The University of Scranton Adds Public Policy and Service Major

The University of Scranton now offers a new undergraduate major in public policy and service, which will prepare students for careers in the public, nonprofit and private sectors or to pursue specialized graduate training in public administration, public policy and nonprofit studies and nonprofit management. The new major, housed in the University’s College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Political Science, is currently enrolling students for the fall 2022 semester.

“A public policy major acquires the knowledge and skills from political science, business, theology and other areas of the curriculum needed to successfully analyze and propose solutions to some of the most complex problems confronting our region, country and world today,” said Michael Allison, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at The University of Scranton.

The new interdisciplinary major combines coursework from public policy, public administration and nonprofit studies. Students will learn the fundamentals of administration and policymaking in the United States and acquire skills in budgeting, personnel management, policy analysis and program evaluation, in addition to expertise in a specific policy area. Courses include Political Science Research, Policy Analysis, Women’s Right and Status, Environmental Policy Process, Economic Policy and Public Budgeting and Social Welfare Policy, among others.

Students majoring in public policy and service will also complete an internship, community-based learning course or independent study to apply firsthand what they learned in the classroom.  Several internship opportunities relevant to the program already exist in the local area in government agencies, nonprofits and the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development. Students will also be able to complete coursework in Washington, D.C., through the Washington Internship Institute and the Washington Center where the University has articulation agreements already in place. The University’s new Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service provides opportunities for student internships, research projects, and training programs, as well as networking opportunities with public officials and alumni working in public service careers.

For additional information, contact the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 888-727-2686 or email, or Dr. Allison at 570-941-4392 or

The University of Scranton Opens Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service

“All public service is a trust given in faith and accepted in honor,” words inscribed over the front door of the Finance Building in Harrisburg, remind U.S. Senator Bob Casey of the promise and expectation of public servants, and, now, can be words to inspire and guide the work of the new Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service at The University of Scranton.

Senator Casey was among the speakers at the opening of the Center that will serve 13 counties in Northeast Pennsylvania. In his remarks, he quoted from the mission of the Center “to advocate for and promote the common good of all through programs that support the development of ethical and competent public officials and of civically knowledgeable, responsible and engaged community members,” noting that the region– and the nation – need both competent and ethical leaders now more than ever.

JoyAnna Hopper, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science and co-director of the Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service, said in her remarks that “according to Pew Research Center, public trust in government has been near to historic lows for more than a decade.” She said the work of the Center “will reach out to local community members, providing them with the tools and resources they need to hold their elected officials accountable. We plan to engage with public officials or those who hope to run for office to help educate and provide support, through workshops, certificate programs and opportunities for networking.”

Dr. Hopper, who will co-direct the Center with University Political Science Professor Jean Harris, Ph.D., also said the Center will provide internships, research opportunities, mentorships and training that will allow University students to “become competent and ethical leaders in our local communities.”

Clara Downey, a junior political science major at the University who is serving as an intern for The Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service, said in her remarks that she has seen “first-hand what Dr. Hopper and Dr. Harris are working to offer students, and similarly how important it is for students, most especially Jesuit educated students, to be active and knowledgeable voters. The work we are starting here in the Center will enable my peers and I to not only be better people, but to enact real change in our world, because locality is where that has to start.”

Downey, Easthampton, Massachusetts, is also a Student Government Senator at Scranton.

Also speaking at the opening were Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Michelle Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

The Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service will be housed in the University’s Political Science Department of the College of Arts and Sciences. The 13 counties served by the Center are Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Montour, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming.

Members of the Center’s Steering Committee are Michael Allison, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Political Science; Julie Schumacher-Cohen, assistant vice president for community engagement and government affairs; Michael Jenkins, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Criminology and executive director of the University’s Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Crime; Matthew Meyer, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and faculty director of the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for the Humanities; and Donna Witek, professor, Weinberg Memorial Library.

The University offers a new major in public policy and service.

Additional information about the Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service can be seen on its website (, or by contacting Dr. Harris or Dr. Hopper at the Political Science Department at or 570-941-6326.

An Introduction to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Workshop

The University of Scranton’s new Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service will offer its inaugural workshop “An Introduction to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for NEPA Government Official” on Tuesday, Aug. 31. The workshop, offered free of charge to county and city officials of Northeastern Pennsylvania via Zoom, will run from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will be facilitated by DNG Consulting, an independent diversity, inclusion and equity consulting group (see attached flyer for facilitator bios). PNC is the exclusive sponsor of the event.

“Promoting and maintaining diversity, equity and inclusion is imperative in ensuring ethical and effective governance for all. We are glad to provide a workshop on these timely issues and we look forward to having the Center offer programs on a range of topics that can aid public officials and their staff in their important work,” said JoyAnna Hopper, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science and co-director of the Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service.

The interactive workshop will address why attentiveness to diversity, equity and inclusion is important for effective governance and articulate how implicit bias and systemic racism are defined and identified. The workshop will also cover best practices in how government bodies and officials can take matters of racism and bias into consideration in evaluating institutions and policy effectiveness.

Three experienced consultants with DNG will facilitate in the workshop. Principal at DNG Consulting, Danielle N. Gadson, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of public administration at Villanova University and chairs their Public Administration Department Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. As a professor and a trained Intergroup Dialogue facilitator focusing on race, Dr. Gadson teaches courses in public administration theory, data analysis, health services planning, and intergroup relations.

Senior consultant at DNG, Stephen A. Sheridan, Jr. works as the director for accountability, accreditation and assessment services at Villanova University, providing leadership and expertise in the design, implementation, and analysis of assessment activities related to student development and learning outcomes. He is a trained Intergroup Dialogue facilitator with experience facilitating on the topics of disability, race and socioeconomic status.

Senior consultant at DNG, Terri Boyer, Ed.D., is the founding director of the Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership and an associate professor of education and counseling at Villanova University. Dr. Boyer has published widely on educational and workforce equity, institutional reform for equity, women’s education and leadership, the effectiveness of equity programs, and assessment and teacher training.

The workshop is convened by the University’s Center for Excellence in Ethics and Public Service with its Office of Community and Government Relations in collaboration with DNG Consulting. Registration is required to participate in the event and can be completed online or by e-mailing