Vision of the Future: The PSIA Advisory Board 

In October of 2022, PSIA Department head Dr. Dlynn Armstrong Williams had a dream for the Department. This dream quickly turned into a vision for outlining a new way forward to maintain the stability of the Department as well the future direction of departmental initiatives. What prompted this dream and subsequent vision were the current challenges to higher and civic education. 

The main aspect of Dlynn’s vision was rather simple – how can we, the PSIA Department, bring together a group of folks who have successfully parlayed their higher education experiences into personal and career success to seek their counsel and direction? What if the department could capture their wisdom and insight, and subsequently translate that into new and better PSIA features and programs? This would assure that PSIA programs support and enable current and future students to achieve their personal and career goals. 

The Board was formally launched in the first part of 2023 specifically to support PSIA in defining and achieving its goals. The Board members primary duties are to: 

  • provide feedback regarding curriculum initiatives proposed by the Department, and encourage mentorship of PSIA students and graduates;
  • help get the word out about the programs within the Department and the personal and professional successes of our students, faculty and alumni;
  • generate ideas for and provide support to possible fundraising programs for use as student scholarships, student and faculty awards and travel, as well as general Departmental support.

The PSIA Advisory Board consists of a cross-section of both private- and public-sector professionals who represent a mix of academic interests and alma maters with a broad spectrum of experiences and diverse backgrounds. The Board is intended to convene at least twice a year to receive program updates from the Department; provide feedback and counsel on those programs; and provide Department leadership with potentially new ideas and ways with the express purpose of helping the Department identify where and how to best address our future as an organization and help us better prepare our students for their futures. 

The Board held its inaugural meeting on Mar 10th of this year. Among the basic administrative tasks that accompany starting an endeavor such as this, the members approved a set of Bylaws and elected Ms. Bev Hardin (UNG MPA ’99) to serve as president, with Mr. Bob Kennedy and Dr. Dan Papp to share the duties of vice president. Additionally, two working groups were organized and chartered – one to look at alumni-student mentoring, and the other to look at various aspects of fundraising to support department-related student activities. 


As mentioned earlier, the members of the Board hail from a wide variety of academic experience and career paths. Members bring to the Board insights and viewpoints from careers in the government, NGO and corporate worlds. Academically, six of the nine current members of the Board are UNG alumni (four political science undergrads and two MPA grads). Three members of the Department’s leadership team join the Board as ex officio members — the Department Head, the Associate Head and UNG’s Executive Director of Strategic Studies Programs & Partnerships. Lastly, two key UNG administrative support members: the Alumni Relations Officer for Young Alumni and the Director of Development, College of Arts and Letters are available to assist the Board as needed. 

The initial cadre of PSIA Advisory Board are: 

  • Paul Arcangeli, ’86 / biology. Principal, Invariant Government Relations 
  • Jason Barnaby, ’07 / political science. Director for Campaign Success, 
  • Melvin Gamble. President, Gamble Advisory Group 
  • Bev Hardin, ’99 / MPA. CEO, Carolina Youth Development Center 
  • Pete Hoffman, ’81 / political science. Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army 
  • Ben Jarrard, ’13 / political science. Chief of Staff, GA Senator Steve Gooch 
  • Robert Kennedy. President and CEO, Atlanta Council on International Relations 
  • Bryan Lackey, ’05 / MPA. City Manager, Gainesville, GA 
  • Dan Papp. President, Papp Consulting LLC. 

We are excited to have been able to assemble this group of exceptional people from outside of academia, whose extensive professional experience across the public and private sectors can help us identify and focus on specific issues, problems, concerns, etc., and who can help come up with possible solutions and programs when and where needed. We anticipate that the PSIA Advisory Board will be a tremendous boon to our mission and the future success of the UNG’s Political Science & International Affairs Department. 

If you are interested in joining the Board or helping out with the work of either of the two working groups, please let us know at We would love to have your help and input! 

 For more details on the Board members and to see the Board Bylaws visit our homepage at 


Board Members 
University of North Georgia Graduates  Graduation Date  Major   
Paul Arcangeli  1986  Biology  Principal with Invariant Government Relations, a bipartisan government relations and communications firm. 
Jason Barnaby  2007  Pol Sci  Director for Campaign Success at, the world’s largest online social change program.   
Bryan Lackey  2005  MPA  Gainesville, GA ., City Manager, 
Bev Hardin  1999  MPA  Chief Executive Officer of the Carolina Youth Development Center (CYDC), a multi-service child welfare and social services organization 
Pete Hoffman  1981  Pol Sci  Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army for Coastal Georgia.  He is also Officer Co-Chair of the Fort Stewart Retired Soldier Council and serves on the Chief of Staff of the Army’s Retired Soldier Council. 
Ben Jarrard  2013  Pol Sci  Chief of Staff to the Georgia Senate Majority Leader 
Other University Graduates       
Melvin Gamble  B.S. in International Public Administration  University of Southern California.     Founder/President of Gamble Advisory Group, a security-consulting firm 
Robert Kennedy  M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Georgetown University     President and CEO of the Atlanta Council on International Relations (ACIR) 
Dan Papp  Ph.D. in International Affairs from the University of Miami.     President of Papp Consulting LLC. He formed his company following his 2016 retirement as President of Kennesaw State University  
ex officio       
Dlynn Armstrong Williams  Department Head     
Craig Greathouse  Associate Dept Head     
Edward Mienie  Executive Director, Strategic Studies
Program & Partnerships 
Jared Patterson  Alumni Relations Officer for Young Alumni     
Josie Toney  Director of Development, CAL