New Sensation: Michelle Holder, Wake County and UNC MPA Student

Posted on January 14, 2014

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We’re back with the new “New Sensation” feature. We’ve updated the questions based on your feedback. You’ll now learn about the best YouTube videos on the web, read about gift ideas for the holiday season, and learn about the career accomplishments of our new members.  As a reminder, we developed this feature to introduce you to new ELGL members and as a way on connecting ELGL members with similar interests.


Michelle Yumi Holder


Human Resources Intern at Wake County

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Master of Public Administration, City Management

Education: University of Florida, Bachelor of Arts, Majors in Political Science & Criminology, Minors in Sustainability Studies & Leadership

Experience: Human Resources Coordinator, YMCA of Western North Carolina, Human Resources Assistant, YMCA of Western North Carolina and Site Director, North Buncombe Elementary Afterschool Program, YMCA of Western North Carolina

Connect: LinkedIn and Twitter

Lightning Round


Tell us about three of your biggest accomplishments.

  • I moved from Florida to North Carolina on my own accord and my own dime to pursue the rest of my life – best decision I ever made.
  • I paid off my car prior to beginning graduate school.

Top three holiday gifts that you’ve received. Given?


  • A kitten named Little Bear.images
  • A free trip to Hogwarts (at Islands of Adventure) with my best friend.
  • One December day a giant box showed up at my home, and within it I found a giant blue sack bowtied with golden ribbon. It turned out to be a pricey ice cream machine from an uncle that I have never before met. Thank you, Uncle Andy.


  • When asked what he wanted for the holidays, my dad pointedly replied, “to end world hunger.” We all gave him bags of non-perishables to donate to the local food bank.
  • I decorated a friend’s home to be a Winter Wonderland while she was out of town.
  • Quinoa and Endangered Species chocolates.

(Complete this sentence) I feel old when I……..I have yet to feel old. Maybe next year.

images (2)Tell us about two mistakes that you’ve made that we can learn from.

  • I postponed moving (to North Carolina) after graduation a little longer than I intended. Lesson: When you know you should do something for yourself, don’t wait – just do it.
  • I did not take high school as seriously as I should have. Lesson: Do not take any opportunity for granted, including and especially educational opportunities… like teachers, honors/AP courses, dual-enrollment programs, and your GPA. Staying tuned in is easy and playing catch-up is inconvenient.

How did you hear about ELGL?

A good friend and MPA classmate Rafael Baptista. See his fabulous ELGL blog here: Passion for Public Service.

Give us a few of your favorite YouTube videos.

I do not often watch YouTube videos but am happy to share these gems I have stumbled across recently.

Gratitude: Louie Schwartzberg at TEDxSF and On the Road: Photographer proves strangers are friends


JPEG-22Our annual conference will be held in October 2014. Name three topics or speakers that we should consider.

  • Joe Moore, City Manager of Brevard, NC, has some wonderful insights about women in local government administration and leadership roles.
  • The UNC PALC 2013 leadership team successfully created and hosted the first Public Administration Leadership Challenge earlier in the year. It would be a great learning experience for students to hear about how they made the PALC happen.
  • My research paper on female city managers (forthcoming 2014).

(Complete these phrases) Best thing about the…..

download (1)80’s was……. unfortunately not something I would know about.

90’s was……  that I was born into this world and given the opportunity to make something of myself.

00’s was….. I became vegan, and subsequently discovered some amazing recipes including an impeccable Vegan Caesar Salad.

Last year was….. the excitement and frenzy of uprooting and moving to a new town to begin graduate school.

Name two of your mentors and describe them in five words.

  • Sue Malone: wise, compassionate, friend, teacher, fairy-godmother
  • Elizabeth Gilbert (though she doesn’t know it):  sharp, genuine, inspirational

First concert you ever saw? Last concert you saw?

First: Bob Dylan at the O’Connell Center; Most Recent: Bele Chere 2013



Fast forward one year, what will factor into your decision on whether to renew your ELGL membership?

I will be renewing my membership regardless.

What questions should we have asked?images (1)

  • What words of wisdom do you live by?
  • (Complete the sentence) The worst purchase I’ve ever made…
  • If you could take a trait from one of your family members, what would you take and from whom?

Supplemental Reading

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