The masters of public administration program honored a student who excels both in the classroom and the community. Athena Mota of New Bedford is the recipient of the 2010 Guy Clifford Scholarship.
Left to right: Dr. Jodie Drapal Kluver, Dr. Wendy Haynes, Athena Mota, Dr. Deniz Leuenberger and Dr. George Serra.
“I am so humbled to receive this,” an emotional Ms. Mota said at the conclusion of a ceremony held in the Dunn Conference Suites. “I’ve had so many opportunities from this program.”
She credited her professors and classmates for the success she’s had at BSC.
Ms. Mota has worked for nearly a decade in the field of nonprofit administration cultivating and sustaining efforts in public relations, marketing and public policy.
She is director of advocacy and communications for the YWCA Southeastern Massachusetts. In this role she is responsible for marketing, public education, media and community efforts. Ms. Mota serves as an Executive Committee member on the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Alumni Board of Directors. She is the immediate past Vice-Chair of the YWCA New England Region Board of Directors.
Through her involvement in the MPA program, she worked on a funding request that secured a $29,000 grant for the Chorus of Westerly. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Southcoast Program, which educates and motives participants to take action to benefit their community.
“She is a remarkable student and, even more so, an amazing person when it comes to being involved in the community,” said Ms. Mota’s adviser, Jodie Drapal Kluver, assistant professor of political science.
The dinner capped off a successful year for the MPA program. The keynote speaker was John Sears, a longtime public servant, former Massachusetts state legislator and candidate for governor against Michael Dukakis. His speech focused on the importance of caring for others and the fleeting nature of life.
The scholarship will help defray the cost of Ms. Mota’s continued participation in the MPA program. It was awarded by last year’s recipient, Joan Bryant. In her introduction, she referenced Ms. Mota’s essay, a necessary component of the scholarship application, where she stated one of her goals as “leaving the world a better place.”
“I think she is off to a great start,” Ms. Bryant said.
Ms. Mota lives in New Bedford with her husband, Gregory M. Westwater Mota, and her newborn son, Dominic James.
The late Guy Clifford was a BSC professor who taught history and political science.
“He had an abiding respect for public administration and good government,” said Dr. Wendy Haynes, associate professor of political science and coordinator of the MPA Program.
Posted on May 10, 2010