Dean's Newsletter


A Message from Dr. David Birdsell, Dean, School of Public Affairs

Dean Birdsell

Since our founding in 1994, the School of Public Affairs (SPA) has quadrupled in size—to 1,200 students and 53 faculty—and built some of the nation's finest programs in public administration and policy. We offer the MPA in four formats, two MSEd programs and the BS in Public Affairs (BSPA). For more than 14 years, we have worked with outstanding partners in the nonprofit and government sectors to deliver flexible, innovative Executive leadership programs that now claim thousands of alumni. Our research centers bring together scholars and practitioners in a wide range of areas, from demography to survey research to educational leadership to crafting a more just society. In all of these ways and more, our faculty and students engage every day with the policy questions they have committed to study—from New York City and State, to national and international affairs.

Over the next 20 years, our thinking about policy and management will continue to be shaped by the forces of globalization. We will continue to look beyond New York City to state, national, and international venues for our scholarship and our graduates' careers while working ever more closely with local institutions to understand the emerging needs of complex, multicultural, tightly interconnected urban areas such as ours.

This newsletter highlights some recent successes among School constituents and provides a roadmap for what comes next. We invite you to celebrate what comes next with us!

Celebrating 20 Years

Alumni at this year's 20th anniversary celebration

Our 20th Anniversary Celebration at the New Yorker Hotel this past spring was a truly memorable evening of wonderful moments we’ll never forget. Attendees came to see faculty members old and new, reconnect with the classmates they knew and connect with the ones they didn’t, and of course – dance, dine, drink, and mingle!

Photos capturing the warmth and excitement of the celebration can be found on our Facebook page.

The Amy Hagedorn Challenge

Amy Hagedorn and President Wallerstein

Alumni, faculty, and other valued School constituents were presented with a challenge at our 20th Anniversary Celebration in May: Give back and you will do so alongside Amy Hagedorn who will match your donation dollar for dollar!

Academic Standing and Accolades


- The Baruch College School of Public Affairs Master of Public Administration is a NASPAA-accredited degree program, just renewed through 2021-2022
-We are ranked among the “Top 50 Public Affairs Programs in the Nation” by U.S. News and World Report

New Publication: The Nonprofit World: The Global Rise of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector

Prof. John CaseyIn Associate Professor Casey’s own words:
Because of my own cosmopolitan background, my research and teaching has tended to focus on international comparisons and on the impact of globalization on public affairs. While teaching in policing I did research on how different police agencies around the world implement community policing and how they manage their relations with immigrant communities.

Here at Baruch I have been doing work on how the nonprofit sector has grown around the world and about the new governance structures that are emerging to manage relations between nonprofits and governments.

That is the focus of my new book The Nonprofit World. It explores the growth of the nonprofit sector within countries around the world and analyzes the growing impact of international nonprofits. There are economic, political and cultural factors that determine the differences in the size and function of the nonprofit sector in different countries, but in almost every country the impact of nonprofits has expanded considerably in the last decades. In the international arena, the nonprofit organizational form is seen as a way of surmounting the challenges posed by national sovereignty. Nonprofits can build global brands and establish a global presence in ways that make them more like business corporations than governments. My book looks not only at the high-profile international nonprofits such as the humanitarian aid and assistance organizations, but also at international sports and cultural organizations, business associations, and even hobby groups. In the book you can read about the nonprofit sectors in countries in Asia and Africa and also about international nonprofits like Amnesty International, World Vision, FIFA (the global soccer federation), the International Window Film Association, and the International Association of Quilters.

Learn more and purchase Associate Professor Casey’s book, The Nonprofit World: The Global Rise of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector.

Legacy Faculty Q&A with Dr. Frederick S. Lane, Professor Emeritus

Frederick Lane

Frederick S. Lane was a full-time Baruch faculty member from 1972-2008. During his tenure he taught courses focused on the effective management of public, nonprofit, and educational institutions; served as Chairperson of the Department of Public Administration and Program Director of the Executive Master of Public Administration program; created anthologies which are used in colleges and universities across the country; and left an indelible impact on the people and programs of the School of Public Affairs.

