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Faculty and Staff

Below you will find a list of the faculty for the Master of Public Administration program. If you are unsure of who to contact with your questions, please call the main program office at 509.828.1218.

  • Ning Li, Ph.D.
    Ning Li, Ph.D.
    Associate Professor and MPA Director
    Riverpoint 324
    Phone: 828-1264


    • Bachelors in Information Science, Peking University, China
    • Masters in Information Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
    • Ph.D. in Public Policy, George Mason University

    Areas of competence

    • Public Administration Theory
    • Science, technology, and Innovation
    • Public policy Analysis
    • Public Budgeting
    • Government Regulation on Business
    • Research Methods
    • Regional Development
    • Information Systems

    Area of special interest

    • Comparative policy analysis
    • Regional economic development
    • Science, Technology, and Society
    • Innovation policy
    • Cultural Studies
    • Scientometrics
    • China Studies

    Professional/ Public Service

    Dr. Li worked in the Bureau of Planning and Finance of Chinese Academy of Sciences in the 1990s. Prior to joining Eastern Washington University, Dr. Li worked in University of Guam, where he served as Department Chair, the MPA Chair, the University Faculty Senate, and other university and college level committee members.   He has collaborated with Guam local government agencies such as Guam Visitors Bureau and Guam Department of Public Health.   Dr. Li was a visiting professor at the Institute of Policy and Management, Academy of Sciences in the summer of 2012.  He is peer reviewer for several academic journals in public administration, public policy, regional science, and business administration.   Dr. Li is currently a member of the editorial board of the journal Forum on Science and Technology in China.

  • Larry S. Luton, Ph.D.
    Larry S. Luton, Ph.D.
    Riverpoint 324
    Phone: 509.828.1231


    • Bachelors in Political Science - University of Tennessee
    • Masters in Government - Claremont Graduate School
    • Doctorate in Government - Claremont Graduate School


    • Public Administration
    • Policy Analysis
    • Dynamics of Policy Formulation
    • American Government
    • Political Theory


    • Public Administration Theory
    • Public Administration Research Approaches
    • Environmental Policy Administration
    • Public Administration History


    • Spokane Transit Authority - Citizen Advisory Committee
    • Administrative Theory & Praxis - Educational Board
    • Eastern Washington University - Academic Senate

  • Robert C. Zinke, Ph.D.
    Robert C. Zinke, Ph.D.
    Professor of Graduate Program in Public Administration
    Riverpoint 339
    Phone: 509.828.1239


    • Bachelors Degree in Political Science - Washington State University
    • Masters in Political Science - Drew University
    • Doctorate in Public Administration - New York University


    • Theory and Methods of Social Science and Public Administration
    • Cost-Benefit Analysis and Administrative Rulemaking
    • Public Sector Grantwriting and Administration
    • History of Public Administration
    • Urban Public Policy, Politics and Administration
    • Technology, Ethics and Public Policy
    • Religion and Public Administration Theory


    Bob Zinke has nearly 20 years of teaching experience, almost 12 years at Eastern Washington University and eight years at William Paterson College, Wayne, New Jersey. He has taught over 25 different courses while at EWU. Bob has also served in various capacities as an administrator and consultant. In addition to various administrative and committee assignments associated with his career in higher education, Bob has also has experience as a Community Development Program Analyst, for Morris County, New Jersey, and more recently co-founded a private consulting firm. Bob serves as a part-time Lay Pastor for Wild Rose United Methodist Church, Deer Park, Washington. He has served in this capacity for four years.

  • María Verónica Elías, Ph.D.
    María Verónica Elías, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor of Graduate Program in Public Administration
    Riverpoint 328
    Phone: 509.828.1236
    • Bachelors in Geography- National University of the South, Argentina
    • Specialization degree in Management of Natural Areas, International University of Andalusia, Spain  
    • Masters in Geography and Urban Planning - University of Akron
    • Ph.D. in Urban Studies and Public Affairs - University of Akron

    Areas of competence

    • Political theory and political thought
    • Public administration theory
    • Public organizations
    • Ethics in the public sector
    • Public policy process
    • Community dynamics
    • Qualitative research 

    Area of special interest

    • Deliberative and collaborative governance
    • Community process and neighborhood organizing
    • Participatory planning
    • Phenomenological research
    • Interpretive policy analysis 

    Professional/ Public Service

    Professor M. Verónica Elías has over 10 years of experience working in the public sector. She worked in middle and higher education both in Argentina and the United States (National University of the South in Argentina, The University of Akron, Ohio, and Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, Indiana). Verónica has also worked in the Planning, Research and Development Office at the Akron Police Department. Moreover, she worked for the youth recovery center, Oriana House, performing law enforcement planning and crime analysis. She serves as a peer reviewer for several professional journals in public administration, public policy, and political science. She also serves in several university, college and departmental committees. Verónica is a research fellow with the Institute of Applied Phenomenology in Science and Technology led by Professor Ralph P. Hummel, housed in Canal Fulton, Ohio and Spruce Head, Maine.


