Student, Faculty, and Alumni Stories

April 18, 2019


Daniela de la Puente joined the MPA Program as an international student from Peru. While earning her MPA, she interned at the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Permanent Mission of Peru to the United Nations. She currently works as a consultant for the Innóvate Perú program at the Ministry of Production and teaches Cultural Policy at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. In addition to her MPA degree from CCNY, she holds a Master's Degree in Cultural Management from the University of Barcelona. She has almost a decade of experience in the management of cultural… Read More »
April 15, 2019


New MPA Faculty Bring Firsthand Knowledge, Hands-on Experience into the Classroom This spring, MPA students are taking a public budgeting course taught by a veteran analyst from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). They are also developing critical thinking skills with an instructor who works as a global intelligence analyst, and they are learning strategic management from the co-founder of a social impact consulting firm. The newest MPA faculty members bring a combination of stellar academic accomplishment and ample professional experience in government, the nonprofit… Read More »
March 25, 2019


Belkissa Doumbia did something remarkable during her time in the MPA Program: she used her Powell Graduate Fellowship to bring three NYC students of African descent to her home country of Côte d’Ivoire. The purpose was to see beyond media images of Africa, to  perform community service, and to forge a deep connection beyond borders. The students dubbed it “The Trip of the Truth”. In this interview, Belkissa describes the project and its impact on the students, Cherika Ferguson of CCNY and Adela Jhonson and T’Erica Johnson of Bronx Regional High School. Tell me about how you… Read More »
March 20, 2019


On March 19, Belkissa Doumbia (MPA '18) and students Adela Jhonson and T’Erica Johnson presented a slideshow and panel discussion about their educational journey to Cote D'Ivoire.  Doumbia, a Cote D'Ivoire native, organized and led the trip last year as part of the Powell Graduate Fellowship, a year-long program for graduate students in the Powell School to develop leadership skills and address urgent public problems facing African American communities. The purpose of the heritage trip was to give African American youth the opportunity to see the realities of an African country… Read More »
March 13, 2019


Dr. Adriana Espinosa discusses how MPA students can create social change by integrating engaged, interdisciplinary research into their public service work. We’ve been discussing gender disparities in STEM professions as well as microaggressions and workplace discrimination. What can we do to solve these problems? Should we focus on cultural change – changing individuals – or should we change institutions first? Who’s in charge of the institutions? It’s people, ultimately, right? It’s all of us. If we from the start have a cultural shift, then the discriminatory institutional… Read More »
March 06, 2019


On March 5, the MPA Program hosted a workshop on how to use the NYC Open Data Portal to address public issues.  The instructor, data specialist Cassie Dewitt, introduced participants to the portal and guided them through the process of retrieving, downloading, and cleaning data sets. Dewitt then demonstrated how to use the built-in mapping tool to create a heat map and other visualizations to illustrate public problems.     The audience included more than 30 participants, among them MPA students as well as nonprofit professionals and other city residents. Participants brought… Read More »
March 05, 2019


Dr. Adriana Espinosa, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at CCNY and scholar-in-residence at the MPA Program, discusses gender and racial disparities in STEM professions, microaggressions and other gendered language in the workplace, and how this relates to MPA students’ careers as social impact managers. Gender gaps are pervasive in our society – in wages, in positions of political power, in access to venture capital, and more. One major theme of your work as scholar-in-residence is the gender gap in STEM. Tell us about that work. Within STEM (Science,… Read More »
January 08, 2019


Although highly qualified for her summer internship in Washington, Yaritza Holguin felt a lingering doubt about whether she belonged – a deep unease aggravated by the frequent acts of racism and anti-immigrant bias she and her colleagues encountered on Capitol Hill. In this story, Yaritza tells how she coped with this feeling, known as impostor syndrome, by connecting with others who she identified with, seeking advice from women leaders she admired, and practicing self-affirmation. As I stepped into the Capitol of the United States, I encountered a sea of tailored suits. They… Read More »
January 04, 2019


“What if we ignite the communities that are the most invested in and affected by the failing schools - to identify the leaders, and give them the opportunity to tell us what it is they need?” - Lorena Camacho, 2018 Social Innovation Fellow Posterboards with detailed policy analysis, charts, and infographics covered the walls of the MPA office over the past month. The projects were the culmination of the social innovation fellowship, a year-long program for MPA students aiming to find creative ways to address social problems, beyond existing policies.  Fellows receive… Read More »
January 02, 2019


Older Vera is a skilled data analyst and experienced teacher with a passion for making education systems work for all students. He joined the MPA program to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to create policy research that will bring real changes in education policy. His summer internship taught him how to overcome the negativity of the current news cycle and find hope in the inspiring work of the advocates at Public Citizen. I arrived in Washington D.C. a week before my internship start date, giving me time to reflect on myself and my life. Having just finished another… Read More »
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