Meet our Staff!

It’s time for a little meet and greet! Read up and get acquainted with some of Villanova’s MPA staff!

STEPHANIE NISSEN, ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

Hometown: Prescott, AZ

Years @ ‘Nova: 3

What is your favorite thing about Nova Nation? I love how everyone here shares in a commitment to service. I think it strengthens the bond between students, faculty, and staff and sets Villanova apart from other universities. I also love the team spirit.Β  Even when our basketball team is struggling there remains a strong support among the Villanova community inside and outside the University.Β  I also love Nova Nation because they share the same mascot as my alma mater UofA. Go Wildcats!!!

Extracurriculars: Sports have never been my strong suit, but I do love to run. I have done one marathon and am definitely planning to do another sometime in the near future. I love the outdoors and being from AZ, where it is summer year round, I have trouble staying inside for any extended period of time. I have a passion for working with children and make an effort to volunteer/visit children’s camps in the area whenever I can.

If you could take any MPA course what would it be and why? I completed a majority of the MPA courses when I was in the program, but I would like to take Effective Nonprofit Management.Β  I worked with Dr. Wilson as a research assistant my first year in the program and came to truly appreciate her passion for the nonprofit sector, which leads me to believe I would really enjoy the class.

What is your favorite movie? Shawshank Redemption

What is your hidden talent? I am pretty amazing when it comes to untangling necklaces

What is your favorite book?Β I have two: A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson and Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. Not sure why they are my favorite but they are the only two books I could read more than once

What are you looking forward to most for the 2012-13 academic year? Welcoming more people into the MPA Community

CHRISTINE PALUS, DIRECTOR

Hometown: Monroe, NY (now Bryn Mawr, PA)

Years @ ‘Nova: Β 7

What is your favorite thing about being a part of Nova Nation? Basketball games

Extracurriculars: Running, playing piano, playing with my daughter.

If you could take any MPA course what would it be and why?Β  MPA 8500 – because I would love to be a local government manager.

What is your favorite movie?Β  Cool Runnings

What is your hidden talent? Making iced coffee better than Starbucks

What is your favorite book ?Β  James and the Giant Peach

What are you looking forward to most for the 2012-13 academic year? Getting to know our online students

LAURA HOKENSON, ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT EXTRAORDINAIRE

Hometown: Scituate, MA

Years @ ‘Nova: 6

What is your favorite thing about being a part of Nova Nation?Β Running into Coach Jay Wright on campus

Extracurriculars:Β Trampoline, tambourine and baking. Sometimes, simultaneously.

If you could take any MPA course what would it be and why? MPA 8299: Land-use and Zoning so I can finally use my SimCity skills.

What is your favorite movie?Β  Home for the Holidays. It combines two of my favorite things: Christmas and Robert Downey, Jr.

What is your hidden talent? I know all of the words to Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations”. That’s a talent, right?

What is your favorite book and why? From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. I used to wish I could camp out at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Now I dream about running away to IKEA.

What are you looking forward to most for the 2012-13 academic year? Β Watching the faculty learn the new technology for the online program. It’s an exciting time to be at Villanova!