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School of Public Affairs & Administration receives national award for diversity

Monday, September 16, 2019

LAWRENCE — An international association for public affairs schools in higher education has recognized the University of Kansas School of Public Affairs & Administration (SPAA) with its 2019 Diversity Award.

The Diversity and Social Equity Committee of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) will present the award during its annual conference Oct. 16-19 in Los Angeles. Stacey Swearingen White, SPAA director, will accept the award on the school's behalf.

The award is given to a program that demonstrates the highest standards of commitment to diversity through outstanding contributions in research, teaching and service.

“This award reflects a great deal of commitment on the part of our faculty and our collective belief that diversity, equity and inclusion are core aspects of everything we do,” Swearingen White said. “It’s a huge honor to be recognized. At the same time, we realize our work does not end here. Our diversity plan will continue to guide our efforts. I’m grateful to have colleagues who do not shy away from the hard conversations and am thrilled to accept this award on their behalf.”

NASPAA will also honor doctoral candidate Andrew Osorio, who received a 2019 Staats Emerging Scholar Award, given to only three doctoral students in the country. Osorio’s work “Reviving the Study of Public Administration’s Legal Foundation: Juris et de Jure” was published in the Handbook of American Public Administration. Osorio’s chapter ultimately argues for the reintegration of the academic fields of law and public administration.

This is the second consecutive year a KU doctoral student has received this award. Angela Park accepted the 2018 award in Atlanta. 

The mission of the School of Public Affairs & Administration at the University of Kansas is to educate exceptional leaders for public service who provide solutions to the most pressing community challenges at all levels of governance. With roots in local government management and urban policy, the school advances the public good, democratic values and ethical public management practices. The school has been ranked the No. 1 program in Local Government Management by U.S. News & World Report.