Blog Events & Conferences

Student Responses to the 2019 ASPA Conference

Five students from John Jay College’s MPA program participated in the 2019 ASPA Conference. The ASPA Conference took place in Washington, DC from Friday, March 8, 2019 to Tuesday, March 12, 2019. This academic conference provided opportunities to present research, participate in panels and workshops, and engage with colleagues in networking events. Below are reflections from the conference written by Evana Alam, Xiomara Guerrero, Eunice Lee, Segun Olaniyi and Gwendolyn Saffran.

Evana Alam

This was my second annual ASPA Conference 2019, held at our nation’s capital, Washington DC. The event presented numerous conference tracks ranging from social equity, ethics, management, and problems in public administration. Scholars of public administration arrived from all over the country as well as other nations, who shared the same interests and vision of the field’s future. 

I was pleased to attend this conference with my colleagues at John Jay College, some of whom are fellow MPA students and many distinguished faculty from the department. They shared their research, which composed of gender equity, corruption, and performance budgeting to name a few. Some of the research were complete while others were a work in progress.  It was exciting to join in the research discussion held in various rooms and listen to presenters talk about their specialized research and network with professionals who were eager to learn about me and other prospective students.  

One research that stood out to me in the conference was during the social equity track. There, one of the scholars discussed how rampant sexual harassment against female humanitarian workers exists, supported by a survey from Humanitarian Women’s Network. Moreover, this problem was amplified in nations where there is conflict and forced displacement. The scope of the problem was very high in the public sector and people were afraid to talk against it based on several factors.  The research was an example of how important our work towards gender equity and public administration is. To provide recommendations and solutions to these problems, academics gain much by collaborating in public administration conferences such as ASPA. Next year, I plan on proposing my developing research on gender equity as an MPA student of John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I encourage all public administration professionals and students to participate. It will not only jump start your career, but it will connect you with the right people in the field.  See you in Anaheim, California for ASPA 2020!

About the author:

Evana Alam is a graduate student in the Masters of Public Administration Program (Public Policy and Administration), with a dual specialization in Human Resource Management and Management & Operations. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) from East West University from Dhaka, Bangladesh and is certified by the International Supply Chain Education Alliance (ISCEA) as a Supply Chain Analyst.  As a member of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA), she participated and assisted Women in the Public Sector in the 2018 ASPA Annual Conference at Denver, Colorado. Currently, Evana also works as an administrative assistant in the Teaching and Learning Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Her hobbies are photography, traveling, painting and learning about different cultures.  After graduating, she plans to launch an organization that will empower the economic and social development of Bangladeshi women. 

Xiomara Guerrero

I had the opportunity to attend the ASPA Annual Conference that took place in Washington, DC from Saturday, March 9th  to Monday, March 11thwhere I met with professors and students from John Jay. The conference covered the challenges that are presented in every level of government, whether it’s the national, state, and local government as well as private and nonprofit organizations. Each day was filled with several panels and sessions to choose from that aimed on five impacted areas: global public administration, infrastructure, public finance, public service and social equity. A workshop that I enjoyed and found very informative was the SEDI workshop. The Social Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Workshop (SEDI) presented a discussion on equity, diversity, and inclusion. The workshop delivered strategys on self- awareness, inter-personal interactions and decision-making process that can lead to meaningful engagement with members within a workplace. By closely examining how issues that surround social class, language, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, and religion we are able to understand that these differences can be set as an advantage or disadvantage. Our identity plays a significant role in determining how we understand and experience the world as well as shaping the types of opportunities and challenges we face. In order to develop awareness, the workshop presented an identity wheel exercise, and a cookie person scenario both exercises allowing us to recognize our privilege as targeted and advantaged group. For the identity wheel participants had to indicate if they felt they were a targeted or advantage social group and splitting every social group they identify themselves with. Each table received a distinct “cookie person” with a scenario and how that “person” will feel in the indicated place setting including their ethnicity, gender etc. These exercises made not only myself but my peers have a different perspective on how not only we view ourselves, but how others view us. In conclusion, in order to be more effective in providing future administrators with the knowledge and skill sets necessary to be successful, we must continue to promote the concept of diversity and effectively link our public administration skills. Having people who work in public agencies who truly represent the community has the huge potential to make both working and living spaces more diverse and inclusive.

