Matthew Garlipp
B.A. '13 - Enabling organizational accountability via performance metrics, evaluation, and strategic planning
 
 
Allison Becker
B.A. '13 and M.A. '15 - Experienced and published media policy researcher.
 
 
Alex Greer
M.S. '12 and Ph.D. '15 - Experience in quick response fieldwork, teaching emergency management.
 
 
Andrew Haines
MPA '03 – An accomplished local government leader and appointed official.
 
 
Angela Gladwell
M.A. ’98 – Instrumental in environmental planning and federal emergency management decision making.
 
 
Elizabeth Burland
M.A. '15 - Studying for a doctoral degree in Sociology and Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
 
 
Chunjing Liu
M.S. '14 – On the front lines of marine disaster mitigation through effective policy planning in China.
 
 
Cimone Philpotts
MPA '13 - Assistantship and Legislative Fellows experiences enrich doctoral student's blossoming career
 
 
Savannah Edwards
MPA '17 - Planning for sustainable and complete communities in Delaware and Maryland.
 
 
Scott Murphy Eisenhart
MPA '17 - Legislative aide credits SPPA experience for helping him excel in the world of politics and policy.
 
 
Taylor Hawk
MPA '17 - Graduate's policy analysis and research aims to improve education funding.
 
 
Gwen Angalet
Ph.D. '00 - Ensuring programmatic and research opportunities for the promotion of children's health.
 
 
Hira Rashid
M.A. '15 – Fulbright scholar now in the Ph.D. program studying global health economics and urbanization.
 
 
Katelyn Andrews (Hosey)
MPA '16 - Research assistant and Legislative Fellow experience help inform grad's career trajectory.
 
 
Hsien-Ho (Ray) Chang
Ph.D. '15 - Utilizing his knowledge of disaster science to educate students on fire and emergency management.
 
 
James B. Goetschius
Ph.D. '14 - Serves in the U.S. Army improving health care facilities in the eastern United States.
 
 
Jenna Ahner
B.A. and MPA '14 - Provides support for legislative and external affairs.
 
 
Jissell Martinez
MPA '10 - Manages fiscal affairs and serves as a liaison for the Dept of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
 
 
John Carney
MPA '86 – Governor of the State of Delaware
 
 
Kelsey Edmond
M.S. '14 - OCL program prepared her for success in the MPA program in pursuit of an interdisciplinary career.
 
 
Kirsten Jones
M.A. '16 - Contributing to policies that strengthen transportation and trade in New York and New Jersey.
 
 
Laura Keeley
Laura Keeley found success working as an Architectural Historian after graduating from the Public Planning and
 
 
Lindsey Interlante
MPA '07 - Advocates for enriched, hands-on learning experiences at higher education institutions.
 
 
Mark D Stevens
MPA '09 – Integral in the leadership and financial management of federal agencies.
 
 
Megan Wakelee
B.S. '11 - Executing leadership in a corporate setting.
 
 
Meredith Rubin
B.A. '11 - Practicing leadership and collaboration in the financial services sector.
 
 
Merritt Burke IV
MPA '98 - Various experiences in town management and community involvement.
 
 
Evan Miller
MPA '17 - Local Government Management Fellowship kickstarts graduate's professional career.
 
 
Natasha R. Nau
MPA '12 - Advocating for efficient resource allocation and streamlined service delivery in local government.
 
 
Emma Odren
MPA '18 - From IPA fellow to research analyst, grad attributes workplace success to grad school experience.
 
 
Paige Gugerty
B.A. '15 - Coordinating electronic connections between healthcare providers and resources.
 
 
Paul Ruiz
B.A. and M.A. '13 - Advocating for alternative fuels and reducing America's dependence on oil.
 
 
Ryan Burke
Ph.D. '15 - Vast experience with military strategy and conducting military research.
 
 
Scott Beale
MPA '07 - Successful nonprofit entrepreneur with experience in diplomacy and national politics.
 
 
Serita Porter
M.A. '15 - Continuing her behavioral health education at the University of Delaware.
 
 
Stephanie Ottino
B.S. '11 - Executing leadership skills in higher education.
 
 
Fratern Masika Tarimo
MPA '09 - Supports nonprofit efforts to help communities in many African countries.
 
 
Thomas Martin
Ph.D. '14 - Directing the M.S. in Health Informatics program in the College of Public Health at Temple Univ.
 
 
Elizabeth Lockman
M.A. '15 - Delaware state senator with roots in advocacy.
 
 
Tom DeWire
MPA '04 - Developing strategies for education systems to improve student achievement.
 
 
Vitaly Lee
MPA '97 - energy industry project development, regulatory and asset management
 
 
Yuliya Brel
M.A. '15 - Continuing her public policy education and assisting with research at the University of Delaware.
 
 
Zack Adinoff
M.S. '13 - Experience in coordinating public safety, logistics, planning, and general disaster continuity.
 
 
Alexandra Tarantino
Alexandra Tarantino is a University of Delaware Alumni who graduated from the Historic Preservation Master's p
 
 
Jeremy Rothwell
M.A. '14, HP Cert '15 - Technical review of all city site-plans, subdivision and building permit applications.
 
