ALBANY — Albany State University’s Veronica Adams-Cooper, an associate professor in the Master of Public Administration Degree program, was one of two recipients of the Academic Award in Memory of Stephen B. Sweeney, one of the most prestigious awards from the International City/County Management Association.
The award was presented during ICMA’s 97th annual conference Sept. 18-21 in Milwaukee, Wis. According to the ICMA awards program booklet, the award is named for the longtime director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government and is presented to “an academic leader or academic institution that has made a significant contribution to the formal education of students pursuing careers in local government.”
“Receiving this award means to me that I am striving to fulfill ASU founder Dr. Joseph W. Holley’s commission for faculty to ‘teach my students well,’” Adams-Cooper said. “I also feel that being nominated by some of my graduates who are current or former employees and/or interns with the city of Albany’s Department of Community and Economic Development and Planning Department is a great indication that the MPA Program educating and training a cadre of professionals for public service.”
Adams-Cooper was nominated for the award by several of her former students. A panel of 17 ICMA members selected award recipients. She received the award along with Carl W. Stenberg III, director of the MPA Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Adams-Cooper is the lead faculty member for the MPA program’s Community and Economic Development concentration and has served as the program’s MPA internship coordinator for the past seven years.
“... Dr. Adams-Cooper had a personal commitment to ensuring that any student that she taught would be a reflection of the academic values she herself possesses,” wrote Phyllis Brown in her letter nominating Adams-Cooper for the award.
Shamika S. Edward wrote: “Over the years, I have seen Dr. Adams-Cooper’s outstanding leadership contribution in supporting cultural change to help ensure students are knowledgeable and skillful to pursue careers in local government. Her unique teaching on community and professional services is outstanding because she touches upon critical issues that challenge students’ professional development.”
Adams-Cooper said she was honored to receive such a prestigious award.
“I thank my students and the ICMA Awards committee for bestowing this honor upon me,” Adams-Cooper said. “I will humbly value it as the top highlight of my first 10 years in academia at Albany State University and know that it now means much more is required.”