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SPPA ALUMNI IN ACTION
  • Alex Greer
    M.S. and B.A. '15 - Experience in quick response fieldwork, teaching emergency management.
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  • Andrew Haines
    MPA '03 – An accomplished local governmental leader and elected official.
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  • Chunjing Liu
    M.S. '14 – On the front lines of marine disaster mitigation through effective policy planning in China.
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  • Cimone Philpotts
    MPA '13 - Experience in assistantships and Legislative Fellows supports career growth assisting legislators.
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  • Gwen Angalet
    Ph.D. '00 - Ensuring programmatic and research opportunities for the promotion of children's health.
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  • Hira Rashid
    M.A. '15 – Fulbright scholar now in the Ph.D. program studying global health economics and urbanization.
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  • Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang
    Ph.D. '15 - Utilizing his knowledge of disaster science to educate students on fire and emergency management.
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  • James B. Goetschius
    Ph.D. '14 - Serves in the U.S. Army improving health care facilities in the eastern United States.
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  • Jenna Bucsak
    B.A. and MPA '14 - Provides support for legislative and external affairs.
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  • John Carney
    MPA '86 – Newly elected Governor of the State of Delaware
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  • Kelsey Edmond
    M.S. '14 - OCL program prepared her for success in the MPA program in pursuit of an interdisciplinary career.
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  • Lindsey Interlante
    MPA '07 - Advocates for enriched, hands-on learning experiences at higher education institutions.
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  • Mark Rucci
    B.A. and MPA '15 – Continuing his public policy education internationally.
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  • Meredith Rubin
    B.A. '11 - Practicing leadership and collaboration in the financial services sector.
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  • Paige Gugerty
    B.A. '15 - Coordinating electronic connections bewteen healthcare providers and resources.
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  • Paul Ruiz
    B.A. and M.A. '13 - Advocating for alternative fuels and reducing America's depencdence on oil.
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  • Stephanie Ottino
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership skills in higher education.
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  • Tom DeWire
    MPA '04 - Developing strategies for education systems to improve student achievement.
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  • Yuliya Brel
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her public policy education and assisting with research at the University of Delaware.
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  • Megan Wakelee
    B.S. '11 - Executing leadership in a corporate setting.
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  • Zack Adinoff
    M.S. '13 - Experience in coordinating public safety, logistics, planning, and general disaster continuity.
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  • Jissell Martinez
    MPA '10 - Manages fiscal affairs and serves as a liaison for the Dept of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
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  • Scott Beale
    MPA '07 - Successful nonprofit entrepreneur with experience in diplomacy and national politics.
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  • Matthew Garlipp
    B.A. '13 - Measuring perfomance and running analyses for a federal government agency.
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  • Merritt Burke IV
    MPA '98 - Various experiences in town management and community involvement.
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  • Ryan Burke
    Ph.D. '15 - Vast experience with military strategy and conducting military research.
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  • Allison Becker
    B.A. '13 and M.A. '15 - Experienced and published media policy researcher.
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  • Serita Porter
    M.A. '15 - Continuing her behavioral health education at the University of Delaware.
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  • Kirsten Jones
    M.A. '16 - Contributing to policies that strengthen transportation and trade in New York and New Jersey.e
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  • Elizabeth Burland
    M.A. '15 - Studying for a doctoral degree in Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
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  • Elizabeth Lockman
    M.A. '15 - Education policy and equity in the urban landscape; improving advocacy efforts in Wilmington.
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  • Thomas Martin
    Ph.D. '14 - Directing the M.S. in Health Informatics program in the College of Public Health at Temple Univ.
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  • Angela Gladwell
    M.A. ’98 – Instrumental in environmental planning and federal emergency management decision making.
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  • Mark D. Stevens
    MPA '09 – Integral in the leadership and financial management of federal agencies.
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  • Courtney Mogavero
    B.S. '12 – Translating leadership education into a successful early career path in major tech corporations.
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  • Melanie Ross Levin
    B.A. and MPA '05 – Developing education and advocacy campaigns on public policy relating to women's issues.
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  • Dená Brummer
    MPA '05 – Successful private sector business partner drawing upon public sector experiences.
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  • Eric Johnson
    Ph.D. '03 – Revitalizing a community through the application of theory and practical experience.
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  • David Rudder
    Ph.D. '03 – Practicing effective leadership to academic programs that promote service to the community.
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  • Erin Kennedy
    MPA '06 – Drives health care organizations towards improving quality of patient care and clinical outcomes.
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  • Tom Friedman
    MPA '07 – Manages government relations, strategic & financial plan, and policy analysis for State Health Plan.
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  • Mike Morton
    MPA '86 – Oversees budgetary analysis and legislative information systems for the Delaware General Assembly.
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  • Jonathan Kirch
    MPA '07 – Advocating for public policy that promotes better health for all Americans.
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  • Albert Shields
    MPA '07 – Developing strategies to best communicate Governor Carney's positions on diverse policy issues.
