The Local Government Early Career Service Certificate recognizes graduating students in good academic standing who have completed or are in the process of completing a major service project for a local government organization. Students are nominated by their ICMA Student Chapter Faculty Advisors for their outstanding demonstration of a strong commitment to local government.  Nominations happen twice a year (November and April) to accommodate winter and spring graduates. If you are a faculty advisor who would like to nominate a student, email careers@icma.org.  

Spring 2021 Recipients:

 

Christopher Frazer | Central Michigan University

Chris is from Cass City, Michigan. He a first-generation college graduate who earned a double major in political science and public & nonprofit administration from Central Michigan University in May 2019. He is graduating with a master of public administration degree from Central Michigan University. After graduation, his goal for the future is to work in city/county management and become a city manager.  


Snigdha Kanta | CEPT University

Snigdha is from Gulbarga, Karnataka. Snigdha received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from P.D.A College of Engineering, Gulbarga, and is graduating with a master’s in urban management at CEPT University, Ahmedabad. After graduation, Snigdha hopes to have a successful career in an organization that aims to strengthen democracy in India by working for citizen participation in urban local government. 


Anirudhh Vaghela |CEPT University

Anirudh is graduating with a master's in urban management from CEPT University, Ahmedabad, and is the leader of the ICMA Student Chapter at CEPT. Anirudh is from Gujarat and plans on working in the urban development sector post-graduation.


Apoorva Bhate | CEPT University

Apoorva is graduating with a master’s in urban management from CEPT University in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. She holds a bachelor’s in architecture from ITM SAAD in Vadodara, Gujarat. For the past year, she has been serving as the president of the ICMA Student Chapter at CEPT University. After graduation, Apoorva hopes to work with local authorities to bring meaningful impact to society with her gained expertise.


Aleida Fernandez | George Washington University

Aleida is graduating from The George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration, with a concentration in budget and public finance. Originally from Oregon, Aleida went to Whitman College for undergrad where she majored in history and minored in music. Aleida currently works as a management consultant for The Clearing, a boutique consulting firm in Washington, D.C., where she works with both state and federal government agencies.


Peter Duyshart | George Washington University

Peter is graduating from The George Washington Unviersity's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration with a master's in public administration and a concentration in politics, policy, and administration. Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, he attended UCLA as an undergrad, majoring in political science and minoring in public affairs. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., Peter was an analyst in local government, working on transportation, planning, and energy efficiency issues. He now works in government relations and legislative affairs in D.C.


Savannah Roder | George Washington University

Originally from Memphis, Savannah will graduate in May 2021 with a master of public administration, concentrating in public finance and budgeting, from the George Washington University. She hopes to work in consulting upon graduation. Savannah holds a bachelor's degree in business marketing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.


Sydney Tepper | George Washington University

Sydney is graduating from George Washington University's Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Administration, with a concentration in politics, policy, and administration. Originally from New York, Sydney went to The University of Texas at Austin for undergrad where she majored in government and sociology and was a J.J. Pickle Research Fellow. Sydney hopes to one day work for a nonprofit or advocacy firm focusing on women and LGBTQIA+ rights.


Imonkhae "Mimi" Ugboya | Georgia Southern University

Imonkhae is from Nigeria, West Africa. Her undergraduate degree is in accounting, and she is graduating with a degree in public administration with a concentration in public management. She plans to continue her studies after graduation. 


Soumanou Sabi Goura | Georgia Southern University

Soumanou is from Benin, West Africa. Soumanou received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia Southern University and will be graduating with a master’s degree in public administration. Soumanou is proud of his association with Georgia Southern, and looks forward to becoming a double eagle at the end of this semester. Soumanou’ s academic achievement is a “dream come true” that he owes to those who gave him a chance--his American adoptive family.  After graduation, Soumanou hopes to find employment in the public sector.


Kathryn Beemer | Grand Valley State University

Kathryn recently completed her master’s in public administration from Grand Valley State University (GVSU), with a concentration in state, local, and regional governance and was awarded GVSU's Award for Outstanding Leadership in Community or Professional Service. She has a bachelor’s in political science from Pennsylvania State University. She serves as a management fellow for Wayland, Michigan, and has interned with Ferrysburg and Muskegon, Michigan, and as a graduate assistant at GVSU. She is a member of ICMA's Welcome Ambassadors Committee, Michigan Municipal League's Economic Development and Land Use Policy Advisory Committee, ICMA's Emerging Leaders Development Program, and is president of the ICMA Student Chapter at GVSU; she is a proud graduate of the 16/50 Project's Women's Municipal Leadership Program and the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies' Cook Leadership Academy. She is pursuing a position as a chief administrator of a small to mid-size community.


