New Chapter Officers and Executive Council Members for 2014-2015

We sincerely appreciate the efforts of all who participated in the nominations process and the commitment of those who agreed to run for office. We received one nomination per office, and therefore no balloting was necessary this year.  Short bios are provided below for our Council members:
  • President (July 2014 – June 2015): Ann-Marie Rizzo
  • President-Elect (July 2014 – June 2015): Nneka Norman-Gordon
  • Treasurer (July 2014 – June 2015): Cara Robinson
  • Secretary (July 2014 – June 2015): Alex Frederick
  • Council members (July 2014 – June 2015): Bobbie Porter, Jennie Verner
  • Council members (July 2014 -June 2016): Victoria Calvin, Tyler Carpenter, Addison Dower, Leah Dupree, Eric Murry, Joyanna West
Members continuing in the upcoming year are:
  • Immediate Past President (July 2014 – June 2015) – Connie Calloway
  • Past President – (July 2014 – June 2015) Darrell Moore
We recognize with deep appreciation the service of those concluding their terms on Council this June: Kasia Steinka-Fry, Meg Streams, and Kimberly Triplett.
There are many ways to get involved with TN-ASPA in the upcoming year, so please contact us anytime at to find out more!


Dr. Ann-Marie Rizzo teaches organization theory, administrative ethics, and public policy at Tennessee State University. Her research interests include moral reasoning of public administrators and public administration education. Ann-Marie has co-authored two books and published articles in refereed journals on public sector ethics, women in management, public administration education, and management development.   She has also consulted on public service ethics for varying public, business and not for profit organizations such as Florida Power and Light, American Bankers Insurance Group, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Tennessee Community Corrections Association, and the Lupus Foundation of Tennessee, Kentucky and Alabama. Currently a professor of public administration at Tennessee State University, Ann-Marie  also serves as program advisor for the PhD program in public administration. Until 1988 she directed the Institute of Government and Institute for Public Management at Florida International University in Miami. She was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Social Science from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.

Nneka Norman-Gordon is the Higher Education Resource Officer with the Office of the Higher Education Resource Officer. She began her career in public service in September 2004 in the former Department of Personnel as an examinations analyst responsible for developing job qualifications for state applicants. Previous to her current position, she worked as a Legislative Research Analyst within the Comptroller of the Treasury’s Offices of Research and Education Accountability (OREA) conducting public policy research for the Tennessee General Assembly on various topics including STEM, early childhood education, and K-12 governance and reform. Nneka has written numerous publications including reports on Tennessee’s pre-kindergarten program, Tennessee’s graduated driver licensing laws, Tennessee’s school district usage of Race to the Top funds and STEM in Tennessee. In recent years, she has gained a deeper understanding of State policy and the legislative process while serving on the Comptroller’s legislative team. A prior Naval Officer, Nneka holds a M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Austin Peay State University and a B.A. in Psychology from Hampton University in Virginia and is a 2012 graduate of the Tennessee Government Management Institute (TGMI).

Cara Robinson is an Assistant Professor of Urban Studies at Tennessee State University. In this capacity, Cara teaches courses in urban studies and nonprofit management. Cara earned her Ph.D. in Urban Affairs and Public Policy from the University of Delaware in 2011. Cara has presented and published in a variety of areas including media and democracy, community planning, the impact of charter schools, and homelessness. Cara is the former Executive Director of the Homeless Planning Council of Delaware. In her role as ED, she co-authored “Delaware’s Ten Year Plan to End Chronic and Reduce Long-Term Homelessness.”

