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Newsletter of the School of Public Administration University of Nebraska at Omaha Fall 2010

School of Public Administration Extends its Reach Around the Globe By Dale Krane, Ph.D., Ken Kriz, Ph.D. and Mary Lopez, MS, MPA

It may come as a surprise to some that the international activities of UNO’s School of Public Administration (SPA) are, at once, extensive and diverse. When thinking about interest in global issues, Omaha may not be the first place that comes to mind. After all, it is located in the middle of the country and and not one of the world’s major cities in size. However, the City and the University of Nebraska at Omaha have cultivated strong international connections through education, commerce and cultural opportunities. SPA faculty, collectively and individually, have constructed an extraordinary record of teaching, research, and service around the world. This experience reaches back at least a quarter century and includes projects conducted by individual faculty as well as teams of SPA faculty and staff. Many of the projects, of course, emerge from the research interests of specific faculty, while other projects develop from requests to the School. While it would be more than this issue of The Exchange could detail, it is worthwhile to illustrate the quality and range of the School’s international activities with some noteworthy examples. In the mid to late 1980s, Jay White and current CPACS Dean BJ Reed did some training in strategic planning for Afghan freedom fighters with a focus on assisting them in thinking through what strategic issues they would face in rebuilding their country and to identify what strategies might be most useful in addressing these challenges. One significant issue that affected a great deal of the concern regarding infrastructure rebuilding was the amount of live ordinance throughout the country -- the Soviets had “mined” everything and removing those mines and live ordinance was a daunting task. Several SPA faculty taught short courses to Afghan professionals who came to UNO to gain skills that would help them re-establish civil government once Russian occupation ended. The SPA faculty were forerunners in addressing issues that still exist as serious problems in Afghanistan today. In 1994 the School assisted Alexander I. Cuza, the oldest university in Romania, to establish a public administration program. Faculty from both institutions worked together to design the curriculum, and with US Information Agency support conducted training sessions in Omaha and in Iasi, Romania, where Cuza University is situated. Participating faculty included Russell Smith, Dale Krane, Jay White, BJ Reed, John Bartle, and the late Frank Koehler. In addition to helping create the new PA program, SPA faculty conducted workshops for local government officials in the Iasi area. Among the more unique activities of the project was training former Soviet apparatchiks in the nuances of strategic planning, including group participation techniques. (continued on Page 3)


SC HOOL NEW S From the Director’s Desk

FACULTY & STAFF SCHOOL OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION (402) 554-2625 John Bartle, Director Robert Blair Richard Box Carol Ebdon Angela Eikenberry Mary Hamilton Bryce Hoflund Dale Krane Ken Kriz Gary Marshall James B. Milliken BJ Reed Chris Reed Russell Smith Arwiphawee Srithongrung Jay White Ethel Williams Mary Lopez Rhonda Sheibal-Carver Meagan Van Gelder AVIATION INSTITUTE (402) 554-3424 Scott Tarry, Director David Byers Patrick O’Neil David Smith Scott Vlasek Vida Hill Sara Martin NASA OFFICE (402) 554-3772 Gayle Lokey Michaela Lucas Michael Sibbernsen Melissa Wragge

By John Bartle, Ph.D. As our ranking and reputation has risen, more international students want to study with us, and more universities want to interact with our faculty. Our strong reputation on campus has also caused the administration and other academic units to ask us to partner with them in international ventures. These are great opportunities for all involved. Ultimately it has a profound effect on the education our students receive. When students are in a class or a project group with an international student, not only do they learn even more about the topic, they gain greater competency to work across different cultural lines. Faculty involvement is reflected in their classes and in their scholarly writings, which provides a richness and depth to the subject. These opportunities enrich the School’s environment in many ways. Some of these relationships result from grants and contracts and may also lead to new ones which is an immediate benefit. Having dedicated alumni across the globe extends our reach far beyond Omaha. Most importantly, public administration and urban affairs vary greatly around the world, and we cannot fully understand ourselves until we understand others. One of the strong interests from our international colleagues is to learn about the practice of government and the nonprofit sector in the US. We have worked to link these faculty and practitioners to those of you in appropriate jobs, but need to do more. Do contact me or one of our many faculty if you would like to know more or be involved in this sort of connection with our international initiatives.

A Special Thanks... I also want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who have given to the Centennial Scholarship Fund and the School’s other funds. Once established, these funds will allow us to compete better in attracting top students, as well as enable us to help students in need. All of these things – scholarships, international opportunities, internships and career services – are critical ingredients for professional education that complement classroom learning. Thank you for helping us provide them to the next generation of government and non-profit professionals.

UNO’s School of Public Administration is on FACEBOOK and TWITTER! For the latest School of Public Administration news and happenings visit:

Rhonda Sheibal-Carver’s Service to the University Extends Far Beyond SPA We all know the valuable work and support provided to faculty and students by Rhonda

Sheibal-Carver, Staff Assistant in the School of Public Administration. However, you may not know that Rhonda provides another valuable service to UNO. She is an Ombudsperson. Translated from Swedish, Ombudsperson means ‘Person of the People. The office of Ombudsperson was established at UNO in the fall of 1970. The purpose of the office is to receive and investigate complaints. Anyone — students, faculty, administrators, or staff members — may request the service. Rhonda’s been serving as an Ombudsperson for a little over three years. Thank you Rhonda for your dedicated service to UNO and the School of Public Administration.

IN TE R N A T I ON A L (continued from page 1) Building from the success in Romania, the School obtained a grant from the Eurasia Foundation to provide training in local government administration in the newlyindependent state of Moldova. SPA’s partner in the capital of Chisinau was the Institute of Local Government headed by the mayor of the city when it was still part of the Soviet Union. UNO faculty not only developed curriculum and teaching modules, but also offered workshops to government officials. One training session held in the Chisinau city hall, an ornate late medieval edifice with coats-of-arms, flags, and heroic statutes, occurred during a dispute between Moldova and Russia over Moldova’s failure to pay for natural gas used to heat the country. As a consequence, all of the participants – UNO faculty and local officials – were bundled up in winter coats and sweaters. There is nothing quite like asking and answering questions while watching your breath and that of others float through the classroom. After the initial international efforts of the School, the late-1990s and early part of the 21st century saw more varied efforts at developing international connections. SPA hosted two faculty from Russia through the US Department of State’s Junior Faculty Development Program. Russell Smith worked with them during the 1996-1997 period. One was from Novgorod State University and the other was from Moscow State University. SPA hosted delegations of local and national government, university, and community leaders from Tajikistan, and worked with them both in the United States and in Tajikistan. Former CPACS Dean David Hinton and Russ Smith worked in Tajikistan for three weeks to conduct training in strategic planning, performance measurement, and local government organization. SPA began hosting Muskie Fellows from the former Soviet republlics, a relationship that has continued for many years as visiting students are assigned to UNO for graduate study in public administration. During the almost three decades of the eighties into the 21st century, several SPA faculty became Fulbright scholars. In 1985, Dale Krane received a Fulbright to Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Krane taught a graduate course in comparative public policy for the Department of Political Science at the Federal University of Minas Gerais. In addition, he conducted research on transportation policy in Brazil which was subsequently published in the International Handbook of Transportation Policy, edited by Tsuneo Akaha (Greenwood Press 1990). During the semester he was there (August to December 1985) the military regime which had been in control since 1964

