Meet Our Students and Alumni

The online Executive MPA program welcomes students with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and professional accomplishments. Our students are mid-career professionals who come from both public- and private-sector careers with a common goal: to use their leadership position to drive change in their communities. Hear directly from our students and gain a firsthand look at the ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse program.


Betsy Kelder

Betsy Kelder: National Nonprofit Leader

Executive Director at Invest in Girls Inc.

Having just become an executive director of a nonprofit when she started the program, Betsy Kelder was looking to gain more expertise regarding the public sector. Find out what she cherished most about her time in the program.


Jeffrey Cleland

Jeffrey Cleland: From Marine to Policymaker

Manager of State and Local Public Policy for the Northeast at Amazon

A leader on and off the battlefield, Jeffrey Cleland is using his military experience and the knowledge he gained through the Executive MPA program to aid him in advancing his career.


Jennifer Gwatkin

Jennifer Gwatkin: Education Innovator

Innovation Pathways Lead at Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Working as an early college coordinator in the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at the time of applying, Jennifer Gwatkin was attracted to the legacy and ranking of Syracuse’s Maxwell School. Learn how she has embraced her Orange family.


Johnathan Leon

Johnathan Leon: Career Educator and Public Sector Expert

Director, Georgia at Leadership for Educational Equity

Johnathan Leon had spent his entire career in the public sector dealing with education, nonprofit, and education policy work when he joined our Orange family. After spending nine years in the field advancing into leadership roles, he pursued an Executive MPA degree.


Raissa Figueiredo

Raissa Figueiredo: Shaping Tomorrow’s Government Procurement Policies

Contract Specialist at Federal Student Aid Office of the U.S. Department of Education

While working at the departments of Homeland Security and Education, Raissa Figueiredo wanted to grow into a more policy-focused position. See how she intends to use her Executive MPA degree to become a leader in government procurement policy.


Rachel C. Kuntzsch

Rachel C. Kuntzsch: Business Owner and Public Policy Expert

Co-Owner, Principal, and Former Senior Vice President of Public Sector Consultants, a Premier Public Policy Research and Consulting Firm in Michigan

While working as a senior vice president of a public policy research and consulting firm, Rachel Kuntzsch was looking to enhance her knowledge and expertise to grow in her role as well as support her staff. See what skills she applied to help her staff.


Colleen Kane

Colleen Kane: Advancement Head

Chief Advancement Officer at Port Chester Carver Center

Beginning the program as the director of external affairs at a health care organization in New York City, Colleen Kane wanted to grow as a nonprofit executive and leverage her experience within the academic field. Since completing the program, she has joined the executive leadership team as chief advancement officer for a nonprofit in her community. Discover how she’s applying her new public administration skills in her field and leadership role.


Dennis Vicchiarelli

Dennis Vicchiarelli: Theory Meets Experience

With more than 30 years of experience and a master’s in city and regional planning, Dennis Vicchiarelli chose the online Executive MPA program to complement his public service background. Find out how Dennis plans to use his education to improve leadership at his organization.

Get Started

Hear directly from some of our students and gain a firsthand look at the ExecutiveMPA@Syracuse program.