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FALL 2019 / WINTER 2020


Promoting and Practicing Social Equity SPAA recognized as a leader in social equity by NASPAA PAGE 3

SPAA Fall Service Day SPAA gives back ahead of Thanksgiving PAGE 6

Bringing Students and the Community Together SPAA hosts internship workshop PAGE 8

DEAN’SNOTE During the fall semester, SPAA co-hosted the 2019

Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD15) with the Marxe School of

Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. The

event, held in NYC, brought together a plethora of U.S. and European scholars to address issues around the theme: “Restoring the Administrative State: Trust, Engagement,

Security and Identity.” The conference was excellent and we are very happy that we were able to partner with the Marxe School.

SPAA was honored at the NASPAA conference in

October where we received the 2019 Social Equity Award.

This award really highlights all of the hard work of the staff,

students, and faculty throughout our history. One of our core values is “diversity,” and all of us work hard to ensure that we exemplify all of our values on a day-to-day basis. In a few weeks, SPAA will participate in the annual Rutgers Giving Day activities. We are using this opportunity to unveil our new SPAA Student Ambassador Program. This leadership program will afford students the opportunity to not only represent our school, but to also gain valuable public service leadership training. I am very excited about this program and hope that our alums and friends help us to raise the $10K needed to fully fund the program next year.


Rutgers SPAA Co-Hosts TAD15: 2019 Transatlantic Dialogue

The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark, along with the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, at Baruch College, City University of New York, hosted and organized the 2019 Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD15) held Oct. 20-22 in New York, NY. The conference, which was also sponsored by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the European Group for Public Administration (EGPA), had a theme of "Restoring the Administrative State: Trust, Engagement, Security, and Identity."

TAD15 brought together a diverse group of scholars from the many different public administration disciplines to explore the commonalities and differences between the two sides of the Atlantic. Participants shared their latest research and discussed the challenges confronting governance and society in Europe and North America. The conference was organized into five workshops, Government Performance, Citizen Engagement, Public Communication, Digital and Physical Security, and Demographic Change, with 15 concurrent panel sessions. There were also two plenary sessions – “Reflections on the Administrative State” and “Restoring the Administrative State: Transatlantic Perspectives on Bureaucracies, Markets, and Identities.” For more information, visit

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Rutgers SPAA Receives 2019 Social Equity Award from NASPAA

SPAA recognized as a leader in promoting and practicing social equity in public administration The School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark was awarded the 2019 Social Equity Award by the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) on Thursday, Oct. 17 during a ceremony at the annual NASPAA conference. The award recognizes a program that exemplifies the highest standards in promoting and supporting social equity through research, teaching, and service by faculty and staff. Mohamad Alkadry, co-chair of the NASPAA Diversity and Social Equity Committee, presented the award to Dean Charles Menifield, Distinguished Research fellow Marilyn Rubin, and Assistant Teaching Professor and MPA Program Director Rachel Emas. "We have a very diverse student body, faculty, and staff at Rutgers University–Newark (No. 1 in the nation) and the School of Public Affairs and Administration is no exception,” said Dr. Menifield. “However, we don't assume that subjects such as diversity, inclusion, and equity will occur naturally. The faculty and staff have done yeoman's work in addressing social equity in every respect and we are very excited to receive the Social Equity Award from NASPAA in recognition of our efforts. We hope that our courses, programs, practices, and community engagement efforts serve as a positive example to other programs that seek to address the issue." SPAA has a proud history of making meaningful contributions to scholarship, diligently preparing students, and thoughtfully serving the diverse student body, the city of Newark, and beyond while practicing and promoting social equity through various activities and initiatives including: n SPAA's Office of Public Engagement (OPE) facilitates faculty and student engagement and collaborative endeavors with government and nonprofit organizations in the Greater Newark area and throughout New Jersey and sponsors events for Newark high school students on topics relating to diversity and social equity.

Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor Alan Sadovnik launched a special topics course titled, “Education in Newark” which explores the relationship between poverty and schooling and issues related to education and social equity in the Newark public school system. n

Board of Governors Distinguished Professor Norma Riccucci signed the Minnowbrook 50 Social Equity Manifesto, which documented the need to include social equity as a central pillar of public administration. n

SPAA and the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) co-hosted the 2019 Social Equity leadership Conference (SElC), with the theme of “Achieving Social Equality in Turbulent Times: A Grand Public Administration Challenge." The "Social Equity in Public Administration: 50 Years Passing and 50 Years forward " plenary panel discussed the successes made in public affairs since the first Minnowbrook Conference 50 years ago, and outlined a way to continuing driving the conversation forward for the next 50 years. n

For more information on SPAA’s dedication to promoting and practicing social equity, visit

ON THE COVER: Co-chair of the NASPAA Diversity and Social Equity Committee Mohamad Alkadry, left, presents the 2019 Social Equity Award from NASPAA to SPAA Dean Charles Menifield, Distinguished Research Fellow Marilyn Rubin, and Assistant Teaching Professor and MPA Program Director Rachel Emas. fAll 2019 / WINTER 2020

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A Discussion on “Getting Out The Hispanic Vote” In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, Newark-based community leaders Raymond Ocasio, executive director of la Casa de Don Pedro; Christian Rodriguez, community organizer for Ironbound Community Corporation, and Carlos Valentin Jr. (BA'13), executive director for ASPIRA, participated in a dialogue about mobilizing the Hispanic community to get out and vote for the 2020 elections. Margarita Muniz (MPA‘09) served as moderator for the Oct. 2 event that served as a discussion about grassroots efforts. Ocasio explained how the work has changed over the decades, but emphasized the importance of personal con-

nections. Valentin described the necessity of bridging the wisdom of the older generation with exuberance of the younger, teaching them the importance of dedication and consistency. He stressed “the importance of participating in the democratic process so our voices are heard.” Rodriguez, the newest to community-based organizing, spelled out her efforts to mobilize young people using methods that appeal to their demographic, specifically technology, and intentionally educating them on the how’s and why’s of community work, especially the importance of voting.

SPAA Provides Emergency Management Training to Seoul Metropolitan Government Delegation

SPAA hosted a delegation of 15 officials from the Seoul Metropolitan Government for six days in September. During their time at the school, members of the delegation received training from top emergency management scholars and practitioners to understand steps that are taken by municipal governments around the state of New Jersey to prepare for various types of emergencies and disasters. The delegation also participated in a number of site visits in New York City, Atlantic City, and Paterson. 4 |


SPAA Assistant Professor Gregory Porumbescu, far left, and Distinguished Research Fellow Marilyn Rubin, second from left, with the Seoul Metropolitan Government delegation visiting SPAA in September 2019.

Rutgers SPAA Exchanges Best Practices for After School Programs with South African Delegation

On Oct. 25, SPAA hosted a delegation of nine South African after school practitioners for a day of exploration and knowledge exchange. The day consisted of morning discussions with U.S. after school practitioners around closing the educational gap and an afternoon of site visits with SPAA community partners. Practitioners shared how their programs engaged local youth, which included artistic, athletic, academic, and multipronged offerings. A common theme among programs was a dedication to transforming the lives of the young people they served. Practitioners examined the challenges associated with serving a vulnerable population and the skills needed to do so successfully. Discussions revealed that there were more similarities than differences between U.S. and South African youth, and the group exchanged best

practices and opportunities to enhance the effectiveness of their programs. The South African practitioners wrapped up the day with Newark area site visits to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Students2Science, and the lights On Program at West Side High School. At each site, they had a chance to interact with staff and youth to see what makes after school programs in the area successful.

ALUMNINEWS RAJADE BERRY JAMES (PhD’99) was inducted as a 2019

fellow by the National Academy of Public Administration


PATRIA DE LANCER JULNES (PhD’97) was inducted

as a 2019 fellow by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).

ROSA FARIAS (MPA’08) was named Deputy Executive

Director of Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) of New Jersey.

