Master of Public Administration
Graduated in 2015
“I’ve always been passionate about service, and I’ve ultimately dedicated my career (thus far) to service.”
Related Schools & Departments
"From my first course of Public Personnel Administration to my final course in State & Local Governments, there wasn’t a bad course I experienced within the program."
The sense of community was instant for Hanna and she and her classmates all supported one another throughout their classes.
Her classmates, professors, and she would get together after class almost weekly to socialize and network.
"What is really amazing about Northeastern is I could work full time on Beacon Hill, and then hop on the green line to Northeastern for classes."
One class that certainly shaped the trajectory of her involvement in the Town of Sharon was Budgeting & Finance.
She had a group project where they chose different communities to examine their budgets, and her group chose the Town of Sharon.
She ended up being appointed to the Town of Sharon’s Finance Committee and served on the committee for nearly five years until her recent election to the Select Board.
Northeastern has without a doubt help shape me to become the leader I am today in my community.
In high school, I was inspired to get involved in politics when Governor Deval Patrick ran for office, and I was selected to be the Town of Sharon’s student representative to his youth inauguration. While I was doing my undergraduate studies at Brandeis University, I was planning to become a Rabbi with Judaic Studies and Politics majors. Then, during my senior year in 2013, I had a life-changing internship experience in Governor Patrick’s office. I interned in the community affairs office, where I saw firsthand how the public and private sector could interact together. I also saw how the Massachusetts interfaith community could be involved in the political world, advocating for bills and partnering with Governor Patrick at events. The horrific events of the Marathon bombing that April also shaped my internship experience, where I saw how crisis management worked and how communities come together.
As I was interning for Governor Patrick, I knew I could see myself working in government, but I still wanted to stay engaged in the Jewish community, so I looked at Public Administration programs. I applied only to two schools, and chose Northeastern almost immediately upon receiving my acceptance. I wanted to be part of the Northeastern community because of their diverse programming and the options of taking electives outside of the Policy School appealed to me. Also seeing that former Governor Dukakis was on the faculty along with other notable policy experts, it felt like a perfect fit. Knowing that I could specialize in state and local government or I could head in the direction of non-profit management was key in my studies. Heading straight from undergraduate into graduate school, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but from the moment of my orientation in August all the way until graduation two years later, my class really bonded and connected.
Her Path at Northeastern
My first semester I did not work full time. I worked in the writing center along with a couple of my classmates as part of having work-study and I taught at a Hebrew School in Newton. During my second semester, my coursework and the beginning of my career took off. In March 2014, I was hired by my State Representative Louis Kafka (D-Stoughton), as his Legislative Aide. What is really amazing about Northeastern is I could work full time on Beacon Hill, and then hop on the green line to Northeastern for classes, since the majority of the coursework is designed for the evening. At times, the courses could be challenging with balancing work during the day, but I loved how so much of what I was studying applied to my job in real life.
From my first course of Public Personnel Administration to my final course in State & Local Governments, there wasn’t a bad course I experienced within the program. I enjoyed having professors, who worked in the field of government or were executive directors of influential non-profits and could serve a resource.
One class that certainly shaped the trajectory of my involvement in the Town of Sharon was Budgeting & Finance. I am not a numbers person by any means, and frankly always struggled with math. Professor Jimenez took practical concepts of how budgets and policies are made, and made the course understandable. We had a group project where we chose different communities to examine their budgets, and my group chose the Town of Sharon. Using our research and findings about the town, I actually applied to be on the Finance Committee. During my interview, I presented some of the issues my group found, such as the lack of transparency on the website to easily find out where tax dollars are spent or how do we stand as community compared to other towns. This course influenced my thinking about my community and how I wanted to help the town. I was appointed to the Town of Sharon’s Finance Committee and served on the committee for nearly five years until my recent election to the Select Board.
Governor Dukakis’s course on Institutional Leadership, helped my memo writing skills tremendously, and it forced my classmates and I think about the type of leaders we wanted to become in life. When I was running for Select Board in the fall of 2019, I was reminded of Governor Dukakis telling our class to make key player lists. These are the lists of people to connect with and to involve in discussions and policymaking decisions. It helped me in organizing my campaign, and creating my list of core supporters.
