Please share your SPPA story with us! All submissions will be posted on this page.

Jamie Perttula, MA in Public Administration, 1990
Ontario Ministry of Transportation
I have great memories of my time at Carleton University studying public administration. The faculty made the experience so rich for me – both the full time faculty and the sessional lecturers. My experience at Carleton shaped me and my career in so many ways. Shortly after starting the program, I felt like I had found a home. I was surrounded by so many people with interests similar to mine; people who enjoyed discussions and debates about questions of public policy. I remember my first economics class with George Warskett, particularly when he jumped up on a table and then used a bicycle inner tube in his discussion of inflation. I was in awe of Bruce Doern; I had read so many of his papers before coming to Carleton, and I actually got to sit in a class with him! I remember getting a compliment from Harvey Lithwick on one of my papers, and getting to work with Allan Maslove and Katherine Graham on a research project. My time in the public administration program can only be topped by my also meeting at Carleton the woman who is my wife. Attending Carleton was one of the best decisions of my life.

Rietta Floom, MA in Public Administration, 1981
Recently retired from provincial public service, Manitoba
I have only good memories of my two years studying at Carleton University in the MPA program. Being away from home, I found both the faculty and other students in the program to be a constant source of support and encouragement. They became like family. The courses offered in the program and the opportunities to do further research were always interesting and challenging. I look back on the years studying public administration as the time that lay the foundation for me for an interesting and varied career in public service that I was fortunate to have had for more than 30 years. Congratulations on the anniversary of a great school!

Robert P. Shepherd, MA in Public Administration, 1988
Faculty member in the School of Public Policy & Administration!

The time that I spent in the School (1986 to 1988) were memorable, highly valuable, and relevant. The degree prepared me for a varied career in and out of the federal public service. I spent a number of years consulting interspersed with several public service assignments in various departments. Not only did the MA prepare me practically, but it also provided a lasting theoretic understanding of why governments work the way they do. One of my first interviews was with Alan Winberg, a former ADM at then INAC. One of his first questions was: so you’re studying at Carleton? Are you doing any courses with Bruce Doern? My response of course was yes, and that opened up a few doors in his shop working on program evaluations.

I would have to say that one enduring memory was taking a class on decision models with Prof. Phillips, her first course. She walked into our class very nervous, and we students (all 16 of us), did not help her out that much. As I recall, a few of my colleagues (I was innocent of course) laid on the questions class after class to try and trip her up. We were a bright class, if I do say so, and we had no problem showing off. Susan took it all in good stride, and made for a very enjoyable course. She was, and remains, a tough grader. We all worked very hard for the grades we received.

Of course, I would be remiss to point out that I met my dear wife, Karen, in the program. She was going into her first year, and I was going into my second. She walked into the lounge on the 10th floor of Dunton Tower, and I remember saying to ‘the guys,” Sandy Maclaren, John Affleck, and Tony Guerra, that I would marry her someday. And lo and behold, we were married in 1990 after Karen had completed her degree. I went on to work on an MBA, while working at INAC, Karen was working at Employment & Immigration at the time.

All in all, the School has very good memories for me, and I know that they do for Karen also. It is interesting that I am working in the same School some years later! It is truly interesting how life turns various corners. I started my studies at Carleton, and now I will likely retire from there also!

Rod Raphael, MA in Public Administration, 1995
Director General, Departmental Analytics and Initiatives, Shared Serviced Canada, and Public Servant-in-Residence at SPPA
My memories go back to 1991-1995 as a full-time public servant in the MA program on a part-time basis. My experience involved Dunton Tower and taking evening/night classes exclusively. I did not see daylight at Carleton until graduation day. The program had an eclectic mix of faculty and sessional lecturers that brought together the academic discipline of critical thinking and the practical world of the federal public service. As a full-time public servant studying part-time, the mix was just right and I greatly benefited from the experience. Thanks Carleton SPPA…Rod

Lillian Hayward, MA in Public Administration
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
I have such great memories of the time I spent doing my MAPA at Carleton. I first heard about the program from a co-worker (thanks Scott!) and after a bit of research knew that it was the right fit for me. I remember the first day of classes and meeting the small but mighty group in the Innovation, Science and Environment stream. I was amazed with our wide variety of backgrounds and this translated into two years of fascinating discussions and debates.

The program not only gave me the knowledge I needed to enter the workforce, it also gave me the confidence and leadership abilities I needed to succeed. This is due, in no small part, to the incredible faculty (in particular, Glen Toner, my biggest cheerleader) who are not only passionate about their subject matter but also go above and beyond for their students. I continue to be grateful for all of the amazing opportunities that I was given while I was there.

Congratulations SPPA!

Evren Tok, PhD SPPA 2011 and MA IPE 2005
Qatar – Assistant Professor
As an international student, I had fabulous memories during my PhD. Despite the individualizing nature of the PhD and the reality of being lonely, thousands of miles away from family, I found warmth in SPPA. My first presentation in Les Pal’s course on “the Empire” by Hardt and Negri, first paper on Manuel Castells, first exams….every aspect of the SPPA experience contributed immensely to my personality, career and aspirations. Today I am a faculty member and program coordinator in a public policy program in Qatar, and my SPPA memories walk with me every single day. Now, I realize more and more the rich formation I acquired in SPPA. Having worked with Frances Abele and Katherine Graham as a research assistant, publishing with Ted Jackson and now co-authoring a book with Les Pal – SPPA has been more than an academic experience for me. It was life! My life, which still goes on!