Thinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

The National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP) recognizes the importance of continued investment in University at Albany (UA) academics and research mission and has been following the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant opportunities for Rockefeller College. The Government Information Strategy and Management (GISM) concentration offered through Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy's Master of Public Administration (MPA) program -- currently ranked third in the nation among schools of public affairs by U.S. News & World Report -- is one area benefitting from the initiative put forth by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher that provides funding for innovative academic programs and capital projects that encourage regional economic development.

As an organization that has several MPA graduates with degrees in GISM, the NCSP has directly benefitted from lessons in information technology, policy, and management in governmental programs. GISM prepares students to understand and use information as an essential tool for problem solving and public management within single organizations and across multiple organizations, sectors, and levels of government. The interplay among policy and practice and how information strategy becomes part of these systems is integral to day-to-day management of our Center.

Research Associate Professor at Rockefeller College and affiliated faculty member of the College of Computing and information at the University at Albany, Dr. Theresa Pardo is one of the founding members of the Government Information Strategy and Management concentration. NCSP staff and MPA '12 graduate Cyndi Mellen met with Dr. Pardo to discuss the exciting opportunities made possible by University at Albany's strategic investment plan for NYSUNY 2020 funds.

UA 2020 gives us the opportunity to engage an entire new cohort of people who have the skills and interest to work in our well-defined areas of strength.

-Dr. Theresa Pardo

Dr. Pardo highlighted the new hires across campus as monumental for the University at Albany community. "All of the hires raise the bar considerably on the way we can prepare our students," says Pardo. "There is the potential for specialty areas to come together and interface with government� it gives government professionals access to a whole new set of colleagues."

This is especially salient for GISM, which capitalizes on cross-discipline collaboration and harnessing the expertise of professionals in the classroom. Public and private sector professionals participate in class sessions, giving students myriad perspectives on where rubber meets the road for information strategy and management. Students are afforded the unique opportunity to influence the management process in the public sector through collaboration with a state agency on a pressing issue defined by that agency. During this process, students are able to take advantage of these visiting professionals to help discuss how to apply policies, practices, and information management tools to shape their projects.

More resources and opportunity begets more resources and opportunity.

-Dr. Theresa Pardo

NYSUNY 2020 funds will also support engagement of more professional adjunct professors, adding more and varied GISM courses in "a specific and ongoing way." The full-time faculty that will be admitted to CTG will be "immediately and directly engaged in GISM research", enhancing the concentration for MPA cohorts to come.

Other NYSUNY 2020 highlights for Rockefeller College include funds for the development of the Master of International Affairs program, slated to roll out in Fall 2014. There will also be a Cyber Security Risk Management concentration added to the MPA. In addition, new classes taught by subject matter experts in homeland security will be featured next semester, including an emergency management class taught by NCSP Director Rick Mathews.

The NCSP is proud to be affiliated with the Rockefeller College community and looks forward to the continued growth of the Government Information Strategy and Management concentration.