Master of Public Policy
Graduated in 2021
Julia Vasta is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Boston Municipal Research Bureau where she analyzes a wide variety of city policies and finances. She joined the Research Bureau after completing a Master of Public Policy at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs in 2021. There she worked on a number of research projects covering topics such as housing in Greater Boston and family and caregiving dynamics during COVID-19. Before graduate school, Julia worked as an immigration paralegal for three years in Boston and New Jersey. She grew up in Massachusetts and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Spanish from Cornell University.
Related Schools & Departments
Julia was drawn to Northeastern's MPP program because of the school's connectedness with Boston, impressive faculty, and experiential learning opportunities which could help her launch a career of service.
After studying Sociology and Spanish at Cornell University, her passion grew for understanding immigration policies were written and analyzed while working as an immigration paralegal.
Julia found two courses particularly helpful during a fellowship in Boston Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services: Geographic Information Systems for Urban and Regional Policy and Strategizing Public Policy
"I feel confident that having an advanced degree with so much experiential learning built in will open the door for a career in public service."
Julia worked on a research project with Professor Alicia Modestino on the annual Greater Boston Housing Report Card released by The Boston Foundation.
With D’Amore-McKim School of Business Professor Jamie Ladge, she also assisted with research related to COVID-19 and its effects on parents who were working from home during the pandemic.
Julia received the Fishman Family Fellowship award which allowed her to accept an unpaid fellowship with the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services.
She was a student leader in the Northeastern community, serving on the executive board of the Northeastern Association for Public Policy Students from 2019 to 2020.
After graduating in May of 2021, Julia hopes to continue her work in public service in the fields of recovery and homeless services or immigration.
I’ve always known that if I’m going to spend so much of my life working, I want to commit that time to helping others, especially those who are working against all odds to live happy, fulfilling lives.
Areas of Expertise: Boston city government, first job at Boston Municipal Research Bureau, summer Fishman Fellowship during grad school with City of Boston
More Student Paths
- Savita is from Boston and is a graduate of the Boston Latin School.
- Originally a Cultural Anthropology major, Savita later became an English major with minors in Africana Studies and Writing Studies.
- Through the service-learning course, Boston in Literature, Savita volunteered with 826 Boston to tutor in English. She is now a service-learning teaching assistant.
- For her final project in Post-Colonial Women's Writers with Professor Aljoe, she researched Carnival and its cultural significance to Trinidad and Tobago.
- Inspired by Professor Aljoe, Savita joined the Early Caribbean Digital Archive, working on an exhibit about Caribbean Carnival and creating and gathering teaching materials.
- In 2020, she began a co-op with the Africana Studies program to learn more about the field of Black Studies.
- Savita wants to work to better her own community. In the future, she hopes to become a high school teacher or a college professor. ..
- Andrew grew up in Japan, and decided to pursue his undergraduate degree back in the U.S.
- Andrew applied to Northeastern as a Business major. As his high school career came to a close, he became more interested in Japanese politics, history, and social issues.
- When thinking about what truly engaged him, Andrew felt that Asian Studies and Political Science was a better fit and switched his major to Asian Studies.
- Andrew connected with Professor Daniel Aldrich after meeting him at a presentation of his book at the institute for social sciences at Tokyo University.
- From his first day of classes, Professor Aldrich encouraged and helped Andrew get involved in research projects.
- During his first semester, Professor Aldrich paired Andrew with Tim Fraser, a PhD candidate in Political Science with strong interests in disaster resilience in Japan.
- With Tim, Andrew collected biographical information on the committee members on all the reconstructional committees on municipal, prefectural, and national level. ..
- Emerson wanted a contextualized Political Science degree, and applied to Northeastern specifically for the PPE (Politics, Philosophy, and Economics) program.
- "Introduction to Economic Justice" with Professor Serena Parekh was one of Emerson's favorite courses, allowing her to study economic justice from a philosophical lens.
- Emerson was accepted by the Roosevelt Institute to do financialization research at Northeastern, examining economic priorities.
- Emerson also started a research thesis her freshman year to look at the link between modern dystopian literature and the the rise of female-led political movements.
- When Emerson found out about the HCL (History, Culture, and Law) major, she was immediately interested in adding the major to enhance her PPE studies.
- The Culture & Colonialism concentration allowed Emerson to double-credit and to develop the breadth of knowledge needed for someone who wants to work at the State Department.
- In January 2020, Emerson founded NU's Interdisciplinary Women's Collaborative (IWC) with the help of mentor and advisor Heather Hauck...
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...