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Mayor Baraka Hosts Class for Rutgers Students on How Newark Government Operates

SPAA students hear from department heads, council members, and policy makers to gain intimate understanding of how municipal government works

Mayor Ras J. Baraka, Municipal Council President Mildred C. Crump, Deputy Mayor of Economic and Housing Development Baye Adofo-Wilson, Department Directors, and other municipal policy-makers hosted a class for Rutgers University-Newark’s School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) students today, in the Municipal Council Chamber, at City Hall in Newark. City Hall is located at 920 Broad Street.

At the class, the Mayor and the other leader gave presentations, held panel discussions, and took questions from the students on aspects of municipal government, including departmental challenges and issues, policy and hiring processes, how graduates can pursue careers in economic development or start businesses, recent development projects, and key challenges of their positions.

“The future of Newark, our state, and our nation will be built by the students who were attending today’s class,” Mayor Baraka said. “By sharing with them the realities, ideals, and objectives of our administration, we inspired these students to become partners in our efforts to transform Newark into a city we can all believe in. I hope that these energetic and committed young leaders will help us complete our work, by joining our municipal team after they complete their studies.”

“Students must be exposed to real-world experiences to guide their decision-making as future leaders. This informal learning experience was complementary to the typical classroom instruction because it exposed students to a diverse set of knowledge and skills from local officials in the City of Newark,” states Michael Dillard, who teaches the SPAA course. “The students were able to witness leadership-in-action and its effect on an entire city.”

According to Dr. Marc Holzer, SPAA Founding Dean, “It is especially important for students--as emerging leaders--to connect with elected and appointed leaders who then become their role models. For students, a class in City Hall humanizes officials, underscores challenges, and inspires personal commitments to public service.”

“The Public and Nonprofit Administration major in the School Of Public Affairs and Administration utilizes an interdisciplinary approach to prepare students for the multi-faceted demands of a career in public, non-profit, and/or private sector industries.  We are extremely fortunate to reside in the city of Newark which afford our diverse student population the opportunities to engage, interact, and become part of the community,” states Sharon Stroye, assistant dean for undergraduate programs. “We are fortunate to have the Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, Executive Directors and city staff to participate in the educational learning for our students. Courses like Public Service as Responsible Citizenship, Leadership for Service Professionals, and Managing Public Organizations are just a few courses preparing undergraduate and graduate students for their future.  This collaboration brings learning alive where theory meets practice.”   

After the Mayor spoke, students had opportunities to network with panelists. The event concluded with a photo opportunity with the Mayor, students, faculty, and department directors.

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