About the Network

Our Board Team

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Sharon Mastracci

Board Chair

Sharon Mastracci is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Utah. She researches the experience of working in the public sector, specifically, emotional labor in public service. She was a Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom in 2014-2015. She earned an AB with honors and an MA in Economics at Ohio University and took her PhD in Public Policy at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.

Ashley Nickels

Ashley Nickels

Vice Chair

Ashley E. Nickels, Ph.D., is associate professor in the School of Peace and Conflict Studies at Kent State University. Her work focuses on issues of urban governance, local democracy, and community development using a social equity lens. She is the author of the award-winning book, Power, Participation, and Protest in Flint, Michigan. She has co-authored and co-edited four books and published in a range of journals, including Administrative Theory & Praxis, State and Local Government Review, Urban Affairs Review. Dr. Nickels is the co-PI of the Growing Democracy Project and co-host of the Growing Democracy Podcast. She received her PhD in Public Affairs, with a specialization in community development, from Rutgers- Camden.

Peter Federman

Peter Federman


Peter’s research focuses on the politics of administration, and how bureaucrats engage in political action and behavior. His research engages public administration within the political, historical, and cultural context in which it exists. His work has appeared in Public Administration Review, Public Integrity, Public Performance and Management Review, and elsewhere.


Amanda Clark

Assistant Treasurer

Amanda D. Clark, PhD, is a Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor with the Department of Public Policy and Administration in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University. Dr. Clark’s research focuses on social movements, election administration, and the U.S. policy process. Currently, she and her co-authors are examining the impact of the 2020 election on local election officials, the vast majority of whom are women; key questions include how the perception of administrative burden and emotional labor among election workers has changed because of the implicit and explicit violence of the 2020 campaign. Dr. Clark’s recent articles have been published in Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change, Administrative Theory & Praxis, Urban Affairs Review, and International Area Studies Review.

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Maren Trochmann

2022 Conference Local Arrangements Chair

Maren Trochmann, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at the College of Charleston where she teaches in the MPA Program and the Political Science Department. She is broadly interested in how public administration can be more just, equitable, and humane for both public servants working within the public sector and for the citizens they serve. Her specific research areas include social equity, public personnel administration, housing policy, and the nexus between public administration theory and practice. Her recent publications can be found in Administrative Theory & Praxis, Review of Public Personnel Administration, and Politics & Policy, as well as several technical reports and book chapters in edited volumes.

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Brie Haupt


Brittany “Brie” Haupt, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in the Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness Department. Her previous educational achievements developed her passion for increasing her cultural competency and becoming trained in diversity education and multiculturalism, as well as intercultural dialogue and community development. Her research interests include cultural competency, emergency and crisis management, emergency management communication, and community resilience.

Shilpa Viswanath

Board member

Shilpa Viswanath is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Management at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Her research focuses on public sector human resource management with an emphasis on gender equity, diversity and inclusive workplace practices. Dr. Viswanath also studies comparative public administration with a special focus on South Asia. She was born and raised in Bangalore, India.

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson

Forum Committee Co-Chair

Brad A. M. Johnson is a PhD student at NC State University who studies the causes of public system complexity particularly through the lens of government technology, civic engagement, and local governance. Future research includes the effects of that complexity on public values. He was previously an urban planner and co-founded a software company to manage public involvement.

Jessica Sowa

Jessica Sowa

Journal Committee Chair; Forums Co-Chair

Jessica E. Sowa is a Professor in the Joseph R. Biden, Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware. Her research focuses on public and nonprofit management, with an emphasis on the management of human resources (HRM) in public and nonprofit organizations, organizational effectiveness, and collaboration. With Jessica Word, she is the editor of The Nonprofit Human Resource Management Handbook: From Theory to Practice (CRC Press/Routledge). With Jone Pearce, she is the author of Organizational Behavior: Real Research for Public and Nonprofit Managers (Melvin and Leigh Publishers). She is the editor-in-chief of the Review of Public Personnel Administration.


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Seth Wright

Media Coordination Chair

@SethRWright is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Utah. His research interests include municipal transparency mechanisms, the politics of experience, and Eurasian public administration.

Karen Sweeting

Karen Sweeting

Board Member

Dr. Karen Sweeting is an Assistant Professor in the department of Political Science at University of Rhode Island. Her research focuses on social equity, inclusion, public personnel administration, and the nexus between public administration theory and practice. In the broadest terms, she is interested in examining how public service can be more equitable, inclusive, and just – focusing on interrogating assumptions, systems, values, policies, and practices as they relate to equity and inclusion for those working within public sector organizations and for those who benefit from and interact with public programs.


Samantha Larson

Board Member


Albena Dzhurova

Board Member

Albena is a Ph.D. Candidate at the School of Public Administration, Florida Atlantic University. She has been the ADSPA Vice President since 2019, actively working to promote the organization’s signature event, the Annual Colloquium, as well as other collaborative activities. Albena’s academic interests include public policy, organization studies, critical theory, and interpretive methods. Her dissertation examines competing narratives of legislators and other stakeholders within the U.S. immigration policy in order to illustrate how narrative construction affects policy action. Through critical lens, she studies how political and professional elites use language to reinforce existing power structures and advance divergent views of immigration

Nuri Heckler poses for a portrait at the University of Nebraska at Omaha's photo studio on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska.

Nuriel Heckler

ex officio

Nuri Heckler is an assistant professor of Public Administration at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, teaching human relations, race, gender, nonprofit management, and administrative law. His research focuses on discovering influences that dominate most of public life, such as whiteness, masculinity, and consumer/aspirational class, and exposing those institutions for free and open debate. He is a proud parent of two and a tenacious bicycle commuter.

Anthony Starke

Anthony Starke

ex officio

Anthony Starke is an assistant professor of public affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. His work revolves broadly around issues of democracy, identity, citizenship, and equity, with specific interests in vulnerable and traditionally marginalized populations and public service education. His research examines the role of public administrators in constructing the identity of target populations and how public service education can help promote positive social constructions and equitable outcomes. Dr. Starke has published in Administrative Theory & Praxis, Journal of Public Affairs Education, State and Local Government Review, Metropolitan Universities Journal, and several book chapters and technical reports.