All Articles

Master’s Thesis Transformed Into a Published Journal Article

Author: Troy Rutter

When Jeffrey (Jeff) Fletcher completed his thesis in Political Science for the Master of Public Administration degree in 2012, under the direction of Dr. Steffen Schmidt, he may not have expected his research to become a refereed journal article, but that is exactly what just happened.

The article, “Opportunities for lean six sigma in public sector municipalities,” has been published in the International Journal of Lean Six Sigma. The article is available online here.

The abstract of the article states, in part: “The purpose of this study is to investigate awareness and opportunities for Lean Six Sigma in public sector municipalities striving to become more efficient and effective in the quality and delivery of services and goods leading to increased citizen satisfaction and budget savings. Lean Six Sigma is a quality improvement methodology widely implemented in the for-profit sectors and, now, is expanding into the public sector. This study includes a literature review on Lean Six Sigma, supported by results from interviews with public sector officials, and includes recommendations for how public sector entities can utilize Lean Six Sigma…. This study uncovered that overall there exists a keen interest in Lean Six Sigma and how it can be applied to streamline and improve organizational processes, produce cost-savings, improve organizational culture and improve the quality of goods and services. This study also discovers that there are plenty of opportunities for Lean Six Sigma in the public sector and municipalities can, in fact, incorporate its philosophy and methodology to streamline and improve organizational processes, produce cost-savings, improve organizational culture and improve the quality of goods and services. In a twenty-first century economy, public sector officials are looking for ways to maximize their tax dollars while increasing the quality of their goods and services. Lean Six Sigma is a framework that can make these objectives become a reality.”

Jeff went on to earn the Doctor of Philosophy in Education, Higher Education Administration from Iowa State University in 2016 under his advisors Drs. Jan Friedel and Larry Ebbers. His dissertation title is: “A study on the impact of funding on state-level community college governance structures.” His current position is Data Scientist with Mom’s Meals NourishCare in Ankeny, IA.

Jeff commented about his experience in Political Science at ISU:

“Completing a Master’s degree in Political Science at Iowa State University helped me develop the research and critical thinking skills I would need to complete the Ph.D., publish in a variety of peer-review journals, and succeed in my current profession as a data scientist. I highly recommend the graduate programs in the Department of Political Science at Iowa State University. The graduate faculty are fabulous, and I am thankful the program of study allowed me to pursue interdisciplinary courses, which helped me discover my niche, data science.”

Congratulations to Jeff!

We are looking forward to seeing future research from Jeff and our current and future graduate students published in print and online!