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|Graduate School: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Berkeley
Area of Interest: Housing Issues
Mentors: Carol Burns, Burns Taylor Architects and Zoe Weinrobe, Recap Real Estate Advisors
Agency: Massachusetts Executive Office for Housing and Economic Development
Supervisors: Erica Kreuter, Director of MassWorks Infrastructure Program
Project Description: - As a Rappaport Fellow, Kassie assisted the Permit Regulatory Office at Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) on a report that documents how targeted investments made through the state's MassWorks Infrastructure Program (MassWorks) have benefited growing and revitalizing communities throughout the Commonwealth. To complete this work, Kassie administered a combination of site visits and telephone interviews with MassWorks grant recipients and other project stakeholders, including municipal officials, developers, regional planning agency staff, business owners, and community leaders to learn what direct outcomes and spillover effects resulted from MassWorks-supported projects. Kassie also analyzed grantee applications, quarterly reports and other relevant documents to supplement the primary information she collected. Her final deliverable included an overview of the MassWorks program—including how it was created, how it is implemented and the types of projects it supports; in addition to six case studies, which highlight exemplary revitalization projects, that have experienced tremendous success in spurring private investments, attracting new businesses, reactivating inner cities, and stimulating job growth in the area. Kassie was also exposed to some of the Office’s other strategic initiatives, including Housing That Works and regional planning.
Kassie remarks: - The Rappaport Fellowship has been an incredible experience. I had the tremendous opportunity of working at Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, where I was exposed to the fields of public administration, city planning, public policy and real estate development. Working at EOHED allowed me to see the opportunities and challenges of assembling projects across all levels of government as well as with the private sector to expand housing, grow jobs and revitalize communities. Putting together my MassWorks report enhanced my critical thinking and analytic skills, but it also presented the opportunity to travel throughout Massachusetts—from the western town of Lee, to the central city of Worcester, to cities in the Boston Region. Most importantly, the Fellowship provided an invaluable opportunity to build professional relationships with incredibly bright and passionate people among the Rappaport Institute Board and staff, placement agencies, alumni, fellows within my cohort, and with the various stakeholders I interviewed for my research project.