Center Staff

Ann Cotten is the Executive Director of the Schaefer Center for Public Policy at the University of Baltimore and an affiliated faculty member in the College of Public Affairs. She has been working with government and nonprofit organizations for the past 25 years in the areas of strategic planning, program evaluation, survey research, policy analysis, management consulting, and performance measurement.

Dr. Cotten directs the Maryland Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program. The Maryland CPM Program teaches applied public management skills to supervisors and managers in Maryland’s government and nonprofit organizations.

Prior to starting the Maryland CPM Program, Dr. Cotten directed the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Fellows Program from 2007-2011 on behalf of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation. The Weinberg Fellows program is a leadership development program for executive directors of nonprofit organizations that serve the financially disadvantaged in the Baltimore area.

A main focus of Dr. Cotten’s work is to help public and nonprofit organizations address strategic challenges. Dr. Cotten has led numerous research projects during her career. Recent projects include an assessment of the civil legal needs of low income Marylanders for Maryland Legal Aid; a study about health insurance access and use among Marylanders in low-income, rural, and medically underserved areas of the state; an evaluation of Maryland’s Tobacco Control Program; a financial projection and staffing model for a large non-profit organization in Maryland; and a comprehensive review of Baltimore City Community College;.

Dr. Cotten has extensive experience training public sector managers in Managing for Results, performance measurement, and strategic planning. She has facilitated the development of strategic plans for a number of Maryland agencies and the Midtown Special Benefit District.

She recently completed two terms on the executive council of the National Certified Public Manager® Consortium where she also served as treasurer. Previously she served as President of the Southern Consortium of University Public Service Organizations, Member of the American Society for Public Administration’s National Council, and President of the Maryland Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.

She has also served as a member of the finance committee of the American Society for Public Administration. She chaired the University of Baltimore’s Institutional Review Board and Council on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.

In 2008, Dr. Cotten was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by the Maryland Daily Record. She is a member of Leadership Maryland Class of 2012 and the GBC Leadership Class of 2015.

She has taught strategic management for government and nonprofit organizations and survey research in the University of Baltimore’s School of Public and International Affairs. Dr. Cotten is a professionally trained focus group moderator and is an experienced trainer of mid and upper level managers. She hold a Master’s Degree in Economics and Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Andra Calvin Brown II is the Internship Coordinator at the Schaefer Center of Public Policy. Calvin is deeply committed to the program’s mission of preparing University of Baltimore students from diverse academic backgrounds for careers in public service.

In his role as Internship Coordinator, Calvin focuses on fostering productive relationships between NextGen interns and their host sites, ensuring a seamless and mutually beneficial internship experience.

Prior to his role at the University of Baltimore, Calvin worked at Morgan State University as the Communications Coordinator for the Center of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. In this capacity, he contributed to addressing disparities in business ownership among people of color through research, awareness initiatives, and access to entrepreneurship education. He played a key role in the successful launch of the Start A Business – Change Your Life Program, a comprehensive 10-month program designed to assist low-income Baltimore residents in starting or expanding their businesses.

Calvin obtained a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Morgan State University, which eventually led him to co-found Bymyselfornothing LLC, a Baltimore-based clothing brand promoting self-love, self-reliance, and self-prosperity. Through this venture, he and his business partners connect with consumers on a personal level, emphasizing the value of individuality.

Michelle A. Cantave  has over 20 years of experience with applied social science and survey research in a variety of fields including health, education, and labor.  Ms. Cantave has worked in State and Federal contracting organizations as well as private companies and educational institutions.  Ms. Cantave has over ten years of experience with managing surveys and survey centers.  Ms. Cantave is experienced in qualitative and quantitative data analysis, conducting school visits to collect data, conducting cognitive interviews, and call center management.   She also has extensive experience with programming surveys for CATI systems, collecting, cleaning and weighting data, managing experiments and analyzing data.

Prior to joining The Schaefer Center at the University of Baltimore, Ms. Cantave worked at REDA International, Inc. for six years as a Research Analyst and Programmer. Ms. Cantave also worked for Arbitron, Inc. as a Project Leader, at the American Institutes for Research as a Survey Methodologist, and at IMPAQ International as a Senior Research Analyst. Ms. Cantave earned her B.A. in Psychology and M.S. in Survey Methodology from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Sarah Ficenec is Assistant Director for Research at the Schaefer Center for Public Policy. Her work includes serving as a contact point for clients, conducting quantitative and qualitative research, writing proposals and reports and presentations of the Schaefer Center’s research findings, and managing the research staff and Graduate Fellows.

Dr. Ficenec has over 15 years of experience in policy research, analysis, and evaluation on issues including urban policy, economic development, regional collaboration, interpersonal and interorganizational networks, workforce development, international relations, advocacy for girls’ and women’s issues, and early childhood education.

Most recently, Dr. Ficenec was the Senior Research and Policy Analyst at the Connecticut Economic Resource Center. For four years, she conducted research projects concerning economic development in Connecticut for clients including the state legislature and executive agencies, town governments, regional organizations, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Her work included economic impact reports, statistical analyses, literature reviews, survey design and analysis, and interviews of policy makers. She also presented demographic, economic, and fiscal data on Connecticut towns at municipal economic development workshops for local elected officials and other community members.

