By: Rachael Andrews
Taha Hameduddin (MPA, ‘14) has followed a long and winding journey to accept a faculty position at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. During his time in the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at the University of Georgia, Hameduddin was interested in community organizing and the nonprofit sector. However, his classes in the MPA program showed him that research can be just as impactful on communities as practice.
“The MPA classes I took required reading and making sense of quite a lot of public administration research, and tackling how research and practice feed each other,” Hameduddin says.
The research that Hameduddin encountered in the MPA program inspired him to continue his education. “As I read more, I understood how little I actually knew,” Hameduddin reflects. “The decision to pursue a PhD was one way to keep learning, but also to produce useful research that I found interesting.”
The network Hameduddin cultivated while at UGA followed him into his PhD. In fact, his dissertation advisor at the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Dr. Sergio Fernandez, received his PhD in Public Administration from UGA in 2004.
After completing his PhD, Hameduddin was offered a position at the National University of Singapore.
“Working at the Lee Kuan Yew School at the start of my academic career represented a unique and attractive opportunity,” Hameduddin admits. “And one that allowed me to be at the intersection of research, practice, and policy in a globally significant location.”
Despite his success, Hameduddin still remembers how recently he was a student himself. “It’s a strange feeling knowing that I was the “student” until very recently, but in the journey of life and learning, we are still all students,” Hameduddin says.
Hameduddin recalls his time at UGA fondly, and credits the MPA program with his love of learning. Hameduddin’s favorite part about his experience at UGA was the people he met in the Department of Public Administration and Policy.
“I learned the value of asking questions and questioning assumptions in the classes I took,” Hameduddin remembers. “I cannot mention every single experience, but perhaps the most fulfilling classes were the ones I took with Professor Larry O’Toole, Rob Christensen (now at Brigham Young University), and Professor Hal Rainey, among others.”
While at the National University of Singapore, Hameduddin is not only teaching, but producing notable public administration research.
“I’m currently working on a project on examining trust in government, organizational images, and how they are related to public organizational reputations and the morale of public employees,” Hameduddin explains.
His journey may not have been easy, but Hameduddin has a support network that helped him through the tough times. “There were times I truly did want to quit, but forged ahead with the support of friends and loved ones,” Hameduddin says.
Hameduddin has some simple advice for UGA students to achieve success: “Ask questions, speak up, and take advantage of opportunities as they come by.”