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Faculty Spotlight Joe Saviak

Passionate About Public Service

Photo of Joe SaviakNo matter what the course topic, Professor Joe Saviak’s enthusiasm for learning and applying best practices in local governance are evident in every course.

Saviak teaches in Flagler College’s Public Administration Program, which teaches students skills such as management, budgeting, human resources, administrative ethics, program evaluation, public policy and grant writing.

Saviak’s experience reaches well beyond the classroom. Prior to teaching at Flagler College, Saviak worked as a senior administrator in local government and has served on senior management teams responsible for significantly improving the performance of agencies with over 1,000 employees and annual budgets in excess of $100 million.

Today, students and alumni seek out Saviak’s advice on policy issues, which he is always glad to share.

“One of the best parts of teaching in the PAD Program is that I have an opportunity to have an immediate impact,” said Saviak. “My students can begin applying these ideas and best management practices in their jobs the very next day.”

Many of those students and alumni are employed in more than 50 government agencies, companies, and non-profit organizations across seven counties in Northeast and Central Florida.

“Whenever I need perspective on an issue I am facing in my department, I know that I can pick up the phone and call Dr. Saviak,” stated Chief Mike Patterson, an alumnus who leads Emergency and Fire Services for Putnam County.

PAD alumni often attribute their promotions and professional achievements to their educational experience within the Public Administration Program.

Saviak holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts Degree both in Political Science from the University of Florida. He earned his law degree from the Florida State University College of Law as well as a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and his Ph.D. in Public Affairs from the University of Central Florida.

For more on the Public Administration program, visit

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Success Spotlight

Mike Patterson

“I decided to go back to school later in life. To say that I was intimidated was an understatement. It wasn't long after I arrived that I felt very welcome and comfortable. It was more work than I ever anticipated but it was a unique learning experience. I am extremely proud of my degree from Flagler College. Also, the friendships and enduring relationships with both alumni and professors continue to this very day.”

Mike Patterson '09
Chief, Putnam County Fire & Emergency Medical Services