The JSU Public Policy Student Symposium was held at the JSU downtown Campus on April 17, 2018. Since its inauguration in the fall 2013, the student symposium has been a research outlet for the graduate students, playing critical roles in producing 9 student publications, 24 student presentations for state/regional/national/international conferences, and three awards (two best graduate student research awards from the MS political science association, and one from the SECOPA).  During the event on April 17th, eleven PhD and MPPA student presentations were made. They are Shelia Malone (MPPA: Improving healthcare delivery to rural Mississipians), Timothy Henderson (PhD: No child left behind: the link between poverty and performance of K-12 education in the Mississippi Delta), Angela Johnson (PhD: A study on the sustainability of public charity organizations in States with highest and lowest health rankings), Yolanda McDuffey (PhD: An analysis of oral cancer intervention in Mississippi), Janice Simmons (PhD: The new role of the HBCU: to educate the “new minority”), Lamar Johnson (PhD: Population decrease in inner city by growth of suburban communities: a case study of Jackson metropolitan area), David Bolden (PhD: School to prison pipeline in Mississippi), Antron McKay (MPPA: Lack of physical activity in schools and childhood obesity in MississippiA), Justin Haralson (MPPA: America’s policy response to gun violence in the 21st century), Jennifer Lee (MPPA: A need study of adequate monitoring of conservation regulation), and Tomikia Smith (MPPA: Improving the quality of care in long-term care with electronic healthcare records).

Among the presentations, the outstanding research works of the following students were recognized by awarding the Certificate of Achivement:

Phd: 1st place: Lamar Johnson 06_L. Johnson Presentation ; 2nd place: Yolanda McDuffey 04_McDuffey_presentation ; 3rd place: Angela Johnson 03_Angela Johnson presentation

MPPA: 1st place: Shelia Malone 01_Malone Presentation ; 2nd place: N/A; 3rd place: N/A

Before the student presentation, Dean Brown delivered his keynote address, and Professor Gilleylen, Dept Chair, inducted the award plaque, and Ms. Debra Monroe-Lax shared her job hunting experience with the participating students on her JSU experiences in landing a job at the Joint Legislative Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure (PEER), Mississippi Legislature.

Thank you for the hard works embedded in the outstanding presentations of the participating students. The attendances of Dean Brown, Professor Gilleylen, and Ms. Monrone-Lax, and other students are greatly appreciated!!!!

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An event to recognize the students who graduated last fall and will graduate this spring was held at the JSU downtown campus on April 12, 2018. PPAD graduates attended the event with students from other departments (Dept of Urban and Regional Planning, and School of Social work) of College Public Service. Dr. Patricia Jackson received her doctoral degree last fall, and Dr. Teresa Moore will obtain her doctoral degree this fall.  Mr. Ronnie Fulgham, Ms. Vera Rucker, Ms. Lucretia Speech, Ms. Angeline Walton, and Ms. Sophia Williams received for their MPPA degrees last fall. Mr. Michael Bolden, and Ms. Tonia Cowan-Ross, Ms. Tiffany Jackson, and Ms. Latasha Williams will recieve their MPPA degrees this spring. During the event, Mr. Michael Bolden was recognised as the winner of the Award of the Highest Master GPA, Dr. Patricia Jackson with the Award of the Highest Doctoral GPA, Mr. Ronnie Fulgham with the Student Association Award, and Ms. Tiffany Jackson with the Award of Community Service.  Congratulations to all of the graduating students!!!! 



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On March 12, 2018, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) presented Dr. Gloria Billingsley with the Donald Stone Award for Service at their 2018 annual conference in Denver, Colorado. The award is given to individuals who have contributed exemplary service to ASPA and its member sections.

To receive the award, you must be nominated and then selected by the Awards Committee. Dr. Billingsley was selected based on the following contributions: She  served as the president of the Conference of Minority Public Administrators (COMPA) in 2016; a member of the National Council (ASPA's governing body),  ASPA Finance Committee, ASPA Audit Committee, ASPA Journal Publication Committee,  Board member of the Section of Public Affairs Education (SPAE) and as  ASPA National Council parliamentarian.  According to Dr. Billingsley, "with each opportunity, I met new people, made friends and grew professionally.  It has been my pleasure to serve the members of the American Society for Public Administration." Congratulations!!!!

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Debra Monroe-Lax lands job at the PEER

March 12th, 2018 by ppad

 Ms. Debra Monroe-Lax, a doctoral student at the dept. of public policy & administration, Jackson State University, has received job offer from the Joint Committee on Performance Evaluation and Expenditure Review (PEER), in the Mississippi Legislature.

