my over twenty ears working in higher education, the end product of a group decision is always better when a variety of individuals from different backgrounds share ideas that represent the collective group in the establishment of a new product or program. By bringing diverse groups of individuals to the decision-making process, we are practicing “unity among diversity” in an effort to be more inclusive of various interests that shape our society. This leads to our academic programs serving a larger diverse group of clients across the nation. In my view, one primary role of the university is to ensure diversity and inclusiveness in all units. Therefore, we will continue to strive to make these two important aspects of equality transparent throughout the Department of Public Administration’s academic programs.

We are pleased by the progress that is taking place in the Department of Public Administration and as always, I encourage alumni to stay in touch. We encourage submissions of accomplishments, awards, career changes, life events or just a change of address. Simply fill out the Alumni Contact Form - it only takes a moment. 


Dr. Rodney Stanley
Chair and Professor
Department of Public Administration

Alumni Updates
We proudly celebrate the many accomplishments of our alumni. If we missed you, please just drop us a line for the next TPS newsletter.
Positions, Promotions, & Other Developments
  • Monique Odom ('98 MPA), Director of the Metro Nashville Parks & Recreation Department, received the Unsung Shero award during The Equity Alliance's Inaugural Black Women's Empowerment Brunch. 
  • Dr. Charles Brewton ('01 PhD), Adjunct Professor at Columbia State University, completed his seventh trip to Vietnam in 10 years for CSU. These trips are part of a course he teachers MBA students on International Business.
  • Jason Powell ('02 MPA) was recently reelected to a fourth term to the Tennessee General Assembly for House District 53. Additionally, Rep. Powell was elected by the Democratic House Caucus to be the Whip for the 111th Session. Rep. Powell has passed 25 laws over the past 6 years including the Made in Tennessee Act, new regulations for notification about lead in drinking water and the first blockchain bill in Tennessee.
  • Dr. Ronald Maurer ('04 PhD), Professor Emeritus of Social Work and Program Director at Trevecca Nazarene University, retired from full-time teaching at Trevecca University at the end of the 2015 school year. Since then, he and his wife have been traveling and serving in different countries. After the 2015 Spring graduation, they went to Romania to observe a social service agency, and then went to Austria and Germany. In the Spring of 2016, they spent three months volunteering at the social service agency in Romania. While there, Dr. Maurer also taught a class for 25 adults in Pastoral Care and Counseling. In September of 2017, he went to Trinidad and spent a month assisting a small college with their accreditation. He and his wife's last trip was from December 2017 through May 2018, to the island of Yap in the South Pacific. Dr. Maurer served as the principal and his wife served as a kindergarten teacher for Yap International Christian School. 
  • Dr. Michael Montgomery ('07 PhD) was promoted to Full Professor in the Criminal Justice Department at Tennessee State University.
  • Keilani Goggins ('12 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.), Director of the Hope Street Group, was selected as a Mosaic Fellow with the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition, a transformational strategy to develop and connect education leaders of color to enact change and elevate their voices to ensure equity and excellence in education in Tennessee.
  • Derrick Boswell ('15 MPA, '14 Cert. - Health Admin & Planning), a Principal Analyst/Product Manager for the Decision Resources Group, led data development in launching the 2.0 version of the PBM and prescriptions drug benefit tool - Pharmacy Benefit Evaluator (PBE). PBE helps pharmaceuticals identify and understand the relationships between medical insurers and PBMs, and where prescription benefits lives are located, in different categories or lines of business.
  • Sidney Schuttrow ('14 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.) was offered and accepted, in August 2018, the position of Director of Volunteer Services for the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability (TCAD). This is a new position created to help recruit and retain volunteers for the seven key programs TCAD provides to older adults across Tennessee. 
  • Brianna Benson ('15 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.), Planning Specialist for the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), was recently honored with a 40 Under 40 Award from the Association of Commuter Transportation based on her work with developing and implementing a state-wide commuter mobility options program for TDOT.
  • Susan Duckett ('15 MPA, Cert. - Health Admin & Planning) has been contracting as a Business Analyst in IT across several industries for the past four years in the private sector (currently with Nissan). She first became aware of the need for organizations to modernize or make upgrades whilst in government.
  • Eric Richardson ('15 MPA, Cert. - Health Admin & Planning), a Project Manager for the Multnomah County (Oregon) Health Department, recently completed the Certification in Healthcare Compliance (CHC).
