The Keystone State Chapter is proud to conduct an annual awards event in May during Public Service Recognition Week. Prior to the 2000 pandemic, we collaborated with university public administration programs to honor public servants and students. Participating universities inducted students into Pi Alpha Alpha, the global honor society for public administration. The Pi Alpha Alpha website is www.pialphaalpha.org.
The following nationally recognized speakers addressed attendees at the Public Service Recognition Week annual awards event.
2019: Dr. Maria Aristigueta, University of Delaware School of Public Policy and Administration and past President of ASPA
2018: Dr. Michelle Paulz, Professor and Assistant Provost, University of Dayton, Ohio
2017: Dr. Susan Gooden, Virginia Commonwealth University and past President of ASPA
2016: Dr. Sanjay Pandey, George Washington University
2015: Dr. Suzanne Piotrowski, Rutgers University, Newark, and Independent Assessor on United States Open Government Partnership
2014: Dr. Stephanie Newbold, American University and Fellow with the United States Supreme Court
2013: Dr. Ronnie Tucker, Shippensburg University
The Keystone State Chapter provides a variety of chapter meetings for members and students to be apprised of public administration issues, to discuss common concerns, and to enjoy informal networking. Below is a sampling of notable chapter events going back to 2015.
Business Meeting & Holiday Social – December 2020
The December 10 event was sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs with Dr. Sabina Deitrick and Lydia Morin serving as Zoom hosts. The event included testimonials for two longtime ASPA members who passed away in 2020. Marita Kelley offered comments in memory of former Harrisburg Mayor Steve Reed and Lydia Morin offered comments in memory of the University of Pittsburgh professor Dr. David Miller. Our chapter members who serve as ASPA District Representatives, Dr. Diane Disney and Jonathan Del Collo, provided reports on initiatives underway at national headquarters. David Margolis announced that the Keystone State Chapter Board of Directors had voted to reelect Christian Harris as Secretary and Nate Reese as Treasurer for additional one-year terms. Participants celebrated the holiday season with informal discussion and networking.
Student Panel – November 2020
This virtual panel on November 17 featured the three recipients of chapter student awards. Huiting Qi earned an Outstanding Student Award for her doctoral studies at the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs and the Student Paper Award for her article titled “Strengthening the rule of law in collaborative governance.” Emma Yourd received an Outstanding Student Award for her excellent performance in the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA). John Tintera’s Outstanding Student Award recognized his superior academic work as an undergraduate at Millersville University where he participated in numerous volunteer public serviceactivities. Discussion focused on the most significant challenges faced by public administration students, as well as lessons learned that could be helpful to other students and those supporting students. The session was moderated by Alaina Sforza, a Keystone Chapter Board Member and graduate student at West Chester University.
NECoPA – November 2020
The Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA) held its 2020 conference on November 6 and 7 for academics, students, public servants, and nonprofit managers. Sponsored by the MassASPA Chapter with the theme of “At the Heart of Public Service in America,” the virtual conference offered 45 panels with 251 presenters. The keynote speaker was former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. NECoPA began conducting annual conferences in 2010 to advance understanding of civic engagement and the common good, to foster the spirit of service already evident among many citizens, and to suggest a broad array of pathways to public service. Keystone State Chapter members who presented papers were: Olumide Adeoye; Dr. Lauren Azevedo; Dr. Kristen Crossney; Sunayna Johnson; Dr. Daniel Mallinson; Dr. Glenn McGuigan; Peter Melan; Saahir Shafi; Dr. Allison Turner; Dr. Triparna Vasavada; and Dr. Michelle Wade. Chapter members on the NECoPA leadership team are Immediate Past Chair Dr. Bing Ran and Board of Trustees members Dr. Amanda Olejarski, Dr. Triparna Vasavada, and Huiting Qi.
Partnership Panels – October 2020
Two separate virtual panels were conducted to hear from the chapter’s 2020 Innovative Public Service Partnership Award recipients. On October 6, the Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT) was represented by Steve Beuter (Carnegie Borough Manager), Marita Garrett (Wilkinsburg Borough Mayor), Tim McLaughlin (Aspinwall Borough Council), Dr. David Miller (University of Pittsburgh), Brittany Reno (Sharpsburg Borough Council) and Mary Ellen Ramage (Etna Borough Manager). The session was introduced by Dr. Sabina Deitrick and Dr. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Graduate and International Affairs and was moderated by CONNECT Executive Director Lydia Morin.
On October 29, members of the City of Harrisburg and faculty from the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs (SPA) presented their partnership that included student research projects at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Speakers were City Council Members Ben Allatt and Dave Madsen and SPA faculty Dr. Jane Beckett-Camarata and Dr. Daniel Mallinson. This session was introduced by Dr. Marvin Overby from the Penn State School of Public Affairs and was moderated by Olumide Adeoye, a PhD student at the School of Public Affairs.
