Professor Slack’s 10th book

May 4th, 2016 by ppad

 IMG_1658_1Dr. James D. Slack, at his home in Hoover, Alabama, just after signing a contract for his 10th book. Tentatively titled THE CHRIST WORKER, this book is a devotional that combines Christian scripture with organization behavior, workplace theory, and other work and career challenges for people in the public and nonprofit professions. Published by Emeth Press, the book is expected to be in print toward the end of 2016. 



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Ashlee theodoreOn Friday (April 29, 2016), Ms. Ashlee Kelly (PhD) and her partners participated in Startup Weekend Jackson and pitched "TinyJXN," Jackson's first tiny home development.  Out of 23 pitches, her project is one of the eight selected.  For that, she formed a group to refine her pitch.  The event was a 52 hour-long project, which means her group worked all weekend and pitched a little after 5 on Sunday.  Her group's pitch included tiny homes in distressed areas of Jackson, target market (students, young professionals, first-time homeowners, and empty nesters), selling a minimalist lifestyle, and customized, eco-friendly and sustainable designs.  As first place winners, her group was awarded a space at Coalesce for 6 months, a free consulting on legal planning from Baker Donelson, and marketing consultation from ThinkWebstore and an Office Depot gift card.  For more information, please check the dept. facebook page (, and please follow her journey @TinyJXN (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).  Ms. Kelly’s efforts will contribute to community development in the economically depressed Jackson area, by her recognized entrepreneurship.  Congratulations, Ashlee!

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MahoneyThe national online newspaper,  Huffington Post, had an interview with Ms. Wendy Mahoney, Execitive Director of the Mississippi Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and a PhD student at the Dept. of Public Policy and Administration on April 26, 2016, on domestic violence issue in Mississippi, especially on the domestic violence bill which was not passed during the 2016 legislative session.  The case shows well the outstanding quality of our PhD students.  Congratulations, Dr. Mahoney.


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IMG_2842On Saturday, March 26, 2016, students in PPAD rallied together to volunteer for a special cause. Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mississippi granted a wish for Kentric Stubbs Robinson, an 8 year old battling cancer. A student within our department, Prisca Patrick, was on of his wish granters and asked her classmates to help them celebrate her wish kid. The mission of the organization became truly evident to everyone involved in the event that day. "We grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy." To learn more about how you can get involved with Make-A-Wish, please visit

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MPPA Spring 2016 GraduatesThe Spring 2016 Graduate Gommencement was held at the Lee E. Williams Athletic and Assembly Center, on April 22, 2016.

One PhD and eight MPPA (MPA) students received their degrees during the ceremony. The MPPA graduates shown in pic are (from left) : Mr. Jimmie L. Smith, Mr. Brian Wilks, Ms. Cass M. Randall, Mr. Cedric D. Coates (behind Ms .Randall), Ms. Marquita S. Davis, Mr. Joseph C. Haynes, Ms. Prisca Patrick, and Ms. Jermesha B. Haywood). 

In addition, Dr. Charles A.  Carlisle (Advisor: Professor Johnny B. Gilleylen, Sr) received his doctoral degree.  Congratulations to all of the graduates!!! 

The videos of Graduate commencement and the undergraduate commencement, in which the First Lady Mrs. Michelle Obama, are available at the JSU Facebook webpage,

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Billingsley_2The American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) has invited Dr. Gloria Billingsley, Associate Professor and MPPA Program Director, in the Department of Public Policy and Administration to serve as a Senior Scholar at the 5th International Young Scholars Workshop (YSW) to be held July 20-23 in Cape Town, South Africa. As a senior scholar, Dr Billingsley, along with other distinguished senior scholars in the field, will provide mentorship to an international group of young scholars. Primary responsibilities as a senior scholar include reviewing scholar applications, ranking them for acceptance, providing an evaluation of a small group of junior scholar papers, attending professional development workshops, providing instructional lectures on a variety of topics and mentoring  young scholars during the YSW.

The Young Scholars Workshop aims to strengthen academic and social exchange mechanisms for young scholars in public policy, administration and related subfields. The 2016 International Young Scholars Workshop will focus on research that advances the understanding of global disparities in public policy, public administration, nongovernmental organizations and the communities they serve. The workshop experience provides an opportunity for participants to both engage in the development of research papers, and interrogate some of the pressing issues currently taking place in South Africa and other nations around matters of inequity, public policy, government (national and subnational) administration, and community building. Young Scholars will get a fresh experiences on the process of conducting empirical research—from topic choice to reviewing the literature, from framing and analyzing, to presenting their research. Congratulations, Professor Billingsley!

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMs. Debra Monroe-Lax (PhD)'s paper (title: Economic determinant analysis of student academic performance in the Mississippi public education system; Project Advisor: Professor Jae-Young Ko) has been accepted for presentation at the ASPA’s 5th Annual International Young Scholars Workshop in Public Policy and Administration Research, July 20-23, 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa

This workshop aims to provide young scholars from across the globe an academically rigorous platform for presentation of research, scholarly exchange, and professional networking. Attending young scholars, who study or work in public policy, public administration, or related fields, will be paired with distinguished senior scholars who serve as mentors.

