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UNC MPA Research Team: Diversity Dashboard

Posted on February 3, 2019


Project Team

Each spring, ELGL submits project ideas to the first-year students in Leisha Dehart-Davis’class in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s MPA Program, and we wait with our fingers crossed to see if the students will select our program ideas and join the ranks of prior year project teams that studied HR trends, kickstarted the Diversity Dashboard project, and researched paid family leave.

This year, we’re hosting two project teams – one focused on topics and trends in parks and recreation, and one focused on updating the Diversity Dashboard with North Carolina data for 2019. We’ll periodically showcase these teams and their research this semester.


Research Project: 

Diversity Dashboard Update – Trend Data in North Carolina

Project Overview:

This project would take two parts: first, updating the Diversity Dashboard (diversitydashboard.org) data on the race, age, gender, and veteran status of local government leaders in North Carolina for 2019; and second, analyzing that data against the data collection done by UNC MPA students in 2017, and by the Diversity Dashboard team in 2018.

Final analysis should include trend information, as well as some qualitative research into communities that saw changes, including stories about position recruitment or diversity, equity, and inclusion training.


Project Team:

ThomasThomas Bennett

Thomas grew up all around the state of North Carolina and serving the state that raised him has always been central to his career goals. I attended the University of South Carolina to study political science prior to coming to the MPA program. He has wide-ranging interests, but economic development and infrastructure have been central themes in his experience in the MPA program. He is looking forward to this project to learn about employment diversity within North Carolina local governments.

MadelineMadeline Shea

Maddie attended the University of Georgia to study advertising. Strategic communications have been important throughout her work experience and she has been a valuable asset to our experience in the MPA program. Maddie’s interests center around social justice and equity causes in government. She is looking forward to working on the Diversity Dashboard to further her understanding of diversity in North Carolina.

MimiMimi Clemens

Mimi’s strong interest in local government brought her to the UNC MPA program. She studied public policy and history at the College of William and Mary. Growing up near Washington D.C., Mimi had the benefit of observing every level of government up close, and those insights have been helpful to our learning. In her free time, Mimi listens to local government-themed podcasts, like ELGL’s GovLove, and cheering on the Tar Heels in basketball. She is looking forward to working with ELGL on this project so she can learn more about local governments in North Carolina.

SarahSarah Hanson

Sarah grew up in Northern Wisconsin and attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning her degree in Social Welfare and Legal Studies. Prior to coming to the UNC MPA program, she worked as a child welfare worker in Milwaukee, and her experiences there inspired her to come to UNC. Sarah hopes to one day be involved in child welfare policy, reforming child welfare systems as a whole. She is excited to work with ELGL on this project to gain understanding of how local governments operate and how they are increasing diversity in their workplaces.

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