Featured Alumni

Alumni of the UIS MPA Program

Marissa Evans, a Fall 2019 graduate from the online program, shares insights on the program and a career update.

“After I graduated in December of 2019, I received a job offer with the Idaho Department of Juvenile Corrections working as a Planning & Compliance Program Specialist and the State of Idaho’s Racial and Ethnic Disparities Coordinator. I work closely with the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to monitor any racial or ethnic disparities within the state for juveniles who come into contact with the justice system. If any disparities are discovered, I work closely with the juvenile justice administrators in that area to resolve any issues. I also work closely with the Idaho Juvenile Justice Commission to provide prevention techniques for various stakeholders. I can absolutely say that my skillsets gained through the MPA program were integral in both obtaining this position as well and succeeding during my time in my department.”


Wes Deppa, and alum of the online MPA program, shared his story with the Center for Online Learning, Research and Service.


Scott NiermannScott Niermann, M.PA. Recipient of A.S.P.A.’s Founders Forum Fellowship 2005-06

“My time at UIS’s Department of Public Administration was filled not only with solid theory, but also with real world application through knowledgeable and experienced professors, class projects and case studies based on real situations, as well as my own graduate internship experience through the GPSI program. I have gained skills in both qualitative and quantitative analysis, political theory, and professionalism, which will serve me well as an aspiring public servant. I have found the staff and faculty at UIS to be approachable and eager to assist me in the pursuit of the Master of Public Administration degree. As a graduate student at UIS, I wasn’t treated as though I was just a number in a database; rather, I was respected as an ‘up-and-coming’ public administration professional.”


Carzella Pritchett, M.P.A. U.S.D.A Agronomist, Limited Resources Outreach Team Leader United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Springfield, IL

“I have been empowered by the knowledge, skills, and abilities acquired through my MPA studies. The degree rounded off the jagged edges of on-the-job training and filled in the gaps to provide me with an in-depth understanding of the meaning of public administration. The program was well designed with options to customize the degree to fulfill my individual needs. ”


William J. Pittman, Police Chief of the Nantucket Police Department in Nantucket, MA.

“The MPA Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield provided me with the tools needed to critically analyze the complex issues confronting today’s law enforcement managers.

“The MPA Program prepared me to engage in meaningful organizational change as we moved the Springfield Police Department into the era of Community policing.

“The program provided me with the advanced skills needed to confidently compete in the public sector.

“The MPA Program gave me the tools and confidence needed to address the complex issues confronting public safety in today’s environment.

“The MPA Program at the University of Illinois at Springfield is an excellent program that allows the graduate student the opportunity to gain the knowledge and tools needed to compete in the public sector no matter what their specialty.”


Molly Ehlert, Emergency Response Coordinator, Logan County Health Department

“I want to thank you all for your support and recommendations given on my behalf and give you an update on my employment. I ensure that the Logan County Health Department is in compliance with all federal and state laws regarding bioterrorism and emergency preparedness. I also keep up-to-date on all pandemic influenza trends and current information. While these are just a few of my duties, I know this position will allow much learning and training that will help advance and develop me as a public health practitioner and public administrator.”