Graduate Program in Public Administration Newsletter, Volume 1
Welcome to the Wayne State University MPA Community!
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Welcome to the Wayne State MPA Community!

On behalf of the Wayne State University MPA Program, welcome! We are working diligently to create a community of MPA alumni, current students, faculty and staff, to engage, inform and celebrate.

With the start of a new year just behind us, it is important for the MPA program to look forward and beyond. In order to do so, we believe it is necessary for those who have been influenced by the program to connect, share and discover.

If you have any announcements related to your career or research you would like to share, please send an email to Professor Emeritus Richard Elling at

A Message from the MPA Director

Hello! The last few years have seen steady change in the Graduate Program in Public Administration. While a couple of our long-time faculty have retired (Professors Elling and Elder), we have also had two dynamic and esteemed scholar-teachers join our ranks (Professors Moldavanova and O'Donovan). Professor Kyu-Nahm Jun received tenure and promotion in recognition of her fantastic scholarship and teaching. Our two "old-timers" are missed greatly, but it is fair to say that we are headed in the right direction with a strong faculty base.

It is a cliche to say, but I'll say it anyway: The strength of our program comes from our students. I've worked at other institutions, and visited many more graduate programs in public administration, so I have a good basis upon which to judge. We have an incredibly diverse group of smart, motivated, no-nonsense students, all of whom share a strong commitment to public service. Many in our community of supporters and alums know this, either because they hire our students or they (patiently!) work with them on class projects.

I hope that you will join us for our signature event on May 19th, the Lent Upson Lecture and Reception, details for which are included below. We have always had a rollicking, yet civilized, time. This year promises to be no different. It also provides an opportunity for all of us to come together and share what we have learned. Perhaps most important, it provides students an opportunity to network with friends and alums of the program.

Brady Baybeck
MPA Director and Associate Professor
Recent Graduates
Winter 2015

Alison Holt
Richard Kryszko
Megan Zoltowski

Fall 2015
Courtney Bates
Dawnetta Boyd-Hale
Jonathan Bryen
Kymberly Coy
Rebecca Dennis
Jason Gapa
Phillip Gasparotto
Dana Gingrich
Damon Lee
Jennifer Mahn
Samantha Mariuz
Danielle McRae
Michelle Methven
Timothy Michling
Kelcey Phillips

Wayne State's December 2015 Commencement stage in the Matthaei Physical Education Center

MPA graduates Dana Gingrich (L) and Becky Dennis (R) at the December 2015 Commencement Ceremony
Upcoming Events
16th Annual Lent Upson Lecture and Panel

Nonpartisanship in the Age of Polarization
Thursday, 19 May 2016
Partrich Auditorium
Followed by a networking reception in the Alumni House

The Wayne State Graduate Program in Public Administration, along with the Department of Political Science and the Levin Center at Wayne Law, will be holding the 16th Annual Lent Upson Lecture and Panel on Thursday, 19 May 2016, from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm. This event is currently co-sponsored by the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC), a nonprofit government research association that is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, as well as the Detroit Metropolitan Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. The program and the CRC share a long heritage; Lent Upson, for whom the series is named, founded both. The Lecture and Panel focuses on issues of interest to public administrators and policy makers. A reception and awards ceremony immediately follows, where the Master of Public Administration program recognizes esteemed alumni and students.

This year the focus will be on associations like the CRC and the challenges they face in an increasingly polarized policy and political environment. These organizations face a constant struggle to be nonpartisan and independent while staying relevant to the policy debates. Our keynote speaker will be Robert Henken, President of the Public Policy Forum of Wisconsin and president of the Governmental Research Association. He will comment on these challenges. Providing commentary specific to CRC will be Eric Lupher (President of CRC) and Earl Ryan (Past President of CRC).

Please RSVP to
Lent Upson Keynote Speaker and Panelists

Rob Henken

President, Public Policy Forum


Rob Henken is the President of the Public Policy Forum, a 102-year-old non-partisan think tank dedicated to fact-based public policy research on key issues facing Southeastern Wisconsin.
Prior to becoming PPF President, Henken worked in Milwaukee County Government for nearly 10 years, serving as Director of Research for the County Board, Director of Health and Human Services, and Director of Administrative Services. In addition to leading the Public Policy Forum, Henken is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Architecture and Urban Planning. He also is President of the Governmental Research Association, which includes nearly 30 research organizations from 19 states. 

Henken has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Brown University and a Master’s in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University. 

