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Sasha Albert
Graduate Degree: Brandeis University
Undergraduate Degree: Vassar College
Area of Interest: Public Health Issues
Mentors: Ben Forman, MassINC and Rebecca Lobb, Family Reach
Agency: Massachusetts Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector
Supervisor: Audrey Morse Gasteier, Chief of Policy and Strategy
Project Description: Sasha Albert 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. 

Vishal Arora
Graduate Degree: Harvard Medical School
Undergraduate Degree: Harvard College
Area of Interest: Public Health Issues
Mentors: Kevin Sullivan, Babson College
Agency: MassHealth
Supervisor: Ishan Shrestha, Director of Strategy and Special Projects and Matthew Klitus, CSO/CFO
Project Description: Vishal will work at MassHealth to analyze cost and utilization patterns for the OneCare program.

2018_benevides.jpgJill Benevides
Graduate Degree: Tufts University
Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Area of Interest: Social Services Issues
Mentors: Mary Jo Meisner, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board and Heidi Sulman, Brandeis University
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Supervisor: Kate Roper, MECCS Project Director
Project Description: Jill Benevides 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.  In addition, she will be involved with project LAUNCH, specifically focused on the integration of behavioral health and primary care, as well as the Massachusetts Early Childhood System’s Data and Racial Equity Initiative, working to determine how to best capture and measure child developmental health and family well-being in an integrated early childhood data system.

2018_bruck.jpgChelsea S. Bruck
Graduate Degree: MIT
Undergraduate Degree: Northwestern University
Area of Interest: Arts
Mentors: Carol Burns, Taylor Burns
Agency: Mayor's Office for Arts and Culture, City of Boston
Supervisor: Kara Elliott-Ortega, Director
Project Description:Chelsea 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. Her research will also include the development of case studies of cities that are implementing cultural equity policies and focusing on diversity and inclusion in the arts. The final deliverable will be a set of recommendations intended to improve existing policies and programs to make them more accessible to the wide range of artists living and working in Boston.

2018_chan.jpgCollyn Chan
Graduate Degree: MIT
Undergraduate Degree: University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
Area of Interest: Environmental Issues
Mentors: Vivien Li, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board and Jennifer Haugh, Greener U
Agency: Office of Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, City of Boston
Supervisor: Michelle Wu, Boston City Councilor
Project Description: Collyn 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. Council members are responding to the need by proposing to complete a community-driven master plan. 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. 

2018_claudel.jpgMatthew Claudel
Graduate Degree: MIT
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University
Area of Interest: Government Innovation
Mentors: Phil Puccia, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board and Devin Quirk, Chief of Operations, Department of Neighborhood Development, City of Boston
Agency: Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston
Supervisor: Stephen Walter, Program Director and Michael Evans, Program Director
Project Description: The Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics is embarking on a new program to rethink how the City of Boston conceptualizes, experiments with, and evaluates smart city technology. This program is called Beta Blocks and is funded in part by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. A central goal of the project is to explore the creation of a “clearing house,” “matching platform,” or “exchange” for civic experiments. We know that community groups have a lot of questions, challenges, and ideas. And we know that researchers, startups, and designers have lots of solutions they want to test. How can we bring the two together? As part of this project, Matthew will organize and vet tech companies to be part of this matching program and create criteria for how we grant permission for experiments to be deployed. In addition to these recommendation being integrated into the final Beta Blocks matching process, Matthew will write an update to our Smart City Playbook.

2018_figueiredomiller.jpgLuc Figueiredo Miller
Graduate Degree: Boston University School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts, Boston
Area of Interest: Housing Issues
Mentors: Jessica Casey, Chief Officer for Operations Policy and Oversight, MBTA
Agency: Department of Neighborhood Development, City of Boston
Supervisor: Marcy Ostberg, Director, Mayor's Housing Innovation Lab and Katherine Brady, Program Manager, Office of Housing Stability
Project Description: Luc will work on two projects this summer. In analyzing the 2015 eviction data, the Office of Housing Stability realized that roughly two-thirds of all eviction cases involve tenants with subsidies and/or tenants who live in subsidized buildings.  Many of those subsidized buildings have received funding from the city.  Luc will develop a city policy for using eviction data as part of the criteria for evaluating funding decisions. He will be tasked with completing data review and analysis, stakeholder engagement and drafting a formal written policy together with application materials and evaluation criteria. 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 home 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.

