Alumni and Friends

Graduates are encouraged to stay connected to the School of Public Policy and Leadership. We look forward to hearing from you!

  • Show your support and make a donation to the School of Public Policy and Leadership online through the UNLV Foundation.
    Note: When donating online, be certain to designate your gift to the School of Public Policy and Leadership.

If you have questions or comments and think we may be of assistance, or if you have news you’d like to let us know about, please contact us.

Class Notes

Jim O'Brien

January 24, 2021
Jim O'Brien, '93 MPA Public Administration, '05 PhD  Environmental Science, is retired from his job as emergency management director for Clark County.

Aaron Manfredi

August 29, 2019
Aaron S. Manfredi, '05 BA Criminal Justice, '14 Master of Public Administration, is  a nonprofit founder/executive board member and actively advocates on a variety of subjects, including human trafficking, autism, veterans, ex-felons, and at risk-youth. A former educator and law enforcement officer, he is the father of a 21-year-old son, Bailey. Mountain biking, acting, and volunteering are his hobbies.     

Holly Balmer

November 7, 2016
Holly Balmer, '13 Master of Public Administration, serves as chief of staff to the dean of the The City College of New York School of Medicine, which is part of the City University of New York system. She lives in the Bronx.

Beatriz Martinez

June 24, 2016
Beatriz Martinez, ’15 Master of Public Administration, joined the Clark County Regional Flood Control District in August 2015 as its public information coordinator. Running and volunteering are her hobbies.

Christopher Blinzinger

December 8, 2015
Christopher Blinzinger, ’13 MS Public Administration, has been the emergency manager for the city of Provo, Utah, since 2010. He served as chairman of the Utah County Local Emergency Planning Committee in 2014. This year he was elected president of the Utah Emergency Management Association. His hobbies include bicycle touring of the West, backpacking in the Rocky Mountains, fishing, and reading history. He and his wife have a blended family of eight children. They live in Pleasant Grove.

Aaron Manfredi

December 8, 2015
Aaron Manfredi, ’05 BA Criminal Justice, ’14 Master of Public Administration, is the founder/executive director of the nonprofit Asperger’s Training, Employment and Life Skills. Previously, he was employed by the Clark County School District, teaching middle school reading and emotionally challenged students and coaching varsity football for Sierra Vista High School. He also has worked as a juvenile probation officer. A veteran of Operation Desert Storm, he earned the Southwest Asian Medal with a Bronze Star. He played on the world champion U.S. Navy softball team and is a lifetime member of both the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He is a member of the UNLV Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders ambassador program. He earned a master’s degree in justice management from UNR. His hobbies include softball, flag football, working out, and traveling. He has one son.

Anne Alama Carpenter

December 7, 2015
Anne Alama Carpenter, ’98 Master of Public Administration, is a captain with the Nevada Highway Patrol, responsible for the commercial, rural, and urban day shift operations. In March she receive the Public Safety Award from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Safety Communications Award from the Strategic Highway Safety Plan/Zero Fatalities for the “It Can Wait for 28” Distracted Driving Program.

Richard Derrick

December 7, 2015
Richard Derrick, ’88 BS Business Administration, ’02 Master of Public Administration, is the chief financial officer for the city of Henderson. He leads the city’s financial management services to the public, state agencies, bondholders, grantors, auditors, elected officials, and city departments. Under his leadership, Henderson has maintained one of the highest bond ratings of any city in the state. He has worked for the city since 1999, in a variety of positions, including manager of budget and strategic management, assistant to the city manager, assistant finance director, and finance director. His hobbies include spending time with family, hiking, camping, skiing, kayaking, backpacking, fishing, volleyball, and travel. He and his wife, Bettyann Davis Derrick, ’88 BS Business Administration, ’95 Master of Education, have been married 30 years. They have three children, Leanna Derrick Mackelprang, ’11 BS Elementary Education; Loreal Derrick Hemenway, ’14 BS Elementary Education; and Richie Derrick, who is a junior in UNLV’s Lee Business School.

Leon Symanski

December 7, 2015
Leon Symanski, ’87 BS Business Administration, ’94 Master of Public Administration, ’01 JD, is an attorney at Craig P. Kenney & Associates. Before attending law school, he worked 10 years in the hotel/casino industry. During his undergraduate years, he played for the Runnin’ Rebels. His hobbies include golf, reading, and thoroughbred horses. He is married to Lisa Gentile Symanski, ’87 BA Communication Studies. They live in Henderson.