The first online Executive Master of Public Service and Administration (EMPSA) class graduated from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M in December 2017. This group of students demonstrates high energy, positive attitudes, and a drive to do their best.
The EMPSA program is designed to deliver high-quality and high-impact coursework to executive students who continue to pursue their full-time professional careers while further developing in-depth advanced skills in public leadership. Dean Mark A. Welsh III was happy to offer his congratulations to the graduates for their accomplishments.
“I am honored to congratulate the first graduating class to earn the Executive Master of
Public Service and Administration at the Bush School of Government and Public Service,” he said. “Your successful completion of a rigorous curriculum while continuing to pursue a full-time professional career speaks to your dedication to public service and your understanding of the importance of further education to future success.”
Thirteen students graduated in the inaugural class. They entered the program with varied academic and professional backgrounds, averaging twenty years of experience before beginning this program. Six veterans and one active duty military student as well as students with work experience for the American Heart Association, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and the Australian High Commission created a unique learning environment where students could learn from their classmates’ previous experience.
Class speaker, Theresa Willis, spoke fondly of the faculty and staff at the Bush School, describing their commitment to students. Willis works for a local nonprofit in Brazoria County. When Hurricane Harvey hit, her home, like many others, was flooded. While she was helping members of the community, Bush School faculty and staff reached out to her directly and provided her with support – driving several times to Houston to deliver care packages.
One way students recognize the outstanding commitment of Bush School faculty to students is through the Silver Star Award. This year, Dr. Justin Bullock was chosen as the award recipient. Students noted his willingness to work with them in challenging situations, including 19-hour time differences while working on their online course. .
EMPSA graduate Bob Janusaitis said after graduation he would like to begin teaching part time in the homeland security field, sharing his decades of real-world experience and serving others. Currently, he is the Commissioner for the Harris County Emergency Services District #9 in Texas.
“I believe the Bush School has prepared me well,” he said. Remembering President H. W. Bush’s words, “public service is a noble calling,” Januasaitis stated, “It is my belief all individuals should give back to their community, so I will continue to volunteer much of my time to support homeland security and other public service areas.”