Online Programs

American University Honors 25 Public Administration and Policy Students

  • Cecile Cardillo Gabriel
  • Karen Baehler

On Friday April 21, 2017, American University’s School of Public Affairs recognized 25 online Master of Public Administration and Policy students at the annual Department of Public Administration and Policy Awards. During the awards, students were invited to become members of the Pi Alpha Alpha Global Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration. Invitations were determined based on GPA.

About Pi Alpha Alpha

The mission of Pi Alpha Alpha is to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship and accomplishment in public affairs and administration. Its objectives are to foster integrity, professionalism, and effective performance while promoting the advancement of quality in the education and practice of the art and science of public affairs and administration.

Students Recognized

Online Master of Public Administration and Policy students honored include:

Susan Ahn, Pipestone, MN.
Susan works as a senior program specialist for the U.S. Dept. Of Agriculture, Food, and Nutrition Service. Her dream is to help increase food security for Americans and other populations abroad.

Sarah Hord Ashworth, North Plainfield, NJ.
Sarah works as a physician office assistant at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She is interested in transitioning to healthcare administration.

Jillian Hartley Eanett, Anchorage, AK.
Jillian currently works for the Bureau of Land Management. Her goal is to tackle complex policy issues on natural resource management.

Cecile Cardillo Gabriel, Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines
Cecile works as a loan administrator for a Japanese international bank that services high net worth clients. She considers her induction into Pi Alpha Alpha as one of her highest honors and plans to use her degree to help battle homelessness in the U.S. See what Cecile has to say about how her online degree is allowing her to impactful.

Alexandrea Gayda, Oxnard, CA.
Alexandra has seven years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, education and national service. She currently serves as a Senior Manager with City Year Inc. to support 28 City Year sites in securing federal funding and government support. She aspires to continue supporting innovative public-private partnerships that advance positive social outcomes.

Devin Hotzel, Sugarland, TX.
Devin has eight years of experience working in government affairs and community outreach. He is a member of the Roundtable of Young Professionals at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. His goals are to establish a non-profit organization and run for elected office.

Jodi H. Luka, Wadsworth, IL.
Jodie currently works as the jury commissioner for the 19th Judicial Circuit and was the recipient of the Golden Gavel Award in 2016. She hopes to work within the administration of her county and city to ensure that the right decisions are being made.

Geoff Pearson, Finksburg, MD.
"Geoff currently works as the Chief of Staff and the Secretary of the Board of Trustees for McDaniel College. He was the recipient of the 1999 University of Texas Pan-American Alumni Association Academic Excellence Award. His goal is work in higher education policy.

Patrick T. Reid, Pago Pago, American Samoa.
Patrick’s experiences include working for the American Samoan government and the Hawaii State Dept. of Education. He was the first American Samoan intern with the Democratic National Committee. His goal is to become a lawyer and continue serving his community.

Reynaldo Rocha, Jr., Austin, TX.
Reynaldo has 15 years of experience working in mental health research with a focus on schizophrenia and bipolar disorders. His goal is to start a non-profit organization and advocate for mental health and immigration reform.

Vicki J. Scharnhorst, Boulder, CO.
Vicki currently serves as an operations manager for Tetra Tech, a leading provider of engineering services. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and is a registered engineer in four states. She aspires to develop policy that balances the needs of civil society with the long-term interest of future generations.

Steven M. Shetsky, Spring Grove, IL.
Steven has over 15 years of experience in the fire service. He educates, trains, and advocates for firefighters across the state of Illinois. His plan is to continue advocating for working-class families and the preservation of their rights.

Reena Shrestha, Falls Church, VA.
Reena currently works as a program analyst for the USAID and Dept. Of State's Office of Foreign Assistance Resources. She has 10 years of experience working in international development and foreign assistance programs. Her goal is to contribute to U.S. foreign policy by streamlining foreign assistance programs.

Mike Sowko, Carrollton, OH.
Mike has worked as a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)/National Weather Service since 2002. He is a three-time recipient of the Isaac Cline Award for Excellence in Meteorology. His goal is to become the chief operations officer for NOAA.

Kimiko Sullins, Gainesville, VA.
Kimiko has 20 years of experience in public service. She spent nine years as an army officer and ten years working as a government employee for the U.S. Dept. Of Veterans Affairs.

David B. Thatcher, Riverview, FL.
David currently works as a patrol sergeant for the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. His goal is to hold a public office at the local level.

Alexus N. Viegas, St. Louis, MO.
Alexus has over 9 years of experience as a paralegal. As a legal assistant, she has worked on public policy issues, legislation, and regulations. Her goal is to win her election in 2017 for Alderwoman of the Annapolis City Council in Annapolis, MD and to serve the needs of her community.

Jerry Walker, Crofton, MD.
Jerry is currently a second term elected member of the county council where he serves 80,000 residents. His aspiration is to run for a seat in the Maryland legislature in 2018. See what Jerry has to say about the MPAP online community.

Aubree Eliza Weaver, Syracuse, NY.
Aubree currently works at Politico as a senior web producer. One of her greatest accomplishments was graduating cum laude from LeMoyne College. Her dream is to use her passion for journalism and policy to cover the current administration.

William Matthew Whitson, Nashville, TN.
William currently works as news producer for Fox News Channel after working as a political reporter for several years in South Carolina. His goal is to use his MPAP degree to better cover public affairs issues in the news.

Online Master of Public Administration and Policy

American University’s online Master of Public Administration and Policy brings the experience and expertise of the nation’s capital to you. Students receive analytical, contextual, ethical, and substantive skills and knowledge to advance their careers and lead in government, non-profits, and the private sector in the US and abroad.

To learn more about how American University’s online Master of Public Administration and Policy can advance your career, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.