  • Darion Banister ('16 Cert - Health Admin & Planning), Regional Manager of Capacity Building and Community Engagement for the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, co-authored "Use of Social Network Strategy Among Young Black Men Who Have Sex With Men for HIV Testing, Linkage to Care, and Reengagement in Care, Tennessee, 2013-2016" that was published in the Public Health Reports journal (link).
  • Dr. Wa'ed Alshoubaki ('17 Ph.D.), Assistant Professor at the University of Jordan, published "A Synopsis of the Jordanian Governance System in the Management of the Syrian Refugee Crisis" in the Journal of Intercultural Studies. In addition to her current position as Assistant Professor at the University of Jordan, Dr. Alshoubaki is also a Visiting Professor at the Center for Strategic Studies in Jordan, where she teaches courses on Refugees and Forced Migration. During this past year, she presented two papers at International Conferences with Dr. Michael Harris (Dean and Professor, College of Public Service) - "The Impact of Syrian Refugees on a Receiving State's Public Expenditure: Evidence from Jordan" (presented at the Third Annual Conference of the Refugee Law Initiative in London, England) and "The Impact of Syrian Refugees on Jordan: A Framework for Analysis" (presented at the 2018 IASFM Annual Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece).
Dean of the College of Public Service, Dr. Michael Harris and Dr. Wa'ed Alshoubaki [pictured from left to right] attending the Third Annual Conference of the Refugee Law Initiative in London, England. 
Current Student Updates
We proudly celebrate the many accomplishments of our current students. If we missed you, please just drop us a line for the Spring/Summer 2019 TPS newsletter.
Positions, Promotions, and Other Developments
  • Jim Layman (MPA Student), currently a Legislative Liaison for the TN Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, will be starting a new position on January 1, 2019 as Director of Government Relations for the Insurors of TN, a trade association that represents independent agents and brokers.
  • Eric Shaye Olmstead (MPA Student), formerly a Senior Product Manager for the Tennessee Department of Education, was promoted to Director of Educator Licensure & Operations. Eric was also selected to participate in the State's Alliance 10 of LEAD Tennessee (A state employee leadership development program designed for the executive and senior-level leaders and managers, and high potential emerging leaders within agencies).
Publications & Presentations
  • Robert Marioni (Doctoral Student), presented research at the 2018 SECoPA Conference in Birmingham, Alabama. His research presentation was entitled, "Employment Classification Laws: Creating Institutional Isomorphism in the Principal-Agent Relationship, and Employment Misclassification as an Avoidance Tactic."
  • Eric Shaye Olmstead (MPA Student), along with co-researcher Dr. Anthony Campbell (Faculty Member), presented research at the 2018 NASPAA Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Their research presentation was part of a panel they convened and designed with collaborators from Augusta University, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and the University of Pittsburgh. The panel was entitled, "MPA and MPP Program Branding Across the Spectrum: The Why and How of Strategic Brand Management in the 21st Century."
  • Julie Roberts (Doctoral Student), along with co-researchers Dr. Meg Streams (Faculty Member) and Dr. Cliff Lippard (Ph.D. 2012), presented research at the 2018 SECoPA Conference. Their research presentation was entitled, "Regional Collaboration: What Works? An Exploration of Mandated and Voluntary Collaboration among Tennessee Local Governments."
  • Regina Russell (Doctoral Student) presented research at the 2018 PAT-Net Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Her research presentation was entitled, "Knowledge-practice Networks: Complex Systems Theory at the Intersection of Learning and Organizing."
  • Tonya Wood (MPA Student) presented research at the 2018 SECoPA Conference, entitled, "Why They Leave: The Impact of Perceived Supervisor and Leader Trustworthiness on Turnover Intention among Federal Employees." Tonya also chaired a panel, Citizen Engagement in Criminal Justice Issues.
Julie Roberts (Doctoral Student), Tonya Wood (MPA Student), and Robert Marioni (Doctoral Student) at the 2018 SECoPA Conference in Birmingham, Alabama [from left to right]
Academic Progress, Awards, and Honors
  • Amy Owen (Doctoral Student) was selected as one of 25 graduate students and new professionals in an international competition to be a 2019 American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) Founders’ Fellow. As an ASPA 2019 Founders’ Fellow, Amy will receive a complimentary 2019 ASPA Annual Conference registration, lodging in the conference hotel, and a year-long mentorship with a seasoned practitioner or senior scholar. The 2019 ASPA Conference will be held March 8-12 in Washington, D.C. 
