Learn the latest public administration news in today's edition of The Bridge!

March 10, 2021

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In This Issue:

ASPA Announces Awards Program Honorees

ASPA is pleased to announce it will honor more than 40 individuals and organizations when it convenes its annual awards program next month during our 2021 Annual Conference. These awards, as well as a number of Section awards, will be presented throughout the online event.

Section award honorees will be announced in the awards brochure distributed at the conference. Asterisks (*) denote those who were scheduled to receive their awards in 2020 and are, instead, receiving them this year.

National Public Service Award

  • Miguel Marquez (County of Santa Clara)*
  • Maria (Sandy) Matava (Suffolk University)
  • James Mayer (University of the Pacific)
  • Sean O’Keefe (Syracuse University)*
  • Jennifer Riggle (Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration)*
  • P. Benjamin Smith (Indian Health Service)*
Nesta Gallas Award for Exemplary Professionalism in Public Service
  • Leon Panetta (The Panetta Institute for Public Policy)*
Gloria Hobson Nordin Social Equity Award
  • Terryl Ross (University of Washington)*
Public Integrity Award
  • Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)
  • National Association of State Election Directors
Elmer B. Staats Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service
  • Janice Lachance (American Geophysical Union)*
Paul Van Riper Award for Excellence and Service
  • Teodoro Benavides (University of Texas at Dallas)*
  • Mary E. Guy (University of Colorado Denver)*
Donald C. Stone Service to ASPA Award
  • Roslyn Alic-Batson (Miami-Dade County)*
  • Charles Menifield (Rutgers University—Newark)
  • M. Jae Moon (Yonsei University)*
  • James Ward (California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo)
Dwight Waldo Award
  • Richard Stillman (University of Colorado Denver)*
Charles H. Levine Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Administration
  • Susan T. Gooden (L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University)
John W. Gaston, Jr., Award for Excellence in Public Service Management
  • Craig Grossenbacher (Miami-Dade County)*
Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Exemplary Practice Award
  • Matt Allen (Garden City, Kansas)
  • Community Building Initiative, Charlotte*
  • Kara Johnson-Hufford (Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment)
  • National Low Income Housing Coalition
  • RVA Eviction Lab at Virginia Commonwealth University
Public Administration Review (PAR) Awards
  • Louis Brownlow Award: P. Edward French (Mississippi State University), Craig Orgeron (State of Mississippi), Karen Renaud (University of Strathclyde) and Merrill Warkentin (Mississippi State University)
  • Laverne Burchfield Award: Melanie Bowers (Rutgers University—Camden)
  • William E. Mosher and Frederick C. Mosher Award: Gary E. Hollibaugh, Jr. (University of Pittsburgh), Matthew R. Miles (Brigham Young University Idaho) and Chad B. Newswander (Brigham Young University Idaho)
  • Chester A. Newland Award: Amy Goodin (University of Oklahoma), David Grizzle (City of Norman, Oklahoma) and Scott E. Robinson (University of Oklahoma)
Public Integrity Awards
  • Best Article Award: Agnes Igoye (Ministry of Internal Affairs, Uganda)
  • Best Book Review Award: Cynthia Anne Golembeski (Rutgers University—Newark)
H. George Frederickson PA TIMES Best Article Award
  • Lisa Garrett (Los Angeles County)
International Public Administration Award
  • Nittam Chandel (Swami Vivekanand Government College, Ghumarwin, India)*
Wallace O. Keene Conference Scholarship Award
  • Hanjin Mao (Rutgers University—Newark)
  • Nhung Thi Hong Nguyen (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
  • Zeeshan Noor (University of Texas at Dallas)
  • Shahrin Upoma (University of Texas at Dallas)
Walter M. Mode Conference Scholarship Award 
  • Chelsea Boozer (Central Arkansas Water)
  • Hanjin Mao (Rutgers University—Newark)
Patricia J. Yearwood Section Newsletter Award
  • Section on Emergency and Crisis Management
Oveta Culp Hobby Training Award
  • Section on Democracy and Social Justice
Center for Accountability and Performance Awards
  • Emerging Leaders Award of Excellence: Pete Bernardy (State of Minnesota), Curtis Brown (Virginia Department of Emergency Management), Shannon Carney (City of Portland, Oregon), Kristine Grill (Ramsey County, Minnesota) and Nicollette Stanton (City of Cincinnati, Ohio)
  • The Harry Hatry Distinguished Performance Management and Practice Award: Dustin S. Brown (U.S. Office of Management and Budget)
  • The Joseph Wholey Distinguished Scholarship Award: Kathryn Newcomer (George Washington University)
More details about when these awards will be given will be announced within Annual Conference materials and on the conference website in the coming weeks. Keep checking back for more information!