About the author:

Xiomara Guerrero is a graduate student in the Masters of Public Administration Program (Public Policy and Administration), with a specialization in Human Resources Management. She has earned her Bachelor of Science in Public Administration with a minor in Spanish from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. During her undergraduate studies, Xiomara interned for Legislator Monica Martinez 9thLegislative District in Long Island. Being part of the staff allowed her to interact within her community—raise awareness toward legislation, and deal with issues that were presented by continents within the district. As Xiomara continues her studies she is seeking internships in non-profit organizations as an advocate to improve policies and legislation affecting survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and related forms of gender violence. 

Eunice Lee

I attended this annual American Society for Public Administration conference in Washington, DC from Sunday, March 10 to Tuesday, March 12. The theme for this year’s conference was “A Call for Action: Advancing Public Service,” and sessions were divided amongst five tracks: public finance, infrastructure, social equity, public service, and global public administration. Throughout my three days at the conference, I attended panels and workshops from several of these tracks with a personal focus on social equity, a particularly resonant theme for my line of work in police oversight.

Though discussions ranged from analysis of the toll of emotional labor on first responders to community engagement in long-term policy planning, speakers commonly envisioned a hopeful future for public administration. Many acknowledged the challenges to successfully implementing sound policy, and navigating the political landscape to get there then the inevitable crises that follow. However, panels clearly demonstrated the crucial and intensely collaborative work of practitioners in the field of public administration. Attendees shared recently released publications that could challenge or strengthen research with panelists, and noted areas for further exploration or links to other panels at the conference. It was inspiring to see individuals from a wide range of fields rallying together in the aims of making public service more equitable and effective.

ASPA also made a point to gather attendees from around the globe through events, talks, and a specific conference track dedicated to their work and subject matter interests. It also provided opportunities for different sections and chapters to meet. One such opportunity was a reception hosted by John Jay’s own Women in the Public Sector, which was attended by several John Jay alumni (as well as this year’s conference attendees). The reception was a highlight and wonderful reminder that we all have so much to learn from each other, and that this work cannot be pursued in silos. This was a unifying theme to my time at ASPA – I observed and benefitted greatly from the passionate, creative, and brilliant public servants who were actively advancing the field of public service, including our own faculty and my colleagues at John Jay.

Segun Olaniyi

Having the opportunity to attend ASPA 2019 was truly inspiring. Being able to listen and engage with students and professionals in their respected field was an eye opener. We as public servant have a responsibility to find innovative approaches to solve issues that impact our live. I was able to speak with professionals throughout the United States and just spoke about issues that are important. One of the topics that connected with me was a session on Efforts and Impacts of Community Organization, Nonprofits and Local Government Service Delivery. This topic addressed how there are misbalances within non-profit boards and management compared to the direct workers. He addressed the racial diversity in the organizational chart and introduces the questions of understanding how their should be more emphasis put on diversifying the amount of minorities on non-profit boards and within leadership. 

In addition, the conversation I had with program director, Malcolm Oliver, who works at California Lutheran University that turned out to very uplifting. He gave some amazing advise on how to continue to grow my leadership skills and thrive in my field. Overall, the closing speech from Vice President Biden left me leaving the conference with more motivation than ever.

About the author:

Segun Olaniyi is a native of New York but was born in the United Kingdom. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of 9. He is a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice working on his Masters in Public Administration. Segun also attended John Jay College for his undergraduate degree and served as the President of African Students Association (ASA). He was a member of the Malave Leadership academy and worked on volunteer projects that involved non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. He currently works at Center for Court Innovation and serves as a member of the Organization of the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) and American Society of Public Administration (ASPA). 

Gwen Saffran

From March 8-10, I attended the American Society for Public Administration’s annual conference in Washington, D.C. The theme of the conference was “A Call for Action: Advancing Public Service,” and panels and presentations focused on topics including advancing social equity, innovative and collaborative governmental action and services, diversity, and the future of public administration. All of themes converged in one panel I attended, Perspectives and Approaches for Promoting LGBTQ Equity. Panelists presented on a range of LGBTQ+ identities in various contexts. Most pertinent to my work as a research assistant was Dr. Roddrick Colvin’s presentation, “Nonbinary Gender Policies: Understanding How Agencies Adopt and Resistance to Change.” At a time when more and more jurisdictions are recognizing non-binary identities and providing third-gender options on identity documents, it was exciting to see other academics asking similar and important questions.

