Alumni Council

The School of Public Policy (SPP) Alumni Council helps current and future students connect with alumni to explore the wide variety of career opportunities available to UConn SPP graduates. Alumni Council members also connect and network with their former classmates.


In 2019, the UConn MPA Alumni Council combined with the Survey Research Alumni Council to form the Department of Public Policy (DPP) Alumni Council, supporting alumni of all DPP programs. In 2022, the DPP became the School of Public Policy (SPP). The MPA Alumni Council was established more than a decade ago to support both the MPA program and its students. Over the years, Alumni Council members have served as mentors and role models for our aspiring administrators. Alumni are willing to talk with students, review resumes, and set up job shadows in order to help students have the same great opportunities as the people who went before them.

UConn SPP graduates have taken jobs both in Connecticut and throughout the country in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Connecting our alumni with students – and with each other – is at the core of the Council’s mission.

2022-2023 Council Members

NC = Nominating Committee members | AC = Awards Committee members

President: Christopher Brechlin '18 MPP
Vice President: Tara Downes '20 MPA
Secretary: Tony Patelunas '19 MPP

Term Expires June 30, 2023

Lauren Hunt '18 MPA
Development Program Coordinator
Yale School of Public Health

Alissa Johnston '07 MPA
Performance Measurement Coordinator
Capital Workforce Partners

Larisa Kottke '13 MPA
President & CEO
Leadership Greater Hartford

Jessica Legnos Kearney '12 MPA, AC
Second Vice President
Travelers Institute

Jennifer McDermott '13 MPA, NC
Vice President, Senior Underwriter, Public Sector Finance
Webster Bank

Ron Schack '93 MPA
The Charter Oak Group, LLC

Term Expires June 30, 2024

Janice Castle '11 MPA
Director, Office of Community Engagement
City of Hartford

Tara Downes '20 MPA, Vice President
Assistant State Comptroller
Connecticut Office of the State Comptroller

Parashar Patel '91 MPA
Senior Vice President, Government Affairs & Market Access
Viewray, Inc

Tony Patelunas '19 MPP, Secretary
Program Manager
Seven Bridges Genomics

Ashley Plosky '07 MASR, AC
2VP, Business Insurance (BI) Sales Analytics and Execution
The Travelers Companies, Inc.

Matt Robinson '11 MPA
Senior Consultant
Systems Evolution, Inc.

Term Expires June 30, 2025

Melissa Appleby '13 MPA, NC
Deputy Town Manager
Town of Simsbury

Christopher Brechlin '18 MPP, President, AC
Director of Data and Digital Systems
COMPASS Youth Collaborative

Candace Fitzpatrick '06 MPA, NC
Alumni Relations & Development Director
School of Public Policy, University of Connecticut

Charlie Grab '18 MPA
Director Business Operations & Mobility Services, Central Administration
Harvard University

Chaz Plungis '10 MPA
Assistant Director, Medicaid Finance
Rhode Island Office of Health and Human Services

Bill Craven '15 MPA
Senior Financial Analyst, Financial Planning & Analysis
Yale University


Maureen Goulet '20 MPA, Alternate (2023)
Director of Purchasing
Town of Manchester

Morgan Spencer '12 MPA, Alternate (2024)
Compliance and Quality Control Officer
Mindful Urgent Care

Tina Prakash '07 MASR, '21 MPA, Alternate (2025)
Special Assistant to the Deputy
Secretary of the State of Connecticut

School Representatives

School Director

Mohamad Alkadry
(959) 200-3858

Director of Graduate Programs

Eric Brunner
(959) 200-3795

Student Representative

Brighten Critchfield