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A Piece of Minnesota at #ASPA2021

The 2021 Annual Conference (online April 9-15) originally was scheduled to take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota—before COVID-19 grounded all of us. While we cannot bring any of us to Minnesota, we are pleased to say we are bringing a piece of Minnesota to all of us, in the form of one of our stellar plenary speakers!

Elected by the voters of District 4 in March 2005, Ramsey County, Minnesota Commissioner Toni Carter has led on important issues at the local, state and national level. Committed to delivering efficient and effective county services, eliminating disparities in county services and systems, and raising grassroots awareness of county decisionmaking processes and systems, Commissioner Carter has led several Ramsey County system change efforts including the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative, which has reduced the number of youth held at Ramsey County's Juvenile Detention Center and increased system and community alternatives for low-risk youth.

Prior to her election to the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners, Carter served as a member and chair of the Saint Paul Board of Education. Active in community building for more than 30 years, she has served on numerous community boards including the Saint Paul Planning Commission, the Metropolitan Area Library Service Agency (MELSA), the Walker West Music Academy, the West Side Community Health Center, the Saint Paul YWCA and the Jeremiah Program.

Commissioner Carter has worked previously as a teacher at Crosswinds Middle School, IBM systems engineer, marketing representative and systems support manager, and communications and arts consultant. She has worked and volunteered in the Twin Cities arts community for more than 30 years, acting professionally with Saint Paul's Penumbra Theatre, in television and radio commercials, as talent for print media and as co-founder/founding director of ARTS-Us. She has received numerous awards for her work in the community and in the arts and arts education, including an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Concordia University—Saint Paul.

Today, Carter enjoys many passions as she steps in to lead the board on which she has served for almost 15 years. Her new role as Ramsey County Board Chair puts her in a unique position as her son, Melvin W. Carter, III, serves as mayor of Saint Paul.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Carter moved to Minnesota in 1971 to attend Carleton College. She is married to retired Saint Paul Police Sergeant and Save Our Sons co-founder Melvin W. Carter, Jr. They have 12 grandchildren. Commissioner Carter is the first African American to serve on a county board in Minnesota.

Carter joins an already excellent plenary line-up, providing attendees with a well-rounded view of public administration as each of our speakers will delve into important facets of our profession: personnel management, community development, social equity, policy administration, county-level work, federal management and so much more. While attendees will be focused on individual sessions taking place throughout the seven days, we encourage you also to take time to listen to these lectures—this is an invaluable opportunity to see the full spectrum of our profession on display (and recorded for future reference!).

Find the plenary line-up on our website and get ready for an epic conference experience this April 9-15!

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E-Learning at Your Fingertips

ASPA staff work tirelessly to keep your skills up to date and the information flowing all year long through our e-learning program. Visit our website to see more details about upcoming KeepingCurrent, BookTalk and Students and New Professionals series programming. Members, visit our webinar archives to catch up on what you have missed!

BookTalk: The Dynamics of Risk: Changing Technologies and Collective Action in Seismic Events
March 25 | 1 p.m. ET
Louise Comfort, University of Pittsburgh, GSPIA

This book examines the changing process of decisionmaking among multiple organizations operating at different levels of authority in the uncertain conditions of extreme events. It uses the shared hazard of seismic risk to examine how 12 communities in nine different countries responded to the trauma of sudden, urgent destruction from earthquakes, and began the painful process of reconstruction and recovery.

From the Webinar Archives
The municipal government of the District of Columbia is a recognized leader in asset management and infrastructure renewal planning. Those who attended our webinar this fall, "How the District of Columbia Has Become a Leader in Asset Management," learned about the District's approach through the lens of the Government Finance Officers Association's Financial Foundations for Thriving Communities, showing leadership strategies and institutional designs needed for a strong financial foundation. This lens makes it easier for local governments to not just replicate the technical aspects of what the District has done but also invent approaches to asset management that best fit local conditions.

