Dave Edwards, MPA – President Dave Edwards has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Utah and currently serves with Bountiful City’s Police Department. In addition to his duties in Bountiful, Dave also serves on various boards and was instrumental in organizing the Pi Alpha Alpha 2017 Winter Social.
Will Kocher, MPA – Vice President
Will Kocher has worked for Salt Lake County Government since 2001 and is currently the senior policy advisor to Salt Lake County Council Member Ann Granato. The bulk of his career has been spent in the Parks and Recreation Division where he served as the manager of the Northwest Recreation Center. He is a strategic-thinking manager who is adept at assessing needs, generating options, and implementing solutions in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders.
Will holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology and Corrections. He has a passion for public service that has led him to serve as a Trustee on the Sugar House Community Council and to join Pi Alpha Alpha’s board in 2016. Will is also a strong advocate for the rights of public sector employees. He has experience working with many political and grassroots organizations to promote public employment and the amazing people who perform this valuable service.
Seth Wright, MPA – Vice President
Follow Seth on Twitter: @SethRWright
Connect with Seth: sethrobertwright.com
Seth Robert Wright, MPA, is the Executive Director of the Global Health Research and Outreach Foundation. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah.
In 2016, in collaboration with Yerevan State Medical University and the University of Utah, Seth co-founded the Global Health Armenia Academic Conference. This first of its kind conference aims to build research capacity within Caucus nations, as well as provide networking opportunities for government, private, and non-profit public health organizations. For more information on his work in Armenia visit www.globalhealtharmenia.org
Seth holds a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis on hospital administration. He recently presented his research titled “Scholarly Identity in a Post-Truth Era” at the 2019 Public Administration Theory Conference. He has also presented his research regarding sources of health information for women in Armenia at Unite for Sight’s Global Health Conference, hosted at Yale University. His research interests include global health, municipal transparency mechanisms, public administration, and building research capacity. He is fluent in English and Spanish with proficiency in Armenian. He is married and has two children. He became part of Pi Alpha Alpha’s board in 2016 and loves the opportunity to serve and promote fellow members of this prestigious organization.
Martín Muñoz, MPA, FMP – Board Treasurer
Martín Muñoz is an Airport Facilities Maintenance Supervisor at the Salt Lake City Corporation and has a Facility Management Professional certification, as well as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in History, as well as a Master of Public Administration – both from the University of Utah.
Nicole Batt, MPA – Board Secretary
Extreme Alps Ice Climbing, X-Games Skateboarding Champion, and Fresh Water Shark Training are just a few of the activities that Nicole will never do. Because YOLO, you only live once, and nobody ever got hurt sitting on the couch watching Netflix. Instead of seeking thrills that might break her fragile bird bones, Nicole currently spends her free time obsessing over government politics, avoiding ginger damaging sunlight, and working on her Ph.D. in Political Science. As a first-generation college student, Nicole completed both her B.S. in Communication and Masters in Public Administration at the University of Utah. Nicole enjoys collaborating with her talented University of Utah colleagues as Managing Director of the Office of Engagement and Director of the Utah College Advising Corps.
Kaitlin Lindsey – Communications Director
Kaitlin Lindsey is currently an Academic Advisor and Program Recruiter for the College of Education at the University of Utah. She has spent most of her career working as a recruiter for Higher Education.
Kaitlin holds a BS in Marketing and Communications from the University of Utah and is expected to receive her MPA from the U in December 2018. Originally from Florida, Kaitlin has been residing in Salt Lake City for the past 11 years. She hopes to pursue her Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Utah and is an avid fan of haunted houses and city bus tours.
Michelle Blue, MPA – Past President
Michelle (Roach) Blue has been with Salt Lake County Government for 15 years and currently serves as the Associate Division Director and Finance Manager for Salt Lake County Animal Services. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah. She is passionate for local government and public service; she loves being part of the public sector and helping the community where she lives. Her specialty is strategic management, team development, and change management. Michelle teaches leadership and professional development classes for the Salt Lake County Employees University. She is originally from Southern California and loves hiking and camping in the nearby mountains. She lives in Murray City with her husband and two rescue dogs.
Christopher deHoll, MPA – Board Member
Christopher deHoll, MPA, works for the Department of the Air Force in Logistics Management. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah in the Department of Political Science (Public Administration/American Government) and is actively working on his dissertation. He received his Masters of Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University in 2013. He has served in the federal government since 2011, where he has fulfilled a number of varied roles involving purchasing/acquisitions, sustainment, and systems redesign. He has specific research interests in process improvement, federal recruitment and retention, and a burgeoning interest in emotional labor.
