Desiree Casanova

M.P.A. '21

desiree casanova outdoor photo

Pursuing an M.P.A. from Nova Southeastern University was one of the best decisions that I could have made for my professional career. I had the privilege of attending NSU as an undergraduate and wanted to continue my education in public service, where I could work to positively impact lives and make a difference in my community.

I was attracted to the M.P.A. program because of the classroom environment, small class sizes, and accessibility to my professors.

While earning my M.P.A. degree, I formed close connections with several staff members including my academic advisor, Krissy Pawlowski along with Casey Seidman, M.P.A. Recruiter. Both staff members became influential during my time at NSU, providing ongoing support, encouragement, and guidance. Because of Krissy and Casey’s mentorship, I was awarded a Florida City County Management Association (FCCMA) scholarship, enrolled in the classes and degree concentrations that best aligned with my goals, and offered advice to future students interested in the M.P.A. program. While earning my degree, I worked for the City of Coconut Creek within the City Clerk Department where I applied theories from the classroom into the real world. With the support of the faculty and staff at NSU, I was able to work full time while completing my degree.

After receiving my M.P.A. degree, I was selected as the 2021 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Local Government Management Fellow at Sarasota County, furthering my skills in Public Administration. Upon the completion of my one-year fellowship in County Administration, I became the first ever Assistant to the County Administrator. While working in this position I assist Human Resources with recruitment by attending job/career fairs, work on special projects for County Administration, and work alongside the Government Relations Director to monitor State and Federal legislation and track legislative bills.

My goal is to inspire the next generation of leaders to think about a career in public service. I also hope others understand that taking the time and energy to invest in your academic career will lead to abundant opportunities. Because of my M.P.A., I am able to positively impact the lives of Sarasota County’s residents, a community my family calls home. FINS UP!