Master of Public Affairs

Student Profiles

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.

Josh Sherrick

Josh Sherrick

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!”

Yalonda Miller

Yalonda Miller

Yalonda Miller has dedicated her career to helping kids lead healthy lives as a Public Health Educator at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. A Certified Health Education Specialist, Yalonda currently serves as Behealthy School Kids Coordinator for Forsyth County Department of Public Health, where she works to implement the OrganWise Guys evidence-based curriculum to promote healthy lifestyle choices for students, faculty, staff, and parents. In her time with the health department, she has also worked to prevent tobacco use and teenage pregnancy among community youth as well as promoted nutrition and physical activity. A native of Stoneville, NC, Yalonda is also a graduate of UNCG, where she earned a B.S. in Public Health Education with a concentration in Community Health Education. Yalonda plans to graduate in the spring of 2015 with a concentration in Local Government Management. As a part-time student, she is preparing for a career that will allow her to use her expertise in public health and public administration.  “I am really enjoying the MPA Program at UNCG,” says Yalonda. “I was excited to return to my alma mater to complete my graduate degree after four years of being in the field.  The program has offered great networking opportunities and enabled me to enhance my skills to work with the public on a different level.”

Francisco (Frankie) Martinez-Oronoz

Frankie Martinez

Francisco (Frankie) Martinez-Oronoz started his first year of the MPA program in the fall of 2012, fresh off a two-year stint in AmeriCorps, where he worked with the ACCESS Project serving Greensboro’s refugee community. While in AmeriCorps, Frankie coordinated mentoring programs and values-based after-school programs for refugee youth. Prior to his AmeriCorps experience Frankie worked with street youth at IPODERAC, a self-sustaining boys orphanage in Puebla, Mexico.  A native of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, Frankie also completed his undergraduate work at UNCG, graduating with a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Global Social Problems. Frankie served as a graduate assistant for the Political Science Department for the 2012-2013 school year and spent the summer interning at Cantera, a humanitarian NGO in Managua, Nicaragua. Frankie assisted Cantera’s program director in developing a stronger youth program structure.  To support his travel to and from Nicaragua, Frankie received a scholarship from the Phi Beta Kappa Foundation.  Frankie currently serves as president of the MPA Student Alliance. During the 2013-14 year, he is assisting UNCG's Sustainability program. He hopes to graduate in May of 2014. "One of the things I have enjoyed about the program is the diversity of nonprofit foci that students have,” Frankie says. “Whether it be music, visual arts, environmental issues, or solving some social ill, we feed off of one anothers' ideas creating a great atmosphere for developing our individual missions. (See Frankie)

Kelly Misiak

Kelly Misiak

Kelly Misiak plans to put the skills she’s learning in the MPA program to use for the environmental nonprofit that she formed in 2010. The Giving Seed Sustainability Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides area youth with environmental education programs and the opportunity to complete ecological restoration projects. A native of Hartford, Conn., Kelly graduated from Auburn University in 2007 with a degree in Wildlife Biology. Prior to founding The Giving Seed, Kelly worked for a variety of conservation organizations, including Southeastern Raptor Center, The Great Basin Institute, YMCA Camp Thunderbird’s environmental education center, Mission: Wolf, and Solar Youth. Kelly works one month each summer as the Program Director and Lead Backpacking Instructor at Camp Juliette Low in Cloudland, Georgia. As a part-time student, Kelly began her graduate career at UNCG in 2011 as a Nonprofit Management Certificate student, and then transitioned to the MPA program to complete her education. “Through The Giving Seed, I encourage youth to engage in informal outdoor learning opportunities to inspire a lifetime love of exploration and discovery,” says Kelly. “Similarly, the MPA program at UNCG has inspired me to take nonprofit resource development theory outside of the classroom to transform my new knowledge into practical experience."