MPA Graduated Spring 2011
Current Employment: City Manager, City of Keystone Heights, FL
Retired JFRD Lieutenant, Project Manager and Administrative
The MPA program at UNF not only taught me how to apply the base of
knowledge I gained in an undergraduate program, it also set me apart from other
candidates when I was pursuing my second career as a city manager. As an
administrative officer at JFRD and as city manager of Keystone Heights I
routinely draw upon my experience at UNF when conducting research, crafting
policy or considering organizational changes. I can't imagine enjoying the
level of success I've had here in Keystone Heights without having the formal
training I received at UNF.
MPA Graduated in 2014 with a BA in Political Science
Current Employment: Emergency Manager for City of Cleveland.
Alex Pellom is a graduate of Western Carolina University (B.S. Communications) and the University of North Florida (Masters in Public Administration). During Mr. Pellom’s time in the MPA program, he was a Madison Mulling Demming scholarship recipient and served as a research assistant to Dr. Mary Borg.
In 2014, Mr. Pellom was honored in Philadelphia by the National Homeland Security Association at their annual conference with the Public Awareness Campaign Award.
Alex plays a lead role in many emergency management activities that include
preparedness, prevention, response, recovery, and mitigation in an all-hazards
environment. He manages, operates and maintains the City of Cleveland Emergency
Operations Center (EOC) & Joint Information Center (JIC). Activates
& coordinates EOC staffing in the event of an emergency, disaster, or
planned event. When not working to improve the City of Cleveland’s preparedness and response, Alex works in the emergency management consulting field for AMEC Foster Wheeler. One notable project completed by him and other team members involved training and preparing the District of Columbia’s Emergency Operations Center in best practices prior to the 2012 Presidential Inauguration.
his tenure at Duval County Emergency Management, Alex led the charge in
many areas of study. In 2010, he served
on the team that helped Duval County EM become the first local emergency
management program in the world to be EMAP reaccredited. Also, authored 90+ current
plans used during incidents. Notable plans
include County-Wide Evacuation, Bulk Distribution, Donations Management, and
the Terrorism Hazard Specific Plan. During
his tenure Pellom was also selected to serve as a member of the State of
Florida’s premier Incident Management Teams.
MPA Graduate | 1995 with a BA in Political Science with a Minor in History
I've been in social services and child welfare
for over 10 years, most of that time with the Department of Children and
Families. I have had the pleasure of working on many programs to improve
the lives of Jacksonville's citizens, and in 2009 was selected as one of Jacksonville
Business Journal's 40 Under 40 for my work in the community. When I joined the
program, I was the lead investigator for the child fatality and critical injury
unit at DCF. After completing my Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management,
I joined Family Support Services, where I am now a trainer, specializing in the
State's new child welfare practice model. When I made the transition from
government to nonprofit, my agency was impressed with the skills I was bringing
from the program. I am also passionate about animal causes, and the skills
learned in the MPA program allowed me to join the advisory board as the grant
writer for the Friends of Jacksonville Animals, a nonprofit founded to support
the City's animal shelter.
The MPA program (and nonprofit track) allowed
me to better understand the agencies I have worked for; it has also improved my
knowledge base extensively. Instead of only focusing on certain subjects, the
program exposed me to many different aspects of both nonprofit and public
management that I would have not received anywhere else - every part of the
program was easily applicable to real-world situations and experiences. I've
also had the pleasure of making wonderful friends and connections within the
program that are simply invaluable!
|| Kenna Hardaway
MPA Graduate | Spring 2016 with a concentration in Health Administration
BA in Sociology from Baylor University | 2010
Following my undergraduate career, my husband's career brought us to the Jacksonville area where I had few connections and struggled to find a career that I felt provided true meaning. The UNF Masters of Public Administration program opened doors and provided an engaging experience beyond my expectations. The MPA professors are extremely supportive and are what make this program special.
The program not only expanded my knowledge of Public Administration, but also helped me find a fulfilling career path in Healthcare Information Technology, ensuring the healthcare professionals are aware of, and adhere to new regulations in this rapidly changing arena. The Masters of Public Administration program has provided the skills and knowledge I needed to succeed, and was an experience I would never give up, and will never forget.
MPA Graduate | Spring 2014
B.S. in Psychology and Criminology from Eastern Michigan University | Spring 2009
Worked as an Operations Manager for KIPP Jacksonville
from July 2013-December 2015. Currently I work with The New Teacher Project, Inc.
(TNTP) as a Program Associate for the Legal and Business Development
Operations team where I provide strategic project management, manage the
life cycle of all contracts, and conduct analytical analyses of our
My UNF-MPA experience was absolutely amazing. If I
could have taken more courses with Dr. Candler, I would have. His
dedication to making me a professional writer really pushed me to perform
at my best. I know that my experiences in the program have aided me in
being the professional I am now.
TNTP's Website (www.tntp.org)
MPA Graduate | Fall 2010
Bachelors in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration | Fall 2008
My active involvement in
Student Government and the support I received from the Faculty of the UNF Department
of Political Science afforded me countless opportunities to pursue a fulfilling
career in the field of Public Administration.
