2014 ICMA Annual Conference

This month, Villanova MPA Alum Allie Bittner ’14 and MPA students E.J. Mentry and Shanna Lodge traveled down to Charlotte, NC for ICMA’s 2014 Annual Conference.

The Leaders’ Lounge got the inside story from our ICMA conference attendees:

Allie Bittner, E.J. Mentry, and Shanna Lodge at ICMA's 100th Anniversary Annual Conference

Allie Bittner, E.J. Mentry, and Shanna Lodge at ICMA’s 100th Anniversary Annual Conference

To kick off our time in Charlotte, we met up with other members of the Villanova MPA community for a happy hour. It was a great time for alumni, online students, and on campus students to connect. Check out pictures from this event on Facebook.

Over at the Charlotte Convention Center, we had the chance to hear great keynote speakers, including historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who spoke about her recent book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. We also attended informative sessions, including a special session for MPA students at which we discussed the ethical implications of a case study.

The trip was a great opportunity for us to connect with other members of our local community. We were honored to be invited to attend the Pennsylvania Delegation Dinner, hosted by APMM and PML.


Our winning video was showcased at the Life, Well Run exhibit throughout the conference.

This trip was possible in part thanks to our student chapter of ICMA’s winning video in the Life, Well Run video contest! Thanks to your votes, our video also won the popular vote, earning our student chapter Life, Well Run prizes. Thanks to all who voted, and a special thanks to all the students, faculty, and professionals who contributed to our chapter’s video submissions.

Unitas represented Villanova proudly at the Life, Well Run booth, where our winning “Interns” video played throughout the conference. We were also recognized at the ICMA Student Chapters Administrative Meeting, at which Unitas president E.J. Mentry had the opportunity to exchange ideas with members of other student chapters.

Attending the conference was an outstanding experience. We are grateful for the opportunity and would highly recommend that students interested in the profession of local government consider attending the conference in the future.

Join us: Pi Alpha Alpha Fall Colloquium

Attention students, alumni, faculty and friends:
Villanova University Pi Alpha Alpha presents: 
The Vocation to Public Service
Guest Speaker:  Marquis Coates, M.P.A.
Founder and CEO of Tools For Success, Inc.

Mr. Coates is the Founder and CEO of Tools For Success, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to providing mentorship and academic and professional supports for youth in Philadelphia. He is also a board member and secretary for two local nonprofit organizations: Wesley Proctor Ministries, Inc. and People Building People, Inc., as well as the author of Tools for Success: A Young Man’s Guide to Professional Development. While at Villanova, Mr. Coates was a Graduate Assistant with the Center for Multicultural Affairs, where he served as the Program Coordinator for a male mentoring program and as a Retention Advisor where he was responsible for advising over 30 sophomores both academically and socially. He also worked as a Project Assistant at Dechert LLP during his graduate and undergraduate studies.

Date: Thursday October 9, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Bartley Hall 1011
Light refreshments will be served.
Please join us afterwards at Gulliftys
*if you have class this evening, please consider joining us afterwards at Gulliftys
RSVP by October 2, 2014 to Stephanie Nissen at stephanie.nissen@villanova.edu
Space is limited and the event is expected to fill quickly so RSVP as soon as possible.
Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA) is a national honor society which promotes excellence in the study of public administration and encourages public service. The Villanova Chapter, chartered in March 2010, hosts bi‑annual meetings to provide educational and informational sessions for PAA members as well as the Villanova Master of Public Administration (MPA) students, alumni, faculty, and University administrators.

PMF Program Webcasts for Interested Applicants

News from The Presidential Management Fellows Program:

The Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program Office invites interested applicants to join us for two upcoming webcasts, conducted through Adobe Connect, to provide information for the Class of 2015 PMF application.

The Class of 2015 PMF application will open from October 1-15, 2014, and the announcement can be found at www.USAJOBS.gov when it opens (simply search for “Presidential Management Fellows” during the open period).

To learn more about eligibility and how to apply, please review the “Become a PMF” section on the PMF website at www.pmf.gov. In addition, the 2015 PMF Assessment Preparation Guide has been published to the website.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 from 3:00-4:30pm (Eastern Time):  A one-time Applicant Information Session that will focus on a general overview of the PMF Program, the 2015 PMF application, and a panel of current Fellows offering their advice and experiences. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions throughout the presentation.

Wednesday, October 8 from 1:30-3:30pm (Eastern Time):  A question and answer session where applicants may submit questions regarding the 2015 PMF application cycle.

