SECoPA, the Collins Award, and Florida Counties

The Southeastern Conference for Public Administration enhances the public service field in the Southeast by providing opportunities for academicians, practitioners and students. The 2015 SECoPA Conference was held in Charleston, SC from September 30 to October 3. This year’s conference theme was “Research and Application: Promoting Effective Public Service”. The 2015 SECoPA has been an important forum for exchanging ideas, networking, and developing professionally. The Morris W.H. Collins Award is assigned each year to encourage students to present papers by recognizing the most outstanding paper written by doctoral candidates in the SECoPA region. This year, Michele Tartardini, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Public Administration, received the award for a paper titled: “The Role of Social Capital in Public Administration Financial Performance: Lessons from Florida”. The article presents the results of an analysis conducted to test whether counties with a higher level of social capital have a better financial performance. The analysis tests this proposition on Florida county governments over a seven year period. The results of the analysis show that community social capital contributes positively to public administration financial performance. It was an honor for Michele Tantardini to receive the award and be able to present his research at the 2015 SECoPA Conference.