Following that panel, I presented as part of a panel titled Governing Toward Social Equity. Also part of the panel were Kirk Leach (assistant professor at the University of Arkansas) and Hannah Lebovits (doctoral student at Cleveland State University). The name of my presentation was “Emergent Non-binary Gender Identity Policy: Governing Toward Social Equity.” I discussed seven jurisdictions in the United States that offer an X gender marker (as opposed to an F or M) on some form of state-issued identification documents, as well as the findings of our qualitative analysis of these seven policies and the implications for public policy, public administrators, and public service values. It was exciting to present alongside academics asking hard questions and making important recommendations for public administrators to advance social equity.

Shortly after I returned home from the ASPA conference, 50 Muslim people were murdered in New Zealand while praying in their local mosques. There is, of course, no remedy to the loss experienced by the Christchurch community and the rest of the world, but it underscored the importance of the conversations being held at the ASPA conference. Continuing to ask hard questions about injustice and proposing and implementing policies and actions that promote equity and celebrate diversity is as important now as it was half a century ago. I strongly encourage other John Jay students to join the conversation.

About the author:

Gwen Saffran is in her second year at John Jay College pursuing an MPA studying Public Policy & Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice Policy. She works as a research assistant with Professor Nicole Elias studying sex and gender in the public sector. Gwen is also a Tow Policy Advocacy Fellow through John Jay’s Prisoner Reentry Institute. She is placed at the Vera Institute of Justice, where she works on the Center for Sentencing and Corrections’ Safe Prisons, Safe Communities Initiative. The Initiative works with state and local departments of corrections to reform and reduce their use of solitary confinement.

Blog Events & Conferences

Student Responses to the 2018 NECoPA Conference

Six students from John Jay College’s MPA program participated in the 2018 Northeastern Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA). The NECoPA Conference took place in Baltimore, Maryland from Friday, November 2, 2018 – Sunday, November 4, 2018. This academic conference provided opportunities to present research, participate in panels and workshops, and engage with colleagues in networking events. Below are reflections from the conference written by Emily Cole-Prescott, Gwendolyn Saffran, Shanelle Greenidge, Sofia Calsy, and Uroosa Malik.

Emily Cole-Prescott

This November, I had the opportunity to present at the Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECOPA). The conference highlighted new research on a wide range of public policy and administrative topics, from gender, health care and the pay gap to marijuana reform and mayoral authority. The primary theme of the conference focused on blind spots within public administrative policy and practice. Workshops and panel presentations shared the research at a digestible level for both students and professors.

The workshop of Professors Elias and Chordiya challenged attendees to analyze mayoral decision-making authority. Late one evening in August 2017, Mayor Pugh ordered the removal of Confederate statues throughout Baltimore, using the State’s Charter as justification, that allows the Mayor to make decisions for public safety and welfare purposes. However, Baltimore has a contract with the Maryland Historical Trust that allows the Trust to have input on such decisions. Students, professors, and professionals within the field of public administration engaged in a conversation about whether the Mayor overstepped her authority to make such a decision, and an array of perspectives were discussed. In general, attendees seemed to agree with the moral concept of the Mayor’s removal of the statues, noting that such an act required bravery. Attendees expressed concern that the decision could be legally challenged; however, attendees generally agreed that within the political context, removal of the statues represented a public benefit.

Such discussions are critical to both the academic and practitioner of public administration. Decisions within public agencies are often fraught with political concerns that, in some cases, merit swift resolution. Other concerns may require a calculated decision path that involves detailed analysis of alternatives, stakeholder collaboration, and strategic implementation. This case study demonstrates the pressing matters of which public administration professionals are often faced. Although in this case, the elected representative made the decision, appointed officials such as City Managers and department directors face and must resolve similar, pressing matters on an ongoing basis. Therefore, this conversation is critical to the professional development of future public administrators. Similar discussions were continued the next day of the conference, in “Managing Public Organizations in the 21st Century: Navigating Political, Social and Fiscal Challenges,” where panelists debated what it means to be a public administrator now and how administrators navigate the many political, social and fiscal challenges of public organizations.

