School of Public Affairs recognized by PA public administration organization

Doctoral student also receives Outstanding Student Award and Student Paper Award

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. -- The Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs and the City of Harrisburg have received the 2020 Innovative Public Service Partnership Award from the Keystone State Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) for their collaborative efforts to address issues of importance to Harrisburg City residents.

The award was announced during a May 5 virtual ASPA chapter meeting. Physical presentation of the awards will happen at a later date.

“We are grateful for this recognition,” said Marvin Overby, director of the School of Public Affairs.  “The ASPA award speaks not only to these collaborations with the City of Harrisburg, but to the efforts my colleagues undertake every semester with local, regional, state, and national officials to address pressing public concerns.”

The partnership was led with the support of Harrisburg City Mayor Eric Papenfuse, Harrisburg City Council President Wanda Williams, and Penn State Harrisburg’s School of Public Affairs and engaged City of Harrisburg officials with Penn State Harrisburg graduate and undergraduate students to address city issues.

An affordable housing capstone project conducted by Master of Public Administration students and led by Harrisburg City Council Member Ben Allatt and Dr. Jane Beckett-Camarata, associate teaching professor of public administration, included a range of recommendations, including using inclusionary zoning; applying to the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program; training underemployed residents; reducing permit fees; and increasing public/private partnerships.

Undergraduate research initiatives were led by Harrisburg City Council Member Dave Madsen and Dr. Daniel Mallinson, assistant professor of public policy and administration, who determined that policy analysis skills taught in an undergraduate course required of all public policy majors could be directed toward practical research projects for the benefit of Harrisburg residents. Projects in 2019 resulted in recommendations regarding neighborhood blight and gender discrimination. For the 2020 course, the class addressed the issue of underutilization of Reservoir Park in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Doctoral student receives Outstanding Student Award and Student Paper Award

Huiting Qi, public administration doctoral student, also received two 2020 ASPA Keystone chapter awards. She earned the Outstanding Student Award for her doctoral studies at the Penn State Harrisburg School of Public Affairs, and the Student Paper Award for her article titled “Strengthening the rule of law in collaborative governance.”

Huiting received a bachelor's degree in political science and government at Wuhan University in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China and a master’s degree in political science and government at Beijing Normal University in Beijing, China. After serving as a program project manager in Beijing local government, she enrolled in the public administration doctoral program where she has been a research and a teaching assistant.

Articles written by Huiting have been published in top-tier journals including Administration & Society, The American Review of Public Administration, Journal of Chinese Governance, and International Journal of Public Policy. Huiting serves as an academic reviewer for Administrative Sciences Association of Canada, Academy of Management, and Sage Open.

Her paper, “Strengthening the rule of law in collaborative governance,” was written for an international workshop and was published in the Journal of Chinese Governance.