There's lots of terrific news among the School's current and soon-to-be PhD alumni. SHANNON PORTILLO (2008) will be returning to her Jayhawk roots to join us as an assistant professor in the School of Public Affairs and Administration in the fall. Plus, all five of our graduating doctoral students have landed tenure track positions that will begin in the 2013-2014 academic year:
- Erin Borry is headed to the University of Alabama at Birmingham;
- Alisa Moldavanova is off to Wayne State University in Detroit;
- Zach Mohr will join the faculty at University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and
- Linda Williams is headed to Arizona State University.
- Angela Paez Murcia will return to Colombia, South America to her position as Professor of Law at the Universidad de La Sabana.
Congratulations to all!
Check out this great write up/interview with SHERILYN LOMBOS (1998) by BEN BRYANT (2011) on the Oregon Emerging Local Government Leaders Network. Sherilyn is the city manager of Tualatin, OR and Ben Bryant is a budget analyst there. While we recommend reading the whole interview for some great insights from Sherilyn, we'll note this highlight: when asked who has the best MPA program, she replied "Ummm…how about the program that’s been named the #1 MPA program for city management 25 years in a row…the University of Kansas, hello!" Thanks for the shout out, Sherilyn!
KENT AUSTIN (1988) has had an article published in the February 2013 issue of Government Finance Review. The article is called "Reboot the Mission: How Popular Culture, Constructive Indifference, Intolerance and Self-Interest Make a Better Finance Office" and can be found in the Management & Careers section of the publication. Kent shared this PDF of the article as it appears in the Journal. A longer version with more popular culture references has run on the KU Public Management Center's blog. Kent is the finance director for University Park, Texas.
ABBY COFFIN (2009) has been named assistant to the senior vice provost for academic affairs in the Provost's Office at KU. She previously served as the Director of Academic Services for KU's School of Engineering.
CHRIS ENGEL (2008) has taken the position of assistant city administrator for the City of Merriam, KS. He had been serving as assistant to the city manager in Prairie Village, KS, since 2008.
KEVIN WATSON (2006) has been named the new city administrator for Vadnais Heights, MN effective March 4. It'll be the first leadership transition in the city in 35 years; outgoing administrator Gerry Urban has held that role since 1977. Kevin currently serves as the city administrator in Junction City, OR.
RAY HUMMERT (1975) is one of 11 ICMA Credentialed Managers recognized by the Credentialing Advisory Board of ICMA for an excellent 2012 annual report. As described on the ICMA website, every ICMA member in service to local government, whether credentialed or not, commits to 40 hours annually of professional development (Tenet 8 of the Code of Ethics). What distinguishes Credentialed Managers and Candidates is their commitment to plan for continuous personal improvement, to reflect upon their professional development activities, and to document their learning for peer review. In their reports, Credentialed Managers and Candidates clearly identify the professional development needs they sought to improve over the past year and then focus on what they learned. They provide at least one concrete example of something learned from each professional development activity. Yay, Ray for this recognition!
THANKS TO THE MANY ALUMNI who have contributed to The John and Carol Nalbandian Scholarship in honor of the countless contributions they have made in the field of local government over their careers. Thanks to all of you, the Scholarship has reached the $30,000 required for full endowment and we are able to begin using it to support students. Read more about the fund and about John and Carol's work in our December 2012 newsletter. If you haven't contributed yet, we invite you to help us continue to grow the Scholarship. Follw this link to make a tax-deductible donation through the KU Endowment Association.
ROGER MOORE (2007), project manager for the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS), was profiled in our December 2012 newsletter. See what he has to say about how his KU MPA degree has supported his career development. Click here for that article in the newsletter or use the link above to access the full issue.
TOPEKA GRADS! Host and MPA Information Session! The Public Management Center is looking for MPA graduates who would be willing to “host” an MPA information session at their agency in Topeka. It’s simple. Either Charles Jones or Noel Rasor from the PMC will come to your agency to present all the information, hand out materials, and answer questions. Your job is to find a room, spread the word, and join us for the discussion. Potential students from your organization will be very interested in your experience and perception of the program. Even a handful of attendees is worthwhile. It takes about an hour, so meeting over the lunch hour usually works well. So if you’re willing to “pay it forward” by ensuring that next generations of public service leaders know about the opportunity to earn their KU MPA in Topeka, please give us a shout.
