Student, Faculty, and Alumni Stories

May 30, 2018


Students in the MPA Program learn from active professionals who bring practical experience into the classroom. This allows the program to advance relevant and engaged scholarship, which is fundamental to the mission of the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership. With Professor Ashraf, students examine crucial public policy issues such as criminal justice and health access, drawing upon her experience as a policy advisor at the Mayor’s Office. Her current role as special advisor at Open Society Foundations enriches her course on nonprofit management.
May 15, 2018


People who help refugees resettle often suffer from Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS), the vicarious emotional pain caused by hearing about others’ trauma, according to a study co-authored by Ryan Hallock (MPA ‘17, pictured above) and Dr. Adriana Espinosa. The study, based on 210 survey responses, found that after assisting continual cases of severely traumatized refugees, resettlement workers are prone to lose sleep and feel angry and hopeless. To cope with the pain, they often turn to alcohol, distraction, and self-blame, and… Read More »
April 18, 2018


Tsuneko Ito, who graduated from the MPA Program in 2017, recently joined a Doctors without Borders mission in South Sudan as a personnel development manager. She now coordinates capacity-building programs for more than 500 staff members and plans human resources strategy to ensure the mission's success. "Many things I learned in the MPA Program are coming back to me in my day-to-day work," Tsuneko recently wrote. While earning her MPA, Tsuneko interned at the United Nations Secretariat and received a research scholarship to work on the Kofi Annan papers archive, with support from… Read More »
April 10, 2018


Recipients of our Changemaker Scholarships choose among three scholarship tracks: management, research, or social innovation. They use the scholarship to support work that advances their career goals by helping them get experience, develop skills, gain knowledge, and build relationships in their field. Nine students received changemaker scholarships in spring 2018, made possible by generous funding from the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service. Our social innovation fellows explore creative approaches to social change that go outside the limits of government and the… Read More »
April 05, 2018


Professor Bhakti Mirchandani, who teaches public budgeting and finance in the MPA Program, published an article in the journal Nonprofit Quarterly about the successes and failures of pay-for-success bonds. To improve the effectiveness of these performance-based public contracts, Mirchandani recommends aligning returns with market rates, expanding the pool of eligible investors, standardizing the structure of pay-for-success financial instruments, sharpening program evaluation tools, and offering larger-scale contracts. Read the article Professor Mirchandani is a microfinance… Read More »
March 14, 2018


Current MPA students talk about the key skills they are developing in the program.  
March 12, 2018


Rene Aubry, who joined the MPA faculty in the fall of 2017, teaches students how to grow startup ventures that address the social issues they are most passionate about. In his course on social enterprise, students find their authentic leadership style and explore how their own story can be their guiding narrative. They learn the process of launching a venture from start to finish, from ideation to drafting and executing the business plan to measuring impact. Aubry holds both MPA and MBA/JD degrees from Harvard and Columbia, respectively. He is co-founder of Ciel Partners, a… Read More »
February 28, 2018


Current MPA students tell what they aspire to achieve in their public service careers.  
February 22, 2018


The MPA Program, with generous support from the Charles Rangel Center, hosted a 1.5-hour evening workshop on how to build a professional network. The workshop was led by Marcos Salazar, founder of Be Social Change, one of New York City's largest networks of social impact professionals. Marcos's workshop taught MPA students and alumni how to go beyond the superficial exchange of business cards and build mutually beneficial relationships with people whose interests, values, and projects align with their social impact goals. Students and alumni in attendance explored their own… Read More »
February 06, 2018


After graduating from the MPA Program in 2015, Kieshorne Dennie combined his legal studies background with his training in public administration to land a job at the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. Driven by his passion for criminal justice issues, Kieshorne has applied his skills in quantitative research, grant management, and policy evaluation to a variety of policy initiatives and other projects. He recently won admission to one of his top choice law schools and is preparing to increase his impact on criminal justice policy in the years to come. While an MPA student,… Read More »
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