Graduated in 2016
Armed with a Master’s in Urban Sociology, Elizabeth Williams was looking for a PhD program that was affiliated with policy-based research centers, and she found her home at The Dukakis Center in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs. From day one, she took advantage of the various teaching, research, and project opportunities she had at her disposal and her experience resulted in a fruitful career in transportation equity work after graduation. She still looks back fondly at her time at Northeastern as the institution that gave her the resources and skills that led her to where she is now.
Related Schools & Departments
Elizabeth wanted to pursue her PhD at Northeastern because it was home to the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy. She admired its vast research affiliations and innovative faculty network.
She took an intro foundational urban sociology course with Professor Liza Weinstein, and appreciated how it delved deep into various issues and expanded her interest in the field.
She was a research analyst for five years, tackling multiple projects on education, housing, and workforce development. She also worked extensively with Dukakis Center staff on transportation policy.
In her first year, she worked with Shelley Kimelberg on a project that got published in Growth and Change: A Journal of Urban and Regional Policy – her first time getting published in a scholarly journal.
She was a teaching assistant in the College of Professional Studies for a year, working with mid-career professionals from a wide range of backgrounds, an experience that she says inspired her own work.
She worked on “The Toll of Transportation,” a participatory research project that addressed transportation equity. This ultimately crystalized what Elizabeth wanted to pursue as a career.
Through connections from her time at Northeastern, she landed jobs in transportation equity work at UMass Donahue Institute and the MBTA. She is currently the Director of Data and Policy at MassDOT.
“It’s funny, because we’re often on calls, and we realize at some point that every single person on the call is a Northeastern person, either across MassDOT or the T. Northeastern casts a wide net. When I say that you have a built-in network because you went to Northeastern, it’s your students, your co-workers, but also your professors and other colleagues that you’ve worked with. Most of my professional experiences in Boston have been offshoots of Northeastern.”
More Student Paths
- Law school is a big investment. That’s why Chinma was attracted to NU and the co-op process, which has allowed her to experience the legal environment before committing to the practice.
- Chinma’s long-held love of reading and writing, specifically poetry, led to her to decision to major in English for her undergraduate education.
- In her first year, Chinma took Early African American Literature with Professor Nicole Aljoe. It was the first time she had a Black professor and the opportunity to share lived experiences in a new way.
- Chinma took Contemporary Poetry with Professor Eunsong Kim which explored readings that Chinma still uses today. She learned how poetry and art can affect real change, like through the Black Arts Movement.
- Chinma is co-president of Our Voices: Women of Color, which is run through the Social Justice Resource Center and the Center for Intercultural Engagement and allows her to facilitate vital conversations.
- Through Our Voices: Women of Color, Chinma attended Northeastern’s EMPOWER conference for students of color in 2019, where she gave a presentation about intersectionality.
- In her second year, Chinma took Intro to Law, Policy, and Society with Professor Daniel Urman, which gave her the chance to explore the intersection between current events and law, furthering her interest...
- Yasser was in the Foundation Year program at Northeastern. The program was a rigorous deep dive into core subject classes that helped Yasser bridge the gap between the high school and college experiences.
- Initially indecisive, Yasser’s interest in traveling and experience exploring different religious texts in high school led him to a double major in international affairs and religious studies.
- Yasser took Issues in Cities and Suburbs with Professor Erin Graves in Fall 2018. As someone deeply invested in urban life, he found the course was an enlightening look at the problems endemic to cities.
- Yasser’s first co-op was at the Boston Beer Company as a Program Operations and Event Assistant. He worked on inventory, public relations, directed brewery events, and maintained workspace organization.
- Yasser went on a Dialogue of Civilizations to Europe in Summer 2019 and took Engineering Principles in Nature with Professor Sandra Shefelbine.
- Yasser implemented and maintained community gardens all over Boston on deserted plots of land during his time as the Northeastern Campus Director for the campus’ United Nations Millennium Fellowship.
- Yasser began working at the Food Project and at a farm in Dorchester, he maintained the farm, harvested crops, distributed produce through donations and food markets, and worked on overall logistics...
Benjamin Cooper Gould
- Cooper’s dialogue, Challenges in Coastal Sustainability, and the course Ethics and Evolutionary games with Prof. Smead have been very impactful to him.
- As part of a class with Prof. Kelting on harm and aid he was able to write and submit real anti-racist curriculum for pre-schools in Boston.
- Cooper has been a PPE Peer Mentor, and he has also served as the PPE representative on the CSSH Student Advisory Council for three years.
- Cooper spent much of the summer in 2019 in Hong Kong and Malaysia on dialogue, exploring challenges for coastal sustainability.
- Cooper has had two co-ops, the first at Boston After School & Beyond, and the second at Dynasty Financial Partners, in New York City.
- He has conducted independent research projects with the Marine Science Center, for which he received a grant, as well as in philosophy.
- After graduation, Cooper is hoping to specialize in education justice, first by pursuing a Master’s in Education before teaching, and ultimately going into policy...