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2018 Annual Report

Focus on Fellowships


NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Year in Review

We hope you enjoy this annual report on our 2018 department activities. We have so much news to share! Most importantly, the MPA program continues to maintain our high enrollments, especially with our large number of midcareer students. Our primary source of new students is our alumni and friends base. Please keep sending us your best and brightest colleagues who are eager to improve their public management skills in public and nonprofit organizations. Let me highlight just a few of the stories you will find in this annual report.

Launching the Online MPA We launched an online MPA for Local Government Management in August. This program enhancement will bring our premier class local government management program to working professionals in local governments outside Chicagoland. Our goal is to create cohorts of 12-15 professionals each semester with at least 2 years of experience working in local governments. The cohorts will become learning communities of local government professionals who will improve the performance of their organizations and thereby improve our communities. The online MPA track is competitively priced under $24,000. All courses focus on local government, including readings, writing assignments, and discussions. Send us your leading candidates for leadership succession in your organizations.

Living the Legacy: Banovetz and Arnold Fellows Anniversary Reunion The legacy of professional development created in 1963 lives on in the fellows of the James and Audrey Banovetz, and the David and Catherine Arnold Scholarship programs. In October we brought the fellows together with Jim and Audrey, and David and Catherine’s daughter, Susan, so that the fellows could share the impact that the fellowships had on their careers. We were honored to have NIU President Lisa Freeman and NIU Foundation President Catherine Squires attend and observe the impact of our MPA program in person. Many thanks to John Phillips for ending our evening with his famous “Budget Busting Blues” ballad. Thank you to the supporters of the Banovetz and Arnold scholarship funds. Your gifts continue to make an impact on the lives of our students.

Outstanding Faculty and Staff I am very proud to be a member of a highly productive, internationally recognized faculty, and pleased to welcome Professor Julie Langer to our faculty. Our faculty is highly productive in addition to being excellent teachers. Our research productivity and regular presence at top-tier scholarly conferences is largely the basis for our national reputation among peer institutions for our local government excellence. Come on out to our “Meet the Professor” events and meet our new faculty. Watch for announcements in our eNewsletters. We also thank our 2018 instructors who have been instrumental in maintaining our theory and practice grounding in their courses. As we expand the online course programming, we will need more instructors. Please contact me if you are interested in teaching in the MPA program. Finally, I cannot give enough praise and thanks to our department’s amazing staff: Denise Burchard, Ellen Cabrera, and Lisa March. Our success is due to their hard work every day managing our programs. Thank you to everyone who has donated funds to the department’s programs. Gifts from alumni and friends went up 49 percent since last year and totaled over $41,000. Your contributions are the difference between a mediocre program and our standard of excellence. Please consider joining our Tradition of Excellence and contribute to the MPA program. Thank you. Peace,

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report


The nationally ranked NIU MPA Program by U.S. News & World Report 4th Local government management 17th Public finance and budgeting

21st Nonprofit management 32nd Public management and leadership

47th Overall best graduate schools for public affairs

MPA Student Specializations Fall 2018 Fiscal Administration 7%

Comparitive Public Service 2% Strategic Public Management Leadership 29%

Graduates Employment Upon Six Months of Graduation Fall 2016, Spring 2017 and Summer 2017 Federal government 3% Other 3% Educational institution 3% Government in other countries 6% Nonprofit organization NGO 6%

Local and regional government 76%

Public Service Law 3% Local Government Management 47%

Nonprofit Management 12%

Congratulations to the 2018 Pi Alpha Alpha Award Winners

Monat Scholar: Betsy Hull completed the MPA as a midcareer student and serves as the finance director for the DeKalb County Community Foundation. Prior to this position, she worked at NIU as the assistant to the dean at the College of Education and an associate controller for the NIU Foundation.

Wit Scholar (2018 ASPA Outstanding Graduate Student from NIU): Delmar Dade is a police officer for the City of Crystal Lake. He served as the high school resource officer at Prairie Ridge High School for four years and is now a field training officer in the patrol division.

Ray Munch earned an Academic Achievement Award. He started the program as a midcareer student working for the Village of Carol Stream Police Department and transitioned to an intern position working for the City of DeKalb. Eight months after graduation, he was promoted to assistant city manager.

Andrew Munemoto earned an Academic Achievement Award as a midcareer student. He is the chief financial officer for the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.

Tammy Stevens was awarded the Distinguished Manuscript Award for her capstone paper. She recently retired from the dean’s office at NIU for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and is now working as a grants accountant for the nonprofit Prairie State Legal Services (PSLS) in Rockford.


NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Banovetz/Arnold Fellowship

Reception Brings Alumni Together to Celebrate Excellence

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Over 60 MPA alumni and friends of the MPA program attended a reception in in honor of the James M. and Audrey M. Banovetz, and David and Catherine Arnold fellowships in October at the NIU Naperville Campus. The funds raised in honor of two well-authored public administration scholars and their wives have provided MPA students opportunities to attend professional conferences since 2001. The Department was pleased to have NIU President Lisa Freeman, and President and CEO of the NIU Foundation, Catherine Squires, attend and participate in the festivities of the evening. Prior to the larger reception, Banovetz and Arnold fellowship recipients attended a private meeting with Jim and Audrey Banovetz and Susan Arnold to share their thoughts on the value of their fellowship experience and how it has added to their careers. The opportunity was described by 2015 Banovetz Fellow, Elisabeth Wright this way, “Attending this reception was a wonderful experience. It allowed me to share my accomplishments and challenges since graduating from the MPA program. I was inspired as I learned about the origins of the MPA program from Professor Banovetz, and I especially enjoyed connecting with current MPA students, recent alumni, and reconnecting with faculty. I look forward to continued engagement with the MPA program, its participants, and its continued efforts to shape the next generation of leaders.” Guests at the reception enjoyed a great evening with food, drink and memories.

