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Hampton Roads ASPA Chapter 2020 Awards

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ASPA as an organization.

By Thomas E. Poulin
June 28, 2020

The Hampton Roads (Virginia) Chapter of ASPA has recognized an outstanding practitioner, a distinguished scholar and a public administration student during the 2020 program year.

Bill Burket, Director, Marine Incident Response Team/Emergency Operations, Virginia Port Authority, Norfolk, VA

The Julian F. Hirst Award for Distinguished Service is awarded to a Hampton Roads public administrator with a distinguished record of public service. The award is named after Julian F. Hirst, who served as City Manager of Norfolk from 1975 until retirement in 1985. His role as Executive Director of the Virginia Municipal League further enriched his public administration career.

Mr. Burket was recognized for his dedication to increasing port safety in the Port of Virginia. Beginning in 1984, he began to develop a collaborative approach to preparing for and responding to maritime emergencies in Hampton Roads, one of the largest commercial ports on the East Coast. Incrementally building relationships and garnering support from many organizations, his efforts directly contributed to the groundswell development of the Virginia Port Authority’s Marine Incident Response Team, which now includes nearly a score of participating local, state, and federal agencies, as well as private sector organizations. His long-term passion and persistence have contributed to increased safety in the port, supporting both a higher quality of life for the region’s communities, as well as a more robust economic engine for the region.

Mary B. Manjikian, Professor, Associate Dean, Robertson School of Government, Regent University, Virginia Beach, VA

The Dr. Wolfgang Pindur Award for Distinguished Service in Academia and Practice is awarded to a Hampton Roads academic, recognizing outstanding service in the area of public administration education. The award honors Dr. Wolfgang Pindur, an academic whose lifelong efforts sought to bridge the worlds of the academic and the practitioner, seeking to continuously increase the effectiveness and efficiency of public services. 

Dr. Manjikian was recognized for a distinguished academic career, which continues through today. She has published five scholarly books on topics such as cyber-security and international affairs, written five book chapters, and published seven scholarly articles. Dr. Manjikian is a scholar-practitioner, with distinguished public service supporting her scholarly pursuits, including service as a Foreign Service Officer in Russia and Bulgaria, and as the Director of the International Programs for the Center for Excellence in Education. Her influence as a scholar and her quality as a faculty member is validated by her receipt of prestigious external awards and positions including the Regent’s Fellowship at the University of Michigan, Short Term Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the Nagel Institute Professional Development Program on Religion in China and a Fulbright Research Scholar award at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University, Great Britain.

Her distinguished and lengthy service seeking to bridge the gap between academia and practice, her commitment to democratic ideals and her passion for seeking to develop and sustain high-levels of responsive public service are to be commended.

Taiwo Oguntuyo, Doctoral Candidate, Public Administration and Policy, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA

The Hampton Roads ASPA Chapter Student Scholarship recognizes the potential for individual excellence in public service through scholarship and practice.

Ms. Oguntuyo is a Graduate Research Assistant at Old Dominion University, and currently serves as the Secretary to the Hampton Roads Chapter of ASPA. Her previous professional experience includes that of Director of Operation for the Feed the Gifted Nonprofit Foundation (OFTG), Nigeria, and as a Research Assistant engaging in Coastal SEES Collaborative Research: Sustainability of Chesapeake Bay Shorescapes. She has been an active, volunteer participant in university and community activities. She is currently interested in diversity, responsive governance and environmental justice. We wish her the best of fortune in her academic and professional endeavors.


Author: Thomas E. Poulin, PhD, MS(HRM), MS(I/O Psych.), EFO, serves on Capella University’s public administration core faculty. Prior to this, he served local governments in public and non-profit agencies for over three decades. He is the President of the Hampton Roads (VA) Chapter of ASPA; he may be reached at [email protected]

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The American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association for public administration. It is dedicated to advancing the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration.

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