Congratulations New MPA Alumni!

On May 12 family and friends of MPA graduates filled the Regency Room at the Holmes Student Center for the Pi Alpha Alpha Awards  and Hooding Ceremony. It was a special opportunity to recognize and honor the Class of 2017 as they move on to new heights in their careers in public service.  Graduates have accepted positions in Oregon, Iowa, Texas, Minnesota, Germany and the Chicago area!   

Ten graduates were inducted into the Pi Alpha Alpha National Honors Society along with Dr. Stephen Berg, a long-time supporter of the MPA program and retired adjunct faculty member. Dr. Eric Zeemering received the Faculty of the Year Award, and Dr. Alan Phillips and Peter Burchard were awarded Outstanding Service Awards. 

View the  the award recipients at 2017 Pi Alpha Alpha Program and photos.


Emeritus Professor Bruce Rocheleau Authors Book on Wildlife Politics

Emeritus Professor Bruce Rocheleau recently authored a book titled “Wildlife Politics,” published by Cambridge University Press. The book discusses how wildlife issues become involved in politics throughout the world. Contained within its 386 pages are chapters on charismatic wildlife, the Endangered Species Act, comparative and international wildlife issues, hunting, ecotourism, ethical issues and other wildlife policy topics. Professor Rocheleau operates the website and a blog that he regularly updates with wildlife policy issues. The site also has links to other wildlife-related sites and review questions for the book. He welcomes comments and questions via his email,

Dr. Aaron Deslatte Hits a Double Header:  Research Published in Two Major PA Journals

Cities have been quick to respond to the decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Dozens of cities have announced their intent to sign the Paris accord in order to help the U.S. meet its pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

So, can cities pick up the slack? Using data collected from Florida cities, Dr. Aaron Deslatte (Northern Illinois University) and Dr. William Swann (University of Colorado Denver) analyzed city managers’ influence on sustainability policies before and after the Great Recession. The research was published this summer in two of the top public administration journals:  Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory and Public Administration. Among the findings, council-manager forms of government used more sustainable land-use tools following an economic boom and bust and were more attentive to social equity concerns.

However, managerial activities to reduce energy use, sprawl and greenhouse-gas emissions depend upon political support from elected officials. Leadership turnover also influences the types of sustainability policies that cities choose to pursue. The take-away is that cities are doing more to become sustainable, but their level of engagement depends in part upon their own institutional structure and the economic and political environment they operate within. If you are interested in a copy of the articles, contact Dr. Deslatte at


20th Annual MPA Golf Play Day Scramble Golf Tournament

Bartlett Hills Golf Club

Thursday, August 17
Shotgun Start at Noon
Catch up with your colleagues and support our annual fundraiser.
Event includes lunch, dinner, auction, raffle and prizes. 

Novice golfers encouraged to attend and play  
Don't golf?  Sign up for the buffet dinner for $25.

Register now


NIU Alumni and Friends Dinner in San Antonio

Monday, October 23, 2017

Make your reservation now for the NIU MPA Alumni and Friends Dinner at the ICMA Conference.

Enjoy a fajita and enchilada buffet dinner at Casa Rio on the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk.

Cocktails: 6:00 p.m. - Dinner: 6:30 p.m.

The ILCMA Reception will follow dinner at 8:30 p.m.
Sponsored by ComEd


Recent Retirements

Kevin Bowens ('80) Administrator, Village of Libertyville

Robert Pilipiszyn  ('86) Manager, Village of LaGrange

Kathleen Rush ('85) Administrator, Village of Woodridge

Valerie Salmons ('77) Administrator, Village of Bartlett

Gary Schira ('83) Chief of Police, City of Batavia

Recent Appointments

Adrianna Peterson ('94) Village Manager, Village of LaGrange

Brandi Smith ('14) Government Programs Coordinator, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

Accolades and Awards

Maggie Darr ('15) Management Information Specialist in Janesville, Wisconsin, was awarded a Rising Star Award from the Wisconsin Women in Government.

Max Gagin ('11) Assistant City Manager in Janesville, Wisconsin, was awarded the Outstanding Program Award for 2017 at the WCMA Summer Conference.

Four MPA alumni receive the Robert B. Morris Lifetime Achievement Award at the ILCMA Summer Conference.  From left to right:  Valerie Salmons, Kathleen Rush, Robin Weaver and Paul Nicholson

By giving to the Department of Public Administration at NIU, you are investing in tomorrow’s leaders. There are a variety of opportunities for alumni and friends to support the department’s  goals to ensure student success and solidify its international status as a top program. 

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