The NECOPA conference provided growth opportunities for those developing their leadership skills. As a student researcher, I had the experience of sitting on a panel with four other John Jay students to present the implications of the #MeToo movement. Each panelist shared research on such factors as gender identity records, sexual harassment training, and implicit bias. Uroosa Malik discussed how the #MeToo movement has actually existed for more than thirteen years but has recently been invigorated by social media initiatives. Sofia Calsy explained how implicit bias limits leadership and career growth for women. Shanelle Greenidge presented research about the transparency of Offices of Inspector Generals, and Gwen Saffran and I presented our research on assessment of the X marker for gender identity within the legal and political context.

The NECOPA conference connected me to like-minded peers, professors, and potential contacts for continued professional development. As a primarily-online student, this conference was a dynamic opportunity to interact with individuals in my field. I look forward to staying in contact with these professionals as our careers progress.

About the author:

Emily Cole-Prescott is a Graduate student at John Jay College where she studies Public Administration and Policy with a specialization in Management and Operations. Emily was a Research Assistant for Professor Elias. She has worked for twelve years in various local government roles, focused primarily on land use development. Emily graduated from Western CT State with a BA in English and recently had the opportunity to work with the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation and Dr. Chris Kukk on various research and community-driven initiatives about how to grow compassion within society. Emily lives in southern Maine with her husband and two dogs.

Gwendolyn Saffran

From November 2-4, 2018, I attended the Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA) in Baltimore, Maryland, hosted by the University of Baltimore. I went to NECoPA with professors and students from John Jay; most of us were presenting on topics relating to gender issues in the public sector, but also on transparency in government, diversity, and issues in health care and Medicaid. The conference opened with the Social Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (SEDI) Workshop, presented by Professors Rashmi Chordiya (Seattle University), Nicole Elias (John Jay College), and Sean McCandless (University of Illinois, Springfield). The workshop’s aim was to examine how issues of SEDI manifest in public service. The presenters used the case of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh’s late-night removal of Baltimore’s Confederate statues. Workshop participants discussed not only the issues of social equity and racial justice surrounding Confederate monuments, but Mayor Pugh’s latitude to unilaterally decide to remove the monuments. Despite the controversial nature of the subject, participants could agree that it is the job of public administrators not only follow procedure but to consider what is fair, just, and equitable.

In the following session, I was part of a panel titled “#MeToo: Implications for the Public Sector Workplace.” The other John Jay students on the panel were Emily Cole-Prescott, Shanelle Greenidge, Uroosa Mallik, and Sofia Calsy. The panel discussed non-binary gender identity markers, transparency in government, the #MeToo movement, and implicit bias in the workplace. The name of my presentation, which I presented with Emily Cole-Prescott, was titled “The ‘X’ Marker: Implications of Non-binary Gender for Public Administration and Policy.” We discussed seven jurisdictions in the United States that offer an X gender marker (as opposed to an F or M) on some form of state-issued identification documents. We discussed the findings of our qualitative analysis of these seven policies and the implications for public policy, public administrators, and public service values. The academic literature discussing gender change policies and non-binary identities is very small, so it was exciting to be able to contribute to the academic conversation and discuss this topic with academics and current and future public administrators.

In the days since our all-women panel presented at NECoPA, a record number of women have been elected to the House of Representatives. There were also historic wins in both state and federal legislative positions for LGBTQ public servants, as well as people of color and Muslim people. As the United States continues to diversify, it is important to elevate these voices, and I thank NECoPA for giving us the opportunity to speak.

About the author:

Gwen Saffran is in her second year at John Jay College pursuing an MPA studying Public Policy & Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice Policy. She works as a research assistant with Professor Nicole Elias studying sex and gender in the public sector. Gwen is also a Tow Policy Advocacy Fellow through John Jay’s Prisoner Reentry Institute. She is placed at the Vera Institute of Justice, where she works on the Center for Sentencing and Corrections’ Safe Alternative to Segregation Initiative. The Initiative works with state and local departments of corrections to reform and reduce their use of solitary confinement.

