Each year the MPA Program attracts a wide array of students with various interests, backgrounds, and experience. We believe the diversity of our student body adds to the classroom dynamic and overall learning experience. Read on to learn more about some of our current students and their experiences in the MPA program.
Lamar Lee entered the MPA Program as a part-time student in the spring of 2015 in the Local Government Concentration. A native of Greensboro, Lee was a Watson Scholarship Recipient at Elon University where he earned a degree in Sport and Event Management in 2012. Originally he was interested in being a college athletic director but discovered his passion for parks and recreation after interning for Burlington Parks and Recreation as the Special Events Assistant. Lamar continued to work for the Burlington Parks and Recreation Department as a part-time staff member until graduation. Then he accepted a position in Howard County Recreation and Parks in Maryland as an Instructional Sports Coach and Community Facility Leader. In 2013 Lamar returned to North Carolina to work for the City of High Point as a Marina Operator, later promoted to Parks Supervisor of Oak Hollow Park, which is comprised of a marina, campground, and 3 satellite parks rented for special events. “I chose the MPA program because it offers an opportunity to expand my knowledge of local government management while learning more about the non-profit sector. I enjoy transferring the knowledge I learn in class directly to my current position to enhance my job performance and supervisory skills. The MPA program is giving me a strong foundation to be successful in any aspect of Local Government I choose to pursue in the future.”
Joseph Furstenberg began his first year in the MPA program in the fall of 2015, after spending a year volunteering on political campaigns and helping with his family’s business in Reidsville, NC. Joseph holds a B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University. As an undergraduate he was a member of several organizations, including the North Carolina State University Student Senate, a Rank Leader for the Power Sound of the South Marching Band, and he also served as President for the Gamma-Upsilon Chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha International Fraternity. While at NC State, he worked as the Intern and Volunteer Coordinator for The North Carolina Office of the Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest, in addition to working as a Research Assistant for Dr. Andy Taylor. Currently, Joseph serves as a Graduate Assistant for the Political Sciences Department, aiding several professors with their research. He is also the recipient of a North Carolina City and County Management Association Scholarship. Joseph hopes to use the skills he has learned in the MPA program to pursue a career in local government with a focus on urban planning and development. “The MPA program at UNCG offers a unique perspective into public affairs by bringing together aspects of local government, nonprofits, and even some private ventures into one curriculum” he says. “Each class offers the ability to not only study a subject, but to apply it directly to the career path I wish to pursue. We discuss certain subjects in class and I think to myself –yes— that is exactly what is happening in my own community right now!”
Svitlana (Lana) Skrypnyk, a native of Odessa, Ukraine, started in the MPA program in the fall of 2014, after dedicating a year to public service with the AmeriCorps Partnership to End Homelessness, where she worked as a Volunteer Coordinator at the Servant Center of Greensboro, winning the Member of the Year award for 2013-2014. In her first year in the MPA program, she was a Graduate Assistant for the Political Science Department, aiding several professors with their research. During the summer of 2015, Lana had a wonderful experience interning with the National Conference for Community and Justice, furthering her experience in social justice issues and gaining skills in communications, development, program support, and administrative capacities. Recently, Lana has joined the full-time staff of the Interactive Resource Center, a day center aiding Greensboro's homeless popluation, as the Administrative Coordinator. Lana hopes to continue utilizing the skills she learned in the MPA program and her work experiences to continue advocating for human rights, social justice, women's issues, and poverty alleviation as her career in the nonprofit sector develops. “My favorite part of the program is the connections I’ve made with fellow MPA students, faculty, and staff,” says Lana. “Everyone has such unique personal stories, backgrounds, interests, and talents and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know, and learning from, everyone on their journey into public service.”
Josh Sherrick serves as the Special Events Manager for the City of Greensboro, a career path that has led him a long way from the bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Sport Science that he earned 12 years ago at Ohio University. Josh coordinates several events for the City of Greensboro each year, including North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University’s Aggie FanFest homecoming event, and he serves on the committee of Downtown Greensboro, Incorporated. He takes tremendous pride in providing the people of Greensboro with numerous cultural enrichment opportunities, which he believes pave the path for neighborhood involvement and build community togetherness. Prior to working for the City of Greensboro, Josh served as Event Coordinator for the City of Winston-Salem. He has also worked in a wide variety of sports industries, including professional baseball, professional golf, and arena and ice-rink management. A part-time student, Josh is in his first year of the MPA program. He was selected as the MPA program’s student representative and liaison for the Piedmont Triad chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. “The MPA program allows me the opportunity to take the educational foundations of public administration learned in the classroom and apply them directly to my professional life at the City of Greensboro,” Josh says. “This program has given me the knowledge to understand the inner-workings of local government and has empowered me to be progressive and creative while expanding my role with the City. I feel like my future in public administration is unlimited and UNCG's MPA program has everything to do with it!”