L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs

L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs



Faculty and Students Awarded Top Honors by ASPA

Saltanat (Salta) Liebert, Associate Professor, Sombo Chunda, Doctoral Candidate, Megan Rollins,  2019 MPA Graduate, Yolanda Crewe, Doctoral Candidate.
Saltanat (Salta) Liebert, Associate Professor, Sombo Chunda, Doctoral Candidate, Megan Rollins, 2019 MPA Graduate, Yolanda Crewe, Doctoral Candidate.

By Briana Williams

Although the American Society for Public Administration 2020 Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA scheduled for April 3-7, 2020 has been cancelled, we would still like to salute the Wilder School faculty and students who were selected to be recognized at this year’s conference for their outstanding scholarly and professional contributions.

ASPA is the nation’s preeminent association of public management professionals. Its membership of more than 8,000 students, academics and practitioners represent all levels of government and include every substantive function and specialty area within the public and non-profit sectors.

The high honors were granted by the association and its various divisions, including the ASPA Endowment and the Section on Women in Public Administration (SWPA).


Saltanat (Salta) Liebert, Associate Professor

2020 Julia Juanita Henderson International Award

Presented by ASPA’s Section for Women in Public Administration, the Julia Juanita Henderson Award recognizes an honoree who has demonstrated commitment to international public administration and public service. 

Prior to joining the Wilder School, Dr. Liebert taught at American University in Washington, D.C., and worked for the World Bank, United Nations and the International Organization for Migration in Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Austria and the U.S. She has also served as a consultant on governance, migration and human trafficking issues, working with such institutions as the Protection Project of Johns Hopkins University and the International Research and Exchanges Board. Liebert has been interviewed by media outlets such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and BBC World Service.

Doctoral Candidates

Sombo Chunda

2020 Suffragette Scholarship Recipient & NP3 (Nonprofit Policy, Practice and Partnerships) Section of ASPA Travel Award

Awarded by ASPA’s Section for Women in Public Administration, the Suffragette Scholarship provides support for a graduate student with a demonstrated commitment to public service. Chunda, who has a distinguished record in international development, studies corruption, accountability and gender. In addition, the travel award included travel to the 2020 ASPA National Conference and one-year membership for ASPA’s NP3 section in 2020. 

Prior to joining VCU, Chunda was country manager in Zambia for the Swedish International Development Organization, Diakonia. While there, she directed a ‘strengthened accountability program’ an effort that led to the first-of-its-kind collaboration between the government of Zambia, the mining sector and 16 civil society organizations operating within the nation’s Copperbelt. Chunda is an alumna of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program and the recipient of the Young Public Service Award, Zambia's highest prize for civil service.

Yolanda Crewe

Founders’ Fellow

Crewe has been selected as a 2020 ASPA Founders’ Fellow. She studies public policy and administration at the Wilder School and was planned to speak about the impact of Registered Apprenticeships on the Middle-Skills Gap.

Prior to joining VCU, Crewe served as the Director of Career Services and provided the leadership and direction that served over 6,000 students at Virginia State University. She currently provides statewide administration, leadership and coordination for the Adult, Dislocated Worker, Youth and Rapid Response programs under Title I of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) as the director with Virginia Community College System. Crewe received a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as well as a B.S. in Accounting from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia.


Brittany Keegan, Director of Research and Outreach, Center for Public Policy
Patricia J. Yearwood Section Newsletter Award, on behalf of ASPA's Section on International and Comparative Administration
The award is given annually to recognize newsletters as a vital means of communication and a valuable service offered to chapter and section members. Keegan first became involved with SICA in 2017, when she was awarded the Section's Gould Scholarship following a nomination by Dr. Salta Liebert. She then began serving as chair of SICA's newsletter committee, a position that she held until March 2020. In April 2020, Keegan was elected to a 3-year term on SICA's board.
Megan Rollins, December 2019 MPA Graduate

Capstone Project Student Paper 

In addition, a group who studied the Henrico County Economic Development Authority for its capstone project in Dr. Nancy Stutts' class had its project selected for a paper presentation. December 2019 MPA Graduate, Megan Rollins was presenting the group's findings and recommendations. Thankfully, the Capstone Panel has extended an invitation to present at the 2021 ASPA conference. 

Congratulations to each of this year’s awarded faculty and students.