Eric Lupher
President, CRC

Eric Lupher has been President of CRC since September of 2014. He has been with the CRC since 1987, the first two years as a Lent Upson-Loren Miller Fellow, and since then as a Research Associate and Director of Local Affairs. Lupher is the immediate past president of the Governmental Research Association. Lupher holds a B.A. in International Relations from James Madison College at Michigan State University and a Masters in Public Administration from Wayne State University. He works out of the Livonia Office. He was also the recipient of the 2008 Graduate Program in Public Administration Distinguished Alumni Award.

Earl Ryan
Former President, CRC

Earl M. Ryan retired from the Citizens Research Council of Michigan (CRC) in October 2009 following 15 years as its president.  Prior to that, he was the first president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute (1987-94) and was president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana (1984-87). Ryan received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Wayne State University Graduate Program in Public Administration in 1991 and its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. He received his B.A. in political science from the University of Michigan in 1964 and his M.A. in political science from Wayne State University in 1968. 
New Alumni Community Page
We're on LinkedIn Groups!

In an effort to connect and build relationships with our esteemed Alumni, we have created a LinkedIn group. Invitations to join have been going out periodically to alumni, current students and faculty. The group provides community networking, community discussions, program updates and program event notifications. We hope to elicit more communication between all members of the Wayne State MPA Community. If you have any questions, please contact the MPA Director at

Graduate Program in Public Administration Establishes Practitioner Advisory Council 
PAC helps integrate practitioner perspectives into MPA program

Students pursuing their MPA degree at Wayne State have long benefited from the involvement of practicing professionals in their education. Such involvement has traditionally involved teaching one of the required Professional Development courses, notifying the program of internship opportunities, and mentoring students during their internships. 

Based upon feedback from the accreditors and the MPA Community, faculty concluded that a more structured vehicle for integrating practitioner perspectives into the program was desirable. In 2014, a Practitioner Advisory Council was established. The PAC meets semi-annually to discuss a wide range of issues related to the mission of the Wayne State Graduate Program in Public Administration. Roughly half of the membership of the PAC consists of practitioners who earned their MPA degrees at Wayne State. The members of the committee are pursuing, or have pursued, careers in the public or not-for-profit sectors. Members are appointed by the MPA Director. They serve two-year staggered terms and are eligible for reappointment. The terms of half of the current membership of the PAC will expire in June 2016. 

Below is the list of current PAC members:
  • Eric Adelman, MPA '08 - Executive Director, Kadima
  • Jane Bais-DiSessa - Deputy Mayor, City of Pontiac
  • Susan Bristol, MPA '81 - Retired, Director of Human Resources Information Systems, Detroit Medical Center
  • Bettie Buss - Retired, Citizens Research Council of Michigan
  • Dr. Robert Heuton, MPA '98, PhD. '05 - Retired, Windsor public manager
  • Charo Hulleza, MPA '92 - Managing Director, Wayne State University Center for Urban Studies
  • Kevin Kelley - Director of Senior and Veteran Services, Wayne County, Michigan
  • Tracy Utech - Associate Vice-President for Individual Giving, Wayne State University
  • Howard Whitney, MPA '11 - Michigan Department of Treasury
  • Mark Wollenweber - City Manager, City of Grosse Pointe Shores, Michigan
The faculty of the Graduate Program in Public Administration very much appreciates the commitment these practitioners have made to helping strengthen the program and enhancing the educational experience of our students.
Alumni News and 

Robert Blumenfeld, MPA '07
Accepted the Chief Executive Officer position at JARC, an organization that provides innovative and high-quality community-based residential and support programs. Mr. Blumenfeld was previously the Chief Executive Officer at the Children's Center.

Robert Bruner, MPA '04
Published a response piece in the Public Administration Review, the highly respected professional journal for public administration research, theory and practice. The original article can be found
here. To read Mr. Bruner's response, click here.

Kimberley Coy, MPA '15
Has been appointed to the position of business analyst in the budget unit of the Washtenaw County Department of Finance.

Phil Ghilcrist, MPA '13
Has been named the Executive Director of The Anton Art Center in Mt. Clemons. Previously working as their Grants Coordinator, Mr. Ghilcrist began his new role in October 2015.

Carrie Leach, MPA '09
Is currently a Research Associate for the Wayne State University Institute of Gerontology and a doctoral student in communications. She has done extensive work in the field of need assessment, a specialty that began while an MPA student working with Dr. Jered Carr.

