Marjorie McNichols-Sealey

M.P.A. '12

Passion. That’s the perfect word to describe Nova Southeastern University alumna Marjorie McNichols-Sealey. After serving in the U.S. Air Force for 30 years, she’s passionate about public service, providing quality service to military veterans, and NSU. She earned a master’s degree in public administration and her favorite part of the program was the instructors.

“The professors were phenomenal. I would challenge them and they were so good about answering all of my questions. And I received a lot of good advice from them. One of my professors was a city manager,” she says. “The professors are working in the field so they’re able to provide real life scenarios. I love Dr. Pinkowski – I think he’s the coolest dude. If I had stayed in Florida, I would have loved to do a doctorate in public administration with him as my advisor. ”

Each semester, Marjorie enjoyed taking two courses: one online course and the other in the classroom on NSU’s Fort Lauderdale campus.

“I loved that process, the flexibility was great,” she says enthusiastically. “I really enjoyed it.”

Once her military career was over, Marjorie embraced her dream of living in a small town and working as a city manager.  She knew she would need more education to be successful.

“I worked for government all of my life and my goal was to go back to Alamogordo, New Mexico, and be the city manager,” she says. “I wanted to be fully prepared and have a toolbox full of the latest and greatest skills for city employment. NSU’s M.P.A. program really set me up for success.”

Marjorie fell in love with Alamogordo, along with its small town values and 30,000 residents, when she was stationed there during active duty. After receiving her M.P.A. in 2012, Marjorie returned to her favorite city, ready to make her mark.  In 2015, she interviewed and was offered the Assistant City Manager position. However, she was conflicted because she loved working with fellow vets at the Office of Veterans Affairs.

“The VA didn’t want me to leave so I didn’t take the Assistant City Manager position,” she explains. “It was really hard for me because it had been a goal for so long. But I declined it because the VA does very philanthropic work with the veterans—we take care of veterans—and that’s very important to me.”

“The education that I received from NSU prepared me for my career. All of the classes touched on some aspects of public interest that I am using in my current job. I’m a much stronger leader. I see things from a broader scope and I can better deal with issues in management and leadership. The program helped me to bring a more robust toolbox to the table,” she explains.

As she looks to the next new chapter in her life, Marjorie’s passion is leading her toward another discipline.

“I want to get a law degree. Does NSU offer online law classes?”