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A bachelor's degree or its equivalent from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university; AND Complete set of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts. At minimum, a 3.0 GPA is required.
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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.”
After Action Report Coordinator
New York City Emergency Management
I work 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.
Save the Children Armenia
With my 30-member team, I work to create lasting change for children in need in Armenia and around the world. We work to improve child protection systems, education infrastructures, and children's rights throughout the country.
My work has included administering programs in the organization and I am engaging more into policy. The Armenian office has a rich history of working in service provision and community development. We are now expanding into sustainability and accountability issues. I am expanding our policy work in Armenia and the 6 nearby offices in Eurasia. Our lead agencies are Save the Children United States and Netherlands.
In 2005 I made a life-changing shift from working for the Armenian Parliament to becoming a nonprofit sector architect. Back then, my bachelor's degree in Economics and MA in Political Science seemed to be a strong combination. Working the next eight years in the nonprofit sector I realized that successful nonprofit leaders need a select set of knowledge, skills and connections to lead their organizations. That understanding brought me to Binghamton's MPA program.
In my job at Save the Children, it did not take much time to appreciate the value of the MPA program. I cannot name a single class that I would not take if starting the program again. Today, I use a lot of content from Dr. Appe's policy analysis class, including the policy cycle and policy analysis, Dr. Campbell's nonprofits class, and Professor Brennan's human resources class.
My undergrad years were the first years of independence of Armenia from the Soviet Union. During that time the concept of a nonprofit sector, or the civil society, was not common. My early obsession was with politics and legislatures. When working for the Armenian Parliament until 2005 I became a true advocate of civic participation, and I was very upset about the level and quality of participation of nonprofits in policy work. 2005 was a turning point for me, when I decided to work from "the other side of policy barricades" and started my policy advocacy career. I have always believed that everyone should enjoy what he or she does. Today, looking back at my career, I can see that I have a proof of that. I even have my bonus. Working with Susan Appe together in Armenia to inspire the next generation of change makers is something I could have not dreamed even in my most far going dreams. Thank you!
Women in Local Democracy (WiLD) United Nations Development Program Armenia
We work in close cooperation with the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Territorial Administration and Emergency Situation to increase women's representation in local governance in all ten regions of Armenia.
We also support communities to develop and use strategies to ensure residents' participation in decision making processes at the local level.
By the time of application to the program, I already had 8 years of project management experience. I wanted to take a break from the practical work in the field and enrich my theoretical knowledge about nonprofit management.
For my current position as a Project Expert, it requires a lot of research and proposition of new solutions to old issues! I definitely use knowledge from Research Design & Methods, Managing Information and Technology, and Issues in Nonprofit Administration, in particular, topics related to social entrepreneurship. The 21st Century Governance class changed my perspectives to approaching management and the importance, and challenges, of collaboration.
Yes. The nonprofit field is very young in Armenia and when for the first time I attended an English club at the YMCA in 1998 in my small town I realized: "This is what I want to do" even though at the time I was a student at the teaching university. Since then I am very much engaged in nonprofit work in Armenia!
(Pictured: Zhanna Harutyunyan, L, with Assistant Professor Susan Appe).
US Department of Agriculture
Before coming to the MPA program, Dawn spent a lot of time volunteering with local not-for-profits and working in positions that sought to improve the welfare of children, college students and the surrounding community. Her decision to enroll at Binghamton was motivated by her desire to obtain, “a degree that would allow me to perform a social service.”
Now a management analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bartolomeo is responsible for duties ranging from drafting regulatory policy and managing state grants to preparing correspondence for communication with constituents and members of Congress — recently receiving a merit award for accomplishments in her current position.
“The faculty,” she says, “successfully plan courses that enhance your understanding of MPA competencies including leadership, creativity, complexity, dynamics and changeability.”
Bartolomeo also emphasizes the importance of “community-based projects that enable students to see the impact of their work within the ‘real-world' " and the structure of Binghamton’s program in providing the foundation necessary to succeed in her career. “During my free time, I continue to volunteer and seek opportunities to help and educate others, she says. “There is such a great need within this country and in the world for individuals who possess specialized skills to use them to improve the lives of others.”
