Skip navigation Jump to navigation

SPAA Alumni Highlights: Academic Year 2021-2022

FALL 2021 / WINTER 2022

  • Domonic Bearfield (PhD'04), was named the 2021-2022 chair of the Commission on Peer Review and Accreditation (COPRA), the accrediting body for the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) which is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
    + Bearfield was awarded the inaugural 2021 Hobby Prize for the Best Article on Ethics, Leadership, and Public Policy for his co-authored article "The Disenfranchisement of Voters of Color: Redux.”
  • Norman Eckstein (MPA'08) was appointed to the Government Finance Officers Association's Committee on Retirement and Benefits Administration.
  • Marc Fudge (PhD'11) was elected to be the Chair of the American Society for Pubic Administration's (ASPA) Section on Public Performance and Management. 
  • Patria De Lancer Julnes (PhD'97) joined the University of New Mexico as the inaugural Rosenthal Endowed Professor of Public Administration and director of the School of Public Administration.
  • Irene O’Brien (MPA'05) was named Vice President, Central Fundraising and Donor Engagement at the Rutgers University Foundation.
  • Marcela Ospina Maziarz (MPA'10) was named vice president for Community and Government Affairs at Thomas Edison State University (TESU).
  • Lori Scott-Pickens (MPA'09) was elected Board President of the Newark School of the Arts.
  • Carlos Valentin Jr. (BA'13) was named a member of the Wealth Disparity Task Force established by NJ Governor Phil Murphy.
  • Lois Warner (PhD'07) was selected for the 2021-2022 Chancellor’s Scholar-in-Residence Fellowship Program (SIR) supported by the P3 Collaboratory for Pedagogy, Professional Development, and Publicly-Engaged Scholarship at Rutgers University–Newark.


  • Domonic Bearfield (PhD'04) was awarded the 2022 SPAA Faculty Teaching Award for significant contributions to SPAA students’ intellectual lives through superior teaching practices.
  • Norman Eckstein (MPA'08) was awarded the 2022 SPAA Distinguished Alumni Award for Practitioner Excellence for outstanding achievement in public administration and public service through applied practice in the field.
  • Étienne Charbonneau (PhD'10) was awarded the 2022 SPAA Distinguished Alumni Award for Academic Excellence for outstanding contributions to the intellectual, theoretical, and institutional advancement of public administration.
  • Tia Sherèe Gaynor (MPA’05, PhD’11) joins the leadership and management faculty in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in Fall 2022.
  • Adam Kuczynski (PhD’21) is now an assistant teaching professor and the MPA program director and an at Villanova University.
  • Huafang Li (PhD’17) is now an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • Aroon P. Manoharan (PhD'09) joined Suffolk University’s Institute for Public Service as an associate professor and the director of the National Center for Public Performance.
  • Irene O'Brien (MPA'05) was awarded the 2022 SPAA Dean's Public Service Award.
  • Sara Peña (MPA'14) joined PSEG as the director of external affairs. 
  • Scott Tesser (MPA’17) was promoted to captain of the Teaneck, NJ Police Department and is now serving as a member of the department's Command Staff in Administration as the service division commander.