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Support the Founders' Fellows Program!

ASPA's Founders' Fellows program is our premier opportunity to recognize and support the accomplishments of the next generation of public servants in the academic and practitioner communities. You can donate today to help support this important program.

"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," write 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."

As a result of your financial support, Fellows will receive developmental opportunities designed especially for their professional growth, present their research during the Annual Conference next month, participate in customized programming throughout the year to come and meet individually with mentors who are matched with them based on academic and professional interests.

This program's support is made possible through this community's generosity, with the vast majority of contributions coming from Chapters, Sections and individual members. If you are passionate about the future of public service and want to demonstrate your support of this important program, click here to donate.

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ASPA Partners with CPS HR to Help Members Build Employee Engagement

Public sector organizations across the nation are facing enormous challenges, including maintaining performance and services despite COVID-19. To succeed in this difficult environment, government needs talented, committed and engaged employees.

Decades of research, including in the public sector, have shown that a high level of employee engagement drives productivity, organizational performance, strategic goal achievement, employee retention, and customer service and satisfaction. Highly engaged employees believe in their organization’s purpose and find their work meaningful and rewarding. As a result, they are highly motivated to help achieve their organization’s mission. This is especially important now, as public sector organizations experience first-hand the demand to do more with less—and even more with even less.

To meet this challenge, ASPA is partnering with the CPS HR Consulting Institute for Public Sector Employee Engagement to provide ASPA members and public sector organizations across the country with the tools and resources needed to understand, measure and improve employee engagement.

The Institute will survey your employees to enable you to understand the level of engagement in your workforce and what influences your employees’ engagement. CPS HR also will provide recommendations to help you create a more engaged workforce, thereby improving performance and service delivery.

The Institute has helped government organizations across the country measure and improve engagement. According to one government leader, "We selected the CPS HR Institute because of its holistic approach to engagement. Not just conducting the survey but also analyzing the results and helping us decide how to take action to improve engagement."

To learn more about how you can improve performance and service delivery by improving employee engagement, visit the CPC HR website or contact ASPA.

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CBO Long-Term Outlook Released; National Debt to Double

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its long-term budget outlook, which looks at United States' fiscal health over the course of the next 30 years. In the words of the Peterson Foundation, "The report highlights the structural misalignment in the country’s budget and the resulting unsustainable fiscal trajectory."

Five take-aways from the report include:

  • The debt will nearly double in size
  • There is an ongoing mismatch between revenues and spending
  • Growth in the debt and rising interest rates will push interest costs up substantially over the next 30 years
  • Net interest will become the fastest growing component of the budget
  • The Old Age and Survivors Insurance trust fund will be depleted by 2032
Click below to read the full analysis from the Peterson Foundation and view their visuals.

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NAPA Opens Elliot L. Richardson Prize Call for Nominations

The National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) has opened its nominations for the 2021 Elliot L. Richardson Prize. This award recognizes one or more individuals for extraordinary public service in the tradition of Elliot Richardson, who served as a beacon of integrity and commitment to the public service. Richardson was a NAPA fellow and served in four Cabinet-level positions in the U.S. government, including Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General and Secretary of Commerce. Shortly after his death on December 31, 1999, several friends and admirers decided to establish a prize in his honor. The bylaws of the Prize specify that it is to be awarded to individuals "possessing the public service virtues exemplified by Elliot L. Richardson"; that such individuals "shall have demonstrated achievement, be significantly advancing the public good, and long-term dedication to public service, by serving the public interest in a public service capacity"; and that individuals selected to receive the Prize "shall have demonstrated generosity of spirit, thoughtfulness in the pursuit of excellence in government, courage and integrity." The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2021. Click here for more information.

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Public Integrity Announces New ASPA Partnership

Public Integrity's editorial team is excited to announce a new partnership with ASPA's Students and New Professionals Section to mentor new scholars with an interest in publishing in the journal.

According to editorial team: "Public Integrity is committed to fostering diverse voices in ethics in public administration research, this partnership is a key part of that strategy. Our goal is to facilitate the development of emerging scholars in the field, inviting fresh perspectives to the journal."

Students and new scholars interested in being a part of the mentoring program can participate by submitting manuscripts for consideration to the journal with a cover letter describing their research project and their plan for how their manuscript would benefit from this program.

