Alumna Talks About Life in Alaska as DEC


Alumna Talks About Life in Alaska as DEC
MPA News
Vol. 3, Issue 1
Alumna Talks About Life in Students seek
Alaska as DEC Water Manager celebrity for
water advice
Erin Brockovich gives
group insight on project
By Tammy Lyn Gann
Photo Courtesy of Cindy Christian
Cindy Christian, 1989 graduate, attributes her success to the MPA program at La Verne.
By Tammy Lyn Gann
s the Compliance and
Monitoring Manager for
the Drinking Water Program for the State of Alaska, Department of Environmental Conservation, former 1989 MPA graduate
Cindy Christian says her education at La
Verne has always played a central role in
her abilities to perform her job effectively
for more than 20 years.
Christian supervises a group of 25
professional and technical staff, who are
responsible for the protection of public
health drinking water by providing regulatory oversight in more than 1600 public water systems located throughout the
Providing regulatory oversight in Alaska drinking water systems can be very
challenging, Christian said. In addition to
extreme weather conditions — sometime
80 degrees below zero at some water stations in the North Slope, “We face some
unusual situations simply because of the
geographic realities in the state of Alaska,”
she said.
Alaska has about 640,000 residents
occupying 570,374 square miles, or
365,039,104 acres of land. Alaska is the
largest state, about 2.3 times the size of
Texas and about one-fifth the size of the
“Lower 48” states (the rest of us).
>> see Chrsitian, pg. 4
As part of the MPA curriculum,
every student must take PADM
501, Public Administration & Society, which
students to
the concepts
and interdisciplinary dimensions of
Public Administration
by assigning
Erin Brockovich
actual case
studies for review.
So when three students, Candice
Bowcock, Lisa O’Brien and Gabriela De La Cruz, were assigned to
the Wichita Confronts Contamination case in Dr. Lisa Saye’s class,
they took their assignment one
step further and contacted renown
water activist Erin Brockovich to
help assist with their project.
This case study is exceptional in
that it is one successful example
>> see Project, pg. 4
MPA News
Spring 2011
Assistant Professor of Public Administration
Marcia L. Godwin and Richard J. Gelm. 2010. “California District 26
Race: Warner (D) v. Dreier (R),” in The Roads to Congress 2008, ed. Robert Dewhirst and Robert P. Watson. Lexington Books.
Marcia Godwin. 2010. Book Reviews for Choice: Current Reviews for
Academic Libraries (American Library Association): Gerston, Public
Policy Making: Process and Principles, 4th ed.; Kenski, Hardy, and Jamieson, The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the
2008 Election; Norrander, The Imperfect Primary: Oddies, Biases, and
Strengths of U.S. Presidential Nomination Politics.
Presenter, “Saving for a Rainy Day (or Years) in California: Tenure, Policy
Learning and Local Government Reserves,” Western Political Science
Association Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA April 1-3, 2010.
Presenter, 2009/10 Research Forum, College of Business and Public Management.
Peer Review
Article Referee, American Journal of Political Science, November 2010.
Article Referee, Publius, November 2010
>> see Faculty, pg. 7
Suzanne Beaumaster, Ph.D. Professor
Marcia Godwin, Ph.D. Assistant Professor
Kevin Marshall , Ph.D. Associate Professor
Jack Meek, Ph.D. Professor
Lisa Saye, D.P.A. Professor
Keith Schildt, Ph.D. Professor
Matthew Witt, Ph.D. Professor
Adjunct Faculty
Robert Adamik (DPA) Regmae Mortgage
>>New Student Perspective
By Tammy Lyn Gann
Marcia Godwin
MPA Faculty
New to the MPA program, student Greg Porras
says he doesn’t regret leaving another graduate program
to attend La Verne. In his third term now, Porras said
it was the change of systems — public to private that
made him transfer.
Coming from an overcrowded
public system after earning his
bachelor’s degree at Cal State Los
Angeles in communication studies
in 2008, he said he was very impressed with the smaller class sizes
and the one-on-one attention La
Verne provides.
“I found ULV to be a much more
Greg Porras
hands on university. You don’t get
lost in the mass of students,” he added.