The week I graduated from
UNF, I was fortunate to have started working in the Budget Office for the City
of Jacksonville. In this role I had the
privilege of working with City Administration officials in crafting the annual
operating and capital budgets for the City. Since my time in the Budget Office
I have worked directly for the CFO of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority
(JTA). At the JTA I had the incredibly
unique experience of working with the Authority to help secure re-extension of
the Local Option Gas Tax, a significant revenue source for the JTA, for 20
Currently I serve as the
Public Works Budget Manager for the City of Jacksonville. In this role I am responsible for analyzing
and managing the expenditures and revenues of our operating and capital
budgets. Working for a department which
significantly impacts the lives of our City’s residents has provided me with a
“front row seat” in witnessing government work positively affecting the lives
of the Citizens we serve.
offered in the program, coupled with the personal attention from the Faculty,
provided me with a solid foundation on which I have been able to build my
career. I am honored and proud to call
myself and Osprey. SWOOP!
MPA Graduate | 2014
BA History and Anthropology | 2007
The UNF Master of Public Administration
program supported and fueled my desire to serve in the nonprofit industry. I
found that flexible course schedules, small class sizes, and experienced and
passionate professors combined to create the perfect learning environment. I
was able to excel in my studies while working full-time for a local nonprofit
museum, where I put the new nonprofit administration concepts I was learning
A few months after graduation, I
accepted a fundraising position at Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org),
a veteran-serving nonprofit organization with a national reach. I know that
earning my degree from the UNF MPA program made me a stronger and more
qualified candidate. Today, I am able to use the knowledge and experience
imparted to me by my amazing MPA professors to raise money to fuel programs
that save lives.
MPA Graduate | Spring 2016
BA Sociology with a minor in Philosophy | 2006
Interesting past jobs:
Videographer/Independent Film Director- Tiger
Paw Productions and Special events 2001-2006
Radio personality/Producer for Clear
Channel August 2004-2006
Native English Teacher Ulsan, South Korea
August 2008-November 2010
Senior Academic Advisor- University of North
Florida March 2012- May 2016
Experience with the UNF MPA Program.
I was never a strong student in my
undergraduate degree, I had many interests and it was difficult to hone in on
where I could thrive. I attempted another graduate program before the UNF MPA
program and I was not successful. Dr. Candler gave me an opportunity to enter
the MPA program at UNF and it was the best decision that I have ever made. All
of the faculty in the program are so passionate about what they do and there
was not one course that I didn't enjoy or was able to learn a lot taking. The
content of the courses were difficult but I feel as if I learned so much and
everything that I have learned has prepared me for my future in nonprofit
management or local government. I would like to thank Dr. Candler and everyone
involved in the UNF MPA program. If you want a challenge, and want to learn,
the UNF MPA program will prepare you for anything. Professional Website Linkedin (https://www.linkedin.com/in/corey-s-williams-mpa-203366a)
MPA Graduated | Spring 2014
BS Political Science | 2003
am still teaching in Duval County (www.duvalschools.org);
the same position I held prior to enrolling in the program. Other than that,
I'm have remained in the same profession since graduation.
MPA Graduated | Spring 2014
BS Management from U.S. Coast Guard Academy | 2002
LCDR Josh Rose assumed the duty of the Critical
Infrastructure Branch Chief within the Office of Port & Facility Compliance
at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, DC, in the summer of 2014. His office
oversees and directs policy formulation and field guidance for cyber risk
management and critical infrastructure security activities. His office also
oversees the Port Security Specialist Program within the Coast Guard,
developing policy and supporting 116 Port Security Specialists all over the
nation. Prior to this assignment, LCDR Rose served at Coast Guard units in
Jacksonville, Florida and Mobile, Alabama, in which he worked mainly in the
vessel inspections divisions and waterways management divisions.
LCDR Rose graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in
2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Management and from University of North
Florida in 2014 with a Master of Art in Public Administration. His time spent at
the University of North Florida allowed him to understand the different
dynamics that are involved in the policy discussions and follow-on actions,
including understanding the diversity of equities involved and bringing groups
together for a common purpose. His studies also enabled him to further understand
the differences of military policy and public policy, which has served him well
in his position of bringing private and public partners together to promote
cyber risk awareness in the maritime transportation system.
I began my pursuit of a Masters in Public Administration seven years after receiving my bachelor’s in Psychology and Social Welfare from the University of North Florida. I spent those seven years growing my experience by working in foster care and independent living programs at Daniel Kids. I spent time in homes of people from all cultures and backgrounds. I testified and advocated on behalf of the vulnerable and made some very difficult decisions to sometimes choose safety over family. Through experience and the application of learned skills my role grew from direct care case management to administration. The MPA professors took stock in their students and challenged us to stretch our comfort zones and improve our writing and public speaking abilities. The professors also showed great respect for our time and investment by providing online learning opportunities to help balance classes with ongoing careers.
Currently I serve as the Director of Health Information Management for Daniel Kids. In this role I managed a full conversion of paper charts to Electronic Health Records (EHR) throughout agency clinical programs, streamlined the reporting of outcome measures and led the green initiative to begin recycling in agency offices. I recently accepted a new role at Daniel Kids as the Director of Resource Development for the foundation. In this role I will oversee volunteer management and special event fundraisers and cultivate relationships with key donors and stakeholders. I am excited to begin a new journey and feel confident and prepared for success thanks to my experience and solid educational foundation.
