Master of Public Administration
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
- 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...