BO FERGUSON (1997) has taken a position as deputy city manager over operations in Durham, NC starting in January 2013. In that capacity he'll oversee about 2/3 of the City of Durham's workforce, or about 2,200 employees. He has served as the city manager for Hendersonville, NC since 2008.
EDGAR THORNTON (1985) is a foreign service officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and is currently stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. We asked him to tell us about his background for the fall 2012 School newsletter to learn a bit more about what he does. Click here for that article in the newsletter, or use the link above to access the whole issue.
MAGGIE THOMPSON-DOLL (2008) has joined the staff of Parsons Brinkerhoff, a worldwide infrastructure consulting firm, as a senior communications specialist. Maggie previously served as a project manager for the Kansas Department of Transportation.
JOHN HASEMAN (1971) let us know that he was inducted into the Defense Agency Attache System Hall of Fame last summer, an honor given to only 118 men and women who have served overseas in the Defense Attache System and US embassies around the world. His induction citation highlighted his service in Rangoon, Burma from 1987 to 1990 for heroism; his reporting during the 1988 pro-democracy demonstrations and their brutal repression by the army; and his close working relationship with the Indonesian armed forces during three assignments in Jakarta, ending as Defense Attache to Indonesia, 1990-1994. Congratulations, John!
ED FOLEY (2010) has taken a position with the City of Olathe, Kansas, as their performance analyst in the Resource Management Division. Ed previously served as director of recruitment for the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park.
PENNY POSTOAK FERGUSON (1994) was appointed deputy county manager at Johnson County Government, effective August 19, 2012. She has served as the assistant county manager since June 2010.
|The first-ever gathering of DC-Area KUCIMATS occurred on September 18 with Marilu Goodyear at the Liberty Tavern in Arlington, Virginia. Attendees included Catherine Tuck-Parrish (1990), Novak Consulting Group; Genee Unger (2006),America's Cities, Pew Center on the States; Sheri Warren (2004), Potomac Health Foundation; Shannon Portillo (PhD 2008), George Mason University; Shelly McAllister (1988), Office of Management and Budget; Brian Handshy (2012), Presidential Management Fellow with the Department of Housing and Urban Development; and Robert Burns (1992), Neighbor Works America.|
ROGER MOORE (2007) has joined the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) to serve as Project Manager. Roger previously worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation in various information technology and project management roles since 1996. Besides being an MPA alumni, Roger is also a graduate of the Kansas Certified Public Manager Program offered through the KU Public Management Center.
|ROBIN MONTGOMERY (2009) holds the rank of Major in the U.S. Army and serves as the Aide-de-Camp to Admiral Michael Mullen. Robin's time in this role included two years while Mullen was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Robin recently sent this update about his experience:"I have spent almost 2.5 years with the Admiral and traveled to every continent, met several presidents, prime ministers, defense ministers, foreign secretaries, and actors/celebrities, and athletes. I have seen policy in the making, observed key decisions on various topics, and have sat in the chairs of world leaders (mostly snuck a picture or two in their offices --shhh!). Amazing and priceless! I would tell you that my understanding and knowledge of policy making, decision making, and leadership all stem from your teachings and my education from the best MPA program in the nation - so thank you much!!"|
SHANNON MURPHY (2005) is leaving her position as the Reentry Director with the Douglas County Sherriff's Office to become the Deputy Chief of Programs and Services for the Montgomery County (Maryland) Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Shannon has worked for Douglas County for 14 years, the last four years in a newly created position with the Douglas County Jail. Click here to access the article in the Lawrence Journal World regarding Shannon's departure from the Lawrence community.
SETH N. HOFFMAN (2004), Assistant City Manger of Lone Tree, Colorado since 2007, was recently appointed Deputy City Manager of Lone Tree.
HADLEY J. SKEFFINGTON-VOS (2012), a management intern for the city of Sterling, Illinois since 2011 has recently been appointed Assistant to the City Manager of Sterling.
PHILLIP J. WAGNER (2010), Management Assistant for community development in Sugar Land, Texas since 2009, has been appointed Assistant Economic Development Director for the City of Dubuque, Iowa.
STEPHEN RUGER (2004) has been selected by the Rio Rancho (New Mexico) City Council to become the new City Clerk. Stephen has been employed in the city's financial services department for the past seven years, and was chosen from among 33 applicants. He replaces former City Clerk Roman Montoya. As part of his new position, Stephen will pursue certified municipal clerk status, which normally takes two years.
