Tag Archives: MPA

Carly McDonald June 22

Forming New Ties to Thailand

As an LDS missionary living in Thailand, BYU MPA student Carly McDonald helped make a change in people’s hearts. Next she’ll be returning to help make a change in Thailand’s government. Thanks to a prestigious Boren Fellowship, McDonald will spend a year in the Asian nation helping nonprofits and the government work together to empower […]

March 06

Jeff Thompson: Class Act

Jeffery Thompson stands before a large crowd once again, delivering the words he has prepared.  All eyes are on him, but with eighteen years of teaching under his belt, Thompson remains unfazed. As he finishes speaking, the audience rewards him with a roar of applause for his performance. The curtains close, and Thompson can add […]

August 03

Romney students fight real-world wildfires

BYU MPA students don’t have to wait to graduate before tackling hot issues. In their second year, students enroll in a class that partners them with government or non-profit entities, giving them the chance to solve real problems for real organizations. And while it’s no easy feat, they will tell you it’s one of the […]

June 30

Sky’s the Limit for MPA Alum

“Reach for the stars” is a figurative goal for most of us, but for Kevin Watts, a 1986 graduate of the BYU Masters of Public Administration program, it is an everyday reality. Watts, originally from Salt Lake City, has worked at NASA for thirty years. He graduated from the University of Utah with a degree […]

April 05

MPA Professor Receives Prestigious Award

Rex Facer, an MPA professor with an international reputation as an expert in human resources and public management, was awarded the 2015 Senator Peter B. Boorsma Award for his commitment and passion in public administration. “Being able to see good people around the world who want to make a difference and want to have better […]

March 29

MPA Alum Takes Over the Family Farm

A group of seasoned farmers sit facing Rebecca Loveland, a recent college grad in her mid-twenties, as she leads their discussion on everything from daily planning to marketing to an upcoming potato audit. Loveland feels inexperienced but plows forward, relying on the leadership skills she developed with her Marriott School training to make decisions and […]

February 16

MPA Alum’s Comic Creations

By day, Arie Van De Graaff is a public servant, but by night he is an accomplished cartoonist. Van De Graaff, who graduated with an MPA from BYU in 2001, has been in the public sector for nearly fifteen years, working as a research analyst for the Utah Association of Counties. “I liked the idea […]

January 05

MPA Students Fly into First Year

Looking out at wide valleys and steep mountain peaks, Ted Jackson took a deep breath and stepped into thin air. One wire, strung out thousands of feet over tree-filled valleys, held him aloft as he flew down the mountainside. Jackson, a first-year MPA student, is terrified of heights. But since he rode the zipline side-by-side […]

November 17

Extending the Public Sector Network

With a couple temporary employees and 2,500 phone numbers, Vicki Okerlund set out in 2001 to create a network of BYU MPA alumni. Eight months later, she and her team had called every single alum, reaching about 90 percent of them and starting an alumni network that continues to enrich BYU’s MPA program today. Okerlund, […]

November 03

Math Camp Adds up to Success

This summer twenty-seven incoming MPA and Executive MPA students got together for camp—but instead of bringing out canoes and tents, they reached for calculators and graph paper. “The official title of the class is Essential Mathematics for Public and Nonprofit Management, but we call it Math Camp because it sounds more fun,” says Eva Witesman, […]

August 28

Ballard Internship Propels Career

MPA student Jeff Roberts discovered many things during his internship: the best ways to help people become self-reliant, his love of social innovation, and the power of a late-night pizza party. According to Roberts, those pizza parties helped his team reach their project goals and were some of the best experiences of his internship with […]

August 13

Operation Religious Freedom

Being a soldier in the armed forces can be physically and emotionally demanding. As an army chaplain, MPA alum Lt. Col. Thomas Helms has been offering soldiers moral support and religious services for nearly two decades. Joining the National Guard and Army Reserve when he was seventeen years old, Helms was impressed the military let […]

July 23

Meet the Marriott School Pioneers

In honor of Pioneer Day, peruse the legacies of some Marriott School pioneers—faculty, alumni, and friends who established a heritage of success and broke new ground in their fields. 1. J Willard Marriott and his family gave BYU’s business school its name and legacy, providing students an ethical, entrepreneurial role model for years to come. Check […]

June 16

Air Mail: Traveling the Globe with Rex Facer

Bespectacled and bow-tied, Flat Facer—a riff on 1964’s Flat Stanley—explores the world in an envelope. Rex Facer, however, needs a bit more room than his paper equivalent when traveling internationally. But that hasn’t stopped the MPA professor from building a globally focused career and helping BYU students do the same. On a recent trip to Ghana, […]

June 11

MPA Alum on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Comedian Ellen DeGeneres has hosted many noteworthy guests on her hit talk show—think President Obama, Meryl Streep, and Oprah. So it came as a surprise when her phone rang during the show and on the other end of the line was EMPA alum Chris Banford. Banford teamed up with DeGeneres to surprise his wife, Mary, […]

May 19

Larry Boothe: From Munich With Love

To the casual observer, Larry Boothe was an American embassy worker in Munich, recently graduated from college and enjoying an overseas assignment with his family. In reality, he was undercover for the CIA, regularly traveling into the Eastern Bloc to recruit spies and steal secrets. Each trip was dangerous, stressful, and difficult, but Boothe felt […]

March 20

New MPA Display Honors George Romney

When Romney Institute administration members asked MPA student Kip Smith for help redesigning the institute’s display case, they were expecting a simple update. What they got was a full lobby makeover—and they couldn’t be happier. The new display offers a look into each aspect of the MPA program and George Romney’s life of public service. […]

February 25

Alum Michelle Curtis: How to Get a Job at NASA

For the record, locking up a position at NASA’s Johnson Space Center isn’t easy. It took 2009 MPA graduate Michelle Curtis two phone calls and six in-person interviews to secure her job as a policy analyst, and that doesn’t take into account the lengthy online application process. Landing a desk came down to a combination of […]