These webcasts will be conducted on-line through Adobe Connect and will have dedicated PMF Program Office staff to answer questions. Applicants can connect here and select “Enter as a Guest.” Please note, the audio from the webcasts will be provided through your computer/device audio output.

Adobe Connect computer capability can be tested beforehand by following this link. Adobe Connect is also supported on mobile devices. For more information, please visit Adobe’s website.

As a reminder, these webcasts are intended for applicants planning to apply to the 2015 PMF application. General information about the PMF Program can be found on the PMF website at www.pmf.gov.

Thank you,
PMF Program Office

Resume Building Workshop: Join us!

Resume-ClipartResume Review and Professional Skills Workshop
Thursday Sept. 18, 7-9pm
Bartley 1011

Please join the MPA Program as we host a Resume Building Workshop with:

  • Albert Baladez, Employee Relations & Compliance, Villanova University
  • Sheila Doherty, Villanova University Career Center
  • Theresa Ellerbe, Philadelphia’s Office of Personnel Management
We will discuss the fundamentals of crafting a solid resume and how to tailor your resume for the appropriate sector. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Bring a current version of your resume for hands-on help and feedback!

RSVP to Stephanie.Nissen@villanova.edu by Sept. 12. 
We hope to see you there!

Faculty Spotlight: Meet our newest professors!

Two new professors joined the Department of Public Administration this semester! To find out a little more about the newest members of our MPA Community, The Leaders’ Lounge caught up with Stefan and Danielle as the semester began…


Danielle Johnson, Assistant Professor

Hometown: Ashland, MAIMG_0077

What is your favorite thing about being a part of Nova Nation? The sense of community. I am a 2007 graduate of the Villanova MPA program, and I as a student I felt that my professions cared deeply about my professional and academic growth. Now as a member of the faculty, that sense of community and support is magnified and extends beyond just the MPA department.

Extracurriculars (Hobbies): I enjoy spending time with my husband and six-year old daughter doing family activities like visiting a museum or going to the park. I also enjoy having brunch with friends.

If you could take any MPA course what would it be and why? Effective-non-Profit Management. As a former graduate of the program, I have taken the majority of the course offerings, but non-profit management was not an option at that time. I am passionate about the work of non-profits and would have loved to formally study them as a part of the program.

What is your favorite movie? Beaches (with Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey). Although it is almost 30 years old, I still cry every time I see the end! My daughter and I also love the Pixar movie “Brave.”

What is your favorite book and why? American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass by Massey and Denton. I was first exposed to this book as an undergrad at Penn and it opened my eyes to the class struggles facing many Americans. It also highlights the importance of public policy and how both “good” and “bad” policy can shape people’s life experiences.

What is your hidden talent? I’m a pretty good cook. One of my specialties is Beef Wellington which I make for my family during the holidays.

What tips would you offer for new MPA students? Take full advantage of the program – academically, professionally, and socially. The MPA community is rich in experience and knowledge, but is also very welcoming. Take the initiative to network!


Stefan A. Perun, Assistant Professor

P4Hometown: Lansdale, PA

What is your favorite thing about being a part of Nova Nation? I love engaging in intellectual conversations with students and colleagues. The community of inquiry, thought, and reflection in the context of the Catholic faith tradition at Villanova makes me feel free to seek understanding. I have not found that anywhere else. Oh, and I also enjoy attending the Vasey theater, basketball games in the Pavilion, and rooting on Wildcats Football at Franklin field!

Extracurriculars (Hobbies): I’m a family guy that enjoys walks with my wife and son, hanging out at the Tot Lot and playing on the swings, and afternoon picnics in the park. When they’re asleep, I’m usually on Bloomberg following the capital markets. When I can, I (try to) play golf.

If you could take any MPA course what would it be and why? Leadership Ethics; it’s the best course in the program. Sure, I’m biased because that’s what I teach, but the content is stimulating and the application exciting. When I took the course 10 years ago, it made me a better person. I believe I become a better person each time I teach it now. Thank you, Fr. Jacobs.

What is your favorite movie? Back to the Future (the whole trilogy, actually). Wag the Dog and Dr. Strangelove get it done for me, too.

What is your favorite book and why? Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition.  It’s refreshingly existential in an unbelievable “postmodern” world. I’m consoled by how closely I can relate to Homo Faber’s lot.

What is your hidden talent? I can weld?

What tips would you offer for new MPA students? Education is a journey of discovery. While we’re all trying to get our ticket punched to make more money or save the world, take the time and do the work to learn something. Submit to the coursework; there’s method to the madness. After graduation it would be a pity to have only earned a degree and promotion.


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