Dawn Footer 2019
B.S. Accounting, M.S. Accounting, Forensic Accounting
Hometown: Charlotte, NY
Graduate Assistant, Public Administration Department
Treasurer, Brockport Student Government
How and why did you decide to apply for The College at Brockport MPA program?
I originally planned on combining the non-profit certificate with my M.S. When the Forensic Accounting program was discontinued I was able to substitute courses from the MPA to complete the degree. I enjoyed the governmental aspects of the MPA program and my previous accounting coursework, so I decided to stay one more year to complete the MPA in State and local government.
What have you enjoyed most about the program so far?
I think what I enjoy most about the MPA program is the extended community that has developed around the program. In some ways, it reminds me of a fraternal organization. You can’t go anywhere in the greater Rochester/ Western NY area without meeting an alumnus. Once that mutual connection has been established, alumni always seem to be willing to reach out, extend a hand, and help pull you forward.
What does your job entail?
In my position as a Graduate Assistant for the Public Administration Department, I fulfill two roles. I’m the MPA departmental tutor, and I’m a research assistant for Dr. Samudra. As the MPA tutor, I primarily assist students with academic writing via workshops and one-on-one sessions, and with statistics. Both topics pose unique tutoring challenges, but writing seems to be a greater struggle for most students. The academic writing required in graduate programs is more rigorous than what is expected on the undergraduate level. Students usually need help adjusting their writing style to something more formal. I also help students identify appropriate sources materials for academic writing and with APA style and citations.
As a research assistant for Dr. Samudra, I have had the opportunity to work with her on a paper exploring the role of need, capacity and race on TANF spending. My work on this paper has given me a greater understanding and appreciation of the constraints faced by state and local municipalities with regards to the equitable distribution of resources, and how non-economic concerns such as race can impact that distribution.
I am also Brockport Student Government Treasurer. In September 2018 I ran for the position during a special election, and thanks to the support of students in the MPA and MSW programs I won the election. Thank you, Brockport Downtown! As Treasurer I am responsible for the financial aspects of BSG, including oversight of a $1.4 million budget. I also represent student interests on various campus-wide committees such as the Joint Planning and Budget and Campus-Based Fees committees.
What are your future goals?
I would like to obtain my Ph.D. and enter academia. I like deep diving into a question or topic and discovering something new. I also love working with students. So ultimately, research and teaching are what I’d like to do.