  • Keturah Barnett (MPA Student) won a competitve Ed Young Scholarship to attend the Fall 2018 Tennessee City Managment Association (TCMA) Conference in Chattanooga, TN.
Keturah Barnett (MPA Student) attending the Fall 2018 TCMA Conference in Chattanooga.
MPA Program Mission and Values Statement
Our MPA program prepares students, as ethical public and nonprofit managers and leaders, to respond equitablyeffectively, and efficiently to the needs of a diverse society. We recognize the goals of our students working in, or preparing for, public service by emphasizing flexibility and quality in teaching and learning. We teach the core concepts of public administration with a focus on practical application, while strengthening students’ ability to solve problems analytically. Students may build specialized skills on one of the program’s areas of expertise: public policy, leadership, or nonprofit management. As instructors and advisors, we work closely with students to support both their classroom and career achievement; in return, students are expected to pursue academic excellence and demonstrate integrity. As scholars, we engage in research and service to the University, community, and profession. By building relationships with public and nonprofit organizations in Middle Tennessee and beyond, we enhance our ability to develop students as professionals.
Public Service Values Statement.
The guiding public service values of the MPA program in the College of Public Service at TSU are:
  • EQUITY – Public servants should practice impartiality and fairness in their daily work, while balancing that pursuit with the need for effectiveness and efficiency.
  • EFFECTIVENESS – Public servants should work in a proficient and productive manner towards the common good, setting transparent performance outcomes to measure progress while balancing that pursuit with the need for equity and efficiency.
  • EFFICIENCY – Public servants should be careful and innovative stewards who seek to create the most public value out of scarce resources, while balancing that pursuit with the need for effectiveness and equity.
  • DIVERSITY – Public servants should understand, value, and respect both individual differences and commonalities, working to create and maintain inclusive organizations and communities.
The Exchange - Building an Equitable Culture that Embraces Diversity to Guide Public Service
As each issue of The Public Servant is developed, stakeholders (current students, alumni, and faculty) are engaged in a dialogue that addresses an important topic for the field of public administration - an exchange. For the next several issues of TPS, elements of the MPA program's mission and values statement will be used as starting points for reflection and sharing insights in The Exchange.For the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of TPS, the focus of The Exchange is "Building an Equitable Culture that Embraces Diversity to Guide Public Service."
Diversity and equity, along with efficiency and effectiveness, make up the four core values of TSU’s MPA program. Indeed, the first line of our mission states, “Our MPA program prepares students, as ethical public and nonprofit managers and leaders, to respond equitably, effectively, and efficiently to the needs of a diverse society.” Current students, alumni and facutly were asked to consider both the philosophical and practical dimensions of diversity and equity in the public sector. We've selected a portion of the responses we received, and we proudly showcase those below.
At the outset of change, thinking about diversity in organizations may be reduced to various statements, policies or regulations; however, there's also an important emotional dimension to an organizational culture that evolves to embrace diversity. Based on your personal and professional experiences, how does that type of culture feel?
Brianna Benson ('15 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.) | I work with a diverse group of people from various nationalities and backgrounds. It's a beautiful culture to experience when it is working properly; however language and cultural barriers can carry miscommunications. Communication can halt when someone is feeling undervalued or misunderstood. I believe an organization's culture should reflect the various policies, statements, etc., to give true meaning towards acceptance of a diverse work environment.  
Everett Bills II ('15 MPA) | Institutions, albeit large and seemingly immutable, tend to rely on the informal culture to adopt diversity and inclusion. In my experience, these factors directly affect the degree by which the mission is realized and accomplished. 
Dr. Ken Chilton (Faculty Member) | First, you can't just create culture. Efforts to change need to be intentional and sustained. Public servants work on behalf of a rapidly diversifying society. Whether it's race/ethnicity, age, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, a just society requires responsive policies. Unfortunately, changing organizational culture to meet the needs of those historically left out of many policy decisions is uncomfortable. It requires new networks. It demands us to be bigger than ourselves and view the world through multiple lenses.
Susan Duckett ('15 MPA, Cert - Health Admin & Planning)Some organizations talk of culture and diversity, others really honor it. Leadership is the defining characteristic of good culture that embraces diversity in my experience. When it is good, it is seen and felt. People show it in their eyes and interactions.
Dr. Ronald Maurer ('04 PhD) | Embracing diversity must be a natural action. It is not something that can be forced upon others. It comes from the heart when someone truly embraces that all of us are truly created equal, not with skills and abilities, but in our humanness. Every human being has value and worth!
