billingsley recognition_3Professor Billingsley, the MPPA (MPA) program director, has an interview with the PA Times Managine lately.  She is also the President of the Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) for 2015-2016.

During the interview, she explained how American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) has been instrumental for her career development, and she proposed her vision for the COMPA. 

In addition, she presented her idea on social equity as a value for public administrators to pursue.

The full interview is available at the PA Times Magazine, Summer 2015         BillingsleyCOMPAspotlight.

Congratulations, Professor Billingsley.   


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The Dept of Public Policy & Administration has moved in the JSU downtown campus.  It is now located at the 3rd floor of the JSU building at 101 W. Capitol St., Jackson, MS 39201.

The building is just across from the Jackson Convention Center, and next to the Federal Building.

Classes will be offered at the new building, starting in the Fall 2015.


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An Internship Story of Prisca Patrick

June 13th, 2015 by ppad



At the age of fifteen months, Prisca Patrick was diagnosed with Stage IV Ependymoma, a brain tumor accompanied by multiple tumors around her spine.  Doctors did not give her parents much hope for her survival, tell them that if she did survive she would have an IQ no higher than 70.  Despite the devastating prognosis, Ms. Patrick is currently excelling in the Public Policy and Administration Program at Jackson State University.

Being diagnosed with Stage IV Ependymoma at such a young age, Ms. Patrick does not remember her initial treatments.  She does, however, know the difficulties and hardships that she has had to overcome and adapt to because of the side effects and late effects due to the surgeries and chemotherapy. While Ms. Patrick has spent many days and nights in the hospital since her l diagnosis over 24 years ago, the most impactful avenue for treatments that she remembers and holds dear to her heart are the numerous non-profit organizations that have provided so many resources and smiles. The most impactful organizations within the cancer community are Camp Smile-A-Mile, Alabama’s program for children with cancer, and Magic Moments, who provides non-medical wishes for chronically ill children. Patrick started as a camper at Camp Smile-A-Mile in 1993 and is a part of the Young Adult Cancer Survivor’s Group within the organization. Magic Moments granted her wish to go to Disneyland, providing all costs and luxury for her family and herself. Because of the generosity of both organizations, and several others, Prisca’s heart to help others in the same manner is very evident.

patrick1Ms. Patrick applied to several non-profit organizations for a summer internship, as a requirement for the MPPA Program and received multiple offers from well-known non-profit organizations.  Because of her experiences, she accepted the offer to work for Make-A-Wish® America as the Chapter Support Finance and Accounting Intern at the national office in Phoenix, Arizona. This program offers several opportunities such as professional development, practical experience, and networking opportunities.  The most beneficial and impactful aspect for working for such an amazing organization is the work that she will be doing will put a smile on a child’s face who is battling a life-threatening medical condition.  While Ms. Patrick did not receive a wish from this organization, she directly relate to the mission of the organization, which is to “grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy.”

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dept websiteThe JSU Spring 2015 Graduate Commencement  was held  at      the Lee E. Williams Atheletics and Assembley Center,  the JSU main campus, on May 1,  2015.  

One PhD  student and seven MPPA students received their degrees  during  the ceremony  from the Public Policy and Administration (PPAD) program (People    shown in pic: Professor  Billingsley, Ms. Tanya Reed, Ms.Daisy Carter and Ms.  Linda Barnette).  

The students who received their degrees are as follows:


Dr. Annie R. Baker


Mr. Jeremy D. Armstrong, Ms. Britiani D. Johnson, Ms. Linda W. Barnette, Ms. Daisy D. Carter, Ms. Tanya M. Reed, Mr. Clarence Byrd, III, and Mr. James C. Thompson.

Congratulations to all of the graduates!!!

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Distinguished Visiting Professor Sylvester Murray (in left picture) and six PPAD    students attended the National Forum for Black Public Administrators Conference, held in Tampa, FL, from April 22 – 26, 2015. Their trip was a great success. Our student panel was very well received. Kafond Wilder, Ashley Caples, Alonzo Hutchins and Prisca Patrick  each gave a well prepared power point presentation that Dr. Billingsley reviewed in advance. Michael Spann gave a   poster  presentation. The proof of being well received:  the audience engaged all of the students in extended question and answer sessions. Prisca Patrick received a $5,000 scholarship for an essay she wrote on health care. Antron McKay received a $2,500 scholarship for an essay he wrote on community involvement. And Mike Spann received a $1,000 scholarship for a poster he did on The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander. The PPAD  faculty members and students are very proud of all of them, and appreciate professort Murray's efforts to make it happen!


Public Policy Students

(pic in left: a main event in the ballroom; pic in right: Attending students:  Alonzo Hutchins, Ashley Caples, Kafond Wilder, Prisca Patrick,Antron Mckay,and Mike Spann)

image1_finPrisca picture_fin

(pic in left: with Mayor Tony Yarber of City of Jackson, MS; pic in right: Ms. Prisca Patrick with the award)







(pics showing presenting students from left: Alonzo Hutchins, Ashley Caples, Prisca Patrick, and Kafond Wilder)   

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The JSU Public Policy Student Symposium – Spring 2015 was held on April 23, 2015.  The semi-annual event is prepared as a way for students to increase their independent research skills and to enhance their skills of public communications in a professional setting, and to improve their writing skills.  Sixteen students (8 doctoral, and 8 master) joined the event. Their diverse research topics cover homelessness issue in Jackson, MS, to the brownfield redevelopment.  

