Recent MPA graduate lands Swansea Village Administrator position

MPA graduate Lisa Powers-Severson landed the Village Administrator position in Swansea

Lisa Powers-Severson said her studies in the master’s of public administration (MPA) and policy analysis program gave her a very solid background and understanding of what this field is about.

“It was an excellent program and the instructors who came from the working world are phenomenal and all of the instructors were extremely effective in imparting valuable information about public administration and were very supportive and instrumental in helping me reach my goal,” Powers-Severson said.

She graduated spring 2013 with her MPA. Recently, she was appointed by the Mayor of Swansea and voted on by the trustees to serve as Village Administrator.

Powers-Severson said majoring in public administration and policy analysis intrigued her during her undergraduate studies.

“I wanted to give back and help the community. I knew I wanted to do this,” Powers-Severson said.

Before her appointment as Village Administrator, for 19 months Powers-Severson worked an internship for the city of Troy assisting the City Administrator Jeff Soland in economic development during her MPA degree studies.

During her studies she really enjoyed the teaching of Professor Morris Taylor in the Homeland Security course because “he makes you think outside the box.”

In addition, she said public policy and public administration professor T.R. Carr was “wonderful as a mentor to bounce ideas off of and a very helpful adviser.”

Carr said he is very pleased about Powers-Severson’s placement.

“We are proud of Lisa and her accomplishments.  She follows in the paths that a number of our past graduates have taken that lead to careers in municipal government,” Carr said.

Powers-Severson hopes to bring in new professional insights and ideas into her position.

“With fresh eyes, and an open mind…I’m looking forward to getting to know the community and citizens and make positive adaptations and changes to promote positive progress in the community,” Powers-Severson said.

She said public administration is dedicated to working in a municipality to implement policy in a professional manner in the way elected officials want and to uphold the public’s trust.

“You are responsible for the high effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of the system,” Powers-Severson said.

Powers-Severson returned to college to finish her education and completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology: employment relations.  She decided to pursue a master’s degree in public administration.

Before entering the programs, Powers-Severson worked as an outside sales representative for local lumber companies for several years in which she dealt with a wide variety of clients on many local construction projects which included the new Busch Stadium, Lumiere Place and many and other building projects.

She said completing her education and landing the position fulfills a lifelong dream.

“When the economy changed, I decided to finish my education,” Powers-Severson said. “I’m thrilled where I am now in my life and in the direction I’m going. I’m very happy, happy, happy.”

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