Noah Dove | Mills College

Noah lives in Vallejo, California, where he has served as a city commissioner. He is graduating this semester with a master of public policy degree from Mills College. He serves as policy researcher for the Solano Local Food System Alliance and is preparing to return as an appointed public official to a county-level board or commission.


Olubukola Y. Olugbemi | Mills College

As a Nigerian American, Olubukola is proud to be at the end of her master’s journey. Having completed her undergraduate degree at Loyola University Maryland, Olubukola is even more proud of the opportunity to use all she’s learned in the joint degree work with the FDIC in Lexington, Massachusetts, as a risk management specialist starting July 2021. Olubukola is excited to return home to the east coast and be closer to family.


Jonathan Cascone | Northern Illinois University

Jonathan received his undergraduate degrees in communication and political science from Eureka College in May 2019 and is graduating with a master's degree in public administration with an emphasis in local government management from Northern Illinois University. He is from Tinley Park, Illinois. After graduation, Jonathan will transition from administrative intern to management analyst with the Village of Lincolnshire.


Benjamin Nielsen | Northern Illinois University

Benjamin is from Normal, Illinois, and received a B.A. in political science from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois. He will graduate from Northern Illinois University with an MPA with a concentration in local government management. Following graduation, Benjamin wants to continue pursuing his passion in local government and is thrilled to continue his career in Mesa, Arizona, as a part of the city Management Analyst Team in the Office of Management and Budget.


Jordan Schmidt | Northern Illinois University

Jordan is from Batavia, Illinois. He completed his undergraduate degree from Aurora University, majoring in political science and public policy. He recently graduated with an MPA from Northern Illinois University. He is the community development intern for Geneva and is pursuing opportunities to continue his career in local government management.


Aaron Lewis | Northern Illinois University

Aaron possesses a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Northern Illinois University and recently completing his master's degree in public administration with an emphasis in local government management. He is originally from Charleston, South Carolina, and was hired as an economic development and data associate for Region 1 Planning Council where he interned as a project management assistant for the past two years. Aaron plans to continue serving the public in regional governance by assisting in the economic development of the Northern Illinois region.


Benjamin Wiberg | Northern Illinois University

Benjamin graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 2019 with a major in political science and a minor in history. He will graduate from Northern Illinois University's master of public administration program with a concentration in local government. He hopes to continue working for the Village of Glenview, where he grew up and where he has been an intern, and now a management analyst, since the summer of 2016. Benjamin enjoys making communities a better place to live!


Jake Kohler | Northern Illinois University

Jake is a management analyst for Des Plaines. He is a second-year student at Northern Illinois University (NIU) completing a master’s degree in public administration. Jake has a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the University of Iowa, where he developed the knowledge and skills that would assist him in pursuing a career in local government. His career vision is to one day become a successful city manager that strives to provide broad policy and general guidance and direction to department heads, front-line staff, and the general public.


Morgan Pinardi | Northern Illinois University

Morgan grew up in the small town of Hurley in Northern Wisconsin. She graduated in 2019 from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin, where she majored in political science and was a member of the Track and Field Team. She will receive a master's degree in public administration from Northern Illinois University. After graduation, she hopes to be in the position to change the negative connotation people have of government by showing them the good things that local governments can do for them.


Bolor Bat-Erdem | Northern Illinois University

Bolor is a management analyst for the Elk Grove Village, Illinois, Police Department, specializing in the accreditation program and communications. Bolor completed an undergraduate degree in criminal justice from the Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois, and will be graduating from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, this summer with a master of public administration degree with fiscal administration specialization. Bolor was born and raised in Mongolia and moved to the United States in 2008 and has been living in the Chicagoland area since then. After graduation, Bolor's hope is to continue working for Elk Grove Village for further experience in local government and law enforcement.


Robbie Habtetsion | University of Arizona

Robbie received a bachelor of science in public management & policy at the University of Arizona and is graduating with a master of public administration degree at the University of Arizona. He serves as the student treasurer for the ICMA Student Chapter at the University of Arizona, and he works full time as direct support professional for a nonprofit group. He was raised here but was born in Eritrea. Robbie plans after graduation this semester is to take some much-needed time off and pick up some new skill sets as he is looking forward to a career in public service, particularly in human resources.


Andrea Crisantes | University of Arizona

Andrea is originally from Sinaloa, Mexico, and moved to Tucson, Arizona, six years ago to attend college. Andrea graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of Arizona in 2020 and is now finishing a master of public administration. After graduation, Andrea plans on working in the public and nonprofit sector, advocating and working on racial inequality and immigration issues.


Chloe Alexandra Loos | University of Arizona

Chloe holds a master’s in public administration and bachelor's in theatre and film studies. She is particularly interested in embodied decision-making and knowledge sharing and the de-hierarchization of the written word in addressing public policy issues. As a resident of the Sonoran Desert, she is interested in utilizing performative problem solving to investigate questions at the intersection of people and place, particularly with regard to historic and cultural preservation in the face of climate change.


