Past Student Policy Fellows


2011 Policy Fellows


Name: Monique Brunner
Year of Graduation: 2012
Major: Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy

Some interests & hobbies: Writing Poetry, listening to music, and dancing

What got you interested in the area of policy: I knew little about policies and how they were created. As a Juvenile Justice Major I thought it would be interesting to find out how policies will and do affect the children I will be working with in the future.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to being able to explain and explore all that there is to know about policies. I have just recently started my internship at the State House, and have found that there are many issues still existing within the communities that so many children are growing up in. However, these same children are being sent to institutions that in some way negatively affect their growth and development.

Placed with Representative Tom Sannicandro


Name: Laylin Chong
Year of Graduation: 2012
Major: Social Work

Some interests & hobbies: I am interested in learning more about mental health and immigration issues. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends and traveling.

What got you interested in the area of policy: Since I am majoring in social work, I am interested in learning as much possible about policy and how the system works. This way I will be able to better assist my future clients with any situations that encounter.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: In general, I am open to all learning possibilities. I am excited about being a part of change through bills in which my Representative will be working on.

Placed with Representative Ruth Balser


Name: Emily Daddio
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major:
Special Ed./ Human Growth and Development

Placed with Representative Tom Sannicandro

 


Name: Patrick (Patsy) DiNuzzo
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: American Studies/Human Growth and Development

Some interests & hobbies: Playing for the Wheelock mens basketball team, movies, football, history, music, and hanging with family and friends

What got you interested in the area of policy: I have always been interested with history, government, and law. I feel that this will be a great experience to add to the knowledge I have accumulated over the years.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to being able to receive a hands on experience with the government and to have a better understanding of how the government works. Also, I am looking forward with helping an elected official. I am excited for the overall experience. So many aspects of the internship are intriguing to me.

Placed with Senator John Hart


Name: Kathryn Hume
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: Humanities with a focus in Literature/Minor in Visual Arts

Some interests & hobbies: Traveling, reading, drawing, writing, and photography

What got you interested in the area of policy: My volunteer and work experience so far has dealt primarily with one-on-one interactions, working within communities as opposed to working for them on a larger scale. While a career in individual advocacy could help a lot of people, I would like to explore change and progress through systemic advocacy, working on the development of policies that could benefit countless lives.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to gaining insight into the policy making process, going beyond the lessons in a text book to enhance my understanding of the political system through personal experience. I also hope to develop new skills that will support and further my advocacy work in the future.

Placed with Representative Cory Atkins


Name: Ava Jennings
Year of Graduation: 2012
Major: Human Development with a focus in Children, Families, and Culture, and my professional concentration is in Early Childhood Education

Some interests & hobbies: I love to write during my free time. I am very interested in learning new languages and immersing myself in new cultures. I am also looking forward to traveling to West Africa this summer.

What got you interested in the area of policy: I became interested in the area of policy after being introduced to the Policy Fellows program, and wanted to gain the knowledge and skills to properly advocate for children and families. The most important reasons for being involved in policy development are wanting change in the Boston Public School's Educational system, wanting to see more teachers of color that can relate to students' of color struggles and challenges, and pushing for equality amongst the different types of schools systems. I cannot change everything by myself or in one day, but having the knowledge will result in the power needed for change.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I hope to gain a rewarding and amazing experience from the Policy Fellows Program, but the biggest reward is my growth as a learner and as a thinker. I am very analytical, and this will be a great time to use these skills during my time in this program. I also hope to gain much knowledgeable on policy development and advocacy. I am looking forward to a very significant and impacting experience. I am currently working with Representative Kay Khan, who serves on the committee for children, families, and person with disabilities. This committee deals with matters concerning mental and public health issues involving children, homelessness, and public welfare. In the future I want to truly advocate for children and families, and this experience will increase my confidence and make me feel more competent in my abilities.

