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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:

Outstanding BA Student:

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

Outstanding MPA Student:

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

Outstanding PhD Student: 

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

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.)

SPAA Faculty Teaching Award:

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

SPAA Faculty Service Award:

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

Gail Daniels SPAA Staff Award: 

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

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.

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.

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.