Amanda Bruno | University of Arizona

Amanda is the project manager in the Office of Economic Initiatives for Tucson, where she focuses on business retention and expansion, and small business and entrepreneurial development. A native New Yorker, she moved to Arizona in 2011 to pursue her bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts in anthropology and religious studies in 2015 and a master’s in public administration in 2020. She is a member of ICMA’s Graduate Education Committee, a member of Greater Tucson Leadership’s 2021 Civic and Political Leadership Academy, a former board member of Tucson Young Professionals, and an incoming member of the board of directors of the Arizona Association for Economic Development.


Kami Witt | University of Central Oklahoma

Kami is preparing to graduate from the University of Central Oklahoma with a master’s degree in public administration. Kami has worked in water resources for six years, starting out in line maintenance. Kami was offered the job of water conservation coordinator with the city of Edmond - an exciting and challenging opportunity.


Vijayalakshmi Swamidurai | University of Central Oklahoma

Viji is graduating with a master of public administration degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. He is from Chennai, India, and currently calls Oklahoma City home. Viji’s plans after graduation are to continue working in the state government sector, preferably working within areas regarding finance.


Olivia Francoline | University of Connecticut

Olivia is from Vernon, Connecticut and will be graduating in May 2021 with an MPA and a Certificate in Public Financial Management from the University of Connecticut. Her undergraduate degree is in political science with a minor in strategic communication. She is the 2021 recipient of the Albert G. llg Fellowship in Local Government which provides her with the opportunity to further explore her interest in local government. Olivia's career goal is to one day serve as a town manager in her home state of Connecticut.


Kevin Fitzgerald | University of Connecticut

Kevin is from Montville, Connecticut, and holds a bachelor of arts and a master of public administration in public financial management from the University of Connecticut. Kevin’s research and public service experience are focused on urban planning, public finance, and e-government innovations. As a planner, Kevin has contributed to business development and transportation planning efforts and advocated for equitable zoning reforms that will expand housing diversity and affordability in Connecticut. After graduation, Kevin will join AdvanceCT’s Partnerships Team and support local officials on economic and community development initiatives.


Olena Nagorna | University of Connecticut

Olena graduated with a bachelor of arts in history and minors in psychology and women's, gender and sexuality studies from UConn Stamford. She is currently pursuing her MPA from UConn Hartford and is set to graduate this spring. Olena works as a professional intern in the Town Manager's Office in Simsbury, Connecticut. 


Martyna Srebrna | University of Connecticut

Martyna received her bachelor's degree from UConn in Allied Health with a concentration in healthcare administration. Martyna is pursuing a graduate degree in public administration, and after graduation, plans on pursuing a career in local government in the assessor's office.


Valentina Campillo | University of Connecticut

Valentina is gaining experience in municipal administration through her internship in local government. She is now earning her MPA after receiving an undergraduate degree in economics. After graduation, she hopes to continue working in local government and learning about leadership.


Jillian Cullen | University of Delaware

Jillian is from Kearny, New Jersey. She received a bachelor of arts in public policy with a minor in business administration from the University of Delaware in May 2020. She is a 4+1 master of public administration student with a public management specialization graduating in May 2021 from the University of Delaware.


Abigail Armstrong | University of Delaware

Abigail holds a bachelor's in sociocultural anthropology from Mercyhurst University and will receive a master of public administration degree from the University of Delaware. While at the University of Delaware, she worked for the Institute for Public Administration in education policy. This past summer, she was the UD ICMA Local Government Management Fellow. Currently, Abigail is a Legislative Fellow for the Delaware Senate Majority Caucus. She has a strong passion for state and local government. In July, she will become a legislative performance auditor with Utah’s Office of Legislative Auditor General.


Sara Del Valle | University of Georgia

A Colorado Springs native, Sara will graduate from the University of Georgia with her master of public administration in May 2021. After graduation, she will be working as a management intern for the city of Phoenix, seeking to improve the lives and experiences of local community members and learn even more about local government management. Prior to attending UGA, Sara graduated from the University of Delaware in 2019 with a dual degree in management (BS) and women and gender studies (BA) and minors in Spanish and international business.


Timothy Bailey Dickinson | University of Georgia

Bailey is from Toccoa, Georgia, and he is a graduating MPA student at the University of Georgia. He attended the same institution for his undergraduate degrees in political science & communication studies. Currently, he works as a graduate assistant for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, assisting with undergraduate research internships and government training programs. Following graduation, he has accepted an ICMA Local Government Management Fellowship with Covington, Georgia.


Olivia Ammons | University of Georgia

Olivia is from Suwanee, Georgia. She is graduating this May with her A.B. in international affairs and her Mmaster of public administration degree, with a specialization in local government administration. She is the president of UGA's Pi Alpha Alpha chapter and an intern with the City Manager's Office of Johns Creek. She hopes to work in city administration.


