Alumni Connect at Annual Master’s in Public Affairs Conference
Faculty, students and alumni attended the annual Master's in Public Affairs Alumni Conference held April 21 at the Richardson Civic Center.
Army veteran Brandon Friedman credits earning a master's in public affairs (MPA) at UT Dallas as the key factor in successfully navigating his professional path after serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“When I got out of the military I decided I wanted to get involved in politics and public policy, but I didn’t really know what that meant,” he said.
“My whole professional life to that point had been in the military,” he said. “This [degree] for me catalyzed that idea of public service that had been ingrained in me in the military. This allowed me to transition into governance.”
Friedman MPA'06, former deputy assistant secretary for public affairs with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was the keynote speaker at the second annual Master's in Public Affairs Alumni Conference. Friedman also received the Alumnus of the Year award at the event.
The conference drew dozens of graduates who serve in leadership roles in local government and nonprofit agencies throughout North Texas.
(From left to right) Dr. L. Douglas Kiel, professor of public affairs and administration; Brandon Friedman MPA‘06; Dr. Theresa Daniel MPA’96; Dr. Doug Goodman, professor of public affairs and head of the Public and Nonprofit Management program.
Dr. John McCaskill PhD'12, clinical professor of public affairs and advisor to Pi Alpha Alpha, inducted 10 new members into the national honor society for public affairs and administration at the conference. McCaskill also received an award for undergraduate teaching. Dr. Meghna Sabharwal, associate professor of public affairs, received an award for graduate teaching.
The conference included remarks by Dr. Denis Dean, dean of the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences; Dr. Doug Kiel, professor of public affairs and administration; and Dr. Doug Goodman, professor of public affairs and head of the Public and Nonprofit Management program.
Siemens Corporation and the City of Richardson provided support for the April 21 event at the Richardson Civic Center.
Dr. Paul Battaglio, MPA director and associate professor of public and nonprofit management, said the conference provides an opportunity to cultivate ties with alumni and forge new partnerships for community service projects, training and research. He said the program also seeks support for a campaign initiated last year to raise money for an MPA Scholarship/Fellowship endowment.
“The conference has become a good place to showcase our program, students and alumni,” Battaglio said. “It also provides a venue to recognize outstanding alumni, students and faculty.”
The MPA degree is a 36-credit hour diploma that offers specializations in local government management, nonprofit management, policy analysis or an approved customized track.
Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].