Master of Public Administration
Graduated in 2018
Monique Gibbs started out her professional career working for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, as a political organizer in New York City, advocating for budgetary and legislative issues that affected union members and working people. She then joined the New York Public Library’s Office of Government and Community Affairs where she connected library programs to local elected officials, promoted community engagement, and supported budget and legislative advocacy. Wanting to deepen her knowledge of urban planning, development, and design, Monique enrolled in Northeastern University’s Master of Public Administration (MPA) and the Graduate Certificate in Urban Studies. She graduated in May 2018 and is now working for the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development as a housing development officer.
Related Schools & Departments
“I was immediately attracted to the Myra Kraft Open Classroom series. At the time of my research, the Open Classroom topic was ‘Imagine Boston 2030.’"
Monique wrote a reflection of her first semester of graduate school that captured her challenging courses, and the rich cultural diversity of her cohort of students.
Monique said two courses were particularly eye-opening: “Contemporary Community Development,” and "Problems in Urban Policy Making."
In May 2017, Monique Gibbs received a public policy summer fellowship from the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, an entity housed at the Harvard Kennedy School.
For Monique, having a community was important, and she found it right here on campus through the Northeastern Graduate Students of Color Collective (GSCC).
Monique is now working as a Policy Innovation Associate for MassHousing.
Why Public Administration?
When Monique started looking into MPA programs, she knew she wanted a challenging program that would expose her to a new environment.
As part of the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs (SPPUA), Northeastern’s nationally accredited MPA program stood out because of its rigor and community partnerships.
In May 2017, Monique Gibbs received a public policy summer fellowship from the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, a university-wide entity housed at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government that strives to improve governance by strengthening connections between the region’s scholars, students, and civic leaders.
As a fellow, Monique managed two exciting projects for the Housing Innovation Lab at the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development. The projects focused on improving constituent access to affordable housing resources in the midst of a contentious mayoral election and housing crisis. In this column, Monique explains how her MPA degree helped her improve access and knowledge of affordable housing resources in Boston.
“Through this fellowship, I was paired with two Rappaport alumni mentors, Jessica Casey and Abudar Rahman, who are also SPPUA alumni. They both gave me great advice for succeeding within the fellowship, in my academic program, and finding career opportunities post-graduation.”
For Monique, having a community is important, and she has found it right here on campus through the Northeastern Graduate Students of Color Collective (GSCC). The GSCC is a mission driven student organization dedicated to building the capacity of graduate students of color on Northeastern campus and the local community.
Through this group, Monique participated in a service project for underserved communities in Greater Boston, as well as a minority- and women-owned business expo. She has also participated in various campus activities including GSCC’s monthly Coffee and Conversation series and the group’s annual Multicultural Mixer.
Monique says her fellowship and internship with the Massachusetts Area Planning Council have allowed her to build a professional and personal network in the Greater Boston region. These experiences, she said, have given her the confidence to pursue career opportunities in Boston. She wants to educate people on the political process. “It is disheartening to meet people who don’t understand how much power they hold with a single vote in all elections,” she said. “I want to change that.”
Monique is now working as a Policy Innovation Associate for MassHousing.
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...