Professor Thurmaier provided an update on the state of the department and described the opportunities that the fellowships have provided to students for close to twenty years. The Banovetz and Arnold Fellowship funds now total close to $300,000 and have supported students’ attendance at national conferences. In 2016, Dr. and Mrs. Banovetz revised the framework of the Banovetz Fund awards to allow the department to support more students in attending national, state and local professional development events. Professor Banovetz’s enthusiasm for the reception and the continuation and expansion of the fellowship program is unmistakable as he describes his impressions after the event, “The Fellowship reception provided a wonderful opportunity to renew valued friendships, make new friends, and celebrate NIU’s status as an international leader in the field of public administration. Perhaps more important, the work experiences of the participating fellows offered clear proof that the fellowships have enabled the program to grow from a dominant emphasis on city manager education to a broader emphasis on providing highly educated talent for other emerging professional opportunities in the public service. The fellowships have made possible an academic environment that truly serves a remarkable blend of students from highly diverse ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds. As a result, the NIU MPA program continues to be one of which the University and all of us can be extremely proud.”



NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Banovetz/Arnold Fellowship

The Banovetz Legacy Continues with Today’s Students The legacy of Jim Banovetz’s work to lead the NIU MPA program to national prominence is worth celebrating. Hired by the MPA program’s founder, Dan Wit, his tenure at NIU began in September of 1963, coincident with the placement of NIU’s first graduate student in a city management internship (in DeKalb). As the political science department changed personnel in 1963, Banovetz found himself quickly named director of the fledgling MPA program. By 1980, his leadership and collaboration with Wit and Bill Monat had transformed the M.A. in political science to the M.A. in public administration, and then the Master of Public Administration program. In 1970, Banovetz and Monat aggressively recruited women and African-Americans into the MPA program and the city management profession, obtaining earmarked state funding as well cooperation with the NIU Rhoten Smith

Scholarship Program. It is no wonder, then, that NIU’s MPA program has consistently been ranked in the top five city management programs since U.S. News & World Report began its annual ranking. Today’s MPA students benefit from the Banovetz legacy of NIU’s role in professional local government, and the professional development of NIU MPA students. The James and Audrey Banovetz Fellowship Program has supported MPA students attending professional development conferences for 16 years already. David and Catherine Arnold endowed the Banovetz Fellowship to honor Banovetz for his leadership in developing the NIU graduate program in public administration as one of the premier programs in the United States, and recognizes Audrey Banovetz for her many years of supporting the program, its faculty and students.

Reinforcing his commitment to recruiting minority students to city management, Banovetz worked with Thurmaier and others to endow the David and Catherine Arnold Fellowship to honor the distinguished career of David Arnold, including his many years as editor of the ICMA “Green Books” series. The Fellowship awards funding to minority students to attend a professional conference and to build a professional network with peers. Jim and Audrey have not only given many years of their lives to building the NIU MPA program into its leading role in local government education today, they also have given many thousands of dollars year after year to support students in their professional development, including gifts to the Banovetz and Arnold Fellowships.

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report


Today’s Student Fellows 2018 Arnold Fellow Phillip Love Phillip Love fulfilled his internship requirement working for the Village of Skokie. He will be graduating in May 2019 and received the Arnold Fellowship to attend the ICMA Conference in Baltimore in September. Phillip described the conference this way, “The ICMA Annual Conference was an amazing experience to network with some of the premier public administration professionals from across the world. As a graduate student dealing with bills and living expenses, the fellowship provided me with the rare opportunity to attend a national conference. The experience I gained at ICMA will always be a cherished memory as I try to obtain my primary goal of becoming a city manager.” Phillip’s biggest take away was the use of data analytics to improve the community where he works. Governments are increasingly using collected data to make future decisions. His goal is to increase transparency in the village and assist by interpreting data and communicating it to community members. Phillip recently started a full-time position as the Management Analyst with the Village of Fox Lake, Illinois. Congratulations Phillip!

2018 Banovetz Fellow Jessica Sandlund Jessica Sandlund attended the 2018 Annual Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) conference in Austin, Texas as the Banovetz Fellow. The experience was great professionally and academically. She found presentations on the latest research in the nonprofit field to be very enlightening and emphasized the themes of collaboration and communication. The conference provided her the opportunity to network with professionals at all levels of their careers. She learned about the research process including; developing research questions, methodology, data collection and analysis and conclusions. Jessica said, “The experience stretched me personally in my comfort level in networking with others and meeting new people. I am already experiencing the benefit of networking as I have gained connections that I expect will be helpful in my future career.” Jessica graduated in December and completed her two-year internship with CASA DeKalb County. CASA hired her to fill a full time position as Development Manager/Advocate Supervisor. Congratulations Jessica!


NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Banovetz/Arnold Fellowship

Featured Graduates Featured Banovetz Fellow Hannah (Bresson) Johnson, ’16 Hannah is a Police Officer for the City of Chicago. She completed her internship with the Village of Glenview. What influence has the MPA degree had on your career? The NIU MPA program gave me many opportunities to learn about various areas of administration within government. My internship set me up for success by allowing me to work in different departments on meaningful projects. Different classes helped me understand the importance of various departments. The variety of students and discussions in our classes gave me a greater depth of understanding of career opportunities. What influence did receiving the Banovetz Fellowship have on your career? The fellowship exposed me to different areas of public service and government. I was able to understand the different projects occurring in different parts of the country. Attending conference sessions, I learned new ideas and I was able to bring them back to my internship. Seeing the different roles and projects of those around me inspired me to work hard and reminded me that I did not have to keep my career path in a box and that other options exist. What has been the highlights of your career so far? I was responsible for and assisted on many different projects. Those projects included police projects such as performance measurements, policy review and updating, and equipment research. It sparked an interest in me that continued to grow. It led me to become a police officer and learn hands-on, rather than coming to conclusions without experience. Having autonomy and ability to experience different sides of a well-run local government was an overall highlight and I am thankful for the opportunity. Advice for the program? Keep encouraging students to learn about different areas of government and public service. They may end up on a completely different path, but more fulfilled serving in a different, less traditional way.

Featured Banovetz Fellow Lauren Stott, ’13 Lauren Stott currently is as a Management Fellow in the City of Raleigh, North Carolina. She served as an intern with the Village of Montgomery, Illinois and as a Management Analyst with the City of DeKalb What influence has the MPA degree had on your career? Without a doubt, the MPA degree has provided an incredible amount of value in my career and on my life as a whole. It taught me how ethical and devoted public service can change peoples’ lives and improve communities so everyone has access to the things that make cities great. I am so grateful for the thoughtful dedication from all of the past and current faculty and staff in the department of Public Administration. Their enthusiasm and care is something I carry with me each day. What influence did receiving the Banovetz Fellowship have on your career? I so enjoyed the opportunity afforded to me by the Banovetz fellowship to attend the ICMA conference in Boston and learn from other local government professional across the country. More importantly, though, was the way receiving the Banovetz Fellowship made me feel. Receiving this award legitimized my ability to make a difference in local government and told me that I provided value in public service. It made me feel that I could compete alongside my impressive peers and that my skills and insights provided value. Without this award, I am not sure I would have the confidence to be a successful public administrator and someone who speaks my mind in the face of adversity. What has been the highlight of your career so far? The highlight of my career so far has been working in a community that means so much to me, the City of DeKalb. DeKalb faces a number of unique challenges, and I am proud to have been involved in a number of projects that were created to improve the lives of residents in a place that is home to so many special people.

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Banovetz and Arnold Fellows:

Where Are They Now? Banovetz Fellows 2002

2003 2004








Arnold Fellows


Daniel J. Laurila Fiscal and Management Analyst Milwaukee County, Wisconsin



Elaine Suarez Career Specialist Cleveland State University

Holly Romenesko Romenesko Consulting

Melissa (Steirer) DeFeo Assistant to the Manager Village of Northfield, Illinois



John Ruggini Finance Director City of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

David Fitzgerald Management Analyst Village of Deerfield, Illinois

Sherwood Edwards Logistics Professional Innovative Transport Solutions



Rachel Ann (Lange) Skaggs City Manager City of Princeton, Illinois

Brandi L. Smith Partner Programs Manager Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona



Megan Pierce Assistant Village Manager Village of Winnetka, Illinois

Lauren Stott Management Fellow City of Raleigh, North Carolina

Anthony Isom Jr. Assistant to the Administrator City of Batavia, Illinois



Kathryn Hertel Recently moved Leicester, England

Neal Reeves National Admissions Advisor American International University

Seville Spearman Program Manager Chicago Urban League



Jacob Smith Management Services Director City of Centerville, Utah

Elisabeth Wright Marketing Manager Northwestern University

Luis Rodriguez llinois Department of Employment Security



Sharon (Turlek) Tanner Assistant Village Manager Village of Glencoe, Illinois

Kevin Leighty Management Analyst Village of Schaumburg, Illinois



Kate (Andres) Croteau HR Coordinator/City Clerk City of Robbinsdale, Minnesota

Hannah (Bresson) Johnson Police Officer City of Chicago, Illinois

Christiana Cabrera ICMA Local Government Management Fellow Town of Munster, Indiana


Steven Keenan Senior Planner Land Use and Environmental Planning Sangamon County, Illinois

Aaron Howe Management Analyst Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois

Phillip Love Management Analyst Village of Fox Lake, Illinois


Anthony Isom Jr. Assistant to the Administrator City of Batavia, Illinois

Jason Bielawski Assistant Administrator Village of Roselle, Illinois

Benjamin Marchant Township Manager Spingettsbury Township, Eugene, Oregon


Benjamin Pohl Public Speaker/Auto Technician Chicago Area


Michael Goers Budget Management Analyst City of Baltimore, Maryland


Jamie (Belongia) Ludovic Central Services Director Washington County, Wisconsin


Jonathan Pape Management Analyst Village of River Forest, Illinois


Rebecca Suhajda Assistant to the Village Manager Glenview, Illinois



Nicholas Wyatt Assistant Village Manager Skokie, Illinois

Jessica Sandlund Development Director/Advocate Supervisor CASA DeKalb County, Inc.



NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Focus on Faculty

Professor Thurmaier Named a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration The Department boasts a great accomplishment by our Chair and Presidential Engagement Professor, Kurt Thurmaier. Dr.Thurmaier was selected as a fellow for the National Academy of Public Administration. Fellows are nominated by current Academy members, and election follows a rigorous review

of the individual’s contributions to the field of public administration and policy. Thurmaier is one of 40 leaders in Public Administration who joins the 2018 Class of Academy Fellows. “It’s very satisfying because it is recognition by your peers that you are doing work of distinction – work that matters – and you are making an impact on public affairs,” Thurmaier said. Thurmaier is a respected expert on state and local governmental budgeting and has spent years researching and teaching budgetary decision making in the U.S. and other countries. He is one of the nation’s leading experts on citycounty consolidations,

authoring two books and several articles on the subject, and is a respected authority on local government collaborations and shared services. Thurmaier led faculty efforts to create the School of Public & Global Affairs (SPGA) at NIU, collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of faculty to create the Center for Nonprofit and NGO Leadership (previously NGOLD) as a founding unit in the school, and led the interdisciplinary team that developed one of NIU’s first interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees, now the NNGO Studies major. Thurmaier served as the founding director of the SPGA and the NGOLD Center when they were launched. Thurmaier joins nearly 900 Academy Fellows, which include former cabinet officers, members of Congress, governors, mayors and state legislators, as well as prominent scholars, business executives, nonprofit leaders and public administrators.

2018 Board of Advisors Steve Gutierrez Director of Community Development, Village of Northfield, IL

Julia Cedillo

Village Manager, Village of La Grange Park, IL

John Fahy

Senior Director of Academic Programming, Elgin Community College, IL

Matthew Simpson

Neighborhood Impact Manager United Way, Rock River Valley, IL

Rita Kruse

Finance Manager, City of Geneva, IL

Steve Bosco

Village Administrator, Village of North Aurora, IL

Stephanie Dawkins

City Administrator, City of Geneva, IL

John Weidl (chair)

Village Administrator, Village of Mukwonago, WI

Brian Gregory

City Manager, City of Sycamore, IL

Nan Newlon

Director of Public Works, Village of Downers Grove, IL

Dawn Wucki-Rossbach

Business Manager, Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Lake County, IL

Jill Olson Executive Director, CASA DeKalb County, IL

Carina Walters

City Administrator, City of Burlington, WI

Denise Bulat

Executive Director, Bi-State Regional Commission, Rock Island, IL

Laura Valdez

Assistant City Manager, City of Elgin, IL

Michael Earl

Senior Vice-President, GovHR USA, Northbrook, IL

Scott Skrycki

Assistant Villge Administrator, Village of Bartlett, IL

Tynisha Clegg

Executive Director at Family Service Agency of DeKalb County, IL

Andrew Brown

Deputy Director of Finance, Village of Buffalo Grove, IL

Jason Leverton

Police Commander, City of DeKalb, IL

T.J. Moore

Director of Public Works, Village of Hanover Park, IL

Brian Joanis

MPA Student Representative

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report


2018 Publications of Public Administration Faculty Members Aaron M. Deslatte

Julie Langer

• 2018. “Managerial Friction and Land-Use Policy Punctuations in the Fragmented Metropolis.” Policy Studies Journal.

• with K. LeRoux. 2018. “From Nonprofit Leader to Elected Official: Examining Political Ambition in the Nonprofit Sector.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, pp.1-19.

• with David P. Carter and Tyler A. Scott. 2018. “The Formation and Administration of Multipurpose Development Districts: Private Interests Through Public Institutions.” Perspectives on Public Management and Governance, 1–18. • with Richard Feiock. 2018. “The Collaboration Riskscape: Fragmentation, Problem Types and Preference Divergence in Urban Sustainability.” Publius: The Journal of Federalism. • with William L. Swann. 2018. “What do we know about urban sustainability? A research synthesis and nonparametric assessment.” Urban Studies. • with Alicia Schatteman and Eric Stokan. 2018. “Handing over the Keys: Local Nonprofit Economic Development Corporations and their Implications for Accountability and Inclu-sion.” Public Performance & Management Review. • 2018. “Florida’s Growth Management Experience: From TopDown Direction to Laissez Faire Land Use.” In R. Brinkmann, S. J. Garren (eds.), The Palgrave Handbook of Sustainability, Palgrave Macmillan, pp.739-755.

Albert C. Hyde • 2018. “Public Human Resources Management in Urban Governments.” In Genie Stowers (ed.) Sustaining American Cities Through Contemporary City Administration. New York and London: Routledge, 2018. • with Mark Beighley. “Portugal Wildfire Management in a New Era: Assessing Fire Risks, Resources and Reforms” January 2018. A final report delivered to Government of Portugal (April, 2018) accessible on files/cef/pub/articles/2018-04/2018_Portugal_Wildfire_ Management_in_a_New_Era_Engish.pdf

Jaehee Jong • with Sue Faerman. 2018. An integrative framework for understanding the adoption and implementation of New Public Management. In A. Farazmand (Ed.) Global Encyclopedia of Public Administration, Public Policy, and Governance. Springer. • with Michael Thomas Ford. 2018. “The Incongruence between Autonomy and Preference for Autonomy.” Academy of Management Proceedings, vol. 2018, no. 1. Published Online: 9 Jul 2018. • 2018. “The role of social support in the relationship between job demands and employee attitudes in the public sector.” International Journal of Public Sector Management 31(6): 672688,

Michael Peddle • Peddle, M. T., Zeemering, E. (2018). Preparing Undergraduate for Public Service in Local Government. In Heather K. Evans (Ed.), Community Engagement Best Practices Across The Disciplines (pp. 103-119). New York: Rowman and Littlefield. Published.

