MPA Spotlight: Krista Devlin

May 1, 2024
Krista Devlin

I have lived amongst both the southern cacti and the northern pine trees - and I have to say, Arizona has the best of both worlds. 

I was fortunate enough to experience the high elevation desert when I was in Flagstaff to complete my undergraduate degree in Psychology and Behavioral Sciences from Northern Arizona University. Soon after graduation, I began working for the City of Flagstaff in the Management Services department–it is worth noting that I certainly had not anticipated working in government, but it did not take long for me to realize that I wanted to build my career in public service. I did not have any prior government experience, but I was passionate about learning and decided that pursuing an MPA would be ideal. 

I was fortunate to be awarded the Keane Fellowship at the University of Arizona which brought me back to the desert. Leaving my comfort zone (and the pines) was easily one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but it has also proven to be the most rewarding.

My academic path has not only provided financial feasibility to pursue my MPA, but also networking and experiential opportunities to further develop the skills needed in local government. As a Fellow, I balance my normal course load with a Graduate Assistantship, a management internship, and a leadership role with the UA ICMA student chapter. It has been a busy couple of years! I am especially proud of the UA ICMA student chapter for hosting more events this year than we have been able to since the pandemic and for partnering with local stakeholders to provide students with opportunities for professional development. Go team. 

As I approach graduation, I am grateful for the professors who took the extra time to ask about my career goals, the students who truly made the whole experience worthwhile, and the UA staff who made sure I was on the right track (both academically and personally). Excitingly, I am currently transitioning out of my management internship and into a full-time role with the Town of Marana’s Human Resources department. I plan to continue finding ways to build the pipeline from UA to local government…and find more Arizona flora to fawn over.