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MPA Alumnus Brings Policy to Life at Regional Think Tank

January 20 Friday 01:00 PM

Dustin Pugel graduated from our MPA program in 2012. He received his  bachelor's degree in History from Asbury University, where his passion for public service was ignited by his student government involvement. As the study body Vice President for Governance, Dustin had the opportunity to work on student policy issues. He decided to pursue his MPA to learn more about the policy process and evaluation. He currently works for the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy (KCEP), which is an initiative of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). In describing his current work, Dustin says, "I love this job… It's a dream job."

In his work as a Research and Policy Associate, Dustin researches and advocates for policies related to low-income Kentuckians, often collaborating with key stakeholders both in and outside of government. Often working on many projects at once, he has recently focused on the Medicaid expansion, the minimum wage, public assistance programs, higher education funding, and early childhood education in Kentucky. Prior to his current job, Dustin was a community organizer.

The Martin School helped Dustin develop the perspective and the skills to tackle such a wide variety of policy problems in complex political environments. Dustin felt that the faculty not only were experts in their fields, but also really brought the material to life. For instance, one of his key takeaways from our program was the importance of the budgeting process; as he put it, the budget is a "values-setting document… You can't understand society's preferences unless you understand their wallet." Dr. Hackbart and Dr. Denison would agree!

The Martin School also instilled in him the art of communicating complex ideas in simple but powerful ways. Dr. Wilson, who advised Dustin on his Capstone Project, really pushed him to write in an engaging way for his intended audience. His hard work paid off! Dustin received the Reedy Award for his research on state-by-state migration by educational attainment, commonly referred to as "brain gain" or "brain drain" depending on the trend.  


Public Financial Management in the 21st Century

January 20 Friday 01:33 PM

We have added two new program offerings, both of which are entirely online:   the Master of Public Financial Management (MPFM) and the Graduate Certificate in Public Financial Management. These new programs are a joint effort of the Martin School and the Von Allmen  School of Accountancy.  The programs emphasize public financial management and public sector accounting along with other unique courses, making it unlike any other program.

As a premier institution in the fields of public financial management and budgeting, we identified an unmet need that the Martin School could uniquely address in providing mid-career professionals with expertise in those areas. By offering all the courses online, the programs are designed to meet the needs of working professionals, leveraging technology to provide graduate education opportunities at an affordable price.

The Graduate Certificate is comprised of 12 hours of online coursework offered by both Martin School and Accounting faculty. Each class is typically 8 weeks long with students taking one class at a time. Inclusive of all the courses in the certificate program (and then some!), the MPFM is a 2-year 36-credit hour program covering the topics of financial management, funds management, public sector accounting/auditing, public pensions and insurance, data and revenue forecasting, and so much more. Our MPA and MPP students may recognize some of the core material, and, of course, the Capstone Project, which is also required for the MPFM.

"Our goal is to meet the needs of non-traditional students who are balancing work, family, and other activities. By offering these new programs 100% online, we are providing an affordable, flexible, and challenging opportunity for individuals from across the country and beyond who are interested in seeking graduate education in public financial management, while receiving the same high quality education experience as our on-campus students." - Dr. Rhonda Riherd Trautman, Program Director

"The Masters of Public Financial Management program at the Martin School has more than exceeded my previous graduate studies experiences. The faculty have demonstrated a thorough expertise of the material and a genuine passion for instructing. The coursework, discussions, and texts have been personally challenging and professionally fulfilling. I have found the topics covered to be completely applicable to my current position in public finance and can envision how this new knowledge will directly benefit my current organization as well as any future organization I am a part of." - Andrew Wells, current student


Martin School Grad & Visiting Professor Named Co-Editor of Major Publication

December 9 Friday 02:37 PM

We are excited to share the news that Dr. Jeremy Hall, a graduate of our Ph.D program and visiting professor, has been named a Co-Editor for Public Administration Review, the academic journal published by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

Dr. Hall, who is a professor and MPA Director at the University of Central Florida, received his Ph.D from the Martin School in 2005. He is back at the Martin School this academic year as a Visiting Professor while Dr. Petrovsky is on sabbatical. We are so pleased (and not in the least surprised) to hear of his latest achievement! Congratulations, Dr. Hall! 


Fall Capstone Defense Schedule

November 18 Friday 11:29 AM

Students graduating this winter will defend their Capstone Projects on Monday, November 28th in the 4th floor conference room at Patterson Office Tower. Each student will present their research to a panel of faculty and practitioners, followed by questions. We encourage students to attend!

Below is the schedule for the day. If you do plan to stop by for a presentation, please be mindful of when sessions start and end-- we ask that folks do not enter or leave the room while presentations are in progress.

 

Capstone Defense Schedule

8:30 am: Coakley, Tricia

9: 15 am: Johnson, Lisa

10 am: Yoo, G.

10:45 am: Yoo, B.

11:30 am: Kim

Lunch Break

1:45 pm: Brothers, Sheila

2:30 pm: An, Maeng Ryoul

3:15 pm: Comer, Elisha

4 pm: Ceesay, Ismaila


PhD Student Wins Prize at APPAM Conference for Research

November 10 Thursday 04:38 PM

Cole Rakow, who recently defended his dissertation successfully, presented his research at APPAM. His poster and presentation won him third place! Congratulations, Cole! You can watch his presentation below, or check out the paper summary here: "Revenue Complexity Vs. Revenue Diversification: A New Empirical Approach to an Old Debate."


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