Impact Newsletter Fall 2012

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D I R E C T O R ' S C O L U M N Thanks to Peter Franzese and Johanna Foster, co-chairs of the conference planning committee, for an outstanding Public Administration Conference held on November 1–2, 2012. The conference is sponsored by the MPA Alumni Association to promote one of its primary goals—hosting and sup- porting networking and professional development opportunities for MPA alumni and students. Because alumni engagement is a major goal of mine as director, I am personally committed to strengthening this conference and to pursuing strategies to bring as many alumni back to Chapel Hill and to the School of Government as possible. A productive part of the conference—as noted on the evaluation forms for example—was having the second-year students introduce themselves at the business meeting followed by a networking lunch. I want to thank the alumni who participated in these break-out sessions for their words of wisdom to our students as they prepare to enter the job market and to continue to think about career options. I encourage the 2013 conference planning committee, which will be co-chaired by Heather Drennan and Erin Langston, to expand on these opportunities because of the value-add to networking and professional development. In addition to outstanding conference sessions, the Wright lecture, and the Dean's Dinner, conference attendees have an opportunity to reach out to faculty while in Chapel Hill. Several alumni mentioned to me the importance of connecting with Willow Jacobson, Rick Morse, and David Ammons to discuss challenging work situations. Alumni also enjoyed meeting Leisha DeHart- Davis, a new faculty member specializing in human resource management, and attending her conference presentation on "green tape." Alumni engagement is a two-way street. It gives faculty members the chance to hear about what is on your front burner and to bring these issues into the classroom and our research. The ongoing relationships among alumni and faculty is a cornerstone of our MPA program. Please mark your calendar for the next Public Administration Conference on November 7–8, 2013. Why? Conference Co-Chair Johanna Foster articulates it best: "I always say that people come back from conferences, no matter what the subject matter, with renewed energy from hearing new ideas, meeting new people, and reconnecting with colleagues." I look forward to seeing you at next year's conference, or any time you are in Chapel Hill. William C. Rivenbark rivenbark@sog.unc.edu 919.962.3707 My door is always open. Please visit if you are in Chapel Hill, or contact me anytime with questions or suggestions about our MPA program at rivenbark@sog.unc.edu or 919.962.3707. 2 William C. Rivenbark MPA Program Director Professor of Public Administration and Government

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