was beginning to transfer power back to an elected civilian government. It was a time of mass demonstrations for direct elections -- the name of the protest campaign was Diretas Ja, or Rights Now! After the year 2000, SPA’s international outreach through the Fulbright Program increased substantially. In 2003-04, Jay White was a Fulbright scholar at Leiden in the Netherlands and in Thailand at Thammasat University. In 2004-05, Ken Kriz served as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Tartu, Estonia. In 2008, Dr. Kriz returned to Europe as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic. To some extent, the Fulbright scholars have retained connections with their receiving countries. Dr. Krane is headed back to Brazil this year as a Fulbright scholar at the Federal University of Bahia, in Salvador, Brazil and Dr. Kriz is actively engaged with scholars in both Estonia and the Czech Republic. One of the school’s recent PhD students, Kristina Muhhina, was a student of Dr. Kriz at the University of Tartu. SPA faculty member Gary Marshall has focused his research during the past several years on two areas: new governance and related forms of organizing and the application of psychoanalytic theory to public administration. As part of the new governance work, he participated in a three-year grant from the Danish Social Science Council and was a Visiting Associate Professor in the Center for Democratic Network Governance at Roskilde University in Denmark, AY20052006. More recently Dr. Marshall was invited by the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in Denmark to present a two-day seminar to graduate students who are receiving a Masters degree in social entrepreneurship and was a principal speaker at a two-day seminar on Psychoanalysis and Film at the University of Bergen in Norway. In recent years, two new major international programs have been initiated. The early part of the 2000s saw two bright young Chinese scholars graduate from the SPA doctoral program and return to China. Jun Ma is now the Dean of the School of Government at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangazhou, China, and Meili Niu is a scholar there. UNO and SPA have forged strong ties to Sun Yat-Sen University and with the wider Chinese public administration scholarly community. Currently, SPA hosts visiting scholars from several Chinese universities such as Dongbei University of Finance and Economics and Beijing’s Central University of Finance and Economics. A number of recent SPA doctoral students and graduates

have been from China. Several SPA faculty have visited China including John Bartle, Carol Ebdon, Dale Krane, Richard Box and Mary Hamilton. The most recent SPA international efforts have come in the form of a series of faculty and student exchanges with Agder University in Kristiansand, Norway. After hosting visiting scholar Helge Hernes in 2008, John Bartle, Gary Marshall, Bob Blair, and Bryce Hoflund have made visits and engaged in joint research projects with their Norwegian counterparts over the last two years. UNO has hosted two other visiting scholars during this timeframe, and joint classes have been offered to Omaha and Kristiansand students by former SPA faculty member and SPA alumna Alice Schumaker. In addition to the international work of faculty, the SPA staff have also been involved in outreach to other countries. In 2003, SPA Career Services Director and MPA alumna Mary Lopez, participated in a study tour of Cuba, licensed by the US Department of the Treasury. The group, which included faculty and students from diverse academic backgrounds, toured and met with a variety of academic and community-based organizations. Currently, Ms. Lopez is working with Jonathan Benjamin-Alvarado, who is a Professor of Political Science and holds a courtesy appointment in the School of Public Administration, to develop academic, service learning and internship opportunities in Cuba for SPA students. As one can readily see, SPA is spreading its influence internationally and learning much from its partner institutions. Travel abroad by SPA faculty and staff provides many benefits for students, faculty, and the larger community in both the hosting and sending institutions. Faculty gain valuable knowledge of other cultures and contexts which provides them with frameworks to better understand those countries and also the public administration system here in the United States. Students gain either direct exposure to other cultures through their own study-related travel or SPA hosting of students and visiting scholars or indirectly through the experience and learning of the faculty as they travel. The larger community in Omaha and Nebraska benefits through having a faculty and student body that is able to think more critically about our system of public administration and the role of America in the world.



UNO’s Certified Public Manager Director Shares Ideas on Public Service Reform with University and Government Officials in China By Mary Hamilton, Ph.D. Dr. Mary Hamilton was one of eight experts invited by the government of China to present at a conference on the reform of public service institutions and the development of public service in China. The conference was held in Beijing July 10-11, 2010, and sponsored by the Chinese State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform (SCOPSR), the Chinese Society for Government Reform, the Chinese Public Administration Society; the United Nations Development Programme; and the China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchanges. Other experts from outside of China included: Prof. Collin Talbot, Manchester University, United Kingdom; Prof. Jeffrey Lubbers, American University Law School, USA; Prof. Tom Christensen, University of Oslo, Norway; President Choo Thiam Siew, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore; Prof. Masatusgu Ito, Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan; Prof. Massimo Balducci, University of Florence, Italy; and Prof. David Kelly, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. The conference drew more than 200 attendees representing major Chinese government agencies and provincial governments. In addition to the experts, attendees heard from national government officials, United Nations representatives, and the Chinese Public Administration Society president. Major themes of all of the speeches were: standardizing and streamlining bureaucratic processes and procedures; clarifying roles between managers and political leaders; decentralizing management; using objective, scientific analysis to support reforms; and providing more and better services to citizens. Dr. Hamilton’s presentation focused on capacity building in public organizations. She discussed the knowledge and skills needed by public agency managers and supervisors; options for training and for continuing education; and intensive, agencyfocused approaches to capacity building. Dr. Hamilton is Director of the Nebraska Certified Public Manager® Program and Senior Executive in Residence in the School of Public Administration. She is the former Executive Director of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and a former Senior Executive at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). From Left: Xie Xin, Staff of the State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform (SCOPSR); David Oliver C. Atchoarena, Director of Division of Education Strategies and Capacity Building in the Education Sector, UNESCO; Prof. Colin Talbot, Manchester University, United Kingdom; Yan Jingli, Staff, SCOPSR; Prof. Tom Christensen, University of Oslo, Norway; Dr. Mary Hamilton; Yi Liu, Staff, SCOPSR; Prof. Jeffrey Lubbers, American University Law School, USA; Prof. Massimo Balducci, University of Florence, Italy; Prof. Dong Lisheng, Chinese Academy of Social Science.

Norwegian Study Tour Delivers Wealth of Knowledge to SPA Professor Bryce Hoflund By Bryce Hoflund, Ph.D. During the spring 2010 semester, Dr. Bryce Hoflund visited the University of Agder in Kristiansand, Norway. Over the course of a week, she toured two hospitals and talked to scholars and practitioners about the Norwegian health care system, health care reform in Norway, health care education, and the use of information systems in health care delivery.

Dr. Bryce Hoflund (third from the right) visits with Norwegian hospital personnel.

IN TE R N A T I ON A L Professor Rebecca Lutte Participates in Aviation Conference in Egypt By Rebecca Lutte, Ph.D., MEI, CFII In June 2010, Dr. Lutte attended the Second Pan-African Aviation Training Coordination Conference in Cairo, Egypt. The UNO Aviation Institute provided support and Dr. Lutte was the only delegate from a US collegiate aviation program in attendance. The purpose of the event was to establish policy to address aviation training needs in Africa. A key component to the future of Africa is a safe and efficient air transportation system. The continent of Africa has long been known for having the worst aviation safety record in the world. However, a major policy initiative is underway that may greatly enhance safety in the region. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) developed the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Safety in Africa (AFI Plan) in September 2007. The purpose of the plan was to address serious safety deficiencies

in the region. The AFI Plan is a major step toward the development of policy “by Africa, for Africa� but international support will be required to achieve full implementation. For example, funding sources include the World Bank and the US Safe Skies for Africa program. The initiative also represents a major shift for ICAO from policy development to an active role in implementation. The US aviation industry should take notice of the safety initiatives in Africa. The African aviation market, the final frontier for international aviation, is experiencing significant growth and US carriers are taking advantage of this opportunity. In June, Continental (now United) and United each announced their first Africa destinations. Between June and September, Delta added three new Africa routes. As US interests in the African market grow, so should our concern for safety.

