Milestones from 2013-2014 for the Department of Public Administration
Milestones from 2013-2014 for the Department of Public Administration
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The College of Public Service and Urban Affairs | We build Leaders and Scholars who Serve |
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Fall 2014 Issue

Message from the Department Chair
Dear alumni, current students, colleagues and community members-

The past year has yielded a great deal of positive news about the accomplishments and activities of our students, alumni, and public administration faculty. It is also with great sadness that we marked the passing of our esteemed colleague, Dr. Arie Halachmi, in June (more).  We recognize these milestones in our newsletter this year.

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.  Job postings and other news are also available at our website, and we are eager to hear how we can better serve you.


Dr. Rodney Stanley
Professor and Chair, Department of Public Administration  |

About the Department of Public Administration: We are part of the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs at Tennessee State University.  We house a NASPAA-accredited Masters in Public Administration; the sole PhD program in Public Administration offered by a public institution in the state of Tennessee; two graduate certificates in Nonprofit Management and Healthcare Administration and Planning; and the Masters in Professional Studies (a Regents Online Campus Collaborative online degree). In addition, we are pleased to continue our partnership with the Tennessee Department of Correction in TDOC's Command College. 

Join CPSUA on Facebook.  Follow us on Twitter @CPSUAatTSU.



photo of alumni and faculty
As part of the April "Legends" TSU campus-wide celebration, alumni of the PhD and MPA programs in public administration returned to campus for a luncheon with faculty and current students. From left - Brian Williams (MPA student), CPSUA Dean Michael Harris, Dr. Greg Schutz ('07 PhD), Keilani Goggins ('12 MPA, Cert.- Nonprofit Mgmt.), Verlinda Darden (MPA student), Dr. Meg Streams (PA faculty), Michael Watson (’13 MPA, Cert. - Healthcare Admin. & Planning; Pi Alpha Alpha), Dr. Ken Chilton  (PA faculty), Alex Frederick  (MPA student), Dr. Cara Robinson (Urban Studies faculty), Dr. Charles Brewton ('01 PhD), Ty Nelson (’12 MPA), Bobbie Porter ('MPA, Cert.- Nonprofit Mgmt.), Alfred Degrafinreid, II ('08 MPA), Dr. Rodney Stanley (PA dept. chair), and Herbert Brown ('12).

Awards and Honors

We learned recently that Dr. William K. McAllister, FAICP and alumnus of our Ph.D. program in public administration, has been honored as a Fellow of the of the American Planning Association (inducted 2010).  Dr. McAllister, now retired, was a long-term faculty member in the field of planning at Alabama A&M University.  Congratulations, Dr. McAllister!


Our alumni continue to serve in a variety of ways in the community.  We recognize the efforts of the following alumni:
Alumna Brittany Sims ('12 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.) was selected as a member of the Young Leaders Council of Nashville's Class 61, serving in Fall 2013.  The Young Leaders Council develops its members by building the competencies needed to serve effectively on nonprofit boards and enhancing their ability to serve our community.  The YLC mission is " train diverse, committed individuals to effectively participate on the boards of nonprofit organizations and make a difference in the community by replenishing the volunteer leadership base."
Ashley Warbington ('12 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.; Pi Alpha Alpha) has been chosen as a New Leaders Council Fellow for 2014.  Current MPA student Sam Rutherford also served as a New Leaders Council Fellow this year.  Alumnus Alfred Degrafinreid II ('08 MPA) served as a fellow for 2013.  The mission of NLC is "to recruit, train and promote the next generation of progressive leaders."
Photo of Jenni Johnson

Advanced Study

We are proud of our students who go on to further their graduate studies! 
Jennifer N. Johnson ('12 Cert. - Healthcare Admin. & Planning) has recently completed her MPA and the Global Health Certificate at University of Georgia's School of Public and International Affairs. Through her global health studies, she had the opportunity to intern in Israel (see photo) where she worked in the largest Israeli HMO and presented a poster at the Symposium for Global Health Literacy and Communication, held at the University of Haifa.  Jenni has also been involved in a variety of service projects in the Athens, GA community, including participating in a "Time Machine" project to bring history up close and personal for elementary school students - and a civic "hacker" event to bring coding skills to public policy issues.   