MPA student SUEANN GRAVESANDE (BA’19) was elected to

ERIK MORALES (BA’18, MPA’19) was one of three

TheDream.US scholars whose experience with the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was featured

in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States.

MPA student CLAUDIA SAAVEDRA (BA’18) talked about the change she is making within the Newark community in a

video documentary by The Aspen Institute

JUNG AH (CLAIRE) YUN (PhD’18) received the Best faculty

Paper award at the 2019 Northeast Conference for Public Administration (NECoPA) held Nov. 8-10, 2019 in

the Orange Township Board of Education.

Brooklyn, NY.

ing Manager Award by the New Jersey Municipal Manage-

professional, and educational accomplishments. For more alumni

DEAN KAZINCI (CPM’19) was awarded the 2019 Outstand-

ment Association (NJMMA).

Have news to share? We welcome SPAA alumni news about career,

information and to share updates, visit fAll 2019 / WINTER 2020

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Rutgers SPAA Gives Back Ahead of Thanksgiving

SPAA celebrated another successful Service Day on Saturday, Nov. 23. The day kicked off at the Community foodBank of New Jersey in Hillside, NJ, the state’s largest anti-hunger and anti-poverty organization. Members of the SPAA community volunteered their morning to help the food bank prepare ahead of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. Assistant Teaching Professor Michael Dillard, who has organized the event for the last seven years, stressed the significance of selecting the weekend before Thanksgiving and encouraging the SPAA community to bring guests. “Students were not just volunteering their time to package food for needy families, this was really an opportunity for them to start thinking about the purpose of public service, see what it can look like, and how they can include their family and friends,” Dillard said. “SPAA students are the image of public service; they are going to be the change agents.” The opportunity to give back brought together the largest group yet, with well over 100 SPAA students, staff, alumni, and guests. During their time at the food bank, the volunteers were split into three groups. One group bagged and labeled pasta, another group manually sorted mixed boxes of donations based on categories, and the remaining group used a conveyor belt to sort donations and pack boxes. “The importance of events like this is to strengthen our commitment and dedication to the residents of Newark and the greater Newark area,” Director of Public Engagement 6 |


Sharon Stroye said. “Across the nation, there is an increase in the number of food insecure college students along with the continued increase of families suffering from food deserts. It is important that SPAA provides opportunities for our faculty, staff, students, and alumni to give back to communities they may have been raised in.” Volunteering at the food bank is just one of several activities SPAA facilitates to engage and serve the community. Opportunities to serve not only allow students to positively impact their communities, but they also help students determine which career path they want to pursue. Engaging nonprofit organizations early in their academic career provides students insight on where and how they can best give back. Associate Dean of Student and Academic Services Aaron Gibbs also spoke about the importance of providing these opportunities in collaboration with the school's Office of Public Engagement. “Pedagogically and pragmatically, SPAA prepares students for the greatest calling: service to others. Serving the public is a charge we do not take lightly. We hold a responsibility to give our talents, time, and effort back to the communities we are a part of. Our individual contributions are critical, yet our collective effort delivers the greatest impact,” Gibbs said.

For more information and to view photos and videos, visit

ACCOLADES Associate Teaching Professor JEFFREY BACKSTRAND was awarded the 2019 SPAA faculty Teaching Award.

Associate Professor DOMONIC BEARFIELD (PhD’04) was appointed to NASPAA’s Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA).

BA student KAYLA CALVO was selected to participate in the ARNOVA 2019 Undergraduate Diversity Scholars and leaders Professional Development Program.

+ Calvo was awarded the SPAA Gala Anniversary Scholarship for fall 2019.

Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs GAIL DANIELS (retired) was awarded the 2019 SPAA Staff Award.

Distinguished Practitioner in Residence JAMES DAVY and MPA student CLAUDIA SAAVEDRA (BA'18) conducted a training workshop in “Transformational leadership – Applying the Principles and Practices of Appreciative Inquiry” for top officials in NJ State Government.

Assistant Teaching Professor MICHAEL DILLARD (MPA'10) joined the SPAA faculty as an Assistant Teaching Professor.

