On Tuesday, March 7th from 12:00-1:30 pm EST, the Department of Public Administration and Villanova University Alumni Association are hosting “Villanovans in Public Service,” a virtual event where you can have one-on-one networking conversations with alumni! This is your opportunity to speak individually with MPA alumni from a variety of fields and organizations!
This is not just for members of the MPA community – students and alumni across Villanova are invited to attend! Register for the event here.
Let’s meet some of our wonderful MPA alumni who will be participating!
Michelle Alfaro is currently a City Planner for the City of Omaha, a goal she has had since 2005 when she was introduced to City Planning. She currently reviews plans for commercial, residential, industrial and recreational development projects for code compliance, safety and urban design standards. She is a non-traditional student, as she attended school in online communities for both my undergrad and graduate programs. She has worked full time while tending to her three children and husband and going to school full time. She is the first person in her lineage to graduate with a college degree.
Throughout her school experience, Michelle has learned a lot about herself and discovered she has a passion for people, which is why she is starting a doctoral program to obtain her PhD in Human Capital Management. Her new goals are to be a leader in an organization that utilizes methodologies and techniques to build up employees and allow them to utilize the knowledge, skills and abilities they have to fulfill their goals and the organization’s goals.
Michelle is forever a Wildcat and proud to have been part of the Villanova family. She hopes to return to Nova later in her career and work with students and alumni in the future.
Sarah currently serves as the Secretary of Policy and Planning for Governor Wolf where she oversees the development and implementation of the governor’s policy agenda both within the governor’s office and at the agency level. She previously served as the Deputy Secretary of Policy and Planning, focusing on health, human service, and education policy. Prior to joining the Wolf Administration in January 2015, Sarah served as the policy director for the Wolf for Governor Campaign.
Sarah has prior experience in both the government and nonprofit sectors. As a graduate student, she worked for the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority focusing on municipal financial policy and as a mayor’s Intern for the City of Philadelphia where she performed a functional audit of in-kind services provided between the School District of Philadelphia and the City of Philadelphia. Prior to that, Sarah ran the community volunteer programs, family initiatives, and special projects for a children’s literacy organization in Philadelphia. A Pennsylvania native, Sarah has a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and an MPA from Villanova University.
Ralph A. Gigliotti (PhD, Rutgers University) is assistant director of the Center for Organizational Development & Leadership at Rutgers University, where he is also a part-time lecturer in Communication. Ralph’s research and consulting interests explore the intersection of organizational communication, leadership, and crisis communication, particularly in the context of higher education. Ralph’s research appears in numerous books and journals, including the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Journal of Leadership Education, and Atlantic Journal of Communication. Ralph is also the co-author of A Guide for Leaders in Higher Education: Core Concepts, Competencies, and Tools (Stylus Publishing, 2017) and the forthcoming Leadership: Social Influence in Personal and Professional Settings (Kendall Hunt Publishing). Ralph also serves as an adjunct instructor in the online Public Administration graduate program at Villanova University.
Fran Lynch is the director of public affairs, research and education communications for Mayo Clinic located in Rochester, Minnesota. In her current role, Fran is the senior communications partner and advisor to Mayo Clinic Research physician-scientists and the executives and administrative staff of Mayo Clinic Medical School and graduate schools. She also leads the Research and Education Communications team whose members are located in every U.S. time zone. Her job is to drive forward Mayo Clinic’s scholarly mission through communications that inform, inspire and engage people by bringing the message of hope worldwide.
Prior to this role, Fran worked in the global pharmaceuticals industry across clinical research and development, commercial, and manufacturing organizations in assignments of increasing responsibility. Her most recent leadership roles were as director, North America Communications Lead for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals following the largest pharmaceutical merger in U.S. history and as the change communications leader for the Global Serialization Program at Bristol-Myers Squibb.
Fran earned a BA in Liberal Arts from Holy Family University, an MS in Public Affairs and Marketing for Nonprofits from Drexel University and an MPA from Villanova University. In 2015, she was elected to Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society, Villanova University chapter, which recognizes outstanding undergraduate as well as graduate students in public administration, public policy, and public affairs.
Sarah Mandes serves in the federal civil service as an energy program manager at the Headquarters, Department of the Army, in the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management. Her responsibilities include managing the Army’s Energy Conservation Investment Program, building and defending budgetary requirements for utility services, reporting on the Army’s renewable energy program, and developing policy and guidance on energy conservation and renewable energy.
Sarah’s career in public service began as an active duty civil engineering officer in the Air Force. She spent 15 years in various active duty and civil service positions in the Air Force, including construction project management, project programming and funding, emergency management, and energy management. She continues to serve in the Air Force Reserves, in the Civil Engineer Expeditionary Engineering office in the headquarters. Sarah graduated from Villanova’s MPA program in 2014, has a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, and is a registered professional engineer in Virginia. She enjoys running, triathlon, and spending time with her friends and family. She currently resides in Arlington, VA.
Other MPA alumni you can network with during this event are:
- Erin Kuchar: Director of Development, New Yorkers for Children
- Ansa Yisdom: Senior Director of Professional Services Procurement, Pfizer