Romney Institute Honors MPA Student with 2021 Buckwalter Scholarship

PROVO, Utah – Jan 03, 2022 – The Romney Institute of Public Service and Ethics at the BYU Marriott School of Business presented the annual Doyle W. Buckwalter Scholarship to second-year MPA student Heather Shurtliff, who hails from Taylor, British Colombia, Canada. The $2,000 scholarship recognizes Shurtliff’s excellent contributions to her internship for the city of Vineyard, Utah.

During her internship, Shurtliff worked closely with the city manager and finance director on a variety of projects, including organizing events and creating the city budget. “I loved the process of putting together the budget,” she says. “My favorite part of my internship was meeting with every department in the city to review their goals for the upcoming year so I could include their goals in the budget. The meetings gave me a better understanding of how each part of a city works.”

Adding department goals was not the only step Shurtliff took to complete the budget. She also organized the city’s construction contract auditing ledger and created a system to catch fraud in Vineyard’s financial records. One area she specifically worked with was gas-card auditing reports.

“I created an Excel spreadsheet that audited the receipts of city employees and determined if their gas cards were being used appropriately,” Shurtliff explains. “The spreadsheet also taught staff members about the proper use of gas cards for the city. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that tax dollars must be used wisely and responsibly since that money comes from residents and should go toward improving the city.”

Two $500 honorable mentions were also awarded to second-year MPA students. Tanner Cox from Bluffdale, Utah, was a research analyst intern at the Office of the Utah State Auditor. Connor Mason from Herriman, Utah, interned for the US Government Accountability Office as a student analyst.

The scholarship is named after Doyle W. Buckwalter, who served as the associate director and internship coordinator of the Romney Institute for 28 years. The scholarship recognizes high-performing MPA interns who also share what they learned with fellow students. 

Second-year MPA student Heather Shurtliff received the Buckwalter Scholarship for her outstanding wok as an intern with the City of Vineyard. Photo courtesy of Jes Myrick.
Second-year MPA student Heather Shurtliff received the Buckwalter Scholarship for her outstanding work as an intern with the city of Vineyard, Utah. Photo courtesy of Jes Myrick.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sarah Calvert