What were some of the most enriching experiences you had in your 36 years teaching public affairs and administration at the School of Public Affairs?
I had only visited New York City once and had never lived in New York City when I accepted a job offer from Baruch College. For a guy who grew up in Milwaukee and Miami and who had lived in Atlanta, San Antonio and Syracuse, New York blew me away. Becoming a New Yorker – encountering so many diverse and talented other New Yorkers, including Baruch students – was my most enriching experience.
Let me add another dimension: when young people talk about public service these days, they often mean charitable, nonprofit organizations. New York City is America’s nonprofit capital. In moving to New York, I was fortunate to help re-define the field of Public Administration from just government to both governmental and nonprofit organizations. In the mid-1970s, I started teaching what has been called the first graduate course in nonprofit management in an accredited school of business or public administration. By the early 1980s, I was teaching other public affairs faculty members around the country – like a group of faculty members in Illinois – what to include in such a course and what instructional materials were available.

What are the most substantial changes the School has undergone since you taught here? What changes do you believe it will undergo in the coming years?
Many important things have started, and many talented new faculty have been hired. I would like to focus on two developments. First, the Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management has continued to grow and support New York City’s 43,000 nonprofit organizations as well as some 600,000 employees plus philanthropic supporters, board members, and volunteers. The Center’s monthly seminars, its research activities and working papers series, and its newsletter are just examples. Besides, Baruch’s School of Public Affairs teaches more graduate courses about nonprofit organizations than any place in the country, with the possible exception of Indiana University.

Second, our School has recognized globalization’s increased impact on our lives. New initiatives in international affairs and in comparative policy and administration – in places like Turkey and Vietnam – promise a great deal. Baruch students live in an important world city, with the United Nations just blocks away, and participate in a college with students from over 150 countries. The School of Public Affairs must respond accordingly. We have a great deal to contribute, and much to learn.

View our spotlight archive to read Fred’s entire spotlight, and learn about other faculty members, alumni, and students who have made an impact.

Faculty News

Welcome New Faculty Members!

Professor in classroom

Our faculty members are engaged in some of the most exciting and influential research projects in their field, and their public contributions are routinely cited in the press and published in the leading academic journals. Please join us in welcoming our new full-time faculty members.


Chaeyoung Chang; Lecturer, Ph.D. Indiana University
Chae Young Chung is interested in building a bridge between public management and policy analysis, which have been regarded as separate fields of inquiry. In his dissertation, he explored how state's Physical Education policy and its implementation affects school children's excessive weight gain, considering school manage¬ment such as principal's concern about academic achievement and school facilities, using Hierarchical Linear Model. He is also inter¬ested in childhood obesity and is investigating the effect of diverse obesogenic environments and the effect of anti-obesity programs on childhood obesity.

Alexis F. Perrotta; Substitute Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Columbia University
Alexis Perrotta's research is focused on the intersection of ur¬ban transportation policy, planning and welfare. Using qualitative methods, her doctoral research provides a novel exploration of equity and access as it relates to public transportation planning. Dr. Perrotta has over 10 years of professional experience in afford¬able housing development, homelessness advocacy, and city- and state-level policy analysis in the fields of congestion pricing, trans¬portation finance, housing, and property taxes. She is a founding board member of Housing Plus Solutions, a nonprofit organization providing residential alternatives to incarceration for women in New York City.

Byron E. Price; Lillie and Nathan Ackerman Visiting Professor of Equality and Justice, Ph.D., Mississippi State University
A leading scholar in the field of prison privatization, he is the author of the book, Merchandizing Prisoners: Who Really Pays for Prison Privatization and the coedited 3-volume set, Prison Privatization: The Many Facets of a Controversial Industry published by Praeger Publishers. His areas of research are prison privatization, prisoner reentry, school-to-prison pipeline, race, politics and social justice.

Marco De Sena; Lecturer, MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science
After graduating from Baruch College with a BS, Marco was awarded placement in the prestigious New York City Urban Fellows, a national fellowship program for recent graduates, where he worked for the Chancellor's Office in the Department of Education. Later, Marco worked as a writer and policy analyst in think-tanks and advocacy groups in London and Washington, DC. He has also worked on numerous political campaigns, including as a speech writer and policy analyst for the Giuliani Presidential Campaign, and for congressional and statewide races.

