Rowland School of Business

Public Administration 2015 Grad Promoted to Shift Commander of Swissvale Fire Department

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Pictured is Michael Volpe, public administration alumnus and shift commander for Swissvale Fire Department. | Photo by Shayna Mendez

Meet Michael Volpe

Job title: Shift Commander
Employer: Borough of Swissvale Fire Department
Degree earned: Bachelor of Science in Public Administration with a concentration in Fire Service Administration
Graduated: December 2015
Hometown: Wilmerding, Pa.
High school: East Allegheny High School
Now living in: White Oak, Pa.
Hobbies/interests: Hanging out with my family and two Saint Bernards (Max and Sherman), riding my motorcycle and fishing

"During the job interview process, Mike's experience, education and training shined through, propelling him to the top of the candidate list. His hard work as a student at Point Park prepared him for the responsibilities of working as a leader."

-- Francis (Kip) Deleonibus, Ed.D., Assistant Fire Chief, Borough of Swissvale Fire Department 


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"This degree definitely expanded my horizons and helped me gain important pieces of information, which were vital keys to my promotion."

-- Michael Volpe


What role did your public administration degree play in your recent promotion to shift commander?

The public administration program gave me important and very in-depth information about the administrative and legal aspects of fire service that most people lack or have very limited knowledge about. Having this new and updated knowledge can make a huge difference in today’s society. All of the classes I have taken at Point Park will benefit me in all types of supervisory roles. This degree definitely expanded my horizons and helped me gain important pieces of information, which were vital keys to my promotion within the department.

What factors made you choose Point Park to study public administration?

I chose Point Park because of the quality and experience level of the public administration professors who all work within their respective fields. This is very important because they still practice what they teach and preach.

Additionally, I chose Point Park for the University's willingness to transfer in my various certifications in fire and EMS for academic credit. The location of the campus was also a factor. Being able to go to campus and meet with faculty regarding any questions or issues was very helpful.

Describe the teaching style of Point Park’s public administration professors.

The professors were extremely well educated and great at teaching above and beyond the curriculum based on their hands-on experiences. Each professor not only taught students the material, but also guided the class to gain knowledge from each other.

Having professors teach like this is a great way to gain the most knowledge about a particular subject. I also appreciated that the professors incorporated real-life scenarios into their class discussions in order to prepare us to be successful in our fields.

What are your career goals?

My career goals are to further my education and obtain a master’s degree and/or an Executive Fire Officer Certification from the National Fire Academy and continue to climb the ranks within the fire service field.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

If you have any interest in becoming a leader in the fire or EMS field, you will need to further your education and the program at Point Park is fantastic. As a student, you will gain useful information that will definitely assist you in the future. 

Photo by Shayna Mendez, a senior photojournalism major

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