Positions and Promotions

We congratulate the following alumni on progress in their careers, across multiple sectors and fields. If we missed you just drop us a line for next time:
Lane Marks (’13 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.) has received a promotion to Special Projects Coordinator and State Monitor Advocate in the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development.
Stephanie Rhoades (’13 MPA) received a promotion from Management Analyst to Supervisory Veterans Service Representative with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Nashville Regional Office.
Shamika Malone ('13 MPA, Cert. - Healthcare Admin. & Planning) has been promoted to Transportation Supervisor, UHCCP with United Healthcare.  
Ty Nelson (’12 MPA) is now Administrative Director with the Tennessee Certification Board.
Emily Sheffer (’12 MPA, Cert. - Healthcare Admin. & Planning) has been promoted to Research Services Consultant and Project Manager for the IRBshare project at Vanderbilt University.  IRBshare is a joint IRB review model (under 45 CFR 46.114, Cooperative Research) that aims to reduce duplicative IRB reviews and bring efficiency to the initial study review of multi-site studies. 
Shannon Duke (’11 MPA, Cert. - Nonprofit Mgmt.) has a new position as Career Counselor, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, Inc.
Amanda Hoover ('11 MPA) has begun a new position as Community Liaison and Program Specialist with Nashville Metro Public Health Department.  
Michael Watson (’13 MPA, Cert. - Healthcare Admin. & Planning; Pi Alpha Alpha) is Program Coordinator in  the Tennessee Department of Human Services - Child Support Services.
Emily Gregg ('10, MPA, Cert. - Healthcare Admin. & Planning; Pi Alpha Alpha) has been promoted to Program Supervisor, Tennessee Department of Human Services. 
Joy Clay Chrisman ('09 PhD, '98 MPA; Pi Alpha Alpha) has been promoted to Managing Consultant at C3 Consulting; this Nashville firm focuses on strategic planning, business process optimization, IT effectiveness, and other areas of management across diverse industry settings. 
Recent MPA and Healthcare Planning & Administration certificate graduate Kelley Mathis ('14) is building on her interest in public affairs and governmental relations, in a new position as assistant to the government relations team at the Tennessee Medical Association.
MPA alumnus Nathan Frisbee ('14) is now a Business Analyst at Emdeon, a revenue and payment cycle management company in the healthcare sector.
Arthur Rone, III (Trey; '10 MPA, Cert. - Health Admin. & Planning)  joined Cigna in June 2014 as a Physician Provider Network Senior Analyst.

Publications and Presentations

Have you published or presented your research recently? If we missed you just drop us a line for next time:
Dr. Janice Rodriguez ('09 PhD; Pi Alpha Alpha) presented a paper, "Language Policy Argumentation and Rhetoric, Pre- and Post- 9/11" at the DICTION Conference, February 14-16, 2013, Austin, TX.  Dr. Rodriguez is Executive Director of the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute.
Dr. Cliff Lippard ('12 PhD; Pi Alpha Alpha) presented a paper at the Southern Political Science Association annual meeting in New Orleans in January 2014.  His paper, "Free my city?" examines local autonomy in the context of the growing influence of cities and the increasing attempts by states to constrain city decision making, and includes an analysis of cities’ contributions relative to their costs as well as a discussion of scenarios to enhance city autonomy. Dr. Lippard is Deputy Executive Director at the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR). 
Dr. Kenyatta Lovett ('14, PhD), has co-authored a chapter in the book, Fifty State Systems of Community Colleges, 4th edition: Mission, Governance, Funding and Accountability (in J. Friedel, S. Katsinas, E. Miller, & J. Killacky (Eds.), Johnson City, TN; The Overmountain Press.)  Dr. Lovett is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Community College Initiatives at the Tennessee Board of Regents.

In the News

Leslie Meehan, AICP and MPA alumna ('07), was quoted in a May 2014 Tennessean article, "Nashville area among most dangerous for pedestrians."  She is Director of Healthy Communities at the Nashville Metropolitan Planning Association.


