Cherokee County Native Dr. Karen Padgett Owen has been appointed to lead Reinhardt University’s new Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Criminal Justice, which is offered through its School of Mathematics and Sciences. Her diverse experience from working the last 10 years in the political science arena has led her back to serve her hometown with plans to utilize her “own research and practical political knowledge to create a solid and reputable program and to enlighten the classroom learning experience for all students.”
“I am truly thrilled to be joining Reinhardt because of its mission to provide sound liberal arts education and resourceful and practical graduate education,” Owen said. “The MPA-CJ program is a great addition to Reinhardt's graduate program offerings, and I am excited to help start the program and build its future success.”
Owen's Background includes Staff Roles with the CDC, the Ga. House, and the U.S. House of Representatives
Most recently employed as an instructor through the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., Owen has also served as an editorial associate for the Journal of Politics at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.; as a public health and legislative analyst for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga.; and as a legislative assistant for Congressman Nathan Deal in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
Her research articles published include: “Georgia’s Eighth Congressional District Election” in Case Studies of the 2010 Congressional Elections; “Alternative Paths to the Bench: Recruitment of Women to Become Judges in Georgia” in Georgia Political Science Association Online Publication Proceedings; and “Partisan Change and Consequences for Lobbying: Two-Party Government Comes to the Georgia Legislature” in the State and Local Government Review, amongst many others. Her current research focuses on women in the legislature, along with those issues and circumstances surrounding, and government involvement in immigration.
Owen is a member of the American, Midwest, Southern and Georgia Political Science Associations. She earned a Doctorate in Political Science (Ph.D.) in 2012, a Master of Public Administration in 2004, and a Bachelor of Arts in 2001, all from The University of Georgia. Owen is a 1998 alumna of Cherokee High School.
“I want this program to recruit the best and brightest students from our region."
“I am enthusiastic about initiating a program that will provide professional working knowledge and skills advancement for many public sector and non-profit sector professionals in our community,” said Owen. “I want this program to recruit the best and brightest students from our region and become state and nationally recognized as providing sound and practical knowledge and resources for public servants. My earnest goal is that this MPA program will provide the necessary theoretical knowledge of the political workings of administration within public and non-profit organizations as well as the practical skills professionals will need to be strong and effective administrators within their chosen career field.”
MPA Program - A Focused Curriculum with a Realistic Schedule
Reinhardt, its Police Academy and nearby agencies have worked together to create this unique graduate program, and this collaboration has resulted in a program that expertly addresses professional needs and theory. Offered in the convenient location of Reinhardt’s North Fulton Center in Alpharetta, Ga., the MPA will be readily accessible to many of the Northern Arc municipal, county and state law enforcement agencies. The MPA will be led by experienced faculty with extensive teaching and field experience who will supplement textbook knowledge with practical skills and real life lessons.
“Reinhardt’s MPA program will provide a focused graduate curriculum for those who desire to advance in public safety and law enforcement administration,” said Owen. “While other MPA programs in the state offer general administration and policy concentrations, the Reinhardt MPA, with a criminal justice concentration, will meet demands espoused by many in the suburban Atlanta area for graduate level MPA education at a location near county/city public law enforcement agencies. We can offer students and professionals interested in Criminal Justice the specific classroom and practical experience for public safety administrative work in a suburban campus environment.”
In each of the two 8-week terms of the semester, class will meet once a week on Tuesdays from 6-10:50 p.m. There will also be a simultaneous online class for the whole semester. This structure will allow busy working adults to complete 9 credit hours a semester, while providing the best of both worlds—the camaraderie and enrichment of face-to-face learning and the convenience of online education. The program will facilitate an active learning environment between the students and government/non-profit professional entities within the community, all while meeting the needs of students and professionals who are seeking graduate level education.
For more information or to arrange an individual appointment, contact the Office of Graduate Studies at 770-720-5797 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.reinhardt.edu/MPAReturn to Previous Page
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