Congatulations!!! Have a fun and productive conference trip!

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TraceRideGroup1The JSU Public Policy and Administration Student Association along with Dr. Andre Hines, faculty liaison, participated in the Voice of Calvary Ministry’s 5th Annual Trace Ride on April 16, 2016.  Fourteen students from both the masters and  doctoral programs participated in this community service event.  The event began at 8:00 a.m. and included cyclist from the surroudning area and other locations.  The cyclists chose a ride that fitted their abiliity which includded: 1-5 mile “Fun Ride”;  20 mile” I Can Do It Ride”; 37 mile “Braveheart Ride”; 53 mile” Challenge Ride” or the 67 mile “Extreme Challenge Ride”.  

Beginning at 6:30am, PPAD Student Association volunteers worked a booth that provided snacks and drinks to the numerous cyclists.  Also, students provided added boosts to cyclists by giving words of encouargment and applause.  The presence of JSU PPAD students along with the aforementioned gave Trace Ride participants an extra boost as they tried to reach their desired biking distance. 

The proceeds raised from this event goes towards the Voices of Calvary Ministries.  Specifically, it will benefit the homeless veterans component of its outreach ministries.  Voices of Calvary is a local 501c3 located in Jackson, Mississippi and its director is Rev. Phil Reed.  For more information regarding the ministry and its outreach programs, call 601-949-9955.  

Community service events like this and others are an integral component of the JSU PPAD Student Association. The group is always searching for new members.  If interested, the association meets the third Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m. in the PPAD department–2nd floor.  Also, you may contact either Adrieme Walker, Student Association President at  or Andre Hines, PhD, Faculty Liaison at  For more stories and pictures, please check the dept. Facebook page,


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Professor Jae-Young Ko (1st in pic from left) gave a presentation on the Clean Water Act compliance for the communities in Mississippi (title: ‘Potentials of wetlands assimilation for the communities lacking the NPDES compliance) for the COCO kickoff meeting of Mississippi Conference of Black Mayors (President: Mayor Johnny Dupress of Hattiesburg; Executive Director: Ms. Silbrina Wright), at the JSU Downtown campus, April 13, 2016.

Currently about half of statewide communities have been experiencing difficulties in complying with their permits of municipal wastewater treatment, mainly due to lack of financial resources (Ko and Day, 2016).  Professor Ko’s presentation is about adoption of ecosystem services as a policy tool for the environmental regulatory compliance.  Using natural wetlands’ biogeochemical functions of nutriment uptakes as a component of municipal wastewater treatment system, communities could make  significant financial savings in complying with the NPDES regulation, compared with other traditional civil engineering methods such as sand filtration.  The wetlands method has been popular in the neighboring State, Louisiana, in which about  ten communities have adopted the wetlands method as a component of their wastewater treatment system (Ko et al 2012).  Attending mayors, and officials at local, state, and federal agents showed great interests in the new way of wastewater treatment.  Professor Ko and Ms. Wright will continue to work on disseminating the idea of wetlands assimilation to the local communities in Mississippi.

In addition, Professor Ko, and Mr. John Proctor (PhD; 2nd in pic), and Ms. Sheryl Bacon (PhD; 3rd in pic) attended Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Management Workshop.  The two-day event was held at Butler & Snow, in Ridgeland, MS, from April 14 – April 15, 2016.  The event was a quite informative event, sponsored by EPA region 4, MDEQ, Allen Engineering & Science and Butler & Snow.   The workshop covered important topics including  current local situation, current policy, legal and financial ways of supporting green infrastructure, and case studies from other states and from other communities in Mississippi (See Agenda ).  Professor Ko also attended the 2016 Mississippi Water Resources Conference, in Jackson, MS, April 5-6, 2016.

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slack_3Professor Slack conducted an inovative way of teaching for PPAD 596, Research Methods for Public Managers this semester.  Dr. Slack assigned students to a "consulting" group. For the entire semester, the students are expected to prepare a proposal that ultimately is presented to a mock city council. This semester, under a scenario: The (fictional) Jackson city council's "Infrastructure and Community Assessment Committee" issued an RFP to consulting groups nationally. It sought proposals that would effectively utilize a grant from the White House (fictional) "Infrastructure and Community Improvement Initiative." The task of each consulting group was to demonstrate in detail (1) a need in the area of "infrastructure and community;" (2) how the need would be evaluated; (3) a project to remedy the need; and (4) how the remedy would be measured. The presentation event was held on April 13, 2016. PPAD 596, Research Methods for Public Managers, is offered by Dr. Slack during the Fall and Spring semesters.  For the details, please check the dept FACEBOOK page,


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