MPA student profiles
I work for New York City Emergency Management as an After Action Report Coordinator,
working with teams from NYC Emergency Management and other city agencies to identify
what went well and why and what didn't go as well as they had hoped in the City's
emergency responses and drills.
I always wanted to volunteer. I was sixteen when I started with my local fire department but I was interested in volunteering even before that. Volunteerism is something that is really important to me. It's an important force in the community and that's not just emergency services, any volunteer provides an important service in the community. Part of my interest in looking at how governments and nonprofits can provide services to people was from my interest in volunteerism.
I came to the MPA program at Binghamton because I did my undergraduate studies here, which I loved, and I had heard good things about the MPA program. I'd been active as a volunteer with Harpur's Ferry Ambulance on campus and a few of our alum from Harpur's Ferry came through the MPA program, were successful, and found it a really positive experience. I applied to several different programs but Binghamton struck me, more so than the other places, that it was a more open. I thought that the courses had great material and were structured in a way that wasn't rigid, it felt like I could come here and research what I wanted to research and I could be involved in different extracurricular pieces of the program as well. It looked like a good balance: academic rigor, involvement outside of the classroom, and rigor with enough flexibility that I could make my MPA into "my" MPA.
Both local government classes I took inform the work that I do now. One was planning
for disasters and the other was recovering from disasters, floods in particular. The
local government class in planning and in recovery solidified a concept in me, that
the whole community approach is real. It has to be real. That was important to me.
I had a great experience in the MPA program at Binghamton. I would do it again.
Spanish Language and Literature and Public Administration, BA-MPA
“I hope to affect public health policy in innovative and effective ways.”
Stephen Capobianco is ambitious. As part of Binghamton University's combined BA-MPA program, he expects to complete both a bachelor's degree in Spanish language and literature as well as an MPA degree. Students typically complete the combined degree program in five years, instead of the usual six. Stephen enrolled in the MPA program to broaden his perspectives on public policy and build a solid foundation for his future endeavors. “The smaller size of the program,” he says, “allows students to develop their own academic and professional interests while receiving attention from multiple faculty members.” Stephen’s work focuses on public health and the connections between health policy and government. As an MPA student, Stephen participated in a study-abroad course in Shenzhen, China, where he researched the effect of the hukou system on Chinese public health. He also interned at the United Way of Broome County as a health program officer, where he helped develop several evidence-based decision-making tools for the organization.
After graduating from the MPA program, Stephen plans to attend medical school. He aspires to integrate his “passion for serving the public good with the clinical practice…of a physician. In the future, I hope to affect public health policy in innovative and effective ways.”
Public Administration, MPA
“It is not easy to find a program with a strong emphasis on local government, which is exactly what I found at Binghamton University.”
A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Sebastian Lippez De Castro came to Binghamton University’s MPA program to deepen his understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved in local government management. He already held a bachelor’s degree in political science (with an emphasis in public management and a specialization in municipal government), and he had teaching and research experience related to the decentralization process in Columbia and other countries, but he wanted more. “It is not easy to find a program with a strong emphasis on local government, which is exactly what I found at Binghamton University. My courses…have given me a valuable opportunity to enhance my understanding of local government systems in the U.S.” Using this comparative perspective, Sebastian hopes to propose changes, foster initiatives, and advance the study of local government issues and the decentralization processes in Columbia.
Sebastian appreciates the practical experience he gained during a summer internship at the Schuyler County Department of Planning and Community Development. The internship was “priceless, because it allowed me to practice what I have learned in class while supplementing such education with the knowledge of experienced practitioners. I met dedicated public servants facing the challenges of a complex intergovernmental system.”
Public Administration, MPA
“The MPA program has exceeded my expectations and has challenged me both academically and professionally.”
Lucia Esposito joined the MPA program in order to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue a career in local government. As a full-time employee of the Broome County Office for Aging, Lucia found that the flexible structure of the MPA program was able to accommodate her busy schedule.
“The MPA program has exceeded my expectations and has challenged me both academically and professionally,” Lucia says. As a student, she has had the opportunity to apply theory to practical problems, working with the Center for Applied Community Research and Development as well as the Broome County Gang Prevention program. She has also appreciated the diversity of the MPA student body. “I have especially enjoyed taking classes with students pursuing their MPA degree after years of public service, as they are a great source of practical knowledge.”
Lucia, who came to the United States from Slovakia, is following in her parents’ footsteps: both had lifelong careers in public service. “I have always found this career path to be exciting and challenging. I therefore hope to…continue to serve the public in whatever capacity possible.”
Public Administration, MPA
“At Binghamton University, I learned more about myself and how I can use my MPA degree to effectively make a difference.”
After earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Buffalo and dedicating a year of service as an AmeriCorps member, Tamaria Kelly enrolled in Binghamton University’s MPA program. “I knew I wanted to take the social aspects of what I experienced in the public sector to the next level,” she says.
Tamaria praises the MPA program’s positive atmosphere. “There is a strong sense of community in the department…Faculty genuinely care for the success of students. They are well-rounded in their knowledge, experiences, and passion for public service. Students work beside one another and bring a diverse set of professional and life experiences to the classroom.” Tamaria also appreciates “the program’s commitment to enhancing students’ professional development.” Because MPA classes often partner with outside organizations for class assignments, she has participated in a team project with students from Shenzhen University in China and has worked on a grant proposal for the local Catholic Charities. Her Capstone project will build on the internship she completed at BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, a Brooklyn, NY-based nonprofit that seeks to empower young women of color.
Tamaria looks forward to pursuing a career related to her interests in education policy and urban and nonprofit management. “At Binghamton University, I learned more about myself and how I can use my MPA degree to effectively make a difference and accomplish my career aspirations.”