MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University graduate student Harrison Fry of South Fulton, Tennessee, is interning this summer in the City Manager’s Office within the City of Paducah government. Fry is pursuing his master’s degree in public administration (MPA) at Murray State, where he also received his bachelor’s degree.
Much of Fry’s work centers on policy research, drafting and implementation, and he is working closely with Assistant City Manager Michelle Smolen and other Paducah officials as part of a project to evaluate and build upon the success of the city’s recently-adopted strategic plan.
Additionally, Fry is providing support to the city’s New Day Initiative, which is focused on building a customer-centric culture. He is also assisting in economic development discussions aimed at growing a local business, interacting with the city’s Leadership Team to learn more about city functions and gaining professional development experience and networking opportunities by participating in regional Kentucky City/County Management Association meetings.
“Having the chance to work alongside brilliant local government officials in a growing and diverse community has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” Fry said. “Every day has new problems to solve and the chance to make people’s lives just a little bit better.”
“The City of Paducah is thrilled to partner with the public administration team at Murray State University to host Harrison Fry as an intern in the city manager’s office,” Smolen said. “It’s incredibly beneficial for us as well as him. We try to provide a valuable experience with substantial projects that will prepare the student to enter the workforce while also helping us achieve the goals in our workplan. Harrison is tenacious and enthusiastic. His energy and fresh set of eyes is a great addition to our office.
“City Manager Jim Arndt and I are passionate about training the next generation of city leaders and are intentional in our efforts to make students aware of the rewarding professions in local government. We look forward to a continued partnership of hosting interns with Murray State University.”
“As both a proud alum of the MPA program and a member of the Murray State MPA Advisory Council, it is very gratifying to see students like Harrison doing great things within this excellent program,” said Jordan Smith, Murray State director of government and institutional relations. “We are also very appreciative of the City of Paducah for offering such prestigious, hands-on learning experiences for our MPA students.”
Murray State University’s MPA degree is offered on-campus in Murray, through online classes or via Interactive Television (ITV) courses at Murray State regional campuses in Paducah, Madisonville, Henderson, Hopkinsville and Fort Campbell. The MPA degree readies students for a successful career as upper-level administrators in public service organizations.
Murray State’s MPA program offers students a chance to develop their areas of specialization with various concentration options. The University offers four concentrations in the areas of health administration, public and community health, economic development and nonprofit leadership studies. Students also can develop their own concentrations in their areas of interest.