Prior to her work in Connecticut, Dr. Ficenec served as a Budget Management Analyst for the City of Baltimore, and Associate Director for Policy and Communications at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, among other positions.

Dr. Ficenec holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Public Administration from the George Washington University. She also has a Master’s in Public Policy from the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History from Creighton University. Dr. Ficenec has presented at several academic and professional conferences and serves as adjunct faculty in The University of Baltimore’s College of Public Affairs.

Diane Geiman serves as the Training Manager for the Schaefer Center for Public Policy, where she oversees the management of the Center’s professional development initiatives. This includes the administration of the Maryland Certified Public Manager® Program and the Maryland Equity and Inclusion Leadership Program.

Before joining the Schaefer Center, Diane held a significant role at the American Correctional Association, where she served as the Association’s Online Training Administrator. In this capacity, she managed the Association’s e-learning platform and was the Instructional Curriculum Developer for the Academy. With a comprehensive background in training program development, Diane has crafted diverse programs encompassing classroom, e-learning, and multimedia formats. Her expertise spans a spectrum of topics, ranging from law, security, and medicine to mental health, supervision, and management.

Diane’s professional journey includes the management of corporate partnerships and collaboration with local, state, and federal governments nationwide, as well as engagement with the military. Notably, she played a pivotal role in developing the mandatory certification program for auditors involved in accrediting correctional facilities and programs on a national and international scale. She managed the American Correctional Association’s publishing initiatives for professional development, co-authored more than a dozen books, and accomplished grant writer. 

Actively engaged in her community, Diane is a dedicated volunteer for various organizations. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland.

 

Kelsey Hundt is the Training Assistant at the Schaefer Center for Public Policy, where she provides support to the Maryland Certified Public Manager® (CPM) program, The Maryland Equity and Inclusion Leadership Program (MEILP), other continuing education programs offered to managers and executives in government agencies as well as nonprofit organizations.

Prior to joining the Schaefer Center, she spent three years in the Durable Medical Equipment (DME) field at Rotech Healthcare, where she was a Customer Service Representative and took on the role of Team Lead. Kelsey also was the IT Help Desk Specialist at Notre Dame of Maryland University. 

She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Notre Dame of Maryland University. 

Jasmyne Jardot is a Research Analyst at the Schaefer Center for Public Policy. In her role, she conducts qualitative and quantitative research, provides project support, assists with data collection, analyzes demographic, focus group, interview, and survey data, and writes reports and summaries of data findings.

Jasmyne has an extensive background in research, with over six years of experience working for a clinical research unit at Johns Hopkins University where she honed her research skills and contributed to groundbreaking projects in the field of behavioral pharmacology. She also has experience in people management, as most recently before joining the Schaefer Center she worked as a Research Program Supervisor overseeing staff on a research unit. Jasmyne has also worked as a Schaefer Center Graduate Fellow for two years while completing coursework for her master’s degree. 

Jasmyne earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rowan University with a specialization in Applied Behavioral Analysis and also holds a certification in Management Development obtained from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. She is currently obtaining a Master of Science in Applied Psychology from the University of Baltimore, with a concentration in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology and certification in Global I/O Psychology. Jasmyne is also completing a master’s thesis and is studying the effects of leader emergence on global team outcomes in virtual and in-person environments. 

Pat Mikos is the manager for the NextGen Leaders for Public Service program in the Schaefer Center for Public Policy. Launched in 2022, the NextGen Leaders for Public Service program inspires and prepares students from all majors to explore careers in public service. Pat coordinates the delivery and expansion of paid internships and fellowship programs for UBalt students interested in positions in the public sector and nonprofit organizations.

Pat also coordinates professional development opportunities for students on career development and training related to careers in public service. She supports college-wide initiatives, Schaefer Center programs, and related initiatives and professional development opportunities for students aligning their interests to work experiences.

Throughout her 25-year career in public service, Pat has focused on education and workforce development. Prior to her arrival at the Schaefer Center in 2022, Pat worked at the Maryland State Department of Education in the Division of Career and Technical Education (CTE) leading efforts to expand access to work-based learning and develop career pathways for high school and postsecondary students. As a Baltimore resident, she has also served on neighborhood community development organizations and worked with city and state agencies to support community and workforce development across the Baltimore region.

Pat is experienced in collaborating with business and community partners, funders and policymakers to develop high quality Career Pathways, Work-Study, and Apprenticeship programs. She provided leadership and support for the development of Maryland’s CTE Career Pathways and related guidance and advisement tools (for secondary and postsecondary students). Pat is also experienced with providing technical assistance and training for career programs, employer engagement, transition programs, and apprenticeship and early-college access initiatives. Pat has also worked with national, state and local non-profit organizations focused on education, workforce development, and accountability.

Pat received her undergraduate degree from Hood College and holds an MPA degree from the University of Baltimore.

