MPA 260: Applying Innovative Solutions to Current Problems

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    Comparing Corporate Tax Rates and Economic Growth in the Midwestern United States
    (2021-05) Strohman, Isaac O.
    Public policy makers often propose lowering taxes as a means for stimulating economic growth. Given the complexities of the tax system and economic forces, it is important to test this theory empirically to confirm what types of fiscal policy changes are most effective for healthy economic development. In this research paper, I compare Midwestern states’ top statutory corporate tax rates with their respective annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth each year from 2000-2017. Using a fixed effects regression model to analyze panel data for twelve states, I find that the top statutory corporate tax rate does not have a significant effect on GDP growth during the time examined. This finding is inconsistent with the theory that lower taxes lead to increased economic growth. However, further empirical testing is necessary to determine the effects of changing tax rates in both the short- and long-term.
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    Roll Call: Gender and the Alaska Municipal Clerk
    (2021-05) Kielsmeier, Krista
    Attendance at an Alaska Association of Municipal Clerks conference makes the gender disparity of the profession readily apparent. What caused this disparity, and what is its impact? A statewide municipal officials directory indicates approximately 90 percent of clerks in Alaska are female. That informal tally reflects the lack of public information available on this topic. Cases and interviews focused on the Kenai Peninsula and Southeast Alaska reveal barriers that impact clerks’ opportunities to earn promotions and fair pay, especially in small municipalities that place a clerk in the interim municipal manager role in response to vacancies. The historical bias of clerking as “women’s work” contributes to inadequate pay structures that undercompensate clerks serving as interim managers. These clerks face indefinite, repeat terms of interim service with little leverage against abuse. Clerks in an interim role or seeking a permanent promotion also might have non-traditional educational backgrounds that conflict with the value of their work experience. More broadly, clerks and other staff members contemplate impacts to family life and organizational attitudes about internal promotion when considering interim and permanent openings. This paper concludes with recommendations for improving the gender balance and fair treatment of Alaska municipal clerks.
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    Child Care Centers’ Experience with the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Program
    (2021-05) Reyes, Antonio Jr.
    he purpose of this study was to take a qualitative approach to identify what quality changes did staff members of childcare centers experience after partnering with the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Program. Six childcare programs that partnered with Drake University Early Head Start through the Early Head Start Child Care Partnership Program was selected as the program of focus. Staff members like teachers, teacher associates, and program leaders were sent electronic surveys with closed and open-ended questions in order to identify the quality changes they experienced. This information is used to help understand the impact of public policy like the EHS-CCP it has on those that carry out the services in behalf of the federal government and add to the literature on EHS-CCP.
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    Does having a Sudden Change to Online Learning Impact the Learning/Understanding of Material in Pharmaceutical Studies?
    (2021-05) Thieme, Marc T.; Lucht, Jacob A.
    The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of remote learning on a pharmacy student’s ability to learn and retain knowledge through the analysis of Grade Point Average trends and confidence using the information learned. Students and faculty were presented with two separate surveys regarding the switch to remote learning at Drake University. The survey answers were confidential and provided indications for understanding if students were learning and retaining information in the short term while remote. From the surveys, we found that students experienced more emotional stress and responsibilities once the school went remote. There was not a significant difference in the Grade Point Average earned throughout the semesters in which students were remote in comparison to in-person. More research on the long-term effects of remote learning will need to be conducted to determine if students were able to retain information while remote learning.
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    How Federal Agencies Can Attract College Graduates
    (2021-05) Kitchen, Robert M.
    When asked about post-graduation plans, 27.3% of students declared intent to pursue working in private industry, while 2% intended to work for the federal government. Employees younger than 30 make up only 8.5% of the federal workforce, compared to 23.2% of the U.S. overall workforce (“College Students,” 2014). Despite this disparity, 92% of the students I surveyed in age groups younger than 31 stated that they were willing to apply for federal positions if an agency scored well in categories students deemed important. In addition, students ranked work-life balance, pay, and performance-based rewards as their top three most important categories, which scored fourth, seventh, and tenth, respectively, by federal employees in 2019.