Photo of Captain Victor Ntembo


Victor Ntembo, current public administration PhD student, is also an Active Duty Captain in the United States Army, stationed in the 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In January 2014, Victor completed a one-year tour of duty in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His efforts directly supported the accomplishment of his unit's (the 101st Sustainment Brigade) mission in Afghanistan. At the end of the tour in recognition of his outstanding leadership, expertise, and dedication to duty, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal by the President of the United States; this award is for exceptionally meritorious service in a combat zone. This is Victor's  highest decoration so far in his ten-year career. He is back with us to continue working towards his degree, and is pictured here in class with his award and citation. We sincerely congratulate Captain Victor Ntembo on this important recognition of his service to the United States Army and our country!
MPA student Mel Matthews is the recipient of the first Tennessee Chapter of the American Association for Planning graduate student award, for students in urban studies, planning or related fields. Congratulations, Mel!

Positions and Promotions

We congratulate the following students  on their career development. If we missed you just drop us a line for next time:
Debbie Shaw, current PhD student, is now Executive Director at the Sam Davis Memorial Association.

Publications and Presentations

Doctoral student Angela Pharris has co-authored an article on issues which affect young pregnant women, "Supporting the Pregnant Adolescent" (Turnage, BF, Pharris, AD. (2013) International Journal of Childbirth Education 28(4) 72-76).  Angela is a faculty member in the Department of Social Work at Middle Tennessee State University.
Doctoral student Mark Fulks has an article  with co-author Ronald S. Range, III entitled, "Could Windsor revive federalism?  The state's right to protect citizen following DOMA's demise" accepted for publication in the Tennessee Law Review. Mark is an attorney with Baker Donelson.
MPA student Derrick Boswell has co-authored an article published this year in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention journal Preventing Chronic Disease (Behringer BA, Omohundro E, Boswell D, Evans D, Ferranti LB. The Tennessee Department of Health WORKshops on Use of Secondary Data for Community Health Assessment, 2012. Prev Chronic Dis 2014;11:130206.)   Derrick is Statistical Programmer 2 in the Tennessee Department of Health Office of Health Statistics.
Marie Martin, doctoral student, presented on "Funding trends and priority setting in global health" at the Nursing Leadership in Global Health conference, held in Nashville TN in February 2014. Marie is Assistant Director, Education & Training at the Vanderbilt University Institute for Global Health.
Photo of Drs. Kenyatta Lovett and Meg Streams

New PhD Graduates

We are delighted to recognize the following Ph.D. in public administration graduates - Congratulations!
Dr. Keith Ferguson - "The right to vote: do strict voter ID laws affect voter turnout?"  Advisor - Dr. Rodney Stanley.  Summer 2014.  
Dr. Kenyatta Lovett - "The diffusion of governance in state economic development." Advisor - Dr. Meg Streams (both pictured at left).  Spring 2014.
photo of Drs. Debrah Stafford and Laurie Gavilo-Lane
Dr. Chipo Maringá - "Investigation of school-level relationships in school capital infrastructure investment needs in Tennessee." Advisor - Dr. Streams.  Fall 2013.  
Dr. Laurie Gavilo-Lane (at right, right side) - "State earned income tax credit outreach: Capturing federal credits." Advisor - Dr. Streams.  Fall 2013.
Dr. Debrah Stafford (at right, left side)- "Predictive factors effecting outcomes for juvenile delinquent cases in Tennessee."  Advisor - Dr. Stanley.  Spring 2014.


Photo of Ken Chilton, Ph.D.