Practitioner Panel – September 2020
On September 15, the chapter’s Lifetime Achievement Award (Marita Kelley), Chapter Leadership Award (Tyler Sova), and Scholar-Practitioner Award (Jennifer Bert) recipients discussed challenges in their public administration roles. Their presentations set the stage for a chapter member discussion of issues facing public service organizations. Penn State Harrisburg doctoral candidate Saahir Shafi served as moderator for this virtual session.
Coping With Covid – July 2020
The Keystone State Chapter partnered with ASPA national headquarters on July 14, 2020 for a virtual event in which all ASPA District II members were invited to participate. Using the experience of ASPA’s 2020 National Conference, District II Representative Diane Disney and Executive Director William Shields provided a slide presentation, Coping with COVIDs: How to Cancel Major Events and Keep Your Organization Alive, that covered the conference cancellation that led to “The Digital Experience”. This meeting was well attended by members from multiple chapters and the presentation was followed by an active question and answer period.
The Virtual Workplace – June 2020
This virtual event on June 9, 2020 provided two perspective on the accelerated shift toward work in remote locations. The first presentation from Dr. Glenn McGuigan, Library Director, and Emily Reed, Reference and Instruction Librarian, discussed challenges and opportunities from their experience providing academic library services at Penn State Harrisburg. The second presentation by Dr. Victor DeSantis, Chief of Staff at the Millersville University Office of the President, discussed the dramatic impact and adjustments faced by higher education in designing strategies to support and deliver student programs. Chapter members engaged in a lively discussion by sharing their experiences and observations.
Annual Awards Ceremony – May 2020
The 2020 annual awards ceremony on May 5 was recast from the customary banquet format to a virtual event. Board member Dr. Victor DeSantis provided technical guidance for this first ever virtual chapter meeting and served as Zoom host to facilitate an interactive session for the remote participants. Board member Connie Zimmerman and President Dave Margolis announced the award recipients who were selected under new categories and criteria approved at the February, 2020 chapter meeting. The chapter thanked Millersville University, Penn State Harrisburg and West Chester University for their partnership in delivering program events during the past year.
Pi Alpha Alpha & Chapter Meeting – February 2020
On February 7, 2020 the Keystone State Chapter joined Penn State Harrisburg’s Pi Alpha Alpha chapter for their induction ceremony at the Middletown campus. The Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration recognizes outstanding students preparing for public service careers. The featured speaker was Nolan Ritchie, MPA, who is Executive Director of the Senate Transportation Committee and past president of the Keystone State Chapter. After a reception and networking event, the chapter conducted a business meeting. Members approved a motion to revise chapter award categories and criteria for annual awards
Biennial Board Election Meeting – December 2020
The Keystone State Chapter conducted its biennial election for Board of Directions at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg on December 4, 2020. During the dinner meeting, the featured speaker was Marita Kelley, who discussed her experience with the high-profile Act 47, Municipalities Financial Recovery Program for the City of Harrisburg. Ms. Kelley serves as Central Office Regional Director in the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. She is a longtime ASPA member and served as our chapter president.
Northeast Conference – November 2019
Keystone State Chapter members were active contributors to the 2019 Northeast Conference on Public Administration held in Brooklyn, New York from November 8-11. Dr. Bing Ran (Penn State Harrisburg) was NECoPA Chair, Dr. Joseph Hafer (Penn State Harrisburg) was Treasurer, and Dr. Christina Sarrafian (Secretary, Keystone State Chapter) served on the Board of Trustees. Chapter members presenting or moderating at the conference were Olumide Adeoye (Penn State Harrisburg PhD student), Dr. Theodore Arapis (Villanova University), Dr. Lauren Azevedo (Penn State Harrisburg), Tiangeng Lu (Penn State Harrisburg PhD student), Peter Melon (City of Easton), Dr. Amanda Olejarski (West Chester University), Saahir Shafi (Penn State Harrisburg PhD student), Dr. Triparna Vasavada (Penn State Harrisburg), and Dr. Michele Wade (West Chester University). NECoPA brings together hundreds of participants from federal, state and local governments; academic institutions; non-profit organizations; and, for-profit organizations to exchange ideas on current issues, research and practice. More information about NECoPA can be found at https://northeastpublicadmin.wordpress.com/about/
Annual Awards Event – May 2019
The chapter’s annual awards event was held at the campus of West Chester University on May11. During this Public Service Recognition Week event, the chapter presented its annual awards for excellence. Keynote Speaker was Dr. Maria Aristigueta, Director of the University of Delaware School of Public Policy and Administration and immediate past president of ASPA. She spoke on research associated with the economic challenges being faced by the middle class. Concluding the event was the Pi Alpha Alpha induction ceremony for outstanding West Chester University students who are preparing for public service careers.
Pi Alpha Alpha Induction Ceremony – March 2019
On March 29, the Keystone State Chapter joined Penn State Harrisburg’s Pi Alpha Alpha chapter for the induction ceremony at its Middletown campus. The Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration recognizes outstanding students preparing for public service careers. The featured speaker was Dr. Amanda Olejarski, professor at the West Chester University Department of Public Policy and Administration and Keystone State Chapter President. A reception and networking event followed the induction ceremony.