Theresa McArleton (Kolly), MPA '08
Was recently named the Director of the Department of Parks in Recreation for the City of Berkeley, Michigan. Theresa served as the assistant to the Berkeley City Manager for four years before becoming the deputy director of the Department of Parks and Recreation in 2012. 

Melissa Sweda, MPA '14
Is now an Academic Advisor with the Wayne State University - Mike Illitch School of Business. She was formerly a Student Assistant in the Graduate Programs Office.

Dana Gingrich, MPA '15
Became an Alumni and Donor Relations Officer with the Wayne State University - Mike Illitch School of Business. Ms. Gingrich previously served as the Alumni Program Officer with the Wayne State School of Medicine.

Jennifer Mahn, MPA ' 15
Has been named the Director of Quality Improvement and Risk Management at Wayne County Healthy Communities. Ms. Mahn previously served on the board of WCHC and as the Translational Research Program Manager in the Department of Pharmacy Practice at Wayne State.

Samantha Mariuz, MPA '15
Has been named the Director of Authorities with the City of Auburn Hills. She is responsible for the city's three economic authorities. Ms. Marius was previously a Management Assistant with the city.
Professor Moldavanova Receives Volcker Grant
Assistant Professor Alisa Moldavanova is one of two emerging scholars to receive a 2015 Paul Volcker Junior Scholar Research Grant from the Public Administration Section of the American Political Science Association. The $3,000 grant recognizes junior scholars who are researching public administration issues which affect governance in the United States and abroad, shed new light on important public administration questions, are scholarly, are methodologically rigorous, and show promise for advancing practice and theory development. The award supports work on her project entitled "The Public Purpose of the Arts: Social Connectedness, Survival, and Sustainability of Arts Organizations". The project is an inquiry into the theme of survival and sustainability of nonprofit cultural organizations located in revitalizing urban environments, specifically the Detroit Metropolitan Area.

Pictured (from left to right): Alisa Moldavanova (award recipient), Lael Keiser (APSA PA Section Chair), and Eunju Rho (award recipient)
Program Faculty Activities

Assistant Professor Alisa Moldavanova’s chapter, “Sustainability, Institutional Capital and the Social Value of the Arts,” has been published in The Organizational and Business Ethics Imperative edited by J.H. Westover (Champaign IL: Common Ground Publishing, 2015). Her article, “Two Narratives of Intergenerational Sustainability: A Framework for Sustainable Thinking,” has been published in The American Review of Public Administration. 
Assistant Professor Kristin O’Donovan’s article, "Disaster Recovery Service Delivery: Toward a Theory of Simultaneous Government and Voluntary Sector Failures," appeared in Administration & Society in 2015. This article theorizes that government and voluntary sectors will fail based on the amount of demand they confront in seeking to cope with the results of disasters.  This implies that the supply of public services is fixed and that the demand for public services varies to a greater degree than previously considered. This article argues that government, formal nonprofit organizations, and informal voluntary groups will simultaneously fail (or partially fail) to supply needed public services. Furthermore, limited supply of services and varying levels of demand predict failure to deliver relief and recovery services.
Associate Professor Kyu-Nahm Jun has had a co-authored article entitled, “Facilitating Public  Participation in Local Governments in Hard Times,” accepted for publication in a forthcoming  issue of the American Review of Public Administration. She will also be presenting a paper,  “The Implementation of a Community Advisory System in the City of Detroit,” at the 2016 Conference of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.
Emeritus Professor Richard Elling has had two co-authored pieces of research published recently. “Toward Inter-local Collaboration: Lessons from a Failed Attempt to Create a Fire Authority” - with William Hatley and Jered Carr - was a chapter in the volume Municipal Shared Services and Consolidation: A Public Solutions Handbook (2015). The chapter explores how and why an initially promising effort by five contiguous Detroit suburban communities to establish a multi-jurisdiction authority to deliver fire and emergency medical services collapsed after much time and effort. The article,” What Should We Do? Public  Attitudes about How Local Government Officials Should Confront Fiscal Stress’” - coauthored  with Kelly Krawczyk and Jered Carr - and initially published in Local Government Studies in 2013, has been selected for inclusion in Local Government Studies Virtual Special Issue on Budgeting. This volume is available here.
Associate Professor & MPA Director Brady Baybeck and Associate Professor Jeff Grynaviski presented their paper on the effect of city reform on pension funding at the 2015 Urban Affairs Association Conference and the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Southern Political Science Association. Dr. Baybeck is currently co-authoring a paper with Laura Wiedlocher on the relationship between fragmentation and municipal revenue practices. The paper is inspired by the events of Ferguson, MO, and the practices of the local police departments in the St. Louis metropolitan area. In addition to fulfilling his duties as the MPA program director, Dr. Baybeck was recently appointed to the bond advisory committee of the Ann Arbor Public School District.
Current Faculty and Alumni Research