Eric Shaye Olmstead (MPA Student) | An inclusive organizational culture in which diversity is valued does feel different. One way in which this type of culture is palpably different is in communication dynamics, with space-making and self-monitoring of air time being two of the most fundamental shifts that everyone would readily be able to observe. Those most commonly oppressed are not only are present but lead, and those who may be accustomed to leading by virtue of their social capital (e.g.; as white/white passing, as male/male passing, etc.) take a passive and supportive role. 
Dr. Angela Paez (Faculty Member) | I have a clear memory of an organization where culture embraced diversity and, interestingly, I think that this emotional component resided within its informal norms. I remember being greeted by different members of the organization with a certain eagerness to listen that seemed to be passed along to new members. They had a clear expectation to welcome all newcomers so we would feel like we belong. I remember feeling that they actually appreciated communication in a way that all members were encouraged to talk and listen and be curious about what others could bring to the table. Finally, I think when a culture embraces diversity, it attains a kind of vibrancy, an energy that comes from creativity and the encouragement of members with different backgrounds and characteristics to work together to solve problems and achieve goals as a team.

Vernā Myers powerfully offers, "Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance." In other words, inclusion is about people with different identities being accepted, valued, and welcomed to bring their full self to organizational life – not just about being counted. What do you believe, or have you experienced, to be key challenges and strategies for fostering real inclusion within organizations?

Brianna Benson ('15 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.) | The holidays are always a tricky time for inclusion. In my experience, working in a diverse work place, it's a good idea to keep things neutral, from a religious stand point. One thing my organization does well is Diversity Day, where the various nationalities and cultures that make up our work force can not only be acknowledged, but celebrated.    
Dr. Ken Chilton (Faculty Member) | I often think of this when I attend academic conferences. In these venues, lots of middle-aged white men strategize about inclusion and diversity. A key challenge is to be honest with ourselves and commit ourselves to building inclusive organizations. This requires upsetting the proverbial apple cart. When you look at leadership hierarchies at most organizations--from the Rotary Club to various large nonprofit boards--you find lots of people who look like me. The various networks of professionals is not diverse and their cultural affinities and biases affect their outputs. Their intentions are good but the gaps in information needed to make inclusive policy are extensive and can lead to unintended consequences. The good news is that I work in a field that trains future leaders who will be change agents. 
Susan Duckett ('15 MPA, Cert. - Health Admin & Planning) | Culture awareness days, food/cook offs, dress/music, team building exercises, presentations when someone returns from a trip, and of course respect.
Dr. Kenyatta Lovett (Adjunct Faculty Member, '14 PhD) | Inclusion takes effort, and many find it to run counter to efficiency. However, I have found inclusive practices to take more time on the front end, but render stronger - more sustainable - results in the long run. I think you often overlook the things you don't value, but no one will admit the things they don't value. 
Dr. Ronald Maurer ('04 PhD) | I have experienced and have come to believe that often our focus as a society on the differences of different groups of people (pluralism), rather that the similarities, can actually cause division, rather than oneness. We all must be willing to give up some things (not all of our individuality) in order to fit into a group. If you doubt this, then live overseas for a while in another culture. 
Shaye Eric Olmstead (MPA Student) | Even those who value diversity and inclusion, but reflect the appearance of the oppressor, tend to have a muscle memory for claiming space. There needs to be open and persistent dialog and calling-in to mitigate this tendency. Meeting norms and rhetorically addressing diversity in mission statements isn't enough. Real inclusion and equity work requires constant engagement with the tendency not only to reinforce power dynamics as one typically in power but as the oppressed. It is incredibly difficult to challenge our own relegation of ourselves into the role of oppressed, as much as it is for those benefiting from membership in the same group(s) as the oppressor(s). I would argue that the institutional culture that successfully fosters diversity and inclusion also must banish depersonalizing structures more generally, striving for support of the whole individual and valuing more than the mere reciprocal agreement of work for pay.
Dr. Meg Streams (Faculty Member) | I think an openness to others and to the process of learning is one key, because learning about ourselves and others is a process that doesn't have an end point. Even with good faith, individuals and organizations won't get inclusion right every day, every way; hindsight as understanding evolves will always show our failures in high relief. But if the attitude of openness is maintained, and communication is strong, the spaces where people can bring their full selves into their work role will continue to expand, and successes will take shape as well. Organizations are human systems, not market machines or legal fictions, and change and growth are possible -- for each of us, and for our organizations.

