About the MPA Capstone
Students in the Master of Public Administration program complete a Capstone project or internship as the culmination of their graduate work.
The MPA Capstone allows students to implement academic insight to practical experience. It is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills developed in the program to real-world situations. The Capstone experience integrates classroom time devoted to discussion about public administration and the understanding students have obtained from their internship or practicum. It may also include guest speakers from the field and professional training and development workshops. Students have completed projects at a variety of local, state, and federal government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and higher education institutions.
Recent MPA Capstone Projects
MPA Capstone: Preventative Radiation/Nuclear Detection Program for New Hampshire
Jeff worked as a facilitator with the New Hampshire Department of Safety, Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management and the US Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) to establish a Preventative Radiation/Nuclear Detection program for the State of New Hampshire. Jeff served as the Chairperson on the Executive Steering Committee, consisting of representatives from multiple municipal, state, and federal agencies. Using templates from the DNDO and exemplars from other states, the committee developed a statewide concept of operations specific to New Hampshire’s needs and within the resources available to the state. Beyond the document itself, the end goal is for New Hampshire to be fully engaged in the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture.
MPA Capstone: Strategic Plan for Vetflix INC.
Roy completed his capstone with Vetflix, a non-profit that specializes in enlightening the public on the lives of military service members and veterans. Roy worked with the organization to develop its strategic plan and enhance the overall functioning of the Board of Directors. Roy assisted the Board in defining their organizational profile by clarifying their mission, vision, and values statements. He also led the Board in conducting a gap analysis in order to compare Vetflix’s actual performance with potential and desired performance. This information was used to draft lines of effort, as well as goals and objectives.
MPA Capstone: Environmental Scan of New Hampshire’s LGBTQI Population
Endowment for Health/NH Alliance for Healthy Aging
Nell worked with the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee of the NH Alliance for Healthy Aging. Nell conducted an environmental scan to help the committee better understand the context of New Hampshire’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender, Queer, and Inter-Sexed (LGBTQI) individuals. She synthesized existing research, interviewed key informants to identify recurring themes, and gathered best practices for engaging and including older LGBTQI adults from key stakeholders and leaders in the state, region, and nation. Nell’s work laid the foundation for understanding an entire demographic not previously identified in New Hampshire and will allow the Alliance for Healthy Aging to move forward with its work of engaging this population.
MPA Capstone: Police Athletic League Programming in El Salvador
NH National Guard, U.S. Embassy of El Salvador, and Manchester Police Athletic League
Daphne worked in partnership with the NH National Guard, U.S. Embassy of El Salvador, and Manchester, NH Police Athletic League to create police athletic league programming for the International Narcotics Unit and the El Salvadoran National Civil Police Unit. Daphne surveyed communities to assess needs and inform the development of programming to rebuild trust between youth and police in impoverished areas that suffer from violent gang activities. By enhancing community policing efforts, Daphne assisted local law enforcement and military personnel in advancing their humanitarian work.
MPA Capstone: Attracting and Retaining Millennials
City of Concord, New Hampshire
Gina worked with the City of Concord to help them discover ways to recruit and retain the millennial generation. Working alongside the Human Resource Department, Gina identified challenges such as an aging workforce, the negative stigma of public service, workforce competition, and dated policies. Gina outlined the typical characteristics of millennials and researched the possibility of implementing a Student Loan Repayment Program, various recruitment ideas, engagement strategies, and best practices for attracting millennials to the public sector. Gina presented her findings to the City Manager and Deputy City Managers and put forth recommendations for how the City could adapt its culture to appeal to a millennial audience.