Jessica Robey is the Communications Liaison for the Schaefer Center for Public Policy, in her role she promotes the Schaefer Center in both internal and external communications including but not limited to press releases, social media, and designing materials.

Prior to her current position, Jessica served as the Marketing and Communications Manager for Caroline Center a nonprofit workforce development program in Baltimore. Her passion for design and making a positive impact extends beyond her professional career, as she currently volunteers her marketing expertise to support other nonprofits and businesses in the area. Jessica served in AmeriCorps in Baltimore for two years followed by serving in the Peace Corps in Jamaica for three years.

Jessica recently graduated from the Master of Arts in Integrated Design program at the University of Baltimore. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a Communications Minor from West Virginia University and an Associate of Arts in Journalism with an emphasis in Print Journalism from Potomac State College.

Emily Scheeler is Schaefer Center for Public Policy’s Administrative Assistant, supporting and managing office operations, scheduling appointments, organizing documents, and assisting with administrative tasks. She plays a pivotal role in maintaining efficient workflows, and the organization to operate effectively while providing essential administrative support
 

Emily has a diverse background in nonprofit and government administration, with experience working for organizations such as the Archdiocese of Washington, the US Census Bureau, and the Maryland Department of General Services. In her most recent role as Grants Coordinator for the Capital Grants Program, she had responsibilities related to managing and distributing grants for various projects.

 
Emily served four years in the US Navy and was a photographer and journalist during her service. Her work was published on Navy.mil and in the Navy Norfolk Flagship newspaper. She earned her Bachelor’s in Studio Art from the University of Maryland College Park, specializing in photography and art theory. She also obtained her Associate’s in Art History from Montgomery College. 

Catherine Znamirowski is a Research Analyst at the Schaefer Center for Public Policy. Her work includes conducting qualitative and quantitative research, providing project support, assisting with data collection, analyzing demographic, focus group, interview, and survey data, and writing summaries of data findings. She is currently a student in the Doctor of Public Administration program at The University of Baltimore’s (UBalt’s) School of Public and International Affairs. Having completed her doctoral coursework, Catherine is in the dissertation phase of her degree and studying the impact of racializing discourses on the implementation of immigration policy in the United States.

Catherine has extensive writing experience, which includes academic writing, copyediting, and teaching writing to undergraduate and graduate students. Before joining the Schaefer Center, Catherine worked as a Writing Fellow and Writing Consultant at UBalt’s Writing Center for three years. Catherine also worked as a Graduate Assistant at UBalt for two years while completing her doctoral coursework, and she has volunteered at several small nonprofits in the Baltimore area.

Catherine earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Notre Dame of Maryland University and a Master of Arts in Global Affairs and Human Security from UBalt.

Faculty Fellows

2022-23 Faculty Fellows

Thomas A. Darling
School of Public and International Affairs

Tina DiFranco
School of Health and Human Services

Ed Gibson
School of Public and International Affairs

Margaret Gillingham
School of Health and Human Services

Al Gourrier
School of Public and International Affairs

C. Alan Lyles
School of Health and Human Services
School of Public and International Affairs

Thomas E. Mitchell
Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences

Carol A. Molinari
School of Health and Human Services

Lorenda A. Naylor
School of Public and International Affairs

Jeffrey Ian Ross
School of Criminal Justice

Renita Seabrook
School of Criminal Justice

Ivan Sascha Sheehan
School of Public and International Affairs

Debra L. Stanley
School of Criminal Justice

Larry W. Thomas
School of Public and International Affairs

Frank van Vliet
Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship

Aaron Wachhaus
School of Public and International Affairs

John T. Willis
School of Public and International Affairs

Heather Wyatt-Nichol
School of Public and International Affairs

Tina Zhang
Merrick School of Business

Graduate Fellows

The Schaefer Center awards fellowships to a select group of graduate students at the University of Baltimore. Fellows receive full tuition remission and a stipend while attending graduate school on a full-time basis. Fellows also work half time at the center, where they are provided with the opportunity to hone their skills in real-world settings under the guidance of experienced researchers.

Fellows have a rewarding experience at the center; as active participants in the center’s applied research mission, they work side by side with faculty members in a dynamic setting that challenges and expands their academic, interpersonal and technological skills and abilities. The breadth of research projects ensures that fellows will be exposed to a variety of public sector leaders and the challenges they face.

Upon leaving the center, fellows are prepared to assume challenging positions in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Among our graduate fellow alumni are recipients of the prestigious Presidential Management Internship and the Maryland Governor’s Policy Fellowship. Many of our alumni have moved on to positions of responsibility in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the National Institute of Justice, the Maryland Department of Fiscal Services, the Maryland Higher Education Commission, the Maryland Department of Planning and the Maryland Office of the Governor. Several fellows have gone on to Ph.D. programs and are now teaching in the public administration field.

Learn more about becoming a Schaefer Center Graduate Fellow.

Summer 2024 Graduate Fellows

  • Natalia Glinski
  • May Halfon
  • Michael Raup Jr.