A policy window of opportunity has been opened. The problem of a poor aviation safety record, the solution in the form of the AFI Plan, and the environment created by market growth, could combine to create significant and long overdue changes for aviation in Africa.

Dr. Lutte stands next to a Citation Mustang Jet at the Egyptian Aviation Academy

SPA Co-Sponsor of Symposium on China Studies on Budget and Finance By John Bartle, Ph.D. In recent years, interest in China studies has steadily and substantially increased in public administration, creating a need for a platform of academic exchanges for such research. In order to meet this need, the China-America Association for Public Affairs (CAAPA) and SPA jointly organized and sponsored a one-day symposium on China studies, October 6th, 2010 on the campus of UNO. The purpose of this symposium was three-fold. First, it was to provide a forum for scholars in the broad field of public affairs, including public finance and budgeting, to exchange their research on China-related studies. Second, it was to promote academic exchanges between American and Chinese scholars. Finally, it was to advance and broaden the horizon of public administration to a global perspective. The symposium drew attention from many Chinese and American scholars in and out of the United States. The symposium consisted of four panels that covered a wide range of topics related to China, including fiscal decentralization and regional development, financing infrastructure and public debts, financing public education and population migration, and budgeting reform and comparative studies.

Dr. John Bartle meets with attendees at symposium on China studies.

SPA provided logistics support to the symposium. Dr. John Bartle, Director of the School, also chaired the first panel. The other three panel chairs were Dr. James Douglas (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Dr. Yilin Hou (University of Georgia), and Dr. Yonghong Wu (University of Illinois at Chicago). The symposium won praises from many colleagues. CAAPA will regularly organize such symposiums in the future. Dr. Jian Peng, visiting scholar at UNO from Dalian in China, attends symposium.



Doctoral Students Continue to Excel in Scholarship and Research By Ken A. Kriz, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Doctoral Program Director The past few months were very productive for the doctoral program. A couple of students moved to the next level in (and out of) the program. Craig Christiansen defended his dissertation, which dealt with the relationship between school administrators and teachers and the mechanisms that schools use to constrain the behavior of teachers. Courtney Jensen defended her dissertation proposal and is actively seeking a job in the academic market. This fall, we expect to see several other milestones. Three students, Sikarn Issarachaiyos, Changsoo Song, and Levi Thiele, are scheduled to take their field exams. Matt Winfrey and Gerard Wellman are in the process of finishing their dissertation proposals. Gerard also will be on the academic job market this fall. On the research front, several of our students have presented papers at major conferences, including Gerard Wellman (SECoPA); Anthony Campbell, Christian Janousek, and Catherine Brown (PAT-Net); Changsoo Song (AMCIS); and Gang Chen, Sikarn Issarachaiyos, and Michael Pippin (ABFM). Gerard also published a journal article co-authored with Dr. Robert Blair in the Journal of Community Development. Finally, we welcomed a new addition into the SPA PhD fold. Catherine Brown delivered a baby girl in September. Best wishes to her and her growing family.

New Standards - New Challenges for MPA Program By Ethel Williams, Ph.D., Professor, Associate School Director and MPA Program Director The MPA Program is scheduled for re-accreditation during 2011-2012. The 2010-2011 academic year will be a period of self-study. This process will involve input from numerous members of the SPA community. Every seven years programs accredited by NASPAA (National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration) are reviewed to assess their performance relative to the program’s mission and NASPAA’s standards for professional master’s degree programs in public administration, policy and public affairs. Programs undergoing reaccreditation during the 2011-2012 academic year will be evaluated under new standards. The standards, adopted in 2009, are not only mission-driven, but outcomes-based. This year, as we study what we do as a program, we will also focus on what the students are expected to know and be able to do as a result of earning the MPA competencies. This process will also include a review of what methods we use to assess learning. SPA faculty and staff view the self study year as an opportunity to further support what we do well and make adjustments in areas we wish to strengthen and develop.

Urban Studies Program Has Smooth Transition to Fully On-line Program By Bob Blair, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Administration and Urban Studies and Urban Studies Program Director UNO Urban Studies, in its second full year as a completely on-line program, welcomed nine new students to its master of science program. Three of the students come from outside Nebraska. The transition to an on-line program has gone smoothly and faculty expect increases in applications from around the country. Growth in the number of non-Nebraskans in the program will expose students to urban issues around the country. In addition, an on-line program provides opportunities for students to acquire and expand skills to address complex urban problems while still working on these problems in their community. After serving as program director for the last three years, Dr. Richard Box handed over the leadership to the program to Dr. Robert Blair. Dr. Box was instrumental in moving the program on-line. This semester, Urban Studies students are in Dr. Box’s core seminar and learning about community development from Dr. Blair. The community development students are conducting virtual field research in Chicago, updating a case study book used in the class. For questions, or information about the Urban Studies program, please contact Dr. Robert Blair at

S CH O O L N EW S Certified Public Manager® Program (CPM) Participants Involved in A Wide Range of Community Projects By Mary Hamilton, Ph.D. Director, Nebraska CPM Program & Senior Executive in Residence in the School of Public Administration The Nebraska CPM Program will graduate its third class of Certified Public Managers® on December 10, 2010, at 4:30pm in CB 132. Nebraska Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy will preside, assisted by UNO Senior Vice Chancellor, Terry Hynes. There will be a reception following the ceremonies. Everyone is welcome. The 2010 Nebraska CPM class includes nine people from city, county, and state government and one from a nonprofit organization. Participants are completing their major projects for the year and will present them on December 9, from 8:30am – 4:00pm in CB 132. Major projects are focused on contributing significantly to the participant’s organization. Projects this year range from developing a Spanish training program for city employees in a small city to planning a new nonprofit organization to benefit young people who age out of foster care. Projects also included: • developing recruitment webinars for law enforcement personnel, • surveying local government training programs to identify ways to make them self-sustaining, • establishing a community club in a small city to help promote economic development, • setting up a community engagement process to provide input into city planning, • designing a new pay plan for city employees, • improving the process for handling work orders in a utility, • revamping records management for a city, and • developing a handbook and orientation/evaluation process to help retain seasonal workers in a county office. Graduates of the program will have completed a comprehensive year-long curriculum of hands-on, skills-based learning that will help them lead and manage more effectively. Courses include: leadership, managing people and teams; managing information and technology; negotiation skills; administrative law; financial management; ethics; and much more.

