Master of Public Administration
Michael C. Loner Receives 2011 Marshall E. Dimock Award
DREAM Executive Director recipient of award honoring scholarly and professional achievements of MPA students and alumni
- By Daniel John Kirk
Michael Loner's career has traveled the path of service for the public--a path along which he pursued his Master of Public Administration at the University of Vermont, and has excelled. Having worked for the Northwest Vermont Solid Waste District managing staff and volunteers in the past, serving the citizens of Franklin and Grand Isle counties, Loner is currently the Executive Director of the DREAM program and UVM's most recent alumni recipient of the Marshall E. Dimock Award.
"The DREAM Program is a mentoring organization with programs across Vermont and in the Greater Boston Area," notes Loner. "As Executive Director, I am responsible for the overall fiscal, programmatic and future health of the organization and have led the organization to include 6 new programs in Vermont and open a new office in Boston."
While pursuing his MPA, "Mike was an outstanding student" reflects Chris Koliba, Program Director of the MPA Program. Loner was also inducted into the Public Administration field's National Honors Society while at UVM.
As a nonprofit Executive Director, Loner is able to view the field of Public Administration on the ground level, and is a champion of the field and its relationship to government. "Public administrators should work to support political candidates, regardless of party, who have faith in government and public servants," says Loner. "We need candidates that recognize government can be part of the solution for some of society’s more complicated issues. We must also be willing to support candidates with the political courage needed to find and expose complacency and waste in government where it does exist regardless of how politically charged the topic may be."
Noting the relationship between public administrators and government, Loner also emphasizes the responsibility that comes with serving the public. "We need to recognize that with great trust comes great responsibility. As public servants we must be willing to meet this trust with hard work, creative problem solving, and transparency," he notes. "As managers we must strive to attract to our field the most competent individuals. This can be accomplished by empowering those who work in government positions to own their work, be responsible for their outcomes, and provide them with the flexibility needed to learn through their failures as much and in many ways more than they will through their successes."
A humble thinker, Loner reflects on the future of the Public Administration field, "Abraham Lincoln said 'Don't worry when you are not recognized, but strive to be worthy of recognition.' As Public Administrators our work often goes unnoticed and underappreciated, yet if we heed these words together we can maintain the high quality of work that public servants are capable of and expected to do and perhaps collectively win back the trust and respect of the public that we serve."