MSSP Alumni Walter A. Jean-Jacques, MSSP'17 JD Candidate While at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice, I was able to obtain data analysis, policy advocacy, legislation writing, and social policy economic skills through my course load as a Master of Social Policy student. Learn more about Walter. David Griffith, MSSP'15 Director of Programs and Outreach for the LGBT Elder Initiative My MSSP coursework prepared me to design and evaluate programs, analyze community needs, develop effective communications strategies, and to advocate for a high-need constituency to a wide range of community, professional, and political stakeholders. Learn more about David. Rasec Niembro, MSSP'15 Consultant, Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE), Inter-American Development Bank The knowledge and skills I received as a MSSP student prepared me for a successful and rewarding professional career. The coursework enabled me to understand techniques for developing policy alternatives and evaluation of their social impact. After my SP2 experience, I was able to recognize processes, strategies and mechanisms associated with policy design and implementation. Learn more about Rasec. Yuze Sun, MSSP'15 Research Measurement Assistant, National Board of Medical Examiners The MSSP program at SP2 offered me opportunities to explore different aspects of social policy, while helping me to hone my analytical skills with data analyzing tools. MSSP courses focused on both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and their real-world applications assured that I would be well prepared to face different challenges at work. Tiffany Younger, MSSP'15 PhD in Social Welfare Candidate The skills and knowledge I gained from the MSSP program supported me in developing and piloting the Social Change Agents Institute (SCAI) which provides an opportunity for professionals and scholars to travel to developing countries such as South Africa, Brazil, and Haiti to facilitate social change workshops on race, gender, and class. Learn more about Tiffany. Anne Marie Bonner, MSSP'14 and Certificate in Law Project Manager at the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia I learned rigorous research and evaluation methodologies as well as the ability to synthesize complex policy issues for public consumption. I’m very grateful to the MSSP program and community for your deep preparation and personalized guidance – I felt well-prepared to enter the economic development field upon graduating from Penn! Learn more about Anne Marie. Anandita Krishnamachari, MSSP'14 PhD Candidate in Research, Statistics, and Evaluation The MSSP program provided the perfect platform to explore my research interests as well as gain quantitative skills to support such research. In particular, I was able to understand the policy process, and how research can be used for program and policy evaluation. The coursework provided a wide range of skills for me to learn and engage with, most of which I use in my PhD program. Learn more about Anandita. Cate Domino, MSSP'13 Social Media Director, Democratic National Committee My policy fellowship with the American Association of University Women allowed me to watch the women’s policies that I studied at SP2 get put into action. The highlight was meeting House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi at the launch of the Women’s Economic Agenda in July. Papia Paul, MSSP/MPA'13 Public Health Analyst, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services I found the MSSP program to be the perfect balance of theory and application rooted in an inspiring and collaborative environment. While the coursework allowed me to explore the development and implementation of social policies, it also gave me the flexibility to specifically pursue my interest in health policy and reducing health inequalities. Learn more about Papia. Daniel Schiff, MSSP'13 PhD Candidate in Artificial Intelligence for Social Policy Through learning about social policy, qualitative and quantitative research methods, communications, applied linear modeling, and program evaluation from MSSP faculty, I was able to develop a pragmatic yet intellectually robust skill set as well as a network of colleagues and mentors. Learn more about Daniel. Neha Sheth, MSSP'13 Reporter/Producer WLNS-TV6 The program was appealing to me because it focused on the ‘social’ aspect of policy analysis, and was completely unique from other public policy programs. The MSSP program also gave me the flexibility to study pertinent social issues in health, welfare, and education reform while taking elective courses in communications, public speaking, and media policy. Learn more about Neha. Aaron Truchil, MSSP'13 Manager of Research, Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers The MSSP program at Penn really prepared me to face the broad array of challenges awaiting me in the professional world. From exposure to diverse policy areas, to providing insights into nonprofit financing and administration, I emerged from the MSSP program well-equipped to hit the ground running. Learn more about Aaron. Ayesha Upshur, MSSP'13 Special Assistant to the Director, Washington, DC Department of Employment Services After considering a number of MPA programs, including Fels, I felt MSSP offered classes that would allow me to focus upon the specific areas of social policy that interested me most while providing a solid foundation of policy analysis and related research methods. What a wonderful decision that was! Learn more about Ayesha. Zichao Zhao, MSSP'13 Research Assistant, Research Department, China International Capital Corporation Being an international student in the MSSP program was definitely a great experience. With excellent students from countries at different stages of development and political systems, we were studying with the same goal: “to study social problems and find the best solutions of them.” Learn more about Zichao. Ajeenah Amir, MSSP'12 Deputy Press Secretary for the Office of the Governor of Pennsylvania The focus and in-depth instruction on research and evaluation methods in the MSSP program prepared me well for my current position. Learn more about Ajeenah. Kirstin Cornnell, MSSP'12 Advocacy Coordinator, Delaware Center for Justice The SP2 community is full of both students and professors who possess a wide variety of interests which created an environment