Risi Karim | University of Kansas

Risi attended Oklahoma State University for her undergraduate degree majoring in political science and double minor in legal studies & sociology. Risi will be graduating from the University of Kansas with an MPA. She is originally from Edmond, Oklahoma, and plans to continue into the second year of her fellowship in Edina, Minnesota.


Grant McMillan | University of North Carolina Charlotte

Grant was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with a bachelor of arts in political science in 2019. After graduating from UNC Wilmington, he decided to pursue a master of public administration at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and will graduate in May 2021. After graduation, he plans to pursue a career as a city or town manager in North Carolina.


Chelsea Helton | University of North Carolina Charlotte

Chelsea is from Matthews, North Carolina, right outside of Charlotte. She received a bachelor of arts in criminology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2019. She will be receiving a master of public administration degree with a concentration in emergency management from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. After graduation, Chelsea is seeking to start a career in emergency and crisis management.


Will Prince | University of North Carolina Charlotte

Originally from Savannah, Georgia, Will received a B.A. in environmental policy from Mercer University in 2014. He currently works as a research assistant for WildFig Partners, a public consulting firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. After receiving his MPA from UNC Charlotte in May 2021, he will pursue a Ph.D. in public administration and policy at American University in Washington, D.C. His career interests include research around the government-citizen relationship through themes of representative bureaucracy, civic engagement, and public trust in government.


Misha Eady-Harbold | University of North Carolina Charlotte

After a professional career as a ballet dancer, Misha obtained her undergraduate degree in arts management from the College of Charleston in 2014. She then joined Charlotte Ballet’s administrative team, promoted twice over the past six years, now to their artistic operations manager. She concurrently serves as chair of the Dance/USA Company Manager affinity group and will graduate with her master’s in public administration as a two-time Susan M. Burgess scholarship recipient, and a member of both Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Alpha Alpha. She looks forward to continuing the legacy of UNCC’s MPA graduates by strengthening the relationships of local government and community-serving nonprofits.


Laura Antanaitis | University of North Carolina Charlotte

Laura graduated from Grove City College in 2010 with degrees in Spanish and communication studies (double major). She is graduating from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) with a master’s degree in public administration and a concentration in urban management and policy. She hopes to gain a position at a local government institution working in data analysis, program evaluation, and strategic planning.


Maiya White | University of North Carolina Charlotte

Maiya graduated from the University of South Florida in 2016 with a B.A. in mass communications. She currently attends the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she of graduating with a degree in public administration. Upon graduation she will be working for Crowley Maritime in Jacksonville, Florida, as a senior associate of People, Experience, and Culture.


Kevin Pantoja | University of North Texas

Kevin is from the small farm town of Roscoe, Texas. He received an undergraduate degree as a first-generation college student from Abilene Christian University where he triple-majored in accounting, business management, and financial management. From there, Kevin went on to pursue a master of public administration degree from the University of North Texas. He currently works for Saginaw where he is gaining experience to help him better prepare to become an effective city manager specializing in cities and towns with a population of under 30k residents.


Maria Skrut | University of North Texas

Maria is originally from Venezuela but was proudly raised in Houston, Texas. What solidified her passion for local government was an undergrad co-op opportunity to work for Hudson Oaks as a management intern. After her co-op in 2019, she obtained a bachelor of science in urban and regional planning from Texas A&M University. She is a proud spring graduate of the master’s in public administration program from the University of North Texas and plans to continue working with Hudson Oaks after graduation as the assistant to the city administrator.


Madeline Oujesky | University of North Texas

Madeline graduated from the University of Oklahoma (Boomer Sooner!) in May 2017 with a bachelor of arts in public administration. She recently graduated from the University of North Texas with a master of public administration (MPA) degree. She currently works as the assistant to the planning and development service director in Southlake, Texas, and plans to remain with the city to continue her career growth and development. Madeline’s long-term career goal is to become a department director, assistant city manager or city manager.

 

Other Recipients:

Ashley Manora

Auburn University

Ben McGarr

Auburn University

Helena Smith

Mills College

Reilly Hirst

Mills College

Karina Nava

Northern Illinois University

Layla Werner

Northern Illinois University

Lacey Benedeck

Northern Illinois University

Joshua Dausener

Northern Illinois University

Andrew Ferrini

Northern Illinois University

Alex Franz

Northern Illinois University

Katherine Gehl

Northern Illinois University

Shane Miller

Northern Illinois University

Brianna Bacigalupo

Northern Illinois University

Alondra Maldonado

Universidad Ana G. Mendez

Myra Ray-Howet

University of Delaware

Matthew Corbitt

University of North Carolina Charlotte

Isaiah Williams

University of North Texas

Charles Pratt

University of Wisconsin–Madison

 

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