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Wynne Mun and Yiaway Yeh

Current Fellows

Our distinguished selection committee chose 14 Public Policy Fellows from approximately 100 candidates. The outpouring of interest in these programs confirms the great interest in state and local governance issues. Rappaport Public Policy Fellows spend 10 weeks working in state and local government offices in the Greater Boston area. The Fellows come from graduate and professional programs at local universities such as Harvard, Suffolk, MIT, Tufts, Northeastern and Boston University. To learn more about the program, visit our Eligibility page. If you work at a state or local government office interested in hosting an intern or fellow for next summer, please contact Polly O'Brien at (617) 495-5091.

2014 Rappaport Institute Public Policy Summer Fellows

Suveer Bahirwani

Suveer Bahirwani, Tufts University
Undergraduate Degree: University of Mumbai
Area of Interest: Environmental Issues
Mentors: Neil Veilleux, Meister Consulting Group
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Supervisor: Birud Jhaveri, Deputy Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Project Description: The MassDoER is developing for the first time a study on the overview, impacts, design and potential implementation strategies for an environmental tax reform that places a price on carbon. This study covering the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, will be conducted by a third-party consultant commissioned by the office of the Deputy Commissioner at the MassDoER. As a Rappaport Public Policy Fellow, Suveer Bahirwani's primary role will be to assist, support and work alongside the Deputy Commissioner in leading the project through its various milestones.


Charles Brackett, University of Massachusetts Boston
Undergraduate Degree: McGill University
Area of Interest: Criminal Justice Issues
Mentors: David Friedman, Boston Red Sox and Robey Champine, Tufts University
Agency: Mayor's Office, City of Boston
Supervisor: Patricia Boyle-McKenna, Director of Internships
Project Description: Between June and August 2014, Charlie will conduct extensive one-on-one interviews and workshops with employers and staffing firms to determine the sources of their criminal background checking policies and garner insights and recommendations for the Mayor on how to leverage city resources to improve ex-offender hiring outcomes. He will use data to analyze ex-offender performance in relation to a non-offender control group. The purpose of this project is twofold. First, to gain a better understanding of the sources of employer preferences in setting background check policies. Second, testing the effectiveness of a structured skills development program in improving ex-offender job performance. The data gathered from this project will help City officials understand how major employers in Boston can be induced to hire ex-offenders and show a path for future city investment in ex-offender integration.


Tolani Britton

Tolani Britton, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Undergraduate Degree: Tufts University
Area of Interest: Education Issues
Mentors: Joan Wallace Benjamin, The Home for Little Wanderers and Tessa Bridge, The King Open School
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Supervisor: Carrie Conaway, Associate Commissioner, Office of Planning and Research
Project Description: As a Radcliffe/Rappaport Summer Doctoral Fellow, Tolani will be working with the Office of Planning and Research at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on expressed versus revealed preferences of Massachusetts secondary students. Specifically, she will use descriptive and predictive analysis to explore whether students who state that they plan to attend college are taking the necessary courses in high school to achieve their stated goals. Further, does their post high school trajectory match or diverge from their stated plans? Additional work will look at the types of colleges that students enroll in based on their academic profile. Are students in the state attending "match" institutions or colleges where most of the students have similar academic profiles?


Rebecca Cudmore

Rebecca Cudmore, Northeastern University
Undergraduate Degree: Boston College
Area of Interest: Criminal Justice Issues
Mentors: Renee Landers, Suffolk University Law School and James Barrett, Wrentham Police Department
Agency: Mayor's Office, City of Boston and Women's Commission
Supervisor: Megan Costello, Commissioner, City of Boston's Women's Commission
Project Description: Rebecca’s summer fellowship is at the Women’s Commission at the City of Boston Mayor’s office. Specifically, Rebecca will be working in collaboration with the Boston Police Department on projects involving human trafficking. Rebecca’s primary summer project will examine how the hotel industry in the city of Boston comes into contact with human trafficking victims. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the scope of human trafficking in the city and develop a plan for training hotel employees to recognize and respond to human trafficking in their workplaces.


