Dahianna Lopez

2012 Rappaport Public Policy Summer Fellow

May 24, 2012

Graduate School:Harvard School of Public Health
Undergraduate School:University of California, Berkeley
Areas of Interest:Public Health
Mentors:Ben Forman, MassInc.
Placement:Mayor's Office of the City of Boston, Department of Transportation, Boston Police Department, Boston Department of Innovationa and Technology
Supervisor: Patricia Boyle-McKenna, Director of Internships, City of Boston, Charlotte Fleetwood, Transportation Planner
Project Description:This summer Dahianna worked with the Office of the Mayor in Boston, the Boston Transporation Department, the Boston Police Department, and the Boston Department of Innovation and Technology to elucidate the magnitude of bicycle- and pedestrian-related crashes. The analysis of this project will help prevent such crashes in an interdisciplinary way. Urban planners and engineers will be better able to identify areas in the city that are in need of safety improvements. Public Health practitioners will be able to target specific populations and intervene with health education and encouragement campaigns. And finally, police officers will be able to target hot spot locations that could use increased policing and law enforcement of road laws.

Dahianna says that the Rappaport Fellowship provided a summer experience that she will never forget! She says, "As a fellow, I was able to spearhead my own policy project and not just 'help out' with one. City officials and colleagues respected my work and I felt a sense of belonging in the organizations in which I was placed. The professional relationships I built through this program are some that will outlive the duration of my PhD at Harvard - and for that, I am incredibly greatful. Overall, I am deeply satisfied with my experience this summer and with the enriched knowledge I gained by being a part of the political process at the municipal level. Because of this fellowship, I am now convinced that I will devote a good slice of my life to public service."