Alumni & Giving


Congratulations Matt Rhoten, Deputy County Manager, Gaston County 2023 MPA Alumni of the Year!

Jonathan Blanton, MPA ’16 is the City Manager for the Town of Mount Holly

Laura Antanaitis, MPA,’21 is a Business Manager at Mecklenburg County.

Morgan Parks, MPA ’18 was promoted to Manager of the Research & Strategic Planning Division for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department

Hunter Pearce, MPA ’22 is the Sr. Analyst in Business Continuity & Crisis Management at LPL Financial

Savannah Cooper, MPA, ’20 is a Manager for Grants and Business Administration for Advocate Health

Kim Graham, MPA ’10, Executive Director of Greater Charlotte Apartment Associatoin

Merritt McCully, MPA ’21 became the Executive Director of Mayfield Memorial CDC

Melia James, MPA, ’05 is the Assistant Town Manager of Matthews

Gricelda de la Cruz MPA ’19, is the Office Director for Church World Services in Charlotte

Michael Griswold, MPA is the Deputy Director of Strategic Planning at Mecklenburg County

Dr. Justin Stritch, MPA ’10 received tenure and was promoted to Associate Professor at Arizona State University

Dr. Madinah Hamidullah, MPA ’05 became the Master of Public Administration Director at Kennesaw State University

Matt Rhoten, MPA ’15 is now the Deputy County Manager at Gaston County

Joel Riddle, MPA ’03 is now the Vice President of Human Resources at CaroMont Health

Christi Floyd, MPA ’00 was promoted to Economic Developemt Program Manager at the City of Charlotte

Phin Xaypanga, MPA ’95 is now the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Office at Ventura, CA

James Merrick, MPA ’16 is now the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at Melanoma Research Foundation

Alicia Dasch, MPA ’10 was sworn in to begin serving the residents of Tega Cay, SC on January 2, 2018 as a City Council member.

Ashley Lantz, MPA ’12 will be the new Director of the Division of Social Services for Union County beginning February 5th.

Hannah Shore, MPA ’16, Senior Budget Analyst at U.S. Department of Treasury

Heidi Ferster, MPA ’17 began her position as Development Officer at Teen Health Connection, a local nonprofit in Charlotte, in May.

Alexandra Alcorn (current Urban Management & Policy Certificate student): City of Charlotte Resiliency Fellow

John Bentley, MPA ’18: Analyst for CMPD

Taylor Drury, MPA ’18: Budget Analyst, Gastonia County

Madison Esterle, MPA ’18: Analyst for South Carolina Legislative Audit Council

Kim Graham, MPA ’10: Executive Director, Greater Charlotte Apartment Association

Lela Ijames, MPA ’18: Planning Technician, Rowan County

Elizabeth Landrum (current MPA student): Grants and Projects Financial Specialist, CMPD


Send us your updated email and employment information for our records and so you don’t miss an announcement. Email Aileen Brown at!


Click here to see a full list of our Master of Public Administration alumni.

Click here to see a full list of our MPA Graduate Certificate alumni.

Contact Us

Master of Public Administration
9201 University City Boulevard
Charlotte, NC 28223-0001

Prof. Suzanne Leland
Phone: 704-687-5937

Administrative Assistant
Phone: 704-687-5974