Jonathon Nord, a graduate student from the University of North Dakota, won this year’s national Pi Alpha Alpha Master’s Student Manuscript of the Year Award from the Washington, D.C.-based Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA).
Nord’s winning thesis is titled “Diffusion of Ideas in UAS [unmanned aircraft systems] Regulation.”
Nord—who graduated from Grand Forks Red River High School in 2012—earlier this year completed his Master’s of Public Administration program in the UND College of Business & Public Administration (CoBPA). After transferring to UND from another school, he connected with the UND MPA program director Dana Harsell, who encouraged him to pursue the advanced degree.
“I chose UAS for my topic because, being from Grand Forks, I was familiar with this technology,” Nord said. “I knew that UAS technology was going to grow, and that sparked my interest at the policy level.”
“We must solve many tough problems around UAS that affect all of us,” Nord said. “My research showed me that it’s best to sit down and start constructive discussion to support changes, rather than always fight them, for maximum benefit with least amount of pain.”
His thesis advisors were Dana Harsell and Robert Wood, from the CoBPA Department of Political Science & Public Administration. Nord currently works at Altru Health Services in Grand Forks.
Nord credited Harsell for submitting his thesis to the awarding organization. Nord was invited to the group’s national conference in Atlanta, GA, this past October, to pick up his award.
by: Juan Pedraza