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Celebrating Graduates 2014
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Ana Hinkle: 2014 Co-Outstanding Graduate — Ernest Gruening Award in M.P.A.

Ana Hinkle, Co-Outstanding Graduate — M.P.A.

Pursing my MPA at UAS was one of the best decisions I have made. The University of Alaska is a great institution of higher learning, with numerous options across the state. I look forward to exploring these educational opportunities with my own children one day!

You’re never too old to go back to school or pursue an education. I vividly remember taking my first MPA class spring semester 2009, sitting at the dining room table with my computer in front of me, logged on, and saying to my three children, “Look kids, I’m in class!” It was an awesome moment and I hope they one day understand the significance of that moment.

I have a BA in Justice and a minor in Social Work, and have always known I wanted to move in the direction of public service. My career has evolved from working for non-profit agencies to working for a public organization, The University of Alaska. Knowing my passion is to serve others it made perfect sense to pursue a degree in public administration.

I’ve been employed by the University of Alaska’s Prince William Sound Community College in Valdez since 2006. I love working for the University and see this as my career direction.  It is without question that my Master’s in Public Administration has not only benefited me, it has benefited the institution as well. I have sharpened my critical thinking and analysis skills and improved my technical writing and communication skills.  Most of all, I have an in-depth understanding of- and approach to- administration in the public service.

The Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree program is an e-Learning program that allowed me to attend classes from Valdez. Additionally, the MPA program consists of practitioner-oriented instruction. Not only was I able to attend class from my community, I was also able to directly apply public administration theories, concepts, strategies, and practices in the workplace! I knew this hands-on learning approach was exactly what I needed. There are so many great things about UAS!

Evening classes allowed me to work full-time and the e-Learning program provided opportunities to interact with classmates and instructors even though I was attending from a different location. The diversity of students in my classes created an in-depth learning experience and the relationships I cultivated with instructors and classmates was priceless. I was able to build a network of public administrators who I can contact, if necessary, to analyze a problem, provide feedback, or problem-solve solutions.

The MPA program at UAS provided me with a hand-on learning approach and shaped my critical thinking skills and ability to analyze problems from a public administration mindset. The competencies I gained through the MPA program set the foundation for my promotion at PWSCC. I aspire to continually grow, analyze, and improve upon these qualities, always striving for greater success in my career.

The UAS School of Management faculty are beyond awesome! They are experts in their field and demonstrate a breadth of knowledge and experience. They build relationships with their students and make themselves available whenever necessary. I look forward to meeting them in-person in the near future! ~Ana Hinkle

UAS' 2014 Juneau Commencement will be held May 4 at 2:00 p.m. at the UAS Recreation Center.

Student Speaker Link

Crystal Rogers is receiving her Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree in Independent Design, focusing on the art, language, government and history of indigenous and Western societies in Alaska, with a minor in Tlingit.

Learn more about Crystal Rogers, this year's student speaker at the UAS Commencement in Juneau on May 6th.