Christopher is originally from the Salt Lake area and resides in Murray with his wife and their (rescue) dog. Christopher enjoys the outdoors, sports (especially football and soccer), and traveling to experience different cultures. In 2016, Christopher was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha and chose to serve on the Board to network with other public service professionals. He is also a current member of Pi Sigma Alpha (inducted in 2009).
Sri directs strategy and workforce planning for the Offices of Graduate Medical Education and Associate Vice President for Education at the University of Utah Health Sciences. Prior to joining the University, Sri led the State healthcare workforce research and policy efforts. Her educational background in engineering, mathematical modeling, and public administration makes her an exceptional strategist with a unique blend of skills.
Greg Schulz, MPA – Board Member
Greg Schulz is currently the Managing Director of Government Consultants, LLC, and is currently providing Municipal Administrator services to the Magna and White City Metro Townships. Recognized by Federal, State, and Local Government Officials, Community Stakeholders and Stakeholder Groups for possessing the
following skills: Government / Public Administration;
Public Relations – Internal and External;
Public Policy / Public Policy Analysis; Budgets; Administrative Law / Administrative Process; Organizational Analysis; Public Speaking; Strategic Planning; Project Management; Legislative Lobbying – Issues Management
Emilee Cooke, MPA – Board Member
Emilee Cooke is a current graduate of the MPA program at the University of Utah. She currently works as a Grant Officer at Salt Lake Community College in their Office of Sponsored Projects. She has also worked for the within their Broadband Center in the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. Emilee loves to work in higher education and has worked for the University of Utah in some capacity for almost five years. Emilee has been a member of Pi Alpha Alpha since 2017 and is excited to be a part of the organization as a board member.
Phil Quinlan, ABD – Board Member
Phil Quinlan is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Utah. He served as Deputy Chief of Police in the West Valley Police Department, where he retired after 20 years of service. Phil has been a member of Pi Alpha Alpha since 2019 and is looking forward to building our PAA community.
Christopher A. Simon – Faculty Advisor
Christopher A. Simon (Ph.D., 1997, Washington State University) is Professor of Political Science and a former Director of the MPA Program at The University of Utah. He conducts research in alternative energy policy; civic community and volunteerism; education policy; criminal justice policy; Homeland Security policy; land use policy; public administration; and military sociology. He is co-author (with David Bernell) of The Energy Security Dilemma: US Policy and Practice (Routledge, 2016) and co-author (with Brent Steel and Nicholas Lovrich) of State and Local Government: Sustainability in the 21st Century (Oxford, 2011); and, sole author of Alternative Energy: Political, Economic, and Social Feasibility (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); Public Policy: Preferences and Outcomes (Longman, 2007, 2010; Routledge 2017); and To Run a School: Administrative Organization and Learning (Praeger, 2001; Mandarin edition, 2005). He has published articles in Administration & Society, American Politics Research, American Review of Public Administration, Armed Forces & Society, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Comparative Technology Transfer & Society, Educational Research Quarterly, Land Use Policy Journal, Policy Studies Journal, Journal of Political and Military Sociology: An Annual Review, Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Affairs Education, Review of Public Personnel Administration; and Social Science Quarterly.
Kristy Cottrell, MPA – Board Member
Kristy directs Davis County Senior Services, the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA); and local health department Family Health Programs, including immunizations, WIC, and nursing home-visitation. Lead the division’s diverse programs, facilitating integration and collaboration of management, staff, and functions.
Kristy writes, “I want to live in a place where we value healthy people and communities, and where prevention has a higher priority than treatment. I see a place where people, businesses, communities, and government work together, leaving no one behind. Health is a right for all; for wealthy, poor, immigrants, children, and elderly. Our environment cannot be healthy on its own and needs a proactive approach in the public sphere. We need the help of each other to cultivate, grow, and harvest the health of our communities. As a leader, I strive to establish a fertile environment, allowing this growth to firmly establish and flourish while cultivating continual improvement as we strive to achieve the vision of healthy people and healthy communities.”
Bianca Shama, MPA – Past President
In 2009 Bianca joined the State of Utah to assist in the facilitation of a $10 million grant awarded to the Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) to do energy efficiency work. In August of 2011, Bianca’s role shifted and expanded to focus on project management of energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy projects in state-owned facilities. Bianca responsibilities with the DFCM include managing the allocation of the revolving loan fund, collaborating with State agencies and institutions to develop energy efficiency projects and assisting them in exploring resources in which to make efficiency work possible at their facilities. Bianca works on initiatives such as identifying and making best use of utility incentive programs for efficiency work and coordinating with other project managers at the State to ensure available incentives are collected from the utility companies. Bianca is working to refine best practices in the installation of energy efficient products in state-owned buildings. In addition to working for the State of Utah, Bianca worked as a consultant with the University of Utah focusing on behavioral energy change and looking to find people based, cost effective solutions to reducing utility usage without the disruption of occupant comfort. Bianca served as a member of the Climate Action Plan Task Force at the University of Utah in 2009. Bianca holds a Masters in Psychology from Adelphi University and in 2011 completed a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Utah. In 2010 Bianca was inducted into the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration and currently serves as Vice President of their Board. She is a member of the Energy Management Program Advisory Committee for Salt Lake Community College. Bianca is also an active member of the AEE Board for the local Utah Chapter. Bianca recently served as PAA President in 2017.
