Twenty-five graduate students from area schools will spend the summer working in key state and local agencies as Rappaport Public Policy Fellows and Rappaport Public Finance Fellows. 

Now in its eighteenth year, the Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship is a unique program that gives talented young graduate students from throughout greater Boston the opportunity to help public officials address key problems and, in doing so, to learn more about how public policy is created and implemented. In addition, fellows are far more likely than their peers to stay in the Boston area and work in the public sector after graduation.   

The Rappaport Public Finance Fellowship allows five recent Harvard Kennedy School graduates the opportunity to continue work they started in their “Advanced Budgeting, Financial Management, and Operations” class taught by Professor Linda Bilmes, Daniel Patrick Moynihan Senior Lecturer in Public Policy. 

Both fellowships are funded and administered by Harvard's Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, which strives to improve the governance of the region by strengthening connections between scholars, students, officials, and civic leaders.

The 2018 Rappaport Public Policy Fellows, listed by university and school, are:

Harvard Kennedy School

Grace Ogilby, a Master in Public Policy student, will work at the Massachusetts Governor’s Office of Strategic Innovation conducting a strategic study of telecommunications assets in the state.

Maksim Wynn, also a Master in Public Policy student, will work with the City of Boston’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) and the Housing Innovation Lab (HIL) on their “Housing with Public Assets” and “Compact Development” projects.

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Michael Ho, a Master of Education student, will be working at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, analyzing chronic absenteeism in the state to inform school accountability decisions, examining the ESSA plans of other states with absenteeism in their accountability systems, and determining their effectiveness.

Mariel Novas, a first-year doctoral student, will be working at the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement to develop protocols and guides that BPS can use moving forward regarding technical assistance and supporting BPS efforts to ensure that immigrant students feel supported and know how to access community resources if they need additional supports.

Harvard Medical School

Vishal Arora, a third-year medical student, will work at MassHealth to analyze cost and utilization patterns for the OneCare program.

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Tariana Little, a first-year doctoral student, will work at the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics to collaborate with the Mayor's Office of Food Access and the Economic Mobility Lab.

Boston College School of Social Work

Sonie Johnson, a Master in Social Work student, will work for The Office of Housing Stability for the City of Boston, which operates the Family Safety Net Program. Sonie will be learning about Boston’s current process and resources for this program, engaging with program participants, and ultimately, making recommendations for improving the delivery of this service to families to help ensure better stabilization and long-term housing stability.

Boston University School of Public Health

Luc Figueiredo Miller, a Master in Public Policy student, will work on two projects this summer. Luc will develop a city policy for Boston’s Office of Housing Stability using eviction data as part of the criteria for evaluating funding decisions. At the Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab, The Good Landlord Loan Program would offer no-low interest loans to small landlords to make repairs to their homes in exchange for keeping their rental properties affordable. Luc will review best practices of other cities doing similar programs, partake in stakeholder engagement, and draft a formal written policy along with application materials and evaluation criteria.

Kara Jeter, a Master in Public Policy student, will work at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs. She will be working on elder behavioral health, isolation, and loneliness. This project will entail going out in the field with some of the behavioral health teams, working on case studies, analyzing data, and working on policy.

Abigail Kim, a Master in Public Policy student, will be working on projects focused on mental health, substance use, and recovery at the Office of Senator John Keenan, Senate Chair on the Committee on Addiction Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Options.

Rory Moore, a Master in Public Policy student, will work at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Office of HIV/AIDS and the Massachusetts LGBTQ+ Commission to study the impacts of the PATCH Act on LGBTQ+ individuals and report on findings to the agency.

Brandeis University

Sasha Albert, a second-year doctoral student in Health Policy at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management, will be working with the Health Connector and, potentially in collaboration with MassHealth, on a study of mixed-insurance families where the parent(s) have insurance through the Connector and the child has insurance through CHIP. The project would aim to understand various dimensions of how these families experience that split, with a special focus on dynamics surrounding pregnancy and adding a new baby to coverage, resulting in recommendations for improvements to member experience.

