Journal of Public Affairs Education

 A Salute to the Journal of Public Affairs Education (JPAE)

In this current issue of NASPAANews, we highlight JPAE and its significance to NASPAA, our membership and
public affairs education.

Leadership Corner
JPAE Co-Editors Share their Perspectives
JPAE has now settled in to its new home at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. Here are some thoughts from the Journal's Co-Editors, Marieka Klawitter and David Schultz, on their perspectives and goals for the future. 

Marieka Klawitter, Co-Editor of JPAE, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Washington

Marieka Klawitter

It has been an honor to work on JPAE this past year.  I see JPAE as a gift that NASPAA gives us by taking up a collection at the office.  Editors, authors, reviewers, staff, all contribute to this gift with the hope that the recipients (readers) will open it with delight and find it to be enjoyable and useful in an enduring way.  The critical contributions from our community build on each other.  Editors must manage the processes to bring in and select high-quality material, find willing reviewers and oversee the publication process to produce the issues on time.    
The authors have to create ideas on how to improve learning outcomes and program management, and be willing to gather evidence and create a compelling and insightful narrative.  Reviewers have to be willing to invest their time to carefully and respectfully read manuscripts and provide editors and authors with insightful and constructive feedback about the work in a timely way.  A team of people copy-edit, lay out, print and post the JPAE issues, a process that takes three or four months.   The gift we receive in return is knowing what and when readers find JPAE to help them in their work.  

Looking forward, we have to predict what readers will need to know and find engaging and useful.  More on how meeting NASPAA standards will draw in students and prepare them for rich careers? More on how to create a lively and enriching classroom environment?  More research on how effective online or hybrid programs are for delivering our programs to various groups of students?  In 2014, the most frequent topics were diversity, assessment, curriculum, service learning and research methodology, and our most-viewed articles shared these themes (see JPAE Summer 2015 for more detail).  We're now working on symposia on teaching about Information Technology, using technology in the classroom, teaching financial management and teaching about tribal sovereignty.     
We are working to make sure the JPAE is a gift that our readers appreciate and use. 

David Schultz
David Schultz, Co-Editor of JPAE, Department of Political Science, Hamline University

During my nearly six years as editor-in-chief and now co-editor of JPAE, I have not only learned a lot, but also have grown with the Journal.  But neither the education nor the growth for either the Journal or I are done, and as the saying goes, the best is yet to come.

Six years ago, I was privileged to take over as JPAE editor-in-chief when Hamline University was selected to host JPAE.  I inherited one of the leading journals in the world on public affairs teaching, and the task was to improve upon its legacy.  But as I told students recently at the National Journals Conference, running a journal is a business.  Academics tend to think that a journal is merely editorial content, yet that is the visible half.  Producing a great journal requires worrying about costs, having a good copy and production editor, enforcing deadlines and schedules, assigning tasks, soliciting articles, writers, reviewers and guest editors, and just sweating details.  It is about having good people in place to do all this, and over a six-year-period, I have had a great team of people to work with, including from Arizona State when Hamline took over JPAE, at Hamline, and now with the Evans School of Governance at the University of Washington, when they took over hosting the Journal and asked me to stay on.

In the process of serving as editor, we have taken the journal into the 21st century.  In 2010 an Excel spreadsheet was used to track manuscript submissions and information.  We had articles and submissions in hard copy and digital format, and too much of what the Journal did was passed on in terms of memory of editors and assistants.  Since then we have moved to Peertrack as our online manuscript and document management system.  We have developed style sheets, clarified duties for reviewers and editorial board  members, and established production schedules.  Behind the scenes this has meant a more efficient and quicker process to review manuscripts, better record keeping and planning and less headaches for everyone.
What you as readers and authors see is a journal that has been on time for every issue for six years.  It is one that is better copy-edited with a more professional look.  It has seen annual submissions increase from the low fifties to now what will probably be close to a hundred manuscripts with an initial acceptance rate of less than 5 percent.  We have added book reviews, more symposia, and soon case studies and perhaps other features.   We also are now more of an international journal in focus, content and board membership.

As editor, I work to get the best articles on public affairs teaching.  I often nurture new voices and perspectives through several drafts, and encourage authors and guest editors to develop more fully their insight or suggest ways their research has department, curricula or classroom applications. In the process of all this, I have met hundreds of bright engaging teachers who have taught me a lot about public affairs teaching and research.  As a result, both JPAE and I are for the better, with more changes on the way.  I am always interested in suggestions to improve the journal and encourage you to contact me with your ideas.