CHARLES "CHUCK" ANDERSON (1966) recently found the photo below in his "archives". The photo was taken 31 years ago at the 1981 ICMA conference in San Diego, California. Pictured are Lou Fox (left) and Chuck Anderson with Edwin O. Stene. At the time, Chuck had just been appointed City Manager in Dallas, Texas and Louis Fox was City Manager of San Antonio, Texas. "Ed was so proud of all of his KUCIMATS and celebrated our work and relationship with him and other KUCIMATS in all ways possible," Chuck says. "In 1981, four of Ed's protoges - Bob Kipp, Bob Herchert, Lou Fox and I were City Managers in four of the largest U.S. cities with a Council-Manager form of government." For more information on Edwin O. Stene, please click here.
KATHLEEN SEBELIUS (1980) was awarded the the 2012 Peter Mazzoni Award by the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia in recognition of her leadership and commitment in addressing specific health issues that impact LGBT Americans, and improving their access to quality care. Sebelius, who serves as the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, accepted the award via video from Washington.
KIP PETERSON (2001) has been hired to manage communications for the City of Kansas City, Missouri's Water Services Department. He previously worked as the director of government relations and communication for the Kansas Board of Regents.
QUINN BENNION (1999), city administrator of Prairie Village, Kansas, will be serving as the Practitioner-in-Residence for the intern-option class of 2014.
SETH HOFFMAN (2004) has been promoted to deputy city manager in Lone Tree, Colorado. He also reports that this summer's wildfires have so far remained 50 miles away.
JULIA NOVAK (1988), President of The Novak Consulting Group, wrote an article that's in the July 2012 issue of PM magazine. The article is called “Civility: Nurturing it if you have it and resurrecting it if it has died." The article is available in print copies of the magazine and online here for ICMA members.
TOPEKA GATHERING PLANNED for Tuesday, July 17 - KUCIMATs Claudette Johns (2009) and Roger Moore (2007) have organized a get-together for Topeka-area KUCIMATs. Join them on 7/17 at 5pm at the Celtic Fox, 8th and Jackson, in Topeka.
|RAY HUMMERT (1975) and John Nalbandian spent June 9-16 biking across Kansas with the BAK. This year's route started in Sharon Springs and stuck to the northern part of the state, ending in Elwood for a total of 481 miles.|
|CRAIG WEINAUG (1976), Douglas County (KS) Commissioner, reports that he is on track to to ride about 13,000 miles on his bike this year. Anyone who lives in or around Lawrence has likely seen Craig cycling at one time or another, but even knowing the avid cyclist he is we still find the 13,000 number is still pretty awe-inspiring. Here's a story from the University Daily Kansan that features Craig and the photo shows him leading a pack of riders back in March.|
BRIAN HANDSHY (2012) has been named a 2012 Presidential Management Fellow. Fewer than one percent of applicants are selected to take part in this prestigious program, which matches outstanding graduate students with federal leadership opportunities and employment. Click here to read the full article regarding Brian's accomplishment.
PAM SIMECKA (1993) has been appointed Interm City Manager in Topeka, KS. Pam will return to her role as Finance Director for the City of Topeka once a permanent city manager is named.
KAREN DAVIS, JAN PERKINS, SHARON KLUMPP--all 1976 KUCIMATs--have joined forces with JULIA NOVAK (1988), SUSAN SHERMAN (1990), MARIA LARA (2003), BETH LINN (2003) and REGAN CARRIZALES (2006) to plan the 2012 Inspiring Women in Public Administration Conference, scheduled for June 28 in Olathe. The fabulous schedule features three keynote speakers: US Treasurer Rosie Rios, San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley, and Susan Stanton, Principal of SMS Consulting. There will also be two panels featuring a number of KUCIMATs offering their perspectives on current issues affecting community leadership. Click here to learn more about the conference. We'd love to see you there!
GENEE UNGER (2006) reports that she is now working for Pew Charitable Trusts as the project manager for the America's Cities Project at the Pew Center on the States.The Project is a two-year initiative that will produce and disseminate credible, timely research on key challenges facing major U.S. cities, guide local leaders toward promising policy approaches, and help lawmakers at all levels of government understand the impact that federal and state policy decisions have on America’s cities. Genee previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for the District of Columbia Department of Healthcare Finance.