We welcome Dr. Ken Chilton (at left) to our department; he joined us as Assistant Professor in Fall 2013. In addition to teaching in the MPA program, he directs the graduate certificate programs in Nonprofit Management and Healthcare Administration and Planning. His current research includes the geographic distribution of inequality and opportunity, the limited impacts of economic development on low-income communities, and social media’s ROI for nonprofits. Prior to joining TSU, Ken was the CEO/Executive Director of the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies in Chattanooga. In this capacity, he completed numerous funded projects exploring economic, education, health and public safety conditions and geographic disparities in the Chattanooga region. Dr. Chilton earned his PhD in Urban & Public Affairs from the University of Louisville, his home town. 
photo of Dr. Thakur
We are also happy to have Dr. Dhanaraj Thakur (at right) join us this Fall 2014, as assistant professor of public administration.  Dr. Thakur is teaching graduate courses on research methods, e-government, and the politics of US policy-making.  His research interests are interdisciplinary and include understanding the relationships between information and communications technologies (ICTs), political participation, and gender. His work has spanned countries in North America, the Caribbean, and West Africa. His most recent publication is a co-edited book with Susan Cozzens entitled "Innovation and Inequality: Emerging Technologies in an Unequal World" (Edward Elgar, UK). He has also published peer-reviewed articles in the Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Technology Forecasting and Social Change, and Information Technologies for International Development. Dr. Thakur was educated in Jamaica, England, and the United States. He is a Fulbright Scholar, a Japan-Inter-American Development Bank scholar, and was appointed an Internet Society Ambassador to the United Nations Internet Governance Forum in 2008. He was previously a Junior Research Fellow in the Institute for Gender and Development Studies, University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica (UWI). He is currently a Research Fellow in the Centre for Leadership and Governance, UWI, and a Research Associate in the Technology Policy and Assessment Center, Georgia Institute of Technology.
photo of Dr. Meg Streams
Dr. Meg Streams received tenure and promotion to Associate Professor in June, 2014. She joined the department in Fall of 2008, and is a 2007 graduate of the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Kentucky.  Dr. Streams teaches in the areas of public budgeting and finance, as well as nonprofit financial management.  Her research interests are in the areas of public budgeting and finance, intergovernmental fiscal relations and the economics of education. Since joining the TSU faculty, she has engaged in research funded by the Spencer Foundation, the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, and the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.  Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as American Review of Public AdministrationEducation Finance & PolicyEconomics of Education Review, Qualitative Health Research, and, many years ago, Marine Biology. She has served as a reviewer for Public Personnel ManagementPublic Budgeting & FinanceAmerican Review of Public Administration, and the Atlantic Economic Journal among others.  Dr. Streams reports that "...the most rewarding aspect of my work is the time I spend with TSU students - both in the classroom and exploring new research questions - and I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with my colleagues in the department, College and University."
Photo of Dr. Sekwat
We congratulate Dr. Alex Sekwat, Professor in the Department of Public Administration, who has been named Interim Dean of the Graduate School at TSU.  Dr. Sekwat is a valued colleague with expertise in public budgeting and financial management as well as healthcare management, who continues to make substantial contributions to the University through his administrative service.
photo of Dean Michael Harris at World Urban Forum 7

Scholarship and Service

Dr. Michael Harris, CPSUA Dean and Professor of Public Administration (pictured at right) presented "Urban Development and Regional Transformation a New Mindset for Urbanization" at the U.N. World Urban Forum 7 (WUF7), held in Medellin Colombia, April 6, 2014.
Each year, approximately thirty municipal and county employees in Shelby County are chosen to attend the University of Memphis’ Dunavant Public Servant Symposium.  The Symposium trains public officials in good government practices and ethics.  This year Dr. Ann-Marie Rizzo led the symposium  on April 21, 2014.  

Dr. Rizzo’s article “Accession to TRIPs and Engagement with the Pharmaceutical Industry:  Brazil and India,” co-authored with Drs. Sharon Thach and Susan Marsnick,was accepted for publication in the summer issue of the Journal of Global Business.  The article was originally presented at the 2013 International Business and Economy Conference in Caen, France.

