For Immediate Release
February 10, 2021
Karen Garrett, CAE
Chief of Communications, Marketing and Membership
(202) 585-4313

ASPA Selects 2021 Founders’ Fellows

Washington, D.C. - The ASPA Founders’ Fellows program recognizes outstanding students and new professionals (within three years of their graduation) in the field of public service and public administration.

Following a competitive review process, Founders’ Fellows present their scholarship during the ASPA Annual Conference, receive substantial professional development and networking opportunities, and are paired with a seasoned scholar or practitioner who serves as their mentor for their Fellowship year.

The following individuals have been selected to comprise the Class of 2021:
  • Meril Antony (Rutgers University—Newark)
  • Joshua Avila (City of Providence, Office of Mayor Jorge O. Elorza)
  • Felipe L. Blanco (University of Nebraska—Omaha)
  • Graham Bowman (New York State Office of Mental Health)
  • Jonathan Cascone (Village of Lincolnshire and Northern Illinois University)
  • Richard Davis, Jr. (Louisiana State University)
  • Sara Kuehlhorn Friedman (Portland State University)
  • Yanbing Han (Florida International University)
  • Thanh Thi Hoang (University of Texas at Dallas)
  • Karine Ibrahim (Wayne State University)
  • Tyresa Jackson (Teachers College, Columbia University)
  • Minsung Michael Kang (University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY))
  • Brittany Keegan (Virginia Commonwealth University, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs)
  • Samuel Kurtz (University of Illinois at Chicago)
  • Omur Damla Kuru (Florida International University)
  • Paige L. Moore (North Carolina State University, School of Public and International Affairs)
  • Nene S Ogbechie (California State University, Los Angeles)
  • Alex Osei-Kojo (University of Colorado Denver, School of Public Affairs)
  • Jessica Raby (Piedmont Triad Regional Council and University of North Carolina at Greensboro)
  • Haley Schanne (College of Charleston)
  • Rizwan Shaikh (Yonsei University-Mirae Campus, Department of Global Public Administration, South Korea)
  • Samanta Varela Castro (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE))
  • Hyejin Wang (Incheon National University)
  • Hsin-Ching Wu (New York University—Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development)

The 2021 Founders’ Fellows will receive a complimentary 2021 Annual Conference registration, a year-long mentorship with a seasoned practitioner or senior scholar and professional development opportunities throughout their year as a Fellow.
“ASPA’s Founders’ Fellows program is one of the best ways for public administration students and new professionals to expand their networks, participate in groundbreaking research and learn from some of the biggest names in the field,” said Founders’ Fellows committee co-chairs, Jessica Sowa and Ken Weaver. “Our committee is incredibly pleased with the caliber of the incoming cohort of Fellows and we look forward to their year in this exciting program.”

ASPA is the leading interdisciplinary public service organization that advances the art, science, teaching and practice of public and nonprofit administration. Learn more at