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    Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service Opens

    The University of Scranton opened Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service, which will be housed in the Political Science Department. At the opening, from left: Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Jean Harris, Ph.D., co-director of the Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service; Michelle Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; JoyAnna Hopper, Ph.D., co-director of the Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service; University student Clara Downey, who spoke at the opening; and U.S. Senator Bob Casey.
    October 19, 2021

    “All public service is a trust given in faith and accepted in honor,” words inscribed over the front door of the Finance Building in Harrisburg, remind U.S. Senator Bob Casey of the promise and expectation of public servants, and, now, can be words to inspire and guide the work of the new Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service at The University of Scranton.

    Senator Casey was among the speakers at the opening of the Center that will serve 13 counties in Northeast Pennsylvania. In his remarks, he quoted from the mission of the Center “to advocate for and promote the common good of all through programs that support the development of ethical and competent public officials and of civically knowledgeable, responsible and engaged community members,” noting that the region– and the nation – need both competent and ethical leaders now more than ever.

    JoyAnna Hopper, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science and co-director of the Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service, said in her remarks that “according to Pew Research Center, public trust in government has been near to historic lows for more than a decade.” She said the work of the Center “will reach out to local community members, providing them with the tools and resources they need to hold their elected officials accountable. We plan to engage with public officials or those who hope to run for office to help educate and provide support, through workshops, certificate programs and opportunities for networking.”

    Dr. Hopper, who will co-direct the Center with University Political Science Professor Jean Harris, Ph.D., also said the Center will provide internships, research opportunities, mentorships and training that will allow University students to “become competent and ethical leaders in our local communities.”

    Clara Downey, a junior political science major at the University who is serving as an intern for The Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service, said in her remarks that she has seen “first-hand what Dr. Hopper and Dr. Harris are working to offer students, and similarly how important it is for students, most especially Jesuit educated students, to be active and knowledgeable voters. The work we are starting here in the Center will enable my peers and I to not only be better people, but to enact real change in our world, because locality is where that has to start.”

    Downey, Easthampton, Massachusetts, is also a Student Government Senator at Scranton.

    Also speaking at the opening were Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, and Michelle Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

    The Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service will be housed in the University’s Political Science Department of the College of Arts and Sciences. The 13 counties served by the Center are Bradford, Carbon, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Montour, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wayne and Wyoming.

    Members of the Center’s Steering Committee are Michael Allison, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Political Science; Julie Schumacher-Cohen, assistant vice president for community engagement and government affairs; Michael Jenkins, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice and Criminology and executive director of the University’s Center for the Analysis and Prevention of Crime; Matthew Meyer, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy and faculty director of the Gail and Francis Slattery Center for the Humanities; and Donna Witek, professor, Weinberg Memorial Library.

    The University offers a new major in public policy and service.

    Additional information about the Center for Ethics and Excellence in Public Service can be seen on its website (www.scranton.edu/ceeps), or by contacting Dr. Harris or Dr. Hopper at the Political Science Department at CEEPS@scranton.edu or 570-941-6326.

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