Director of Emergency Management
David Hubeny’s desire to pursue a graduate education began with his career as emergency manager for Binghamton University. “As someone who was already ‘in career,’ I wanted to enhance my administrative and management skills to become more effective in my job,” Hubeny says. “I spend all of my professional time, both career as well as volunteer activities, in the public sector and the MPA degree was the best option for me to develop and refine the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to succeed professionally.”
As a full-time University employee, husband, father of three, captain of the Broome County Hazardous Materials Team and member of the board of directors for the University’s nonprofit Harpur’s Ferry Student Volunteer Ambulance Service, Hubeny’s chief concern was maintaining a work/life balance. He explains the benefit of pursuing his Master in Public Administration degree right here at Binghamton, saying, “I was able to register as a part-time student and balance my personal, professional and academic responsibilities in such a way that none suffered. The academic expectations are reasonable and a part-time program was exactly what I needed to allow me to thrive professionally and personally for the duration of the MPA program.”
“As my duties include the direct management of personnel, finances and policies, the MPA education has proven to be invaluable,” Hubeny reports. “Classes in budget management, human resources and labor relations are all able to be applied in my professional career on a daily basis. The MPA refined and polished my skills and has allowed me to become more effective and efficient in my job.”
The MPA Program at Binghamton was perfectly suited to meet Hubeny’s needs for flexible scheduling and professional development. But he adds that “it is the department faculty who truly elevate the program …[T]he passion and knowledge of the faculty allow them to move beyond theoretical discussions and help students successfully apply the concepts that are learned. By bringing the classroom to life through internships and community involvement, faculty guide the learning process and allow the students to develop the skills needed to excel professionally.”
United Way, Chenango County
“Holding this well-respected degree has given me a higher level of credibility within my community and the nonprofit sector.”
When Elizabeth Monaco entered Binghamton University’s MPA program, she was already the executive director and chief professional officer of the Chenango (N.Y.) United Way. Monaco joined the MPA program to learn best practices and increase her effectiveness as an executive.
She was not disappointed. Binghamton’s MPA program gave her “a new perspective on the public administration field.”
“I am much more self-confident and willing to try new approaches to tackling tough issues in the nonprofit sector,” she says. The program helped her “shape a new personal standard for ethics in the workplace,” and it sharpened her focus on the “legal and fiduciary responsibilities” of a nonprofit executive.
“I also believe that holding this well-respected degree has given me a higher level of credibility within my community and the nonprofit sector,” she says.
The MPA program’s “warm and welcoming environment” made it a fast fit. Monaco praises the faculty for being easy to work with and ready to share a wealth of information. She appreciates the variety of reading and research materials that her coursework covered, and she enjoyed the interactive format of her classes.
After graduating from the MPA program, Monaco returned to Binghamton as an adjunct faculty member. “This was a very rewarding experience for me,” she says. “I was given the rare opportunity to share my experiences and to give back to my peers in the program that I loved.”
Natalie Vanderlaan-Meyering, a graduate student in the accelerated MPA program, is currently abroad interning for the U.S. Delegation to to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland.
Can you tell us about the accelerated MPA program you’re in?
"The accelerated MPA program allows students to take graduate-level classes and have them count towards both an undergrad and master's degree. It is also known as a “3-2 program,” because undergraduate classes are taken for three years and graduate classes for two. In the end, the accelerated MPA program has not just saved me time and money, but has helped me understand how I will apply knowledge in a career as a public servant."
How did you come upon the internship and how did Binghamton University help?
“Knowing that I wanted to intern abroad and to focus on foreign policy, I signed up for employment announcements from the State Department (DOS). Several months later, the Fleishman Center had an event where a Binghamton alum/DOS employee shared his experience with students. Afterwards, a recruiter from DOS spoke to us about her experience as a Foreign Service Officer and the interns she had in the past. I wouldn’t have known the right questions to ask during my interview, let alone even applied to the program, if it wasn’t for the two speakers."
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