Student, Faculty, and Alumni Stories

February 04, 2020


For most of her young professional life, Kalima Mckenzie-Simms has dedicated herself to helping schools become safer places for LGBTQ youth. Under her leadership, the PFLAG Safe Schools Program has more than tripled its presence in New York City schools. The program counters homophobia, transphobia, and bullying; gives LGBTQ students the support they often lack at home; and educates school communities about sexual orientation and gender identity. In recognition of her tireless and passionate work, Mckenzie-Simms was selected to… Read More »
January 27, 2020


In commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day this January 27th, we bring you an interview with Naomi Puzzello (MPA ’18), a Romani-American activist who participated in a major world gathering in Poland last year to raise awareness about the genocide committed against the Roma people during the Holocaust. She speaks about the Romani identity, history, and struggle; her experience in Poland; and the intersection of anti-Gypsyism with other forms of oppression. Since graduating from the MPA Program at CCNY, Puzzello… Read More »
December 20, 2019


Professor Joel Mentor, an intelligence analyst and first-generation American, teaches students to be critical thinkers, curious researchers, and effective relationship-builders.  Students in Professor Joel Mentor’s course know their ideas will be taken seriously, and that means they’ll be pushed and challenged intellectually. “I create a class environment that is safe, not in the sense that people won’t be challenged, but in the sense that they can express their views and others will treat them with respect and not try to show… Read More »
December 17, 2019


Final project for core MPA course examines leadership through the lens of intersecting social movements Good leaders humanize the struggles of marginalized people, build genuine relationships with allies, and push for transformative changes that get to the root of the systems of oppression in our society.  Those were some of the themes of MPA students’ final presentations for leadership class last week.  The students produced podcasts exploring leadership in movements to expand LGBTQ rights, dismantle mass incarceration, end… Read More »
December 09, 2019


Eden Mulate (MPA ’18) speaks about her passion for social justice, her work as an analyst at the Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and her experience as a mother, immigrant, and graduate student.  You have a strong passion for social justice. Where did this passion originate?  Growing up in Ethiopia, it was common to see beggars on the street on a daily basis. Despite this being a commonplace experience, it really bothered me, so much so my mother used to let me give the beggars money. So my desire to help those… Read More »
November 21, 2019


On Thursday, MPA students learned the essentials of a strong resume, cover letter, and Linkedin profile and received career advice from alumni working in diverse fields of public service.  The three-hour event was the culmination of the MPA Program’s fall 2019 career services, which included a four-part seminar that guided students as they reflected on their values, identified their strengths, and explored social impact careers.   The event opened with a hands-on workshop focused on developing solid career documents. Students… Read More »
October 08, 2019


The MPA Program's summer elective course in storytelling culminated with a public speaking event aimed at raising awareness about important social problems. Ten MPA students delivered their original stories while standing outside on the steps of a concrete fountain in the City College quad on a warm afternoon. The stories addressed a range of issues, including women’s right to choose, affordable housing, immigration, homelessness, poverty, criminal injustice, public education, and access to health care. The students wrote the stories as part of their final assignment for the… Read More »
June 14, 2019


While doing research for a class project, Rob Bentlyewski (MPA ‘19) stumbled upon a shocking story about the origins of Victory Gardens, NJ - a story omitted from the history books. With support from the MPA Changemaker Scholarship and the Colin Powell Graduate Fellowship, Bentlyewski unearthed the true history of this factory town that played a crucial role in the US World War II effort. His research is the first known effort at historical rectification since Victory Gardens was founded seven decades ago. It tells the story of a political battle between wealthy landowners and… Read More »
June 06, 2019


After decades of experience managing people across diverse industries in numerous countries, Professor Janet Kyle urges her students never to forget the importance of bringing out every individual’s talents in pursuit of a common mission. “A lot of students think financial capital is most important for getting an organization to achieve its goals,” Kyle said in an interview. “However, I would argue that well-organized and motivated people can do a lot without money, but money without people won’t do anything.” Professor Kyle’s course, Strategic Human Resources Management, goes… Read More »
May 23, 2019


Accurate, in-depth, and widely accessible information is vital for increasing access to housing, education, health care, voting, local history, and nonprofit development. That was the unifying theme that the MPA Changemaker Scholars discovered in their recent end-of-semester roundtable discussion. Changemaker Scholarships provide support to MPA students who wish to develop their skills as social change agents outside of class during the fall or spring semesters in one of three areas: management, research, or social innovation. In the roundtable discussion, each scholar stood… Read More »
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