Giving Back

BYU Marriott MPA alumni are among the best in the world. We continue to be humbled by the many ways our alumni give back to the program.

Ways to Give Back

To help our alumni determine the best ways they can give back to the MPA program, we have defined below broad categories. Click here to complete a survey to tell us how you would like to make an iMPAct.

Helping Students

Not only do our alumni donate financially, but they are deeply involved with current students at six critical stages throughout the program:

  • Orientation: Approximately twenty alumni participate on small panels and answer questions from new students. Students will continue their discussions and interact more intimately with one or two panelists during lunch.
  • Information Sessions: Alumni conduct information sessions about their organization and workplace when they have job or internship opportunities become available.  
  • Mentoring: Alumni mentor, network, and collaborate with students through alumni dinners, career trips, conferences, advisory board meetings, and other informal events.
  • Informational Interviews: Alumni meet one-on-one with students via technology or in person to answer questions about their career path, the industry, etc., as students seek to understand their own interests and career goals.
  • Mock Interviews: Alumni conduct mock interviews and give critical feedback to students as they help them prepare to successfully navigate the interview process.
  • Lecture Series: Alumni spend a lunch hour with a small group of students then speak in the lecture series, where they explain their career path followed by a presentation about their current job. The speaker presents a case study and leads a discussion around a real issue or challenge from their workplace. Students are exposed to various jobs in public administration to help them determine their area of interest and make a personal connection with the lecturer.

Refer a Job

If your organization likes the work that you do, chances are that they would like to hire more BYU Marriott MPA students and alumni. We consider the hiring organization to be as important a stakeholder as our students. Creating a win-win outcome is our top priority.

If your organization is looking to hire more MPAs, please email Frank Ordaz. Frank will work directly with you to determine the best method for getting the word out and finding the best match. Some of the current options include the following:

  • Arranging to have recruiters from your organization work with us.
  • Posting the position on the weekly Friday Forecast to promote to current students.
  • Posting the position on Handshake, BYU’s electronic job board.
  • Hosting someone from your organization to conduct an information session.
  • Connecting the recruiter with selected students recommended by Frank for consideration.
  • Posting the position to our exclusive LinkedIn group, particularly if the position is more suited to alumni.

During the entire recruiting process, our services and facilities are available as needed to facilitate a stress-free and effective process.

Spread the Word

Our best recruiters are our alumni. Help spread the word. You can recruit students by:

  • Helping with information sessions and recruiting events.
    • Assist with logistics (suggest and/or help find a meeting place).
    • Attend and help answer questions as an alum of the program.
    • Volunteer to host an information session in your area.
  • Helping a prospective student.
    • Answer their questions about the program.
    • Share your path to the program.
    • Describe why you chose the BYU Marriott MPA program.
    • Tell how you are using your MPA degree.
  • Sharing personal stories.
    • Send us a note or testimonial that we can post.
    • Volunteer to be in a short marketing video.

Refer a Student

Do you know someone who would be a good BYU Marriott MPA student and belongs in our program? Please send them our way. If you are writing a letter of recommendation you may want to include the following:

  • Why is this student a good fit for the BYU Marriott MPA program?
  • What public administration and/or leadership experience do they have?
  • What is this student’s unique factor?

If you would like to refer someone, please contact Heather Chewning.


A BYU Marriott MPA degree offers a learning environment that cultivates the mind, heart, and soul in preparation for a lifetime of service. Stewart Grow, first director of the MPA program, coined the phrase that greets visitors at the entrance to BYU: “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve.” The program’s mission is to prepare leaders of exceptional capability and integrity who are committed to serving their communities and making public service and nonprofit organizations better.

There are multiple giving opportunities that allow the MPA program to attract, develop, and place students who are committed to BYU and the Romney Institute’s unique mission. They are explained below. By clicking here, you can donate to one of these priorities:

MPA Class Scholarship — A scholarship fund for students in the BYU Marriott MPA program.

Romney Endowment Scholarship — This endowed scholarship is specifically for students pursuing nonprofit management.

LDS City Managers Endowed Scholarship — This endowed scholarship is specifically for students pursuing a career in local government.

Doyle Buckwalter Internship Scholarship — This endowed scholarship is specifically for assisting students on unpaid internships and to honor a couple of outstanding student interns.

William Hansen EMPA Scholarship — This endowed scholarship is specifically for students in the EMPA program.

Gail S. Halvorsen MPA Endowed Scholarship — This endowed scholarship provides support for MPA or EMPA students who are first responders or come from a first responder household.

MPA Student Support Fund — This fund is used to provide student financial support, including scholarships, grants, fellowships, awards, student wages, inspiring learning and experiential learning opportunities, mentored-learning experiences, assistantships, student research, internships, study abroad, work-study, travel, and participation in competitions.

EMPA Student Support Fund — This fund is used to provide student financial support, including scholarships, grants, fellowships, awards, student wages, inspiring learning and experiential learning opportunities, mentored-learning experiences, assistantships, student research, internships, study abroad, work-study, travel, and participation in competitions.

“It’s a Lot of Help for Me.”

During his summers between high school, Karl Santiago earned a mere $2.50 per day harvesting corn with a farmer in his hometown, Isabela, Philippines. Around that same time, he joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and after a short stint in college, he served a mission. There, his mission president encouraged him to apply to BYU–Hawaii.

“I got accepted, but because of my financial background, it was super hard to get to the US,” he says. “My parents decided to sell their house for me to get an education.”

Santiago graduated magna cum laude and worked for the Hawaii state senate before applying for the master of public administration program at BYU in Provo. This time, when he crossed the ocean to begin a new program, he brought a wife and a daughter. Finances again presented a barrier, but Santiago received a half-tuition scholarship, and his wife found a job at an eating disorder clinic to help with the bills.

“I’m super grateful for people who donate,” he says. “For some people, maybe $100 or $200 is not too much. But for people like me from a developing country, that’s a lot of money. It may be trivial for them, but it’s a lot of help for me. I hope they continue to give.”

In Provo, Santiago found that same sense of “ohana,” or family, among his classmates that he found in Hawaii. And with the education he’s gaining at BYU Romney Institute—and perhaps in a future PhD program—Santiago hopes to find a lifelong career in public service. He wants to give back, to help those who are struggling to gain education and equality.

“What really attracted me to the program is that I’m drawn to service,” he says. “When representatives came to BYU–Hawaii to tell us about the program, they shared a video that said, ‘You don’t need a degree to give food to the homeless, but you need a master’s in public administration if you want to effectively oversee nonprofit organizations and government systems.’ And that’s why I’m here.”

Update Your Info

To update your personal information, click here or call the BYU Alumni office at 1-800-437-4663.

Note that updates can take up to one week to appear in the directories.