California State University, Fullerton

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City Managers Mentor Grad Students

Aug. 24, 2012

Sean Joyce

Sean Joyce is one of five city managers who will serve as mentors to CSUF students. Photo: Mimi Ko Cruz

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Five graduate students have been selected to inaugurate a new fellowship program that pairs them with five Orange County city managers for the 2012-13 academic year.

“This is an excellent opportunity for some of our best students to get a behind-the-scenes look at the work of Orange County city managers,” said Shelly Arsneault, professor of political science. “In this budget and public relations climate, the work of public servants is often overlooked, taken for granted and even disparaged.”

The new City Management Fellowship Program, she added, “is a way to keep our students focused on the important work that is done by local government every day. Our hope is that the program will motivate them to continue in the field, will expose them to the complexities of running large and small cities, and will allow them the chance to get invaluable advice from the city manager mentors about their current jobs — all are already working in the public sector — and their future careers.”

Throughout their year as CMFP fellows, the students, will “have the opportunity to learn firsthand how tough decisions are made by public-sector executives, to ask questions, and to experience the good and the bad of the noble field of public service,” Arsneault said.

The grad students, all in the Master of Public Administration program, are: Jessica Deakyne of Tustin, Brigette Gibb of Whittier, Peter Hong of Irvine, Jose Jimenez of Perris and Luke Smude of Fullerton. The city managers who will serve as their mentors are: alumnus Sean Joyce (B.A. political science ’86, M.P.A. ’93) in Irvine; alumna Carol A. Jacobs (B.A. communications ’84, M.P.A. ’92) in Stanton; John Pietig in Laguna Beach; Karen Brust in San Juan Capistrano; and alumnus John Sibley (M.P.A. ’75) in Orange.

The program, Arsneault said, will allow for students to shadow their city managers and attend select meetings and community events over the course of the school year. 

In addition, the fellows will meet with the city managers at five workshops at which a specific real-world case study and readings will be assigned and discussed, she said. Also planned are three luncheons that will bring together the fellows, mentors and CSUF faculty members.

As part of the program, the fellows each will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Funding for the first three years of the program is being provided by the Office of Government Relations and a University Mission and Goals Initiative grant.

For more information, send email to Arsneault at

By: Mimi Ko Cruz, 657-278-7586

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