As this is a particularly interesting time to study
public administration, Porras currently is a contracted
employee working under the Department of Homeland Security in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration
Services office in its Los Angeles bureau.
Working as an administrative specialist in the Human Resources and Payroll department, he is not only
responsible for the day-to-day operations of the downtown office, but also works as a liaison for the student
internship program and found out about the MPA
program through a La Verne student intern.
“I would like to find a career in which I can draw
upon my communication skills … I hope to go into
public policy or governmental affairs ... combining my
public relations experience with public administration,”
he said.
Marcus Castro (DPA), Cal Dreams Project
Noel Hacegaba (DPA), City of Long Beach
Steve Harding (MPA), Urban Futures
Phil Hawkey (Lld), Executive Vice President,
University of La Verne
Robert Lewis (DPA), El Monte School
Robb Quincey (DPA), City Manager of
Lawrence Schroeder (DPA) Claremont City
Board of Advisors
Jeff Allred, City Manager, City of Rosemead
Paula Cone, Partner, HdL
Coren & Cone (Consulting)
Henry Garcia, City Manager, City of Rialto
Steve Harding, Urban Futures
Paul Hubler, Community Relations Project
Manager, Alameda Corridor East Project
Cynthia Kurtz, President & CEO, San Gabriel
Valley Economic Partnership
Jeff Parker, City Manager, City of Claremont
Robb Quincey, City Manager, City of Upland
Phil Hawkey, Executive Vice President,
University of La Verne
Jack Meek, Professor and Chair, University of
La Verne
City Talk: MPA Student Values Internship Experience
By Tammy Lyn Gann
For MPA Student, Silvia Paniagua, interning at the La
Verne Chamber of Commerce has allowed her to embrace her
course studies and apply was she has learned
to further build her career in the nonprofit
As part of the MPA curriculum students,
who lack public sector experience, must intern at a nonprofit or government agency in
order to meet all the requirements to graduate, ad Paniagua said the opportunity provided for the first time in her working career to
work in an office setting in a nonprofit.
“I had a very positive experience at the
Chamber. Through my internship, I was able
to see a successful collaboration between nonprofit and forprofit businesses,” she said.
Expected to graduate in the Spring 2012 from the MPA
program with a concentration in nonproft, Paniagua earned
her bachelor’s degree in sociology at La Verne in 2010, and
said her family encouraged her to pursue her master’s at La
Verne as well.
As an intern for the Chamber, Paniagua says a she assists
with answering phones and the public supporting the CEO
and office administrator, but during busier days she helps out
with special events the City holds, such as the Taste of La
Verne fundraiser, La Verne Day at the L.A. County Fair and
Sowing Seeds Food Drive, as well as with Chambers Board
meetings and generating marketing ideas.
She said working alongside the CEO Brian McNerney, and
Annette Leonard, administrative assistant, has been nothing
but positive.
“… Annette Leornard worked to help me understand and
was really patient with me and answered any question I had,”
she said.
2011 MPA Winter Graduates
Congratulations to all MPA graduates!
• Janet Clark
• Jennifer Finnie
• Christian Cruz
• Diana Manzano
• Virginia Culbertson
• Jennifer Palacio
• Carlos Figueroa
• Tony Thi
As a single mom, Paniagua juggles her time between school
and a part-time job, so adding in an internship has been difficult and said, “Dealing with all my responsibilities can at
times be a huge task.”
Paniagua encourages other students to apply for an internship and says without her experience at the Chamber
the transition from student to professional would have been
much more challenging.
“Before my internship and studies combined, I don’t think
it would have been possible for me to understand the dynamics in a nonprofit environment.”
M.P.A. Internship Program
calls on students
s part of the M.P.A. program, and a requirement
to graduate, students without previous public,
nonprofit, or service sector experience must take
PADM 598 Government Internship III (3 semester
hours) during the course of the program. This requirement is in addition to the 39 semester hours needed for
the M.P.A.
Dr. Marcia Godwin, assistant professor of public
administration and internship director, is assisting
students who need to fulfill this requirement with
contact information that may offer either paid or nonpaid internships.
This is an excellent opportunity, especially in this time of
budget cutbacks, for organizations to receive assistance
with projects and assignments requiring analysis skills.
