Award Winners | LSU Public Administration Institute

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Award Winners

David B. Johnson Award

David Johnson headshot


The David B. Johnson Award is awarded annually to an MPA student.  The award recognizes Johnson’s interest in academic achievement for those entering the public sector, an inquiring mind about public policy issues, and a commitment to improving public management/policy.

David B. Johnson was a Professor of Economics at LSU who initiated the Master of Public Administration Program in 1972.   He initiated the program with very little support from the college or university, but believed that public management/public policy were important components in the modern society.  Johnson, himself, was a public choice theorist from the University of Virginia who had studied with Professor James Buchanan, a Nobel Memorial Prize winner in Economics in 1986.  Buchanan, a graduate of the University of Chicago, initiated research on how politicians’ self-interest and non-economic forces affected public decision making and economic policy.  David Johnson followed this research interest.  He served in the U.S. Department of Treasury during the Presidency of Gerald B. Ford and worked on healthcare issues.  Johnson taught the Public Finance (ECON 4110) course for many years.  He maintained the MPA Program from 1972 through 1984 when the Public Administration Institute was instituted. Johnson was a very energetic researcher and a tremendous person with whom to have lunch or dinner.  He was an engaging conversationalist and a very bright mind.  


headshot of Macee Spencer

Macee Spencer

Headshot of Nicole Wesley

Nicole Wesley

Headshot of D'Spain

Erica D'Spain

Mark Richards headshot

Mark Richards


Mason Hess headshot

Mason Hess

David Stokes, Jr.

David Stokes, Jr.

Crystal Carter headshot

Crystal Carter

LaTosha Mullins headshot

LaTosha Mullins


Rachel Godeaux headshot

Rachel Godeaux

Scott Manguno headshot

Scott Manguno

Carlos Malbrew headshot

Carols Malbrew


Danielle Nienabar headshot

Danielle Neinabar


Astrid Merget Award

Astrid Merget headshot




The Astrid Merget Award is awarded annually to an MPA student who displays an exceptional commitment to public service. This award was created to honor Astrid Merget and to recognize the values of commitment to public service, citizenship, and community engagement.

Professor Astrid Merget served as executive vice chancellor and provost of LSU, as well as professor in the Department of Public Administration. She had previously served as dean of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (now the O’Neill School) at Indiana University, associate dean at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, director of the School of Public Policy and Management, associate dean, and acting dean at The Ohio State University, and chair of the Department of Public Administration at the George Washington University.

Professor Merget was widely respected in national policy circles. She was a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and served the academy as trustee, vice chair, and chair of the board. In 2011, she was appointed chair of the National Council for Science and the Environment, a collaboration of scientists, entrepreneurs, and academic leaders to establish solid science in environmental decision making and to improve environmental programs at universities across the United States. She served at the federal level as assistant secretary for policy and development at U.S. Housing and Urban Development and later as senior adviser to the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was an exemplar public servant, colleague, and teacher.

Headshot of Antoine Pierce

Antoine Pierce

Headshot of Ashley Coates Delrie

Ashley Coates Delrie

Christina Bastien headshot

Christina Bastien

Noble Young headshot

Noble-Bates Young


Amanda Galonek headshot

Amanda Galonek

Sarah Brown headshot

Sarah Brown