ASPA Chicago Chapter Honors M.P.A. Program Director Roland Calia



By Scott Lewis

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The Greater Chicago Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) honored a faculty member, student, and alumna of Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business at the chapter’s annual Public Service Recognition Awards program on April 30.

ASPA is an international association for public service, public sector administrators, and public policy/administration faculty, serving as a bridge between public administration scholarship and practitioners in the field. The Greater Chicago Chapter includes Illinois Tech and eight other Chicago-area universities that offer graduate programs in public administration and policy.

Industry Associate Professor of Public Administration Roland Calia received the chapter’s Louis Brownlow Faculty Member of the Year Award for excellence in teaching. Calia is associate dean at Stuart and director of the school’s Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) program. In his teaching, Calia brings both academic and practitioner perspectives to his students by drawing on his extensive experience in senior management and research positions with the Government Finance Officers Association and the Civic Federation and as a consultant in public financial management.

Students and alumni from the member universities in the Greater Chicago Chapter were recognized for their contributions to public service with graduate student awards and alumni awards for service to the community. Two awards were presented for the Stuart M.P.A. program.

Eduardo Vasquez was honored as the Stuart M.P.A. Outstanding Student of the Year for his academic and service achievements. Vasquez is an explosive technician in the Chicago Police Department bomb squad and will graduate from the M.P.A. program in 2021.

Lauren Joyce Hensel (M.P.A. ’17) was honored with the Stuart M.P.A. Outstanding Alumni Award for her dedication to improving opportunities for students through mentorship activities and programs as the founder and head college guidance coach of LAUNCH Education Advisors in the Netherlands. LAUNCH is a nonprofit that provides counseling to international students wishing to attend schools in the United States.

At the awards program, the ASPA Greater Chicago Chapter also presented Adlai Stevenson Public Service Awards to prominent Chicago community activist Andrew Holmes (award for 2021) and Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi (award for 2020).

Stuart’s M.P.A. program is changing its name to the Master of Public Policy and Administration (M.P.P.A.) program, effective in the fall 2021 semester. The new name more accurately reflects the program’s applied focus and its policy- and management-oriented curriculum. The program will continue its 80-year mission of preparing managers and analysts to work in the civic sphere for high-performing public and nonprofit organizations.

Photo: Industry Associate Professor of Public Administration Roland Calia [right] teaching in class