Placed with Representative Kay Khan


Name: Lisa Kriszun
Year of Graduation: 2012
Major: Math/Science with a focus in Environmental Science and Elementary Education

Some interests & hobbies: Reading, painting, traveling, and the outdoors

What got you interested in the area of policy: I am interested in different policies such as international policy, educational policy and environmental policy because those are things I care about and want to learn more about how they are handled from a legislative perspective.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I look forward to learning and understanding how public policies work. I hope to become more informed in areas such as education and the environment to better serve them in the future.

Placed with Representative Cleon Turner


Name: Nicholas McRae
Year of Graduation: 2012
Major: Social Work/Human Development-Psychology

What got you interested in the area of policy: I got interested in policy after taking American Government classes in high school because it became clear that Policy is the framework that society uses to structure everything else around. Being able to be a part of the creation and process of making legislation and policy seemed like a great way to make a positive impact

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to working with the Representatives and Staff at the State House to help research legislation and take part in the formation and process of Policy making in the State, as well as getting a thorough understanding of how we as citizens can support and influence policy.

Placed with Representative Martha Walz


Name: Lianne Shackleford-Huges
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: American Studies/ Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy

Placed with Senator Jen Flanagan


Name: Cassandra Tavaras
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: Human Development

Some interests & hobbies: Reading, writing, listening to music, and traveling

What got you interested in the area of policy: I met with Marta Rosa during my sophomore year to do a research paper on No Child Left Behind, which really ignited my interest in education policy. From that point on, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in education policy and advocacy.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to learning more how laws are created, learning more about politics, and combining this knowledge with education in order to create change through education policy in the future. I hope to use this knowledge in an urban education policy or sociology and education graduate program next year, as well as in my future career.

Placed with Representative Ellen Story


Name: Grace Werrett
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: Psychology & Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy

Some interests & hobbies: Working with youth in and around the city of Boston, snowboarding, going to the beach, traveling, meeting new people, and learning new things.

What got you interested in the area of policy: I have developed a passion for helping people affected by Substance Abuse and Mental Health disorders over the past few years and have seen how the legal system, insurance companies, and guidelines around treatment facilities and rehabilitation centers affect those afflicted. It was crucial that I saw how policy affected the way treatment centers were run and the access clients had to particular services. I also truly believe that working with people and being able to help them navigate their way is largely incorporated with policy reform and constituent services.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to working with a dedicated, passionate, and hard working team and seeing where I can be of the utmost service to my clients for the future. I think everyone should have the opportunity to see how the process of legislation unfolds and how each person's voice really does count.

Placed with Senator Steven Tolman


Name: Brittany Wheaton
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major: American Studies Focus on Race & Minority Groups minor in Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy

Some interests & hobbies: I love being with my family and friends and traveling to new countries, for both leisure and service learning!

What got you interested in the area of policy: I'm extremely interested in Policy because understanding the complexities of a "system" helps me effectively decipher solutions. I feel it is imperative for me to master the intricate dimensions of legislature, bills and policy in order to figure out where things go wrong. Policy also allows me to explore a vast array of constituent resources, which will help me better lead children and families to programs and funds that provide them with a more adequate and humane way of living.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I'm looking forward to growing. No matter what this internship brings I know that there is going to be a strong element of personal growth. I look forward to networking with the various people I meet and I hope to inspire other Wheelock Students to participate in what I know will be an amazing semester both in the classroom and state house.

Placed with Representative Denise Provost


Name: Jennifer Corcoran
Year of Graduation: 2012
Graduate Program: Master of Social Work (MSW)

Some interests & hobbies: social work, psychology, traveling, reading, painting

What got you interested in the area of policy: I developed an interest in policy during my undergraduate social work policy class. I learned about the impact of policy on social work, and the fact that social work does not exist without the influence of policy.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to learning about the legislative process. I am interested to see how policies, that will one day impact my work with children and families, are developed and eventually put into place. I hope to one day implement policy, through the lens of a social worker, that will positively impact children and families. 