Segun Olaniyi

Being able to attend NECOPA was an amazing experience. I was able to learn a lot about different policies that are affecting our communities in different fields. From the #metoo movement to the opiate crisis, these topics will somehow impact our lives either directly or indirectly. When I attend the SEDI workshop regarding Baltimore’s mayor, Catherine Pugh, removing a Confederate statue before going through the proper channels, it opened the floor to questions of what consequence can occur. When you think about how previous Presidents have used executive orders to do similar things on a macro level. It has empowered President Trump to implicate travel bans and recently plans to not allow anyone to just become a citizen because they were born on US soil. In my opinion, Mayor Pugh, was fair with her actions to remove the statute. However, the question may arise if this starts a domino effect and cause other Mayors to overstep their authority. The implications of how the political standpoint it may present an interesting discussion in the future.

Having the opportunity to present my topic on home health market at NECOPA was refreshing. I spoke about new policies in New York possibly forming monopoly agencies in the home health market. I was able to interact with people that had a lot of interest in my topic. I was even surprised that people as me questions regarding some of the benefits of the policy I was addressing. I didn’t know the full answer, but it allowed me to think about different ways to improve my research going forward.

About the author:

Segun Olaniyi is a native of New York but was born in the United Kingdom. He moved to the United States with his family at the age of 9. He is a senior at John Jay College of Criminal Justice working on his Masters in Public Administration. Segun also attended John Jay College for his undergraduate degree and served as the President of African Students Association (ASA). He was a member of the Malave Leadership Academy and worked on volunteer projects that involved non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity. He currently works at the Center for Court Innovation and serves as a member of the Organization of the Advancement of Nigerians (OAN) and American Society of Public Administration (ASAP).

Segun’s research examines new provisions adopted by New York State’s attempts to control Medicaid fraud and labor marketing committed by home health agencies. Segun is hoping to explore the implications of these new policy approaches and how it effects Licensed home care agencies and Consumer Direct Personal Assistance Program through a qualitative analysis. Segun will be interviewing stakeholders such as caregivers, clients, agencies and insurance companies. The conclusion of the research hopes to address the positive and negative effects these policies have in regard to corruption and the home health labor markets.

Shanelle Greenidge

The 2018 Northeastern Conference of Public Administration (NECoPA) was absolutely inspiring and the catalyst I needed to remind me why I am furthering my education. I was nervous about the conference because of the time frame of my presentation on the politics of Offices of Inspector General, the audience, and my fellow student presenters of John Jay College. As an online student, my biggest fear coming into the conference was being isolated from the John Jay College due to a non-existent prior relationship and no one being interested in my research. I was completely wrong. This conference gave me the opportunity to meet people just like me with similar interests and empowered me to continue my research path. We encouraged each other while we practiced our presentations, before we presented in our group text chat, and celebrated a job well done afterward. The amazing thought-provoking and empowering moment occurred when I realized there were students like me that enjoy discourse on political issues and shared the same interests in public administration. I highly recommend students and faculty to partake in future NECoPA events seeking like-minded people.

About the author:

Shanelle Greenidge is a second-year online graduate student at John Jay College, CUNY. She currently works as a Graduate Assistant for Women in the Public Sector (WPS) under the direction of Dr. Maria D’Agostino and Dr. Nicole Elias and as a Research Assistant under the direction of Dr. Robin Kempf, in addition to being a Recruitment Assistant and a volunteer for various organizations. Shanelle hopes to continue her education in advance professional degree programs after she earns her master’s degree in Operation and Management.

Sofia Calsy

NECoPA 2018 Conference in Charm City!

Hi! My name is Sofia Calsy, I live in Georgia, and I am an online student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice pursuing my master’s degree in Public Administration. I most recently attended the North Eastern Conference of Public Administration (NECoPA) in Baltimore, Maryland. This was my first experience attending and presenting at a conference. I have to admit it was such a privilege and I found the whole conference experience to be amazing. I was able to meet peers, colleagues and learn about many issues discussed in the Public Administration field.

Nervousness is an understatement. I was a bundle of nerves before the conference. I was excited about the experience, but there was so much unknown. Being an online student that does not live in New York is sometimes isolating. I never get to attend on-campus activities or have a chance to interact with other students. I didn’t know if the other students on the panel had been to a conference, or if they all knew each other. However, meeting my fellow John Jay peers was one of my favorite parts of the conference. I arrived in Baltimore and later that night the panel of students, and Dr. D’Agostino met each other in the lobby. We introduced ourselves, and each presented our PowerPoint to each other. We provided feedback and comments. I quickly learned everyone was as nervous and excited as I was. We instantly stayed together as a group. That night we made breakfast and dinner plans for the weekend. It was a great start to know that you would not be alone for the weekend.

