Public Administration

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Quick Facts

  • 63 - Number of undergraduates who earned a degree 2015-16
  • 56 - Number of MPA graduates in 2015-16
  • 57 - Number of MNM graduates in 2015-16
  • 5 - Number of M.S.-URP graduates in 2015-16
  • 17 - National ranking of the MNM program by U.S. News and World Report
  • 63 - National ranking of the M.P.A. program by U.S. News and World Report
  • 13 - Number of MRA graduates in 2015-16
  • 193 - Total number of degrees awarded by SPA in 2015-16

Mailing Address

School of Public Administration
College of Health and Public Affairs
University of Central Florida

4364 Scorpius Street
Orlando, FL 32816-1395

Phone: 407-823-2604
Fax: 407-823-5651


Jo Smith

Jo Ann Smith

, Ph.D.
Lecturer, Research Administration Program Director
Public Administration, Center for Public and Nonprofit Management


Jo Ann Smith, Ph.D., CRA, is the Program Director of the Master of Research Administration in the School of Public Administration. She has over 25 years' experience in research grant and contract administration. Dr. Smith has consulted on multiple grant proposals and programs with ... read full profile

Research Interests

performance evaluation, research administration, program evaluation, research integrity/responsible conduct of research, instructional design for online professional development


  • PAD 6742 Introduction to Research Administration
  • PAD 6743 Leadership and Organization Models in Research Administration
  • PAD 6744 Financial Management in Research Administration
  • PAD 5850 Grant and Contract Management
  • PAD 6335 Strategic Planning and Management
  • PAD 6327 Public Program Evaluation Techniques

Full-Time Faculty

Wendell LawtherWendell Lawther
Associate Professor
Department(s): Public Administration, PA

Credentials: Ph.D., Political Science, Indiana University, M.A., Political Science, University of Delaware

Bio: Thirty years of college/university teaching and involvement in countless grant projects have given Dr. Lawther an accumulation of insights an...

Courses: PAD 6417 Public Human Resources Management, PAD 6053 Public Administration in the Governance, PAD 6062 Capstone

Mary Ann FeldheimMary Ann Feldheim
Associate Professor, Nonprofit Management Program Director
Department(s): Public Administration, NM

Credentials: Ph.D., Public Administration, Florida Atlantic University

Bio: Extensive experience facilitating strategic planning and management processes for nonprofits.

Courses: PAD 6847 Planning Health Communities, PAD 5145 Volunteer Management, PAD 6237 Ethics and Governance

Part-Time Faculty

Thomas O’NealThomas O’Neal
Associate Professor
Department: Associate Vice President of Research and Commercialization

Credentials: Ph.D., Industrial Engineering, University of Central Florida

Bio: Has assisted in the formation of numerous spin-off companies for technologies developed at UCF; established the UCF Technology Incubator and Founding Director

Courses: Intellectual Property, Technology Transfer and Commercialization

Jennifer ShambrookJennifer Shambrook
Director of Grant and Contract Administration
Department: UCF Office of Research and Commercialization

Credentials: Ph.D., Community Health Promotion and Education, School of Public Health and Human Services, Walden University

Bio: Over 25 years’ experience in research administration, editor of the Research Management Review

Courses: Financial Management, Contracting for Sponsored Research Programs

Sandra SovinskiSandra Sovinski
Associate General Counsel
Department: UCF Office of General Counsel

Credentials: J.D., Indiana University School of Law, Registered Patent Attorney, Board Certified in Intellectual Property Law

Bio: Intellectual property including patents, trademarks, and copyrights; research contracts, grants and licensing

Courses: Research Integrity for Research Administrators

Department: Eileen Beckett Consulting Group

Credentials: J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Bio: Dr. Beckett has experience in the legal and regulatory framework governing sponsored research.

Courses: Government and Regulatory Issues in Sponsored Programs

Doug BackmanDoug Backman
Director of Compliance
Department: Office of Research Operations

Credentials: M.S., Contract and Acquisition Management, Florida Institute of Technology

Bio: Over 25 years’ experience in research administration, expert in responding to auditors and auditing process

Courses: Auditing for Research Administration

The hallmark of our work is our strong community engagement.
— Mary Ann Feldheim,  Ph.D., Associate Professor
"The University of Central Florida was a valuable preparation for both graduate school and for the world of work within the field of public affairs."
— Ben Hagen,  B.S. in public administration, '10; Research and Communications Associate, New Economy Project
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