Master Of Public Affairs (MPA)
Corynn Kolberg (MPA ’20)
“You will face many defeats in life, but never let yourself be defeated” is one of Corynn’s favorite Maya Angelou quotes.
Corynn grew up in California and in 2011, she moved to North Carolina to attend Wake Forest University. Upon completing her bachelor’s degree in Mathematical Economics, she worked for Wake Forest University as a fundraiser, which had led to her interest in nonprofit management. After working at Wake Forest University, Corynn was hired at the University of North Carolina School of Arts as a Major Gifts Officer. While working as a Major Gifts Officer, Corynn started her graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management at UNCG. When she finished her certificate program, she wanted to know more about nonprofit enterprise, so she moved over into the MPA program with a concentration in Nonprofit management.
Along with the experiences she had in the MPA program, Corynn mentioned that her best experience was working in group projects. This helped her to expand her knowledge of the advantages and challenges of smaller non-profit organizations. She also mentioned that as a Major Gifts Officer, being a student in a Non-Profit made her realize the privilege she has of working toward a common goal that enhances the community.
Corynn enjoys her time outside of work with her sweet dog named Andy who is three and she also volunteers at the Triad Golden Retriever Rescue.
Blake Moyer (MPA ’20)
Blake was a Graduate Research Assistant for the MPA program, which provided him more insight and connections throughout the program. He chose the MPA program because he saw that it would provide a diversity of options for his future and career. While in the MPA program, Blake interned with the City of Burlington as an Administrative Intern; the relationships he forged while in the MPA program helped him obtain his internship. After he graduated, he continued his career as the Deputy City Clerk in Burlington and eventually moved to his current position as the Economic Development Project Manager. Blake is originally from Meadville, Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree from Methodist University in History with a minor in Religion.
During Blake’s free time he enjoys spending time outside. Camping and hiking are his favorite outdoor hobbies. He and his girlfriend enjoy going to local breweries in NC. They have a 7-month-old puppy named Zoey and a 3-year-old cat named Salsa. Blake also has a collection of aquarium fish that he enjoys caring for.
Michelle Sorrells (MPA ’19)
Michelle gained many experiences in the non-profit sector. While getting her degree at NC State University, Michelle served international students in the Office of International Services. In this position, she was responsible for writing newsletters for international students, serving as a small group leader, and providing international students with visa information.
Michelle has always been active in her community. While an undergraduate student, she has served on several boards, as well as being part of the educational field by teaching English to native Spanish speakers; she has also assisted students in the Raleigh Girls Club and tutoring as a TRio Tutor.
Following graduation, she served for two years with the NC State College Advising Corps in Pitt County. “Working in the field I experienced a top down approach to practices. People who weren’t in the work were dictating how we did our work, regularly making it more difficult for us. So, I wanted to be in a leadership position to center people in the work and listen to their expertise. I thought an MPA with a concentration in Nonprofit Management would help me to be in that position.”
While she was in the MPA program, she interned with the Cemala Foundation, as well as worked as a graduate assistant in the MPA program. After graduating in 2019, Michelle started work in her current position as a program associate at the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. In this position, she researches special topics and prepares reports, assists with the implementation of grantmaking programs, plan conferences, and provides logistical support as well as Conduct outreach efforts for special initiatives and community relations projects.
Michelle enjoys pottery- throwing on the wheel- cooking, and taking care of her plants.
Gloria Hoover (MPA ’19)
Gloria Hoover is a Development Coordinator at NCCJ of the Triad, a social services organization located in Greensboro NC, geared to building communities free of bias, bigotry, racism, while fostering mutual respect and community improvement. After completing undergraduate internships in public policy and media coordinating, Gloria realized that her true passions were in nonprofit management. She then decided that furthering her education would allow her to enhance her skillset and advance her job search. After completing several informational interviews, Gloria was referred to UNCG’s MPA program and began the program shortly thereafter, choosing the Non-Profit Management concentration.
