Alumni Spotlight

Mario Formisano '20


Mario Formisano serves as Deputy County Administrator for Dorchester County.  In his role as Deputy County Administrator, Mario provides coordinated leadership to the Consolidated Dispatch Center, Emergency Management Department, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Rescue, and Public Information Office.  He also serves as liaison to the Dorchester County Sheriff and Coroner.  Mario is originally from Tallmadge, Ohio and completed his undergraduate studies in Fire Protection and Emergency Management at the University of Akron.  He served as a Regional Emergency Manager for the South Carolina Emergency Management Division from 2007 to 2011 before being hired by Dorchester County as the Director of Emergency Management in 2011.  After serving as the Interim Deputy County Administrator for several months, Mario was appointed to the position full-time in July of 2021.  Mario is a South Carolina Certified Emergency Manager and a Past President of the South Carolina Emergency Management Association.  He found tremendous value in the MPA program and said, “I had aspirations of advancing into local government management, but I knew that I needed more tools in the toolbox.  Today, I think differently about public service.  I’m able to see the big picture, beyond public safety, and into the broader aspects of public service.  My learning through the MPA program has made a direct impact on how I interact with employees and handle new and complex situations.” 


Ryan and Elisa (Mundis) Strickler (’09)

Ryan and Elisa graduated from the MPA program in 2009, both with an emphasis on nonprofit management. During their time in the program, Ryan served as the President of the MPA Student Association, and Elisa worked in the MPA office on the CAP (Community Assistance Program) team.

After graduation, Ryan worked as the Grants Administrator for the Lowcountry Food Bank, while Elisa was employed as the Resource Development Coordinator for Charleston HALOS. In 2012, Elisa and Ryan relocated to Columbia, where Ryan earned a PhD in Political Science from the University of South Carolina in 2017. They married in 2010 and have one son, Avery, who is 8 years old.

Ryan is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Colorado State University in Pueblo, Colorado. His published research and teaching focuses on political psychology, partisanship and polarization, as well as democratic political philosophy. He also coordinates CSU-Pueblo’s Philosophy and Religious Studies program, and he is currently developing a public management emphasis as part of the university’s Masters in Business Administration (to launch Fall 2022). “In addition to preparing me for work in the nonprofit sector, the College of Charleston really invigorated my passion for academic inquiry, inspiring me to get a PhD. I am a better instructor having had an MPA, as well. Even though I teach a wide variety of courses, because of my MPA I have been able to consistently make connections to “real world” administrative and policy debates. It helps me to instill a sense of efficacy with my students and encourage them toward public service.”

Elisa continues to work as a grant development professional through her consulting company, EMS Grants. She works with clients in both South Carolina and Colorado, and earned her Grant Professional Certification (GPC) in 2017. Working under Janet Key in the CAP program allowed her to gain valuable experience with local nonprofits, which led to her employment after graduation as the Resource Development Coordinator for HALOS. From there, Elisa was able to leverage my education and experience to start her own grant consulting business, which she’s been able to grow even in another state. Elisa has used the knowledge, skills, and contacts from her time as an MPA student continually in her career. She has also made lifelong friends in the program, and they both keep in touch regularly. We are so grateful for their involvement in the MPA Program!




Danny Kay Johnson Jr. ‘21

Danny Johnson is the Sponsorship Coordinator for the Town of Mount Pleasant Recreation Department, responsible for cultivating national, state-level, and local business partnerships to improve all facets of the department’s operations.  Danny also is the owner of EcoHarmony Distribution, LLC, a commercial level green chemical company, and currently serves as Charleston Sports Radio’s color analyst for the College of Charleston Men’s Basketball team. Prior to these positions, Danny played professional basketball domestically and internationally for eleven years. He also received a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from the College of Charleston.  While in the MPA program, Danny worked as a Recreation Specialist for the Town of Mount Pleasant before transitioning to his current role of Sponsorship Coordinator.  He served as a member of the College of Charleston Cougar Club Board until 2019, and currently serves on the following boards and associations:

  •   Charleston County School District Career and Technology Advisory Board
  •   Oceanside Collegiate Academy Board of Directors
  •   South Carolina Athletics Hall of Fame Board of Directors
  •   National Medal of Honor Heritage Foundation Board of Directors
  •   Graduate Diversity and Inclusion Council at the College of Charleston
  •   South Carolina City and County Management Association

Danny currently lives in Mount Pleasant with his wife Jackie and has four children:  Jayden, Isaiah, Jaidon, and Vivienne.

Danny feels his education in the MPA Program has opened the doors for endless opportunities going forward in his career.  “When I began working for the Town of Mount Pleasant, it exposed me to a world that I had no prior knowledge about.  I never had planned on working in the public sector, but as I began to understand all the effects that government plays on our everyday lives, it became a priority to get involved.  The MPA program has equipped me with the knowledge and expertise needed to create the pathway to multiple positions that are available in government.  As a public servant, I’ve always believed that self-improvement is the key to creating the environment that our constituents choose to reside in.”


Chloe Stuber ‘19

Chloe Stuber graduated from the MPA program in 2019 with a certificate in Urban and Regional Planning and is currently working as a Senior Planner and Affordable Housing Concierge for the City of Charleston. A native of Savannah, GA, Chloe is a planning nerd, organizer-at-heart, popular educator and facilitator. She has organized across multiple sectors – grassroots, nonprofit, philanthropy, and local government – and in a variety of spaces including immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, language justice, affordable housing, racial justice and environmental justice. Chloe first realized her passion for city planning while in the MPA program and pursued the Urban and Regional Planning (URP) Certificate to deepen her knowledge in the planning field and apply her MPA education to planning practice. Outside of work hours, Chloe serves as Vice-Chair of the Charleston Community Research to Action Board (CCRAB), a grassroots organization facilitating citizen science and community-led environmental and public health research to promote environmental justice; and also consults with PODER Emma, an organization based in Western North Carolina, supporting their resident-led community planning initiative against displacement and gentrification. Some of Chloe’s best memories from the MPA and URP certificate program were from her time as a Community Assistance Program (CAP) Graduate Assistant, where she first met some of her now co-workers in the City of Charleston Department of Planning, Preservation and Sustainability.