Member Spotlight

Graduate Student Journals Share Best Practices at UVA's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy
Guest Contributor:
Bruce A. Vlk, Director of Communications and Marketing
University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Public policy student journal staff gathered at the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, January 16-17, for the fourth annual National Journal Conference. The conference, hosted by the Virginia Policy Review (VPR), provided students with an opportunity to share best practices, network and learn from experts in the field. Students came from universities across the country, including American University, the College of William & Mary, Cornell University, George Washington University and the University of Michigan.
According to Locher Grove, VPR managing director and conference organizer, the goal of the conference was for students to interact and share ideas with counterparts from other schools. It was also to help raise the bar on graduate student journals.

The weekend conference kicked off with a keynote speech by the Honorable Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, who spoke about the importance of women taking on leadership roles in their careers. NASPAA's director of membership, David Marshall, provided students a preview of the upcoming Student Simulation Competition.
Day two of the conference featured in-depth sessions with academic and media experts. Hamline University Professor David Schultz provided valuable advice on running a journal effectively. As editor of JPAE for the past seven years, Schultz gave the students 10 lessons that he's learned during his tenure. Marty Kady, editor in chief of POLITICO Pro, gave similar advice from the journalistic perspective, honing in on issues of accountability and source reviews.
Other speakers included James Pethokoukis, editor of AEIdeas; Jessica Taylor, NPR political reporter; and Benjamin Meier, Professor of Global Health Policy at the University of North Carolina. Philip Linder, editor-in-chief of American University's student journal
the Public Purpose, closed the conference with an informative talk on university relations.

Visiting students also had the opportunity to enjoy Charlottesville's breweries, restaurants and tourist sites, such as UVA's Academical Village which was designed by Thomas Jefferson. After a successful fourth conference, the VPR staff is already laying the groundwork for next year's gathering.

In the photo from the left to right:

Gabrielle Jorgensen, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Operations, Virginia Policy Review (UVA, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy Student)
David Marshall, NASPAA, Director of Membership Development
Locher Grove, Managing Director, Virginia Policy Review (UVA, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy Student)
Matthew Comey, Co-Editor-in-Chief, Content, Virginia Policy Review (UVA, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy Student)
David Schultz, Co-Editor of JPAE, Hamline University, Department of Political Science

Cases and Simulations in JPAE
Laurel McFarland, Executive Director
NASPAA is proud of its long association with the Journal of Public Affairs Education.
JPAE is a symbol of our association's commitment to advancing teaching and learning, and the enterprise of public affairs education, through focused, high-quality research. 

Research on teaching and learning in our field has yielded a number of benefits, including refinement of NASPAA accreditation standards regarding identifying and tracking student learning outcomes. JPAE research articles have also underscored the significance of faculty attention to pedagogy in achieving MPA/MPP program quality.

Contextual learning has emerged from the research as a critical factor in effective student learning, and over the years, NASPAA and JPAE have both featured the case method in our respective venues-at the annual conference and in the pages of the journal.

has recently launched a new section in the journal to highlight cases and simulations in public affairs education. NASPAA applauds this development, and encourages faculty at our schools who have developed cases and sims to consider contributing material to the section.

Cases have continued to prove their value in the classroom, and they have morphed in recent years into multimedia cases, and been hybridized with electronic technology into case-based simulations. Cases and simulations offer an immersive, engaging learning opportunity to students that has demonstrated lasting and significant learning outcomes at many of our schools.

Simulations are just as persuasive a learning device as the case method, if not more so. Simulations have exploded across the curriculum at universities, and they are starting to expand greatly in public affairs education as well. NASPAA's first foray into simulations was the adaptation of a simulation for the 2015 NASPAA Student Simulation Competition. The 2015 competition was based on a simulation developed by the Rippel Foundation on the ReThink Health simulation platform. Graduate students from a hundred NASPAA schools participated in-person at five regional sites. During the competition, students worked with the simulator in small teams to craft long-term policy solutions to a complex network of problems facing the healthcare system in the United States.

NASPAA's 2015 competition simulation will be made available to JPAE readers in a future issue devoted to technology in the classroom. JPAE's new cases and simulations section is the perfect venue for introducing simulations to NASPAA members who have not had the chance to use this model in the classroom. There will be advice on how to set up the simulation, develop learning objectives and integrate into curricula.

If students master the skills and knowledge necessary to perform well as professionals in public service, then the efforts of our public affairs educators are rewarded. Cases and simulations can make powerful contributions to student learning, and we look forward to the new section of JPAE bringing these opportunities to the attention of faculty members at NASPAA schools around the world.