A Robust Professional Network
My experience at Northeastern, led me to a network of professional connections within the political and civic engagement world. After four years of working for Representative Kafka, I was lucky enough to move over to the Senate in 2018, working as Legislative Director for State Senator Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro). It’s exciting to have gained experience in the Executive Office, the House and the Senate.
When I’m not at the State House, I’m involved and engaged in both the Sharon and the Greater Boston community. I serve as a Community Representative on the Jewish Community Relations Council and I recently was on the Board of Trustees at my synagogue, Temple Beth David of the South Shore. Before running for local office, I was active with the Young Democrats of MA. In the Sharon community, I built community relationships through my civic engagement, and really focused my campaign logo and mission around “connecting our community.” I went through our town’s Public Safety Academy this past year, where participants learned the ins and outs of our Police and Fire Departments. I have been and continue to be the membership chair of the Sharon Lions Club and an active member of Sharon Celebrates Diversity.
Since becoming the youngest Select Board member in Sharon’s history this past November, many people have asked me what’s next. I’m not sure what the future will bring for me professionally, but I hope to keep serving my community, making a difference wherever I can and helping Massachusetts move forward.
More Student Paths
Charles T. Wallace-Thomas IV
- Charles chose to attend Northeastern because he was intrigued by the signature co-op program and wanted a curriculum that combined real-world experience without compromising thorough academic rigor.
- Initially an engineering student, Charles switched to a combined major in Economics and Mathematics to build upon his interest in economic and social justice work. He also has a minor in psychology.
- In his first year, Charles took Sustainable Renewable Energy Development in the Global South with Professor Shalanda Baker, which taught him to question systems as they exist, no matter how established.
- As part of the Ujima Global Leaders Program through the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, Charles did community service, working on the Timebank team which helped him give back to Boston.
- For his first co-op, Charles split his time between the Center for Economic Democracy and the Boston Ujima Project, where he analyzed studies on community needs, like infrastructure and childcare.
- As Campaign Coordinator and Director of Northeastern’s Students Advancing Intersectional Dreams, Charles had spoken to people like Patrisse Cullors, Richie Reseda, Michelle Alexander, and Angela Davis.
- Over the summer of 2020, Charles was one of the co-creators of the #BlackAtNU campaign where he advocated for racial literacy courses and for a restorative and transformative justice center on campus...
- Casey took “Global Markets and Local Cultures'' with the late Professor Jeffrey Juris. After traveling, she saw how the coursework mirrored reality, and knew her education was preparing her for the world.
- Casey went on a DOC to Argentina and Uruguay. She wanted to become fluent in Spanish, and she did become highly proficient while living in Buenos Aires and visiting the glaciers of the Patagonia region.
- Casey did her first co-op at the Museum of Fine Arts as a Community Arts program assistant. She gained valuable hands-on experience assisting in arts classes for the local communities.
- Casey joined the Sociology & Anthropology Student Association during her third year. It allowed her to get to know her fellow students and mirrored the small school experience she loved.
- Casey studied abroad in Nepal for her capstone thesis. She lived alone for a month while she researched and wrote about the lived experience of climate change in the lower Himalayas.
- Casey joined the Sunrise Movement, an environmental group that organizes protests urging political action for climate justice issues. With them, she truly felt like a part of the local Boston community.
- Casey worked for the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, founded by Professor Sarah Wylie. She produced promotional videos, developed a virtual research event, wrote event programming, and more. ..
- Northeastern has provided Sunita with interdisciplinary opportunities to utilize her education in the Greater Boston community, on co-op, and abroad.
- Sunita spent Summer 2019 on a Dialogue of Civilizations in Jordan and Egypt. It helped her realize her interest in Middle East politics and the Arabic language.
- Her favorite class, Revolution, Civil War, and Insurrection taught by Professor Risa Kitagawa invited students to question the motives behind acts of violence against governments.
- Her first co-op was at the Institute for Economics and Peace in Sydney, Australia where she analyzed data on the corruption of police forces in Mexico.
- Her second co-op at Enel X provided insight into battery storage, solar and wind farms, demand response, and the economic incentives that drive the energy market.
- In spring 2019, Sunita joined the Student Alliance for Prison Reform as well as Partakers, a partner of the club, where she mentored a prisoner at MCI Concord.
- Sunita is a member of the International Relations Council and has traveled abroad with the club to compete in Model Arab League, Model NATO, and Model UN conferences...
- 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...