where I was constantly able to learn more about other people’s passions while also more carefully exploring my own. I was able to learn more about the policy process alongside an energized and compassionate community which has proven to be invaluable as I embark upon a career in advocacy and policy reform. Marisa C. Jones, MSSP'12 White House Intern, The White House In addition to learning practical skills about policy development and implementation, such as statistics, interviewing stakeholders, and writing policy briefs, the MSSP program taught me how to think critically about the interplay between social policies: education, welfare, housing, and tax policy (among others) and how each of these types of policies and their interactions socially determine health outcomes and opportunities for good health. Learn more about Marisa. Kristen Marshall, MSSP'12 Research Analyst, Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice The MSSP program allowed me to explore many aspects of social policy while encouraging me to hone in on my specific interests of education and child welfare policy. I the program used those topics to teach valuable research and analysis skills to use in creating and analyzing policy. I use many of the skills I learned in the MSSP program in my current job as a research analyst for a state government reading legislation, evaluating grant programs, and conducting statistical analysis. Krista D'Amelio, MSSP'11 Director of Government Affairs and Communications, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) The MSSP program prepared me to think outside the box in terms of social policy, which has allowed me to make quick, upward career moves. Learn more about Krista. Simran Noor, MSSP/MPA'11 Coordinator of Advocacy, Center for Social Inclusion My current role requires me to think strategically about policy opportunity and leverage. By gaining policy development knowledge and skills like outlining key elements of legislation, utilizing Thomas (The Library of Congress site) and basic statistical and applied research methods and conducting stakeholder analyses during my time at SP2, I am much more effective in my current position. Learn more about Simran. Xiaoge Zhang, MSSP'11 PhD Student, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health The MSSP program offered me the unique opportunity to strengthen my quantitative and qualitative research skills to understand socioeconomic barriers to healthcare services faced by vulnerable populations, which adequately prepared me to pursue my doctoral study in health policy research. The constant support from MSSP faculty and students has played a pivotal role in shaping my intellectual and professional development. Nan Zhou, MSSP'11 Doctoral Student of Philosophy in Urban Education Policy Before starting the MSSP program, I had little background in social policy. However, the coursework in the MSSP program, which had a strong focus on applied research methods, helped me to not only hone my research skills, but also to develop a strong interest in research. The courses were engaging and allowed me to discover practical applications of the various methods and demonstrated to me the ways research can have an impact on society. Learn more about Nan. Kalen Flynn, MSSP/MSW'10 PhD Student, Doctoral Program in Social Welfare The education I received as a dual MSW/MSSP student allowed me to merge the real world experience of my field placements and internships with the theory and skills learned in the classroom. Learn more about Kalen. Sara Ansell, MSSP/MSW'09 Assistant Director , Roadmaps to Health Action Team at the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute My education at SP2 broadened my understanding of social change and simultaneously focused my understanding of ways to create that change. I honed many skills including policy analysis, program evaluation, research methods, community organizing, and writing techniques that I use on an everyday basis in my professional life. Ashley Chapman, MSSP'08 Virginia Statewide Advocacy Manager, National Multiple Sclerosis Society I loved that each student could choose their own personal emphasis; not only did this allow me to focus on my own interest in Criminal Justice but our classes were filled with enriching dialog. The conversations, the connections with students and faculty and the wide range of classes have thoroughly prepared me for my career in policy and research. Emily Wengrovius, MSSP’08 County Liaison, Colorado Department of Human Services The MSSP Program gave me the tools and confidence to pursue a career in international development/policy work. I am grateful for the time my professors invested in me and for the relationships I developed through my time at SP2 and beyond. Learn more about Emily. Sarah Bainton, MSSP/MSW'07 Program Manager for Family Financial Stability, Goodwill Industries International (headquarters) I utilize skills I learned at SP2 every day: policy analysis, advocacy, evaluation, strategic planning, and even those more tactical skills of understanding management styles, the most effective way to conduct a meeting, energize a group around a cause, find leverage points in a problem, and present materials. Brian Gralnick, MSSP’07 Director, Center for Social Responsibility, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia The MSSP Program prepared me for the growing demand for accountability in grant making, how to develop program metrics and evaluation criteria, and understanding of the complex relationship government has with the nonprofit sector. Alisha Martinez, MSSP’07, PhD’12 Senior Director of Research and Business Analytics, K12 Insight The MSSP program prepared me for developing research-based reform agendas aimed at improving access, equity, and performance of students from underrepresented backgrounds, as well as broadened my perspective on how policies have addressed social problems. Learn more about Alisha. Kara Mergle MSSP/MSW'07 Director, Strategy, Innovation, & Planning, New York City's Administration for Children's Services The MSSP program provided me with a strong foundation for a career addressing some of the world’s most challenging social issues. SP2 prepared me to design and utilize research to improve systems, while also working directly with communities to ensure that policy is informed by those affected by it on the ground. Read more about Kara.