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Tips and Resources

Here are a range of resources posted online recently that you should check out!

Why COVID-19 Cases Are Falling So Fast
Four reasons: social distancing, seasonality, seroprevalence and shots.

1918 Pandemic Provides Warning About COVID-19's Future
Even as we start to see a decrease in COVID cases, a study of the 1918 influenza pandemic suggests a spike could occur in late 2021 or early 2022.

Go Ahead and Fail
Perfectionism can make you miserable. Here's how you can muster the courage to mess up.

Four Causes of 'Zoom Fatigue' and What You Can Do About It
It's not just you...

Five Pandemic Mistakes We Keep Repeating
Five key fallacies and pitfalls have affected public health messaging, as well as media coverage, and have played an outsized role in derailing an effective pandemic response. Even as vaccines offer hope, some officials and media outlets are repeating many of the same mistakes in handling the vaccine rollout.

When Your Chance for a COVID-19 Shot Comes, Don’t Worry About the Numbers
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine that the FDA cleared recently was 66 percent effective overall in preventing moderate to severe COVID, while the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were more than 90 percent effective. But the numbers aren't exactly comparable and all three shots prevent hospitalization and death.

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Coronavirus in the News
While you can find our usual assortment of news headlines from the past several weeks below, here are stories specific to the coronavirus that are noteworthy.


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity Back to Top


(Otherwise) in the News

Today's headlines contain plenty of news coverage of some of our nation's most pressing public administration challenges. ASPA has curated some of the most important stories from recent weeks. If you have not seen these yet, make sure you read them now!


Public Finance Public Service Social Equity
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Members in the News

ASPA members are in the news in a variety of ways. If you have been featured, please send a link to the article to us and we will be happy to include it in a future newsletter.

How to Address the Question Every Program Manager Should Answer: Does It Work?
John Kamensky points to learning agendas as fundamental to good government programming.

New Redistricting Commissions Keeps the Trust with Utah Voters
This op-ed about Utah's Independent Redistricting Commission praises the process, noting the members of the commission, including ASPA District Representative Rex Facer, II.

Why We Need to Focus on Pay Equity in Government
From Howard Risher, President Biden's promise to "pursue a comprehensive approach to advancing equity for all" defines the goal.

The Year of Governors Living Dangerously
From Don Kettl, this op-ed looks at governors' decisionmaking from the past 12 months and the political they are facing now.

Route Fifty Forms New Advisory Board
ASPA members Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene will be leading the helm of this new board.

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Welcome New ASPA Members!
Click here to view the most recent new ASPA members!

Around Public Administration

Here are the most recent updates from across the profession. Did we miss you? Send us your news and we'll include it in the next round!

Upcoming Events:

  • Hampton Roads, Virginia Chapter Annual Research Symposium
    March 18, 2021, 8:30 a.m. - Noon
    The Chapter has announced its 2021 research symposium program, including four papers spread across the event. Accessible via Zoom, interested parties should reach out to Thomas Poulin for more information.

  • ASPA Georgia Chapter 22nd Annual Conference and Annual Meeting
    Online (hosted by Savannah State University)
    March 26-27, 2021
    Theme: "A Salute to Public Service: People, Policies and Programs Making a Difference"

  • 2021 ASPA Annual Conference
    Online, April 9-15
    Theme: "Picking Up the Pieces: Pandemic, Protests and the Future of Public Service"
    Registration is open!

  • NISPAcee Annual Conference 2021
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Theme: "Citizens' Engagement and Empowerment—The Era of Collaborative Innovation in Governance"
    This conference has been moved from May 2021 to the fall to enable in-person attendance. The Call for Papers will be re-opened shortly to accommodate this change of schedule. More details will be printed here as they are announced.

  • 2021 PA Theory Annual Conference
    Portland, Oregon
    June 3-6
    Theme: "Administrative (Dys)function and Dedication: Contradictions in Public Service Values"

  • South Florida Chapter Podcast Update
    South Florida Chapter podcast host Tom Hotz joined a postcast, "Hacking Growth Secrets," with Muhammad Siddique, to discuss the Chapter's new podcast venture (among other things). You can view this podcast online here.

