About Us

LMU Master of Public Administration (MPA) - About Us

The Master of Public Administration program at Lincoln Memorial University began in the Fall 2015 semester. The LMU MPA program was originally housed in the Duncan School of Law building in Knoxville, Tennessee. Starting in the Summer 2020 semester, the program went fully online to better reach students, especially in the midst of the COVID outbreak. The LMU MPA program is dedicated to providing a unique learning experience characterized by personal attention to help our students gain knowledge and achieve fulfillment in their area of interest.


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Current and Former Student Profiles

Ryan Hughes

T. Ryan Hughes
Class of 2020


Ryan Hughes graduated from LMU's Master of Public Administration program in May 2020. He is originally from Athens, Tennessee and currently resides in Knoxville, Tennessee. Ryan currently serves as the Executive Director of two statewide nonprofit organizations, the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee and the Tennessee Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. These two organizations help support 105 local Club sites from Bristol to Memphis through financial support and advocacy. In 2018, Ryan was selected as the National Alliance Professional of the Year during the Boys & Girls Clubs of America's National Conference in San Diego, CA. He was recently selected to the Leadership Tennessee Class VIII a group of thought leaders from across Tennessee. He also currently serves on the Tennessee Afterschool Network’s Committee and the Tennessee Department of Education’s Family Engagement Support Council. Prior to working in the nonprofit industry Ryan had the privilege of being able to serve his home state while working for a former United States Senator, former United States Congressman and former Governor of Tennessee. Ryan received a B.S. from East Tennessee State University, a Certificate in Management (Mini MBA) from Belmont University Center for Executive Education and graduated from Tennessee State Government's LEAD Tennessee program. Ryan is married to Sara and together they have three children. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, camping, outdoor concerts, traveling, and golf.

Brendan Kelley (MPA)

Brendan Kelley
Class of 2019

Brendan Kelley graduated from the LMU Master of Public Administration program in May 2019. Originally from Oneonta, New York, Brendan is currently living in St. Johns, Michigan where he serves as the Executive Director of the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce. In his position, Brendan is developing educational and networking programs to provide more opportunity for COC members to discover value in their membership. These programs include the re-introduction of Business After Hours events, the development of the Gratiot Young Professionals Network and their networking and leadership offerings, the introduction of Lunch and Learn opportunities, and the connection of members to needed educational resources. Brendan’s policy interests include infrastructure restoration and business development. Outside of the office, Brendan enjoys running, minor league baseball, and he served two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Montana.

Jessica Whitmill
Jessica Whitmill
Class of 2018

Jessica Whitmill graduated from the LMU Master of Public Administration program in May 2018. A native of Morristown, Jessica currently resides in Nashville where she serves as the Policy and Outreach Manager for Tennesseans for Student Success, a nonprofit organization that does education advocacy and policy work around college and career readiness. Jessica is also a registered lobbyist and works with members of the Tennessee General Assembly on key issues surrounding student achievement. Her dream job would be to work for a national policy organization or foundation that works with education and economic development. In her spare time, Jessica is a member of Hamiltunes Nashville, which has a special contract with the creators of Hamilton to produce sing-a-long stage concerts of the show! 


Janna Federer
Janna Federer-Demski
Class of 2017


Janna Federer-Demski graduated from the LMU Master of Public Administration program in December 2017. Originally from Maryville, Janna currently lives in Hendersonville, Tennessee where she works remotely as the Grants Manager for the Global Sanctuary for Elephants. In her position, she aids in development through grant writing and fundraising, as well as facilitates social media based communication to bring captive elephants to Elephant Sanctuary Brazil, located in Chapada dos Guimarães. Professionally, Janna is passionate about animal welfare and advocating for her community, using social media as a tool to promote communication and positive change. Outside of work, you can find her enjoying the outdoors and traveling with her dog and husband, fostering kittens, or watching hockey.