MURRAY, Ky. — Harrison Fry of South Fulton, Tennessee, a recent graduate of Murray State’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) program, has been awarded a Local Government Early Career Service Certificate from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) for his work in Paducah, Kentucky.
Fry, a May 2020 graduate of Murray State, received the award for his internship work with the City Manager’s Office within the City of Paducah government over the last year. Fry assisted in coordinating strategic plan efforts for the city, completed substantial policy analysis and research, collaborated with a regional city manager network to identify best practices for operations and utilized several of the fundamental skills associated with local government administration.
Founded in 1914, ICMA advances professional local government through leadership, management, innovation, and ethics. The certificate is awarded to graduating MPA/Master of Public Policy students who have completed extensive projects for local governments. It also recognizes graduating students in good academic standing who have gone above and beyond the requirements of their degree programs and displayed a commitment to local government service. Students receive the certificate based on nominations submitted by their ICMA Student Chapter faculty advisors at the end of each academic semester.
Fry, who also holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Murray State, said his interest in the field of economic development in rural government grew out of a desire to make a positive impact in regional communities with his career choice. The MPA program, which prepares students for a successful career as upper-level administrators in public service organizations, was a natural fit.
“In each core course of the MPA program, I found myself doing research or preparing projects that are very practical for public service work,” said Fry. “I saw this firsthand through my time in Paducah. Every professor gives the students freedom to select topics relevant to their career goals and provides their personal expertise in guiding the students to a fuller understanding of the issue at hand. I feel confident that the organization I eventually work for will be greatly benefited due to my being a Murray State graduate.”
Dr. Andrew Morelock, assistant professor of public administration, said Fry excelled in the program because of both his outstanding scholarship and his passion for public service.
“I am very pleased that Harrison has been able to use the knowledge and skills learned in our program to better serve the residents of Paducah,” Morelock said. “Public administration involves effectively managing public organizations in order to meet the needs of citizens. Much of the job is problem-solving. Harrison’s internship with the city provided an excellent opportunity to witness that process play out firsthand.”