Invitation to Stay Connected!
- Our alumni have compiled enviable records of achievement in their work in governmental, non-profit, healthcare, and other public service organizations. Alumni hold key positions, such as city manager, budget and policy analyst, village administrator, clerk, and treasurer, town administrator, chief of police, community organizer, CEO of retirement community, director of hospital department, and others.
We are proud with our alumni successes, and we hope to feature more news and updates from them. We are interested in highlighting YOU! Please provide us with the following information: year of graduation from MPA program, your current position (including the name of your organization, your title, and a brief job description), what you enjoyed most about the MPA program, and a current photo (optional).
Our hope is that this will be a great space for alumni to visit in order to feel more connected to the PA Department, as well as to learn what classmates have been up to.
Alumni Success Stories
Emily McFarland, Spring 2013 Graduate
- "I always knew that public service was an arena that I wanted to work in and when I made the decision to continue my education, I was deciding between two programs, and couldn't be happier with the decision I made to attend UW-Oshkosh's MPA program. The education I gained while attending the program has proved to be invaluable to both my career working for the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration as a Lead Policy Analyst, as well as in my role as Alderperson serving the City of Watertown's 1st District. The practical real-life approach that the professors used was not only extremely educational and informational, it was also interesting and motivating. There have been numerous times when I have been presented with a situation and thought to myself, "I remember a case study on that, or a lecture that covered that." I cannot say enough about the education I received and amount of preparation the MPA program gave me entering the next steps in my career." (October 16, 2013)
Mandy Stanley, June 2011 Graduate
- "After spending nearly 15 years working in county human services organizations, I finally reached my goal of becoming a human services director when I took the helm at Marquette County Human Services in October 2012. The MPA program played an instrumental role in my progression from middle management to director. The program not only enhanced my knowledge and skills, but reaffirmed my desire and commitment to work in public service. Sharing thoughts and ideas with other students from a variety of public administration backgrounds broadened my perspective and allowed me to develop connections that I have maintained in my current position. Thanks MPA program!" (May 3, 2013)
Joseph Krebsbach, June 2011 Graduate
- The MPA alumnus, Joseph Krebsbach, has recently been leading the merger of the Door County Department of Community Programs, where he was the Director, and the Department of Social Services into a new Door County Department of Human Services. He has been appointed as Director of the newly merged department. In an email, addressed to MPA faculty, Mr. Krebsbach further noted, "...I continue using the things that I learned in the MPA program on a daily basis. Although I already had the DCP Director job, I feel much more prepared for the work I am doing. I also feel confident that the MPA program has expanded my options significantly. I want to say thank you to MPA faculty." (January 12, 2013)
Kirwins Charles, Fall 2011 Graduate
- "I am a 1st year PhD student in Public Policy at the School of Public Policy and Administration, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. The MPA program at UWO has really got me prepared for this journey. I got exposed to the foundation of Policy analysis, the mixture of the core courses, as well as the elective classes were well designed. I don't have to do any prerequisites; and that speaks highly about the quality of the MPA program. My area of interest focus on international development and Haiti. I'd like to explore strategic ways that Public Policy can be used as a tool to enhance effectiveness, equality, dignity, and the quality of life of the Haitian people. And renewable energy in developing countries is also a topic for which I have a keen interest. Thus, at this time, my idea is quite broad, and I hope to narrow down by the end this year...I will be grateful to MPA program and the whole UWO community." (October 18, 2012)
Eileen Connolly-Keesler, 2001 Graduate
- "After 13 years of service, Ms. Connolly-Keesler has resigned from her post as President and CEO of the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation on November 15, 2012. Read more about her professional contributions. Ms. Connolly-Keesler has recently become the President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Collier County in Naples, Florida. “Before I decided to pursue graduate studies, I had been out of school and in the workforce for 15 years. I felt like I needed to sharpen my skills and knew that a master’s degree would open up new doors for me. The timing was right. I was drawn to UW Oshkosh because of its reputation, program offerings and convenience. Not only did UW Oshkosh have the program that I was seeking, but it just so happened to be in my backyard. The instructors were great — accessible, reasonable and receptive to feedback. With classes on Saturdays, the MPA program was completely workable for someone with a full-time job and family responsibilities. Some of my classmates drove up to three hours for class!”
David Sakrison, 1988 Graduate
- "I received my MPA degree from Oshkosh in 1988. After 18 years as a freelance corporate writer and consultant to business, healthcare, and non-profits, and three published non-fiction books, I am teaching Strategic Management and International Marketing at Ripon College, in Ripon WI and serving on the board of directors of Operation Migration, a key player in whooping crane species recovery.
I am a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Wisconsin Society of Ass'n Executives (WSEA). Though I have spent much of my career in the private sector, I have served on non-profit boards and worked as a marketer and consultant for non-profits. My MPA degree has opened doors for me and has given me the conceptual grounding to make strong effective contributions to for-profit and non-profit organizations alike." (September 5, 2012)
MPA Alumni on LinkedIn
- Please also see some of our alumni successes in LinkedIn. Due to limited space not all alumni are listed. However, you can join LinkedIn to see other MPA alumni profiles and to keep in touch with your colleagues and faculty from the UWO MPA program.
- Ken Arneson
- Eileen Connolly-Keesler
- Tara Nunenkamp
- Deborah Anderson
- Patrick Wetzel
- Gregg Cleveland
- Angela Gorall
- Vicky Steffens
- Dianne McLester-Heim
- Piersen Bowman
- Leona Whitman
- Rick Manchester