Sociology and Political Science
Masters in Public Policy Candidate at Harvard University
Reflecting on her time at Western, Gina feels the greatest opportunities for her came from academics in the sociology department and her participation in the Associated Students (ROP, Ethnic Student Center, and as an employee in the AS Personnel office).
The sociology department was the biggest influence on her career trajectory. She feels very fortunate to have been mentored by professor Lucky Tedrow. He taught classes in demography and statistical analysis, and the small size of these classes gave her opportunities for this mentorship. He was a great advocate for her, involving her in grant work with the national science foundation as a research assistant. She helped co-author a textbook chapter doing research and editing. She also had the privilege of attending the Pacific Sociological Association conference in San Diego at which she made a presentation. These all were great opportunities which influenced her future. Upon graduation from Western she participated in a fellowship with the Congressional Hunger Center, working on anti-hunger and anti-poverty issues in Boston and Washington DC. She later worked at Seattle Children's Hospital as a research associate because she was able to leverage the valuable experiences she had in and out of the classroom.
CHSS allowed Gina access to one on one contact with professors because of the small size of many of her classes. Building those relationships was a key to her future success. Even in the large classes, Gina appreciated opportunities to participate in multiple mediums such as interacting with other students via online discussion groups. This can be a particularly valuable resource for individuals who are reluctant to be assertive in a large classroom environment.
Today Gina's study is fulfilling her interest in translating research into effective public policy that will provide meaningful solutions, particularly in the areas of health, nutrition, and poverty.
Gina feels that students should take advantage of opportunities to talk with alums who have participated in programs like those she was involved in to understand the availability and benefits of them, a few are linked below. She looks forward to helping with that effort.
*Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship (http://www.ppiaprogram.org/ppia/)
*Inter-university Consortium of Political and Social Research Internship (http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/icpsrweb/content/ICPSR/internship)
*Congressional Hunger Center Fellowship (https://www.hungercenter.org/fellowships/emerson/apply/now/)
*Graduate study at Harvard Kennedy School (http://hks.harvard.edu)