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SPAA PhD Student Valentine A. Lamar Receives ASPA’s Section on Ethics and Integrity in Governance 2021 Outstanding Student Paper Award


Valentine A. Lamar

Valentine A. Lamar, a third-year doctoral student in the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University–Newark, has been awarded the American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) Section on Ethics and Integrity in Governance (SEI-GOV) Outstanding Student Paper Award for 2021. The award recognizes excellence in graduate student research and writing on topics related to public affairs ethics, including corruption, integrity, social equity, corporate responsibility and politics.

The paper "The Determinants of Individual Corruption Perceptions: Evidence from 35 countries," analyzes survey data from the 2016 International Social Survey Program (ISSP) and linear multilevel models. Findings show that citizens' corruption perceptions are strongly influenced by their personal experiences with bribery, as well as their political attitudes, social and demographic characteristics, and country-level factors. The paper concludes that citizens’ perceptions of corruption matter because they affect evaluations of officials and institutions of government, and particularly their responses toward corruption in their national governments. In addition, citizen involvement in the fight against corruption is key in anticorruption reforms.

"The recognition gives me the confidence boost I need to know that my work is valued and is interesting to others,” said Lamar. "This accomplishment would not have been possible without Professor Yahong Zhang, my independent study supervisor, who encouraged me to enter the paper in the SEI-GOV student competition. Also, Professor Gregg Van Ryzin gave me valuable feedback when I first submitted a rudimentary version as a term paper for his class. Naturally, I'm deeply indebted to both professors for their help."

Lamar's research interests include public management and leadership, and public policy, with a substantive focus on corruption, governance, citizen participation, politics-administration relations, and public sector development. Her dissertation will focus on an issue of public importance concerning corruption and governance.