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Pi Alpha Alpha Celebrates MPA Success

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Prof. Daniel Feldman moderating the panel

On February 18, students gathered for a John Jay Pi Alpha Alpha career panel focusing on public service.  Alumni panelists Denise Dizzine and Merline Barrington of the NYS Unified Court System and the Port Authority of NY and NJ, respectively, discussed their career trajectories, including their personal stories from their time as students in the MPA program to their current positions, major career progress highlights, and future plans. Click to read more about their career experiences and student eligibility for Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for public administration students.

Faculty Advisor and Prof. Daniel Feldman moderated the hour-long discussion with Ms. Dizzine and Ms. Barrington, after introductions by Mary Ann Triest, MPA Career Advisor.

Denise Dizzine
Denise Dizzine

Denise Dizzine received a BA in Psychology from the George Washington University and an MA in Forensic Psychology and MPA in Court Administration, Management and Operations from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2011 and 2013 respectively.  She was a recipient of the Carl Schreiber Memorial Award in 2013, was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha the same year, and is a lifetime member of Psi Chi since 2005.  Since 2005, she has been working at the New York State Unified Court System.  Currently, she is the Child Welfare Court Improvement Project Liaison.  She is involved with various committees and initiatives in the courthouse and at the citywide level, which focus on topics such as the disproportionate minority representation of children in foster care and the needs of youth transitioning out of foster care.

Merline Barrington
Merline Barrington

Merline Barrington earned a BA in Criminal Justice in 2005 and an MPA in Management, Operations and Human Resources in 2012 from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  As part of the MPA program, she took PAD 780 Internship course interning at the New York City Council and the Business Integrity Commission.  Subsequently, she was offered the rare opportunity to join the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a Leadership Fellow, the only third student from the CUNY system.  In her current role, she rotates within the Port Authority HR Department working mainly on strategizing integration of work streams, recruitment optimization, and diversity initiatives throughout the Port Authority.

John Jay Pi Alpha Alpha is a chapter of the national honor society for students of public administration.  It is affiliated with the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration.  Pi Alpha Alpha aims to promote excellence in the study and practice of public policy and administration.  Presently, there are 134 Pi Alpha Alpha chapters with more than 30,000 members nationwide.

If you complete 18 credits toward your MPA with at least a 3.67 GPA, you will be invited in the fall to join the John Jay chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha as a “candidate member,” which entitles you to attend networking sessions with former Pi Alpha Alpha MPA graduates who have achieved successful career paths.  If you complete 30 credits with the same minimum GPA requirement, you will be invited to become a full member of Pi Alpha Alpha. The latter invitation is issued in March of each year, with an induction dinner a few days before the following Graduation Exercises.

For more information, please contact Prof. Daniel Feldman at dfeldman@jjay.cuny.edu.