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
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...