2018_formica.jpgAmanda Formica
Graduate Degree: Tufts University
Undergraduate Degree: George Washington University
Area of Interest: Environmental Issues
Mentors: Tom Tinlin, Howard Stein Hudson and Neil Veilleux, Meisters Consulting Group
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Supervisor: Ian Finlayson, Senior Climate Policy Analyst and Alex Pollard, Energy Efficiency Commercial Program Manager
Project Description: Amanda will be working negotiations between the state and the utility companies on the three-year energy efficiency plan.

2018_hedberg.jpgCaroline Hedberg
Graduate Degree: Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy
Undergraduate Degree: Middlebury College
Area of Interest: Education
Mentors: Ramon Soto, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board and Mary Burkhauser, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Supervisor: Carrie Conaway, Associate Commissioner for Planning, Research and Delivery Systems
Project Description: The Department of Education is looking for ways to embed use, building, and sharing of evidence at the district level across the state. Caroline will be working on a project to identify instruments to measure capacity for evidence use, survey school districts to understand current practices and capabilities around evidence use, and prepare DOE to ask the right questions in their annual survey of principals and superintendents to accurately capture how and by which mechanisms DOE can support school districts in building capacity for evidence use.

2018_ho.jpgMichael Ho
Graduate Degree: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Undergraduate Degree: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Area of Interest: Education
Mentors: Tom Keane, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board and John Hansen, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Supervisor: Carrie Conaway, Associate Commissioner for Planning, Research and Delivery Systems
Project Description: Michael will be 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 analyzing their effectiveness.

2018_jeter.jpgKara Jeter
Graduate Degree: Boston University School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: United States Military Academy
Area of Interest: Public Health Issues
Mentors: Dan Kennedy, Associate Professor, Northeastern University School of Journalism and Audrey Morse Gasteier, Massachusetts Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector
Agency: Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Supervisor: Robin Lipson, Chief of Staff and Lynn Vidler, Assistant Director of Home and Community Programs
Project Description: The focus of the project Kara will be working on will be 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.

2018_johnson.jpgSonie Johnson
Graduate Degree: Boston College School of Social Work
Undergraduate Degree: University of Texas at San Antonio
Area of Interest: Social Services Issues
Mentors: Tiziana Dearing, Professor of Macro Practice, Boston College School of Social Work and Emeka Agudile, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health
Agency: Department of Neighborhood Development, City of Boston
Supervisor: Katherine Brady, Program Manager, Office of Housing Stability
Project Description: The Office of Housing Stability for the City of Boston operates the Family Safety Net Program, which is a program that provides (1) triage; (2) temporary shelter; and (3) stabilization services to homeless families who are over-income for Emergency Assistance (state shelter). This a critical service for which demand outpaces resources. In the past year, there has also been a chance of vendor who assists with providing program services.  The goal of the Family Safety Net Program is to provide a stop-gap measure for families in housing crisis facing homelessness to help them have temporary shelter and have resources to re-house. We have serious concerns about how effective this program model is in helping families re-bound and re-house. Sonie will be learning about our 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. We anticipate, and can better scope in the first few weeks, what the final written deliverable will look like. I believe it will capture a narrative on the current program, gaps and pain points in the current service (perhaps referencing work with a few of the families currently in the program), and identify 2-3 recommendations for improving housing outcomes for families in the program.

2018_kim.jpgAbigail Kim
Graduate Degree: Boston University School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: Northeastern University
Area of Interest: Public Health
Mentors: Jim Segel, Rappaport Institute Advisory Board and Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, House Ways and Means Chair, Massachusetts House of Representatives and former Rappaport/Boston Urban Scholar
Agency: Office of Senator John Keenan
Supervisor: Senator John Keenan, Massachusetts State Senate and Rappaport/Boston Urban Scholar and Alejandro Alves, Chief of Staff
Project Description: Abby will be working on projects focused on mental health, substance use and recovery.

2018_little.jpgTariana Little
Graduate Degree: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (PhD)
Undergraduate Degree: University of Massachusetts, Boston
Area of Interest: Public Health
Mentors: Monica Tibbits-Nutt, Executive Director, 128 Business Council
Agency: Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston
Supervisor: Jaclyn Youngblood, Program Manager
Project Description: Tariana’s proposed project with the Boston Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM) and Office of Food Access (OFA) will explore weekend food access for youth. This school year MONUM partnered with a school in Boston Public Schools (BPS) to prototype a version of the Cambridge weekend food backpack program. As we explore and assess these programs, she will interview BPS families and youth understand ways to 1) minimize volatility and stress over the weekend; 2) ensure youth are physically and mentally fueled to enjoy their weekends; 3) make transitions (Friday afternoons and Monday mornings) more supportive and secure; and 4) serve fresher and culturally appropriate foods. Tariana will also research types of food access delivered via other (non-school) channels and resources that youth access on weekends.