Dr. Edoardo Ongaro – November 2018
The chapter partnered with Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs for a November 7 event at its Eastgate Center in downtown Harrisburg. The speaker was Dr. Edoardo Ongaro, Professor of Public Management at the Open University, U.K. and President of the European Group of Public Administration (EGPA). Based on his recent publication, Philosophy and Public Administration, Dr. Ongaro discussed the philosophical foundations of public administration and their significance for public governance and management, including core concepts of citizenship and legitimacy. After the presentation, the chapter hosted a reception at Cafe 1500 in Midtown Harrisburg.
Dr. Duane Hagelgans – June 2018
On June 7, our chapter partnered with Millersville University at its Ware Center in downtown Lancaster for a program titled “All Hazards Approach to Emergency Management: What local Public Administrators Need to Know.” The speaker was Dr. Hagelgans, associate professor of Emergency Management at Millersville University, as well as Fire Commissioner for Blue Rock Regional Fire District. He addressed the ever-increasing array of emergencies faced by state and local public administrators, as well as the need to identify potential emergencies and seek opportunities for hazard prevention, deterrence, and risk mitigation. A social gathering followed the presentation. A social gathering at nearby Tellus 360 followed the presentation.
Annual Awards Event – May 2018
The chapter’s annual awards event was held in the Pennsylvania State Capitol on May 8, 2019. This Public Service Recognition Week celebration, which was co-sponsored by the West Chester University Department of Public Policy and Administration and the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs, the chapter presented its annual awards for excellence. Keynote Speaker was Dr. Michelle Paulz, Associate Professor and Assistant Provost for the Common Academic Programs at University of Dayton (Ohio) who spoke on the portrayal of civil servants in film and the impact of these images on the society as a whole. A Pi Alpha Alpha induction ceremony concluded the event.
Pi Alpha Alpha Induction Ceremony – March 2018
The Keystone State Chapter joined Penn State Harrisburg’s Pi Alpha Alpha chapter on March 29, 2018 for the induction ceremony at its Middletown campus. The Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration recognizes outstanding students preparing for public service careers. The featured speaker was Dr. Amanda Olejarski, professor at the West Chester University Department of Public Policy and Administration and Keystone State Chapter President. A reception and networking event followed the induction ceremony.
Annual Awards Event – May 2017
The chapter’s annual awards event was held in the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building on May 4, 2017. During this Public Service Recognition Week event, which was co-sponsored by the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs and the West Chester University Department of Public Policy and Administration, the chapter presented its annual awards for excellence. Keynote speaker was Dr. Susan Gooden, ASPA Past President and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University where she is Executive Director of the Leadership Institute and Director of Graduate Programs. Dr. Gooden spoke about challenges facing public administration and issues of diversity within the field. A Pi Alpha Alpha induction ceremony concluded the event.
Networking Social – December 2016
Our ASPA chapter partnered with Penn State Harrisburg’s chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, the Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration, to host a tour of the Pennsylvania State Capitol on December 8, 2016. This was followed by a networking social at the Federal Taphouse in downtown Harrisburg. The Pi Alpha Alpha website is www.pialphaalpha.org.
Northeast Conference – November 2016
Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs, in partnership with our ASPA chapter, hosted the 2016 Northeast Conference on Public Administration (NECoPA) on November 11-13 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Harrisburg. NECoPA brings together hundreds of participants from federal, state and local governments; academic institutions; non-profit organizations; and, for-profit organizations to exchange ideas on current issues, research and practice. The 2016 conference theme was “Public Administration in an Era of Collaboration”. Conference chair was Dr. Bing Ran, Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs professor and active chapter member. More information about NECoPA can be found at https://northeastpublicadmin.wordpress.com/about/.
Annual Awards Event – May 2016
The chapter’s annual awards event was held on May 2, 2016 at the Dixon University Center. This event kicked off National Public Service Recognition Week with the presentation of awards for public service excellence. Our Washington-based keynote speakers included Dr. Sanjay K. Pandey, Shapiro Chair of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, George Washington University, as well as Mr. William P. Shields, Executive Director, ASPA.
Executive Director David DeNotaris – March 2016
David DeNotaris, Executive Director, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, addressed the chapter on March 1, 2016. Director DeNotaris is responsible for 15 district offices and 1,100 staff. OVR is the lead agency on employment for individuals with disabilities, assisting approximately 10,000 individuals in achieving competitive employment yearly. He has a Master’s Degree in Administration Supervision, Leadership, Training and Development from Montclair State University, a B.A. in Speech Communication from East Stroudsburg University and is a Certified Public Manager.
Dr. Robert Denhart – November 2015
Dr. Robert Denhardt, Professor and Director of Leadership Programs at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, addressed the chapter on November 12, 2015. Dr. Denhart is well known for his scholarship on public service, public administration, organizational development and leadership. His major books include “The New Public Service” and “Theories of Public Organization” in addition to publishing over 100 articles in professional journals. He received ASPA’s Dwight Waldo Award for Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship in Public Administration and the Charles H. Levine Award for teaching, scholarship and service to the profession and community.