Wednesday, June 18, 2014

PA Students Receive EPPS Scholarships

Congratulations to the following UT Dallas Public Affairs students who were recently recognized with academic scholarships from the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences.

  • Laura Jackson and Dhriti Pandya received the Larry D. Terry Emerging Leaders Scholarship. The scholarship was established in 2006 in memory of Dr. Larry D. Terry and funded by gifts from Dr. Terry's family, faculty colleagues, former students and friends. Dr. Terry was a renowned scholar in the fields of public administration and political science, as well as an acclaimed author. 
  • Paola Cantarelli received the Vibhooti Shukla Graduate Fellowship. This fellowship was established in 1993 by Professor Shukla’s husband, Satchit Srinivasan, friends and colleagues in her memory. Professor Shukla was a member of the EPPS faculty at the time of her death in a ballooning accident.
  • Jennifer Colunga received the Keith Lankford Taylor Fellowship, which was established in 2012 to support graduates students in EPPS.

No Child Left Behind Study Makes Headlines

Nearly a decade after the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that NCLB has negatively impacted the teaching profession by eroding job satisfaction and work commitment.  Yet, a recent study co-authored by James R. Harrington, an assistant professor of public affairs at UT Dallas,  has challenged conventional wisdom on NCLB.

The article, with Jason A. Grissom of Vanderbilt University and Sean Nicholson-Crotty of Indiana University as lead authors, was published recently in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Using four waves of the nationally representative Schools and Staffing Survey, they find evidence that the law has negatively affected perceptions of teacher cooperation but positively affected feelings of classroom control and administrator support. Overall, they find little evidence that teacher job satisfaction or commitment has changed in response to NCLB.

The findings have made headlines in numerous mainstream publications, including the Huffington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Atlantic.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

UT Dallas MPA Grad Reflects on Her Experiences

By Laura Gorecki, MPA 
Laura Gorecki (center) after the 2014 Spring Commencement.

Graduation is such an exciting time, but it is also very stressful, and a little sad. I am very excited to move on to the next adventure in life, but I STILL do not know what I am doing after graduation, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at here and I am sad to be leaving. 

Now that the big day has finally arrived, I have been reflecting on all of my experiences as a student at UT Dallas and within EPPS. The thing that stands out the most is how much I have felt a part of a family, team, and community. All of the professors have been very supportive, and my fellow students have been great teammates and friends. It is exciting to hear my fellow students talking to each other about their career searches and plans for the future, and I look forward to hearing about where we all go from here. Even though it is a bit scary to leave here and not know what is next, I feel encouraged that all of the people I have gotten to know at UT Dallas are now on my team.

If I had any advice for other students, it would be this: Get to know your professors. Put your best effort into all of your assignments – not for the teacher or for the grade, but for yourself. Engage with those around you and take advantage of campus events. Say yes to opportunities as often as possible. Never go for the Easy A.

I came up with the above list after contemplating what I would do differently and what I would do the same if I were starting the college experience over again. One thing that served me well was getting to know my professors. Before the start or shortly after the start of each semester I went to see each of my professors during their office hours. This helped me get to know them and feel more comfortable participating in class discussions. It also helped them get to know me so they know my interests in order to guide me along on projects and opportunities. Overall, I found that if a professor knows what you are looking for they are often willing and able to help you find it.

I also benefitted from taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible to learn new things. I treated every research paper as a chance to learn about something I wanted to know more about, rather than just following the instructions and doing the minimum. This approach helped me learn beyond the syllabus and to enjoy the projects I worked on. I challenged myself to do my best work because I knew I would use the knowledge in the future if it pertained to my interests. I also never took a class I thought would be an Easy A or shied away from one that sounded too hard, because I know that nothing worth doing is ever easy, and because I am not just here for a degree, I’m here for the knowledge that comes with it.

One thing I would do differently is that I would be more engaged on campus. Students are a great resource for collaboration, insight, and new ideas. As a commuter student, I spent little time on campus outside of class, and I missed many experiences I may have enjoyed. Students have opportunities to listen to many great speakers, see artists of all kinds, and experience things that the public may not have access too. I missed campus groups, clubs, and volunteer opportunities. If I were re-doing college, I would do more of those things.

In short, be a part of UT Dallas while you are here and it will become a part of you for life. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

UT Dallas Student Wins ASPA Junior Asian Scholar Award

The American Society for Public Administration awarded this year’s Junior Asian Scholar Award to UT Dallas student Kwang Bin Bae.

The award, which recognizes Asian graduate students who demonstrate scholarly promise, included a cash prize and recognition at the ASPA Section on Korean Public Administration meeting on March 16.

Bae received the award in recognition of a paper that was accepted for presentation at the 2014 ASPA annual meeting. The paper, presented with Doug Goodman, Associate Professor of Public Affairs at UT Dallas,  was entitled "The Influence of Family-Friendly Policies on Turnover and Performance in South Korea."

The study investigated the relationship between family-friendly policies and organizational performance, voluntary turnover rate and labor productivity, using the Korea Workplace Panel Survey data from 2005 to 2009.  The result of the analysis suggests that the number of family-friendly policies is positively associated with labor productivity in public organizations. However, the number of family-friendly policies does not reduce the turnover rate. 

Bae is currently a teaching assistant at UT Dallas pursuing a Ph.D. in Public Affairs.

Brown Bag Lecture: The Brains of Leaders Study

On Friday, April 25, the Department of Public Affairs and Sociology will conclude this year’s Public Affairs and Sociology Brown Bag Lecture Series with a presentation by UT Dallas’s own Dr. L. Douglas Kiel.

Dr. Kiel, a professor of public affairs and administration, will be presenting a talk titled: “The Brains of Leaders Study: An Exploratory Study of the Brains of Local Leaders.”

Organized by UT Dallas Assistant Professor Dr. Young-Joo Lee, the lecture series has provided students with the opportunity to meet and connect with scholars from UT Dallas as well as universities across the United States.

Dr. Kiel’s Brown Bag Lecture will be held from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm in the Irving Hoch Seminar Room in Green Hall (GR 3.606).

Monday, March 3, 2014

UT Dallas Professor Wins Best Article Award

The Review of Public Personnel Administration has named an article co-authored by Dr. Meghna Sabharwal the best article of 2013.

The article, titled “Charting Ethics in Asia-Pacific HRM: Does East Meet West, Ethically?” was written by Dr. Sabharwal, an assistant professor of public affairs at UT Dallas, along with Dr. Jonathan West from the University of Miami and Dr. LooSee Beh from the University of Malaya.

The Review of Public Personnel Administration is the flagship journal for human resources in the field of public administration. It is published in association with the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA).

Dr. Sabharwal’s award will be presented at ASPA’s annual conference in Washington D.C..

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Join Us for Our Next Brown Bag Lunch on Feb. 28

On Friday, February 28, the Department of Public Affairs and Sociology will welcome Dr. Robert Christensen from the University of Georgia for its second brown bag lecture of the semester. Dr. Christensen will be presenting a talk titled: “Justice and Public Service Motivation: A Walk on the Dark Side.”

Dr. Christensen is an Associate Professor of Public Administration and Policy. He specializes in public and nonprofit management, specifically focusing on public service employees and organizations. He researches the effects of prosocial and antisocial behavior on employees and the relationship between public law and public administration.

Dr. Christensen’s lecture will be held from 11:00am – 1:00pm in the Irving Hoch Seminar Room in Green Hall (GR 3.606).