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Student Spotlight: Ashley Armand

People in this story

Name: Ashley Armand
Program: Master of Public Policy

What made you decide to pursue your degree?
As an individual who operated in the nonprofit sector for several years— predominantly in the immigration sector—I saw the structural limitations, challenges, and progressive victories that created sustainable policies— on the surface level.

As a result, I decided to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy degree to be given the applicational tools to understand the techniques and analytic methods that influence policy with a more calculated, insightful, and data-driven lens.

Why Public Policy?
I seek to advance equitable outcomes and reduce inequality for marginalized populations through policy implementation, analysis, and research. I have a hunger for evidence and wanting to craft concrete, culturally responsive solutions focusing on root causes.

Why Northeastern?
I thoroughly enjoy the faculty at the school of public policy and urban affairs at CSSH.  Being a student in this program has been an incredibly uplifting experience filled with faculty that have fulfilled monumental work in their careers and within academia.

What sorts of on-campus activities are you involved in? Why would you encourage students to make the most of their time here?

Graduate School is what you make of it. I encourage students to:

  1.  Take advantage of every opportunity that is presented to you.
  2.  Network and make valuable contributions to and within your courses.
  3. Join groups on campus that support your needs, and help grow your passions, such as the Northeastern Association of Public Policy Students, etc.
  4.  Ask when you are in need. It never hurts to ask, and have individuals point you in the right direction.

When you make the most of your time in grad school, you will be given more opportunities to grow and learn as an individual, which will help you significantly in industry, and beyond.

Are you involved in any off-campus organizations?
I volunteer with two community organizations at present. My primary role is to evaluate and support programs, research policy issues, advise on current immigration trends, and potential outcomes and conduct advocacy work (rallies, lobbying, etc.) for the local Caribbean immigrant population. It’s been rewarding to use my academic background, and experience to bear fruit in my work.

Any interesting research you’re working on?
I’ve been researching the effects of gentrification on the east coast while analyzing policy options to ameliorate certain negative externalities. It has been eye-opening to study with the microeconomics skills I’ve gained  to dive into this issue—especially while being in a city like Boston.

Name a memorable course or even class period:
Education Policy, Statistics, Techniques of Public Policy or Program Evaluation.

What do you love about Boston? Any recommendations for fun activities and/or restaurants?
I love big cities. I also can’t get enough of all the Caribbean food that Boston has to offer.

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