The students who presented their researches for the event are as follows:













Ms. Ashlee Theodore (PhD; 1st left on top in picture; title: Assessing the environmental benefits of brownfield redevelopment in Jackson, Mississippi), Ms. Almesha Campbell (PhD; 2nd left on top; title: A correlation study betweeen poverty and access to drinking water sources: a case study of Sub-Sahara Africa), Ms. LaTonya Curley (PhD: 3rd left on top; title: Promoting active transportation as a tool for decreasing obesity), Ms. Sheryl Bacon (PhD: 4th left on top;  title: Transportation as a social determinant of health in the State of Mississippi), Ms. Christine Allen (PhD: 1st left on second row; title: Impact of veterans' perception of therapist empathy on continuation in treatment: Research proposal), Mr. Christopher Roby (PhD; 2nd left on second row; title: Effectiveness analysis of the popular opinion leader intervention on reducing HIV rates in the Jackson MSA), Mr. Alan Branson (PhD; 3rd left on second row; title: Determinants of payday lending locations in Mississippi), and Ms. Denita Jones (PhD; 4th left on second row; title: Citizen engagement: a case study of the West Jackson master plan development).












Mr. Ryan Brown (MPPA;1st left on third row; title: Poverty, race, and economic development in Mississippi), Ms. Katherine Smith (MPPA;2nd left on third row; title: Debate over foster parenents' adoption rights in Southern states), Ms. Christina Spann (MPPA; 3rd left on third row; title: Tiny house movement: A solution to homelessness in Jackson, MS), Mr. Michael Bolden (MPPA; 4th left on third row; title: Childhood poverty in Mississippi), Mr. James Thompson (MPPA; 1st left on fourth row; title: Miscanthus in Mississippi: The potential and limiting factors for biomass industry in the Magnolia State), Mr. Cedric Coates (MPPA; 2nd left on fourth row; title: Trends of funding aging infrastructure in Jackson: Is the one percent tax increase enough?), Ms. Helenrine Seymour (MPPA; 3rd left on fourth row; title: Impacts of wildlife refuge in the community), and Mr. Aden Brown (MPPA; 4th left on fourth row; title: Education in Mississippi: A study of student reading achivements).

The symposium has recognized the top three presentations for PhD, and MPPA categories, respectively:


1st Place: Mr. Alan Branson (Alan Branson_payday lending location)

2nd Place: Mr. Christopher Roby (Christopher Roby_HIV intervention)

3rd Place: Ms. Christine Allen (Christine Allen_veteran treatment)


1st Place: Mr. Ryan Brown (Ryan Brown_poverty race economics)

2nd Place: Ms. Christina Spann (Christina Spann_TinyHouseMovementppt)

3rd Place: Mr. Cedric Coates (Cedric Coates_infrustructure jackson).

We appreciate your hard works embedded in your outstanding presentations, and Congratulations to the winners!!

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Ms. Kayester Lee has defended her doctoral dissertation on April 24, 2015.

The title of her dissertation is 'An Evaluation of the Deptartment of Veterans Affairs Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)/Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)/Operation New Dawn (OND) Seamless Transion/Care Management Program (Advisor: Dr. Johnny Gilleylen).

Congraturations, Dr. Lee.!!!


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Ms. Caludine Gee has defended her doctoral dissertation successfully on April 23, 2015.  The topic of her dissertation is 'an analysis of debt management at seven level VI public historically black colleges and universities' (Advisor: Dr. Johnny Gilleylen).

Congratulations, Dr. Gee!!!

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The Hinds County Board of Supervisors meeting was held at  the JSU campus on April 20, 2015.  Our Ms. LaTonya Curley (PhD; picture in left), and Ms. Christina Spann (MPPA; pincture in right) attended the meeting, and presented their ideas on public policy issues of the County. Ms. Curley presented her impact statement on enhanced management of the detension center in the County. Ms. Spann proposed a smoking ban in the multi-housing units within the County. After their presentations, there were responses from the Board members on the current programs in place on the issues and discussions followed for better management of the issues. A detailed report of the event is available at

JSU hosted the event as part of its State and Local Government Program, increasing opportunities for student activism and engagements among the County board supervisors, and the JSU faculty and staff members.  The JSU program is a great opportunity for our public policy students to be exposed to real administration of local governments, and to propose their fresh ideas, which are gained in classroom. Further, it is a significant additional step toward more active engagements between the neighboring local governments and the JSU public policy program.  The PPAD students' participations for City Council meetings, and County Board of Supervisors meetings of the neighboring local governments will be continued.

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  Professor Chester Robinson and Professor Jae-        Young  Ko attended  the closing ceremony and reception of  the JSU  Academy for Research  and Scholarly  Engagement on  April 17, 2015.  The JSU Center for  University Scholars  and the Division of Research and  Federal Relations  have been operating a year-long  training  program of research proposal  development for  the JSU faculty  members.  Since  its  beginning in  2012, the  program has trained 76 JSU  scholars, and  about 30  proposals were developed and  submitted  from the  faculty members attending the training program for the  first two years,  generating external fundings of  approximately $950,000.  Professor Robinson and Professor  Ko are among the twenty-three faculty members of Research Cohort III  for 2014-2015. They have completed the training program actively and  have been developing proposals for external funding opportunities using the knowledges gained from the training program.

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