University Park, IL,
09:11 AM

Frankfort's first woman police chief looks at "the big picture" through public administration program

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When Frankfort’s first woman police chief isn’t overseeing the village’s police department or taking care of her three children, she's studying Public Administration at Governors State University (GSU).

Chief Leanne Chelepis is in the last semester of GSU’s Master of Public Administration Program, which prepares students to serve as public managers in nonprofit, local, county, state, and federal organizations. It has taught Chelepis, slated to graduate in May, more about how a village is run from a birds-eye-view, exposing her to different facets of public administration that she doesn’t typically deal with in her day-to-day tasks. That’s a benefit of the program that has continued to be fruitful for her as she turns toward her future goals. 

“As you try to achieve different levels of success at work, your overall area of interest expands because now you’re looking at the big picture instead of one small detail of what you do,” she explained. “There’s so many areas of public administration to learn but because the masters program looks at those various facets, it gives you some base knowledge in all of them to help support where you’d like to go in your career.”

While Chelepis acknowledges there have been challenging classes, she credits GSU’s professors for explaining the material well and making it enjoyable. They also have been great at accommodating her schedule, with some professors offering to meet with her outside their work hours. 

“I think a lot of students like me have families and a lot of job responsibilities but a program like this is really doable and obtainable,” she said. “The faculty is really willing to work with you to help you understand, achieve your goals, to make sure it's a good experience for you and they are very understanding of your other obligations.”

Post graduation, Chelepis hopes to continue learning more about public administration, aiming to leverage that knowledge for her career.