 
Courtney Mogavero
B.S. '12 – Translating leadership education into a successful early career path in major tech corporations.
 
 
Janet Sheridan
M.A. '07 - Providing heritage preservation services, and cultural landscape research in southern New Jersey.
 
 
Melanie Ross Levin
B.A. and MPA '05 – Developing education and advocacy campaigns on public policy relating to women's issues.
 
 
Dená Brummer
MPA '05 – Successful private sector business partner drawing upon public sector experiences.
 
 
Eric Anthony Johnson
Ph.D. '03 – Revitalizing a community through the application of theory and practical experience.
 
 
David Rudder
Ph.D. '03 – Practicing effective leadership to academic programs that promote service to the community.
 
 
Erin Kennedy
MPA '06 – Drives health care organizations towards improving quality of patient care and clinical outcomes.
 
 
Tom Friedman
MPA '07 – Manages government relations, strategic & financial plan, and policy analysis for State Health Plan.
 
 
Mike Morton
MPA '86 – Oversees budgetary analysis and legislative information systems for the Delaware General Assembly.
 
 
Jonathan Kirch
MPA '07 – Advocating for public policy that promotes better health for all Americans.
 
 
Albert Shields
MPA '07 – Developing strategies to best communicate Governor Carney's positions on diverse policy issues.
 
 
Kim Gomes
MPA '04 – Strategically lobbying for client interests on a number of policy issues.
 
 
Erika Farris
M.A. '09 – Developing policies to better manage water drainage and promote environmental sustainability.
 
 
Mike Fortner
MPA '02 – Overseeing city planning for housing, land use, economic development, and transportation.
 
 
Emily Gonce
MPA '02 – Leading lobbying efforts to show members of Congress the value of life insurance to constituents.
 
 
Bill Clark
MPA '03 – Supervising a team of consultants to support projects for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
 
 
Barrett Edwards
MPA '06 – Assisting municipalities with legal issues including planning, human resources, and finance.
 
 
Benjamin Attia
MEEP'16 - Research and consulting on market trends in solar photvoltaics markets in Africa and the Middle East
 
 
Anastasia Kuzmina
MPA '02 – Supporting two general managers with product and employee management in 14 countries.
 
 
Wei-Ming Chen
Conducting renewable energy and electricity market researches
 
 
Michelle Kung
PHDUAPP'14 - Promoting innovation and technology through mentoring and investing technology startups
 
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Difficult Conversations

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Difficult conversations help us understand different perspectives on the same topic. 

Whether it's at a conference table, dinner table, or virtual table, we all eventually face uncomfortable situations or topics that we have to address with people we care about. While you can choose to avoid having discussions altogether, being able to successfully navigate a difficult conversation can bring about positive change and save relationships.

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What are Difficult Conversations?

When shown the same symbol, one person interprets it as an M while the other sees the shape as a W.

Difficult conversations help us understand different perspectives on the same topic. 

A difficult conversation is a planned discussion about an uncomfortable topic or a negative experience where the goal is to share different perspectives, build mutual understanding, and develop respect (not to persuade or win"). While it's common to want to avoid these conversations, doing so can lead to stress, resentment toward others, and an escalated conflict that becomes harder to resolve. Addressing them skillfully can help strengthen relationships.

Having a difficult conversation is an opportunity to

  • Shed light on how to resolve a problem
  • Embrace constructive change
  • Gain a deeper understanding
  • Repair relationships

The key to navigating difficult conversations is to develop and practice effective communication skills. These skills include active listening, assertive speaking, asking good questions, and acknowledging emotions. For more on this, check out our Guide to Having Difficult Conversations below.

While having a difficult conversation, it's important to be

  • Willing to listen to other perspectives seriously and respectfully
  • Open to adjusting our own perceptions when we are exposed to new information
  • Realistic and fair with our expectations 


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Need to have a difficult conversation?

OPRBlue

Check out these resources that we've created to help you do it yourself. We've also included links to other resources that we think are useful.

A Guide to Having Difficult Conversations

How to prepare for, execute, and conclude a difficult conversation.

Dealing with Difficult Personalities

Identifying the nine difficult personality types, how they make us feel, and how to cope with them all themed to everyone's favorite workplace comedies: The Office and Parks and Rec.

First State Insights Podcast Episode: Dealing with Difficult People"

Leann Moore, a staff member at the Conflict Resolution Program (CRP), speaks with Dabney Brice, a new alumna of the Biden School's Master of Public Administration program and IPA graduate public administration fellow, about planning an approach, weighing the importance of the issue vs. the relationship, communication strategies, and more.



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Additional Resources

Check out these resources for more information about difficult conversations.

Conversation Agreements (Living Room Conversations)

Establish a conversation agreement, sometimes called ground rules, to foster effective communication.

Effective Communication Strategies (University of Waterloo)

Learn about barriers to listening and strategies for active listening.

We have to talk. A step-by-step checklist of difficult conversations (Judy Ringer)

Try this step-by-step checklist for difficult conversations.


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Contact Us

Don't feel like you can do it yourself? Contact Kathy Murphy, Leann Moore, or Jessica Velez, to talk about how we can help you.

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