JMU's Master of Public Administration students come from diverse backgrounds and pursue a wide range of professional interests after graduation. In a recent survey, our alumni indicated that over 22% work in local government, 11% in state and federal government, 17% in nonprofit organizations, and 15% in for-profit companies. Learn more about our students' and alumni's variety of career paths and interests below.
Renée Birch spends her days working with academically gifted minority students to help prepare them for a bright future at college. She credits hard work, dedication, and her MPA degree for her current success. Read an interview with Renée
Mark Meadows graduated from JMU in 1998 with a double major in Theatre and English, then spent a few years teaching tenth and eleventh grade English. His love for JMU brought him back to campus as senior assistant director of the Office of Admissions, putting him in position to also pursue his MPA as a part-time student.
After successfully completing his Master's degree program, Mark accepted a position as the Director of Student Recruitment at Virginia Commonwealth University. He now uses his experiences as a Madison student and self-proclaimed "habitual student" to help others make the best possible decisions when selecting a college.
Protecting the security of cyber networks and the nation's critical infrastructures has become a vital focus on our country's agenda. Jack Wheeler ('06M) received first-hand experience in this dominant field working with JMU’s Institute for Infrastructure and Information Assurance (IIIA) during his two years as a Master of Public Administration student. Today he serves as a security consultant for the Security, Privacy, Wireless and IT Governance division of IBM Global Business Services, Public Sector. In this role, Wheeler has developed innovative security policy solutions and management plans for multiple federal government clients.
In 2007, Jack worked with IIIA executive director Dr. John Noftsinger ('85) and IIIA associate director, fellow MPA alum Kenneth Newbold ('01M) to co-author a book. "Understanding Homeland Security: Policy, Perspectives, and Paradoxes" is the first comprehensive academic text regarding homeland security. More about the book
Daniele Ressler is the program manager and research specialist for the Mine Action Information Center at James Madison University. The MAIC is a public policy center that manages information and conducts training relevant to humanitarian mine clearance, victim assistance, mine risk reduction and other landmine-related issues. In her position, Daniele manages and supports a variety of activities including the Pathways to Reslilience and the Landmine Aging Study. She holds a Master of Science (Merit) in violence, conflict and development studies from the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies. She has also studied in Caux, Switzerland, earning a certificate for applied studies in peacebuilding, and in Nairobi, Kenya at Daystar University.
Ali joined the Child Health Investment Partnership (CHIP) in 2007 as Director of Mental Health Services. Her background includes program management and service coordination for high-risk populations including homeless, incarcerated, low-income and GLBT persons. Prior to joining CHIP, Ali served as the Clinic Manager for Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, a full service GYN clinic, and as a Program Coordinator for the YWCA’s Transitional Living Program. Since joining CHIP, she has built collaborative partnerships with area Mental Health providers; restructured Mental Health Services to include an evidence-based curriculum; instituted new methods of screening families for mental illness through the introduction of the Parenting Stress Index: Short Form, and implemented the use of the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Screen for all CHIP enrolled families.
Ali currently serves on the 0-3 Committee for Infant and Toddler Mental Health, the Roanoke Local Human Rights Committee, and the Mental Health Advisory Board for CHIP. She holds a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Social Work from Roanoke College, and she will complete her MPA at James Madison University's program at the Roanoke Higher Education Center in the summer of 2010.