Attention Graduate Program Alumni: GAPAPS is the Graduate Student/Alumni Association of Public Administration and Political Science. This association is affiliated with the Department of Political Science. Membership is open to all alumni and current graduate students of the M.A. and M.P.A. Programs. The association provides opportunities for professional networking, career development and internship information, guest speakers, and social events. All students are invited to join.
Richard Barney's academic concentrations in the UNH Political Science MA program were international politics, Latin American politics, and public opinion. As a graduate assistant for the UNH Political Science Department Richard worked for Professor Mary Malone conducting research on Latin American public opinion and fear of crime. He also worked for Professor Andy Smith as a Research Assistant at the UNH Survey Center. Richard recently accepted a position as a survey programmer for Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a global public opinion research and consulting firm located in Washington, DC.
"I completed my MA degree and the sustainability politics certificate in 2011. My primary research interests include the effects of nationalism on world politics, international relations theory, and international environmental politics. Next, I moved to Nashville to begin a PhD program in political science at Vanderbilt University. I am fortunate and grateful to have benefited from the consistent guidance and support of the UNH political science department over the past year and a half."
Master's Degree Gives Student Edge in Job Market
Matthew Flanagan completed his undergraduate degree in criminal justice in the summer of 2009, looked at the waning job market and two weeks later enrolled in UNH's Master of Public Administration program in Manchester. He accepted an entry-level position as a security officer with the hope that by the time he finished his degree he would be able to begin a career in the public sector.
"I thought going to graduate school would be an investment in my future, but even before I've finished my degree I've had two promotions," said Flanagan.
Since he began the program, Flanagan has worked for global defense contractor BAE Systems and more recently was offered a mid-level position with Raytheon BBN Technologies. Flanagan credits his UNH graduate degree program for opening the door to these job opportunities that have increasing levels of responsibility.
"While I was researching the career field of industrial security, I realized early on that I would be competing with other more experienced candidates for positions at the next level," Flanagan explained. "Two other co-workers and I were competing for the same job – they had more work experience, but I believe it was the fact that I was earning my master's degree that gave me the edge."
When asked why he chose the program on the Manchester campus, Flanagan said that he had applied at two other local colleges, but it was the friendliness and responsiveness of the staff that made him feel at home at UNH.
"Last year when work relocated me from Merrimack to Boston I didn't even consider changing schools in spite of the fact that I had to commute for class. I really like the small class sizes and access to world class instructors."
Flanagan expects to complete his degree requirements in May of 2012.
The University of New Hampshire Graduate School, Manchester Campus offers post-baccalaureate programs in applied professional fields. Centrally located in Manchester's historic Millyard in the heart of the I-93 corridor, the Graduate School offers the expertise of University of New Hampshire faculty, contemporary curricula, modern educational facilities, convenient access, flexible schedules, and most important, a graduate degree from the University of New Hampshire, the state's flagship public university.
For more information on UNH's Master of Public Administration program, contact Pam Neville at Pamela.Neville@unh.edu, or attend one of our evening information sessions held on the first Tuesday of the month. Visit www.gradschool.unh.edu/manchester or call 603-641-4313.
Manchester MPA Student Deputy Fire Chief in Concord
UNH Master of Public Administration student Sean Toomey, spends his days serving as deputy fire chief at the Concord Fire Department and his nights studying for his master's degree at the UNH Graduate School Manchester Campus.
An alumnus of UNH, Toomey graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He worked in the private sector as an engineering consultant and in 2001 completed his Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He joined the Concord Fire Department in 2005 as the assistant life safety officer.
When asked why he chose to pursue a career in public service he responded, "I felt like as a consultant I was fighting the rules...now I'm not fighting the system, I'm helping people. And it's in my blood. My grandfather was the fire chief in Manchester for many years."
As Toomey rose in the ranks at the fire department, he became increasingly interested in learning more about the administrative functions. He returned to school in the fall of 2010, investigating the UNH Master of Public Administration degree program. "I was most interested in the courses that were taught by real-world practitioners which I could directly apply to my current job. And the convenient location of the Manchester campus and course times fit my schedule."
Toomey aspires to one day be the state fire marshal.
A member of the Greater Concord Leadership Program, Toomey participated in NH's Penguin Plunge benefiting the Special Olympics on a team of 11 other City of Concord officials. When not serving the public, Toomey enjoys raising dogs for his dog sledding team.
Since 1963, the UNH MPA Program has trained and educated public service and non-profit professionals in New Hampshire and the New England region, and is the only MPA program in New Hampshire. Manchester courses are offered in the early evenings, one evening per week, for 8 week or 15 week sessions.
The mission of the UNH Graduate School Manchester Campus is to provide high-quality graduate-level educational opportunities for working professionals to prepare them for leadership roles in the fields of education, human services, public health, business, and government by focusing and extending the University of New Hampshire's professional graduate programs to the economic and population center of the state. Classes are offered through the Graduate School's Manchester Campus conveniently located in the heart of the I-93 corridor.