Assistant Professor Moldavanova Conducting Research on Sustainability of Arts Organizations
Assistant Professor Alisa Moldavanova's research, "The Public Purpose of the Arts: Social Connectedness, Survival, and Sustainability of Arts Organizations", is an inquiry into the theme of survival and sustainability of organizations located in revitalizing urban environments. Focusing on public and nonprofit cultural organizations located in the Detroit Metropolitan Area, this research investigates the relationship between the social connectedness of organizations and their institutional sustainability. The project employs a quasi-experimental research design to test propositions regarding community-based sustainability strategies in culture and arts organizations. The project contributes to the public administration and organization theory literature by researching an understudied dimension of sustainability, and by further advancing and testing the concept of organizational social capital in the context of public and nonprofit cultural organizations.

Dr. Robert Heuton and Professor John Strate Conduct Research on Fiscal Austerity and Urban Innovation: Canadian Municipalities in Global Context 
Dr. Robert Heuton, MPA ('98), PhD is conducting research seeking to determine how Canadian municipalities respond to fiscal constraints and austerity. MPA Program Faculty member Dr. John Strate is consulting on this research. The study compares the findings from a national survey of municipal administrators conducted in the early 1980s with the findings of similar studies in 2008-09 and 2014-2015. On the one hand, the study finds that administrators are making greater use of more innovative budgeting techniques in recent years. However, these administrators continue to rely heavily on more traditional tools of ‘cutback management’ such as hiring and wage freezes, reducing travel expenses and eliminating overtime in order to cope with fiscal stress. 
Support the Residents of Flint
Resources from the Michigan Municipal League

Thank you to alumna Sarah Craft (MPA '13) for sharing pertinent information on how to help the residents of Flint. For more information and ways you can help, please go to
Noteworthy News
New additions, weddings, etc.

Current MPA student Erin Casey was profiled in Wayne State's Pivotal Moments Annual Report for the archival assistance she is providing to Beth Bates, professor emerita of African American studies. Ms. Casey found an original document signed by Martin Luther King, Jr. while searching through boxes in the Walter P. Reuther Library. To read more, please see the Annual Report here.

Lisa Anga, current MPA student and Assistant Development Director for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently welcomed a new baby girl with her husband Chad. Ella Faith Anga was born on January 18, 2016. She joins big sister Tessa Grace.
The Graduate Program in Public Administration would like to welcome current MPA student Kaitlin Schaefer as the Program Assistant. She has spent the past few months working with Dr. Baybeck on updating our program website, creating content for the newsletter, connecting with alumni on LinkedIn and has assisted in planning the upcoming Lent Upson Lecture. She is looking forward to graduating in May. 
Elling Fund Supports Quality Graduate Education in Public Administration

Following his retirement from his 35-year career as a member of the Department of Political Science - and the core faculty of the department’s Graduate Program in Public Administration - Professor Emeritus Richard Elling established the Elling Fund for Public Administration Educational Enhancement. One element of this fund is a matching grant challenge. Through 2018, Dr. Elling pledged to match the first $3,000 in annual contributions by others on a dollar-for-dollar basis. During the first 16 months of the Fund’s existence, alumni, current students, faculty and friends of the Graduate Program in Public Administration responded by contributing more than $8,000.
Monies contributed to the Elling Fund can be used to support the day-to-day operations of the Graduate Program in ways that enhance the educational experience of students in the program, to support the recruitment of new students, and to build and maintain relationships with alumni of the program. 
The expenditure of Elling Fund dollars commenced in the Fall of 2015 with the hiring of current MPA student Kaitlin Schaefer as the assistant to program director Dr. Brady Baybeck. Ms. Schaefer works with Dr. Baybeck on a range of activities designed to enhance the quality of education that the program
provides to its students.
If you wish to contribute to the Elling Fund you can do so by mailing a check to:
Fund Office
5475 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202

All contributions are tax deductible on your Federal income tax return. Thank you!
If you would like to share your career, research or personal accomplishments, please email professor emeritus Richard Elling at
Copyright © 2016 Wayne State University MPA Program, All rights reserved.

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