NASA Nebraska & UNO Aviation Institute Host the Western Regional Space Grant Meeting By Michael Sibbernsen, Outreach Coordinator, NASA Nebraska Space Grant NASA Nebraska Space Grant, a partner with the UNO Aviation Institute, hosted the 2010 Western Regional Space Grant Directors Meeting September 16-18. The conference welcomed over 100 Space Grant affiliated guests from 20 different region states to Omaha, as well as a representative from the Space Foundation and an official from NASA Headquarters. In the day prior to the Space Grant meeting, guests were treated to a behind- Space Grant Conference attendees enjoy gala at Strategic the-scenes tour of Henry Doorly Zoo, and later, a gala banquet at the Strategic Air and Space Museum. Air and Space Museum. Banquet attendees were greeted by members of the 501st Legion (a Star Wars costuming group), “boogie-woogied” to the 40s song stylings of Bob Moser and the AVI8ORS, and enjoyed a wonderful meal catered by Attitude On Food. The evening concluded with members of the Omaha Astronomical Society and the Prairie Astronomy Club from Lincoln, setting up a number of giant telescopes, and providing outstanding views of the night sky. The Space Grant conference took place within the Executive Meeting Center at the Downtown Omaha DoubleTree Hotel. This facility provided a comfortable and modern meeting space, as well as a beautiful view of the city. During the two-day meeting, 24 presentations were given covering Nebraska Space Grant and NASA EPSCoR funded research, updates on successful projects from other states, and administrative, assessment, and evaluation discussions related to the National Space Grant Program. “Regional meetings are a great opportunity for consortia to learn from one another and I think we offered attendees a nice variety of interesting presentations and discussions,” said Dr. Scott Tarry, Director of the NASA Nebraska Space Grant. Among the student projects supported by NASA Nebraska Space Grant, presentations were given by Andrea Gilkey of UNL about her work on electronic procedure viewer designs for next-generation spacecraft, Sinte Nupa Gilbert, Louie Thunderhawk, and My Soul Earth Kearnes, about student research at Little Priest Tribal College, and Kyrik Weidman, Joe Bartels, Eldon Summerson, Andrea Gilkey, and Andrew Kelly, on their UNL Microgravity Team research. The 2011 Western Regional Space Grant Directors Meeting will take place in Fairbanks, Alaska.


FAC UL TY /STAF F Faculty Profile

Carol Ebdon, Ph.D. Carol Ebdon is an Associate Professor of Public Administration. She returned to the SPA faculty last fall after serving as the City of Omaha Finance Director for five years, where she was responsible for all aspects of city finance such as budgeting, debt and cash management, pension administration, capital planning, and financial reporting. She was involved in a number of major projects during her city tenure, including development of a downtown stadium, annexation of the City of Elkhorn, and oversight of a new city-owned hotel. Dr Ebdon’s research and teaching interests are in the area of public budgeting and financial management. She has written extensively on the topic of citizen participation in the budget process. Her publications also include work on capital management and local government revenue diversification. Her current research focus is on the role of the finance officer, the relationship between theory and practice, and public pension plan administration. Carol had the opportunity to spend two months in China this summer, where she taught Public Budgeting at Sun Yat Sen University, presented a paper at the SinoU.S. Conference on Public Administration in Xiamen, and attended the World Expo in Shanghai. She hopes to expand her knowledge of Chinese public administration. Dr. Ebdon will be the 2011 chair of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management, and was the chair of the 2010 conference. She is an advisor to the Government Finance Officers Association Committee on Governmental Budgeting and Fiscal Policy. Locally, she has done consulting with governments in the area, is Vice President of the Omaha Public Library Foundation Board, a member of the Omaha Public Schools Academy of Finance Advisory Council, and is active in the Omaha-North Rotary Club. Ebdon received her Ph.D. in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany, her Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Toledo, and her Bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.

SPA Academic Program Coordinator Conducts Research Regarding Problem Solving Meagan Van Gelder, Ed.D. is conducting research to understand how in-service (experienced) and pre-service (not experienced) public administration students problem solve and what factors and processes they include in problem solving. This research will contribute to the ongoing dialog about the study of expertise and the traits experienced public administrators posses in problem solving strategies. Building on the public administration literature’s claims that public service management is distinct in its context of responding to political authority and citizen needs, the study is designed to identify and examine differences among pre-service and in-service students’ problem solving traits in the political context, substantive context, and operational context (Mark Moore, 1995). In this study, Dr. Van Gelder compares data among participants with varying levels of prior knowledge and experience solving a realistic given problem.

Association for Budgeting and Financial Management Conference Held in Omaha By Carol Ebdon, Ph.D.

The national conference of the Association for Budgeting and Financial Management was held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Omaha, NE from October 7-9. Commentary by those who attended was overwhelmingly positive -- from favorable reviews of the venue in Omaha’s historic Old Market area to the exceptional quality of the speakers and presentations. The host committee included John Bartle, Ken Kriz, Arwiphawee Srithongrung, Carl Ekstrom, and Carol Ebdon (the conference chair). Additional program participants from UNO’s School of Public Administration (SPA) were faculty members Dean BJ Reed, Richard Box, Angela Eikenberry, and Dale Krane, and doctoral students Gang Chen, Sikarn Issarachaiyos, and Michael Pippin. Adjunt faculty members Lorraine Chang (Learning Community of Douglas & Sarpy Counties) and John Ewing (Douglas County Treasurer) also made presentations, as well as SPA graduates Larry Burks (City of Onawa, Iowa), Jack O’Hare (Federal Aviation Administration), Stephen Aikins (University of South Florida), Boris Morozov (Louisiana State University) and Qiushi Wang (Rutgers University). The conference included 36 panels on a wide variety of topics, such as the fiscal condition of the states, debt management trends, and responses to fiscal stress. Attendees came from across the U.S., and from other countries including China, the Netherlands, and Estonia. Funding for the conference was received from a number of universities, as well as from generous local sponsors: D.A. Davidson and Co., Kutak Rock, the Nebraska chapter of the American Society for Public Administration, SPA, and the University of Nebraska Foundation.

FA CULTY/ ST A F F A Sample of Research, Publications and Presentations

Faculty Honors

The Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Research Council, a private and nonprofit institute that provides expertise in science and technology to the government, the public and the scientific and engineering communities, has appointed Dave Byers, PhD, associate professor in the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Aviation Institute, to its technical committee for aviation system planning. Byers will help identify and oversee research needs and organize sessions during the board’s annual conference in January which attracts more than 10,000 transportation professionals from the US and internationally -industry professionals, professors and academic researchers, and those from the government sector. Dr. Byers’ committee work will also focus on research for how airport systems across the United States interact with each other.

John Bartle has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He was inducted Thursday, November 18th at the Academy’s fall meeting in Washington, DC. An independent, non-partisan, nonprofit corporation founded in 1967 and chartered by the U. S. Congress, the National Academy of Public Administration provides trusted advice to government agencies on issues of governance and public management. Under its congressional charter, the Academy is charged with advancing the effectiveness of government at all levels--federal, state and local. In addition to providing insight and experience as they oversee the organization projects, the Fellows are also the Academy’s primary vehicle for addressing emerging issues and contributing to the intellectual and popular discourse on government.