Calls for proposals, nominations and announcements:
  • SPAR Awards Best Book Award to Alasdair Roberts
    Strategies for Governing: Reinventing Public Administration for a Dangerous Century, by Alasdair Roberts, was selected for the ASPA Section on Public Administration Research (SPAR) Award for the Best Book Published in Public Administration during 2019/2020. This year's competition was particularly strong, with 23 quality books nominated for review. Roberts' book begins with the observation that "...billions of people on this planet suffer terribly because governments cannot perform basic functions properly." This book challenges researchers and practitioners in the field to contemplate how we can "recover the fundamentals of government," and addresses the urgent and fundamental issues we are facing today. The book takes a thoughtful interdisciplinary approach, drawing on public administration history and theory, administrative process development in political science, fragile states research in international relations, and institutional design, presenting an expansive view of the capacities and new directions for public administration as a field of research, teaching, and practice. The nomination letter by ASPA Past President Chester Newland notes this distinctive quality of the book and emphasizes that in light of the "currently urgent realities of the field, the analysis is certain to be a lasting contribution." Roberts will be recognized for this accomplishment at the SPAR Membership Meeting on Monday, April 12 at 3:00 p.m. ET, during the 2021 ASPA Annual Conference.

  • Journal of the Social Sciences Call for Articles
    The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences has issued a call for articles for a special issue on "Social and Economic Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic." The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare and exacerbated many of the structural inequalities in the United States. Within a few months of the first documented community transmission, nearly one quarter of the workforce filed for unemployment benefits, with low income workers and those with less flexibility in scheduling and the ability to work remotely disproportionately experiencing job loss. Meanwhile, workers deemed essential, from health care providers, to supermarket employees, to delivery workers, bore the brunt of exposure to infection, while others sheltered in place under state and local orders. These unequal labor market experiences may have exacerbated existing inequalities in material hardship, household economic insecurity and poverty, but the impacts of the pandemic may have also exposed previously economically secure groups to insecurity. In this issue, we invite original research contributions pertaining to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on socioeconomic inequality in the United States and in particular how pre-existing inequalities may have mediated the impact of the pandemic and in turn been exacerbated by the current crisis. We particularly are interested in studies that focus on how institutions, ranging from the health care system, corrections and criminal justice, childcare policies, social safety net programs, and labor market policies have either mitigated or exacerbated the impact of the pandemic on social and economic outcomes as well as studies that focus on the likely longer-term impacts of the pandemic on inequality in the United States. All proposals are due no later than 5 p.m. EST on March 10, 2021.
    Click here to submit an abstract and contact [email protected] for more information.

  • 2021 Annual E-PARCC Teaching Case and Simulation Competition
    The Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at the Syracuse University Maxwell School is sponsoring its 15th annual E-PARCC competition to further stimulate the creation of effective and innovative teaching cases and simulations. E-PARCC, a project of the "Collaborative Governance Initiative," provides free online resources for those who teach conflict and collaboration around the world. More than 3,000 visitors per month from more than 40 different countries take advantage of E-PARCC teaching materials. The E-PARCC competition now consists of two tracks: (1) collaborative problem solving, collaborative governance, and network governance and analysis, and (2) collaborative methods in international development. All entries are due by March 15.
    Find more information online here.

  • Journal of Emergency Management Special Issue: Analysis of Pre- and Post-Disaster Response and Recovery Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
    The Journal of Emergency Management (JEM) Editorial Review Board invites the submission of original research papers, brief communications, case studies, etc. supporting a special issue: “Analysis of Pre and Post Disaster Response and Recovery due to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic.” As we transcend this global pandemic, the goal is to bring together a complete and comprehensive accounting of the event and its post mortem. This may include a pre-disaster assessment of the state of preparation as well as any post-disaster response, preparedness, mitigation and recovery. We expect this to be a comprehensive look at what went wrong and just as important, what went right. Manuscripts will be accepted for review immediately and will continue (tentatively) through the first quarter of 2021.
    Find the Call for Proposals online here.

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Here's a selection of current pieces on PA TIMES Online, covering a range of issues within the profession. We accept individual articles on a rolling basis; if you have a piece you think would fit our publication, submit it to [email protected] for consideration. (Please review our submission guidelines in advance!)

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American Society for Public Administration
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Please send inquiries to Managing Editor Karen E. T. Garrett.