Join us: MPA Annual Kickoff Picnic!

Please join us for…

2014 MPA Annual Kickoff Picnic
Saturday August 23rd, 2-4pm

picnicVillanova University – South Campus Picnic Area

The new school year is approaching and what better way to celebrate the start of a new year than with an MPA Picnic! Meet the newest members of the MPA community and reconnect with your fellow students. Friends and family are welcome!

Please RSVP with the total number of attendees by August 18th.

Alumna honored: Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest

Exciting news from one of our alums out in Pittsburgh! Ali Saras ’09 was recently named one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. This award is given to “the city’s most accomplished men and women.” Ali is a charitable relationship manager for Swanson School of Engineering of the University of Pittsburgh.

Congratulations, Ali!


Ali and the other finest professionals in Pittsburgh will be honored at an event hosted by the Foundation on Thursday, August 14th. For more information about the event, the recipients, and the award, check out this article in Whirl Magazine.

Learning in Action: A Business Plan for the Global Philadelphia Association

Learning in Action is back! We have another story for our readers about Villanova MPA students putting what they learn in the classroom into practice.

This past spring, as a part of MPA 8199: Cultural Competency, several students had the opportunity to work with the Global Philadelphia Association (GPA) and develop a business plan for the organization. In May, the graduate students presented their business plan to John F. Smith, III, Chair of GPA’s Board of Directors, and Zabeth Teelucksingh, Executive Director of GPA.

Photograph of students with GPA staff.

From left to right: John Smith, III, Vincent Reitano, Zabeth Teelucksingh, Justin Evert, Sophie Lee, Christian Slater, and Prof. Catherine Wilson.

Sophie Lee, an MPA student, told The Leaders’ Lounge a little more about what she learned about GPA and about the project:

“GPA leaders are from academic and for-profit backgrounds, so the organization is naturally structured for business strategy. As a foreigner, I think of Philadelphia itself as a part of America and culture, and I believe GPA’s vision of ‘advertising’ the City of Philadelphia will bring more interests groups to represent themselves as a culture and Philadelphian. 

“Creating a business plan for GPA was challenging.  People make different assumptions, have various communication styles, and praise or criticize something based on their values, beliefs and background. We wanted to present a realistic business plan to the leaders, who already have learned and achieved so much, while considering their experience. We gradually became more confident about our findings, and that also led us to target the organization’s mission in broader perspective. Furthermore, the more we communicated with Asmaa and Zabeth, the better the adjustments we made on the project. “

Justin Evert, a Masters of History candidate pursuing his Nonprofit Management Certificate in our department, told us about some of the specific steps the group took:

“My project partners and I spent most of our time in the first weeks of the term getting in touch with GPA and its staff, particularly Asmaa Lahlou. GPA was very forthcoming with its promotional materials and yearly report(s), and that was an immeasurable help. From there we conducted a market research survey in the region, just to see what other organizations had in the works. Afterward, most of our time was spent hashing out ideas for new projects, more efficient structures, and overall organizational goals. Throughout the semester we were in constant contact with the GPA office staff and board, and conducted several interviews to gather background info and a view of the state of affairs on the ground.”

Presenting the project culminated the group’s experience.

“Presenting to Zabeth Teelucksingh and John F. Smith was, in a way, much less nerve-wracking than our final in-class presentation,” said Justin. “The two of them, despite their enormous pool of experience, talent, and cultural sway, are in fact very approachable people, and extremely engaging with everyone they meet. They listened intently, took careful and copious notes, and asked insightful questions. And more than that, they were genuinely interested in what we had to say and valued our input as outsiders.”

Sophie agreed, saying, “I knew our business plan was realistic and was at the executive level to grab the Board Chair’s attention, and I was proud to be the member of the Cultural Competency class project team.”

Both students reported learning a lot from the project.

“All the team members were actively involved in the project. We all shared and taught each other with suggestions throughout our journey. The most valuable thing I have learned through the project was collaborating, and incorporating my knowledge and background into various fields. I always compared and still compare myself with others’ expertise, but it was a great opportunity to know I actually have unique background and skills. We distributed project responsibility based on our expertise, and we worked well together,” said Sophie.

Justin said, “In the end, my greatest take-away from this project was that as important as resources are to a successful non-profit, enthusiasm and talent on the part of its membership is equally essential. Fortunately for GPA, they possess both in spades.”

Dr. Wilson interviewed: “Two Takes On Paul Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Plan”

Check it out! Dr. Catherine Wilson was interviewed today on WPR to comment on Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan’s tax proposal. Click the link below to listen. Dr. Wilson is the first guest interviewed on the show.

Listen | “Two Takes On Paul Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Plan” | Wisconsin Public Radio


Introducing the Interactive Career Compass!

Looking for a job?
Want to locate a fellowship opportunity?
Wish that your employment search was just more fun?

The Leaders’ Lounge has the answer!
The Villanova MPA program is pleased to present our Interactive Career Compass!

This interactive map allows you to locate job boards, listings, classifieds, and other resources, centralized for easy searching. Locate a job site in your geographic region, find a job site with listings across the country, or sort the map by category.


We’ll be adding more sites and resources to the map soon, so check back! The Interactive Career Compass can be found, along with frequently updated job opportunities, on the Leaders’ Lounge Job Board. Know of a job site that should be added to our map? Or want to post an opportunity on our Job Board? Email us!


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