A. Bryce Hoflund presented a paper entitled, “Building a network administrative organization’s social base: Lessons from the National Quality Forum,” at the PAT-Net annual meeting in Omaha, NE. A. Bryce Hoflund presented two papers at the Law and Society Association’s annual meeting in Chicago, entitled, “Designing a decision-making process for a responsive regulatory institution: A case study of the National Quality Forum’s Consensus Development Process,” and “Improving food safety through selfregulation: Exploring the applicability of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points System to the spinach and peanut industries, with Michelle M. Pautz. Dale Krane’s publication “The Middle Tier in American Federalism: State Government Policy Activism During the Bush Presidency” in Publius: The Journal of Federalism. Vol. 37 No. 3, Summer 2007 was one of four highly-cited articles to which the journal granted free access to celebrate being ranked in the top 15 percent of political science journals. Alumnus Stephen Kwamena Aikins (Ph.D. 2005), Assistant Professor, University of South Florida, and Dale Krane, Frederick W. Kayser Chair Professor, UNO School of Public Administration, published the results of a study that investigated why municipal officials have not taken full advantage of the interactive features of the Internet to bring citizens closer to their governments. The title of the study is “Are Public Officials Obstacles to Citizen-Centered E-Government?: An Examination of Municipal Administrators’ Motivations and Actions.” It is available in State and Local Government Review, vol. 42, no. 2 (Aug. 2010) and can be accessed at: Mary Lopez (MPA 1998), SPA Career Services Director, is a member of the planning committe for the 2010 NASPAA Career Professionals Conference and will be cofacilitating a workshop on developing a one person career services office. Former SPA faculty member, Dr. Alice Schumaker (MPA, 1987) received the Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Schumaker is the associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Public Health and an associate professor in the Department of Health Services Research & Administration. Dr. Schumaker’s dedication to teaching is evident in her curriculum development and course design, her long-term commitment to teaching, and the breadth of her courses. She is an outstanding educator and mentor who facilitates the highest levels of student learning. Dr. Gary Marshall’s interest in psychoanalytic theory has begun to translate into a tangible research agenda. He published an article in Administrative Theory and Praxis applying Lacanian psychoanalysis to public administration. He also became the coeditor of the Lacanian Compass, a U.S. based publication on the work of Jacques Lacan and translated a major work by Lacan’s intellectual heir Jacques-Alain Miller, from Portuguese into English. The publication of this translation in the International Lacanian Review resulted in a visit to Brazil for an international conference.

Angela Eikenberry’s publication Giving Circles: Philanthropy, Voluntary Association, and Democracy was chosen as the Outstanding Published Scholarship winner for the 2010 CASE John Grenzebach Award for Outstanding Research in Philanthropy for Educational Advancement. Dr. Eikenberry received a cash prize and media exposure in the form of a press release sent to schools and publishers and announcements in both CASE’s magazine, CURRENTS, and CASE’s monthly e-newsletter, BRIEFCASE. Lyn Holley (Gerontology and SPA alumna) and Angela Eikenberry (Public Administration) were awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor during the 2009-2010 promotion/tenure review cycle. The School of Public Administration congratulates these faculty members on their meritorious performance and service to UNO. Mary R. Hamilton, Director of the Nebraska Certified Public Manager® (CPM) Program, and faculty member in the UNO School of Public Administration was elected on October 17, 2010 to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the National Certified Public Manager® Consortium. Formed in 1979, the National Certified Public Manager® Consortium establishes and preserves standards for the Certified Public Manager® designation. The purpose of the Consortium is to promote CPM programs by providing and monitoring accreditation standards, facilitating program development, encouraging innovation and developing linkages with programs and organizations with similar concerns. Dr. Hamilton developed the CPM program for the State of Nebraska in 2007. Classes began in January 2008 and the first cohort graduated in December 2008.



Waldo Society Events - A Blend of Social and Professional By Michael Campbell II, Doctoral Student What has the Waldo Society accomplished in its first year? To begin, the Waldo Society has held brownbags and workshops focused on: conferences, journal articles, and job searches. With regard to community building, several events have taken place: the First Friday Film series, end of the semester gatherings, and a student welcome reception during the 2010 PAT-Net conference. If you have any ideas or suggestions for future Waldo Society events, please contact Anthony Campbell ( More importantly, the next time you hear about a Waldo Society event, stop by and see what we’re all about! Michael “Anthony” Campbell points to chart detailing Waldo Society Initiatives

MPA Students Make Valuable Connections Through The Network By Sarah Hanify, MPA Student

The Public Administration student group, The Network, is energized for the 2010 - 2011 school year. New members are always welcome and during fall semester meetings, we have had many new students interested in becoming more involved. Social activities including networking happy hours with MPA professors and staff members and groups of MPA students attending hockey games together have already been planned. A mentoring program in conjunction with PAGO, the UNO MPA Alumni organization, is being developed to provide students the chance to participate in mini job-shadowing experiences and learn about the day-today activities of different public and non-profit professionals in Omaha. Partnerships and collaboration activities with young professional organizations in Omaha and with the American Society of Public Administration - Nebraska Chapter, are also being planned. Contact Sarah Hanify for more information at

Doctoral Student Presents Research at International Conference in Lima, Peru Doctoral Student, Changsoo Song, presented two papers, “The Role of an Effective IT Intervention for Micro-enterprises” (available at and “Validating IS Success Factors: An Empirical Study on Web-based State or Local E-government Systems” (available at, at the 16th Americas’ Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS), Lima, Peru, August 1215, 2010.

Doctoral Student Exhibits Leadership In Service and Scholarship Elected to UNO’s Student Senate in October of 2009, Gerard Wellman was recently named the senate’s 2009-2010 Outstanding Student Senator. The award is given to a senator who reflects the ideals of the organization, furthered its mission, and substantially contributed to the student body. Gerard was also recently appointed to the University’s Library Learning & Resources Committee, serving a one-year term which began in August of 2010. The committee is responsible for reviewing and recommending policies and procedures pertaining to the functions and services of Criss Library. Gerard presented “Livable Omaha,” a speaker series by the Greater Omaha Young Professionals Transportation Committee, to the Dundee-Memorial Park Neighborhood Association on September 13th. The presentation focused on the many ways transportation affects all neighborhoods and individuals, and what Omaha can do to facilitate alternative and sustainable transportation methods in the city. Future presentations will be with the Green Building Council, the Chamber of Commerce Transportation Council, and various other neighborhood associations. Gerard presented “Car-Free Omaha” to students of Metropolitan Community College in September of 2010. The presentation focused on ways of getting around town without utilizing an automobile - by bus, bike, or walking - and on the challenges of car-centric urban planning. A second presentation has been scheduled for March of 2011. In addition to these activities, Gerard is in the process of completing his dissertation proposal and will be on the academic job market this fall.

UNO Flight Team Defends Regional Title The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Aviation Institute Flight Team, The Flying Mavs, sponsored by Jet Linx Aviation, again won first place in the National Intercollegiate Flying Association Region 6 SAFECON competition Oct. 22 in Salina, KS. Under the direction of Faculty Adviser Scott Vlasek, the Flying Mavs consist of UNO students Alex Boes, Chris Frost, Tyler Klingemann, Zach Ossino (co-captain), Austin Phillips, Colby Ranslem, Justin Schultz, James Slabaugh (co-captain), Taylor Smith and Tyler Wilmoth.

S TUD E N T N EW S Students Find SPA Experience Fulfilling Muskie Fellow From Ukraine Shares Her Experience and Impressions of Studying at SPA By Yulia Rashchupkina, MPA Student

This summer I’ve been experiencing one of the biggest changes in my life. Thanks to the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program, which is supported by the U.S. Department of State, I gained an opportunity to complete my MPA degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

are from Ukraine and Kazakhstan. They will study full-time during the fall and spring semesters and do an internship outside of Nebraska during the summer.

Prior to my arrival, I was actively involved in civil society activities in Ukraine, working for a regional human rights NGO focused on gaining better citizen access to public information. My decision to pursue the MPA at an American university was not a haphazard one, but the result of a thorough examination of my own interests, and needs of my country.

The Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship Program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of State and was established by Congress in 1992.

