Drake University’s chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha, a global honor society for Public Affairs and Administration, inducted new members and recognized a few with special honors at an awards ceremony Monday, April 13 in Parents Hall.
At the ceremony, Pi Alpha Alpha inducted 38 chapter members, all of whom demonstrated exceptional academic performance during their Master of Public Administration studies at Drake University. The chapter also named the chapter’s new president and honored the recipients of two awards, the Rising Star Award and Garry L. Frank Legacy Award.
Brianne Sanchez, GR’13, received the Rising Star Award. This award recognizes a recent MPA recipient who has made a significant impact in his or her community or profession in the short time since graduating. Sanchez currently works for Des Moines University as community relations manager. She was awarded the 2014 YPC Amy Jennings YP Impact award for her work with the Des Moines Young Nonprofit Professional Network, which she helped to start.
The Garry L. Frank Legacy Award recognizes an established MPA alumnus who over the course of his or her career has exemplified the ideals of innovation, impact, and engagement. The 2015 Legacy Award will be awarded to Jack Hatch. Hatch, GR’73, is a business owner and serves as an Iowa State Senator. Hatch is the incumbent for the 33rd District of Iowa. He also founded the Hatch Development Group, a company that builds affordable housing in low-income neighborhoods, with his wife in 1997.
Award recipients were selected by Drake’s Master of Public Administration program faculty based on criteria such as the impact the individual has made at Drake University and the work they have done for the community at large. The legacy award was named after Garry Frank, the Thomas F. Sheehan Distinguished Professor of Public Administration, who has taught at Drake since 1993.
“The awards are new this year with the addition of the placement of Dr. Frank’s name to the legacy award,” said Allen Zagoren, associate professor of practice in public administration. “His untiring efforts led to the advancement of the Drake MPA program as a leading advanced degree program in the U.S.”
Kelsey Thien will serve as the Pi Alpha Alpha chapter’s new president. Thien works in wind administration at MidAmerican Energy Company. She has also worked for a great variety of other companies, such as Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Des Moines Public Schools, and the Iowa State Senate.
Drake University’s Pi Alpha Alpha is one of more than 160 chapters around the world at NASPAA member schools. The purpose of Pi Alpha Alpha is to encourage and recognize outstanding scholarship and accomplishment in public affairs and administration. PAA membership identifies those with the highest performance levels in educational programs, preparing them for public service careers.