Lauren Kirwan, MPA – Board Member
Lauren Kirwan, MPA, is the Program Manager for the Population Health Sciences Ph.D. Program and is the Division Administrator for Health System Innovation and Research at the University of Utah, School of Medicine.
Lauren holds a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis on health policy and education. She was one of the original staff members of the Health System Innovation and Research program in the School of Medicine and is been involved in numerous initiatives across the Health Sciences at the U including the Imagine Perfect Care Initiative, Quality Improvement Leaders, and the Medical Student Curriculum Redesign. Additionally, in conjunction with faculty members and institutional leadership, she created the PhD program in Population Health Sciences, which just accepted their first class of students in Fall 2016.
Lauren became a part of Pi Alpha Alpha’s board in 2016 and enjoys the opportunities to work with and network with other Public Administration professionals here in Salt Lake City. Lauren recently served as PAA Vice President in 2017.
Ian Adams, MPA – Board Member
Executive director with seasoned experience as spokesman and board member in a non-profit labor organization. Represents the voice of Utah law enforcement officers in legal, political, and media environments. Offers expertise in government and media relations, strategic management, crisis management, and public speaking.
Graduate student completing coursework in Ph.D. of Political Science at the University of Utah. Research interests include emotional labor in public service, body-worn cameras in law enforcement, increasing recruitment of women in law enforcement, and mental health harm-reduction in first responders.
Consultant for law enforcement centered cases involving use-of-force, body cameras, and policy concerns. Entered academia after a successful career of over twelve years as a police officer for both state and municipal departments. Trusted with taking leadership during crisis, communicating with the media and public, and mentoring junior officers. Believes a willingness to learn and an emphasis on teamwork are essential qualities of successful law enforcement officers. Expertise developed in patrol, K-9 (training, apprehension, and detection), crisis negotiation, and field training, among others.
Megan Hillier-Geisler, MPA – Board Member
Megan Hillier-Geisler is a Director of Innovation for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. She and her team aim to discover new trends in fundraising that can benefit the 170 local children’s hospitals in the network. Her academic and professional interests collide as she has spent her entire career in the non-profit space. She has worked for Teach For America, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and the Association of Public Health Laboratories. The common thread is her passion for work that is directed at underserved communities.
Megan holds an MPA from the University of Utah and a BA in Folklore and Religious Studies from Indiana University. Originally from Indiana, she spent 5 years in Washington, DC and has resided in Salt Lake City for the past 7 years. In Fall 2019, Megan will return to Indiana to continue her studies, pursuing a Ph.D. at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. She hopes to study the intersection of folklore and fundraising.
Megan is also an avid sports fan, an urban legend aficionado, a former podcast host, and rescue dog enthusiast. She and her wife, Alyssa, and their pets, Murle and Whitcomb, live in Salt Lake City.
Christopher Bateman, MPA – Past President
Chris Bateman has worked at the Davis County Health Department since 2010. The first half of his career was spent working in health education programs focusing on injury prevention in the community. In 2013 Chris was promoted and has been serving as the Emergency Planner for the health department. Chris spends his days writing emergency response plans, conducting training and exercises and collaborating with community partners to ensure Davis County is prepared to respond to emergencies. He holds an MPA degree from the University of Utah and a BS degree in Health Promotion from Weber State University. He has a passion for public service, political discussion, health and wellness, personal finance and environmental stewardship. Chris lives in Davis County with his wonderful wife and two children.
Sri Koduri, MPA – Past President
Sri has a passion for accessible health, education, and equity. Her multiple roles in the community speak to her commitment:
- Chair, Utah Health Policy Project Board
- Chair-Elect, Utah Oral Health Coalition
- Member, University of Utah President’s Commission on the Status of Women
- Member, Envision Utah Board and
- Past President, Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society – Utah Chapter
Founder and CEO of PEEPS – Peers for Empowered and Enriched Professional Success, a budding effort to encourage professionals from diverse cultures
Books, board games and movies are Sri’s favorite pass times besides spending days in leisure with her family, friends and her dog, Blondie.