Students & Alumnae

GLPP Class of 2020 with program staff and faculty at the September 2019 Orientation.

Congratulations to the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy
Class of 2020!

We are so proud of all your hard work. Despite the personal and global challenges your cohort faced, you perservered and finished strong. We are so excited to see what each of you accomplish!


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, one of our class of 2018 graduates:

"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 Achievements

Meet a few of our alumnae:

Photo of three GLPP studentsDennisse Rorie

Dennisse Rorie is the special assistant and office manager in Mayor Walsh’s Office of Resilience and Racial Equity. Responsible for overseeing projects, initiatives, and partnerships, Rorie coordinates with major partners including city departments, community organizations, and other stakeholders that support the office’s vision of advancing racial equity. 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 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 was formerly director of public policy and advocacy at the Massachusetts Alliance on Teen Pregnancy, and she formerly served as a senior domestic violence and sexual assault advocate at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where she was recognized with a Partners in Excellence award. 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.

Uma Natarajan

Uma Natarajan currently works as the education reform specialist for the Asian Development Bank. She was formerly 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.  

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 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 has experience in legislative and nonprofit sectors and became the executive director of the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus in June 2019. In her previous role as the executive director of the Children’s League of Massachusetts (CLM), Bradley advocated for public policies and quality services for the Commonwealth’s children, youth, and families. Drawing on experience gained through her internship with State Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland), Bradley works closely with the state legislature and Governor’s office to advance family policies.

Among our graduates are three 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)
Michelle Ciccolo (15th Middlesex District) Read an interview with Michelle here.