Alumni: Shawn Bell

February 18, 2022

a person

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville alumnus Shawn Bell has combined educational ambition and applied learning since high school, and is now achieving success as a city administrator, thanks in part to a resume filled with real-world experience.

Bell, a Glen Carbon native, earned a master’s in public administration from SIUE in 2012. Since then, he has enjoyed a blossoming career in city management, including becoming the youngest 

city administrator in South Carolina in 2014, at age 28. He has since become the city administrator for Fountain Inn, South Carolina since 2017.

“Early on in my proseminar in public administration course, Dr. Morris Taylor told our class about the role of a city manager,” Bell said. “I’ll never forget that day, and will never be able to thank him enough for that inspiration.”

“Nothing prepared me more for my career in city management than the year-long internship the SIUE public administration and policy analysis (PAPA) program coordinated,” he added. “I worked directly for the city manager and assistant city manager of Ferguson, Mo.”

While his personal drive and professional experience are evident, he is the first to admit it takes a team of people to succeed.

“I am not and will not be an expert in any one field,” he emphasized. “My department heads are the experts in their respective fields, and it’s incredibly important that I don’t micromanage. Instead, I need to know the right questions to ask and be able to hold individuals accountable.”

SIUE’s PAPA program meets the growing demand for a master’s in public administration in an accelerated format. More information about the graduate program

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