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Single dad earns MPA

By : Rachel Coker


Jerome Scott will receive his master’s in public administration this week, capping off five years of part-time study undertaken along with a full-time job and life as a single father.

The West-chester native was the first in his family to graduate from college when he received his degree in sociology from the State University College of Cortland. And, he said, he was not sure he was cut out for graduate school.

Nadia Rubaii-Barrett, associate professor and chair of the Department of Public Administration, said she was impressed that Scott’s commitment to the program withstood the challenges he faced while in school.

“He has become a role model for other students in the MPA program, demonstrating by example and explaining to them explicitly that what may appear at the time to be setbacks or roadblocks can actually be opportunities for learning and growth,” Rubaii-Barrett said.

Graduate school, Scott said, has helped him to network and to take on bigger challenges, such as joining the Board of Directors for Fairview Recovery Services.
The MPA program has also helped him understand politics, business, personnel issues and professional ethics in a new and deeper way, he said.

“If you want to play the part, you need to know the part,” Scott said, noting leadership is a big issue for him.

Scott worked in the psychiatric unit at Binghamton General Hospital for 16 years before taking his current job as manager of the United Medical Associates’ sleep center. He’s responsible for a staff of about a dozen people, budgeting and scheduling.

Scott also works a few days each week in the Haven After-School Program in Binghamton.

“I like what I do, so it makes it easy to meet all those commitments,” Scott said.
Scott said he considers himself a strict father. His goal is to teach his 6-year-old, Ashley Louise Scott, what his mother, Louise Scott, taught him.

He said his mother worked several jobs while raising him and his siblings. Perhaps because of her influence, he believes in the value of hard work and has no time for self-pity or excuses.

Scott bought and renovated a house in Endicott during the past year and is looking forward to wrapping up work on the building this month.

A jazz aficionado, Scott also likes soul, hip-hop and house music. He plays that and some reggae and reggaeton when he disc jockeys at Club Instinct in Endicott.

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Last Updated: 10/14/08