Associate professor of public administration Marcia Godwin has been chosen to be the University’s new program director of the master of public administration.
Godwin is succeeding former MPA director Jack Meek as he becomes the founding director of the College of Business and Public Management Research Center.
“It is a new role and title where I see it as building connections with students, faculty, alumni and the advisory board,” Godwin said.
With her new role, Godwin hopes to make a stronger connection with the undergraduates.
“I’m looking to interact with undergraduates,” she said. “I primarily teach our graduate program and it’s hard to connect with the undergrads.”
Godwin’s new responsibilities as MPA director include directing student academics services for the program such as admission, advising and updating academic activities such as finding guest speakers.
Godwin was returning from sabbatical when Abe Helou, dean of the College of Business and Public Management, asked her to take on the new title.
“Pretty much when I got back, Helou told me about the responsibilities and asked if I was interested,” Godwin said.
Helou’s decision came to be because of Godwin’s consideration for students.
“She puts the students first and that’s something we needed the program directors to do,” Helou said.
“She has opened a lot of doors for students in local government and she provides a lot of venues for students to network with professionals.”
Godwin will also be serving as a faculty adviser for the new International City/County Management Association student chapter that will be open to both undergraduates and graduates interested in local government.
In an email announcing Godwin as the new MPA director, Helou wrote he was “fortunate enough to convince Godwin to take on the responsibility of directing the MPA.”
“Since she is the best person for that position I had to make her realize nobody can do the position better than she does. Then I told her students would be missing out,” Helou said.
Godwin had some concerns regarding the responsibilities as the new director of master of public administration programs.
“I’m not sure if I was reluctant but I had questions and a lot of it had to do with what I see is the purpose of our MPA program,” she said.
Godwin hopes to have more visibility for the program.
“I think we’re looking at having a more visible program, more recognized in the region,” Godwin said.
“Our grads are known for their skills and approach to public service, and I would like that recognized.”
“She just started, but I have no doubt about her meeting her meeting my expectations,” Helou said. “I think she will exceed them.”
Karla Rendon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.