Bianca Shama – President
In 2009 Bianca joined the State of Utah to assist in the facilitation of a $10 million grant awarded to the Division of Facilities Construction and Management (DFCM) to do energy efficiency work. In August of 2011 Bianca’s role shifted and expanded to focus on project management of energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy projects in state owned facilities. Bianca responsibilities with the DFCM include managing the allocation of the revolving loan fund, collaborating with State agencies and institutions to develop energy efficiency projects and assisting them in exploring resources in which to make efficiency work possible at their facilities. Bianca works on initiatives such as identifying and making best use of utility incentive programs for efficiency work and coordinating with other project managers at the State to ensure available incentives are collected from the utility companies. Bianca is working to refine best practices in the installation of energy efficient products in state owned buildings. In addition to working for the State of Utah, Bianca worked as a consultant with the University of Utah focusing on behavioral energy change and looking to find people based, cost effective solutions to reducing utility usage without the disruption of occupant comfort. Bianca served as a member of the Climate Action Plan Task Force at the University of Utah in 2009. Bianca holds a Masters in Psychology from Adelphi University and in 2011 completed a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Utah. In 2010 Bianca was inducted into the National Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration and currently serves as Vice President of their Board. She is a member of the Energy Management Program Advisory Committee for Salt Lake Community College. Bianca is also an active member of the AEE Board for the local Utah Chapter.
Lauren Kirwan – Vice President
Lauren Kirwan, MPA, is the Program Manager for the Population Health Sciences PhD Program and is the Division Administrator for Health System Innovation and Research at the University of Utah, School of Medicine.
Lauren holds a Masters in Public Administration with an emphasis on health policy and education. She was one of the original staff members of the Health System Innovation and Research program in the School of Medicine and is been involved in numerous initiatives across the Health Sciences at the U including the Imagine Perfect Care Initiative, Quality Improvement Leaders, and the Medical Student Curriculum Redesign. Additionally, in conjunction with faculty members and institutional leadership, she created the PhD program in Population Health Sciences, which just accepted their first class of students in Fall 2016.
Lauren became a part of Pi Alpha Alpha’s board in 2016 and enjoys the opportunities to work with and network with other Public Administration professionals here in Salt Lake City.
Will Kocher – Treasurer
Will Kocher has worked for Salt Lake County Government since 2001. The bulk of his career has been spent in the Parks and Recreation Division where he currently serves as the manager of the Northwest Recreation Center. He is a strategic-thinking manager who is adept at assessing needs, generating options, and implementing solutions in collaboration with a variety of stakeholders.
Will holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminology and Corrections. He has a passion for public service that has led him to serve as a Trustee on the Sugar House Community Council and to join Pi Alpha Alpha’s board in 2016. Will is also a strong advocate for the rights of public sector employees. He has experience working with many political and grass roots organizations to promote public employment and the amazing people who perform this valuable service.
Michelle Blue – Secretary
Michelle (Roach) Blue has been with Salt Lake County Government for 15 years and currently serves as the Associate Division Director and Finance Manager for Salt Lake County Animal Services. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah. She is passionate for local government and public service; she loves being part of the public sector and helping the community where she lives. Her specialty is strategic management, team development, and change management. Michelle teaches leadership and professional development classes for the Salt Lake County Employees University. She is originally from Southern California, and loves hiking and camping in the nearby mountains. She lives in Murray City with her husband and two rescue dogs.
Christopher A. Simon – Faculty Advisor
Christopher A. Simon (Ph.D., 1997, Washington State University) is Professor of Political Science and a former Director of the MPA Program at The University of Utah. He conducts research in alternative energy policy; civic community and volunteerism; education policy; criminal justice policy; Homeland Security policy; land use policy; public administration; and military sociology. He is co-author (with David Bernell) of The Energy Security Dilemma: US Policy and Practice (Routledge, 2016) and co-author (with Brent Steel and Nicholas Lovrich) of State and Local Government: Sustainability in the 21st Century (Oxford, 2011); and, sole author of Alternative Energy: Political, Economic, and Social Feasibility (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007); Public Policy: Preferences and Outcomes (Longman, 2007, 2010; Routledge 2017); and To Run a School: Administrative Organization and Learning (Praeger, 2001; Mandarin edition, 2005). He has published articles in Administration & Society, American Politics Research, American Review of Public Administration, Armed Forces & Society, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, Canadian Journal of Political Science, Comparative Technology Transfer & Society, Educational Research Quarterly, Land Use Policy Journal, Policy Studies Journal, Journal of Political and Military Sociology: An Annual Review, Public Administration Review, Journal of Public Affairs Education, Review of Public Personnel Administration; and Social Science Quarterly.
