Public Administration Student Association (PASA)

Announcing the Public Administration Student Association

The original MPA Student Group (MPASG) was chartered in the year 2000 as a university-recognized student organization to represent the needs of UNC Charlotte public administration students. Since that time, the public administration program has grown in number and to include students working towards graduate certificates and other non-MPA programs.

During the summer of 2018, it emerged that a number of students did not feel they were being represented in MPASG activities. This created a conversation among the MPASG membership on how to better include the diverse mix of students who take public administration classes. As one outcome of the conversation, it was decided to rename the MPASG to better reflect our group’s inclusivity. Following a unanimous vote by the Executive Board, the MPASG was renamed the Public Administration Student Association on October 26, 2018. 

Your 2018-19 Public Administration Student Association

The mission of the Public Administration Student Association is to provide professional development, service, and social networking opportunities for public administration students to connect them with each other, potential employers, and our Charlotte community.

Upcoming Events

October 26: Student Alumni Conference – PASA will present one of the conference panels, “Charlotte and the 2020 Republican National Convention”.

November 16: PASA Friday Lunch Series – Inside Nonprofits

December 6: Reading Day Social

December 10 & 12: Capstone Presentation Receptions

Stay updated with the MPASG through our Google Calendar link and our Facebook page (coming soon!). For students and alumni, we also send information through the MPA listserv.

PASA Executive Board

President: Lieke Janssen,

Lieke is in her first year in the MPA program and works as a Graduate Assistant at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. Before coming to Charlotte, Lieke completed her Bachelor’s degree from Radboud University in the Netherlands and interned at a policy liaison office in Brussels, Belgium. Lieke also loves to cook and dance salsa.

Vice-President: Vacant

Treasurer: Jillian Mueller,

Jillian is beginning her first full year in the MPA program after starting her studies last spring. She currently works as a Fellow with the Arts  & Science Council and previously worked for three years in finance. The MPA is Jillian’s second graduate degree, having completed her Master’s in Accounting at UNC, and is part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper’s network. When not working, she can be found flying as an aerialist in training at AerialCLT and creating tapestries.

Senator: Savannah Cooper,

Savannah is a new student to the MPA program beginning this fall. Savannah is a recent graduate of the University of Central Arkansas where she majored in Political Science and Public Administration. Savannah previously worked as a paralegal for a Social Security Disability Attorney for three years while she was earning her Bachelor's degree from UCA. She is interested in Urban Policy and Management. Savannah enjoys reading, The Office references, and considers herself an amateur runner. She has completed four Half Marathons and hopes to participate in more in the future. Savannah is very excited to experience everything UNCC and Charlotte has to offer. 

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Tom Barth,

Dr. Barth is the MPA Program Director and faculty advisor to the PASA. Dr. Barth came to UNCC in 2016 after being the founding director of the MPA program at UNC Wilmington and a professional career in the federal government. Dr. Barth is instrumental in helping us with our ongoing work with the department, university, and MPA alumni to produce events benefitting our students.

Professional Advisor: Mr. Curt Walton,

Mr. Walton is currently the Interim Associate Provost for Metropolitan Studies and Executive in Residence at UNCC, but is best known to MPA students as the former Charlotte City Manager from 2007 to 2013 and instructor for Public Budgeting & Finance. Mr. Walton is well-known and highly respected in our community, and we thank him for helping us connect and create opportunities with professionals and practitioners around Charlotte!

About the PASA

The formal purpose of PASA is to represent the Public Administration program by acting as a liaison to the Graduate and Professional Student Government (GPSG), the MPA Alumni Group, and serving as a network and resource for public administration students and others interested in local government, nonprofits, emergency management, and public service.

PASA holds monthly business meetings to set our events calendar and discuss matters relevant to the group. Meetings are held at both Center City and Main Campus and are kept brief. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

We sponsor events throughout the year, including the MPA Night at the Charlotte Knights baseball stadium, the annual MPA Student-Alumni Conference in October, and social receptions for the end-of-semester capstone presentations. We also host partner with other student organizations for professional and networking opportunities to connect students with practitioners and potential employers.

We understand that as professional students, we all lead busy lives. Not everyone can make every event we offer – nor do we expect you to! We offer a variety of events at various days and times to give you options that fit with your schedule. Please join us as you are able – you are always welcome! 

Working with the GPSG

PASA works with UNCC’s Graduate and Professional Student Government to help students obtain funding and resources. GPSG sets aside a certain amount of its funding each year to help Graduate Students travel to academic and professional conferences that benefit their education while positively representing UNC Charlotte at these events. We are here to help you connect with the resources offered by the GPSG and the Center for Graduate Life.

The travel funding guidelines and deadlines for funding applications can be found at the GPSG Travel Funding website.


Important information on the PASA, such as meeting minutes, forms, and the Code of Ethics, are posted below.