Public Administration Alumni Society News

Message from the PA Alumni Society President

The PA Alumni Society of NC State serves as a resource for students, alumni, professors and other supporters of our program. Your participation makes that possible. In recent years, the society has focused on increasing our endowment. Your generosity has allowed us for many years to offer a scholarship to “in-service” students – those who remain in the workforce while attending school. With our newest effort, we continue to move closer to offering a second scholarship, this one for “pre-service” students, the more traditional graduate students who are entering the program relatively soon after completing their undergraduate degrees. Thank you to those of you who have already supported this effort. If you are interested in contributing a one-time gift or a recurring donation, please visit this website:

In addition to our fundraising efforts, the society sponsors a fall luncheon for alumni and students featuring key decision makers in the state. State Representative Duane Hall, a Raleigh attorney and NC State alumnus, and Kathryn Johnston, then state Secretary of Administration and an MPA alumnus, headlined the past two luncheons. A record number of alumni attended this year’s event and we hope to continue to grow.

We are preparing for this year’s annual spring networking event at the Lonnie Pool Golf Course clubhouse on Centennial Campus. It should be a great time and we look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you again to each of you for your support of the MPA program and NC State University. If you have suggestions about what you would like to see from the society, questions about our work, or would like to join us in our efforts, please feel free to contact me at

Bill Holmes, ‘ 92, MPA ‘13

MPA Alumni Society In-Service Scholarship Recipient – Debbie Woodbury

Debbie Woodbury was born and raised in Washington, DC. Debbie earned her B.A. degree in Sociology from George Mason University, graduating cum laude. Debbie has over 17 years of experience working with local governments. She is a Certified Public Manager and a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional. In 2005, she was nominated and awarded the Employee of the Year award. The award recognized the innovative programming and significant work she completed as the Teen and Camp Coordinator. Debbie is also an accomplished presenter at state and local conferences. She recently moved to Raleigh in pursuit of a career advancement opportunity and to seek her master’s degree. Currently, she works with the City of Raleigh as a Center Director. She is also a mother to three active and entertaining boys ages 12, 10, and 8.

“Being the recipient of the PA In-Service Scholarship has been a true blessing. The award validated my sacrifice of relocating my family to pursue higher education. It encouraged me to continue pressing forward and to complete the program with my best effort. I am so humbled and thankful to have my achievements recognized and rewarded. I am excited to be in the Wolfpack family!” – Debbie Woodbury

PA Alumnus of the Year – Rodney Dickerson

Mr. Dickerson joined the Town of Garner in 2001. He was appointed assistant town manager in 2004 after serving for over three years as assistant to the town manager. He was named interim town manager in December 2015 and town manager in March 2016.

Mr. Dickerson earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1990 and a master’s of public administration from N.C. State University in 2001. He completed the UNC-CH Public Executive Leadership Academy in 2007. In 2015, he received the credentialed manager designation from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA).

Mr. Dickerson began his career in local government with the Town of Cary, where he worked for eight years in the Inspections Department.

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