MSSP Alumni

MSSP+DA Alumni

Rebecca McGavin, MSSP+DA"18

Rebecca McGavin, MSSP+DA’18

  • Policy and Planning Analyst, Duke Health

“The MSSP+DA program allowed me to study, research, and find a way to combine my passions for data, visualization, and social policy. It was the people: my cohort, professors, and the administration who enabled me to thrive and pursue my passions while developing advanced quantitative and critical methods.”

Headshot of Maofeng Lin

Maofeng Lin, MSSP+DA’17

  • Management Associate, DBS Bank (Hong Kong)

“I can’t find a better cohort with diverse background, intellectual insights, and passionate voices. I was fortunate to work seamlessly with them and get the mentoring throughout our conversations. I couldn’t possibly think of a more fantastic way to spend my two years other than SP2.”

MSSP Alumni

Alvaro Sanchez

Alvaro Sanchez, MSSP’18

  • Analyst, Economic Growth and Mobility Project, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

“The MSSP program is an ideal fit for any individual looking to build on their policy analysis and quantitative research skillset. During my time at SP2, I found myself immersed in an environment that challenged me to develop a nuanced understanding of my policy issue areas and drove me to expand my understanding of how social policy can empower the marginalized communities we engage in this work for.”

Maddie Leonard

Maddie Leonard, MSSP’18

  • Health Policy Analyst, LMI

“The MSSP Program provided me with both a strong understanding of the policymaking process and a comprehensive skill set to write, research, and analyze social policy. It solidified my interest in the intersection of evidence-based research and community-driven policy interventions and gave me the background to contextualize current policies and the preparation to influence and assess future policy.”

Irene Hong, MSSP'18

Irene Hong, MSSP’18

  • Associate Attorney, DLA Piper LLP

“My MSSP experience was truly interdisciplinary, and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to attend a university that encourages the pursuit of knowledge. My studies focused on the intersection of international tax, law, business, and social policy, and I am confident that this interdisciplinary perspective has equipped me to address the many complex legal issues that arise in my practice.”

Headshot of Walter Jean-Jacques

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.”

Headshot of Tom Robbins, MSSP'17

Tom Robbins, MSSP’17

  • Head of the Cultural Development Fund & Investment, Department for Culture, Media & Sport, UK

“It was amazing to study social policy from a US perspective, which was so different to perspectives back home in the UK. I loved SP2, the people, the ethos, and its ambitious social justice aims in a challenging time. I found my course valuable in see things from different perspectives. In particular, I found it useful for brushing up on my economic knowledge for policy-making, and understanding in more detail how to navigate programme evaluations which is directly relevant to my new role in government, where I am in charge of commissioning the evaluation of public spending in culture.”

Headshot of Yuze Sun, MSSP'15

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.”

Headshot of Anandita Krishnamachari

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.”

Cate Domino, MSSP’13

  • E-mail Campaigner

“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.”

Headshot of Neha Sheth

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.”

Headshot of Della Jenkins

Della Jenkins, MSSP’13

  • Executive Director, Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (AISP) Initiative, Penn SP2

“The MSSP program was a great launching pad into the professional world, and gave me the flexibility and confidence to explore my options. A summer internship during the program lead to a job with a local non-profit advocating for educational equity and introduced me to the world of city and state politics. From there, I took a job doing mixed-methods education policy research and program evaluation. Then last year, I had the opportunity to come back to SP2 to lead an effort aimed at helping state and local governments share data across program silos to improve policy and practice. None of it would have been possible without the MSSP program.”

Rachel Dungan, MSSP'13

Rachel Dungan, MSSP’13

  • Director, AcademyHealth

“It’s rare to find a program multifaceted enough to support learning about the multiple aspects and implications of policy decision-making (ethics, economics, legalities, sociocultural dynamics, etc.); I benefit from having learned how to approach policy-centric work, from multiple angles and diverse stakeholder perspectives.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

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.”

SP2 News

Diplomas on the SP2 commencement table.

Faculty & Research, Student Life

2019 Social Policy & Practice Awards

Congratulations to this year’s Social Policy & Practice award winners. The following individuals will be recognized for their outstanding achievements at...

Tatiana Fraga Diez

Student Life

NPL Student Chosen for Steering Committee of World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community

Tatiana Fraga Diez, a student in the Nonprofit Leadership (NPL) program at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2),...

Jennifer A. King

Alumni Stories

“I Caught the Teaching Bug”: DSW Alumna Jennifer King Shares Her Unexpected Career Path

As Jennifer A. King, a 2015 alumna of the Doctorate in Clinical Social Work (DSW) program at Penn’s School of Social...

Andrew Fussner

Faculty & Research, Gifts & Giving

SP2 Board Member Gift Leads to Lasting Impact in Case Consultation Training Series

Four years ago, Andrew Fussner, then a lecturer in the Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Penn’s School of...

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