In the MPA program’s Public Service Values Statement, we observe that Equity means, "Public servants should practice impartiality and fairness in their daily work, while balancing that pursuit with the need for effectiveness and efficiency." However, statements are never enough when it comes to matters as important as equity. Individuals and organizations must go beyond statements, and take actions to enhance equity and build equitable cultures. Please consider the following question: How does our statement on equity relate to your understanding of service in a public or nonprofit organization?

Connie Barbour ('15 Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.) | Ensuring the fair administration of laws, seeking out and qualifying all individuals for positions in the workforce, and encouraging moral public leadership that motivates individuals and communities to practice social equity are all fundamental aspects of social equality. Love it!
Brianna Benson ('15 MPA, Cert. Nonprofit Mgmt.) | Public service is not limited to one group of people, it is for the good of all people. No matter our personal beliefs or biases, we must remain equitable.  
Dr. Ronald Maurer ('04 PhD) | The concept of equity is great. However, it is much more easy to write about than it is to put into action. What do we mean by equity? In what areas do we want equity? Should everyone in a class get the same grade as the best students, even those who don't study and prepare? The Constitution talks about equality of opportunity, not necessarily the equity of lifestyle. How do we handle those problems today?
ICMA Student Chapter Updates
  • During the Summer of 2018, the ICMA Student Chapter membership elected the student leaders for the 2018-2019 Academic Year. Kelly Baker-Hefley (MPA Student) was elected as President, and Reuben Ovbiebo (MPA Student) was elected as Vice President. 
  • The ICMA Student Chapter held three events during the Fall semester: a Back-to-School Picnic in Franklin, and two informal networking sessions in Nashville.
  • The 2019 Public Service Awards event will be held during the Spring semester, as well as several more informal networking sessions, and an End-of-the-Year picnic. Stay tuned for more details!
Students interested in joining the ICMA Student Chapter should contact Dr. Anthony Campbell at mcampb13@tnstate.edu
Reuben Ovbiebo and Kelly Baker-Hefley [pictured from left to right]
Reuben Ovbiebo, Student Chapter Vice President, welcoming attendees to the event.
2018 Homecoming - Public Service Tigers Come Home 
The College of Public Service's 2018 Homecoming event, Public Service Tigers Comes Home, was held on Tuesday, October 16 on Tennessee State University's Main Campus in Holland Hall. The event, organized by Dr. Anthony Campbell (Faculty Member), began with a networking session with light refreshments, which was followed by a panel discussion of College of Public Service alumni panelists (listed below). The event was hosted by two student leaders in the College of Public Service, Kelly Baker-Hefley and Reuben Ovbiebo, who serve as the President and Vice President of the ICMA Student Chapter. The panelists discussed the impact of our college on their lives and careers. 
  • LaTonja Coates (BSUS) | Tennessee Department of Transportation
  • Alfred Degrafinreid II (MPA) | Deputy Campaign Manager, Bredesen for Senate (previously CAO/Chief Deputy Clerk for the Metro Nashville Office of the Criminal Court Clerk)
  • Arlene Nicholas-Phillips (MPS) | Executive Assistant to the TSU President and Liaison to the TSU Governing Board
  • L. Denise Sawyers (MSW) | Correctional Counselor, Tennessee Department of Corrections
  • Michael D. Taylor (TSU) | Human Resources Assistant Director, Metro Nashville
Dean of the College of Public Service, Dr. Michael Harris, welcomes attendees to the event
Michael Taylor (TSU), LaTonja Coates (BSUS), Arlene Nicholas-Phillips (MPS), Alfred Degrafinreid II (MPA), and L. Desnise Sawyers (MSW) [pictured from left to right]
Reuben Ovbiebo (MPA Student and Event Host), Alfred Degrafinreid II (MPA Alumnum and Event Panelist), and Kelly Baker-Hefley (MPA Student and Event Host) [pictured from left to right]
Fall 2018 Pi Alpha Alpha Inductions
The Department of Public Administration proudly inducted 3 students into Pi Alpha Alpha (the international honor society for public administration, which requires a 3.7 graduating GPA) during the Fall 2018 semester. Two of those students were formally inducted, and they are pictured below. We congratulate and celebrate their academic accomplishments!