Gloria was awarded a MPA graduate assistant that she credits for intensify her interest in nonprofit management. The assistantship allowed her to work closely with faculty member Dr. Tamaki Onishi on projects concerning diversity and philanthropy, which prompted her interest in community development. Between the summer of her first and second year in the program, she worked as a Development Intern at NCCJ before transitioning into a full-time position with the organization as a Development Coordinator. After graduating from the program, Gloria was promoted to her current role within the organization as Development Manager.
Gloria feels as though the success that she has seen in her current and previous roles are a direct reflection of the knowledge and practical experiences gained during her time in the program. “One of my favorite things about the MPA program was how practical the nonprofit classes were. I was constantly bringing what we had talked about in class into my job,” she said.
Gloria loves that she is able to make a direct impact on the lives of others through her work. She hopes to continue her career in that direction, hoping to eventually take on the role of Development Director.
Originally from Winston Salem NC, Gloria completed her Bachelor of Arts in Peace and Conflict with a minor in Political Science at Guilford College.
Darian Cobb (BA’15, MPA’18)
Darian currently lives in the Research Triangle and serves the Local Government Federal Credit Union as a Community Development Research Analyst. Darian is a Rocky Mount North Carolina native and holds three degrees from UNCG. After completing her bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and International and Global Studies, Darian looked into several MPA programs as well as Master of Planning programs. With her goals set towards community improvement, she decided that UNCG’s MPA with a concentration in Community and Economic Development was the best fit for her. While in the program, Darian worked as a graduate assistant in the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Office (URSCO). After her first year in the program, Darian had her first opportunity to apply the knowledge and practical skills acquired in her coursework, as a Management Intern for the City of Rocky Mount in the City Manager’s Office, where she worked on her directed field research project on Brownfield and superfund site redevelopment in Rocky Mount, NC.
After graduating from the program, Darian relocated to Fayetteville NC, and served as a NCACC-ICMA Local Government Management Fellow. As a fellow, she gained invaluable experience and exposure to various departments ranging from waste management to community development. During her fellowship, she found that her course work in budgeting, human relations, and organizational behavior greatly attributed to her understanding of her differing roles and the functions of the organization as a whole.
Darian then transitioned into her current role as Community Development Research Analyst within the Financial Inclusion & Community Strategies team. Darian performs extensive research to help her organization better understand the communities that they serve. Her research is also used to support grant acquisition, which often allows for low-income individuals, typically determined to be high-risk, to access loans to purchase homes for their families. Darian feels as though the various research projects that she completed while in the MPA program were vital in her understanding of the research process and exposed her to many of the resources that she still uses today. She also credits the program with helping her develop the soft skills that are essential when presenting her research to upper management and across organizations.
Darian enjoys living in the Research Triangle and she loves that her current professional role allows her to perform data analytics with a focus on strengthening the community. For now, she plans to continue strengthening her capacity to analyze the complexities of community and economic development while working towards the public good.
Christopher Watkins (MPA ‘18)
Christopher has a strong passion for diversity, inclusion and community building. This includes mentoring youth in personal and professional development, teaching financial investment practices and economic development.
During his time in the MPA Program, Christopher worked as a graduate assistant in the Chancellor’s Office and the Office of Retention Initiatives directly influencing student retention, university relations, and post-graduation transition assistance. Following graduation, he accepted a position as a Supply Chain Inclusion and Collaboration Project Manager at Cisco Systems in RTP, NC where he led inclusion and diversity programs and talent strategies across the supply chain organization.
As a talent development and retention trailblazer, Christopher was promoted to be the Global Inclusion Talent and Employee Development Lead. In this role, he works with leaders to establish and oversee training and development programs that build the skills and strengths of the next generation of supply chain leaders. The MPA Program provided a career-readiness environment that allows him access to valuable resources and challenges that are fundamental in developing him into the leader he is today. Christopher plans to continue inspiring inclusive work cultures and developing feasible solutions to build highly efficient operational cultures within multinational technology organizations.
