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Business College Faculty Member, Doctoral Student Honored by Local Chapter of ASPA

An Old Dominion University faculty member and doctoral student were the recipients of Public Service Awards from the Hampton Roads chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) at the organization's Public Service Awards Luncheon last month.

Wie Yusuf, assistant professor of urban studies and public administration at ODU, received the Dr. Wolfgang Pindur Award for Distinguished Service in Academia and Practice. Katharine Neill, a Ph.D. student in ODU's Public Administration and Urban Policy program, received the Student Scholarship Award from ASPA.

Yusuf, who has been at the university since 2008, helped oversee the creation of a minor degree in public service. She currently serves as the program coordinator for the minor. Since summer 2010, the minor, which consists of 12 credit hours of coursework, has been available to students in any ODU college.

Yusuf is also responsible for organizing the popular and wide-ranging Public Service Week at ODU. The weeklong event, which will be held for the third time in November, features high-profile speakers, workshops and a public service "career explorium" for students who may not have realized the career opportunities that exist in public service fields.

Also a policy scholar, Yusuf conducts research that focuses on policy issues at the intersection of governments, nonprofit/nongovernmental organizations, businesses and civil society. These not only include issues that are intergovernmental and multisectoral, but also those that address the interactions between citizens and governments, such as transparency, accountability and citizen participation. Her research covers three areas: entrepreneurship policy and economic development; transportation policy and finance; and fiscal transparency, accountability and citizen participation.

Neill, a second-year doctoral student, is a graduate teaching assistant at ODU. She teaches ethics, governance and accountability in public service. A paper she wrote, "The Gap Problem: Socioeconomic Inequalities and Their Significance for the Democratic Ideal," was published in the June 2012 issue of the journal Administrative Theory & Praxis. The scholarship selection committee noted that it was very impressed with her aspirations "to serve the public by becoming a teacher and researcher" and with her work experience and civic activities.

This is the third year in a row that an ODU student has received the ASPA scholarship at the Public Service Awards Luncheon. Theodore Bartlett (2011) and Cynthia Linkenhoker (2010), students in the M.P.A. program in the College of Business and Public Administration, were recognized the previous two years.