Faculty Directory

GSPIA Honors 4 Under 40 Alumni Award Winners



GSPIA recognized this year's 4 Under 40 at Pitt's homecoming celebration on October 29 at the Holiday Inn - University Center. The 4 Under 40 is an award is bestowed annually to four alumni under forty years of age who have demonstrated the potential to become leaders in their chosen area of public and international affairs.

This year's recipients are   Elizabeth Ramborger MPIA '99, Alison Bonebrake MPIA '99, Benjamin Howe MPIA '98 and Eric Hartman PhD '08.

After receiving the award, Elizabeth A. Ramborger, MPIA '99, stated, "This award is an honor and at the same time validating. GSPIA prepared me well. I often think about my friends and what I did at GSPIA. Even though, I worked in international affairs, now moving to the domestic side, GSPIA and classes in public administration really prepared me for the career move." She is an Associate Director with Arabella Philanthropic Investment Advisors, providing strategy, analysis and project management support to institutional, corporate and family clients. Her work focuses on Midwest-based projects, including a grant making strategy for Lake Michigan, and on international development issues.  Previously, as Director of Program Operations for Global Security and Sustainability at the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Elizabeth oversaw administration of the foundation's international grant-making processes and conducted research to support grants on population and reproductive health, migration and human rights, and international justice. Prior to moving to Chicago, Elizabeth worked in policy, programming and grant-making positions for the U.S. government, in the Departments of Commerce, Defense and State as well as the Broadcasting Board of Governors. In addition to her master's degree, she holds a BA in international Studies from the University of Evansville and is a founding board member and broadcast DJ with CHIRP Radio, a nonprofit community radio station in Chicago.

Also receiving an award, Alison Bonebrake, MPA '99, is a Legislative Assistant to U.S. Senator John F. Kerry in Washington, DC, responsible for advising the Senator on issues pertaining to health insurance reform, federal health programs, prescription drugs, biotechnology and life sciences, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

After accepting the award she expressed her gratitude: "It was a privilege to work with Senator Kerry on healthcare legislation. What I learned at GSPIA provided me with a strong foundation for my career." She previously served as Vice President for the Glover Park Group, providing legislative guidance on health care to nonprofit and private industry clients. Earlier, as a Legislative Representative at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, Ali lobbied Members of Congress on Social Security privatization and the Medicare prescription drug benefit. She also co-chaired the Health Committee for the Leadership Council of Aging Organization, a coalition of 56 nonprofit organizations serving older Americans. Ali began her government service as both a Presidential Management Fellow at the Social Security Administration and a Congressional Fellow for U.S. Senator Bob Graham, and later as a GAO Senior Analyst. Before earning her master's at GSPIA, she received a B.A. in Government from Shippensburg University.

"Thank you for the award," said Benjamin Howe, MPIA '98. "During my time at GSPIA, I met amazing professors, took great classes and met great individuals. I have a strong bond with my fellow GSPIAns and am still in touch with my classmates today."

Howe has enjoyed a successful career as an analyst for three different federal agencies, including his current position with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Bedford, Mass. As a Senior Management Analyst in the Office of Inspector General, he works as part of a team planning and conducting in-depth reviews of VA facilities and programs. Previously Ben worked for the U.S. Government Accountability Office in their Boston Field Office, leading program evaluations of multiple federal agencies and policy issues. His analysis on issues like indoor mold and lead in drinking water led to recommendations and cost savings for the agencies involved, earning him three GAO Performance Awards. Since 2004, Ben has served as the Alumni Association Volunteer Coordinator and advisory board member for a local YMCA overnight camp. He received both a GAO Community Service Award and a YMCA Chairman's Award for outstanding voluntary service in support of the camp. Ben conducts alumni interviews on behalf of his undergraduate alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross.  

Eric Hartman, PhD '08,
also received the 4 Under 40 award.  He serves as a Lecturer in Global Studies at Arizona State University in Tempe.  He is a Board Member for Amizade Global Service-Learning, where, as Executive Director from 2007-2010, he cooperated with numerous community organizations on development projects on four continents.  His doctoral dissertation at GSPIA focused on considering global citizenship through global service-learning.  In addition to writing on related themes for popular and academic publications, Eric has presented and consulted at numerous universities and at the annual conferences of the American Political Science Association and the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement.  He has taught at Pitt and West Virginia University and led courses on applied research methods, global citizenship, international development, and regional history in the U.S., Bolivia, Ghana, Jamaica, Peru, Tanzania.  Eric holds an M.A. and a B.A. in Political Science from, respectively, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lock Haven University.

All of these accomplished alumni exemplify GSPIA's mission in preparing leaders with the skills, vision and knowledge to build a better world.

Related Media

Auditor General DePasquale (MPA '97) Completes Review of Education Dept.

