Public Administration Student Association (Pi Alpha Alpha)

About UMPAA:

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.

How to Become Member:


  1. Fully admitted MPA student;
  2. Completed 18 MPA approved credits (electives or core classes);
  3. Maintain a 3.7 GPA or higher;
  4. 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.


  1. Applications for membership are accepted on a rolling basis with seasonal application deadlines
  2. Complete the application and include a copy of your unofficial UM transcript
  3. Make a check payable to the University of Montana for $60. Be sure to include “MPA Program” in the memo line
  4. Deliver completed applications to Professor Christina Barsky via e-mail, in-person during office hours, or by mail to

32 Campus Drive
LAW 149
Missoula, MT 59812


The deadline for UMPAA’s Fall 2019 induction is April 22, 2019. Apply now! [hyperlink here]


Sierra Anderson photoSierra Anderson – Interim President:
Sierra is in her final semester of the MPA program and currently works as a teaching assistant for the Political Science department and a Learning Specialist for Grizzly Athletics. She spent most of her life growing up in the Seattle area and moved to Missoula to play basketball and study Political Science at the University of Montana. After completing her undergraduate degree, Sierra jumped into both the MBA and MPA programs at UM and is looking forward to a future career in public service. A believer in collective action and collaboration, she is excited about the potential UMPAA has to bring value to MPA students, faculty, and alumni.

Ian Harris photoIan Harris – Interim Vice President:
Originally from Philadelphia, Ian moved to Missoula in 2010 to study political science at the University of Montana, and more importantly, to live and play in the mountains. He currently works for the Montana Conservation Corps as the Senior Youth Crew Leader, and also serves on the board of Tangle Free Montana. Ian’s studies have focused on nonprofit administration and environmental policy, and he will graduate from the MPA program this Spring.

Sydney Sherrick photoSydney Sherick – Interim Secretary
Sydney is in her third semester of the online MPA program while also working as an Admissions Counselor at Montana State University in Bozeman, where she received undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Hispanic Studies. When not working or studying, she can be found running in town, cooking, or enjoying Bozeman’s burgeoning culinary scene. She’s very excited to be a part of UMPAA to help her and other remote students build a stronger connection to the Public Administration program and the on-campus community.

Shawn Grove photoShawn Grove – Interim Treasurer
Shawn graduated from Marshall University with a BA in Counseling in 2004. After a stint as a social worker for the state of West Virginia he enlisted in the US Army as a Persian Linguist for five years. Since separating from active duty in 2009, he has been helping his fellow Veterans and their family members use VA education benefits. He began his career in higher education at the University of Maryland in the Office of the Registrar and eventually moved up to the Maryland Higher Education Commission for the State Approving Agency regulating VA education benefits in the state of Maryland. Shawn is a member of the National Guard and has been the VETS Office Director at the University of Montana since 2013. He will complete the MPA program this spring 2019 semester.

Faculty Advisors:

Christina Barsky

Office: Law 149
Phone: 406-243-2871

Adam Brewer

Office: Law 145
Phone: 406-243-4155

Constitution of the University of Montana’s Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha

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.

View the UMPAA Constitution here.