Eunju Rho • with K. Lee and S. Han. 2018. “Relative Networking and Performance: The Moderating Role of Environmental Context.” Academy of Management Proceedings, vol. 2018, no. 1. Published Online: 9 Jul 2018. AMBPP.2018.16870abstract • with K. Lee. 2018. “Gendered Networking: Gender, Environment, and Managerial Networking. Public Administration Review, 78(3), 409-421.

Alicia M. Schatteman • with Li-Yin Liu. 2018. “The Relationship Between Capacity and Performance Information Use in Nonprofit Organizations.” Academy of Management Proceedings (vol. 2018, no. 1. Published Online: 9 Jul 2018, AMBPP.2018.10026abstract) • with Aaron Deslatte and Eric Stokan. 2018. “Handing Over the Keys: Handing Over the Keys: Local Nonprofit Economic Development Corporations and their Implications for Ac-countability and Inclusion.” Public Performance and Management Review .1441726 • with Emma Powell, Georgina Winfield, and Kelly Trusty. 2018. “Collaboration Between Practitioners and Academics: Defining the Pracademic Experience.” Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership 8(1): 62–79.

Kurt Thurmaier • with Dwight Ink. 2018. Getting Things Done with Courage and Conviction: Successful Management Strategies Serving Seven U.S. Presidents, Melvin and Leigh Press. • with Erica Ceka. 2018. “Nattering Nabobs of Negativism Are No Match for Participatory Budgeting” PM Magazine, July 2018: 3-17. • with Erica Ceka. 2018. “Interlocal Relations” in Federalism in America: An Encyclopedia. Center for the Study of Federalism, 2018 (invited entry).


NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Focus on Faculty

2018 Instructors The department relies on the expertise and experience of many professionals to teach our courses. Thank you to the following instructors who have taught for us this year. Peter Burchard is focused on ethics and innovation courses. He received his B.S. in political science and his MPA from NIU. Burchard served for 10 years as the village manager in Hoffman Estates followed by 10 years as the city manager in Naperville. After 30 years in local government, Burchard became the chief operating officer of Augusta, Georgia-based inVentiv Medical Management that served over 1 million insureds. Burchard is a multi-sector consultant. His focus is on governance, executive effectiveness, organizational improvement, high-stakes strategy and health care. In addition, Burchard frequently lectures on innovation, ethics, communication and self-improvement.

Gregory Kuhn is a research associate with the Center for Governmental Studies at NIU. He has over 20 years of combined experience in local government administration, consulting and academics. Kuhn’s local government experience has included service as a city manager and assistant manager in suburban metropolitan Chicago municipalities. Kuhn is a graduate of Marquette University, majoring in political science. He earned an MPA and Ph.D. in public administration, public policy and organizational theory, both from NIU. Kuhn has been an instructor for the MPA program for many years. In 2018 he taught human resources management and local and metropolitan government.

Pam Gallahue is an instructor for the human resources management in public sector organizations course. Gallahue received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Illinois State University and her Ph.D in public administration from NIU. Gallahue currently serves as director of the city clerk’s office at the City of Naperville. Some of Gallahue’s HR-related experience includes being a co-sponsor of Naperville’s Emerging Leaders Program, performing workload and staff restructuring analyses, managing culture change initiatives and leading strategic planning sessions for Naperville as well as other municipalities and nonprofit organizations. She has published book chapters and articles on topics such as civil service systems, ethics and public sector values.

Lori Curtis Luther is an instructor for the governmental budgeting course. Luther received her B.A. in political science and Spanish from the Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas and her MPA from the University of Kansas. She has spent over 20 years serving local governments in the Midwest. She is currently the city manager of Beloit, Wisconsin. Lori previously served as the county administrator in Peoria County, Illinois. Previously, she was the City Administrator in both Waukesha, Wisconsin and Reedsburg, Wisconsin with other municipal experience in both Kansas and Missouri.  She began her career as a Cookingham Intern in Kansas City, Missouri.

Shawn Jeffers has served as executive director of Little City Foundation for the past 15 years. With a public and human service career spanning almost 45 years, Jeffers has held many executive leadership positions in the governmental and nonprofit sector, including that of president and CEO of The Hope School, Springfield, Illinois, and associate director at the former Illinois Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities. Jeffers holds a B.A. in psychology from Aurora University and an MPA from NIU. He is a doctoral candidate at the U of I, Springfield. He teaches management and leadership courses focused on nonprofit organizations.

James Norris has served since 1998 as the village manager of the Village of Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Previously, Norris served as the city manager of Gladstone, Missouri and held assistant positons in the Chicago area. Norris serves as the chair of the executive board of the Northwest Suburban Municipal Joint Action Water Agency, chair of the Northwest Central Dispatch Joint Emergency Management Agency and serves on other major boards in the northwest suburbs. Norris has a B.S. in history from the University of Missouri, St. Louis and an MPA from NIU. He teaches scope and dynamics of public administration and undergraduate public administration courses.