Upon arrival to my host city of Omaha, I was most impressed by the friendly people and large number of green spaces. My first days of study at the School of Public Administration convinced me that pursuing a public administration program in the United States was the right decision. The significant research potential, dynamic class discussions and sharing experiences through group work will equip me with new critical thinking, presentation, and research skills. It will also be an honor for me to undergo an internship in a country which can be regarded as the center of the world think tank activity. I hope my background of active participation in Ukrainian public life will also be beneficial to my fellow MPA students. ******

Yulia Rashchupkina facilitates a By selecting emerging leaders meeting in Ukraine from 12 countries of the former Soviet Union, the Muskie program aims to promote mutual understanding, build democracy and foster the transition to market economies in Eurasia through intensive academic study and professional training. In addition to their academic programs, Muskie fellows gain exposure to American values through a community service experience and develop professional skills through a full-time internship in their field of study. Nearly 4,000 Muskie fellows have participated in the program since its inception in 1992. The Muskie Program allows emerging leaders to gain skills and knowledge in fields they often cannot study in their home countries.

Three Muskie Fellows are currently studying in the School of Public Administration. Irina Dedova and Yulia Rashchupkina are studying toward the MPA and Talgat Ayapbergenov is taking courses as a nondegree student in Urban Studies and Public Administration. The students

The Muskie Program is administered by IREX, a US-based nonprofit organization committed to international education in academic research, professional training and technical assistance. UNO has continued to host Muskie Fellows every year since the fall of 1993.

Are Doctoral Studies for You?

By Lora Mae Frecks, Doctoral Student I became a new doctoral student during Fall 2010 and the preconceptions I had regarding what the experience would be like have been proven wrong. Instead, it’s much more exciting, tiring (mentally, emotionally and oddly physically), and stimulating than I had ever imagined. I’m most amazed by the time commitment involved. I am only half joking when I tell people I can measure my reading by the feet. Part of this is voluntary because I feel so behind in studying the social sciences, but a lot of it (nearly one foot) is assigned. Nearly seven years separated the completion of my MPA and the start of my doctoral studies. Although I don’t recommend this strategy, I suspect some of you may also need time in the public administration trenches before you realize a Ph.D. is in your future. How do you know it’s time? For me it was affirmatively answering all of the following questions. • Does your current lifestyle (family, job, finances, etc.) accommodate school? If not, realistically, could your lifestyle change for three to five years? • Are you fascinated by or obsessed with an area of public administration? • Are you really committed to making the necessary sacrifices (financial, social, professional, etc.) to complete the degree? • Do you enjoy teaching? • Can you write? Can you spend a lot of time on your own reading, thinking and writing? • Do you see areas you absolutely crave to or feel compelled to research further? • Are you willing to be intellectually challenged most of the time and are you capable of continuing despite this feeling? I’m honored to be in the program and can’t imagine doing anything more fulfilling with my time right now. If you think you might feel the same, either in the next year or some time in the future, the program and application process as follows.

Admission to the PhD Program is the decision of the Dean of Graduate Studies based on the recommendations of the School of Public Administration Doctoral Program Committee. There are 10 elements in the application portfolio, and once the portfolio is complete the Doctoral Program Committee reviews and evaluates the application. There are two application deadlines, one on February 1 for applicants seeking financial assistance and the second on July 1 for all other students seeking admission. Those applicants who enter the program with a masters degree field other than public administration will need to complete up to four pre-requisites: Introduction to Public Administration, The Public Economy, Organization Theory and Behavior and Research Methods in Public Administration. The letter of admission will specify which prerequisites are necessary before enrolling in the core curriculum. If you’d like more information on the application process or would like to start an application, go online to: http:// admission.php .



SPA Alumni Organization -- PAGO Expands Initiatives to Support SPA Students By Andy Bradley, MPA, PAGO President

The Alumni Organization for the School of Public Administration (PAGO) has been working hard to build the core of its leadership group. In recent months, several new members have joined the board, bringing much needed expertise and dedication to our efforts. New members are still needed. This fall, we’re focusing on several initiatives. First we’ve ratcheted up our efforts to raise money for the Centennial scholarship program for SPA students. We’re nearing the $7,000 commitment mark. Last summer, PAGO board members spent several evenings calling alumni to describe the scholarship program and to ask for their financial support. We’re also working with faculty to encourage the use of SPA graduates in the classroom. In addition, we’re encouraging alumni to host small groups of current students for an hour or so at their place of business. The purpose would be to describe how the MPA or MSUS degree has made a difference in their jobs and for their employers.

Finally, there is a great need for alumni to visit with prospective students. Many working professionals considering the MPA or Urban Studies programs wonder how the degrees would benefit their careers. MPA or MSUS grads are well positioned to advise these candidates. If you are interested in hosting small groups of students at your workplace, in speaking to a class, or visiting with prospective students, please contact Mary Lopez at 402-554-4978, or e-mail her at mlopez@mail. If you have any ideas or suggestions about how PAGO can serve you, don’t hesitate to call me at 402-231-1910, or e-mail me at

Alumni in the Classroom Dawn Ballosingh (MPA, 2005) was the first speaker as part of the 2010/2011 Alumni in the Classroom Speaker Series. Dawn spoke to Dr. Bryce Hoflund’s Healthcare Policy class and discussed her work as WIC Program Director at One World Health Center in Omaha. She covered such topics as her duties, the organizational and funding structure, types of clients and services provided by One World Omaha. She also discussed her role in implementing the WIC program at the local level. The students asked many questions and learned a lot about the issues and challenges associated with interpreting and implementing policy and the innovative and creative ways One World Omaha serves its clients. An invitation was extended for Dawn to return to the classroom next year. Thank you Dawn for taking the time to share your professional experiences with our SPA students! Dawn Ballosingh addresses students in Dr. Hoflund’s class.

Alumni interested in participating in the Alumni in the Classroom Speaker Series are encouraged to contact Mary Lopez, SPA Career Services Director at (402) 5544978 or by e-mail at

Lunch and Learn All MPA students are invited to meet Andy Bradley (MPA, 1996), Executive Vice President for Goodwill Industries, where he has worked for the last 21 years. Andy will meet with students from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010. He will talk about how his MPA degree has impacted his career and benefited his organization. Andy has put to use the knowledge and skills gained through his degree to become the number two person in a 500-plus employee organization. Mr. Bradley is responsible for strategic planning and board communications and supervises the department directors for Fund Development, Employment & Training, Marketing, and Contracting & Compliance. Lunch will be served and a tour of the new Goodwill Headquarters will be part of the program. For more information about Goodwill and its mission, see their website at Please RSVP to Sarah Hanify at Space is limited.

