Elisabeth Wright is a second year student in the Northern Illinois University MPA program. She also works as Management and Administrative Intern, Village of Gilberts. Her responsibilities include assisting with the identification of grant/funding opportunities and preparation of grant applications and completing research studies for the Village Administrator.
Prior to working in Gilbert, Elisabeth served as an International Student Advisor, ELS Language Centers.
Elisabeth received an undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University.
Q and A with Elisabeth
(Complete these phrases) Best thing about the….
80’s was……. the end! When I was born in 1989!
90’s was…… Pop music.
00’s was….. Growing up!
Last year was….. my first year of the MPA program at NIU and making new friends and connections!
Today is…. it’s the start of a three day weekend!
(Complete this sentence) I feel old when I……..
realize that people born in 2000 are now in high school!
President Barack Obama and Michael Jordan!
Tell us about two mistakes that you’ve made that we can learn from.
In one of my first graduate courses with well-known professor, Dr. Gerald Gabris, I left the second class meeting without turning in a paper. I tried everything and even went to the MPA offices at midnight to find a drop box. Thankfully, Dr. Gabris was very understanding the following morning when I was at his office to hand in the paper. I never forgot to turn in a paper again!
I also learned early on in my professional career the importance of expressing oneself in appropriate ways and in the appropriate venue. I was so excited to sit in on my first staff meeting that I practically took it over! I learned that it’s more important to listen first, then respond. Being a good listener means being a better future manager.
Give us three of your favorite YouTube videos.
Kittens Inspired by Kittens. Totally classic.
Workout Wednesdays with Zach Anner — an inspirational guy to say the least.
Stephen Colbert’s interview with Steven Pinker.
Our annual conference will be held in October 2014. Name three topics or speakers that should be included on the conference agenda.
Partnering with nonprofits for better governance.
Self-critique–conducting accurate SWOT analyses in an organization.
Including residents in the public process–how to get more involved with your local government.
Parent(s) can be influential in career choices of their kids. What was the career path of your parent(s)?
Both my parents heavily emphasized the importance of education to me growing up. My father worked as the Associate Dean at the NIU Library and my mother was an English professor for almost 30 years!
Name three of your mentors and describe them in five words.
Ray Keller: my supervisor at my internship in the Village of Gilberts. He’s innovative, bright, realistic, a great teacher, and flexible with me!
My Godmother: former mayor of my hometown. Insightful, loving, kind, networked, and encouraging.
Dr. Andrea Molnar: my professor in undergrad with whom I studied abroad. Witty, critical, encouraging, funny, and brilliant! Without her pushing me, I wouldn’t have attended graduate school!
Your hometown…..what is it best known for?
DeKalb is the home of…barbed wire!
How can ELGL best contribute to the public sector?
By training both new and emerging local government leaders and continuing education post-graduate school.
We need to better engage our residents and appropriately fund initiatives to do so.
Fast forward one year, what will factor into your decision on whether to renew your ELGL membership?
My first career job in local government, of course.
Give us two ideas for attracting and retaining talented individuals to the public sector.
Emphasize the good one can do while encouraging new ideas and making lasting effects in small communities that filter upwards!
What questions should we have asked?
These were plenty interesting!
What question(s) do you have about ELGL?
None! Thank you for all you do!
I’m the co-founder and executive director of ELGL. I love my job. Other things I love: local government, my family, my dog Michael Jordan, sandwiches, naps, books, and skee-ball.