Daniela Delgado Daniela Delgado, Harvard Medical School
Undergraduate Degree: University of Miami
Area of Interest: Public Health Issues
Mentors: Audrey Morse Gasteier, Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector and Araceli Gutierrez, Harvard School of Public Health
Agency: Office of Jeffrey Sanchez, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Supervisor: Representative Jeffrey Sanchez
Project Description: Daniela will be working in the Office of Representative Jeffrey Sanchez (D-Boston) who is the House Chair of the Joint Committee for Public Health. Her main project will analyze the existing health-related efforts of a local organization, make specific recommendations and begin to define the role of the State within health reform initiatives in the greater Boston area.

Kassie Lyn Dumlao Bertumen

Kassie Lyn Dumlao Bertumen, 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
Supervisor: Victoria Maguire, State Permit Ombudsman
Project Description:


Conor Gately

Conor Gately, Boston University
Undergraduate Degree: Wesleyan University
Area of Interest: Transportation Issues
Mentors: Kevin Sullivan, JP Morgan and Nick Carney, Harvard Kennedy School
Agency: Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston and the Central Transportation Planning Council
Supervisors: Chris Osgood, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics and Scott Peterson, Central Transportation Planning Staff
Project Description: As a Radcliffe/Rappaport Summer Doctoral Fellow, Conor will work with the City of Boston and the Central Transportation Planning Council (CTPS). A major goal of the City of Boston and CTPS is an improved understanding of the spatial and temporal variation of traffic flows, congestion and vehicle emissions across the greater Boston metropolitan area. This would be beneficial to multiple agencies and stakeholders, as understanding vehicle travel patterns is a necessary prerequisite to developing effective transportation policy for the region. Boston Transportation Department (BTD) has expressed interest in identifying key corridors and intersections where vehicle traffic is most congested on a regular basis, in order to efficiently direct resources towards a systematic traffic monitoring program. A standardized traffic monitoring program that targets key corridors would allow BTD and other agencies to monitor the effects of treatment policies in these corridors such as signal re-timing, addition of bicycle facilities, or alteration of road geometry. CTPS has expressed an interest in identifying the effects of incidents and events on daily traffic patterns, as well as quantifying the variability of traffic across different seasons, months, weeks and days of the year. This would improve understanding of how local events and conditions shape traffic patterns across the region. Key datasets necessary to achieve progress towards these goals are discussed in the footnote.


The project will have three main deliverables: 1) A graphical representation identifying key corridors that could form the backbone of a systematic traffic monitoring program for BTD, accompanied by discussion of relevant data collection issues; 2) Exploratory data analysis to provide an initial characterization of the spatial and temporal variability of traffic speeds in the City of Boston and selected surrounding towns for the year 2012; and 3) A roadmap for integrating INRIX speed data, existing traffic counts, and models developed at BU and by the EPA to improve existing approaches to characterizing the relationship between traffic volumes and associated emissions across the Boston metropolitan area. Tying together these three deliverables would be a concise report on the current state of traffic in the City of Boston, and a discussion of the data sources and analytical approaches that might underlie more ambitious large-scale studies of traffic and emissions within the City and its environs.


Usra Ghazi

Usra Ghazi, Harvard Divinity School
Undergraduate Degree: DePaul University
Area of Interest: Immigration Issues
Mentors: Tiziana Dearing, Boston College and Antoniya Owens, Center for Education Policy and Research
Agency: Office of New Bostonians
Supervisor: An Le, Community and Policy Affairs Advocacy Coordinator
Project Description: Usra will serve as a Rappaport Fellow at the Mayor's Office of New Bostonians (ONB) where she will research and develop the office's engagement with faith-based community organizations. She will connect faith-based organizations and leaders as well as partner Community Based Organizations with the Mayor's Safety Initiative and plan an initial round table on outreach in immigrant communities. She will also connect faith-based organizations and leaders with ONB's immigration initiatives.


