This spring, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) awarded five members of the Department of Public Policy (DPP) community the Local Government Early Career Service Certificate. The Certificate recognizes graduating students in good academic standing who have completed a major service project for a local government organization. The DPP’s Spring 2021 awardees received a Master of Public Administration (MPA) last month. Awardees include Valentina Campillo Mendez, Kevin Fitzgerald, Olivia Francoline, Olena Nagorna, and Martyna Srebrna.
- Valentina Campillo Mendez: This academic year Valentina gained experience in municipal administration through her internship with the Town of Darien, Connecticut. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from UConn in 2020. Previously Valentina was a member of the DPP’s Fast-Track program. Valentina hopes to continue working in local government and learning about leadership.
- Kevin Fitzgerald: Kevin is from Montville, Connecticut and completed a Public Financial Management Certificate alongside his MPA. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Urban and Community Studies from UConn in 2018. His research and public service experience is focused on urban planning, public finance and e-Government innovations. As a planner, he has contributed to business development and transportation planning efforts, and advocated for equitable zoning reforms that will expand housing diversity and affordability in Connecticut. Kevin is an Advocacy Fellow with DesegregateCT, a Popular Annual Financial Report (PAFR) Fellow with Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA), and an InsurTech Fellow with the Connecticut Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CCEI). Since graduation, Kevin has joined AdvanceCT’s Partnerships Team and supports local officials on economic and community development initiatives.
- Olivia Francoline: Olivia is from Vernon, Connecticut and completed a Public Financial Management Certificate alongside her MPA. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Strategic Communication from Central Connecticut State University. This spring Olivia was the recipient of the DPP Albert G. Ilg Fellowship in Local Government, which provided her with the opportunity to further explore her interest in local government. During the 2020-2021 academic year Olivia completed an internship with the Town of Coventry, Connecticut. Olivia’s career goal is to one day serve as a town manager in her home state of Connecticut.
- Olena Nagorna: Olena is from Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in Psychological Sciences and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from UConn in 2019. This academic year Olena worked in the Town Manager’s Office in Simsbury, Connecticut. She hopes to continue her career in local government and is excited about what is next to come.
- Martyna Srebrna: Martyna completed a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health with a concentration in Healthcare Administration from UConn in 2020. This academic year Martyna completed an internship with the Town of Southbury, Connecticut. She was previously in the DPP’s Fast-Track program.