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.
Svitlana (Lana) Skrypnyk, a native of Odessa, Ukraine, began her first year in the MPA program in the fall of 2014, after dedicating a year to public service with the AmeriCorps Partnership to End Homelessness. Lana worked as Volunteer Coordinator at the Servant Center of Greensboro, and won the Member of the Year award for 2013-2014. Lana holds a B.A. in International Studies, concentrating in Global Studies and Europe, and a B.S. in Psychology from Louisiana State University. Lana has always been passionate about volunteering and public service. As an undergraduate, she was a member of several service organizations, including Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, as well as volunteer crisis intervention phone and chat counselor at the Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center. Currently Lana serves as a Graduate Assistant for the Political Sciences Department, aiding several professors with their research. Lana hopes to utilize the skills she learned in the MPA program to advocate for human rights, women's issues, and poverty alleviation via a career in the nonprofit sector. “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.”
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 currently serves 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 will graduate from the MPA program in May 2015.
In the fall of 2015, Brandie will be attending American University on a full four-year fellowship to obtain her PhD in Public Administration. 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.
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 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.”