John Jay College Students enrolled in the MPA-IO Program Thrive at the Austin Training Conference

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The administrative offices of the national Association of Inspectors General are housed at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.  John Jay students enrolled in the Master of Public Administration in Inspection and Oversight (MPA-IO) Program (or as we like to call it “The IG Track”) work part-time for the Association and help run all of our programs.

The AIG Training Conference is integrated into the curriculum of the MPA-IO, and one of the magic ingredients that adds energy to our annual event is the participation of the John Jay students and professors. In Austin, 46 students and 9 John Jay Professors attended.

The mission of the MPA-IO “is to prepare students for public service careers in inspection and oversight organizations and to advance the study of Public Administration through scholarly and applied research and community service. The program seeks to inspire students to the highest ideals of citizenship and public service, reinforced by a commitment to accountability, transparency, and equity. The program offers students opportunities to acquire professional and political knowledge and skills, based on academic studies, public service experience and partnerships with faculty in scholarly endeavors.”

In addition to offering classes on campus, the John Jay MPA-IO degree is also offered fully online, and has students enrolled from all over the world. For more information about the John Jay MPA-IO program click the link below:

Janet Hicks, an MPA-IO student and AIG staff member, took time to interview several students at the conference. Here is her write up of two of those conversations:

I am Janet O. Hicks, a member of the AIG staff and a first semester John Jay College of Criminal Justice Master of Public Administration Inspection and Oversight (MPA-IO) student. I am interviewing fellow MPA-IO students to get their feedback about the conference.  Here’s just a small sample of some of my conversations.

JOH:  Now introducing Keyala Crawford, a graduating senior – thank you for your time.   What are your impressions of the conference?

KC:  At the moment, I am very excited about meeting all of the Inspectors General.  I am looking forward to networking with different organizations from across the country. I am surprised at how many people are here. But it is definitely a pleasure and a joy.

JOH: Tell me a little bit about yourself? Are you new to the program?

KC:  This is my last semester in the MPA-IO program.  I currently work for the NYC Department of Corrections as a Compliance Manager.  I am looking to transition into the Inspectors General track at the NYC Department of Investigations.

JOH:  That sounds impressive.  On our John Jay College website – we have a specialization listed as Operations and Investigations.  Is that your specialization?

KC: Yes, absolutely, Operations and Investigations.

JOH: What inspired you to that specialization?

KC:  I came from a criminal justice background before I joined the program.  I was a New York State Correction Officer, and was already aware of the significant problems of fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption. I wanted to find out — What can we do a little bit differently to stop the cycle of corruption. I knew the John Jay MPA-IO was for me. I went all in! Now, here I am ready to graduate.

JOH: That’s amazing! Graduating in Spring, 2018?

KC:  Graduating in the Spring, but I complete my studies in December. I will participate in the commencement ceremony this Spring.

JOH: That’s great. All your hard work and effort paid off.

KC:  Yes. I am excited!

JOH: Any improvements to the conference?  What is your feedback?

KC: So far, so good. As for any improvements to the conference, I don’t have any at the moment. As for the John Jay MPA- IO program, I have expressed the idea that for those of us who are enrolled in the program and have full-time jobs, maybe it will be possible in the future to do a virtual internship. Overall, I have no complaints about the program.

JOH: Great, Keyala. Do you have any advice for future students who are interested in the MPA program?

KC:  Yes. I would highly recommend this program to anyone interested in pursuing a Master of Public Administration. I am always advocating for John Jay College. I am always trying to recruit students especially people who already have their degrees and have full-time jobs.  If you are considering going back to school — Go to John Jay College!  They have a flexible schedule.  Staff is always available to speak with students. Your fellow students are always very helpful.  I was encouraged to attend John Jay College, and that is why I enrolled.

JOH:  Thank you, Keyala for your inspiration for future students.

KC: You’re welcome.

Next, I spoke with Darren Coventry-Howlett, a policeman in Ireland who is currently on leave so that he can complete the John Jay College MPA-IO program.

JOH: What has your experience been so far at the conference? What pearls of wisdom have you gained?

DCH: I learned about integrity and the importance of personal responsibility and how they can impact an organization’s culture. I learned a great deal from the professionals. They are passionate about their work and the whole issue of government oversight and inspection. I learned a great deal about how to identify and recognize fraud, abuse, corruption, and waste. I learned from the enthusiasm of the presenters and certainly from attendees who were willing to share their stories and talk about how important personal integrity is for people working in law enforcement. One of the takeaways is to be aware that, if you do your job, you are not necessarily going to be the most popular, but it’s an important job and sets an example.

JOH: That’s great. You and I share courses together.  How does attending the conference complement the course work?

DCH:  I found the conference to be amazing and very practical. It has opened my eyes to the real life issues that inspectors general face.

JOH: With respect to the specializations within the MPA-IO program, have you made a selection?

DCH: I am thinking that, given the fact that I am already in law enforcement back in Ireland, I want to specialize in International Inspection and Oversight.

JOH: Wonderful. Do you have any advice for both international and local students who are interested in the MPA program?

DCH: Go to John Jay College. Join the AIG. Meet, greet, and learn as much as you can. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to identify where the gaps in your knowledge are and embrace the opportunity to take on new challenges and don’t be shy. You can’t afford to be shy in relations to inspection and oversight. Learn from peers, learn from colleagues, learn from faculty, and learn from the professionals.  Just keep your mind open.

JOH: That’s great. Thank you so much for your time. Cheers!

I wish there were more room for further stories. However, I would like to give my sincerest thanks to the ten other John Jay students who I spoke to at the conference:

Aleksandar Dimitrovski, Eric T. Shand, Mohammad M. Ramadan, Michelle Navarretto, Leon Abbas, Vasily Cheipesh, Nate Epstein, Minglu Guo, Carlos Garcia, Jr., and Xinchen Zhao.