Professional Development

The Professional Development Committee is GPAC’s link to the professional world outside of the Price school. We at GPAC believe that some of our member’s most valuable educational experiences in leadership will take place in the broader community. This includes the experiences in government as well as non-governmental and professional organizations.

Professional Development Committee responsibilities include:

  • Professional Associations Liaison
  • Conference Coordination
  • Sacramento Center Liaison
  • Career Services Liaison
  • SPPD Alumni Association Liaison
  • SPPD Rankings Education and Development
  • Networking and Professional Development Opportunities
  • Focus on: Professional Associations
  • There are a number of excellent professional associations available to SPPD students and GPAC members at the local, regional and national level including:
  • International City/County Managers Association (ICMA)
  • Municipal Managers Association of Southern California (MMASC)
  • Association Society of Public Administrators (ASPA)
  • Non-Profit Associations
  • Pi Alpha Alpha (Honor Society)

If you would like to suggest a professional association GPAC should contact please email

Committee Co-Chairs

Elijah Lim

Elijah Lim is a dual degree Master of Public Administration and Master of Social Work student in his final year. His interests are in government management, health care administration, mental health awareness, youth and families, child welfare, community development, and social advocacy. Prior to joining the USC Trojan family, Elijah received his Bachelor of Arts at the University of California-Berkeley. Throughout his enrollment at USC, Elijah has worked as a case manager at the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and a project assistant at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health in the Office of the Medical Director. As professional development co-chair, he hopes to expand opportunities for career enrichment, networking, and recruitment at the Price school.

 Stephanie Zhang

Stephanie Zhang grew up in Beijing and witnessed the huge change in that city within the last twenty years. Stephanie attended Tsinghua University High School where she had a great learning experience in both arts and science. In 2008 she began attending Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, where she pursued the degree of Management of Information System. At University, she actively participated in student organizations and undertook leadership positions. In 2011, Stephanie went on to work for the Intel Corporation’s Beijing Office in an eight-month full-time internship. Last year, she started her MPA program at USC Price, with a concentration in economic development.

Kelley Groves

Kelley Groves is a co-chair on GPAC’s Professional Development Committee. She is from the Los Angeles area and went to the University of California, Irvine, where she earned a dual degree in Political Science and International Studies. After graduation, Kelley moved abroad to teach English in Osaka, Japan.  She is a second year student pursuing a Masters in Public Policy. She is specifically interested in international policy and homeland security.

Rhett Paranay