Pi Alpha Alpha Faculty Advisor, Dr. Anthony Campbell, Michael Norman, George Darden, Dean of the College of Public Service, Dr. Michael Harris [from left to right] (Inductees not pictured: Hannah Ramey)
Fall 2018 Graduate Student Commencement
It is with great pleasure that we celebrate our outstanding Fall 2018 graduates.
Department of Public Administration Faculty Members: Dr. Alex Sekwat, Dr. Rodney Stanley (Department Chair), and Dr. Angela Paez [pictured from left to right]
Dr. Jessica Huddleston earned her Ph.D. during the Fall 2018 semester.
Dean of the College of Public Service, Dr. Michael Harris, George Darden (MPA Graduate), Joy M. Pitts (MPS Graduate), and Mia Vickers (MPS Graduate) [pictured from left to right]
Faculty Updates
  • Dr. Anthony Campbell was appointed to the position of Book Review Editor for Administrative Theory & Praxis (link)
  • Dr. Ken Chilton continues his work with community organizations in Nashville (The Voice for Poverty Reduction) and Chattanooga (The Unity Group and Chattanooga Organized for Action).
  • Dr. Angela Paez reviewed a paper for Latin American Law Review in one of her research areas of interest: judicial politics in Latin America. Courts in Latin America have had a key role in rights’ protection and policy implementation, particularly in the last two decades, and she is excited to contribute towards strengthening the academic community in this area of research.
  • Dr. Meg Streams began her second terms on SECoPA's Board, representing Tennessee. Dr. Streams will also serve as Chair of the Bylaws Committee and a member of the Finance Committee in the coming year.
Publications & Presentations
  • Dr. Anthony Campbell co-authored an article published in Brown University's Swearer Center's Re-Imagining a 21st Century Democracy, a crowd-sourced journal looking for new ideas about promoting democratic values and norms (link). The article is entitled "The Intersection of Campus and Community: Empowering Today's College Students to be Tomorrow's Citizens," and it is co-authored with Kelly Baker-Hefley (MPA Student), Dr. Cara Robinson (Interim Department Chair, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work and Urban Studies), and Debby Gould (President, League of Women Voters Nashville).
  • Dr. Anthony Campbell and Dr. Ann-Marie Rizzo attended the 2018 PAT-Net Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. They presented their research entitled "Illuminating The Night Of: An Examination of Exemplars in Times of Turmoil."
  • Dr. Ken Chilton co-authored an article published in the September issue of societies (link), which is entitled "The Impact of Single-Family Rental REITs on Regional Housing Markets: A Case Study of Nashville, TN." One notable co-author is Rabia Chaudhry ('18 MPA).
  • Dr. Angela Paez attended the Law and Society Association conference (link) in early June 2018 (Toronto, Canada). Dr. Paez presented the preliminary results of her research on the effects of immigration state laws over minority voter turnout on the presidential elections of 2012 and 2016. 
  • Dr. Meg Streams was a co-panelist on a panel for doctoral students at the 2018 SECoPA Conference (link), entitled "Getting and Keeping your First Faculty Job: Understanding the Range of Academic Settings."
Other Developments
  • Dr. Kenyatta Lovett (Adjunct Faculty Member, '14 PhD), is the Executive Director of Complete Tennessee (link), and his organization launched an initiative called the College Completion Communities, which focuses on building college completion plans for 12 rural counties. Dr. Lovett participated in a Free College Symposium at the U.S. Senate Chamber - hosted by the Institute for Higher Education Policy. Complete Tennessee released, in conjunction with the Nashville Mayor's Office and the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, a Talent Hub Report (link) that examined the circumstances of residents in the Nashville's Promise Zone region, as it relates to college access and completion. Complete Tennessee will be hosting an education series in 2019 specifically focused on higher education in Tennessee. They will also soon release the 2018 State of Higher Education in Tennessee Report (third edition), and will launch a research consortium in 2019 focused on higher education research.
  • The Department of Public Administration is looking ahead to our NASPAA site visit in Spring 2019, part of our 7-year accreditation cycle and something that we are always bearing in mind as we work to ensure the quality and value of our degree for students, alumni, employers, and other stakeholders -- an exciting time to learn from our peers at other NASPAA-accredited MPA programs, and continue to build on the insights we have developed during the intensive self-study year (2017-2018).
College of Public Service, Tennessee State University
330 10th Ave. N, Mail Stop 139, Suite E-400 | Nashville, TN 37203-3401
phone 615.963.7201 | fax 615.963.7245
pcameron@tnstate.edu | lstokes4@tnstate.edu
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