The next day was Presentation Day! I have been working on a research project with Dr. D’Agostino, the study purpose is to see if public sector leaders are aware of implicit bias in the workplace or aware of their own implicit bias. I built off of this and presented on the lack of women in leadership, implicit bias and the future of public administration. I had this image that I was going to present to 300 people. It was much less, I am a bit dramatic! It was not bad at all, and I prepared and felt like I did well on my presentation. Questions were asked after by Professor Kempf, that was the most nerve-wracking part for me, but again I worked myself up for nothing. She asked fair and thought-provoking questions. If you know the material behind your presentation, you will know how to answer the questions. I think all my peers did an exceptional job and all their presentations were on such relevant topics.

Saturday was a more relaxed, as my presentation was over with, I felt accomplished. Saturday was another day filled with rich and valuable content. I was able to meet and network with many professors from all over the United States. Some of the presentations I attended discussed: Private and public prisons and what detention centers look like in our own country, Hurricane Maria and the United States Federal Government response to natural disasters, Intelligence dilemmas, and the complexity of democracy in Nigeria. The presentations were followed by a very stimulating Q & A session, it made me feel part of an engaged and valued audience. This was a fantastic opportunity that enriched my education by introducing me to new and innovative people and topics that make me excited for the future!

About the author:

My name is Sofia Calsy, and I am a graduate student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. My specialization is human resource and management and operation. My passion is learning, if I could be paid to be a student, I would. My area of interests includes tackling significant issues. My current research interests are gender equity. As a former case manager, I continue to pursue approaches that will help enrich and better the lives of adults and children. I continue to grow and evolve. I look forward to building my career with my gained education from John Jay College.

Uroosa Malik

Attending the NECoPA Conference was one of the best experiences I had in my college journey. Ever since my sophomore year of college, one of my professors told me about the NECoPA conference and encouraged me to attend and present there too and at that very moment, I set a goal for myself to make that happen. A few years had passed, and I always had that goal in the back of my head, however, I never got the chance to actually pursue it until the same professor emailed me to register for the conference and send my proposal in. I took no time in doing so and sent my proposal to present on the #MeToo Movement and Sexual Harassment.

Once the proposal was approved, I knew it was my time to shine. I started preparing my presentation and as time neared, I started to become very nervous. However, I received guidance for professor D’Agostino and fellow panelist which helped me understand the direction of my presentation a whole lot better. Furthermore, as time had neared, the other panelists and I met in Baltimore, Maryland. We all shared our presentations, felt better as to how the actual presentation day would go, and became much more confident. The run through calmed my nerves and I was ready to speak about the most controversial topic in our society today. It was important for me to share my thoughts and my insight on the MeToo Movement and how it impacts thousands of individuals not only in the private sector, but the public sector as well. As a future public administrator, it was important for me to stand up and inform others on the sexual harassment policies, along with Human Resource blind spots which need to be catered towards creating a safe work environment for all.

As the 3rd presenter on the panel, I was able to get all my nerves and thoughts together and mentally prepare myself for my presentation. As it was my turn to present, the next 10 minutes were so impactful and truly unforgettable. I stated all my points in a concise and timely manner and the professors around me were very proud. After we all presented, professor Kempf asked us each a question which I believed I wouldn’t be prepared for. However, after questioning me on my next steps regarding this topic and where I see myself taking it next, I was able to give my thoughts on how it’s important to work with other organizations and understand what works and what doesn’t work regarding sexual harassment policies, while incorporating other mechanisms from other agencies, in order to make a bigger impact for the future. Professor Kempf seemed very proud and stated, “I see your next step as taking over the world!” and at that moment, I knew my goal was truly met and I made the impact I wanted to, as I envisioned for the past 3 years.

About the author:

Uroosa Malik is in her final year in the dual-degree BS/MPA program, studying Public Administration and specializing in Inspection and Oversight at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She has interned with the Department of Correction and CUNY’s Research Foundation, which furthered her interest in serving the public in an effective and efficient manner. In addition, she aspires to explore her horizons and study abroad in the Middle East. Lastly, upon graduation, Uroosa plans on working for the Inspector General’s Office or the Department of Investigation and pursuing a career with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Blog Events & Conferences

NASPAA 2018 Student Simulation Competition

(Left) Tanisha Morrison: Masters of Public Administration student in the Inspection and Oversight Program; (Middle) Monica Zambrano Saquicela: Maters of Public Administration student in Public Policy and Administration Program, the 2018 NASPAA Simulation regional winner; (Right) Tyresa Jackson: Masters of Public Administration student in the Public Policy and Administration Program. 