Paying it forward and serving his community are essential principles that he strives to achieve daily. A few interesting things about Chris: He is a car enthusiast (you can always find him at a cars & coffee event); a dancer (Hip-Hop & Ballet) and he enjoys teaching Hip-Hop to youth; he has an affinity for teaching finance and investing techniques to the next generation. He received his bachelor of arts degree in political science from the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and graduated in 2018 with his MPA degree.
Demetrius Deloatch (MPA ‘17)
Demetrius Deloatch entered the MPA program as a part-time student in the Fall of 2015 focusing on Local Government Management. After graduating from Elizabeth City State University and working with the North Carolina Senate though the NC State University Legislative Internship Program, Demetrius aspired to get his master’s degree and gain a deeper understanding of how government functions. While enrolled in the program, Demetrius worked with the NC House of Representatives and spent a summer in Washington, D.C.
Since graduating with his MPA degree, Demetrius has worked as a lobbyist for various entities. Upon graduating, he became a lobbyist at a law firm; with that experience, Demetrius moved to the North Carolina League of Municipalities. With the League, he represented the interests of North Carolina’s 550 cities and towns in the state and federal legislatures. Currently, Demetrius is a lobbyist with APCO Worldwide, a global public affairs consultancy, where he utilizes his government experience and connections to help clients accomplish their legislative goals.
Demetrius recognizes that the MPA Program at UNCG provided him an in-depth understanding of the inner workings of government at all levels and the issues municipalities face and strategies to address them. The program also prepared him to work with diverse audiences who may have different opinions on issues. Lastly, the MPA program provided numerous networking opportunities which allowed Demetrius to make dozens of connections that helped him develop professionally.
Rachel Kelly (BA ’07, MPA ’09)
Rachel is the Assistant City Manager within the City of Burlington. Rachel chose the MPA program because she had always known she wanted to go into local government since her undergraduate days. She was offered a position as a Graduate Research Assistant for the MPA program, which she gladly took given that she loved being in Greensboro and wanted to continue her education here. Rachel was also the recipient of the North Carolina City and County Management Association (NCCCMA) scholarship. Rachel interned with the City of Trinity as a Communications and Public Relations Intern in 2009. After she graduated the MPA program, she took over as the Town Clerk in the Town of Oak Ridge from 2009 – 2011. She then served as the Public Information Officer of the City of Burlington from 2011 – 2014. She was eventually promoted to Director of Public Policy where she oversees internal and external communications for the city. In 2018, she was promoted to her current position, Assistant City Manager, which has her overseeing Animal Services, Community Engagement, Economic Development, Information Technology, and Recreation & Parks. Rachel is from Currituck County. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science with a minor in Geography from UNCG.
Outside of work, Rachel loves to ride and compete Dressage with her horse, Granite. She is married to Tyler Kelly, who is currently an Assistant Principal at Southern Alamance High School. They have two adopted dogs, Daphne and Alfie, who they enjoy hiking with.
Caprice Brown (BA’97; MPA ’01)
Caprice Brown (’01) has worn a variety of hats since graduating from the MPA program. Caprice served first as Outreach, Evaluations and Program Manager for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, where he was responsible for strategic planning and implementation of organizational programs and outreach activities as well as program evaluation. In 2011 Caprice took a position as Director of Program Services for Food and Friends of Washington, D.C., a nonprofit serving individuals with serious illnesses. He provided Food and Friends with strategic leadership to programmatic operations. Currently, he is the Fresh Savings Produce Manager for the AARP Foundation.
Before beginning the MPA program, and after graduating from UNCG with a Political Science major, Caprice worked as the Assistant to the Vice President of University Relations at North Carolina A & T State University. He handled media relations, relationships with various department on campus, and media release distribution. During his time in the MPA program, Caprice worked as a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Life where he conducted quantitative and qualitative research projects on issues of diversity, health care, and graduate education.