Rory Moore
Graduate Degree: Boston University School of Public Health
Undergraduate Degree: University of Denver
Area of Interest: Public Health
Mentors: Renee Landers, Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School and Alex Nally, Law Intern, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Supervisor: Corey Prachniak-Rincon, Director, Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ+ Commission
Project Description:Rory 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.

2018_novas.jpgMariel Novas
Graduate Degree: Harvard Graduate School of Education
Undergraduate Degree: Yale University
Area of Interest: Education
Mentors: Linda Dorcena Forry, Vice President for the Northeast Region on Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Relations, Suffolk Construction and Amy Moran Lowe, Senior Analyst, Government Accountability Office
Agency: Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement, City of Boston
Supervisor: Celina Barrios-Millner, Immigrant Integration Fellow
Project Description: The Mayor's Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA) has been working closely with the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to provide them technical assistance and supporting their efforts to ensure that immigrant students feel supported and know how to access community resources if they need additional supports. Recently, as deportations and ICE enforcement have nearly tripled in our region, more students are directly affected than ever. As a result, we are working with BPS to help develop user friendly guides and protocols so that school leadership and staff can help students who may need help. Mariel will help manage this project and over the course of ten weeks will help set up meetings with school officials, community organizations, as well as service providers to develop protocols and guides that BPS can use moving forward.

2018_ogilby.jpgGrace Ogilby
Graduate Degree: Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: Carleton College
Area of Interest: Technology and Innovation
Mentors: Danielle Cerny, Assistant Director, Government Innovation Lab, Harvard Kennedy School
Agency: Massachusetts Governor’s Office of Strategic Innovation
Supervisor: Greg Norfleet, Director of Strategic Innovation
Project Description: Grace will be working in the Office of Strategic Innovation in the Governor's Office this summer. Her main project will be conducting a strategic study of telecommunications assets in the State.

2018_quinn.jpgLeila Quinn
Graduate Degree: Brandeis University
Undergraduate Degree: Mt. Holyoke College
Area of Interest: Housing
Mentors: Katherine Craven, Chief Administration Officer, Babson College and Colleen Dawicki, Working Cities Manager, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
Agency: Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development
Supervisor: Brendan Goodwin, Director, Bureau of Rental Assistance and Gretchen Haupt, Program Coordinator
Project Description: Through the DHCD Public Housing Division’s Learn to Earn project, Leila is developing a set of recommendations for how to smooth out the “cliff effect” that families experience when wages increase and they suddenly lose welfare benefits. 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. Secondly, with the Division of Housing and Rental Assistance, she is creating an original public-facing “community report” on DHCD’s Moving to Work program for fiscal year 2019, which will allow the agency to share a compelling narrative of their work on promoting economic self-sufficiency and maintaining affordable housing. The report will serve as a template for all future public updates on the Moving to Work program.

2018_woluchem.jpgMaia Woluchem
Graduate Degree: MIT
Undergraduate Degree: University of Pittsburgh
Area of Interest: Government Innovation
Mentors: Amy Dain, Dain Research and Monique Gibbs, Housing Development Officer
Agency: City of Boston’s Citywide Analytics Team
Supervisor: Stefanie Costa-Leabo, Project Manager
Project Description: Maia be working with the Fair Housing and Equity office, helping them improve their case management processes for discrimination cases and affirmative marketing. Additionally, she’ll also evaluating how their office is resourced and what resources they might need in order to meet national standards.

2018_wynn.jpgMaksim Wynn
Graduate Degree: Harvard Kennedy School
Undergraduate Degree: University of California, Los Angeles
Area of Interest: Housing
Mentors: Brian Doherty, Secretary/Treasurer, Building and Construction Trades Council of the Metropolitan District
Agency: Department of Neighborhood Development, Boston
Supervisor: Marcy Ostberg, Director, Mayor’s Housing Innovation Lab
Project Description: Maksim 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. On the former, he will help the department prepare to release a request for proposals (RFP). On the latter, Maksim will conduct community outreach and stakeholder communication.