2010 Student Policy Fellows


Joel DiazName: Joel Diaz
Year of Graduation: 2010
Major: American Studies and Juvenile Justice
Certificate in Community Based Human Services

Some interests & hobbies: Reading and Dancing

What got you interested in the area of policy: My initial interest in the field of policy came as a result of interning at the Youth Advocacy Department. The youth I worked with were inextricably impacted by the policies that were instilled within the Educational, Heath Care, and Juvenile Justice systems. It intrigued me to gain knowledge regarding the policymaking realm.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow:

I am looking forward to working with Representative Martha Walz within the Joint Committee on Education. I am also looking forward to conducting research on various topics surrounding education.

Lastly I am eager to gain a sound understanding of the political world and the policy making process.

I am also the President of the Juvenile Justice Club and I’m currently in the process of applying to graduate schools both in New York and Illinois all containing a concentration in Public Policy.


Judy Garcia Name: Judy Garcia
Year of Graduation: 2010
Major: American Studies

Some interests & hobbies: Reading, pottery, sewing, making jewelry, and hanging out with friends.

What got you interested in the area of policy: I wanted to try something different and new and challenge myself.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: Learning as much as I can about what goes on in the State House and how it affects our lives. 


Stephanie Grover Name: Stephanie Grover
Year of Graduation: 2011
Major:Social Work and Humanities with a focus in Literature

Some interests & hobbies:  New Orleans, the outdoors, listening to, playing and singing music

What got you interested in the area of policy: Since I know that policies affect everything involving social welfare and social programs, I wanted to take a hands on approach to learn the processes of policies and bills. 

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to being more active in the political community, and becoming immersed in the changes that are happening to our nation and immediate surroundings. 


Janna Hruby Name: Janna Hruby
Year of Graduation: 2010
Major:  Human Development focusing in Psychology and minoring in Human Services

Some interests & hobbies: Traveling, Singing, Rock Climbing, Skiing, and Jewelry Making

What got you interested in the area of policy: I have always had a strong desire to work with and help better the lives of children and families. My interest in the area of policy truly developed when I began a research project on immigration reform and the services or lack of services for immigrant and refugee children. I realized the importance the role different polices play and how much they can affect children and families lives both positively and negatively.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am looking forward to the overall experience of being a Policy Fellow. Furthermore, I am excited to learn all that I can and take advantage of the great opportunities the State House offers. I know I will increase my knowledge about different legislature and the role the government plays in carrying out different polices. I hope to gain insight and use what I learn in both my everyday life and future career.


Leslie Ann Klein Name: Leslie Ann Klein
Year of Graduation: 2010
Major: MSW

Some interests & hobbies: Politics, painting, Social Work, writing, Psychology, traveling.

What got you interested in the area of policy: I have always had a passion for politics and social work. I wanted to find a way to combine the two and when I had a policy class in my undergraduate years, I knew that policy was exactly what I wanted to go into.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: Learning more about policy and legislative work and understanding how to implement change and make a difference while working with policy.


Katharine Needham Name: Katharine Needham
Year of Graduation: 2010
Major: Human Development/ Human Services

Some interests & hobbies:Running, tennis, traveling, and spending time outdoors.

What got you interested in the area of policy: I am very interested in International Affairs and Humanitarian Relief as it is affected by international policy.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow: I am excited to learn the system and see the process happen first hand.


Jessica Reyes Name: Jessica Reyes
Year of Graduation: 2010
Major:American Studies, Human Development Focus in Psychology, Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy 

Some interests & hobbies: Love reading, salsa dancing, going out to eat, and spending quality time with those important people in my life.

What got you interested in the area of policy: I understand that policy influences much of our lives and very importantly those same people I hope to advocate for, whether in education, health care, juvenile justice, all is interconnected. If I do not become more aware, informed, and involved in the public policy arena, I will not be able be efficiently advocate for those who need a voice in government.

What are you looking forward to this year as a Policy Fellow:  I am looking forward to learn and understand more of the process of public policy to better navigate the system to become a better advocate and a more involved citizen of our Commonwealth. At the same time, I hope to grow and develop new skills in a completely new environment that will further my network and my confidence to find my niche in this arena.

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