The 2015 banquet put on by the Georgia Students for Public Administration was held on Friday, April 17, 2015 at the Georgia Museum of Art. The event, which was attended by faculty, staff, and students of the Department of Public Administration and Policy and the School of Public and International Affairs, was an opportunity to celebrate the ending school year.
During the event the keynote speaker, Roland McElroy, shared his experiences during his time working for former Senator Sam Nunn. He also shared thoughts on the attributes that current MPA students should develop prior to entering government careers, particularly careers in the federal government.
It was also an opportunity to honor students for their achievements during the year. Among these achievements, Dr. Deborah Carroll honored students who have completed at least 100 hours of service since the beginning of the service initiative program which started in August 2014. Second year MPA student, Amy Share earned the most hours during the time period topping 300 hours of service to the local community.
Students and professor of the year awards were also announced. Faculty and staff voted for Students of the Year and student voted for Professor of the Year.
Second-year MPA student, Sam Perren received the title of MPA Student of the Year. During his time in the program, Sam worked for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. He also participated on the 2014 Fels Policy Competition team. The team was a runner-up in the competition and through it created a nonprofit, Pack to Plate. Sam is currently acting as Executive Director of that organization, although he will soon be passing the torch as he starts working for the Middle Georgia Regional Commission in Macon, Ga.
PhD Student of the Year went to second-year student, Benjamin Brunjes. Ben is currently acting as the MPA Advisor and teaches and undergraduate course for the Department. He, his wife, and son also welcomed a sweet baby girl to their family this year. Ben is currently conducting research on government contracts.
The final award of the evening was given to Dr. Robert Greer for Professor of the Year. Dr. Greer came to UGA from his PhD program at The University of Kentucky this past August. He specializes in Public Budgeting and Finance and has taught courses in economic development, public finance, and statistics over the past year.
At the end of the night, the new GSPA board was announced. The 2015-2016 GSPA board will consist of Alyssa Sorenson, Jessie Bruno, Ashley Finch, Ashley Hilmer, James McGee and Daniel Krimmel.