AMPs Meet with the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs

Posted in AMP Program / Department of Veterans Affairs on July 31, 2012

Group of AMPsThe Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program at M Powered Strategies is designed to expose graduate students to the upper echelons of government.  So it was in keeping with this spirit that Deputy Secretary W. Scott Gould of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) ushered a small group of AMPs into his oak paneled office on a recent July afternoon. AMPs John Bova, Kevin Stahler, Niki Virani, and Ariana Zeno, who are working in the Office of Information Technology at VA, were invited by the Deputy Secretary to discuss their professional interests and to inquire about his career.

With a stunning view of the National Monument in the background, Mr. Gould told the AMPs about his prior experience, leading up to his post as Chief Operating Officer of the federal government’s second largest department. He is known as a responsive leader who actively solicits input, both positive and negative, from staff at all levels. In reference to his current high level position, he noted, “If you forget for one second that you didn’t suddenly get taller, smarter, or better looking, you’ll make a mistake.”

The AMPs were struck by his humility and sincerity. ”I can say without hesitation that the afternoon spent with Deputy Secretary Gould will be the high point of my summer,” remarked AMP John Bova. This was just one of many opportunities the AMPs have had to discuss career growth and leadership with high level executives in the Washington area.

Meet the 2012 AMPs!

In June, the Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program entered into our 4th summer session. This year was our most competitive application process yet, and our 9 AMPs hail from five different universities from coast to coast! Their placements are at the Department of Transportation and the Department of Veterans Affairs, agencies which have now supported AMPs for multiple years in a row. When they’re not busy with client delivery, they are developing three M Powered Strategies corporate projects and attending trainings. Excursions, executive luncheons, and corporate receptions round out their jam-packed summer. Please join us for their closing reception on August 14th to celebrate a summer of accomplishments!

AMPs at the DOT: Office of the Chief Information Officer Team

Lauren Miles Lauren Miles (Team Lead) A Michigan native, Lauren earned her B.A. in Secondary Education & History with a minor in Social Sciences from Western Michigan University. Upon graduation, she accepted a teaching position in Prince William County. For the past eight years, Lauren has been teaching Government & Sociology to high school seniors. Last year, Lauren completed her M.A. in Negotiation, Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding at California State University-Dominguez Hills. After obtaining her masters, Lauren began to look for new ways to use her education and experience in teaching/training, which brought her to M Powered Strategies.  She is very excited to be using her skills and expertise to assist and support her team of AMPs at the DOT. In her free time, Lauren enjoys attending sporting events, spending time with friends, and enjoying everything DC has to offer.
Leland Butisbauch Leland Butisbauch is a recent graduate of the University of California, San Diego’s Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS), where he focused on Asia-Pacific security, environmental policy, and China. Leland has applied his IR/PS skillset in numerous professional endeavors, including working as a Program Assistant within the Strategic Partnerships Directorate at U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), researching the relationship between climate change and conflict at the Center for Environmental and National Security (CENS) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, serving as a Senior Official Liaison Officer for the U.S. Department of State at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Senior Officials Meeting (SOM3), and assuming the role of Treasurer and board member of the International Clean Tech Initiative student group at IR/PS. Prior to graduate school Leland worked as a foreign instructor in Japan via the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. Leland graduated magna cum laude from William Jessup University in 2008, where he majored in Intercultural Studies and Theology.
Patrick Hennigan Patrick Hennigan is currently a Master in Pacific International Affairs candidate at the school of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. He was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and in 2006 he graduated from Arizona State University with a BA in Political Science and a BA in History. Prior to starting graduate school he worked as an English teacher for nearly four years in South Korea and Japan. At UCSD he is focusing on Public Policy and China and enjoys his responsibilities as a student leader. Having never lived on the east coast, Patrick is very excited to experience work and life in the nation’s capital this summer. As for hobbies, he enjoys watching and playing sports and traveling to foreign countries.
Nicole Stratton Nicole Stratton is a graduate student at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where she is concentrating on program evaluation and social entrepreneurship. Nicole’s past experience includes working as a community organizer in Minneapolis, MN; graduating from the University of Minnesota with a focus in public policy and international relations; serving as Executive Assistant to Congressman Keith Ellison; and working on program and volunteer management at the Taproot Foundation in New York City. Nicole is a proud Wisconsinite and can often be found buying cheese at the local farmer’s market.
Noah Van Gilder Noah Van Gilder is a recent graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at the George Washington University, concentrating in policy analysis and management. Before attending GW, he earned his bachelor’s degree in natural resources at Cornell University and spent three years working as a government relations assistant for the Nature Conservancy. He has also been an intern for the federal Office of Management and Budget, BlueGreen Alliance, and the National Audubon Society. Noah is an avid singer in his free time and has been an active performer and volunteer for the Alexandria Harmonizers chorus, including two years of service on its Board of Directors.
Graeme Wood Graeme Wood is a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego School of Pacific and International Affairs (IR/PS), where he is focusing on International Development and Latin America. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.  As an undergraduate he researched and studied politics in Washington D.C., at the UC Washington Center, and he also studied the history of the Andean region, in Cuzco, Peru.