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  • Kim Gomes
    MPA '04 – Strategically lobbying for client interests on a number of policy issues.
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  • Erika Farris
    M.A. '09 – Developing policies to better manage water drainage and promote environmental sustainability.
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  • Mike Fortner
    MPA '02 – Overseeing city planning for housing, land use, economic development, and transportation.
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  • Emily Gonce
    MPA '02 – Leading lobbying efforts to show members of Congress the value of life insurance to constituents.
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  • Bill Clark
    MPA '03 – Supervising a team of consultants to support projects for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
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  • Anastasia Kuzmina
    MPA '02 – Supporting two general managers with product and employee management in 14 countries.
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  • Barrett Edwards
    MPA '06 – Assisting municipalities with legal issues including planning, human resources, and finance.
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Alumni Spotlight

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2007MPAhttps://www.sppa.udel.edu/Images Profile Alumnus/Jonathan Kirch.jpgGovernment Relations Director, Delaware and Philadelphia chapters of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association<p>With healthcare issues on the docket continually these days, Jonathan Kirch (MPA ’07) is a very busy professional.  He works as a lobbyist for and is the Government Relations Director of the Delaware and Philadelphia chapters of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association​(AHA/ASA).</p><p>AHA/ASA is concerned with reversing the ever-widening obesity problem in this country.  Kirch says, “My organization has a bold vision for improving the health of Americans that will require major changes in our diet and levels of physical activity.  Achieving these shifts requires altering the environment that encourages us all to be sedentary and eat nutrient-poor, calorie-dense foods and beverages.”</p><p>Many of his organization’s staff and volunteers, however, have very little understanding and exposure to advocacy and how advocacy can accomplish these desired changes.  “Our success,” Kirch says, “rests on our ability to amplify our volunteers’ voices through the public policymaking process.  It is an ever-changing challenge to communicate with our supporters so that they feel comfortable and empowered to advocate at state, local, and national levels.</p><p>Having worked in his current position since before he finished his master’s degree, Kirch is energized by the challenges and potential rewards of working with policymakers. “I enjoy the ‘lobbying game,’ especially its simultaneously competitive and collaborative nature,” he says.  “No day on my job is exactly like the day before, and I never feel bored or uninspired to push the envelope further.”</p><p>Kirch was instrumental in the negotiations and advocacy that led to the passage of calorie labeling in the City of Philadelphia (and, ultimately, the entire country through provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).</p><p>Beyond calorie labeling, Kirch has been heavily involved in attempts to pass excise taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages, successful campaigns to raise cigarette taxes, and other legislation focused on stroke care in Delaware.  He was the first chair of the <a href="http://www.ipa.udel.edu/ipa/spotlight/kirchSepOct11.html#"></a>Delaware Coalition for Healt​hy Eating and Active Living (DE HEAL) and now serves as a member of its executive committee.  He is frequently asked to assist agencies and coalitions with many public health policy issues.</p><p>Knowledge of the practical importance of networking, relationship-building, and the intricacies of the policy-making process is necessary in Kirch’s day-to-day work.  These are things he learned while at IPA and in the School of Public Policy & Administration’s MPA Program, particularly as a Legislative Fellow. “I gained much of the confidence and knowledge I needed at the University of Delaware and in Legislative Hall to excel in my role with the AHA/ASA.”</p><p>“The education, personal and professional networks, and experiences I gained working as a Legislative Fellow positioned me to walk into my dream job [as a lobbyist] before I even walked across the stage at commencement,” Kirch says.  “[Either] as [an IPA] research assistant, student, or Fellow, I had conducted legislative and policy research, managed the administrative functions of the committee process in the House of Representatives, planned an international professional and academic conference, and contributed to our state’s economic-development comprehensive plan.  These varied experiences prepared me to work under minimal supervision, as well as make decisions cooperatively with peers and high-level decision-makers.”</p><p>Kirch adds, “The Legislative Fellows Program gave me experience working directly with the members of the General Assembly, their staff, and agency officials.  Also, my role with committees in the House gave me an intimate and real-life understanding of the entire legislative process, including rules, procedures, protocol, and the varied levers of influence that are less understood by casual political observers.”</p><p>Kirch grew up in the suburbs of Newark, Del., but loves living in the City of Wilmington. As for spare-time interests, “I keep active in local sports and social clubs, and I enjoy bicycling as well,” he says.  “I don’t know how to not have a full calendar, except when I take my annual vacations, usually to Bethany Beach.”</p><p>On his future, Kirch says, “I mentioned I have my dream job now, so I don’t know.  Maybe run for elected public office.  I think transitioning from advocate to legislator poses unique challenges.”  As for right now, though, he’s happy where he is.</p><p>“I love my work because I know the positive difference I get to make,” Kirch says.</p>https://www.sppa.udel.edu/Images Profile Alumnus/Forms/DispForm.aspx?ID=73

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  • School of Public Policy & Administration
  • 184 Graham Hall
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-1687
  • sppa@udel.edu
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