Business and Public Management Center
50 Sharpless Street
West Chester, PA 19383
Name: Kathy Koval
Position: Assistant Dean, Director of Business and Public Management Programs
Name: Cindy Cheyney
Position: Assistant Dean
Name: Laurie Christie
Position: Administrative Assistant to the Dean
Name: Danah Allen
Position: Communications and Impact Coordinator
Name: Paige Carey
Why did you choose WCU and/or CBPM?
"I received my Bachelors in Political Science at WCU as well as my Masters in Public Administration, and I've been pretty heavily involved since I graduated in 2006. I served on the board of directors of the Alumni Association as president. As WCU was developing the Doctorate in Public Administration program, I was kept up to date with the progress. I've been very supportive of the process of developing this program. I received a call from Dr. Jeff Osgood when the process was almost over, and he said he'd love for me to be part of our first cohort. I immediately said yes. I always wanted to get my doctorate, and I wanted to get it from WCU.
When I originally went to WCU in the early 2000s, I was recruited by the Theater Department, and I received a scholarship from them. I wanted to be the next Elvis Presley or James Dean, but I soon realized it was more of a hobby than a profession for me. Then, I learned that politics were my passion. I became the president of the College Republicans on campus and transferred into the Political Science Department, and loved it."
What professor has had the biggest impact on your time at WCU and why?
"When I was an undergrad, it would have to be Dr. Peter Loedel. He was the department chair of the Political Science Department. Wonderful guy, extremely supportive. To this day, I have a great relationship with him. He's also been supportive of my career in public service. He's very committed to the university, and he was a fantastic chairperson for the department.
In my graduate studies, Dr. Jeff Osgood and Dr. Laurie Bernotsky have had a huge impact on me. They have been incredible advocates for the Public Administration programs. They have worked so hard to get this doctoral program off of the ground. Without them, it would not exist. I was just happy to be there in a supportive capacity as they put this fantastic program together and made it a reality. In addition to that, they spearheaded the accreditation of the Masters of Public Administration program, and that by itself is an incredible feat. I'm so grateful that they both came to West Chester University and dedicated their professional lives to this department."
What is your favorite thing about WCU and/or CBPM?
"I would have to say the community. Whether we're talking about the campus community or the alumni community, West Chester University is very community oriented. We're fortunate to have administration, from the faculty to the staff, that are dedicated to the community life at WCU. They make sure that students feel like they have the resources and support structure to develop not only their research, but their careers. That's very unique to our campus. And, like I mentioned, you have the alumni community who are very supportive of the university. They do fantastic things to make sure alumni stay connected to, not just the university as a whole, but each program run by the university."
What groups/organizations are you involved with on campus?
"I was the alumni president and an elected member of the alumni board. Unfortunately, I had to give that up when I became a candidate for the doctoral program. Currently, I'm mostly engrossed in my research. Being a doctoral student is very time consuming, and it takes a lot of energy to put into the program. Hopefully, I'll be able to get more involved again when I graduate in May. I love being involved, and can't wait to get started again."
What do you do outside of your studies?
"I am the Chester County Recorder of Deeds, which is an elected position county-wide that is responsible for real-estate transactions and a repository of property records across the county. Basically, one of my jobs is to make sure that we maintain property records for homeowners across the county. My newest initiative is Operation Fraud Guard. It is an enhanced review of certain records such as land transfers via power of attorney that could be red flags for possible fraud of people taking advantage of elderly and disable people. I've opened a program to pay specific attention to those property records and notify the land owners if we see a red flag. It's a voluntary program that doesn't cost the tax payers or home owners anything additional. It provides an extra layer of protection for our most vulnerable citizens to make sure that they feel secure in their property and ownership records. This program isn't in response to any fraud that's been happening in Chester County. We have little to no fraud that I'm aware of (and I'd be one of the first people made aware of it). It mostly comes from horror stories I've heard from Philadelphia. I want to make sure that doesn't come to Chester County, which is one of the reasons I started this program. It's a preventative program."
Have you had an internship? If so, where and what was that experience like?
"I interned at the White House for a semester. I was working in the Cabinet Affairs Department. It was a very neat experience. Life in Washington is so fast-paced and crazy. It was a learning experience, that's for sure."
What do you plan to do after graduation?
"I'll continue to be the County Recorder. I also helped found an organization called The Coatesville Second Century Alliance, which I'm now co-chair of. It spearheads the revitalization process in Coatesville. We're trying to redevelop the downtown part of the city of Coatesville by bringing in new businesses and turn around the public image of the city to improve socio-economic conditions."
What would you tell students considering CBPM?
"In the past week, I've talked to two different people who have been considering joining CBPM. Since speaking with them, both have sat down with administrators in the doctoral program. What I told them was that it's a fantastic opportunity to expand your career opportunities as well as dive deeper into your understanding of public management and expand your horizons. I've been very impressed with the program and the faculty and staff in the way they've been developing and expanding it. It's only a year old at this point, and I can't say enough good things about the program. I'm very happy with it and the college as a whole."
What's something about you that we can't find on your resume?
"I love to travel. I just got back from Barcelona. My sister is an undergrad at WCU, and she's studying abroad there, so I surprised her at the last minute. We had a great time.
One of my favorite places that I've been that most people wouldn't normally consider going to was Hungary. I went to Budapest with my aunt about eight years ago. It came about somewhat randomly. We wanted to go somewhere, so we just kind of pointed at a map, and Hungary was where we decided to go. It's just a beautiful place. The culture, the architecture, the people, everything about it is great."