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MPA Alumni News

Christopher Hershey (Executive MPA Alumni) joined the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Affairs Officer and recently finished his tenure as Branch Chief for Special Projects. He has over 23 years of Foreign Service, public service, diplomatic, and decorated military service. Mr. Hershey is the published author of two books: The Art of Peace, and The Vision to Serve: Cultivating a Legacy of Public Service. Mr. Hershey has demonstrated outstanding communication and interpersonal skills interacting with government officials, managers, peers and constituents while serving as Chief of Staff to an elected official. Other executive experience includes serving as Executive Director for Meals on Wheels, best known for its focus on nutrition and combating senior hunger. Currently living in Washington DC, he is finishing up his Doctorate in Education Leadership and Management. He holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership and Management from Duke University. He also holds a degree in Logistics, B.S. in Sociology, Masters in Business Administration, and a Masters in Public Administration from North Carolina Central University.

Cynthia T. Jenkins (Executive MPA Alumni) is the newly hired Planning Director for Edgecombe County Planning, Inspections & E-911 Department in Tarboro NC. As a planning director, she leads a team which focuses on land development, building codes, E-911 addressing and economic development. Cynthia is responsible for establishing policies and goals while managing and preparing the departmental budget. She received her master’s degree in public administration as a student of the 18-month Executive program at North Carolina Central University. Cynthia is a member of the American Planning Association North Carolina Chapter (APANC) and the North Carolina Association of Zoning Officials (NCAZO). She served on the APA-NC Education & Outreach Committee and held the positions of chair and vice chair. While serving on the Education and & Outreach she travelled throughout North Carolina to speak with high school students, as well as, students at universities about what the planning profession has to offer.

Eric J. Reed (MPA Alumni) is a graduating Master of Public Administration student. Reed’s research interests include human trafficking and the contemporary relevance of Dr. W. E. B. DuBois’s theory of the Talented Tenth. While in the M.P.A program, Reed maximized his educational opportunities completing two internships in Durham. He volunteered for Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services and assisted with research as the focal point was Mayor Bill Bell’s Poverty Reduction Initiative. He executed survey research by canvassing communities located in North East Durham alongside several colleagues. Upon completion of data collection and the publication of results, Reed continued to work for the organization as a member of the Education Task Force, which sought to educate impoverished communities on job, health, and educational opportunities. Reed devoted himself to assisting select high school seniors from neighboring institutions with the initial college application process. Further, he was selected and attended the University of Virginia for the NASPAA 2016 Student Simulation Competition. Reed has been accepted into the Doctoral program at Old Dominion University where he will pursue the Ph.D. in Public Administration and Urban Policy. He aspires to become a college professor and researcher in the department of political science.

Ashley Marshall (MPA Alumni) earned a Master of Public Administration degree from North Carolina Central University in 2015. She is currently a doctoral student in the Leadership Department of North Carolina A&T State University. Her research focuses on community engagement and building relationships. She also serves as a Development Associate for the North Carolina State Conference at the NAACP support fundraiser and provides a consultant service for local non-profit organizations.

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