Students are asked to complete three master’s level
courses before starting an internship and require a
minimum of 300 hours of service.
Most students already have significant work experience, but may wish to move into higher level positions
that possess a strong commitment to the public service
sector. Areas of internships include local city and county
governments, nonprofit agencies and the court system.
Those interested in interning are required to follow
the application process specified by the organization of
choice and Dr. Godwin says both the intern and organization will be involved in an evaluation process at the
end of the internship.
For more information please contact Dr. Godwin at
[email protected] or (909) 593-3511, Ext. 4103.
MPA News
Spring 2011
>> Christian, from cover
“This is a huge state with very little of
accessibility by a road system. This makes
it challenging to get to water systems …
or to respond to emergencies,” Christian
One case in point is the recent detection of Sufolane found in about 200 water wells in and around the North Pole.
Sufolane is an industrial solvent used to
refine oil and the contamination was discovered in 2009 by Flint Hills Resources,
the current owner of the North Pole Refinery.
According The Fairbanks Daily NewsMiner, a gasoline spill that occurred at
the refinery more than 10 years ago, under a previous ownership, is believed to
have caused the contamination.
Photo Courtesy of Cindy Christian
Public records show the Department Cindy Christian with her husband, Don, and
of Environment Conservation respond- dog, Maggie, hike at Suntrana Creek in Alaska.
ed by forming a Technical Project Team
to investigate the contamination issue spend most of our time addressing imand address the concerns of the citizens. portant issues.”
Christian, as a project team member,
With most of her staff spread out
was responsible for establishing and de- throughout the state, from Fairbanks
veloping objectives for a drinking water to Kenai, and the public water systems
TPT sub-group, as well as discuss the expanding from Barrow to Adak in the
on-going sampling conducted on the Aleutians, communication is paramount,
she says.
Christian said she “… places a very
“The only way to achieve the goal of
high value on collaboration and coop- providing safe drinking water to everyone
eration” in order to overcome staff short- is through excellent communication.”
ages and budgets cuts. “We have a highly
As a public administrator, leadership
functioning team, and we are able to skills are very important, and through
>> Project, from cover
how various agencies worked together to
find a solution to a city that was experiencing a serious water contamination issue in
1990. This case study teaches students the
concept of Intergovernmental Relations
(IGR), as introduced in the text, Public
Administration Concepts and Cases, by
Richard J. Stillman II.
Impressed with the initiative the students took with their project, Dr. Saye said
the work this group did is going to be a
hard act to follow.
Inspired by the 2000 movie, which Juliet Roberts nabbed an Oscar for, and after
reading the case study, Bowcock said the
first thought her group had was to try and
contact Brockovich to see if she knew anything about the case, and if she did, what
her opinion was.
“We all thought we might as well try
to e-mail Erin Brockovich and see if any
current cases she’s working on are similar, and if so, it would really help us instead of us trying to find a similar project on our own … we wanted to know
what worked and what didn’t work for
her,” said Bowcock.
As a water-contaminate whistleblower,
Brockovich was fairly easy to contact.
Although all communication the group
had with Brockovich was through e-mail,
Bowcock said once they left their e-mail
addresses with her office, Brockovich im-
her experience, Christian advises current
MPA students to “take the opportunity
to develop your leadership skills. These
kinds of skills are extremely important in
implementing public policy.”
“Enjoy your experience and soak everything up. You never know when a
seemingly arcane piece of information
or knowledge will come in handy,” she
Christian moved to Fairbanks in
1985 when her husband was stationed
at Eielson AFB. “In the summer of
1985, my husband, four-year-old son
and our dog drove from Del Rio, Texas
to Alaska … we fell in love right away,”
she said.
Dedicated to the concept of lifelong
learning, Christian attended classes at
Eielson AFB and chose the MPA program at La Verne because she said she
felt the program was the best fit for her
career goals at the time and graduated in
Some of Christian’s hobbies include
spending time with her husband, son and
daughter-in-law, hiking, running, boating, canoeing, fishing and gardening. She
also enjoys reading and cooking.
“Fairbanks is a very friendly town …
we actually like the weather here. It can
be rather cold in the winter, but summers
are awesome,” she said.
“Winter has its own kind of beauty and
we still love being here after 25 years.”
mediately contacted them.
Bowcock said, “… she’s an advocate and
whistleblower for everyone … she ended
up e-mailing us back and said ‘Hey of
course, I love to help, what do you guys
Brockovich, who stumbled onto a water
contamination case, was instrumental in
exposing a corporate cover-up and winning one of the largest legal cases against
Pacific Gas & Electric when its Hinckley,
Calif. facility was found guilty of knowingly contaminating the town’s ground water
with cancerous levels of hexavalent chromium that dated back to 1965. The case
settled in 1996.
>> see Project, pg. 5
2011 MPA Winter Graduates
>> Project, from pg. 4
Brockovich was very familiar with the
Wichita case, said Bowcock, and added
that Brockovich said Wichita is one of the
most successful water cases in the country
where government agencies actually took
responsibility and accountability in addressing the issues.
For O’Brien, she said she was pleased
the Wichita case study and “… was very
refreshing to see a local government take
on the huge responsibility of this cleanup,
despite the immense financial cost and
risk, because it was the right thing for their
Because there were many agencies involved in this case, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Wichita
City Council, Sedgewick County Council
and the Wichita School Board, many of
them had to work together, in what Stillman theorized as IGR, in order to avoid
a Superfund status, which would dramatically increase the cost, time to cleanup and
the problem itself.
“Seeing these large agencies all compromise to help the city was very encouraging. It reminds us that compromise can be
reached between big government agencies
and small local governments to achieve a
common goal,” said O’Brien.
Whether Dr. Saye gave the group an
“A” or not, it goes to show how valuable
resources can be and going the extra mile
only reminds us the reasons why we do
what we do as public administrators.
Candice Bowcock
For Bowcock, public administration is a
family affair, as both
her grandparents and
father worked for the
City of La Verne. So
naturally, Bowcock
said she began working for La Verne as a
student intern after
high school.
Candice Bowcock
Cal Poly Pomona and earning her bachelor’s degree in urban and regional planning,
she decided to enroll in the MPA program
at La Verne.
Currently, Bowcock works in the planning department for the City of La Verne
and says she loves helping people. Bowcock is slated to graduate this Spring and
says that she plans to pursue a career as
an assistant city manager or manager, but
after the Wichita case and Brockovich’s
influence, she says she might consider the
working for the water district.
Lisa O’Brien
For O’Brien, the Wichita case brought
to light how public
work effectively. In
her case, O’Brien, an
administrative clerk
for the Public Works
Department for the
City of La Verne, said
she is anxious to learn
Lisa O’Brien
more about govern-
ment and use her MPA degree to advance
in the City.
O’Brien earned her bachelor’s degree in
English with a minor in criminal justice at
Cal Poly Pomona in 2005.
“I have worked in various positions for
the City and think the La Verne staff is top
notch. I enjoy the small town feel,” she said.
In her spare time, O’Brien says she enjoy
spending it with her husband, their families and two dogs.
Gabriela De La Cruz
De La Cruz, who is in her second term
in the MPA program, is no stranger
to the University
of La Verne, earning her bachelor’s
degree in communications with an
emphasis in public
affairs information
in 2007.
De La Cruz
A current member of the University of La Verne Alumni
Governing Board of Directors since 2008,
De La Cruz is employed with the Pomona Unified School District assigned
to work on special community projects,
public relations and communications for
the district.
As a member of the Phi Sigma SIgma
San Bernardino Alumnae Chapter, she
served as the Chapter’s president for two
years, from 2007-09. De La Cruz currently
resides in La Verne and says she plans to
stay in the public sector upon graduation.
the Fall of 2009. Please check your La Verne e-mail on a regular basis or setup and forward to a primary e-mail that you use
daily. It is crucial that you stay informed and connected – don’t
get left behind. If you have any questions, please call Claude at
(909) 593-3511 Ext. 4947.
Reminder: The 2011-12 application deadline for the Capital
Fellows Programs is quickly approaching on February 23, 2011.
Applications and information about the Assembly, Senate, Executive and Judicial Administration Fellowships can be found at
The Public Administration department has moved to the Student
Resource Center, which is located next to Wilson Library. If you
have any questions, please call Claude at (909) 593-3511- Ext.
4947. <click here for campus map>
Part of the Green Initiative at La Verne, the MPA class schedules are now being e-mailed to all students, which began in
MPA News
Spring 2011
Assistant City Manager Speaks on Ethics in Government
By Tammy Lyn Gann
On the heels of one of the worst cases
of local government misappropriation, and
as the city of Bell tries to recover from last
year’s scandal of a grossly overpaid city
manager and council, trust in government
is at an all-time low, especially when California unemployment remains at about 12
percent, the second highest in the nation.
According to a recent article featured
in the PA Times November/December
2010 issue: Improving the Corruption
Perception Index for United States,
Transparency International’s Perception
Corruption Index (CPI), which measures
the perception of corruption in the public
sector rated the United States 22nd at 7.1
among 178 countries surveyed.
So what does this mean? We all know
that no matter how much the public
sector in the United States attempts to
remain transparent, it appears that it is
losing the confidence of its constituents by
raising concerns of integrity, according to
the CPI rating.
“The loss of confidence is as much a
result of the economic downturn as of the
public sector’s inability to convince that it
can effectively contain the issue,” said Alexandru Roman, doctorate public administration student at Florida Atlantic University
and author of the PA Times article.
During a time when city administrators
are scrambling to find innovative ways
to stay connected with their constituents,
Santa Fe Springs Assistant City Manager
Thaddeus McCormack, says engaging
people and getting them involved in the
process is essential to maintaining that
trust and transparency needed to ensure the democratic process functions as
“There are a lot of bad influences out
there and in most cities, democracy is such
a tenuous proposition and doesn’t work if
the people aren’t engaged in a meaningful
way, and unless they trust in their elected
leaders, the system falls apart and people
become disengaged,” he said.
Photo by Tammy Lyn Gann
Thaddeaus McCormack, Santa Fe Springs
assistant city manager, says engaging the
community is key to transparency.
In 2009, The L.A. Times reported, the
egregious salaries of the Bell city manager
and its council. Bell, one of the poorest
cities in Los Angeles County, pays its top
officials some of the highest salaries in the
nation, including an $800,000 for its city
manager, $100,000 for its city council and
$457,000 a year for its police chief.
As a result, former Bell City Administrator Robert Rizzo, 56, faces 53 felony
counts of misappropriation of public
funds, conflict of interest and falsification of documents, including allegations
that he wrote his employment contract
without council approval. Of those counts,
44 involve the misappropriation of more
than $2.5 million in public funds, including awarding $1.9 million in unauthorized
loans to himself, reported the L.A Times.
Preserving Trust
Preserving integrity and building trust
are key components to transparency and
McCormack says without trust in government, citizens are less likely to do their
part and take interest in their communities.
“Most people don’t understand that it is
a very nebulous government, and there is
a lot of focus on government now because
the economy is terrible … people are
looking for help,” he said. “… but when
things are pulled away, such as community
programs or police and fire services, suddenly [they] understand, but in a superficial way.”
As public administrators, ethics play a
huge role in gaining the trust of constituents; however, having too much power
without strong civic engagement allows
abuse to happen when no one is watching
or asking questions, as it did in Bell.
“A lot of [it] was outright criminal
and fraudulent … a lot of it happened in
open meetings where nobody was at and
nobody asked questions … all with the
Council saying ‘OK that sounds good,’”
said McCormack. “It’s much more difficult for that stuff to happen if people
are engaged and people are watching and
understand what’s going on,” he said.
Building Ethical Communities
Building ethical communities is one that
is done over time and requires engagement among people seeking a unified
community, said Terry Cooper, a professor
in Citizenship and Democratic Values,
School of Policy, Planning and Development at USC.
In an essay, Building Ethical Communities, which was published last year by the
American Review of Public Administration, Cooper further says, “ethics focuses
on the usually taken-for-granted normative assumptions from which we derive
specific moral rules to guide our action.”
What happened in Bell derived from a
blind trust its citizens had in its leaders —
assumptions that government was doing
its job effectively and in the interest of the
McCormack says he understands that at
times, it’s easier to have a benign dictatorship where it’s easy just to say, “just trust
us,” but when corruptive influences are
there, “it a slippery slope once you disengage the public.”
>> Faculty, from pg. 2
Panel Chair, “California Dreams (and
Nightmares) II: Urban Dystopia,” Western Political Science Association Annual
Conference, San Francisco, CA April 1-3,
Dr. Godwin is continuing to assist the
Cal-ICMA’s Preparing the Next Generation Committee with research about the
local government profession and participated in Preparing the Next Generation
activities during the 2010 International
City/County Management Association
Conference in San Jose, California.
Jack Meek
Professor and Coordinator
of Research & Graduate Studies
Papers Presented
Jack Meek (2010) “Institutional fragmentation in metropolitan areas and infrastructure systems: governance as balancing
complexity and linear tasks, paper presented at the 1st International Workshop on
Complexity and Policy Analysis held in
Southampton, England, July 21-23, 2010.
Jack Meek (2010) “Institutional fragmentation in metropolitan areas and infrastructure systems,” paper presented for
the panel “Complexity and Metropolitan
Governance,” at the Annual National
Conference of the American Society for
Public Administration held in San Jose,
California, April 12, 2010.
Christopher Koliba, Jack W. Meek, Asim
Zia (2010) Governance Networks in
Public Administration and Public Policy.
New York: CRC Press, Taylor & Francis
Jack W. Meek (2010) “Complexity Theory
for Public Administration and Policy,”
Emergence: Complexity and Organiza-
tion, Vol. 12. Issue 1., pp. 1-4.
Jack W. Meek and Hong Kyu Lyu (2010)
“Bridging Jurisdictions: Conservancies
Working Across Borders as Adaptive
Systems.” Emergence: Complexity and
Organization, Vol. 12., Issue 1, pp. 39-51.
Peer Review
ASPA National Conference Paper Review
Committee for 2010 Conference
Journal Reviews (Ad Hoc): Public
Administrative Quarterly, International
Journal of Public Participation, Public
Administration and Management, Public
Administration Review
Workshop Presentations
Co-presenter, “Site Visitor Workshop,”
Accreditation Institute, National Association of Schools of Public Affairs
and Administration, Las Vegas, Nevada,
October 1, 2010.
Co-presenter, “Cite Visitor Workshop,”
International City and County Management Association, San Jose, California,
October 18, 2010.
Workshop Presentations
Jack W. Meek And Kurt Thurmaier, Co-
Chair, Intergovernmental Relations In
2020: Theory And Practice, Special Friday
Symposium of the American Society for
Public Administration, April 9, 2010,
San Jose Fairmont, San Jose, California.
Sponsored by: The Section on Intergovernmental Administration and Management (SIAM) Federal Systems Panel at
the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA)
Panel Chair, “Complexity and Metropolitan Governance,” at the Annual National
Conference of the American Society for
Public Administration held in San Jose,
California, April 12, 2010.
Section Chair, Section on Intergovern-
mental Administration and Management
(SIAM) of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA), 2008-2010
Chair, Standards Committee, National
Association of Schools of Public Affairs
and Administration (NASPAA)
NASPAA Accreditation Site Visit Chair,
California State University, Chico (February 2010)
Lisa Saye
Assistant Professor of Public Admin.
Papers Presented
Lisa Saye (2010) “ ‘The State of the
Caribbean’ presented at the 28th Annual
Conference of The Association of Third
World Studies (ATWS), October 07-09,
2010 in Savannah, Georgia where I presented a paper called on October 08, 2010
as part of the panel called
Lisa Saye (2010) ‘Beyond the Marble
Cake: Current Trends in American
Federalism,’ presented at ‘The State of
the Third World’ at the Eastern Regional
Organization for Public Administration
(EROPA) Conference in Kathmandu,
Nepal, November 21-25, 2010.
Mathew Witt
Assistant Professor of Public Admin.
Panel convener “Towards Forensic Public
Administration.” For the Ethics & Professionalism Track, 70th Annual American
Society of Public Administration Conference, San Jose, CA, April 9, 2010.
Dr. Witt repeated this presentation May 20,
at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Public
Administration Theory Network, Omaha,
Discussant, Panel on “Race Politics” at the
23rd Annual Meeting of the Public Administration Theory Network, Omaha, NB.

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