A Student’s Perspective on the 2010 Spring Conference

By Lisbeth Dominguez
MPA-IG Student, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

The Inspector General track has always intrigued me. I started an MPA-IG program at John Jay Col-lege with the intention of learning more about fraud investigations. As I learned more about the IG field, I was curious as to how it would be to work in the field of IG. From my experience I know that it is very hard to prove yourself as a professional in these areas.

I decided to become a member of the AIG. I found out through one of my professor that there was go-ing to be a conference, and because of my interest I decided to attend. The AIG seeks integrity in the areas of prevention, examination, investigation, audit, detection, elimination and prosecution of fraud, waste and abuse, through policy research and analysis. The association encourages professional qualifications, certifications, and licensing.
Before I attended the conference, I was not sure what to expect. I expected to see more men than women. I also expected the presentations to be more technical. Once the conference started, I found out that I was completely wrong. I enjoyed all the presentations from introduction to end. I learned something from each presenter and was fascinated by the simplicity of their explanations. I was able to find out more about what an inspector general does. This helped me to discover more about my career goals. I also learned more in re-gards to the various IG reports and software’s being used to detect fraud, waste, abuse and corruption.

There were memorable presentations which made me want start my career in that moment. Among some of the speakers was Hon. Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr., Indiana governor. He believes that government agencies should be driven to obtain the highest levels of efficiency and if efficiency is achieved, a reward system should be in place. Ms. Crit Luallen, Kentucky’s auditor of public accounts spoke about how she got to where she is and some of the chal-lenges she has experienced. Laura Chick, California inspector general of ARRA funds. Ms Chick spoke about the struggles experienced by her while managing $50 Billion in economic stimulus dollars received for her state. Mark Rogers explained how printers are being used to commit fraud. And finally, Elizabeth Benton and Heather Vogell , John Jay College MPA-IG graduate students conducted a studies focused on how and why states and schools cheat on standardized tests. It was shock-ing to me to find out that a federal study by the De-partment of Education found in 2009 that nearly one-third of states had lowered their academic proficiency standards to avoid No Child Left Behind sanctions between 2005 and 2007.

During the conference, I also had the opportunity to become acquainted with JJC MPA-IG Online Students. I became aware of the convenience of being enrolled on the online IG program. The com-munication between professors and students was impressive. It seemed as the classes were being held on campus mainly because the professors were extremely approachable.

By joining the AIG and attending the conference, I had an excellent opportunity to get to know the environment and work performance of the agency I want to be a part of. There is great potential for women in this area and that motivates me. As I was flying back to NYC from Indiana, I became certain that I want to help provide public health to our government systems in ways which will bring a sense of healing to our society.