At the PEER, as policy analyst, she will conduct program evaluations of Mississippi state or local agencies, programs, and contractors, and others.

While taking the coursework in the doctoral program, she has built her research skill by joining the MURC-RAND project on Jackson Public School performance assessment as graduate research assistant in 2016-17. Also she attended multiple academic conferences, including the National Conference of Minority Public Administrators in 2016, the 5th ASPA Annual International Young Scholars Workshop in Capte Town, South Africa in 2016, and the Annual Conference of Mississippi Political Science in 2017.

She has published a peer-reviewed journal article as the leading author ( Monroe-Lax, D., and J.-Y. Ko. 2017. Economic determinant analysis of student academic performance in Mississippi public Schools. Journal of Public Management and Social Policy. 24(1), Article 4., and received the Best Graduate Student Research Award during the annual conference of Mississippi Political Science Association, Jackson, Mississippi, Feb. 10-11, 2017.

Currently she is working on her dissertation (title: "The Effectiveness of the Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC) Initiative: A Case Study of the S.H.A.P.E. Diversion Intervention in Public Schools in Memphis Tennessee"; Advisor: Dr. Jae-Young Ko). She is expected to defend her dissertation by October, 2018.

Congratulations, Debra.


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Ms. Symone Bounds – a doctoral student at PPAD program – is the recipient of the Graduate Student Research Award from the 2018 annual conference of the Mississippi Political Science Association, which was held in Jackson, MS, Feb. 9-10th, 2018 (Advisor: Dr. Jae-Young Ko).  She was one of six PPAD students attending the annual research event.  Ms. Bounds presented her research on training on the reduction of inconsistencies in the State of Mississippi small purchase program. The utilization of Purchasing/Procurement cards (P-cards) in federal, state and local governments  has been expanded across the nation.  The procurement card programs reduces times and efforts required in purchasing processes significantly, compared with the traditional procure to pay (P2P) process. However, the new P-cards are also subject to misuse and abuse.  She has analyzed the impacts of training program by conducting a before-and-after analysis of P-cards use patterns in the State of Mississippi, showing the positive results of the training program in implementing the P-cards program.  Congratulations, Ms. Bounds! 

Last year, Ms. Debra Monroe-Lax, another PhD student doctoral student at PPAD program, was the recipient of the award  (Advisor: Dr. Jae-Young Ko). The continuous recognitions from the academic organization is a convincing evidence, showing that the PPAD program is moving forward as a productive research institution for the Greater Mississippi. 


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The 2017 Fall Commencement

December 9th, 2017 by ppad

The 2017 Fall Commencement was held at the Lee E. Williams Athletic and Assembly Center, on December 8, 2017.

Two PhD and eight MPPA (MPA) students received their degrees during the ceremony.

PhD: Dr. Patricia D. Jackson (Advisor: Professor John Gilleylen), Dr. Jacqueline Sullivan (Advisor: Professor Bennett Odunsi)

MPPA (MPA): Ms. Betty Evans, Mr. Ronnie Fulgham, Ms. Jaquana Glasper, Ms. Vera Rucker, Ms. Lucretia Speech, Ms. Angeline Walton, Ms.Sophia Williams, and Ms. Shermilca McGraw-Covington.

(From left: Professor Jae-Young Ko, Ms. Angeline Walton, Ms. Vera Rucker, Ms. Lucretia Speech, Dr. Patricia Jackson, Professor Gloria Billingsley, Ms. Sophia Williams, and Mr. Ronnie Fulgham)

Congratulations to all of the graduates!!! 

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JSU Public Policy Student Symposium was held on Nov. 30, 2017. Since its inception in the 2013 fall, the symposium has been the major channel of academic productivity for graduate students.

So far, nine students papers have been published for peer reviewed journals and proceedings. Nineteen student presentations for conferences have been made. In addition, Mr. James Thompson (Master student) was the recipient of the Robert L. Kline Award (best research paper for Master’s student) during the Southeastern Conference of Public Administration (SECOPA 2014), Atlanta, GA, Sept. 17-20. 2014. Ms. Debra Monroe-Lax (PhD) received the award of Best Graduate Student Research during the 2017 conference of Mississippi Political Science Association, Jackson, MS, Feb. 10-11. 2017.

Ten graduate students joined the semi-annual event this time. Their research topics cover important issues of public policy for State of Mississippi. Outstanding presentations will be invited for the 2018 conference of Mississippi Political Science Association, Feb. 9-10, 2018, and for the 2018 Conference of Advancing Mississippi, June 7, 2018, and other conferences.

