MGS Program Director, Dr. Dennis Hickey, reports that Fall 2014 graduate, Ellen Hsieh, has accepted a position with Missouri State University’s English Language Institute.
Ellen will be working in both the main ELI office (helping students & faculty, organizing and assisting with international student orientations, sending documents overseas, etc.) and the Special Programs Office where she will be working in the Global Leadership Academy. Congratulations Ellen!
Rob Dixon, Executive Vice President of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and 2011 MPA alumni, was recently selected the new Executive Director and CEO of the Missouri Community College Association (MCCA). Congratulations Rob.
Organizations and individuals make progress and prosper when they honestly look at their processes, find their flaws, and fix those flaws with new or revised processes. One of the keys to making those new processes work is to build in desired behavior incentives for the people implementing those processes. These are all examples of management’s proper application of the Law of Cause and Effect.
Missouri State alumnus Larry R. Bradley has seen that law of success repeated over and over. He saw its implementation first through his varied experiences as a U.S. Army Infantry Officer, including being the co-author of Army policy for a $36 Billion program, and later in a second career as a sales executive responsible for millions of dollars in sales. Whether working in big organizations or small, in government or private industry, Larry found the proper application of the Law of Cause and Effect to be the key to success and progress.
Larry is combining his knowledge of how to achieve organizational success with his undergraduate degree in Political Science, to change the way America does its elections. He describes himself as a Voter Advocate involved in creating the needed changes to make American politics and government more effective and efficient.
“My conclusion is this,” says Bradley. “The true root of America’s political problems is not (despite what the two sides claim) one side or the other. The true root of the problems is our electoral system. Our electoral processes limit voters’ choices and enable political parties to restrict the competition their candidates must face. Voters are, therefore, confronted with a spoiler scenario that forces them to choose between the lesser of two evils. Voters are not able to properly reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. As a result, our government is in constant turmoil.”
Larry is already the impetus behind legislation in Nebraska to bring change to their ballot and voting processes and hopes to expand his efforts to Missouri and other states. He recommends three specific changes to state election laws. Eliminate the spoiler scenario by replacing the winner take all ballot with Instant Runoff Voting. Eradicate gerrymandering by doing away with Congressional Districts in favor of proportional representation. Level the playing field for Presidential competition by allocating the Electors to the Electoral College based on the Popular Vote within each individual state. Bradley contends making those three changes would immediately inhibit the influence of money on our electoral system and put the elected leadership in place needed to finish the job and fully negate its influence.
A more detailed look at the specific changes Larry advocates, as well as opportunities to support his electoral reform efforts, are on his web site at TheCenterStrikesBack.org.
I graduated in August 2007 from MSU with my bachelor’s degree in Political Science. My fellow graduates gathered prior to the ceremony to exchange congratulations and thanks. I vividly recall the discussion involving what each of us would be doing next. As a runner for Strong Law Firm, I received great advice from some of the partners (including current MSU President Clif Smart) not to rush into a six figure student loan for law school. I had become gainfully employed in the private sector, but I had also begun contemplating graduate school to study emergency management and hazard policy. To this day, I can distinctly remember Dr. Connor and Dr. Kernen encouraging me to take this path. This piqued my interest given the renewed societal focus being placed upon the value of emergency preparedness, especially in the aftermath of 09/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the Minneapolis bridge collapse.
I enrolled in the University of New Orleans Master of Public Administration program in August 2008, a week before Hurricane Gustav hit the region. The opportunity to study hazard policy in a city rebuilding itself was an incredible experience. While enrolled, I worked full-time as an assistant to the Executive Director for the Jefferson Parish Council on Aging where I gained valuable management and policy skills before graduating in May 2010. Jazz musician Irvin Mayfield, Jr. was our commencement speaker and thanked the graduates for choosing UNO so soon after Katrina, as we would forever be part of the great city’s recovery.
The seven-term Mayor of Gretna, Louisiana, Ronnie C. Harris, was on the JCOA Board of Directors at that time and noticed my efforts. His Chief Administrative Officer retired and he had 30 months to fulfill his last term and wanted to know if I would be interested. I jumped right into it and received a crash course in local government management and politics. I served as the city’s Incident Commander during Hurricane Isaac and helped secure a Community Development Block Grant to redevelop two ball fields in a minority neighborhood which had been damaged by Katrina years earlier.
I am now the City Administrator in Ashland, MO. Ashland is a growing community in Boone County and provides a valuable opportunity for me to continue my municipal management career while working in public works, municipal finance and economic development. You don’t have to be an expert in one field to be a successful municipal manager but you do need to be able to think critically and solve problems. My political science education at MSU helped me to cultivate these skills. The faculty demanded logical explanations for our conclusions in academic work as well as classroom discussions.
My advice to any political science student is to take a logic class, develop your public speaking skills (I highly recommend joining a local Toastmasters Club), learn a foreign language and do not accept sloppy work from yourself in the classroom. Your undergraduate degree will help you develop necessary critical thinking and problem solving skills which employers of all industries and disciplines crave but you must put in the effort while you are a student. It is also necessary for students to secure an internship if they do not work at a job which will lead to valuable experience and networking. It is a difficult job market for new graduates so it is important that you take the opportunities presented to you and make the best of them as I have done with the opportunities afforded to me.
A member of a pioneer family of Polk County, Darin Chappell has strong family ties to Bolivar in specific and to Polk County in general. He and his wife of twenty-seven years, Carole Ann, lived in Fair Play for a time, and two of their three children attended Fair Play schools. Their two daughters are grown and live in Springfield, while their son is a student at Bolivar Middle School.
Darin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with a minor in Public Administration, and earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Missouri State University. Darin was a Per Course Faculty member for MSU for more than four years, teaching Public Administration, Public Budgeting and Finance, and American Government, with a heavy emphasis in Political Philosophy and studying the Foundation Documents of our Nation. In addition, Darin worked with MSU through the Center for Social Sciences and Public Policy Research (CSSPPR), and the Missouri Local Government Program, offering aid to, among others, the Missouri City Clerks and Finance Officers Association (MoCCFOA). Darin has publically lectured on the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Missouri, Public Finance and Budgeting, Political Philosophy of the Founding Fathers, and the involvement of the individual citizen in the political process.
Darin began his tenure as City Administrator for the City of Bolivar on April 1, 2012.
Luke earned his MPA degree from Missouri State in 2005. Michelle received her MPA from MSU in 2004 and her PhD from Southern Illinois University in 2009
Michelle joined the Department of Public Policy and Administration at West Chester University in 2013 and teaches courses in the MPA program. Her research interests focus on how people construct and negotiate social identities in community organizations and how those organizations can create opportunities for both exclusion and empowerment in regards to local governance. She currently teaches courses in Foundations of Public Service, Research Methods, and Staffing & Development.