Professor to head Public Administration graduate program

 Professor to head Public Administration graduate program
August 01, 2012

Richard M. Smith, alumnus and assistant professor of Sociology, has been named coordinator of the new graduate program in public administration at McDaniel College.

“I have always been interested in how to influence change in society, and I believe public administration is one of the ways in which a person can advocate and actively foster change,” said Smith about his selection as the coordinator of the new program to be offered entirely online. “My experience as a sociologist, youth counselor and social activist provides me with not only the academic foundation but also the passion and excitement for public administration.”

Smith’s research focuses on the sociology of religion and the sociology of race and racism. After graduating from McDaniel in 2000, he went on to earn both his master’s degree and Ph.D. from Temple University. He has taught at McDaniel since 2010.

As an extension of McDaniel’s social and human service graduate programs, the new master of science degree in public administration combines courses on public administration and public policy. The program prepares students for careers in local, state or federal government, nonprofit organizations and the public sector, including healthcare, higher education, transportation, social programs, economic policy and environmental policy agencies, labor unions and professional associations.

The program, to begin in fall 2012, is being offered entirely online. In addition, a five-year combined bachelor’s/master’s degree in Public Administration is being offered to undergraduate students studying Business Administration, Environmental Policy and Science, Political Science and International Studies, Psychology and Sociology.

“It was always kind of my hope after I finished my Ph.D. that I could come back to McDaniel and maybe have the same influence on students – not just academically but also socially – that my professors had on me,” said Smith.

Henry Reiff, dean of Graduate and Professional Studies at McDaniel, knew Smith as an undergraduate student.

“It was clear that he was a passionate, intellectual and natural leader. He was also a successful advocate for social justice. He brings what is expected to McDaniel’s graduate programs – expertise, commitment, energy and vision. He is the perfect candidate to lead this new program.”

For more information, contact McDaniel’s Graduate and Professional Studies at 410-857-2500 or visit

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