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New State and Local Scholarship Supports Student’s Path to Local Government

April 12, 2023

Rosalyn Impink is the first recipient of the scholarship created by an alumnus who had a long career in public finance.

Rosalyn Impink has aspired to a career in local government since she worked as a correspondent for her hometown newspaper in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, during high school.

Rosalyn Impink
Rosalyn Impink

She was a sophomore when she took her first writing assignment for the Tewksbury Town Crier—an early start for a journalist, but it seemed a natural fit, as she’d grown up watching her mother work there as a reporter. “I started working for the paper and covering town board meetings,” says Impink. “That’s what really exposed me to local government as a career path.”

Impink earned a bachelor’s degree in policy studies from Maxwell in 2022 and is now enrolled in the school’s top-ranked master of public administration (M.P.A.) program. She aspires to work as a town or city manager—it’s a pathway to improving communities and enhancing people’s lives, she says.

That made Impink a good match for the State and Local Government Public Administration Scholarship, established in early 2021 with a gift from alumnus Stephen E. Heaney ’76 M.P.A. to support graduate students interested in careers as professional managers in government. 

“Well-educated managers are crucial for the enormous challenges ahead for state and local government. All of us, as citizens—living in whichever state and whatever city—benefit when government operates efficiently, effectively and transparently. This is the hallmark of professional management,” says Heaney, who worked for more than four decades in public finance. His last role before retiring in 2019 was co-head of municipal securities and managing director of public finance for Stifel Nicolaus & Co in Los Angeles.

“I’m incredibly grateful to receive this scholarship through Mr. Heaney’s support,” says Impink. “It enables me to focus on my studies and developing my skills as a public administrator—skills which I hope to one day put to use to help improve communities.”

Impink says her career aspirations have been solidified through her Maxwell courses, starting with undergraduate instruction from faculty like Bill Coplin, professor of policy studies and Laura J. and L. Douglas Meredith Professor for Teaching Excellence. Coplin encourages his students to “do good.”

A hallmark of the policy studies program is a one-credit course that requires students to complete 30 hours of community service. As part of the Policy Studies Public Service Practicum, Impink interned at the Syracuse Office of Neighborhood and Business Development (NBD). “I had the opportunity to go weekly to the now-former City Hall Commons and work in the NBD planning hive, right in the middle of the action,” she says. “I was able to learn about ongoing and future projects and get an overview of the city’s economic development strategy.”

Her work also included collecting data on code violations for parcels across the city, and she later processed applications for a lead elimination program for families with young children.

While an undergraduate student, Impink also worked as an intern at Blueprint 15, Inc., a nonprofit leading the revitalization of the southside of Syracuse, which includes some of the oldest public housing in the country. “This process focuses on promoting pathways to education, wellness, and housing opportunity, without displacing current residents,” she explains.

In both internships and jobs, Impink worked with town administrators who provided both mentorship and encouragement to consider a career in government administration. They include Tewksbury Assistant Town Manager Steve Sadwick ’91 M.P.A. “I was incredibly lucky to have administrators in my town who were willing to indulge my questions about the field and encouraged me to pursue a career in local government,” she says.

Since starting the M.P.A. program this past summer, Impink has been working to expand her skills through a wide range of class offerings, including Public Budgeting, State and Local Financial Management and Government Finance, and Human Resources Management for the Public Sector. In addition, she is the professional development chair for the Maxwell student chapter of the International City/County Managers Association (ICMA). She adds, “and, I continue to enjoy strong campus community connections as a member of the University's Student Advisory Council.”

By Steve Buchiere

Published in the Spring 2023 issue of the Maxwell Perspective

Invest In Future Leaders

Since it was established with a generous gift by Stephen E. Heaney ’76 M.P.A., the State and Local Government Public Administration Scholarship has been bolstered by two anonymous bequests totaling $610,000 and contributions from alumni and friends of the Maxwell School. To make a contribution, visit the giving page

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