Christopher Bateman – Board Member
Chris Bateman has worked at the Davis County Health Department since 2010. The first half of his career was spent working in health education programs focusing on injury prevention in the community. In 2013 Chris was promoted and has been serving as the Emergency Planner for the health department. Chris spends his days writing emergency response plans, conducting trainings and exercises and collaborating with community partners to ensure Davis County is prepared to respond to emergencies. He holds a MPA degree from the University of Utah and a BS degree in Health Promotion from Weber State University. He has a passion for public service, political discussion, health and wellness, personal finance and environmental stewardship. Chris lives in Davis County with his wonderful wife and two children.
Kristy Cottrell – Board Member
Kristy directs Davis County Senior Services, the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA); and local health department Family Health Programs, including immunizations, WIC, and nursing home-visitation. Lead the division’s diverse programs, facilitating integration and collaboration of management, staff and functions.
Kristy writes, “I want to live in a place where we value healthy people and communities, and where prevention has a higher priority than treatment. I see a place where people, businesses, communities, and government work together, leaving no one behind. Health is a right for all; for wealthy, poor, immigrants, children, and elderly. Our environment cannot be healthy on its own, and needs a proactive approach in the public sphere. We need the help of each other to cultivate, grow, and harvest the health of our communities. As a leader, I strive to establish a fertile environment, allowing this growth to firmly establish and flourish, while cultivating continual improvement as we strive to achieve the vision of healthy people and healthy communities.”
Madison Daines – Board Member
Madison is working on a dual master’s degree in Public Administration and Healthcare Administration, and is deeply interested in the human condition and government’s role in improving it. As an undergraduate Political Science student, she studied various aspects of human behavior and the impact it has on elections and government as a whole. During this time she had the opportunity to intern for the former Utah Speaker of the House, Becky Lockhart, and witness the legislation process directly. As a graduate student, she has narrowed my interest in specifically studying the government’s role in healthcare administration. The PPACA has changed America’s healthcare system forever, and she is eager to use her academic, work, and legislative experience in helping to ensure that this, and other future healthcare legislation, has positive and lasting long term impacts.
Christopher deHoll – Board Member
Christopher deHoll, MPA, works for the Department of the Air Force in Logistics Management. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah in the Department of Political Science (Public Administration/American Government) and is actively working on his dissertation. He received his Masters of Public Administration from Pennsylvania State University in 2013. He has served in the federal government since 2011, where he has fulfilled a number of varied roles involving purchasing/acquisitions, sustainment, and systems redesign. He has specific research interests in process improvement, federal recruitment and retention, and a burgeoning interest in emotional labor.
Christopher is originally from the Salt Lake area and resides in Murray with his wife and their (rescue) dog. Christopher enjoys the outdoors, sports (especially football and soccer), and traveling to experience different cultures. In 2016, Christopher was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha and chose to serve on the Board to network with other public service professionals. He is also a current member of Pi Sigma Alpha (inducted in 2009).
Dave Edwards – Board Member
Jaron Halford – Board Member
Jaron is the Director of Clinical Operations and Performance at the University of Utah’s School of Dentistry. He is a highly motivated, diligent and steadfast manager focused on dynamic and complex healthcare issues.
Sri Koduri – Board Member
Sri directs strategy and workforce planning for the Offices of Graduate Medical Education and Associate Vice President for Education at the University of Utah Health Sciences. Prior to joining the University, Sri led the State healthcare workforce research and policy efforts. Her educational background in engineering, mathematical modeling and public administration makes her an exceptional strategist with a unique blend of skills.
Sri has a passion for accessible health, education and equity. Her multiple roles in the community speak to her commitment:
- Chair, Utah Health Policy Project Board
- Chair-Elect, Utah Oral Health Coalition
- Member, University of Utah President’s Commission on the Status of Women
- Member, Envision Utah Board
- Past President, Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society – Utah Chapter
- Founder and CEO of PEEPS – Peers for Empowered and Enriched Professional Success, a budding effort to encourage professionals from diverse cultures
Books, board games and movies are Sri’s favorite pastimes besides spending days in leisure with her family, friends and her dog, Blondie.
Seth Wright – Board Member
Seth Robert Wright, MPA, is the Executive Director of the Global Health Research and Outreach Foundation. He is currently assistant director of the University of Utah’s Global Health Armenia Learning Abroad program.
In 2016, in collaboration with Yerevan State Medical University and the University of Utah, Seth co- founded the Global Health Armenia Academic Conference. This first of its kind conference aims to build research capacity within Caucus nations, as well as provide networking opportunities for government, private, and non-profit public health organizations. For more information on his work in Armenia visit www.globalhealtharmenia.org
Seth holds a Masters in Public Administration with emphasis on hospital administration. He recently presented his research regarding sources of health information for women in Armenia at Unite for Sight’s Global Health Conference, hosted at Yale University. His research interests include global health, administrative discretion, public administration, and building research capacity. He is fluent in English and Spanish with proficiency in Armenian. He is married, and has two children. He is currently pursuing his Pd.D. in Political Science (Public Administration/Comparative) at the University of Utah. He became part of Pi Alpha Alpha’s board in 2016, and loves the opportunity to serve and promote fellow members of this prestigious organization.