PhD Candidate in Political Science, International Relations & Public Policy
Graduated in 2022
Summer’s research focuses on how philanthropic foundations influence governance institutions during global health emergencies. She holds specialities in global governance, international organizations, health security, and philanthropy. Her work on this topic began when she led a project on humanitarian response during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Prior to her time at Northeastern, Summer worked as a journalist and editor in Washington, D.C., held multiple research positions, and managed instructional development of online courses in Public Policy and Public Health at Harvard University. She is currently a predoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, where she contributes to a project examining cross-border measures states have taken in response to COVID-19 and prior disease outbreaks. She was drawn to Northeastern’s PhD program because of the unique combination of methodological expertise and policy relevance among the Political Science department faculty.
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Summer received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics at the College of William & Mary in 2008
She worked as Associate Editor and Project Coordinator for the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington, D.C.
She received her Masters in Law and Diplomacy, Security Studies and Political Economy at the Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 2013.
She managed instructional development for online courses in Public Policy, Government, and Public Health at Harvard University from 2013-2016.
She participated as an editor for a case study and photo essay, titled “High Ground: Disaster, Risk, and Resilience in the Philippines" in 2017.
Summer engages in public commentary on her research as it relates to COVID-19. She has appeared on CNN International and published analysis on this topic in the Washington Post, among other outlets.
Summer's policy brief “How Funding the WHO Benefits US Foreign Policy,” was circulated on Capitol Hill by the Georgetown University O’Neill Institute for Global Health Law in 2020.
Later, she presented at the American Political Science Association ‘Lobbying is a dirty word,’ Advocacy is Not: Philanthropy and Policy Entrepreneurship in Global Health Emergencies" virtually in 2020.
Summer has multiple academic publications on her CV and is currently in the process of finalizing multiple peer reviewed papers.
She aims to pursue an academic career in a faculty role allowing her to continue conducting policy-relevant research.
“The interdisciplinary faculty both within and outside of my program have profoundly shaped my experience. I am particularly grateful to my dissertation committee, Professors Daniel Aldrich, Mai’a Cross, Emily Clough, and Richard Wamai, among many others, for their efforts beyond the scope of the classroom to support my development as a policy-relevant scholar.”
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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...