  • Mary Ann Keogh Hoss, Ph.D.
    Mary Ann Keogh Hoss, Ph.D.
    Professor of Health Service Administration
    Riverpoint 338
    Phone: 509.828.1245
    Mary Ann Keogh Hoss is an experienced health care administrator. Her career in health care started in 1968. She has worked in support services, clinical services and administration. She is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and Fellow Distinguished in Recreational Therapy. She is also certified nationally as a recreational therapist. She has 30 years of experience in health care having worked in government hospitals as well as not for profit hospitals. She has worked as a support services worker, therapist, manager, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer. Her experience and skills as a leader help transform knowledge into actual working realities.
  • Roger Crum
    Roger Crum
    Adjunct Faculty Member
    • Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering - Duke University
    • Masters of Science in Systems Engineering Management with additional options in Marketing
      Management and Environmental Systems - West Coast University


    • Local Government Management
    • Public Budgeting
    • Labor Relations
    • Leadership


    • Leadership vs Management
    • Organizational Development


    Roger Crum served five years as an officer in the Air Force and eight years as a systems engineering
    supervisor in the aerospace industry before joining the public sector. Under a National
    Science Foundation program became a technology transfer advisor to local government,
    then moved into management. Served as Deputy City Manager and City Manager of
    Spokane, Washington, and City Manager of Evanston, Illinois before retiring from full
    time employment. Subsequently have served as an interim city manager and an interim
    parks director in addition to consulting work. Currently serving as a part time mediator
    for the Fulcrum Institute and continue as a volunteer advisor to Washington State city
    managers and administrators.

  • Gerry Gemmill
    Gerry Gemmill
    Adjunct Faculty Member
    Phone: 509.625.6326


    • Bachelors in Public Policy - Whitworth University
    • Masters in Public Administration - Eastern Washington University


    • Local Government Operations
    • Public Relations


    • Public Policy
    • Local Government Operations


    Gerry Gemmill worked at Spokane County for 33 years, retired as the County Operations Director. He is now currently working as the Deputy Director of Public Works and Utilities for the City of Spokane.
  • Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter
    Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter
    Adjunct Faculty Member
    Phone: 509.477.7195
    • Bachelors degree - Eastern Washington University
    • Masters in Public Administration - Eastern Washington University


    • Public Affairs
    • Media Relations
    • Emergency Communications
    • Intercultural Communications
    • Community Outreach


    • Public Discourse
    • Civic Engagement
    • American History


    Martha Lou Wheatley-Billeter is currently working as the Public Information and Communications Manager for Spokane County. She also spends time teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Gonzaga University.

  • Heather Lowe
    Heather Lowe
    Adjunct Faculty Member


    Human Resources Director for the City of Spokane, responsible for 16 employees directly and 2,500 employees indirectly; 17 years of progressive HR-specific experience including both private and public sector organizations; Negotiated numerous labor contracts, including public safety, and supplemental agreements with long-term strategic goals as the main objective; Created and implemented multiple process improvement plans and programs to improve employee satisfaction and organizational culture.



    • Responsible for managing an HR team of 15 in effectively driving all HR functions, including Labor & Employee Relations, Policies & Programs, Compensation & Benefits, Worker's Compensation, Training, Performance Management, Safety, and Administrative & System Support        
    • Serve as a member of the Mayor's Executive Team, providing insight and advice to all levels     
    • Successfully led the project team at Carrier Sales & Distribution for all elements of divesting the organization to an independent organization, including all elements of communication, workforce staffing, compensation, benefits, organizational structure, etc.      
    • Conducted a full organizational salary survey and subsequent action plan for the City of Spokane, utilizing market and industry data to identify trends and conclusions regarding compensation

    Organizational Structure / Design 

    • Re-organized the HR department to align resources appropriately and to deliver services more effectively to our customers 
    • Continual communication and support to realign staff throughout the organization as appropriate while ensuring bargaining requirements are met and negotiated where needed

    Labor Management / Contract Negotiations    

    • Successful management of nine bargaining units, including public safety units, at the City of Spokane; resolution of operational issues and open contracts negotiations through frequent labor management meetings    
    • Successfully negotiated a -0.14% total cost of compensation contract with a bargaining unit representing over 260 employees

    Customer Service      

    • Continuous focus on the customer, with specific and customized solutions provided for the situation Holistic approach used in implementing solutions to ensure strategic alignment to the common goal 


    City of Spokane                                                                                              

    HR Director      2011 - present        Spokane, WA

    Delta Business Training                                                                       

    Document Specialist      2011 - present    Virtual (ID)            

    Russell Sigler, Inc. (formerly Carrier Sales & Distribution)                                

    Regional HR Manager       2008 - 2011     Brea, CA

    YRC Logistics (global subsidiary of YRC Worldwide)                            

    Western Region HR Manager         2006 - 2008      Torrance, CA

    Ford Motor Company            

    HR Specialist - Volvo Cars of North America       2004 - 2006      Irvine, CA            

    Labor Relations Representative - St. Paul Assembly Plan      2002 - 2004      St. Paul, MN            

    Communications Specialist - North America Recruiting         1998 - 2002         Dearborn, MI            

    Applicant Tracking Specialist - North America Recruiting       1996 - 1998         Dearborn, MI


    2008  M.A. Human Resources Management (with Honors, 4.0 GPA) - Webster University

    2003 Six Sigma Green Belt Certification - Ford Motor Company 1999    

    1999  B.A. Sociology - Wayne State University

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