JPAE consistently publishes articles related to global public affairs education. An example of this scholarly effort is a submission from the Summer 2015 issue of JPAE titled, "Policymaking in the Global Context: Training Students to Build Effective Strategic Partnerships With Nongovernmental Organizations," by Cristina M. Balboa at the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, City University of New York and Maryam Z. Deloffre at Arcadia University.


In the global realm, public policy issues-infectious disease, immigration, and human rights- regularly cross national boundaries without any one government to assume responsibility and authority on the issue. Policy makers must therefore shift their focus from "government" to "governance" and create strategic partnerships that leverage existing capacities to provide global public goods. This paper examines the importance of the global arena to Master of Public Policy (MPP) and Master of Public Administration (MPA) programs, and offers evidence of the increasing role of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in governance. Using the current Ebola crisis in West Africa as an example, we demonstrate how NGOs' engagement in global governance requires different skills and discussions, not just for nonprofit staff, but also for government and business sectors. In conclusion, this article offers suggestions for how MPP and MPA programs might begin to incorporate the concepts of these important non-state actors into public affairs curricula.

Access the article here.

Program Director's Corner
Student Simulation Competition 

NASPAA is excited to offer the student simulation competition for the second year! This year the competition will occur at eight host sites around the world on Saturday, February 27, 2016, and is focused on climate change. 
Principal reps are encouraged to nominate an excellent student to participate and one student per school is guaranteed entry. While the focus this year is on climate change, students do not need to have expertise or experience in this area to compete; participants will receive competition materials 48 hours in advance of the competition. Participation is free, but students do need to travel to a host site. We ask that schools financially support their student travel expenses, but if this is not possible, NASPAA has a small travel budget to help defray travel costs. This competition is only open to current graduate students at NASPAA schools. View more competition details here.

History Buffs: One of NASPAA's first presidents, Professor Laurin Henry, has produced a revised version of his history of NASPAA.
The text is titled, Graduate Education for Public Service the Founding of NASPAA.
We would like to thank Professor Henry for his important contribution to documenting the early history of NASPAA and its predecessors.  NASPAA will be ordering some on-demand copies of it, and if you would like to purchase a personal copy, please contact, Monchaya Wanna, at 
COPRA will be hosting two accreditation sessions at the 2016 COMPA Conference in Jackson, MS, to be held February 17-19, 2016. Join us to talk the NASPAA Standards and train as a NASPAA Site Visitor:
  • Overview, NASPAA Accreditation Standards: 
    Wednesday, February 17, 
    3 - 4:30 p.m.
    Site Visitor Training: Friday, February 19, 2016, 1- 2:15 p.m.
To register for the conference, visit the COMPA website. To RSVP or find out more, email

Upcoming Accreditation Deadlines:
  • April 15, 2016 - Eligibility Application due
  • August 15, 2016 - Self-Study Report deadline for 2016-17 cohort - the form is now LIVE in the system!
Questions about the process? Visit our website:

In Case You Missed It!
COPRA released the 2015 Self-Study Instructions  in November. For the 2015 release, COPRA focused on specializations and concentrations: shifting from full student learning assessment of mission-specific elective competencies to an emphasis on both the truth and advertising aspect of specializations and capacity of programs to deliver them.

COPRA has also released a policy statement announcing the implementation expectations of programs in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 cohorts, with regard to Standard 5, as well as changes to Standard 5.3-Mission-specific Elective Competencies, which have been collected into the Self-Study Instructions. The Policy Statement is available here.


January 13, 2016: Registration opens for NASPAA's 2016 Student Simulation Competition 
February 27, 2016: NASPAA's Second Annual Student Simulation Competition, a complete list of host sites is available here.
October 19 - 21, 2016: NASPAA Annual Conference in Columbus, OH
December 7 - 9, 2016: NASPAA Career Directors Conference at the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership & Public Policy

Member News

Steven Bourassa joined the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Florida Atlantic University and was appointed Director in 2015.
Prior to that he was the KHC Real Estate Research Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Louisville. Read more.

Matthias Ruth was named Director of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University in 2015 
and serves as the founding director of Northeastern's Resilient Cities Laboratory and its Urban Informatics program. Read more.

School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University-Newark launches webinar series of Global Dialogues on Anti-Corruption
The webinars will be provided each month starting February 18, 2016 to scholars, practitioners, and students worldwide for free.
You may find the schedule for more webinars from the RIACS website

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