Just weeks before graduation, City Manager’s Office (CMO) Intern Bora Sulollari was named this year’s Outstanding Master of Public Administration (MPA) Student for the University of North Texas (UNT).
The Student of the Year award is given annually by the Department of Public Administration to the outstanding MPA student. The Outstanding Student Award includes a plaque recognizing the student’s achievements. In addition, the recipient of the Outstanding Master of Public Administration Student award receives the E. Ray Griffin Scholarship including a $1,500 award.
“Bora was an excellent student in the MPA program,” said Dr. Hee Soun Jang, associate professor and MPA program Coordinator of UNT adding that Sulollari had an “exceptional academic performance.”
“She managed exceptionally high grade-point average (GPA) during the course work in the rigorous MPA program and her performance was a direct result of her hard work and strong focus,” said Dr. Jang. “She has consistently demonstrated an ability to rise to any challenge that she must face. Her leadership and outstanding performance were evidence by the Outstanding MPA Student Award of 2021.”
Serving as an intern for the City since September 2020, Sulollari has played an integral part in the success of many projects during her time with Southlake.
“We are especially proud of Bora for receiving this award,” said Assistant City Manager Alison Ortowski, who is a former recipient of UNT’s Outstanding MPA Student Award. “She exemplifies excellence in all she does here for the City of Southlake, and there is no doubt that she displayed that same excellence during her academic career.”
The City of Southlake has a long-standing relationship with UNT’s MPA program, often selecting student interns from the school.
“We are fortunate to have student interns like Bora join our staff. It’s a great opportunity for them to get some experience working in a City Manager’s Office and we also benefit from their knowledge and skills to assist our team in accomplishing our City’s goals,” Ortowski said. “With her determination and tenacity, Bora has shown her ample abilities as part of our team. There is no doubt that she has a bright future ahead in public administration.”
Sulollari completed her MPA degree earlier this month with a 3.94 GPA. During her time at UNT, she served as president of the Public Administration Students Association.
Dr. Jang said Sulollari was “such a dedicated leader in Public Administration Student Association (PASA) during the testing time of the pandemic. She had shown a strong commitment to public service and outstanding organizational skills in leading student organization activities.”
In addition, Sulollari served as chair of Pi Alpha Alpha (PAA), the national honor society for public affairs and administration, in 2020-2021; and as a member of PAA, UMANT, ICMA and TCMA. Sulollari earned her bachelor’s degree from UNT in 2019.
As you drive through Southlake, you may notice signs about events, projects and upcoming meetings posted throughout the City.
The person responsible for those public notifications is Seantay Carpenter.
Carpenter is the landscape and zoning inspector for Planning and Development Services, where he assists developers, contractors and the general public with zoning, signage and code compliance.
He also performs zoning, landscaping and tree preservation inspections.
With customer service and serving a world class community being one of the City’s many top priorities, Carpenter has always been known for his friendly interactions with customers and staff members.
Recently, he assisted the Economic Development and Tourism Department in delivering PPE packages and a Safe Pledge Kit to businesses that signed up for Southlake Safe.
In 2017, he received the City’s Kristin Pitzinger Customer Service Award for his ability to provide exceptional customer service.
“One of the best parts about my job is having the chance to interact with internal and external customers,” Carpenter said. “I get to collaborate with other City departments and work with outside clients.”
He has been employed by the City for over nine years and is looking forward to more years to come.
“Working for the City of Southlake has allowed me to change and grow in my professional career while being able to learn and develop new skills,” he said. “It’s a great place to work and meet new people. Southlake feels like home.”
If you happen to see or work with Carpenter, the latest anime films and video games are a great conversation starter.
In Southlake, we strive for perfection and to exceed expectations by delivering world class experiences. That’s why we hire world class employees to deliver services with a smile!
Meet Arianna Esparza. She is a recreation attendant with the Community Services Department.
Esparza has been working for the City of Southlake for about a year in the Recreation Division of Community Services, specifically with Athletics and Programs.
She assists and helps to facilitate premiere programs such as Camp Mania Kids, Club Metro and the athletic leagues.
Working with kids and seniors during COVID-19 has its challenges, but Esparza is up for the task.
She helps to enforce safety measures, so everyone is safe.
“We clean all the chairs, we make sure everybody is good to go. They have hand sanitizer, make sure referees get them and make sure all the parents have masks on before they’re sitting down and spread out,” Esparza said.
While safety is her main priority, her most valuable contribution to her job is brightening up someone’s day.
“The one thing that I enjoy most about my job is coming into work and knowing that if a kid is having a bad day, I can make that day completely different than what they had at school or at home. They can be open with me and talk to me about anything they would like to talk to me about,” she said.
Like many jobs, rewards are often given in different formats. For Esparza, it’s the opportunities.
“I love all the opportunities I get. I can be in different things like Club Metro. It’s probably one of the most amazing things because you get to see all of their smiling faces. I remember the first day they came back, they were all so excited to be here and that’s a joy that makes you happy to be there too,” Esparza said.
Throughout the year, the City of Southlake highlights staff members who have shown dedication and provided exceptional service to our customers.
Meet Alphonse Wilson. He is a recreation attendant at the Community Services Parks and Recreation Department.
He has been working for the City since 2013 in Athletics and Programs sector of Champions Club specializing in camps and sporting events. When asked what he loves about working for the City, Wilson points out the opportunities to grow as a person and learning about business and programming.
He is currently attending school to become a music therapist and writes and performs music with his band Panoramic Duo.
If you happen to see Alphonse anytime soon, tell him thanks for being a World Class Employee!