Alumni

Alumni Stories

Brandie Williams

Brandie Williams

Brandie Williams is a 2007 graduate of the Political Science Department at UNC Greensboro. After graduating, she worked as a corporate paralegal for a local internet marketing and product brokerage company. Her duties involved contract maintenance, editing, special projects, research and insurance administration. As she became more involved in the company’s nonprofit organization, she decided to return to UNCG to obtain her Masters of Public Affairs, concentrating in Community and Economic Development. She served as the MPA Student Alliance Vice President.

In the summer of 2014, Brandie completed a full-time internship with the City of Greensboro in the Human Relations Department. While there, she expanded on her passions for social justice, community building and women’s rights. She completed several special projects, research reports, and helped facilitate community events, in addition to providing the Director and City Council with support. Upon completing her internship, she was offered a position with the Human Relations Department providing community outreach and education. Brandie graduated from the MPA program in May 2015.

Brandie accepted a full four-year fellowship to obtain her PhD in Public Administration at American University, which she began in the fall of 2015. Her ultimate career goal is to become a professor and scholar of public administration and to formulate innovative responses to public management, urban governance, and community development related issues in the United States.

Laura Merrell

Laura Merrell

Laura Merrell is a 2003 graduate of the Political Science Department. Throughout her undergraduate career at UNCG she was active in the Model United Nations, and has kept up her focus on international affairs since graduating. She remained active in the Southern Regional Model United Nations, serving in several capacities, including: Committee Director, Deputy Director-General, Director-General, DG Emeritus, Vice President of the Board of Directors, and finally ending her service as President of the Board of Directors. Laura pursued a Master's in Public Health degree at the University of South Florida in the Department of Global Health, graduating in 2010. During her MPH she had the opportunity to travel to Niger, where she did qualitative research with women suffering from Obstetric Fistula (which she published). Laura also spent 9 weeks in rural India working with a community-based primary health care organization that has been recognized by various organizations (including the World Health Organization) for its outstanding work.

Laura was accepted into the PhD program at the University of South Florida in the Department of Community and Family Health (still in the College of Public Health) in the Fall of 2011. She is now in the fourth year of her PhD. Program. She has worked with one of her advisers on an NIH funded grant on an intervention for dental students to increase prevention of eating disorders. One of the papers to come out of that work just got accepted for publication in a peer reviewed journal. Laura also presented a poster in October of 2014 at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting in San Francisco. She is currently working for an NIH-funded research center in women's health in addition to her work as a Graduate Research Assistant.

Justin Outling

Justin Outling

Justin Outling is a 2005 graduate of the Political Science Department and an active alumnus. While at UNCG, Justin was an active member of student government and was selected for the Department’s “Outstanding Senior” award. After his graduation from UNCG he attended law school at Duke University. Justin is currently an attorney in Greensboro, practicing in business litigation and arbitration as an associate at the Brooks Pierce law firm. In June of 2015, Justin became a Greensboro City Councilman, representing District 3, an area just north of UNCG's campus. He has represented clients in a wide range of matters, including, commercial financing, unfair trade practices, breach of contract, and insider trading. Prior to joining Brooks Pierce, Justin was a lawyer at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton L.L.P. in New York City, where he represented financial institutions and multi-national corporations in securities and other complex litigation, as well as in criminal and regulatory matters. He also previously served as a law clerk to the Honorable William L. Osteen, Jr. in the Middle District of North Carolina. Before graduating from law school, Justin served as an intern in the legal departments of TIAA-CREF and Merrill Lynch, as well as with the Orange County District Attorney's Office and for Justice Paul Newby of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Katherine Watkins

Katherine Watkins

Katherine Watkins is a 2011 graduate (Magna Cum Laude) of the Political Science Department. While at UNCG Katherine was active in the Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, and in Model United Nations. After Graduation, Katherine enrolled in the Master of Public Policy program at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy. Katherine is specialized in international security and economic policy at the University of Maryland. In addition to her studies, she completed a year and a half internship in the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Joint Staff. At the Pentagon, Katherine focused on a variety of issues including NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and the U.S.'s political-military relationships with the United Kingdom and France. Katherine is now an analyst at the Department of Homeland Security.

Lorrie Carey

Katherine Watkins

Lorrie Carey, '87, serves as a recently elected member of New Hampshire's House of Representatives.  Lorrie completed an undergraduate degree in Theatre and graduated with her MPA in 1987.  In May of 2013, Lorrie graduated from the online Nonprofit Management Certificate Program.  She was the first student to complete the certificate online and did so entirely from her New Hampshire home.

Lorrie has former business experience with an arts council, as a PR director and as a floral entrepreneur.  She and her husband have four children.

Lorrie has served on several boards as well as participated on business advisory committees and served as president of the Concord Business and Professional Women's Organization.

Lorrie's path to the House of Representatives began with a small business conference at the White House.  She then served as Commissioner on Concord for New Hampshire's Heritage Commission and as a part of several educational and political boards. 

Michael Cramer

Michael Cramer

Michael Cramer (’97) has experienced a varied career in local government.  He is a 1994 graduate of the Political Science Department and entered the MPA program directly after completing his undergraduate degree. While in the program, Mike completed his internship with the City of Greensboro in the storm water management division, evaluating impervious surfaces.  Following graduating he became financial analyst for the City’s storm water program.  Eventually, he moved from storm water to transportation, where he managed business and operations.

In 2010, Mike made a dramatic career change by accepting the position of city manager in Menominee, Michigan – a community in the Upper Peninsula with a population of roughly 8500.  Mike held this job for over two years before he was offered the position of town manager of Carolina Beach, NC in October 2013.  As town manager, Mike handles day-to-day operations of the municipality including oversight of nine department heads within internal services.  He loves being back in North Carolina, not only for the weather (he gained about 60 degrees this winter), but also because of the support he and the town have in local government administration.