Public Administration Student Association (Pi Alpha Alpha)
University of Montana’s Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha (UMPAA) fosters innovative applied learning experiences and scholarship in public administration, policy, and affairs. This is facilitated through the assertion of public service values, which are at the core of the University of Montana’s MPA program. By serving the students, alumni, and associates of the University of Montana, UMPAA strives to enhance the experiences of its members and community by providing opportunities for professional development, applied learning and networking through academic and professional support.
Become a Member
- Fully admitted MPA student;
- Completed 18 MPA approved credits (electives or core classes);
- Maintain a 3.7 GPA or higher;
- Alumni with a 3.7 GPA or higher are also eligible to apply for membership. If you cannot locate your unofficial transcript, contact the MPA Director.
- Applications for membership are accepted on a rolling basis with seasonal application deadlines
- Complete the application and include a copy of your unofficial UM transcript
- Make a check payable to the University of Montana for $60. Be sure to include “MPA Program” in the memo line
- Deliver completed applications to Professor Christina Barsky via e-mail, in-person during office hours or by mail to: Prof. Christina Barksy, University of Montana Department of Public Administration & Policy, 32 Campus Dr., Missoula, MT 59812.
The deadline for UMPAA’s induction is rolling: Apply to UMPAA now!
Ben Hamman – President
Ben graduated from the MPA program in May 2019 and currently works as the Program Coordinator for TRIO Student Support Services at the University of Montana, a position he has held since 2014. He grew up in southwest Missouri and moved to Montana in 2014 after spending 15 years living in Chicago. Ben took a winding route to his MPA and public service. He received his bachelor's degree in 2001 and spent time working in the restaurant industry and as a legal assistant/office manager. His passion for public service was sparked by his work with TRIO SSS. He looks forward to sharing that passion and is excited to work on behalf of MPA students to enhance the student experience.
Rebecca Power – Vice President
Rebecca graduated from the MPA program in May 2019 and now works for the Montana University System in the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education. A native of New Jersey, she followed her family roots west for college in 2005 and has called Montana home ever since. She completed her B.A. in history and Native American studies from UM in 2009. Rebecca served her alma mater through work in the President's Office and Registrar's Office for nine years before moving to Helena in August. While in the MPA Program, Rebecca was part of the Big Sky Poll and interned with Carol's List and Missoula County. In addition, she spent summer 2019 in Washington DC as a Baucus Leader working for the US Department of Transportation. Rebecca comes from a family of individuals committed to public service and service to others and these values were instilled in her at a young age. This led first to her work in public higher education and then to enrollment in the MPA program. She looks forward to sharing this passion and working on behalf of MPA students and alumni over the next year. Rebecca is also passionate about her love of animals and lives with her two dogs and two cats in Helena.
Sam Scott – Treasurer
Sam is in the last year of the MPA program and currently works for Missoula County. Sam moved to Missoula in 2011 to study city planning and political science. After completing his undergraduate degree, Sam began working for the Missoula County Clerk & Recorder. After four years with the county, Sam is currently a Project Coordinator working on real estate issues and subdivisions. As a student, Sam has been involved in a number of research projects, including as a fellow with the Big Sky Poll. He is very excited to be a part of UMPAA and looks forward to all that is planned for UMPAA this year.
Shelly Scotti – Secretary
Shelly is in her second year as an MPA student at the University of Montana. Prior to graduate school, most of her career centered around nonprofit administration, particularly in program development for at-risk youth and in the maternal mental health field. Shelly's experience in the MPA program includes serving as an inaugural research fellow for the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education in Helena, representing Montana as a Baucus Leader in Washington DC at the US Department of Transportation, as well as serving as a graduate teaching assistant. Currently, Shelly also works for Missoula County's HR department on improving onboarding policies for county employees. Besides a love of public service, she also enjoys the outdoors, playing with her pup, and traveling as much as possible.
Sonny Mazzullo - Outreach Coordinator
Sonny moved to Montana in 2011 to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA for Helena Public Schools. After two more AmeriCorps terms with Montana Conservation Corps, he has spent the last five years planning and leading volunteer trail projects for the Montana Wilderness Association. Sonny lives in Whitefish and is an online student in the MPA and Wilderness Management programs.
Office: LAW 149
The University of Montana’s MPA Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha (UMPAA) is a chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA), a registered Trademark of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA).
UMPAA serves the students, alumni and associates of the University of Montana engaged in public policy, affairs, and administration. The Chapter strives to enhance the experience of its members by providing opportunities for professional development, networking, and public service through academic and professional support.