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Marc Thorson teaches the information technology in public service organizations course. Thorson has worked in the public sector technology field for over 20 years. His passion and research is focused in information security, data-driven decision-making and open data access in small to midsize municipalities. Thorson was the IT director for the City of DeKalb. His role included IT strategy, planning, governance and operations with an emphasis on data collection and use. Thorson has an MBA from NIU with a focus on management of information services and marketing. He is the marketing director for GMIS International, committee chairperson for GMIS Accreditation and past president for GMIS Illinois.

Andy Williams teaches accounting for public administration. He is the controller for Oakton Community College. Previously he served as the controller for the College of Lake County and business manager for Oak Park Township and for the City of Chicago Office of Budget and Management (OBM). He also served as a policy analyst at the Government Finance Officers Association specializing in performance management where he authored publications, taught seminars and participated in consulting projects. Williams attended the DePaul University School of Accountancy and earned his CPA in 2010. He has an MPA degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Don Weiss has worked for the Village of Addison, Illinois for close to 28 years. He was the village’s first cable television coordinator, developing Addison’s government access cable programming to include live coverage of the village board meetings. He currently serves as the village’s community relations director developing marketing and community engagement projects in Addison to include special events, online communications, intergovernmental relations and promotion of Addison’s historical museum campus. Weiss served two terms as a Carol Stream village trustee. Weiss has a television from Columbia College in Chicago and an MPA from NIU. He teaches the scope and dynamics of public administration course.

Aaron Deslatte addressed alumni at a “Meet the Professor” event. He was the recipient of the Clarence Stone Scholar Award from the American Political Science Association. The association recognizes up to two young scholars who are making a significant contribution to the study of urban politics. Deslatte received the award at their annual conference in Boston.

Denise Burchard, assistant to the chair, received the Northern Illinois University’s Presidential Supportive Staff Award for Excellent in 2018. The award recognizes and honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the university.


New Faculty Member Langer Awarded Editors’ Prize The department is pleased to have assistant professor Julie Langer as part of the faculty. Langer joined the faculty in August. She received both her Ph.D. and master’s degree in public administration from the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois (Chicago). Her research focuses on public and nonprofit management, sector comparisons, organizational behavior and identity. Langer and Kelly LeRoux (associate professor at UIC) were awarded the Editors’ Prize for the best scholarly paper in Nonprofit Management & Leadership. The prize is awarded annually for the best paper published in the journal during the preceding subscription year. Winners are selected by members of the editorial and advisory boards of Nonprofit Management and Leadership. Articles are judged on their contribution to knowledge in the field of nonprofit management, the quality of writing and analysis and the usefulness of the information for the practice of nonprofit management and leadership. While completing her degrees, Langer worked in the nonprofit sector leading collective impact initiatives aimed at addressing the skills gap in Chicago’s health services sector. Langer is teaching the scope and dynamics in public administration course and nonprofit management courses for both undergraduate and graduate students.


NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Cookingham-Noll Fellow Brandon Kowalke, ’18 The Cookingham-Noll Management Fellowship offers recent graduates of Public Administration a two-year experience working for the city of Kansas City, Missouri. The fellowship is one of the longest running and most prestigious in the county and we are pleased to feature 2018 graduate Brandon Kowalke. How did the MPA program help you in your career? The coursework in the MPA program included a healthy blend of theory and technical skills. The approach is one that exposes you to key principles of many sub-disciplines within local government. Then, providing an opportunity to translate that in into something practical that sticks with you through the internship. Faculty incorporates students’ work experience into coursework. They encourage you to explore and think critically about your organization. The program pushes you out of your comfort zone by encouraging you to network and get involved in professional organizations. How did your internship impact your career? Working in the city manager’s office for the City of Wheaton, I was able to apply much of what I was learning in the classroom to projects at work. I learned quickly how important communication is in the public sector. It is important to share information internally, making sure that the message is clear and concise between our departments and key staff. Externally, ensuring that we can share timely and accurate information with both our residents and council members. Our local governments are not only tasked with providing day-to-day services, we must continually improve and innovate. I was fortunate to have two great mentors. I learned not to be afraid to ask questions and to value the perspective and knowledge of all employees in an organization. Describe your experience in Kansas City as a Fellow. As a fellow, I have flexibility working with all the departments, accessing city staff and meetings, and contributing to projects. Some projects are familiar and I am able to use the skills I developed in my internship. Others are brand new experiences. Kansas City has over 4,000 employees. Developing connections between the staff, the community, and our elected officials is pivotal to maximizing our capacity as a city. It’s been great to observe how decision makers approach these issues, what resources they mobilize, how tension is diffused, and how public input is incorporated. Throughout all of this, I am getting to learn the ins and outs of the community. At the very least, my colleague and I learned enough to win a trivia game about Kansas City!