Leila Quinn, a Master in Public Policy, will develop a set of recommendations for how to smooth out the “cliff effect” that families experience when wages increase and they suddenly lose welfare benefits for the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Leila’s research and recommendations will be folded into a broader project focused on inter-agency collaboration to make it easier for Massachusetts residents to navigate the patchwork of social safety nets.

MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Chelsea S. Bruck, a Master in City Planning student, will be working on a cultural equity study to inform how the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture reaches and supports Boston’s underrepresented artists. She will analyze the characteristics and application trends of artists who have and have not received support from the city and supplement this data analysis with key informant interviews to explore possible limiting factors and gather suggestions for improvement.

Collyn Chan, a Master in City Planning student, will be working on developing a community-driven process for a council-directed Master Plan for East Boston. East Boston's last master plan was completed in 2000 and is out of sync with the priorities of the communities today. The plan should place at the forefront the development pressures, issues of affordability, traffic congestion, flooding, and sea-level rise threats that are the most pressing challenges for East Boston today.

Matthew Claudel, a third-year doctoral student in City Planning, will be working at the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics on a new program to rethink how the City of Boston conceptualizes, experiments with, and evaluates smart city technology. As part of this project, Matthew will organize and vet tech companies to be part of this matching program and create criteria for how the city grants permission for experiments to be deployed.

Maia Woluchem, a Master in City Planning student, will be working with the Fair Housing and Equity office in the City of Boston’s Citywide Analytics Team, helping them improve their case management processes for discrimination cases and affirmative marketing. Additionally, she will be evaluating how their office is resourced and what resources they might need in order to meet national standards.

Tufts University, Department of Applied Child Development

Jill Benevides, a Master in Child Study and Human Development student, will spend her summer at the Department of Public Health working in Early Childhood Services. She will update the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Compendium, compiling, organizing, and formatting the training data to include relevant professional development from across colleges and universities, state agencies, and private non-profit institutes, aligning it with new national standards, and disseminating the guide to a range of child-serving professionals, including early educators, mental health clinicians and family support providers. 

Tufts University, Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy

Amanda Formica, a master’s degree student, will be working at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources on negotiations between the state and the utility companies on the three-year energy efficiency plan.

Caroline Hedberg, a master’s degree student, will be working at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Caroline will be working on a project to embed use, building, and sharing of evidence at the district level across the state.

The 2018 Rappaport Public Finance Fellows, who are current or former students at the Harvard Kennedy School, are:

Youcif Almegaryaf, a recent graduate, will work at the MBTA on its capital budgeting for infrastructure projects with the senior director of capital planning.

Sophie Feldman, a Master in Public Policy student, will be working with the MBTA’s Transportation Facilities Maintenance Department. She will be building on the work she started during the semester investigating when the department should be making things in-house and when it should be procuring services or items.

Justin Galle, a recent graduate, will explore the performance of the contract for the use of the MBTA jet turbines, which are emergency generators that also earn revenue through participation in energy markets. The deliverable will be a recommendation for approaching the new contract (current end date 2019) with a benefit cost analysis of the options for replacement, fuel switching, or leasing of the turbines.

Kevin Leiby, a recent graduate and in coordination with Sophie Feldman, will be working with the MBTA’s Transportation Facilities Maintenance Department. He will also be furthering the project he started during the school year to make recommendations for what criteria the organization should look at when deciding whether to make or buy a good or service.

Kyle Smith, a recent graduate, will be working with the City of Revere’s Public Works Department. His summer project will focus on the next steps in bringing this department to have an activity-based approach to their budget. His work will build upon a project he did during the semester with Professor Linda Bilmes’ class.

In addition to working full-time for their host agencies, the fellows will get together weekly to learn more about key issues in the region and discuss progress on their projects with each other. At many of these sessions, they will be joined by 12 law students who are working in similar internships via a fellows program run by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy at Boston College Law School.

Both the Rappaport Institute and Boston College's Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy were founded and funded by the Phyllis and Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation, which promotes emerging leaders in Greater Boston.


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