Recent Faculty Awards

“New Yorkers Who Make a Difference Award”from the United Neighborhood Houses of New York; Distinguished Lecturer and Director of the Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management, James A. Krauskopf

“Best Article Award” from the Journal of Public Affairs Education; Visiting Professor Iris Geva-May

“The Jesse Burkhead Award” from the Public Finance Publications; Associate Professor Daniel Williams (with Joseph Onochie)

“Distinguished Service Award” from the NY Chapter of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (NYAAPOR); Distinguished Lecturer Micheline Blum

“Distinguished Book Award” from the American Sociological Association; Professor Robert C. Smith

“Guggenheim Fellowship Award” by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; Professor Robert C. Smith

The Russell Sage Foundation Fellowship; Professor Robert C. Smith, Associate Professor Ryan Alan Smith

“Louis Brownlow Memorial Award” by the American Society for Public Administration; Professor Douglas Muzzio (with Gregg Van Ryzin)

“Outstanding Paper Award” from the International Institute of Forecasters; Professor Daniel Williams

“Louis Wirth Best Article Award” from the ASA International Migration Section; Professor Robert C. Smith

Announcing the Office of Global Initiatives


We are thrilled to introduce the brand new Office of Global Initiatives (OGI). OGI is committed to the development and maintenance of partnerships with global institutions; creation of exciting opportunities for students to study abroad; inviting global scholars to visit and learn; and encouraging faculty to teach international students here in New York City and around the world.

Please visit our new web page for more information about the Office and our programs.

Our Executive Certificate Programs

The School’s Office of Executive Programs is proud to offer six career-boosting executive certificate programs designed and delivered for administrators in the government, nonprofit, and healthcare sectors.

Impact Measurement and Reporting
A 10-session certification program which provides in-depth training on the steps involved in building a sound, practical, and worthwhile plan for measuring impact.

Individual Fundraising
An in-depth, 48-hour certification focused on solicitation planning and implementation techniques for maximum results.

Individual Fundraising (Intensive)
This intensive version of the Indi­vidual Fundraising program offers the knowledge of seven modules in a full day, week-long version.

Launching and Managing a Not-For-Profit
An 8-session certificate program that provides comprehensive train­ing on the steps involved in start­ing up and managing a 501(c)(3).

Professional Presentations Certificate
A dynamic, 8-session program for professionals looking to improve their presentation skills through evidence-based, interactive, and comprehensive trainings from faculty-practitioners. (CTA)

Not-For-Profit Financial Management and Reporting
This 10-session certificate program provides rigorous training in finan­cial management concepts and principles, as well as Not-for-Profit reporting requirements.

Our Incoming Class

SPA AlumsEach year we welcome an inquisitive, intelligent, and diverse group of individuals to join our academic programs and make an impact. Among this year’s entering class of more than 300 graduate MPA, Executive MPA, Higher Education, and School Building Leadership students are the following outstanding individuals.

Michael Usai will join our Executive MPA program this fall.For over 10 years, Mr. Usai has directed a research and review unit comprised of a Wetlands Study Program, Forest Science Program, Fisheries Program, Invasive Species Program, Project Review, and Land Use Permit Programs at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Bureau of Water Supply.Previously, Michael served the NYC DEP for 11 years as a Wildlife Biologist.

Mythili Chivukula will join our NASPAA-accredited MPA program this fall. Mythili has been far and wide, working, studying, and volunteering in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore, India; Longdon, UK; and New York, New York. She has served as United Nations representative, consultant for risk advisory services, and research associate in public policy.

Felicia Wharton will join our MSEd-HEA program this fall. Felicia’s impressive and diverse academic resume includes a Master of Arts in Mathematics and a Doctor of Philosophy. Her academic appointments and positions have included the role of Doctoral Lecturer, Academic Advisor, and Chapter Chair at the SUNY Brooklyn Educational Opportunity Center.

The Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA) - A Degree with a Purpose

Q&A with Professor Jerry Mitchell, Associate Dean of Academic Programs

How has the BSPA program evolved over the years?
The BSPA was founded in 1994 and redesigned in 2012 to focus on applied public policy advocacy and analysis. Baruch College has recognized in its strategic plan the importance of civic engagement. The College aspires for the BSPA to be preeminent nationally in undergraduate public affairs education.

What changes is the program currently undergoing, and where is it headed?
The BSPA is positioned for growth. Academic partnerships are in development with public service-focused high schools, college readiness nonprofits, and community colleges from across the nation. Outreach events acquaint prospective high school students with top elected officials and government administrators. Baruch’s undergraduates may join the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance to become Certified Nonprofit Professionals and engage with the campus chapter of the prestigious Roosevelt Institute to learn applied leadership skills. For those planning to attend graduate school, free GRE preparation sessions are held each semester. Continual career planning is a hallmark of the student experience.

I understand you are on the NASPAA undergraduate committee. What sets BSPA apart from similar programs at other schools, given your understanding of undergraduate public affairs degrees from this broader perspective?
Most undergraduate public affairs programs are focused on management theories and practices. Baruch’s BSPA emphasizes public policy advocacy and analysis. Graduates are expected to work in nonprofit organizations and government agencies and to be effective because of the communications and critical thinking skills they’ve learned in their classes. The School also seeks for bachelor’s recipients to pursue graduate education. Top universities can anticipate knowledgeable and skilled applicants with public service aspirations who may be the first in their families to attend college and who are often from disadvantaged backgrounds. The BSPA is, in short, a degree with a purpose.

BSPA Alums Enter the Workforce

Group of studentsThe Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs (BSPA) is the public policy advocacy and analysis degree that makes a difference. Join us in congratulating the following hard-working BSPA alumni on their recent job placements:

Mariam Allam, Office of College Advancement, Baruch College

Lina Cruz, Latino Affairs, New York Yankees

Rene Cruz, TruFund Financial Services, BOC Capital Corporation

Esther Grullon, Office of Communications, New York State Assembly

Gari Harvey, Youth Action-Youth Build, Bank of America,

Farhana Hassan, Office of New York State Senator Jose M. Serrano

Tatyana Hladki, Sesame Workshop

Kyungmi Kim, NoHo Business Improvement District

Angelica Martinez, Office of Comptroller Scott Stringer

Yelky Ramos, Her Justice, New York

Roxane ZouZou, Office of New York State Assemblyman Michael Blake


Recent School of Public Affairs News

Upcoming events at the school of public affairs

September 21

Presidential Management Fellowship Information
Session (Option 2)
135 E. 22nd St. Room 907
1 to 1:30pm

September 21

Outstanding 2015 Nonprofit Board Leadership: A Conversation With the Winners of the Brooke W. Mahoney Award for Outstanding Board Leadership
Baruch College
Information & Technology Building
151 East 25th Street 
Newman Conference Center
7th Floor, Room 750
4:00 to 6:00 pm

September 22

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency / Federal Hiring Overview Lunchtime Employer Info Session
135 E. 22nd St. Room 301
12:30 to 1:30pm

October 6

"How to Give Yourself a Promotion & Accelerate Your Career"
With School alumna Dele Lowman Smith, The BOLD MOVE Coach
12:30 to 1:30pm

October 7

Go Government Webinar Series: Your Federal Career - In D.C. and Beyond
Webinar, option to watch at 135 E. 22nd St. 
Room 907
2 to 3pm

October 7

Open House - School of Public Affairs at Baruch College
Baruch College
Information & Technology Building
7th Floor Conference Center
151 East 25th Street 
5:30 to 7:30 pm

October 14

“Healthcare Leadership 101: Developing Your Professional Portfolio”
Panel with Young Professionals Healthcare Network
Baruch College 
Newman Vertical Campus Room 14-270 
6 to 8 pm

October 21

Mastering the Art of Interviewing
135 E. 22nd St.
Room TBA
5:30 to 7pm

October 29

Student and Alumni Networking Night
Baruch College 
Newman Vertical Campus Room 14-220 
5 to 8 pm

View More Coming Events