For more information on UNH's Master of Public Administration program, contact Pam Neville or attend one of our evening information sessions
In the last two decades our world has become increasingly more and more interdependent. Various political and economic developments have contributed to this interdependence, including dissolution of the Soviet Union, development of sophisticated information technologies and knowledge economies, expanding international trade and capital flows, global war against terrorism, ecological crises, and so on. As a result, the need for governments across the world to coordinate their activities has deepened. In addition, thanks to the Internet and mass media, people are more aware of what is happening across the world and many believe they are global citizens, rather than citizens of a single country. I consider myself one of these people. I believe countries around the world share common challenges and opportunities and, therefore, everyone can benefit if we cooperate with each other, pool resources, and solve these problems.
My interest and passion towards public administration and international affairs have deep personal roots. I am originally from Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic. When I was seven years old my Mother took a chance and signed me up at the only school in the city that specialized in English language. Somehow she knew that knowledge of a foreign language would benefit me in the future. Her courage paid off. In 1994 I was selected to participate in a foreign student exchange program, which was carried out under the auspices of the American Council for Collaboration in Education and Language Study. At the time I was only 16 years old and felt so lucky and excited to be able to come to the United States. I spent a year studying hard at a US high school, made new friends, travelled across the US and most importantly polished my English language skills.
It was not until I returned home, however, when I truly realized the importance of my experience. I realized that people around the world have very different cultures and beliefs, that some countries have a stronger system of law and order, while others have weaker institutions,
but most importantly, that despite all these differences, we are all humans with common problems that we can solve only through international cooperation.
It was this experience that influenced my decision to study journalism at the Department of International Relations at Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University. At the time I applied there, the state no longer financed everyone's education but I was able to receive a full scholarship. While at KRSU, I underwent a rigorous program that combined both interdisciplinary studies along with extensive language training and practical
work. Among my professors were distinguished representatives of the Kyrgyz political leadership and international organizations, who further deepened my interests in the fields of public administration and international relations.
Coming to the United States and becoming a citizen was a new chapter of my life. By then I was already married with two small children and had to leave my home, my relatives, my friends, and a job with USAID that I had gotten to love very much. It was a tough choice; however it had to be made, as the situation in Kyrgyzstan was getting worse both economically and politically. Instability is a great motivator in many cases and my family was no different. I admit we took our chances when we received that letter from the Green Card Lottery offering us a chance to start a new life in a country where opportunities are abundant and hard work pays off. The Green Card Lottery is a process in which people from all over the world submit their applications to be picked randomly by a computer to start the immigration process. Winning the lottery does not automatically guarantee immigrating, as it is only the first step in the long and tedious procedure of collecting documents, going through interviews and medical evaluations. It took our family about a year to complete everything and get a visa to the
We have been here six years now and became citizens nearly a year and a half ago. Recently, my step-daughter, Radmila came to the US. She arrived in April, having to wait until my husband became a citizen before he could apply to have his daughter immigrate to this country.
We have a lovely home, our children are among the best students in their schools and we have built great relationships with people we have gotten to know here. I am now enrolled at UNH and am working on my MPA degree, hoping to graduate in a year and pursue a career with either Foreign Service or international organizations. This way I will be able to put my knowledge, experience and passion to work to serve this country that accepted me as one of its own and gave me a chance to succeed, and I will be able to help developing countries like Kyrgyzstan build their potential and capacity. I find it to be the most rewarding path that I could have chosen and I am striving to succeed
and work extra hard to achieve my goals.
Of course we all miss Kyrgyzstan and try to go visit every time we get a chance, but I feel that we are able to help our relatives better from here, than we would have if we stayed back.
Like I said before, this country gives us an opportunity to pursue our dreams and to work hard to achieve our goals. I don't want to sound trivial quoting Forrest Gump, however there is no way to avoid it. "Life is a box of chocolates..." We took a chance and we are very glad we did.
40 Under Forty, Seacoast banker Ben Wheeler helps lead within the community
"I think I'm probably one of the luckiest guys in the world," Ben Wheeler says when asked about the path his life has taken.
He comes from a close-knit New Hampshire family, has been guided by life-long mentors, and has the support of a loving wife.
It was his tee-ball coach, John Pratt, who encouraged him to pursue banking, and it was Pratt who nominated Wheeler for this year's class of 40 Under Forty honorees.
Wheeler worked for Citizens Bank for about a year before moving to First Colebrook Bank where he currently serves as vice president and commercial loan officer. Wheeler has been at the center of the local bank's success, both in the community and in lending.
"In order to be successful in a small community bank like ours, you have to be fully entrenched in your community," Wheeler said.
The bank encouraged him to pursue involvement in the local Rotary Club, the Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce, and other local organizations.
But Wheeler has not just been involved, he has led fundraising efforts, youth leadership efforts, and is always looking to do more.
As the former district chairman of the Rotary Youth Leaders of America program, he oversaw a five-day leadership training for 110 youth from across the district and also served as the U.S. RYLA representative to an international conference in Brisbane, Australia. Taking risks and having fun doing it is a part of Wheeler's makeup.
Some of his best days before welcoming daughter Emma six months ago was serving as river manager for Moxie Outdoor Adventures leading rafting trips down the Kennebec and Penobscot rivers in Maine.Today, Wheeler said he is still at his most relaxed when he is sitting in the middle of a raft, floating down a river.
Wheeler said life is a balance, and having an incredibly supportive wife helps him balance all of the duties of his life.
"Everybody around me buys into what I'm doing and if that wasn't the case, I couldn't do any of this stuff," Wheeler said.