A LUM N I N EW S Alumni Fast Facts Patty Adams (MPA, 1991) recently accepted a new position with Bellevue University as a Business Developer. Her primary responsibility is to develop on-line relationships with community colleges in the North East. Christopher Anderson (MPA, 1999) City Administrator for Central City, NE, was awarded the 2010 Community Partnership Award by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). The award recognizes innovation and collaboration in programs or processes that improve the quality of life of residents ot provide more efficient and effective services. Stephen Aikins (PhD, 2005) is a runnerup for this year’s Best Manuscript Award, from the Western Social Science Association “Determinants of Auditee Adoption of Audit Recommendations: Local Government Auditors’ Perspectives.” Stephen will receive a plaque and check for $300 at next year’s meeting in Salt Lake City. Andy Bradley (MPA, 2006) was instrumental in the planning and development of the new Goodwill Industries headquarters and retail store in Omaha, NE, which opened in the fall of 2010. Chamisa Colvin (MPA, 2007) accepted a new position within Catholic Health Initiatives Foundation as a Grant Development Manager responsible for the West, North and Mid-West region CHI Facilities. Prior to this, she was a Grant Development Specialist. Jodie Drapal Koretski (Kluver) (MPA, 1999), has been asked to participate on the National Service Learning Conference (On-site Service Learning Project) committee for the upcoming April, 2011 conference in Atlanta, Georgia ( Ms. Koretski will be working closely with the “One Million Bones” genocide project (http://www.onemillionbones. org/) on developing aspects of the arts display, which will appear in Washington DC in 2013. Professor Koretski will be incorporating portions of this on-site conference activity into her spring 2011 undergraduate and graduate courses at Bridgewater State University (BSU) as service learning components – developing civic engagement materials for the conference, participating with the Arts for Advocacy event, and working with a team towards launching a BSU campus center electronic “civic engagement chalkboard”. John Ewing (MSUS, 1987) Treasurer for Douglas County, NE and Adjunct Professor for SPA, joined other Omaha and Douglas County elected officials in the Cities of Service coalition, a new program designed to boost volunteerism in its member cities. Accompanied by a young man Ewing has mentored for four years, he spoke about the importance of mentoring and issued a challenge for everyone to get involved in the lives of Omaha’s young people. Greg Fant, PhD, (MPA, 1992), has been named a Fulbright Specialist Roster Candidate for a five-year term beginning in 2011. He is

currently a Federal Civil Servant, serving as a Supervisory Health Scientist and the Deputy Director, Division of Science and Policy, HIV/ AIDS Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services and an Adjunct Associate Professor at George Mason University where he teaches statistical methods to doctoral and master’s degree students in political science and public administration. Since 1997, Fant has worked in various agencies including the Department of Defense, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Health and Human Services. Fant is one of over 400 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright Specialist Program. This program, created to complement the traditional, year-long Fulbright Scholar Program, provides short-term, collaborative, two-to-six-week projects at higher education institutions in over 100 countries worldwide. Fant’s areas of expertise for the Fulbright Specialist Program include Global/Public Health (including epidemiology and statistics) and Public Administration. Nathan George (MPA, 2003), Deputy Town Manager of Fishers, Indiana, will serve a three year appointment to the ICMA -- Center for Performance Leadership Committee. He recently was a speaker at the ICMA Annual Conference in San Jose and the Indiana Municipal ManagementAssociation Conference and was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Board and continues to serve as the Chair of the Professional Development Committee. Jamie Grayson-Bergland (MSUS, 2007) Executive Director of Destination Midtown in Omaha, NE was selected as a participant in the 2010/2011 Leadership Omaha class. Phil Green (MPA, 2006) Assistant City Manager for Blair, NE, graduated from the 2010 Leadership ICMA program, a two year professional leadership program through the International City/County Management Association. The class was commended for establishing the Leadership ICMA Class of 2010 Legacy Fund, a financial assistance fund for Leadership ICMA applicants or participants. Joy LaChelle Bailie (MPA, 1999) earned her Ph.D. in Public and Urban Policy from The New School in New York City, NY in May 2010. Dr. Bailie is currently working in New York City as an Immigration Services Officer for the Department of Homeland Security. She will soon be relocating to Washington, D.C. to accept a position as a Policy Analyst within the headquarters Office of Policy and Strategy for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Sara McClure (MPA, 2010) started a new position as the Director of Major Gifts for The Nature Conservancy in August of 2010. Sara was also named to the Board of Directors of the Public Administration Graduate Organization (PAGO) the alumni group for UNO’s School of Public Administration.

Monica Mora (MPA/MSW, 2005) is the Coordinator of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council’s new Family Justice Center of the Midlands. Monica is a Licensed Mental Health Practitioner. Laura Peterson (MPA, 2002) was sworn in as the Public Risk Management Association’s 32nd president on June 9 at the Association’s 2010 Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla. Peterson served on several PRIMA committees, including the External Affairs Committee (co-chair and chair), the Conference Planning Committee and the Finance and Audit Committee (chair). Jessica Rial Scheuerman (MSUS, 2010) is the Economic Development Committee Chair of the Board of Directors for Mount Pleasant Main Street -- a neighborhood nonprofit founded in 1991 that is a collaboration of local business owners and community activists working together to support economic development in the commercial corridor and to improve the design and aesthetics of Mount Pleasant Street and Lamont Park. Chris Rodgers (MPA, 2002) Commissioner for Douglas County, NE, was elected Second Vice President of the National Association of Counties on July 20, 2010 at NACo’s 75th Annual Conference and Exposition in Reno/ Washoe County, Nevada. Chris has been active in NACo since 2005. He served as vice chair of the Justice and Public Safety Steering Committee in 2006-07 and is a member of NACo’s Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) Steering Committee. In addition to his public service positions, Chris works as a senior community service associate at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and is director of its Transformation Project, a privately funded, pilot recidivism initiative. Eric Shanks, (MPA, 1998) examined influenza research, epidemiological data, pandemic planning and pharmacological marketing and research outputs of the three distinct but intradependent epistemological communities in efforts to determine to what extent the products of their separate methodological foci overlap in ways valuable to making preparations to protect the public. His results can be found in his unpublished paper “Pandemic Influenza: Three Response Communities”. For a copy, send a request to E. Hughes Shanks, Public Health Emergency Response Coordinator of Lancaster County Nebraska where he is also Coordinating Chair of the Lincoln Metropolitan Medical Response System Steering Committee. Peter C. Young (MPA, 1983) is contracting with Gower Publishing in London to work on a book called, provisionally, Public Risk Leadership, which is intended to look at how top managers, politicians and other public figures influence risk policy and--specifically--how risk management is, or should, be managed in response to complex public risks (terrorism, natural disasters, human-caused disasters, and chronic risks like food and water security).



In Memory of Jessica Lutton Bedient The University of Nebraska is saddened by the recent death of friend and colleague Jessica (Lutton) Bedient who passed away on October 13, 2010 after sustaining critical injuries in an automobile accident. Jessica and her husband, Tony, who was seriously injured in the accident, had just been married on September 3rd. Jessica joined the University of Nebraska Foundation in 2008 as a development officer for the College of Business Administration at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2010, she began work from the Foundation’s Omaha office as Director of Development for the College of Public Affairs and Community Service and the College of Information Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Jessica graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 2006 with a Bachelor’s Degree from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She was a member of Alpha Phi sorority, counselor for Nebraska Human Resource Institute, and the philanthropy chair of the Innocent’s Society. She volunteered for a variety of causes throughout college and upon graduation spent time in the Philippines and Tanzania to help develop a breakfast program and teach children. Jessica had been pursuing a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. “I worked closely with Jess over the past several months on a variety of fund development activities,” said Mary Lopez, SPA alumna and Career Services Director. “Her unique blend of unstoppable enthusiasm and top - notch organizational skills made her one of the most effective young professionals I have ever known. However, it was her deep commitment to making the world a better place and her way of making every interaction a positive experience that will give Jessica a permanent place in my memory - and my heart.” There is no doubt that Jessica touched the lives of many. Family and friends recently created a website (www.awholebunchofpeople. org) to remember her. Visitors are encouraged to share stories of how Jessica touched, encouraged or inspired them and honor her memory by “passing it on” with a donation of their own time, treasure or talent. Jessica’s family has requested that memorials and gifts be made to: UNF Charitable Gift Fund with memo: Jessica Lutton Bedient. This will enable them to help many of the charities and causes which Jessica was so passionate about. You can also donate online at

New Fellowship Encourages Professional Development As Career Services Director in the School of Public Administration, Mary Lopez knows the importance and value of professional development for graduate and doctoral students. “Professional development activities are a vital complement to the excellent academic preparation SPA students receive,” said Mary Lopez, who received her MPA from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1998.” It is because of this strong belief that she and her husband, Rodrigo, created a fellowship for students in the School of Public Administration this fall. Students who demonstrate their commitment to participating in professional and career development activities while studying at the University of Nebraska at Omaha SPA are eligible for this fellowship. The Mary & Rodrigo Lopez Fellowship for Professional Development will be available to students in the fall of 2011. For more information on how to apply, contact John Bartle at jbartle@ or (402) 554-3989 before April 2011.

