Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society inducts 25 MPA students
On May 19, 25 students in SF State’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program were inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA), the global honor society for public affairs and administration. Held at SF State’s Downtown Campus, the event featured time for open networking, an overview of PAA from the officers and remarks from their interim faculty advisor, Associate Professor Sheldon Gen. Before new members were inducted, PAA President Adrian Miu welcomed inductees, their family and friends, and faculty to the event. Then Secretary Liz Reyes spoke about the role of PAA and opportunities for involvement. Gen was the featured keynote speaker and gave the inductees their charge.
In his remarks, Gen highlighted the significance of PAA membership, that it serves as a marker of excellence even among other MPA holders around the world. He recalled several extraordinary acts of public service committed by great humanitarians, including Oprah Winfrey’s $40 million gift to open a leadership academy in South Africa; Warren Buffet’s work in co-founding the Giving Pledge (a campaign to convince the wealthiest people on the planet to give to charity over half of their fortunes); and Bono’s founding of the ONE Campaign, which lobbied world leaders to forgive $40 billion in debt owed by the world’s poorest countries. While applauding the generosity of these voluntary efforts, Gen also noted that those extraordinary contributions would be meaningless without public servants — the street level bureaucrats, activists and the grass roots organizers — to make best uses of them. He reminded PAA inductees that “public service is not a donation you make from your fortunes amassed in business. It is not the tithe you give at church, temple, or mosque. It is a vocation — your calling.”
Gen closed his remarks on a hopeful note: that the future of our local and global communities will improve with the life of service that the PAA inductees will lead.