The overarching goal I plan to accomplish is to never stop learning, growing, and serving. I believe that all great leaders must always have the capacity to learn from and serve the very people they are leading. I can honestly say that the MPA has helped me obtain the skills and confidence needed to enhance my career in nonprofit leadership and truly understand all of the important aspects of public service.
Previous degree: BS Architectural Studies University of
Current work: Assistant Town Manager/Town Clerk - Orange
Previous: Legal Assistant at Kopelousos & Bradley
MPA Experience: I found the program to be completely
fulfilling. My experience was a bit backward in that I had a public sector job
before I had the public sector education. This endeavor was to bolster my
current career and to prepare me for future advancement. With many night
meetings, I took one course at a time which took five years, but allowed me to
focus on one subject at a time and meet a great number of classmates along the
way. I was encouraged toward the UNF program by a mentor. The program stands
out among others in the area. I was not disappointed. Town's website (www.townoforangepark.com)
UNF Degree - Not sure how you want to address the
Nonprofit Management certificate.
Technically I received a certificate in Nonprofit Management in 2014 and
my MPA in 2015.
American University – BA in Public Communications,
College of Southern Maryland – AA in Public
Moving to Jacksonville as a military spouse
transformed my career goals in ways I would have never guessed. Starting my “career” in volunteering for
nonprofits, I soon discovered the MPA program with a Nonprofit Concentration at
UNF and knew it was a perfect fit. The
coursework opened my eyes to the world of nonprofits and how diverse it could
be. During this time, I was also hired
as an Associate Director at a Florida nonprofit and my path was confirmed.
After graduation, I relocated to Maryland and began
working as part of the Strategic Leadership Support team for Vice Adm. Paul
Grosklags at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). I am now part of the daily activities and
decisions that affect the future of Naval Aviation.
Relocating to a small town after graduation presented
me with a challenge. With the lack of
opportunities to work in the nonprofit sector, I needed to figure out a
different way forward so I started my own consulting business to help
nonprofits. DKFoster Services, LLC. (www.DKFosterServices.com) is my company,
and I am doing my best to make an impact on the community. As my start-up grows, I plan to use the
amazing resources within the military spouse community. This will allow me to not only help local
nonprofits, but talented spouses that are often looking for employment due to
deployments or relocation.
All of my efforts would never have been possible
without the inspiration of UNF, specifically the MPA program. I am not exaggerating when I say it
completely changed my life and I will always value the time I spent on campus,
with my classmates and with my outstanding professors.
Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and Business
Masters degree in Public
Administration, with a focus in Local Government, in 2013
Current - Assistant Director of the University of North
Florida Public Opinion Research Lab.
(2010 -2011) Intern Jacksonville Civic Council - Medical/Life Sciences Task
After receiving my bachelors in business and working in
media relations throughout my undergrad, I entered the MPA program without
a political science background. With a mind geared to think in
terms of the private sector and business administration, I quickly found
value within the course load, learning about the expanding and changing
roles that exist between the private, public and non-profit sectors.
In addition to the challenging and relevant course topics, I instantly
connected with my professors, as they mentored me through the vast range
of career opportunities, landing me an internship with the
Jacksonville Civic Council and my current full-time position as the assistant
director of the University of North Florida Public Opinion Research Lab
|| Siddika Oztekin
year 2015 with a MPA in Public Administration and Minor in Public Policy.
was an international student at UNF, first I felt that what I am doing here.
Whenever I felt down, my advisor, teachers, tutors and all my friends made me
feel comfortable like at home. During the UNF MPA program, I learned how
analytic thinking is, how to participate the different views of people and to respect
graduating from UNF, I came back Turkey and I will start working University of
Mus as an assistant professor. Now I
feel that this program at UNF is chance to apply on my job. I will teach and
show this aspects of UNF and MPA Program to my new students and I guess they
are going to be lucky as I am.
Thomas M. Bozzuto,
Previous degree B.A.
Political Science, Business minor in 2001 from UNF
Currently the Development Associate for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast
Statement: I could not
have dreamed of a better experience than my time in the M.P.A. program at UNF.
The faculty was amazing in the knowledge and service they provided.
I could not have attained the dream job I have today without the help of
Dr. Candler and Dr. Dumont. www.bbbsnefl.org
Master of Arts, Public Administration (2013) and Bachelor of
Arts, Political Science (2012)-UNF
The UNF MPA Program has been instrumental in my career
development. I am a Sustainability Project Coordinator with the Leading by
Example Program at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. In this
role within state government, our team works to advance clean energy efforts
and sustainable practices across state agencies and public higher-education
campuses in Massachusetts. I have also worked in higher-education
sustainability, working directly at the campus-level on sustainability topics.
In both of these public administration roles, the experience and skills
developed from the UNF MPA program have been and continue to be important. I’m
proud to be a graduate of the UNF MPA Program, thanks to the excellent faculty
and the close campus community.