New: Online Certificate in Public Management for Local Government The department is pleased to report that an online certificate in Public Management for Local Government is in its second successful semester. Seventeen students are currently enrolled in the online program, and we are continuing to develop courses to offer an online MPA degree with a specialization in Local Government Management in fall 2019. The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of local government employees who are interested in career advancement. All course assignments and discussions focus on local government issues and cases. Courses are offered in an eight-week format where students can complete course work independently and can complete the program in three years. For information about this program contact us at

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

Our Donors

Golf Play Day is A Great Time to Spend Time with Alumni and Friends The 2018 MPA Golf Play Day was once again a great time for 105 golfers and 25 dinner guests. The event raised over $17,000 for the MPA program through raffles, a silent auction and sponsorships. Special thanks goes to Comcast for their $5,000 sponsorship, and AT&T and Groot Industries, Inc. for their $1,000 sponsorships. We appreciate the time and effort of the golf committee members and all of the alumni who contributed auction items and sponsored students. Thank you golf planning committee and our Dinner Reception Committee members: Brad Townsend, Dan O’Malley, Mike Earl, John Coakley, Eric Tison, Steve Bosco, Jon Pape, Dawn Peters, Mike Peddle, Greg Kuhn, June Kubasiak, Angela Zubko, Sam Hughes, Evan Walter, Austin Pollack, Ben McCready, Margaret Tinberg, Kimberly Richardson, Tia Messino, Ryan Johnson, Angela Zubko and Denise Burchard. Join us this year at Bartlett Hills Golf Club on Thursday, August 15!

Donors for Our Golf Outing Leadership Partners ($1,000 to $9,999) AT&T Corporation Comcast Corporation Groot Industries, Inc. Supporting Partners ($250 to $499) Alliant Mesirow Insurance Services Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LTD. Edwin Hancock Engineering Company Ehlers, Inc. Engineering Enterprises, Inc. F.G.M. Architects Gewalt-Hamilton Associates, Inc. GovHR USA HR Green, Inc. Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency Klein, Thorpe and Jenkins, LTD. Montana & Welch LLC Peter Burchard LLC ProxIT Technology Solutions, Inc. Kurt and Jeanine Thurmaier

Caring Partners ($1 to $249) Clarke DLR Group Ehrler Ranch LLC H.W. Lochner, Inc. MGP Inc. Pilewski Financial, LLC Polco Rapp Consulting Group, LLC Speer Financial, Inc. Michael T. Peddle In-Kind Donors for the Annual Golf Outing Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa The Abby Resort The Morton Arboretum Rockford Ice Hogs Kalahari Resort Glencoe Golf Club Kane County Cougars Sears Center Arena Gregory Kuhn and Elizabeth Baron-Kuhn Michael Peddle Chicago Wolves Denise Burchard Lisa March Joyce Janu Glenview Park Golf Club

Bull Valley Golf Club June Kubasiak Michael Garrity Deerpath Golf Club Michael Strong Budget Golf David Hulseberg ShortFuse Brewing Co. The Indian Garden The Great Escape, Schiller Park Four Points Sheraton Chicago O’Hare Village of Hanover Park Albert Hyde OLT Marketing Rockford Park District Kurt Thurmaier Village Commons Bookstore Bartlett Hills Golf Club Bartlett Park District The Arts in Bartlett NIU Athletics Bridges of Poplar Creek Country Club Bannerman’s Sports Grill Dawn Wucki-Rossbach Kimberly Richardson Diana Mikula Village of Glenn Ellyn IAMMA


Our Donors

Alumni Give to the NIU MPA Program and Here’s Why Katy Rush (’85) What impact did the NIU MPA have upon your career? In many ways, the NIU MPA program became a family to me. The support from the professors and from colleagues over the years allowed me to challenge and improve myself. The professional network offered by the NIU MPA led to door-opening opportunities as well as many close friends and colleagues. What advice would you give to recent graduates? Your graduation is a launching pad for your career. You have the tools to achieve great things for your community — take the opportunity to be curious, use the resources of the network and NIU to continue selfimprovement, strive to be ethical in every aspect of your personal and professional life, be a part of and give back to the community where you work and live. What prompted you to give back financially to the NIU MPA program? I believe a strong, professional local government has a significant role in the quality of life of its residents. It is my responsibility to support the NIU MPA program in its efforts to train the local government leaders of tomorrow to ensure we all benefit from well-run communities. It makes for a stronger region, and it makes a stronger state. If I can offer financial support to advance research and offer students great opportunities to learn, I will continue to support the NIU MPA. What would you say to alumni of the program to encourage them to give to the program regularly? When we were students, others offered us the opportunity to learn on their shoulders and from their wisdom. We need to give back to ensure the excellence of the NIU program continues especially since the state of Illinois continues to reduce funding for higher education. By giving back, we help to ensure the reputation of an NIU MPA degree remains one of the highest ranked in the nation, our credibility and our future as a region is insured if the program is strong.

Bob Ciszewski (’75) What impact did NIU have upon your career? I have a master’s in political science concentrating in public administration and empirical methods. I worked at the Center for Governmental Studies and taught at NIU and Illinois State. I left academia and took a job at the federal level with the General Accounting Office, now called the Government Accountability Office. My training at NIU superbly prepared me for the type of work I did for 30 years analyzing, investigating and evaluating federal programs for the U.S. Congress. What advice would you give to recent graduates? Now retired, I look back on my career and appreciate the emphasis on ethics found at NIU — long before it was fashionable. If I had one piece of advice to NIU graduates, it would be don’t lose you moral compass. Transparency is the order of the day. What prompted you to give back financially to the NIU MPA program? As someone who got his leg up with aid from NIU, the least I could do give something back both financially and with time.  What would you say to alumni of the program to encourage them to give to the program regularly? I became active in the NIU Alumni Association about 15 years ago, and served on the Board for many years. I watched as state support for NIU spiraled down year after year and how public universities now must fundraise as private schools have done for more than a century. NIU was there for me, so I try to be there for it.