 AMPs at VA: Information Technology Resource Management (ITRM) Team

Jenny Weng Jenny Weng (Team Lead) is excited to reprise her role as a Team Lead for the Applied Management Professionals (AMP) Program. This summer, she is working at the Department of Veterans Affairs and managing three projects for Information Technology Resource Management (ITRM) to identify and document the unfunded request process, improve business customer satisfaction, as well as strengthen relationship between vendors and the agency. Jenny looks forward to working with AMPs from across the nation and hopes for another summer of fun and success.
John Bova John Bova is currently a Master of Public Administration candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Hispanic Studies, John spent four years with Peace Corps El Salvador, namely supporting the Municipal Development program as a volunteer, trainer, and coordinator. Most recently, John worked at the Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children headquartered in Philadelphia as their Vice President of Central Operations. As a native of Dallas, TX, John looks to embrace the summer heat exploring the many hike and bike trails in DC/NoVa.
Kevin Stahler Kevin Stahler is currently a master’s candidate in the International Relations and Pacific Studies program at UC San Diego specializing in public policy and economics.  Prior to his time in sunny San Diego, Kevin studied at slightly-less-sunny UC Berkeley where he graduated with highest honors in History, and afterwards moved to Tokyo, Japan to live and work for three years.  In what free time he can spare, Kevin loves to read, write, and travel the world.   For all his love of jet-setting, however, this will be Kevin’s first extended stay on the East Coast and he hopes to have the D.C. lingo down in no time.
Niki Virani Niki Virani is a Master of Public Affairs candidate at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. She works as Editor-in-Chief of the academic journal (LBJ Journal), and as a teaching assistant at the McCombs School of Business. After graduating from the University of Southern California in 2007 with a major in finance, she has worked as an analyst at Johnson & Johnson and Lockheed Martin, where she specialized in enterprise resource planning. Originally from California, Niki moved to Texas last year to attend the LBJ School, and is looking forward to a summer in Washington, DC.
Ariana Zeno Ariana Zeno is currently pursuing dual Masters degrees in City Planning with a concentration in Community and Economic Development and Social Work with a macro focus at the University of Pennsylvania. She is presently the editor of the Link, the Department of City Planning’s newsletter, and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly representative for the School of Design’s student council. Prior to graduate school, Ariana lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina and upon return to the U.S. worked as a bilingual paralegal at an immigration law firm and at PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity for low income communities and communities of color in the Bay Area. Originally from California, Ariana graduated from Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s degree in American and African American studies. In addition to her studies, Ariana is an avid traveler, a murder mystery champion, and proud mother of a bilingual Argentine kitty.

M Powered Strategies Offers Mediation Training

Posted in Dispute Resolution Services / Mediation Training on July 16, 2012

Mediation Training Institute, International logoIn pursuit of our new Dispute Resolution Service offerings, M Powered Strategies is excited to announce its teaming arrangement with the Mediation Training Institute, International (MTI) to deliver world-class training in workplace conflict management and mediation to our government clients.

Owned and operated by Dan Mediation Institute, Inc., MTI was established in 1985 and is the leading provider in training and certification in the core competencies for managing workplace conflict. Together, MSS and MTI will be sharing their expertise and resources to provide comprehensive dispute resolution services and trainings within the U.S. Federal and State governments.

M Powered Strategies provides MTI’s one-day, two-day and five-day certification courses, including trainer certification, customized to address typical conflicts in government workplaces. All instructors are MTI-Certified Trainers.