Prof. Lisa DeLuca Presents Capstone Project at National Conference

M.P.A. Student Presents at National Conference By Roseanne Mirabella

On March 9th, Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) graduate student and Social Sciences Librarian Prof. Lisa DeLuca presented her capstone project “Spatial Literacy with PolicyMap for Public Policy Undergraduate Instruction” at the 7th Annual M.P.A. Capstone Panel at the annual conference of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). The national panel showcased national M.P.A. capstone projects that integrate theory and practice. The student presenters, sponsored by faculty, represent the “best of the best” as practitioners in field of public administration.

Lisa Deluca photo
Lisa Deluca

Established in 1939, ASPA is the largest and most prominent broadly based professional association in American public administration. It has a diverse membership of approximately 8,000 practitioners, academicians and students. ASPA serves as the principal arena for linking theory and practice within the field of public administration.

DeLuca’s paper focused on the use of spatial analysis for assessment of situations in political science and to understand public policy. Her analysis was based on class assignments for the course “Contemporary Issues in US Public Policy,” taught by Professor Michael Taylor in the Political Science Department. The implications for public administration of her research findings support current data visualization best practices, that using mapping tools can result in more accurate storytelling through the emergence of patterns in maps or clusters that are not easily revealed through tables or spreadsheets. Additionally, the use of spatial analysis provides for identification of previously unknown relationships resulting in new research questions or alternative proposals for public policy.

The M.P.A. degree, offered both on-campus and online by the Department of Political Science and Public Affairs, is accredited by NASPAA and ranked #17 in the country for nonprofit management by U.S. News & World Report. Students learn from great minds in both the government and nonprofit sectors. Concentrations are offered in Health Policy, Public Service Leadership and Governance, Nonprofit Management and Data Visualization and Analytics.