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Awards honor those who work in government who have made significant contributions to improving the state.

 By Melinda Rogers

Several notable public servants with University of Utah connections were recently honored at the 2015 Public Service Awards, sponsored by the Utah chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.  Award recipients have made outstanding contributions to the public sector and have helped to make Utah a better state.

“These awards are a great opportunity to promote good government and public service,” said J. Steven Ott, director of the Institute of Public and International Affairs at the University of Utah. “It’s exciting to pay tribute to those who have worked hard in the public sector to make communities stronger.”

For nearly 30 years, the American Society for Public Administration has provided the public service awards to raise awareness of the broad variety of services provided by the government and to show appreciation to public employees at the federal, state, county and local levels who elevate government work and improve the lives of others.

The Utah Chapter of ASPA presented its 2015 awards at a lunch in the Gould Auditorium at the Marriott Library on May 28. Awards included:

Distinguished Service Award for an Elected Official, awarded to a person who has shown exceptional commitment, skill, and integrity, while serving the public with special distinction.

2015 recipient: Caitlin Gochnour, Ogden City Council and Utah League of Cities and Towns

Distinguished Service Award for an Appointed Official, awarded to a person who has served the public with honor and integrity.

2015 recipients: Mike Haddon, Utah Department of Corrections | Pam Roberts, Wasatch Waste and Recycling District

Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Contributions to Public Administration, awarded to a person who has made significant contributions to public administration through academia or as a public citizen.

2015 recipients: Tim Chambless, associate professor, University of Utah Department of Political Science | Dave Buhler, commissioner, Utah System of Higher Education

Boards and Commissions Award of Excellence, awarded to a person who has exhibited community service, work to support the common good, is proactive in decision-making, and has facilitated public participation in governmental processes.

2015 recipient: Salt Lake City Housing Trust Fund Advisory Board

About the American Society for Public Administration

Established in 1939, the American Society for Public Administration is the largest and most prominent professional association in public administration. With a diverse membership of approximately 9,000 government and nonprofit administrators, scholars, educators and students, ASPA advances the art, science, teaching and practice of public and nonprofit administration through its programs and services and fosters core public service values, including accountability and performance, professionalism, social equity and ethics at the local, national and international levels.

Melinda Rogers is a communications specialist at University Marketing and Communications. Got a story idea for her?  Email: