Student, Faculty, and Alumni Stories

November 18, 2020

In the MPA Program’s Fall 2020 Workshop Series, students developed their personal narratives, identified their strengths, and explored their potential roles in the social change ecosystem. The three virtual workshops aimed to help students take ownership of their professional paths and gain clarity about their core motives and values as they engage civically and build public service careers.   Another goal was to create a space for students to build professional relationships with each other. This is a key objective of the MPA… Read More »
September 13, 2020

Born in Côte d'Ivoire and raised in the U.S., Chukwudi Onike grew up with a keen awareness of global issues and an aspiration for a career in International Development.  To achieve this end, Onike enrolled at the City College of New York (CCNY) to earn a bachelor’s degree in International Studies. While completing his degree, he was selected as a Public Policy Fellow at the Colin Powell Center for Policy Studies. He also completed an internship at the Roosevelt Institute and became a prolific student leader, participating in the… Read More »
July 03, 2020

This year’s Pride Month was perhaps like no other. Amidst a pandemic and economic crisis, Pride crossed paths with a nation-wide uprising for racial justice, monumental decisions by the Supreme Court on DACA and LGBTQ workplace protections, and a primary election that shook up establishment politics. In the conversation below, three activists from the MPA Program – Kalima Mckenzie-Simms, Antonio Lopez, and Patrick Koslecki (pictured above, left to right) – discuss Pride, its intersections with Black Lives Matter and immigrant… Read More »
June 08, 2020

The MPA Program is thrilled to welcome our new executive director, Bobby Derival. Bobby first came to the MPA Program as a guest lecturer in 2019. He quickly developed a meaningful bond with the students and demonstrated a strong commitment to the program’s mission of preparing the next generation of civic and global leaders to create transformative social change. A first-generation Haitian-American, Bobby holds master’s degrees in public health and international conflict resolution from Arcadia University. He brings more than… Read More »
May 29, 2020

Tarik Fathallah and his multinational team won a competition hosted by MIT with a project that will use artificial intelligence to help people fact-check rumors about COVID-19 and obtain accurate information about the virus and its transmission.   As the pandemic spread, MPA student Tarik Fathallah was determined to stay engaged, continue advancing his career in social impact, and help resolve the public health crisis gripping the globe.  “I needed to find a way to turn this whole experience around,” said Fathallah. “I felt… Read More »
April 28, 2020

Everyone is talking about the pandemic and the government’s response, but one Colin Powell School student decided that talk was not enough. Over the past month, Patrick Koslecki and his mother, Shannon Koslecki, have produced hundreds of cloth masks using a sewing machine in their New Jersey home. They have donated the masks to hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and individuals in 25 states and three countries. The team uses donated fabrics, elastic bands, and other materials collected through appeals posted on social media.… Read More »
March 05, 2020

On Wednesday, 48 undergraduate students, graduate students, and alumni gathered in Shepard Hall to learn about public service career paths and meet professionals in the field. The evening began with a panel discussion. The eight panelists spoke about their experiences in local and federal government, nonprofit organizations, philanthropic foundations, social enterprise, law, social impact consulting, and more: Yaritza Holguin, Associate, Ichor Strategies  Taif Jany, Policy Entrepreneur, The Next 100 Tiffany McGriff, Foreign… Read More »
February 28, 2020

  R. Mark Musell, former director of the MPA program, has spent decades studying, teaching, and writing about budgeting and the budgetary consequences of various government programs.  His new book, Understanding Government Budgets: A Guide to Practices in the Public Service, is an effort to untangle budgets so that students and citizens can better engage government.  “Budgets are chockablock with information on all aspects of governance, but it isn’t always easy to get at or interpret,” he stated. “That’s unfortunate, because… Read More »
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 »
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