Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Students and Alumnae

Some of the GLPP Class of 2022 and faculty, speakers, and guests during their virtual graduation ceremony.

Congratulations to the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy Class of 2022!

We are so proud of all your hard work. We are so excited to see what each of you accomplish!

News from the GLPP Class of 2022:

News from the GLPP Class of 2021:

  • Lillian Hunter co-authored "Getting to Yes: The Makings of Paid Leave in Massachusetts" through her internship at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy with Dr. Christa Kelleher, CWPPP Research and Policy Director. 
  • Dorcas Mwandembo was accepted into the UMass Boston doctoral program in gerontology, where she was offered a full graduate assistantship.
  • Marisa Nieves is pursuing her Master of Public Policy degree from Oregon State University.
  • Magdalena López Murphy accepted a position as the Business Immigration Consultant for Fragomen. 
  • Sara Saltzer is pursuing her Master of Arts in Social Science, concentrating in political science with a focus on gender in American politics.
  • Sophia Barron accepted a position as the Eviction Prevention Specialist for Telamon Corporation.
  • Alana Hylton is completing her Master of Public Administration (MPA)-GLPP track degree at the McCormack Graduate School.

News from the GLPP Class of 2020:

News from the GLPP Class of 2019:

News from the GLPP Class of 2018:Class of 2018

  • Chelsea Clarke was accepted into the Education Policy and Management program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
  • Tahra Goraya was the recipient of Harvard University's Barbara Jordan Award for Women's Leadership, as she completed the MPA program at the Harvard Kennedy School in May 2019.
  • Samantha Coleman, Abigail Durland, Cindy Nguyen and three others continued on to complete their Master of Public Administration (GLPP track) degrees at the McCormack Graduate School and graduated with their MPA degrees in May 2019. 
  • Meghan Condry was accepted into the Boston College School of Social Work.
  • Emily Lazzaro accepted a position as Coordinator, Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight in the Massachusetts State Senate Office of Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives.

Testimony from Abigail Durland, a 2018 GLPP graduate:

"The Gender, Leadership and Public Policy Graduate Certificate Program opened my eyes to examining public policies through an intersectional lens, and taught me that all sound, equitable policy should be crafted with consideration to race/ethnicity, class, and gender.

The program changed how I look at everything - including my masters capstone, which seeks to evaluate a state incentive program aimed at increasing access to healthy food. The GLPP program taught me to dig deeper into the crux of policy issues. In that spirit, I am evaluating the incentive program by how effectively it conducts outreach and impacts economically disadvantaged women and children of color. Our strongest policies are those that are equitable, uplifting, and rooted in a strong understanding of the unique struggles and situations of our most vulnerable populations. GLPP taught me that!"  

Alumnae Close-Ups

Meet a few of our alumnae:

Photo of three GLPP studentsDennisse Rorie

Dennisse Rorie is the Community Engagement Manager for Boston Public Schools. Prior to that, she worked as the Special Assistant and Office Manager in Mayor Walsh’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity. Responsible for designing authentic community engagement processes, systems, and structures, Rorie shapes and manages the strategic direction for public dialogue by listening to and valuing the needs of parents, school leaders, students, and other stakeholders. Rorie studied sociology and women’s and gender studies at UMass Boston.
L to R: Melissa Rynning, Nicole Castillo, and Dennisse Rorie

Nicole Castillo

Nicole Castillo is the Program Director for the Rose Andom Center, where she manages a remote team of resource advocates and navigators who provide crisis counseling and case management for survivors of domestic violence. She is also a consultant for Page Consulting LLC, contracting with nonprofit partners to build sustainable, financial futures by strengthening their fundraising infrastructure. She was previously the Director of Programs for the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry, where she oversees flagship programs including a workforce development program for survivors of intimate partner violence and a domestic violence shelter that provides support for all genders. She is the co-founder of BeVisible, an online career platform for LatinX Millennials, where her work as a digital content producer focuses on Latinx leadership and empowerment. Castillo has interviewed Latina politicians throughout the United States and her articles have been featured in many national publications.

Jill AshtonPhoto of Jill Ashton

Jill Ashton is the Regional Administrator of the Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau – Region 1. She is also the Vice-Chair of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy's External Advisory Board. Formerly the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women for twelve years, she was the key contact for commissioners, legislators, media, partner organizations, staff, and constituents. She was also the Member-at-Large, Legislative VP, Co-President, and President for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women.

Uma Natarajan

Uma Natarajan is the Research Manager at Nanyang Technological University. She was a Research Fellow for the National Institute of Education in Singapore, where she researched education policy and practice. She was previously an education reform specialist for the Asian Development Bank. She also worked as the Senior Education Policy Researcher at the HEAD Foundation in Singapore, where she conducted multidisciplinary research and disseminated best practices in education throughout Asia. While a student, she served as an intern at the Harvard Center for Education Policy Research. Natarajan believes that this practical experience has helped her to transfer her policy theory knowledge into practice. Read an interview with Natarajan here.

Julie Bakoian

One of the original program developers, Julie Bakoian is a senior SAFEPLAN advocate for Healing Abuse Working for Change (HAWC), a nonprofit organization that provides critical services to survivors of domestic violence in 23 communities on the North Shore. In this role, Bakoian oversees HAWC’S legal advocacy program supporting 12 advocates and hundreds of clients in three local courts. In recognition for her work, she was nominated for the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance Advocate of the Year Award in 2016.

Kathleen O'Brien

After graduation, Kathleen O'Brien completed an MA in urban and environmental policy and planning. Today she works as the Manager of Population Health Initiatives for Cambridge Health Alliance. She formerly worked as the Project Coordinator of Mass in Motion, a health promotion project sponsored by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Erin Bradley

Erin Bradley is the Benefits Enrollment Center Manager for the Ecumenical Social Action Committee, where she oversees ESAC's three-year grant from AARP Foundation and enrolls older adults in benefits they are eligible for including fuel assistance, MassHealth, SNAP, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Savings Plans. Additionally, she is the Founder and Principal of EGB Consulting, advocating for and elevating the lives of children in the foster care system and adoptees. She was formerly the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus. She was also the Executive Director of the Children’s League of Massachusetts (CLM), where Bradley advocated for public policies and quality services for the Commonwealth’s children, youth, and families. 

Chelsea Aquino

Chelsea Aquino recently accepted the position of Senior Government Relations Officer at the Museum of Science, Boston. Previously, she worked at Mass Mentoring Partnership as the Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy, climbing up to Senior Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy. Aquino was also the Associate Director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus.

Among our graduates are four women elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives:

Former Majority Leader Lida Harkins (13th Norfolk District)
The Honorable Elizabeth Malia (11th Suffolk District)
The Honorable Susan Tracy (19th Suffolk District)
Representative Michelle Ciccolo (15th Middlesex District) Read an interview with Michelle here.