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Announcing the 2021 SPAA Award Winners

On behalf of the dean, faculty, and staff of the School of Public Affairs and Administration, we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 SPAA Awards.

The SPAA Awards recognize our graduates, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members who embody the values of SPAA and a commitment to public service. Please join us in congratulating this year's award winners:

Ana Olivera

Outstanding BA Student:

Ana Olivera (BA'21) for high achievement in both academic and co-curricular pursuits.

MICHELLE AMPARBIN

Outstanding MPA Student:

Michelle Amparbin (MPA’21) for high achievement in both academic and co-curricular pursuits.

Kareem Willis

Outstanding PhD Student: 

Kareem Willis (BA’16, MPA’17, PhD’21) for high achievement in both academic and co-curricular pursuits.

Jeffrey Layden

E. Drexel Godfrey Award:

Jeffrey Layden (MPA'21) for embodying the SPAA core values of high academic achievement, scholarship, and service to the community. (The award is named after E. Drexel Godfrey, former assistant director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), who joined the faculty of Rutgers University–Newark in 1974 and established and directed the graduate program in public administration.)

Lois Warner

SPAA Faculty Teaching Award:

Dr. Lois Warner (PhD’07), assistant teaching professor, for significant contributions to our students’ intellectual life through superior teaching practices.

Domonic Bearfield

SPAA Faculty Service Award:

Dr. Domonic Bearfield (PhD’04), associate professor, for outstanding service to our students, faculty, and the greater SPAA community.

Madelene Perez

Gail Daniels SPAA Staff Award: 

Madelene Perez (MPA’09), associate dean for finance and administration, for outstanding service to our students, faculty, and the greater SPAA community. (The award is named for Gail Daniels who served Rutgers SPAA for over 43 years within academic and student services.)

Tia Gaynor

Distinguished Alumni Award for Academic Excellence:

Dr. Tia Sherèe Gaynor (MPA’05, PhD'11), assistant professor, Department of Political Science, University of Cincinnati, for outstanding contributions to the intellectual, theoretical, and institutional advancement of public administration.

De Lacy Davis (MPA'12)

Distinguished Alumni Award for Practitioner Excellence:

Dr. De Lacy Davis (MPA’12), executive director, The Family Support Organization of Union County, for outstanding achievement in public administration and public service through applied practice in the field.

Amina Bey

SPAA Community Service Award:

Amina Bey (MPA’13), executive director, Newark Emergency Services for Families, for outstanding contributions to the community through time, actions, talents, and dedication.