MPA Program Honors Alumni at Annual Awards Luncheon

The UAB Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program in the Department of Government held their annual MPA Alumni Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at the UAB Alumni House. This event celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of the program’s alumni and students.

The UAB Master of Public Administration (MPA) Program in the Department of Government held their annual MPA Alumni Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, March 1, 2017 at the UAB Alumni House. This event celebrates the outstanding accomplishments of the program’s alumni and students.

Former Department of Government Chair, Dr. Mary Guy, was this year’s special guest speaker. Over 60 alumni, students, faculty and guests gathered to celebrate the program’s past, present, and future.

The MPA Hall of Fame award and plaque. At this year’s luncheon the program awarded the 2016 MPA Hall of Fame Award, which is given to an alum with at least 10 years of experience in the public service field who has exemplified public service values. The 2016 MPA Hall of Fame Award was presented to Mr. Cliff Carlisle.

Carlisle received his MPA in 1991, and recently retired from Crain & Associates, Inc. where he was a Fire Origin and Cause Investigator for the last ten years. Prior to his employment with Crain & Associates, he worked as a Paramedic for the National Disaster Medical Service as well as Deputy Fire Chief, Fire Marshal, and EMS Director for the City of Mountain Brook, Alabama. Cliff also served as President of the MPA Alumni Chapter from 1995-1997.

The MPA Alumni Chapter extends its gratitude to the Mountain Brook Fire Department for sponsoring a table at this year’s awards luncheon in support of Mr. Cliff Carlisle and his distinguished career with the City of Mountain Brook.

New this year, the program introduced an award that honors excellence in mentorship. Appropriately named the Gaston Excellence in Mentoring Award, this award was established in honor of Sam Gaston for his 30 plus years as a public administrator who has served as a mentor for many MPA students throughout the years. Gaston continues to hire student interns and mentor younger generations of public administrators, whether they are MPA students or early practitioners. His passion for public administration is compelling.

Gaston has served as City Manager of the City of Mountain Brook since June, 1993. Prior to his appointment with the City, Sam served as City Manager of Powder Springs, Georgia, and held municipal positions in Anniston, Gulf Shores, and Decatur, Alabama.

Several students were also celebrated at the luncheon for their outstanding accomplishments.

  • Outstanding Graduate Student: Dillon Wood
  • Outstanding Student Leadership Service: Ayumi Byrd
  • Outstanding Student Practitioner: Karen Scott
  • Alumni Scholarship Recipients: Christopher Burks, Silvia Espinosa, Firooz Jahani and Victoria White

To see a slideshow of other pictures from the event, visit the MPA Alumni Chapter on the College of Arts and Sciences website.


Cliff Carlilse and members of the Mountain Brook Fire Department. Five female alumni of varying ages at the awards luncheon.

Trailblazing Alumni

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