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report


Department of Public Administration Annual Report Donor List Thank you to everyone who has donated funds to the department’s programs. Gifts from alumni and friends went up 49 percent since last year and totaled over $41,000. Whether donating at the Leadership Circle, Sustaining Managers, Supporting Managers or Caring Managers levels, please help ensure our Tradition of Excellence extends into the future and our program continues to prepare students to serve the public with honesty, integrity and perseverance in a continually changing and challenging environment. Your gifts can be designated for the Public Administration Leadership Fund when you give online, answer a telefund call or send your check to the department’s office. Leadership Circle ($1,000 to $9,999) James and Audrey Banovetz a, b, m Daniel and Theresa Barreiro Osvaldo and Julia Cedillo l, p James and Carol Griesemer l Robert and Karen Hoyle b George and Ann Nemanich b Valerie L. Salmons and Patrick J. Solar b James and Robin Weaver Sustaining Managers ($500 to $999) Joseph and Karin Block Martin and Cathryn Dolan-Bourke b Randolph O. Cano f Robert and Patricia Ciszewski p Michael J. Earl Euclid Transactional LLC m Richard and Joyce Escalante b, f Richard K. Frampton Madison Radiologists S.C. m David and Fay Mattana m Josephine A. Monat m Eric J. Monat m Kathleen F. Rush p Robert and Lelia Russell b Scott Schwartz m Larry Shapiro m Peter C. Stettler Supporting Managers ($250 to $499) Robert Agranoff Jeffrey Anderson m Stephen and Diane Berley b Kathy R. Biel Diana and Donald Bruemmer Brian and Karen Caputo b Dane and Katie Checolinski f John and Barbara DuRocher b Richard and Kimberly Keehner Dennis James McDonagh m Dawn and Joseph Peters John and Karen Phillips Donald and Patricia Rose Dawn Wucki-Rossbach and John Rossbach John and Vicki Terry b Bradford J. Townsend Donald A. Weiss

Caring Managers ($1 to $249) Ilir Ademaj l Daniel and Laura Allen f Moses and Melanie Amidei Craig and Janet Anderson Drew T. Awsumb William and Nancy Balling Carney and Pat Barr l James and Jessica Barr l Eric J. Bernholz f Andrea L. Bierwirth b Steven C. Bosco Kevin and Pat Bowens Joseph and Maureen Breinig l Kurt and Diane Bressner Jarret W. Byrne Matthew and Julie Carlson Judith G. Chrysanthis m Stephen Collins and Brenda Love-Collins f Timothy A. Crummy m Paul and Diane Culhane a Melissa Desantis and Eric Desantis f Richard E. Dublinski Jay and Nancy Dubow m David and Sharon Emanuelson f Raymond and Sharlene Empereur Debra L. Erling Thomas V. Farace Joseph and Carol Fennell Mark T. Franz Robert and Karen Frohlich William Gabrenya William and Mary Anne Ganek Louis Shirley and Anne Marie Gaura Gary and Ann Glenn m James A. Grabowski Alan Hasler Robert and Carol Hawes f Alan and Adrienne Henick m Samuel V. Hughes David A. Hulseberg f George and Margaret Koczwara June and Steven Kubasiak b, m Gregory Kuhn and Elizabeth Baron-Kuhn Julie Langer Ann and Stephen Larson Edward and Sue Ellen Madere b Aimee Magliocco m Christopher A. Martin Mark and Patricia Masciola Karl and Carol Merbach

Donation Types a Arnold Fund b Banovetz Fund f 50th Anniversary Fund l Leadership Fund m Monat Fund p Monthly Pledge Jason J. Michnick b Diana H. Mikula Alan D. Miller Ronald and Kathy Modell m Raymond Munch James and Irene Norris Michael and Laurie O’Brien Tim O’Brien Duane and Marjorie Olivier Daniel P. O’Malley Javan P. Owens Margaret M. Palmer Henry and Josephine Peddle f Michael T. Peddle James and Donna Plonczynski Bohdan and Kerry Proczko b Catherine and Gerald Radek Lizabeth Raynes m Jerry and Ana Robinson John and Valerie Ryder John and Jean Savage Tracy and Scott Schaefer Marcie Schatz Gary J. Schira Larry D. Schroeder Patrick and Debra Seger James M. Sheehan Myrel L. Simmons Lauren T. Stott Leonard and Danielle Strickman m Southporte One Condo Association Inc. m Kurt and Jeanine Thurmaier m Steven and Athena Trout Ingrid and Juris Velkme Estelle Von Zellen m Theresa Love and John Wayne Jeffrey A. Weckbach, Jr. John S. Weidl Michelle and Arthur Wolfe f, b Liangfu and Jing Wu b Jerrold and Carol Zar m, l Matthew and Valerie Zimmerman

NIU Department of Public Administration Annual Report

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Mission The mission of the Department of Public Administration is to advance excellence in professional public management through scholarship in teaching, research and service. The department is committed to strengthening the knowledge and skills that enhance the management and leadership capacity of individuals pursuing public service careers.

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Northern Illinois University Master of Public Administration 2018 Annual Report bb  

We hope you enjoy this annual report on our 2018 department activities. We have so much news to share! Most importantly, the MPA program con...

Northern Illinois University Master of Public Administration 2018 Annual Report bb  

We hope you enjoy this annual report on our 2018 department activities. We have so much news to share! Most importantly, the MPA program con...