CHRIS HOYT (2011) checked in from Belo, Cameroon where he is currently volunteering with an organization called Rural Development Center where he's assisting the very under-resourced organization with a strategic planning process. He also let us know that he has been named an International Fellow for Catholic Relief Services and will be working in Malawi starting in September.
|On May 11 John and Carol Nalbandian hosted a gathering of Bay Area KUCIMATs in California. Attendees included (from left to right) Steve Rogers, Town Manager, Yountville CA; Maria Lara, Deputy City Manager, Pleasanton CA: John Nalbandian; Jesus Nava, Finance Director/Treasurer, City of Burlingame, CA; Leon Churchill, City Manager, Tracy, CA; Karen Davis, Senior Management Advisor, Management Partners, Inc., San Jose, CA; and Carol Nalbandian.|
MELISSA MUNDT (1999) has accepted the position of Assistant City Manager with the City of Ames, Iowa, her hometown. Melissa will begin her new position on June 13th. She has served the City of Gardner, Kansas for the past nine years, and as a Board member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). ”It has been great to spend the last nine years near KU,” Melissa says. “I hope to not be a stranger and look forward to getting more involved with the KUCIMATS.”
PEGGY FOX (2011), was promoted in April 2012 to the rank of Major in the Topeka Police Department. Fox is the department’s first female Major.
DANNY LENZ (2011) was featured in the April 29 edition of the Lawrence Journal World, in an article focusing on his dedication to Special Olympics. Click here to access the full article.
KUCIMATs in KC At the Transforming Local Government conference in Kansas City in April, the program included a speakeasy event in the exhibit hall complete with some flappers and gangsters in attendance. Those who know our graduates will not be surprised to learn that several were among those in costume adding to the authentic feel. At right, 2011 MPA grad Justin Pregont and John Nalbandian pause for a photo shoot with KUCIMAT flappers Melissa Mundt and Danielle Dulin. Perhaps Melissa will wear the same outfit to work on her first day in Ames?
JAYHAWKS IN CALIFORNIA Thanks to the suggestion of Humboldt County (California) Administrative Officer and KUCIMAT President Phil Smith-Hanes, Trackdown Management did a newsletter article featuring California local government managers who are University of Kansas alumni. You can read this University of Kansas issue at http://www.trackdownmanagement.net/newsletters/2012-4b.pdf.
CASSANDRA YOUNG-MCCLENNY (2008) has been honored as one of Loop 21 and Impacts' 40 under 40, a group of emerging leaders deemed the most influential minorities on Capitol Hill. Cassandra currently serves as the Legislative Director for the office of the Honorable Emanuel Cleaver in Washington, D.C. The nominees were judged by members of Congress and other dignitaries.
|BOB KIPP (1956) is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The award recognizes graduates’ contributions to KU, their professions and their communities. Bob served the City of Kansas City, Missouri from 1970-1983, where his impact was felt in nearly every important civic initiative for more than a generation. During that period, he also served as President of the International City/County Management Association. This article from our recent newsletter describes a bit more about Bob's many contributions.|
TRISHA PALMER (2009) has accepted a position as the Assistant Director of Economic Development for the Montgomery County Action Council in Independence, Kansas. Trisha will leave her position as a Senior Grant Specialist with the University of Kansas to begin her new job in May.
While an MPA student, Trisha’s intern experiences included city management for the City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, and the finance department of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas.
NATHAN MCCOMMON(2001) has been named the new city administrator of Tonganoxie, Kansas. He will leave his position as a Senior Analyst in the Kansas City, Missouri City Manager’s office to begin his new position on May 14. Nathan has previous municipal experience in Sedgwick County and Topeka, as well as Kissimmee, Fla. More details here in the Lawrence Journal World.
|JERRY FOX (1963) will now have his name permanently associated with the MPA program at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC). The program has been entitled the Gerald G. Fox Master of Public Administration program. Following his retirement as the Mecklenburg County Manager, Fox became a faculty member at UNCC and a mentor to students in the MPA program. A booklet about Jerry's background and relationship to the County and the MPA program was prepared for the naming event and is available here.|
Before Spring 2012
Our alumni have been doing great things for decades but, alas, prior to spring 2012 we didn't have this webpage to share their news. You'll have to take our word for the fact that there would have been thousands of achievements and opportunities to report over the last six decades.
If you have received an award, promotion, recognition or will be moving to a new position and would like us to feature your information on the KU MPA Alumni News page, please call or email Julie Bear at 785-864-9090 or email@example.com.