Ksenia Kaladiouk

Ksenia Kaladiouk, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Undergraduate Degree: Cornell University
Area of Interest: Immigration Issues
Mentors: Helene Solomon, Solomon McCown and Amy Moran Lowe, GAO
Agency: Office of New Bostonians
Supervisor: An Le, Community and Policy Affairs Advocacy Coordinator
Project Description: This summer Ksenia Kaladiouk will be working on an immigrant entrepreneurship needs assessment in partnership with several City of Boston offices--namely, the Department of Neighborhood Development, the Office of New Bostonians and the Boston Redevelopment Authority. Foreign-born residents make up over a quarter of Boston's population, and this demographic represents a set of key contributors to the city's economic health and development. Over the course of the fellowship, Ksenia will be working on a project to identify who immigrant entrepreneurs are, where they are located within Boston, what kind of businesses they run, and most critically, what sort of factors, policies or programs would further enable this group's success. On the basis of her findings, Ksenia will deliver a report to the sponsoring offices (DND, ONB and BRA) which will outline the state of immigrant entrepreneurship in Boston today and offer suggestions for how the city can optimally meet the needs of its immigrant entrepreneurs going forward.


Caroline Koch

Caroline Koch, Brandeis University
Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts Amherst
Area of Interest: Community Development Issues
Mentors: Phil Puccia, JP Morgan and Margaret Keaveny, Cambridge Housing Authority
Agency: Department of Neighborhood Development, City of Boston
Supervisor: Devin Quirk, Director of Operations
Project Description: During her time at DND, Caroline will work on enhancing the community process model in order to better engage DND staffers and constituents in the sale of city owned property throughout the Boston community. She also will work on developing a plan to get small disconnected parcels of city owned property into more productive use.


Gilberto Lopez

Gilberto Lopez, Harvard School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: California State University, Fresno
Area of Interest: Public Health Issues
Mentors: Renee Landers, Suffolk University Law School and Kia Davis, Harvard School of Public Health
Agency: Boston Public Health Commission
Supervisor: Dr. Huy Nguyen, Medical Director and Rita Nieves, Director, Bureau of Addiction Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery
Project Description: As a Radcliffe/Rappaport Summer Doctoral Fellow, Gilberto will be hosted by the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) where he will be part of two projects that address health disparities and inequalities in the city of Boston. The first project consists of working with BPHC’s Bureau of Addiction Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery in conducting an environmental assessment to help improve addiction prevention and treatment services in the Boston area. The second project includes working alongside BPHC’s medical director on a project aimed at addressing health inequities through the use of new technologies to improve the delivery, and quality, of health services.


Rohan Mascarenhas

Rohan Mascarenhas, Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: Amherst College
Area of Interest: Performance Management Issues
Mentors: Amy Dain, Dain Research and Devin Quirk Department of Neighborhood Development
Agency: SomerStat Office, City of Somerville
Supervisor: Daniel Hadley, Director of SomerStat
Project Description: This summer, Rohan will work with the SomerStat division to identify potential sources of efficiency using department operations data. Particular projects may include analyzing ways to reduce pedestrian collision and increasing constituent satisfaction using the city's 3-1-1 system data.


Kelly Chen Vitzthum

Kelly Vitzthum, Harvard School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Berkeley
Area of Interest: Public Health Issues
Mentors: Bben Forman, MassINC and Ruth Sappelt, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Supervisor: Gail Hirsch, Office of Community Health Workers
Project Description: Kelly will be working with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, in the Office of Community Health Workers. She will help develop a toolkit for Prevention and Wellness Trust fund grantees that will guide the integration of community health workers into their organizations, explain potential models for use, and document best practices. Kelly will also be working with the Office of Oral Health on the revision of the Status of Oral Disease in Massachusetts report as well as the development of practice guidelines for oral health care during pregnancy and early childhood.


Lauren Yoshizawa

Lauren Yoshizawa, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Undergraduate Degree: Swarthmore College
Area of Interest: Education Issues
Mentors: Dan Kennedy, Northeastern University School of Journalism and Mary Burkhauser, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Agency: Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
Supervisor: Winnie Hagen, Director for Educator Policy and Susan Lane, Senior Director of Alignment and Engagement
Project Description: As a Radcliffe/Rappaport Summer Doctoral Fellow, Lauren will be focusing her work on Massachusetts teacher preparation programs in their work to be responsive to the Common Core and PARCC as part of a larger goal of greater K-16 alignment. She will first be looking through existing data and reports from teacher preparation programs about salient issues, progress, and ongoing challenges. From there, she will be following up more closely with particular cases in order to eventually develop resources to support teacher preparation faculty at their summit in September. Along the way, she'll be preparing an e-portfolio tracking my findings and recommendations, as well as joining in when possible on other meetings related to PARCC, teacher licensure, and the Common Core.