Parents Honor Son Through Memorial Fellowship Andrew Blair was only 31 when he passed away, but his memory lives on through a fellowship fund established by his parents. Robert Blair, associate professor in the School of Public Administration, along with his wife, Barbara, set up the Andrew Blair Memorial Fellowship in 2009. This fellowship is for people pursuing a master’s degree in public administration and is a memorial to Andrew, who died from complications after a lifetime battle with heart disease and cerebral palsy. Preference for the fellowship is given to individuals planning work with nonprofit organizations or the disabled. “Andrew was both physically and mentally challenged, so much of his life was spent working with people in the human service field,” Robert Blair said. “This fellowship is a way to give back to them for contributing to his high quality of life.” “The goal is to get Andrew’s fund endowed, so it will be perpetual, “said Blair. “My wife and I want it to carry on. This is a legacy that we are providing to him.” Donations to this fund can be made to: https://nufoundation. org/SSLPage.aspx?pid=1387.

D O N O R S U PPOR T School of Public Administration Measures of Accountability Provide Excellent Return on Investment By John R. Bartle, Ph.D., Director, School of Public Administration

In the face of persistent economic threats, governments are facing unprecedented challenges to fund services that people have come to expect. State universities are no different. Public administration schools are perhaps more vulnerable than other units because they often do not have the same degree of business and donor support as do other schools and colleges. Recently, three of our counterpart schools of public affairs at the University of Delaware, University of Arizona, and Georgia State University were all slated for elimination, despite enjoying strong national reputations and high productivity. While they all survived, it makes clear the need for units like ours to make our case, and the need for continued support from alumni and friends of the SPA. The University of Nebraska system is not in crisis, but state budget pressures have caused the Legislature to examine programs to root out inefficiency and duplication, and use capacity to the fullest. I think this is a good thing for the university and SPA. The university should be accountable to taxpayers, students, and stakeholders just as all governments are. As you know from your coursework here, we teach students the procedures and means of program evaluation and performance measurement and so we should practice what we preach. And frankly, I think it will be good for SPA because I am confident we will show well in this evaluation. With five programs ranked in the top twenty in the nation, we are one of the highest quality units in the university system and also one of the most efficient. To that end, we have voluntarily produced a set of performance measures available on our website. They show these trends for SPA: • Our total state-aided budget is slightly less than it was in 2007-08, while student credit hour production has gone up. • Distance enrollments have increased 164% over the last three years. • Our instructional expense is 20% lower than that of a sample of 16 counterparts at “Research I” universities, while both research and service funding is more than three times as much. • Our national rankings have increased in five different specialty areas, so we now outrank universities such as Harvard and CalBerkeley in certain areas. Demands for accountability also come from our accrediting bodies. We now are required to demonstrate the alignment between our curriculum and our strategic goals, and to show that courses achieve their goals of developing student competencies. I think these demands will improve our programs, and we will do even better in preparing students, producing effective and relevant research, and providing community and professional service. We are relentless in the pursuit of quality, and I hope we will continue to have your support.

Scholarship Fund Continues to Grow

100 from 100

2008 marked the beginning of a fundraising initiative to create a new scholarship for students in the MPA program. The goal is to find 100 SPA alumni, faculty and friends to each contribute $100, payable in installments, in support of an endowmed student scholarship. Over the past several months, a number of alumni have given hours of time making phone calls to fellow alumni to raise funds to support the Public Administration Centennial Scholarship. Volunteers described the experiences as encouraging as their fellow alumni generously contributed to the cause and fun as they connect with former classmates and friends.

Now two years later, we are pleased to announce that we are more than halfway to meeting our goal of $10,000. This is entirely due to the support of alumni and friends. Thank you to those who have supported this grassroots effort. Once endowed, this fund will begin providing much needed scholarship support. Although our dedicated volunteers continue to make calls, we encourage alumni to please consider a gift to the fund by visiting

Thank you to the following Exchange contributors: Editor: Mary Lopez Designer: Sarah Grossman-Lopez Writers: John Bartle, Robert Blair, Andy Bradley, Michael “Anthony” Campbell, Carol Ebdon, Lora Mae Frecks, Mary Hamilton, Sarah Hanify, Bryce Hoflund, Dale Krane, Kenneth Kriz, Mary Lopez, Rebecca Lutte, Yulia Rashchupkina, Michael Sibbernsen, Ethel Williams Distribution: Melanie Kiper, Rhonda Sheibal-Carver Telephone: (402) 554-2625 Website:

The Exchange is published twice yearly for the alumni, students and friends of the University of Nebraska at Omaha School of Public Administration.

Pi Alpha Alpha Inducts New Members

The School of Public Administration Congratulates the following Graduates: SPRING 2010 Grant Anderson Traci Bach Erin Blaszak Kyle Brantner Michael Caldararo Amy Carson Kaleb Chowning Craig Christiansen Silas Clarke Jessica Clem-McClaren Angela Duncan Charlotte Frank Debra Gilmore Tammy Green Jean Gutheil-Bykerk Cory Halverson Lee Ann Heflebower Brian Jackson Christopher Jessen


Clinton Johnson Elizabeth Killip Amy Kucera Elizabeth Lange Sara McClure Beth Morrissette Aaron Murray Amy Murrell David Potter Lynn Rauner Matthew Rehder Jessica Rial Juliann Scott Shannon Sharp Travis Sitter Luke Whitmore Jordan Wilms Shane Wimer


Pi Alpha Alpha is the national honor society for the field of public affairs and public administration. The purpose of this society is to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship and accomplishment in public affairs and administration. The society seeks to promote the advancement of quality in the education and practice of the art and science of public affairs and administration. Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ethel Williams SPA recognized the following graduates who were nominated and accepted membership into Pi Alpha Alpha: Spring 2010 Elizabeth Ashley Killip Elizabeth F. Lange Jeffrey Scott Lehmkuhl Sara Ellen McClure

SUMMER 2010 Rob Caples Judith Clark John Denkovich Eric Drumheller


Sharif Liwaru Wally Longo Kristin McCormick Kenny McMorris

Summer 2010 Rebecca Anne Walters


Mission Statement “Strengthening public service in a democratic and diverse society by offering nationally-recognized, studentcentered educational programs, generating distinctive original research, providing quality service to the university and the profession, and engaging communities in public service programs and activities.”

Fall 2010 SPA Newsletter  

Check out the latest from the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha

Fall 2010 SPA Newsletter  

Check out the latest from the School of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha