The Graduate Program in
Public Policy and Administration

The Sacramento Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) recently held their 2000 Annual Awards Dinner. The honorees were:

Dr. Jensen is the founding faculty member of the graduate program in Public Policy and Administration. Ms. Franklin is a recent graduate, completing her MPPA in 1999, of the graduate program in Public Policy and Administration. The department is very proud of Deborah Franklin and Cristy Jensen and would like to thank ASPA for honoring our colleagues.

To view some pictures of the event, please click here or click on the collage below. click on the image to see more photos

Professor Robert Wassmer, Ms. Franklin's academic advisor in the MPPA program, offered a few words at the awards dinner. You may read them here.

Thank you. It is with great satisfaction that I participate in this evening of recognition sponsored by the Sacramento chapter of the American Society of Public Administrators. Before I introduce Deborah Franklin, the women chosen as student of the year, I would first like to extend my congratulations, and the congratulations of my academic colleagues at CSUS (Tim Hodson, Ted Lascher, Nancy Shulock, Don Gerth, Peter Detwiler, Betty Moulds, and Bob Waste) to Kevin Starr (administrator of the year) and Cristy Jensen (teacher of the year). We all know of Dr. Starr by his stellar reputation, and we can think of no one more deserving of the honor. Many of you also know of Professor Jensen, but as a direct beneficiary of the qualities that earned her teacher of the year (though in my mind it is teacher of the decade), I would like to tell you a bit more about her.

In one sense, this banquet can be viewed as a celebration of the arrival of the Public Policy and Administration Program at CSUS as a major contributor to the education of graduate level, and in the near future, undergraduate level public administrators and policy experts in California. In no uncertain terms, this celebration would not have been possible without the vision, people skills, hard work, and pedagogy of Cristy Jensen We at California State University, Sacramento, and by we I mean professors, administrators, and most importantly students, thank her for beginning our graduate program in public policy and administration 10 years ago, serving as its first director, and being a superior mentor and teacher throughout that period. As more of our students are employed throughout the Sacramento region, I am certain that the public agencies that they work for will also recognize the lasting contribution that Cristy has made to the craft of public administration and policy in the region.

Now onto the enjoyable task of introducing Deborah Franklin, the Sacramento chapter of ASPA's student of the year. Bob Waste, the director of our program, asked for nominations from faculty for the prestigious award and it is was without hesitation that I put forth Deborah's name. It was also without surprise that my colleagues in our program agreed unanimously. During her time at Sacramento State, Deborah demonstrated all of the personal qualities of a student that drew me into the profession of university teaching in the first place. She is intelligent, insightful, inquiring, a great writer, a great defender of her educated opinions, and perhaps most important, has a work ethic that is nearly unmatched by any of the hundreds of graduate students I have worked with in the last 12 years (both at the Doctorate and Master's level).

Deborah is also very symbolic of the type of student that the Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration at California State University at Sacramento has attempted to serve in the last ten years, and will serve into the future. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Sac State in 1975. After obtaining a teaching credential, she then worked during the 1980s as a substitute teacher for the Rio-Linda School District- I may add, acquiring many of the skills necessary to be a good administrator. During this time, and as a continuation of her lifelong interest in public service, she worked as volunteer for youth programs, political candidates and as a fundraising coordinator for the National Organization of Women.

After her two sons finished college, Deborah decided she needed more formal training to do the civic-minded things that she has always loved to do, and in 1996 enrolled in our program. Deborah first came to my attention through what some may call "old-fashioned brown-nosing." At the time, our family had only one car, with two young sons and a spouse who worked past my class start time; I asked if any students could offer me a ride. Deborah quickly volunteered and I have liked her ever since.

Deborah did very well in all my courses including what some students have labeled the "gauntlet" (statistics and economics in the same semester), and in all of the courses she took in our program. When the time came for me to look for a graduate student to implement some service-learning teaching practices in two courses, I looked no farther than Deborah and she was quick to agree to it, even though the wages were essentially sub-minimum. When the time came for me to look for a student to assist in consulting analysis of a proposition, Deborah was also my first choice and ended up doing the majority of work on it. When the LAO, was looking for an intern, Nancy Shulock and I did not hesitate to recommend Deborah for a position there that she held for six months. I could go on, but you see the pattern that has led to Debra receiving this richly deserved award.

In the summer of 1999, Debra completed her Master's thesis on "Teenage Birth Rates in California: What Really Matters?" and it was so good that a paper written from it won the competitive accolade of best graduate student paper in public policy written in California State University System. Her thesis is also one of two that I feature on my web site for students as an example of what a quality product looks like. She is now a program analyst at the California State Board of Education and uses her hands-on and learned knowledge of education administration and policy to bestow benefits upon all Californians.

It is with great pleasure, and I must admit extreme pride, that I introduce Deborah Franklin, the student of the year for the Sacramento chapter of ASPA. Congratulations.

Copyright: 2000. The Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration.
Last updated: October 12, 2000

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