LaTasha Smith, Master of Public Administration (MPA) alum (2012), is the director of communications for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, Ga.
Q: What is one of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned through the MPA program?
A: I’m an introvert. Being able to proactively get out there and find ways to connect with people through different projects and events at Northeastern really helped me with that. It was hard to really put myself out there at first, and now I’m comfortable with it.
Q: What was your favorite project you worked on while earning your degree?
A: My capstone project in Governor Dukakis’ Public Management class. I explored human trafficking and how state governments and public safety can work together to encourage accountability within trafficking relief programs as well as improve their understanding of the needs of trafficked survivors.
Q: The School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs is known for its commitment to working toward a cause. How did you experience this and how does that shape your outlook?
A: In the MPA program, I was constantly challenged to apply the knowledge gained in the classroom to my day-to-day tasks at my internships and jobs. It has allowed me to bring new best practices and approaches to my work. I continue to seek out and apply new research to my work and this has separated me from others and demonstrates my interest in finding new ways to successfully make an impact.
Q: What personally drives you to serve others?
A: The fact that a small effort can make a big impact is what drives me to serve others and my community. I’m very much into increasing community awareness of different issues, and it’s rewarding to see how my service helps to do this in my own network and community.