Why Earn the MPA at EMU

EMU MPA Alumni Overview

Want to know where our alumni live, what they do, where they work, and what job responsibilities they have? Explore our alumni overview [PDF].


NASPAA Resources

Learn more about pursuing a public service degree and view employment data from the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration website.

Alumni of the EMU MPA Program describe the impact of their MPA degree:

"My experience in the EMU MPA program was, and has continued to be, invaluable as my career progressed. I was already working full-time, and the program was structured in a way that allowed me to continue to work and go to school. The program had a very positive regional reputation, and the course locations in both Livonia and Ypsilanti made it that much more convenient for me to pursue my studies.

From the beginning, I could tell the faculty and instructors really took interest in their students. They brought a depth and breadth of knowledge and experience to the classroom that was truly remarkable. I have maintained contact with several of them over the years and have used them as sounding boards and mentors as well. I learned theory but also left the program with an understanding of how to apply that theory in the ‘real world.’ ”

John Buzuvis, Community Development Director, City of Plymouth, MI

"When I decided to pursue an MPA at Eastern, I was looking for a program that would enable me to launch a new career path for myself in mid-life. I found the MPA program and was drawn to the idea of learning more about government operations, policy and nonprofit management. The mix of theory and practice was right for my interests. Earning the MPA helped me achieve exactly what I wanted. It gave my career path more focus, and I believe that without it, employers would not have given me the same level of consideration. Among the particular things that turned out to be valuable, I am glad that so many of my courses required oral presentations. Even having taught in the past, I had a lot to learn in that area. Since then, I’ve realized that knowing how to present your work well in a short time segment is an important skill in the 'real world.' "

Mary Penn, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, Chicago Commons, Chicago, IL 

"When I entered the workforce, it became clear to me that having a graduate degree was going to be important for the career path I wanted. Three factors attracted me to the program at EMU. First, courses are taught by faculty, not graduate assistants. Second, the network is very supportive. My manager at the time was an MPA grad and was very encouraging about the program. Third, the program was convenient for people who already had jobs and families.

I found many classes helpful, especially budgeting, public personnel and public policy analysis. I enjoyed how the degree could be designed to fit my interests. I took classes in health administration and did an independent study that focused on program evaluation and advanced skills in quantitative analysis."

Laura Shue, Health Information Services Director, Michigan Medicine

"My EMU MPA degree has opened up professional opportunities and allowed me a greater flexibility in my career. I have been upwardly mobile and able to move around the country because I acquired a valuable and portable set of skills."

Samuel Gedman, Deputy Director of Elections, Durham County Board of Elections in North Carolina

"Not only did the professors facilitate a professional and inspiring learning environment, but the diverse professional and educational backgrounds amongst the students gave such great context to most of the lively discussions."

Sarah Pounders, Nonprofit Consultant 

"The EMU MPA program maintains the balance of relevant, beneficial classes and convenience for working professionals."

John Seto, Deputy Director of Operations, Division of Public Safety and Security, and Director of Housing Security, University of Michigan

"The most valuable part of the EMU experience is the intimate contact you have with faculty and the opportunities for engaging professionals in the field. The program prepared me for the practical environment of public service and greatly enhanced my critical thinking to enable me to analyze and develop strategies for complex issues."

Douglas Gordon, Director, Detroit HUD Field Office of Public Housing, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development 

"The MPA program had, and continues to have, a good reputation, so I knew that with a busy work schedule, I could go through the program part-time and have a degree that would help me. I especially found the statistics course useful. It helped me think critically about numbers and understand what statistics can and cannot do for you. The local and state government courses helped me better understand day-to-day operations from a legal perspective. The MPA at Eastern is something I view as a wonderful tool, a wonderful education, I use just about every day."

Andy LaBarre, Washtenaw County Commissioner, Executive Vice President and Director of Governmental Relations of A2Y Regional Chamber