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Alexander Laska (’15) Awarded Prestigious Herbert Roback Scholarship from NAPA

Alexander Laska ('15) and Dean David Van Slyke at NAPA Conference Today, where Alex was honored as Roback Scholar

Alexander Laska (’15) and Dean David Van Slyke at NAPA Conference

Today, at the annual National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) conference, recent Maxwell MPA graduate, Alexander Laska was presented the prestigious Herbert Roback Scholarship.

The Herbert A. Roback Scholarship, awarded annually by NAPA, honors the highly respected public service career of the late Herbert Roback.  During his 34 year career, he encouraged talented and promising students to consider lifetime careers in the public service. His family and friends established the Herbert Roback Scholarship Fund to perpetuate his work.  Each May, Maxwell’s Department of Public Administration and International Affairs is able to nominate up to two students for this prestigious award. Professor’s Peter Wilcoxen and David Van Slyke supported Alex’s nomination with strong letters of support. Van Slyke, newly named Associate Dean and Department Chair, was at today’s conference when Alex received this award.  It was a wonderful moment for them both: “Unbelievable! Today one of our recent MPA alums won the prestigious National Academy of Public Administration Herbert Roback Scholarship award. And, I was at the lunch and gave a huge shoutout for the Maxwell School. I was his nominator. I had no idea prior to him getting up. Very Exciting.”  David Van Slyke was elected to the Academy as a NAPA Fellow in 2010.

Alex Laska receiving his Award at today's luncheon

Alex Laska receiving his Award at today’s luncheon

While a student in the MPA program, Alex excelled in his coursework and was active in student organizations. He completed coursework in:  Political Leadership; Executive Leadership; Energy, Environment & Resources Policy; Implementation of Social Policy; Federal Budget & Entitlement Program Reform; Economic Analysis; Methods; Program Evaluation; and Local Government & Politics.  Prior to joining Maxwell for his graduate studies, Alex served in the Office of Representative Jim Himes in Washington, DC (2011 – 2014). While there, he held positions as Press Assistant, Deputy Press Secretary, Legislative Correspondent and Acting Press Secretary.  He graduated with his MPA from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University in June 2015. Upon his graduation, Alex took a position with Business Forward as a Policy Fellow where he researches and writes briefing memos, fact sheets, and talking points on climate change, renewable energy standards, international trade and health care reform.

In his statement to the Roback Selection Committee Alex was quite direct in his plans for the future:  “My goal is to use what I learn at Maxwell to continue my career in public service and create meaningful change that will better the lives of Americans”.  What a fitting tribute to the life work of Mr. Roback, and what a wonderful honor for Alexander Laska (and his proud alma mater!).

“NAPA is an independent, non-profit, and non-partisan organizations established in 1967 to assist government leaders in building more effective, efficient, accountable, and transparent organizations.  The Academy helps the Federal government address its critical management challenges through in-depth studies and analyses, advisory services and technical assistance, Congressional testimony, forums and conferences, and online stakeholder engagements” (from NAPA website).

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