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On May 26, 2017, the Dept. of Public Policy & Administration (PPAD), JSU, hosted Mississippi Department of Transportation's (MDOT) TRANS-CON Community Working Session: "A Call To Action-The Validity of Transportation Now." at Jackson State University's Downtown Campus located at 101 W. Capitol, Jackson, MS.

The TRANS-CON (Central Mississippi Transportation Connection) is one of the six regional coordination transportation groups in the State of Mississippi. TRANS-CON's mission is to provide safe, reliable, available, affordable and accessible transporation services for Copiah, Hinds, Madison, Rankin, Simpson, Warren, and Yazoo Counties in Central Mississippi through the development and implementation of regional and statewide transportation services coordination.

MDOT and the Department of Public Policy & Administration have a long working relationship to bring more effective and efficient transporation to the State of Mississippi.  According to Dr. Johnny Gilleylen, "the relationship between the two agencies goes back to the 1985 establishment of the Federal Transporation Administration's " T2 Transporation Center" at Jackson State University. The relationship has involved administration, research, and training provided through the department. This workshop is a continuation of a very long and durable relationship." MDOT's Intermodal Transportation Director, Mr. Charles Carr, stated that "its time to move beyond planning to implementation." The conference was led by the Executive Director of NROUTE, Ms. Evelyn Bumpers, who also serves as the coordination group's director.  

The intendees included representatives from state, county, and local governments, private foundations, and private companies. The goal for the session was not only to design policies and strategies to improve public transit, but also to create mechanisms of implementation under the concept of collaboration between public transit stakeholders. The discussion not only included methods of effective coordination, but also adoption of new technologies, and how agencies may secure more funding. One of the conference outcomes was to increase utilization of Jackson State University and PPAD as partners in this mission. Several agencies are in the process to establish more formal relationships with PPAD by entering into memoranda of understanding to utilize and fund department interns. They have begun to write PPAD interns into their FTA grant applications.  

TRANS-CON's Regional Mobility Manager Machelle Kyles personally thanked Dr. Ricardo Brown, Dean of the College of Public Service for being a valued TRANS-CON regional group partner and seeking to expand their relationship with the university.


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Sixteen Armed With Valuable Credentials

January 5th, 2017 by ppad


The road to completion for sixteen Public Policy and Administration’s students came through hard work, tears, and willing minds.  On December 9, 2016, the department proudly awarded five PhD degrees and eleven MPPA degrees.  The students receiving such honors concur with Jackson State University’s mission statement which states, “The University produces technologically advanced, diverse, ethical, global leaders who think critically, address societal problems, and compete effectively.”

The five Fall 2016 PhD graduates:  Quentin D. Holmes, Dianne M. Hooker, Anan Abu Hummour, Jason M. Pope and Edward D. Sivak are proud degree holders from the BEST: Jackson State University.   Mohammad Alrefai, Lashanda D. Bailey, Ebony L. Bingham, Ashley D. Caples,  Emmett Caston,  Alla Jeanae Frank, Melissa J. Johnson, Candance F. Miner, Unekia N. Oatis, Michael K. Spann, and Sonja J. Stokes-Greenleaf fulfilled their goals by staying on course until graduation day.   The hard work, tears, and willing minds were worth the efforts of being honored on graduation day.

Congratulations to the Fall Class of 2016.  The Department of Public Policy and Administration is proud to add sixteen armed graduates with valuable credentials to an ever changing society.


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Footsteps of a Soldier

October 28th, 2016 by ppad


Footsteps of a Soldier

Colonel Jennifer Hicks-McGowan has earned her stripes by serving her country through the United State Army.  Her military career spans two and half decades of services.  She started her profession as a Second Lieutenant upon graduating from Sam Houston State University in Texas.  From her first step to her current step she has proven her dedication to defending and serving her country.  On October 7, 2016 she was promoted to Colonel at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.  Colonel is the 24th rank in the United States Army that typically commands brigade-sized units of 3,000 to 5,000 soldiers.

Colonel Hicks-McGowan relationship with Jackson State is well documented.  She is currently seeking a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration.  In 2002 she earned her Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from Jackson State.  To show forth learning received while matriculating at JSU, she became the Chair and Professor of Military Science in July 2007. As the department leader, she was in charge of the Tiger Battalion, Senior Army Resource Officer Training Corps (ROTC).

The footsteps of a solider have taken Colonel Hick-McGowan from her home town of Victoria, Texas to Iraq.  Her dedication to the military are well authenticated through the numerous accolades given by the military and promotion received in the military.  Perhaps the greatest rewards of all are those who love and support her:  husband, Evangelist and their three children:  Emily, Evan, and Ethan.

A respectable leader, Colonel Jennifer Hicks-McGowan, well-embedded footsteps are recognizable as others follow strive to become worthy soldiers.



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