photo of TDOC Command College Cohort 1
Dr. Rodney Stanley continues to work with the Tennessee Department of Corrections as part of the TDOC Command College, through which cohorts of TDOC executives are selected for a six-course Executive Leadership graduate certificate with courses offered in an intensive, one-week format each semester.  Two cohorts are progressing, and a third cohort is soon to begin. Cohort 2 is pictured at left.
Dr. Halachmi's paper on Charter Schools as Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) was accepted for inclusion in issue 43 of Zeitschrift für öffentliche und gemeinwirtschaftliche Unternehmen (Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs)
which contains a symposium on PPPs. ZogUe is a peer-reviewed academic journal published in Germany.
Dr. Rizzo is President this year of TN-ASPA, the Tennessee Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. Many students, alumni and faculty join with practitioners and community members in this organization.  Contact Dr. Rizzo to learn more about how to get involved.  
Dr. Ken Chilton presented a paper with coauthors including Dr. Kimberly Triplett (Urban Studies) at the City Futures 2014 conference in Paris this summer. He is quoted discussing results from the paper titled, "Who Benefits from European Investment in a Midsized U.S. City? The Bad News from Chattanooga, Tennessee" in the linked article. Their conference paper is also available.
Dr. Meg Streams presented research at the Southeastern Conference for Public Administration in September 2013 (Streams, ME, Matwijec, W, Lankford, L.  SECoPA, Charlotte, NC. Paper. “Determinants of workforce engagement in a public authority.”) and with PhD alumna Chipo Maringá at the Association for Education Finance and Policy national meeting in March 2014 (Maringá, C, Streams, ME. AEFP  39th Annual Conference, San Antonio, TX. Paper. “Human Capital, physical capital:  analyzing reported infrastructure investment needs and school characteristics at the building level across Tennessee.”)  She also worked with MPA student Tyler Carpenter to complete a technical report for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (Carpenter, T & Streams, M. (2014, March 15). “Performance appraisal system trends report”).

In Memoriam:  Dr. Arie Halachmi

In June 2014, the College of Public Service and Urban Affairs was deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague, Professor Arie Halachmi. Dr. Halachmi was one of the most renowned scholars of Public Administration in the world. He began his career at TSU as a faculty member in public administration in 1978. His passing is a tremendous loss for the faculty, students and staff. We extend our deepest condolences to his family.
The journal Public Administration Quarterly will be publishing a symposium in Dr. Halachmi's memory in the fall of 2015.  The topic of the symposium is accountability in the nonprofit sector.  
Photo of Dean Michael Harris and Atty Geo. Barrett

In Memoriam: Atty. George Barrett

Prominent Nashville civil rights attorney and member of CPSUA TSU Advisory Board George Barrett died Tuesday August 26, 2014 at the age of 86 (notice in Washington Post). Dean Harris (pictured at left with Atty. Barrett) stated, "George Barrett was a man of integrity, passion and profound commitment to making a difference through justice. He dedicated his life to create a more fair-minded and worthy world to live in. His legacy is of enduring impact on generations to come. We will miss him.” 


Photo of CPSUA Dean Michael Harris

Message from Dr. Harris, Dean and Professor of Public Administration

Dear Public Administration students, faculty, staff, and alumni,

It has been over a year  since I assumed the responsibility of Dean of the College of Public Service. I am writing to thank you for a warm welcome and collaborative experience, and to congratulate you on a very productive and successful academic year in 2013-2014! I have had  a wonderful opportunity to interact and learn much about the world-class quality of our faculty and graduate students. Thanks to you, we make a positive difference in the greater middle Tennessee community and contribute to its wellbeing. I have met with community leaders at the local, state, and federal levels of government, along with leaders from the nonprofit community -- and I am delighted time and again to hear them speak about the excellent quality of work that our public administraation graduates do.  My vision for the College is to build on this legacy and maximize our potential for academic excellence, serving our students' needs as well as those of communities and organizations throughout the state.  With our exceptional alumni working with faculty, the College and University, together we can grow our Department of Public Administration’s academic reputation, commitment to students, and service to the community. Thank you for helping us make a difference. I am looking forward to meet each and every one of you; this is your program, your Department and your College.

Wishing you a productive and happy year in 2014-2015.


Michael Harris, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor, College of Public Service and Urban Affairs
TSU Avon Williams Campus, 4th Flr., Suite E
Tennessee State University
330 10th Avenue N Box 139
Nashville TN  37203-3401
Tel. 615 963 7201
College of Public Service and Urban Affairs, Tennessee State University
330 10th Ave. N, Box 139, Suite E-400 | Nashville, TN 37203-3401
phone 615.963.7201 | fax 615.963.7275 | |
Tennessee State University

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