Alex Frederick graduated with honors from Tennessee State University in December 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition/dietetics. He is the former president of the Kappa Omicron Nu honor society at TSU and worked in agricultural research during his undergraduate program. He developed and presented multiple award-winning projects and was hired as a full-time research assistant in food safety by Tennessee State University upon graduation. Alex is now enrolled in the Master’s program in public administration as well as the health administration and planning certificate program at TSU. He is currently working as a graduate assistant and upon completion of the MPA program plans to work in the public sector to promote health policy.
Victoria Calvin is currently a graduate student at Tennessee State University, and is employed by Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services, where she recently received a promotion to Court Liaison worker. In this role, she advocates for troubled youth and employs a range of skills to divert youth from coming into state custody. Her job involves investigation, negotiation with attorneys, and when needed, facilitation of child and family team meetings to resolve and address concerns for the youth’s development. Victoria’s aim is to enhance her knowledge of the public sector and leadership as she pursues the Masters of Public Administration, and she hopes to advocate for policy change as she progresses in her career.
Tyler Carpenter is currently a graduate student at Tennessee State University pursuing his master’s degree in public administration. He received his bachelor’s degree from Trevecca Nazarene University in 2010, majoring in Business Management and minoring in accounting. While at Trevecca , Tyler served as junior class representative in student government, as well as founding and presiding over a student political group on campus from 2008 to 2010. During this time he became active in local political campaigns, working with interest groups and candidates at local and state levels. Under the federal program formerly known as the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP), he worked as an intern at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, where he shadowed the Director of Plans and Programs. This experience allowed him to see how policies are formulated and dispersed and how government works within the bureaucratic structure, and to experience a federal level military work environment. Tyler plans to pursue a career in policy research and analysis; his specific interests are intergovernmental relations, education, civic engagement, and poverty related program development.
Addison Dower is the Research Analyst for the Senate State and Local Government Committee. In this position, she is responsible for the daily business of the committee, including setting the committee’s calendar, fielding committee questions and preparing presentations, and she provides policy analysis to committee members regarding bills that come before the committee for consideration. Additionally, she handles the Committee Chairman’s legislative agenda. Addison holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Memphis’s Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law and a B. A. in Political Science from Auburn University. She is an active member of the Junior League of Nashville, Women’s Political Collaborative and the Nashville Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association.
Leah Dupree is a native of Jackson, TN and has lived in Nashville since 2011. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University, a Master’s in Business Administration from Valparaiso University, and a juris doctor degree from Indiana University. Before relocating to Nashville, Leah lived in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she worked for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Since 2013, Leah has been the Legislative Liaison for the Department of General Services and has been responsible for legislation and constituent services for the Department. Prior to moving to the Executive Branch, Leah served in the Legislative Branch as a Legislative Aide to Senator Doug Overbey. Leah enjoys speaking to youth about career paths and personal development.
Eric D. Murry is currently a staff member of the National Health Care for the Homeless Council in Nashville, TN. Eric coordinates the TennCare Shelter Enrollment Project for the State of Tennessee, which assists homeless and impoverished families in eliminating barriers with health insurance, housing and other social benefits in order to help these families re-stabilize their lives. Previously, Eric was a community leader in Chicago, supervising after-school and mentoring programs for middle school students. Eric’s educational background in Psychology, Philosophy and Human Service Administration has guided his history of employment mostly in community-based organizations. This has given him the opportunity to collaborate and pool resources in order to improve outcomes for the communities at large. As he moves forward in his career, he continues to familiarize himself with health care, social homelessness, and housing policy reforms in order to continue to build stronger collaborations between those residents in need and the communities they live in.
Bobbie Porter is a diversity and inclusion professional who has spent the majority of her career as public servant for the Tennessee state government. She currently serves as Assistant Director in the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action at Tennessee State University, where she is responsible for ensuring institutional compliance with federal and state equal opportunity statutes by investigating complaints of illegal harassment and discrimination on behalf of the Office of the President, monitoring workforce diversity recruitment practices, and developing training and programming for the campus community. Prior to her role at TSU, Bobbie led the Outreach and Education Division of the state civil rights enforcement agency, the Tennessee Human Rights Commission . At THRC, she was the Special Assistant to the Executive Director where she was responsible for promoting the agency’s efforts in equal opportunity enforcement to the Governor, state legislators, private sector stakeholders, and the general public. Bobbie attended the University of Memphis, where she received her bachelor’s degree in communications, and later she received her Master’s of Public Administration and graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from Tennessee State University.
Joyanna West is originally from Clinton, Tennessee, near Knoxville. She has a bachelor’s degree from Maryville College with a major in international studies and minors in political science and French. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in May 2014 with a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration. While pursuing her master’s degree, she worked with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service on the Tennessee Municipal Benchmarking Project, evaluating statewide benchmarks for twenty Tennessee cities to improve municipal government performance. She has recently relocated to Nashville and taken a position as Category Specialist with the State of Tennessee’s Central Procurement Office.