Three Masters of Public Administration (MPA) John Jay College of Criminal Justice students were selected to participate in the 2018 Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) Student Simulation Competition held on Saturday, February 24, 2018.  As participants, students worked in small groups to address hypothetical scenarios of a global pandemic by using data developed from the simulations on fictitious countries. Interestingly, it was later revealed, the information used in the simulation was based on real countries, like Kenya. In total, there were approximately eight-rounds of the competition that were split between the morning and the afternoon–three rounds (in the morning, and then in the afternoon) were used to construct the simulation and the last round was used to develop a policy analysis based on the data gathered during each simulation.  From John Jay College, City University of New York (CUNY) the following MPA students participated in the simulation: Monica Zambrano Saquicela, Tanisha Morrison, and Tyresa Jackson.

Overall, this event experience enhanced our critical thinking abilities, public speaking, and our ability to interpret data.  Further, we were able to network with fellow MPA students from colleges and universities in the Northeast, including Columbia University, Metropolitan College of New York, and the University of Connecticut. The most interesting part of this event was learning how to navigate a simulation program and developing policies based on the information collected during the simulation.

From my perspective, the most valuable piece taken away from the 2018 NASPAA Simulation was learning how to make decisions and solve problems with limited information and time. Participating in the simulation demonstrated that policy is constructed under imperfect conditions with significant constraints. This enhanced my ability to think in a fast and precise manner, when working under a tight deadline.  Furthermore, for the future, I would like to once again participate in the NASPAA Simulation and apply the skills I have learned during the 2018 NASPAA to a future competition.  

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Reflections on the Power of Networking from the Women in the Public Sector Spring 2018 Networking Event

By Gina Ortiz & Tyresa Jackson:

Throughout high school, I recall teachers advising that it is not what you know, but who you know. So I’d often wonder, did that mean I was going to school for nothing? And if that was the case, where was I supposed to meet this game changing friends and professionals? Why did I need people to draw upon my own successes in order to get ahead?

Now a soon to be graduating Masters student, I better understand the power of networking. While networking may serve as a planted seed for some organizations, networking may serve as a professional development tool for individuals in other contexts. I personally enjoyed attending John Jay’s networking events such as the occasional social hour, because I was in search of new friends and contacts within the public administration field. I have served in the criminal justice field and have many contacts within the field. Networking beyond my professional circle allowed me to meet some really great friends who I stay in contact with regularly and encourage each other. For many young professionals, networking goes beyond friendships or a line of encouragement. There is certainly a lot of potential in networking because after all, success is essentially a team effort.

Women in The Public Sector at John Jay College of Criminal Justice held the WPS Spring 2018 networking event to bring students, faculty, staff and professionals within and beyond the John Jay College community together for the opportunity to learn more networking tools as well as meet other professionals in the public sector. Over seventy five students, faculty and staff attended and engaged in a host of exciting activities! These activities included professional simulations of pay negotiations, listening to the experiences of senior-level in the public sector, along with learning how to promote yourself through a 30 second elevator pitch! These exercises were beneficial to all because it in turn, they helped to enhance their negotiation skills, public speaking, and confidence in networking.   

Amazing Professionals in attendance were:

  • Will Simpkins, Ed.D., Senior Director of the Center for Career and Professor Development, who also moderated this event.
  • Ashley Emerole, Adjunct Lecturer at Metropolitan College and Deputy Chief Clerk at the New York City Board of Elections (BOE)
  • Alaina Gilligo, John Jay College Faculty Member, Deputy Comptroller
  • Bill Jorgenson: Director of Outreach and Investigation at the Department of Investigation,
  • Laura Ginns: Vice President for Policy and Strategic Initiatives at John Jay College of Criminal Justice,
  • Linara Davidson: Managing Director for Development and External Affairs at East Harlem Tutorial,
  • Stephen Rolandi: Adjunct Lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal of Justice
  • Sergine Louis: Nonprofit Management Executive.  

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