Josie Gatti Schafer, Director
I joined UNO’s College of Public Affairs and Community Service as the Director of the Center for Public Affairs Research because of their national reputation for public scholarship on public policy topics in their community, state, and region. I manage a stellar team that includes six full-time professionals and several student and part-time workers. CPAR’s current portfolio of projects totals over $1 million per year. My personal, project portfolio ranges with several smaller engaged research projects working collaboratively with a community partner as well as some high profile research like our work with the Planning Committee of the Nebraska State Legislature.
Education and Credentials
Ph.D. Public Affairs, University of Nevada, Las Vegas (2012)
M.P.A., Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina (2007)
B.A Communications/Public Relations, Appalachian tate University, Boone, North Carolina (2005)
Peer Reviewed Publications
Sampson, Carrie, Overholser, Amber & Schafer, Gatti Josephine (2019) “A Critical Paradox: The Politics of an Urban Community-Based Nonprofit In Expanding Educational Opportunities to Underserved Youth.” Leadership and Policy Studies. 18.2
Schafer Gatti, Josephine (2019)“A Systematic Review of the Public Administration Literature to Identify How to Increase Public Engagement and Participation with Local Governance.” Journal of Public Affairs. 19.2.e1873
Schafer Gatti, Josephine and Zhang, Zhiwei (2018) “Who is Engaged and Why? Testing an Instrumental Per- spective on Stakeholder Engagement.” Journal of Public and Non-Profit Affairs. 5.2.
Zhang, Zhiwei, Gibson, Bryan and Schafer Gatti, Josephine (2017). “Reexamining the Relationship Between
Fiscal Stress and Outsourcing.” Public Performance and Management Review. 41, 1.
Schafer Gatti, Josephine and Gallemore, Caleb (2016). “Biases in Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: The case of Environmental Planning in Southern Nevada.” Environment and Planning C: Governance and Policy. 34, 8.
Schafer Gatti, Josephine and Zhang, Zhiwei (2016). “The Role of Stakeholders in Municipal Contracting Out.” Public Administration Quarterly. 40,4 pg. 789-813.
Schafer Gatti, Josephine (2016). “The Mandate to Coordinate: The Case of the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act.” Public Performance & Management Review. 40, 1.
Schafer Gatti, Josephine (2015). “Making Role Playing Real.” Teaching Public Administration. 34, 2.
Selected Recent Grant and Contract Projects
Principal Investigator, Avenue Scholars, Prepare a cost benefit analysis of current high school and community college program, $15,000.
Principal Investigator, COVID-19 Business Response Survey, Build large team of partners including NBDC and the Governor of Nebraska to develop and implement a survey of business owners across Nebraska about the impact of COVID-19, $14,000.
Selected Recent Media
News Channel Nebraska, Access the Experts
Academics of Public Administration, Podcast Host
"'It pays to be flexible:' Small businesses do their best to adapt as pendemic stretches on" Omaha World Herald, Aug. 31, 2020
"Chronicle: Pandemic Fatigue" KETV, Sept. 6, 2020
|Why is public scholarship important to you?|
|Public scholarship is about sharing the research conducted at institutions of higher education with broader communities. Since, UNO is a metropolitan university of distinction we place great value on public scholarship and engaged research. CPAR is a critical to that work at UNO as we focus on enabling research connections between faculty, students, and the community. Moreover, our research focuses on current social events and public policy and as a result we have a lot of knowledge to offer that can directly improve the lives of Nebraskans.|
|What are your goals for CPAR?|
|One of my goals for CPAR is growth, and not just for growth sakes but because I believe so strongly that the work we do can have a great impact on the communities we serve. I believe that knowledge generated and shared is transformative, so being able to share that work is important to me. As a result, I want to be able grow CPAR to bring more resources to more decision makers and create greater access and awareness for the work we do.|
|How did you arrive at UNO?|
|I have bounced all over the country throughout my life, but I am unbelievably proud to call Omaha, Nebraska, my home now. I was born in Staten Island, New York, into a second generation Italian-American home. My immediate family moved to Whispering Pines, North Carolina, when I was in 7th grade. So I am little bit New Yok and little bit Southern. I stayed in North Carolina for my undergraduate and graduate degrees before moving to Nevada to pursue my Ph.D. in public affairs. I had originally wanted to be a city manager but the draw of education and learning and research was just too great. I was a faculty member at Texas A&M Corpus-Christi for one year and a faculty member at Kansas State University for five years before joining UNO. I have loved experiencing new places but UNO, in comparison to the other institutions of higher education that I have worked, is the best fit!|
|Favorite vacation spot?|
|Before my husband and I had kids we spent a vacation traveling along the California coast with our two dogs. Along that adventure we found a town called Summerland near Santa Barbara. We hung out on beautiful, little beach, ate all our meals outside of a little coastal market, and shopped at an antique store where we saw a bench that the Dali Lama had used. It was a perfect spot!|