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.
Madison Sampson ('17) completed her first year in the MPA program as the Cemala Foundation Fellow. In this role, she interned at the Black Child Development Institute of Greensboro and the National Conference for Community Justice. During the summer, Madison served as an intern for the Chief of Staff in the NC Governor McCrory's Office.
Raised in Charlotte, N.C., Madison completed a B.A. in Anthropology and a Secondary Education License at UNCG in 2014. After graduating, Madison served overseas as a volunteer teacher in American Samoa where she taught high school social studies. She then became a policy intern with the Children’s Defense Fund in DC, concentrating on child welfare, early childhood policy, and K-12 education. Those experiences fueled her passion for children, education reform, and nonprofit advocacy. Upon graduation, Madison plans to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector, focusing on community engagement efforts to combat social ills. “I am looking forward to being challenged and developing practical skills to effectively carry out my passion for public service,” says Madison.
Joseph Furstenberg ('17) is in his second year of the MPA program in the Local Government Management concentration. After completing an internship at the Piedmont Triad Regional Council this summer, he accepted a permanent position as a Regional Planner, which he is able to schedule with his evening classes.
Joseph holds a B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University. As an undergraduate he was active in several campus organizations, including the NC State Marching Band and his fraternity. He also interned in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor and served as a Research Assistant. During his first year in the MPA program, Joseph served as a Research Assistant and also was the recipient of the Marvin Hoffman North Carolina City and County Management Association Scholarship.
Joseph hopes to use the skills he is learning in the MPA program to pursue a career in local government with a focus on urban and regional planning. “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 me the ability to apply my studies 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!”
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.”
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.”