WMU News

Four public administration alumni honored

July 10, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Four alumni of Western Michigan University's School of Public Affairs and Administration were recently inducted into the Public Administration Alumni Academy at WMU.

Gus Breymann, Connie Dykman, Brenda Hunt and Ronald Reid were accepted into the school's Alumni Academy, which recognizes the exceptional accomplishments of School of Public Affairs and Administration graduates and fosters a closer relationship between the school and its alumni.

Gus Breymann of Lansing, Mich., director of WMU's Lansing Branch Campus, received a master's of public administration degree from the University in 1979. He is involved in a number of community organizations, including the Lansing Area Chamber of Commerce, the Peace Corps Advisory Board, and his church. Breymann is an active participant in the Capitol Area Chapter of American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and a longtime member of the national chapter, where he recently was recognized for 25 years of membership in the organization. He also was instrumental in starting a Lansing chapter of the American College of Health Care Executives and the Michigan Capital Area chapter of the Project Management Institute. Breymann is a member of the Michigan Association for Adult and Continuing Education and the Capital Area Higher Education Network.

Connie Dykman of Bronson, Mich., is director of the Family Independence Agency for Branch and Hillsdale counties. She received a master's degree in 1984 and a doctorate of public administration degree in 1989, both from WMU. Her dissertation, "Conversion of the Coldwater Mental Health Center: Impact on Employees," examined the effects of a decision made by the state, which converted a facility for developmentally disabled residents into a center serving patients with mental illnesses. Dykman, who is actively involved in her community, organizes her community's Christmas basket project, an event that reaches out to others in Bronson and surrounding areas.

Brenda Hunt of Battle Creek, Mich., is president and chief executive officer of the Battle Creek Community Foundation. She earned a bachelor's degree from WMU in 1983 and a master's of public administration degree in 1986. She worked with the United Ways of Greater Kalamazoo and Holland and the American Red Cross of Kalamazoo, Cass and St. Joseph counties. In 1993, she joined the Battle Creek Community Foundation and subsequently rose through the ranks from program officer to her current position as CEO. During her time with the foundation, Hunt has managed the redesign of the grant-making system and the development of youth and scholarship programs. She also played a significant role in the development of the Nonprofit Alliance, the School Age Child Care Project and the Pathways and Scholarship initiative. Hunt also has provided leadership and guidance in fostering public-private partnerships in the healthcare sector.

Ronald Reid of Kalamazoo is director of the Kalamazoo County Road Commission and secretary of the Southwestern Council of the County Road Association of Michigan. He received a bachelor's degree from WMU in 1975, a master's of public administration degree in 1983 and a doctorate of education degree in 1992. Under his leadership, the Kalamazoo County Road Commission has pursued privatization initiatives resulting in a more efficient use of public funds. Reid also was president of the County Road Association of Michigan. He is a frequent guest lecturer for WMU's School of Public Affairs and Administration.

Media contact: Tonya Hernandez, 269 387-8400, tonya.hernandez@wmich.edu

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