Associate Research Professor MADINAH HAMIDULLAH was appointed co-chair of the Diversity Scholars Undergraduate Committee for the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA).

MPA student MELINDA JENSEN was awarded the Eckstein fellowship for fall 2019.

Assistant Professor of Professional Practice REGINALD LEWIS was named one of the top 50 Education leaders in New Jersey by NJBIZ.

Associate Professor LINDSEY MCDOUGLE served as co-chair of the planning committee for the 2019 Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Annual Conference, Nov. 21-23, 2019 in San Diego, CA.

+ McDougle will serve as co-chair of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) 2020 Annual Conference, April 3-7, 2020 in Anaheim, CA.

BA student ANA OLIVERO was selected to participate in the ARNOVA 2019 Undergraduate Diversity Scholars and leaders Professional Development Program. MPA student LYNESE RAWLINS was awarded a SPAA Graduate Scholarship for fall 2019.

BA student SIMONE RICHARDSON was selected to participate in the ARNOVA 2019 Undergraduate Diversity Scholars and leaders Professional Development Program. MPA student EDWARD SALAS was awarded the SPAA Department of Public Administration and Academic Excellence fund Scholarship for fall 2019.

ELIJAH SMITH (BA’15) was appointed Director of Debate at

Rutgers University-Newark.

Professor GREGG VAN RYZIN was inducted as a 2019 fellow by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).

Assistant Teaching Professor LOIS WARNER was awarded the 2019 SPAA faculty Service Award.

Rutgers SPAA Hosts Internship Workshop to Engage Community Partners Public administrators and nonprofit managers from over 20 local organizations assembled at Rutgers University– Newark on Jan. 17 for the School of Public Affairs and Administration’s “R-U Ready for An Intern” workshop. SPAA's Offices of Public Engagement and Student and Academic Services co-hosted the workshop with the RU-N Career Development Center. The workshop was the first of several new programs intended to engage community partners as SPAA expands career services for students and looks to provide effective ethical public service leaders to support the success and sustainability of the community. "SPAA is committed to serving our community partners by ensuring they have the talent they need, when they need it, with the skill sets they require," said Sharon Stroye, director of SPAA's Office of Public Engagement. She explained one way SPAA is prepared to do that is by deepening relationships with partners and working together to build capacity with the hope of converting more internships into full-time opportunities. “We want to hear from you,” Stroye continued, "We want to know what works best for you to ensure we are preparing students for the opportunities your organizations are providing.” Aaron Gibbs, associate dean of Student and Academic Services, echoed the importance of feedback and an ongoing conversation to ensure SPAA is always positioned to best serve its community partners as he spoke about timelines for internship placements within the academic calendar.

Assistant Teaching Professor Michael Dillard, who

teaches the mandatory "Service-learning Internship" course for undergraduates in the Public and Nonprofit Administration major at SPAA, detailed the school's current internship

structure and expectations of the site supervisors. He em-

phasized SPAA’s internship program is designed to provide

real world experience that begins transitioning students to


"Students are encouraged to think about their career

trajectories and be intentional about the internship site, while

site supervisors are expected to provide professional

development opportunities and mentor students as they learn to navigate their careers," said Dillard.

Wenylla Reid, associate director of employer relations at

the RU-N Career Development Center, rounded out the

session by outlining the National Association of Colleges and

Employers’ (NACE) guidelines on what qualifies as an

internship and introducing RU-N's online job recruitment

platform, Handshake. Reid also gave tips on how partners

could organize impactful internships and write appealing job descriptions.

Community organizations interested in partnering

with SPAA should contact Sharon Stroye, director of public

engagement, at

For more information on SPAA’s Office of Public Enagement, visit


RUTGERS SPAANEWS is published by SPAA Communications in the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark. Story ideas, news, and comments are welcome. for more news, visit

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Rutgers SPAA NEWS – Fall 2019 / Winter 2020  

Rutgers SPAA NEWS – Fall 2019 / Winter 2020