The State of Pennsylvania's Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale (MPA '97) issued a pair of "long-awaited" audits today investigating the State Board of Education and its special adviser Ron Tomalis, appointed by former governor Tom Corbett. DePasquale was quoted in the Post-Gazette as saying that, “either literally [Mr. Tomalis] went to the office and sat there and did nothing... or they need to get better at retaining records.” Mr. DePasquale also criticized the department's lack of assistance to poorly performing schools and failure to update its Basic Education Master Plan for 16 years.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
12:00 - 1:00 pm
3431 Posvar Hall
University of Pittsburgh
(Brown bag event, cookies served)

The Ford Institute welcomes Aarya Nijat to speak with Prof. Jennifer Murtazashvili to students on the theme of their new co-authored paper, Women's Leadership Roles in Afghanistan, published by the US Institute of Peace.

Aarya Nijat is a policy analyst who has spent more than a decade in the development sector in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She previously served as the Director of Capacity and Institutional Development at the Government of Afghanistan's Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG).

Feature Story: GSPIA Alumni in City Management

In the 2013 mayoral election, three GSPIA alumni competed for the office and GSPIA alumnus Bill Peduto won by a landslide. Since 2014, the mayor of Pittsburgh has thus been a GSPIA alumnus, and working with him are five other GSPIAns in manager-level staff positions; approximately 25 more GSPIA alumni are also currently employed by the city. The success of these alumni reflects GSPIA’s commitment to training students for local public service since the founding of the school by Dean Donald Stone, whose first job was in the mayor’s office in Cincinnati.

Kevin Kearns to receive Dr. Wangari Maathai Humanitarian Award

The Workforce Development Global Alliance (WDGA) will honor GSPIA Professor Kevin Kerns for his commitment to servant leadership with the 10th Annual Dr. Wangari Maathai Humanitarian Award, Tues., November 3. According to WDGA’s announcement, the award recognizes Kearns for his "unprecedented levels of servant leadership, commitment and impact to mankind from local to global communities."

Announcing GSPIA Perspectives 2015: Promoting City Management and Metropolitan Studies

We are proud to announce the release of the 2015 edition of our award-winning magazine, GSPIA Perspectives. The year’s issue focuses on GSPIA's strength in local leadership and features the alumni serving in the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding boroughs.

Katz Lecture Illustrates the Value of Human Security Analysis

On Sept. 21, 2015, the Ford Institute for Human Security welcomed Dr. Des Gasper to give this year’s Saul M. Katz Lecture titled “Human Security and Human Rights: Competitive or Complementary?” Dr. Gasper is a professor at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, part of Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He delivered a talk to a standing-room only crowd based on his current paper entitled “Human Security, Undermining Human Rights?”

UN Representative Discusses Current Conflict in Ukraine

The Ford Institute for Human Security recently kicked-off its annual fall speaker series by welcoming alumnus Neal Walker (MPIA ‘82) to GSPIA.  Walker currently serves as the Humanitarian Coordinator, UN Resident Coordinator, and Representative of the UN Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine. His son, Neal S. Walker, is currently a second-year student in the MID program. 

GSPIA Perspectives 2015: City Management and Metropolitan Studies

We are proud to announce the release of the 2015 edition of GSPIA Perspectives. The year’s magazine focuses on GSPIA's strength in local leadership and features the alumni serving in the city of Pittsburgh and the surrounding boroughs.

Thursday, October 15, 2015
3:00 pm
Humanities Center, Room 602 Cathedral of Learning
University of Pittsburgh

Williams College professor Katarzyna Pieprzak will visit to present her work on the growth of shantytowns in Casablanca, Morocco. Prof. Pieprzak will offer a workshop aimed at facilitating cross-discipline dialogue among faculty in the humanities and the social sciences. Her colloquium in Pitt's Humanities Center will be titled "Spaces of Migration and Aesthetics of Immobility: Bidonvilles in the Francophone Mediterranean Imagination."
More information.

About The Year of the Humanities:
The provost has named the academic year 2015-2016 The Year of the Humanities in the University. The purpose of the year is to highlight the fundamental importance of humanistic thinking in research and education not only in humanities departments but also across the whole range of University schools and departments.

Thursday, October 8, 2015
9:00 - 10:30 am
Room 532, Alumni Hall
University of Pittsburgh

This spotlight session will explore several aspects of “being human.” Moderated by Susan M. Meyer, PhD, professor of pharmacy and therapeutics, associate dean for education, School of Pharmacy, the 90-minute session will include the following presentations:

Is Morality Universal?
Edouard Machery, PhD, Professor of History and Philosophy of Science, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Why We Say “Dude,” “Yinz,” and “Dahntahn” and Other Mysteries of Human Language
Scott F. Kiesling, PhD, Associate Professor of Linguistics, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Capturing the Circuitry that Underlies Odor Learning
Anne-Marie Oswald, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

A Matter of Life and Death: How Society and Technology Shape Our Choices
Japa Pallikkathayil, PhD, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

More information.


Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
3601 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260

Sitemap  |  Privacy Policy  |  Pitt Home