Campus & Community

Twelve grad students named Rappaport Fellows

6 min read

A dozen talented graduate students from Boston University, Harvard, MIT, Northeastern, Suffolk, and Tufts have been awarded a prestigious fellowship that will allow them to spend the summer helping area public officials address a variety of key issues.

The students, who were selected from nearly 100 applicants, will be working as Rappaport Public Policy Fellows in such venues as the office of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, MassHousing, Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development, and the U.S. EPA’s Region I office in Boston.

Now in its eighth year, the Rappaport Public Policy Fellowship is a unique program that gives talented young graduate students the opportunity to help public officials address key problems and, in doing so, to learn more about how public policy is created and implemented. The fellowship is funded and administered by Harvard Kennedy School’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, which strives to improve the governance of the region by strengthening connections between scholars, students, officials, and civic leaders.The 2008 Rappaport Public Fellows, listed by university, are as follows:


Jillian Standish will be working in the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development on issues related to the state’s rental voucher program. Standish, who has a bachelor’s degree in international relations and Spanish from Bucknell University, has been program representative at the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership and was a child advocate at the Crossroads Family Shelter.


Kristen Joyce will be working in the office of Boston Mayor Thomas Menino helping assess the use of the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in areas of Dorchester and Roxbury. Joyce, who has a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, has worked as an analyst at the U.S. Government Accountability Office and was an intern for Massachusetts State Senator Robert Hedlund (R-Hingham).

Nicholas Maryns, who also will be working in Mayor Menino’s office, will be identifying ways to improve the mayor’s 24-hour hotline. Maryns, who has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from St. Olaf College, was a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow and has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans.

Amy Caswell Moran will be working at the Boston Redevelopment Authority researching issues related to immigrants and immigrant organizations in Boston. Moran, who has bachelor’s degrees in sociology and linguistics from Harvard College, was a director and recruiter for WorldTeach.


Justin Pasquariello, who is enrolled in a joint degree program, will be working for the state’s Department of Social Services on an implementation plan for an omnibus child abuse and neglect bill. Pasquariello, who has a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College, is the executive director and founder of AFT Mentoring, a Boston-based mentoring partnership focused on inner-city youth.


Ashley Carlson will work for State Representative Alice Wolf (D-Cambridge) on issues related to early education and health care. Carlson has a bachelor’s degree in public policy and theater studies from Duke University. She has experience as a program evaluator for the Center for Disease Control and as a teacher in the Teach for America program in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.


Victoria Wolff will work for the Boston Redevelopment Authority on community development issues in Roxbury’s Dudley Square. Wolff, who has a bachelor’s degree in art history from Williams College, has worked as an assistant carpenter with Timberwolf Woodworking, as a research analyst at the World Bank in the Transport and Urban Development Division, and worked in the campus-planning department at Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott.

Kathleen Ziegenfuss will be helping Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development develop an economic development and land use plan for the area around the planned Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority station in Union Square. Ziegenfuss has a bachelor’s degree in urban studies and public policy from Boston University.


Lauren Nicoll, who is a doctoral student, will develop strategies to support and expand the creative business sector in the city at the Somerville’s Office of Strategic Planning and Community Development. Nicoll, who has a bachelor’s degree in business management from Drew University, has worked as a research assistant at the Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University.


Tara Pavao, a joint degree student, will research the impact of having foster youth remain in a constant school setting for the academic year for the state’s Department of Social Services. Pavao, who has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in forensic psychology from Bridgewater State University, is a social worker at the state’s Department of Social Services and has experience as a bilingual domestic violence counselor at the Bristol County House of Corrections.


Holly Elwell will be helping the U.S EPA’s Region I office incorporate climate change impacts into the management plans for coastal areas in New England and also help organize the agency’s first Climate Change Workshop. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Vermont and has studied water pollution in Bermuda and the Virgin Islands.

Ryan Fattman will be working at MassHousing researching aspects of the foreclosure crisis. Fattman, who has a bachelor’s degree in government from Suffolk University, is a member of the Sutton Board of Selectmen and has worked as an analyst at MassHousing.

In addition to working full-time for their host agencies, the fellows will get together weekly to learn more about key issues in the region and discuss progress on their projects. At many of these sessions, they are joined by 12 law students who are working in similar internships via a fellows program run by the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service at the Suffolk University Law School. They will also be joined by Joshua Wakeham, a doctoral student in sociology at Harvard, who has received a summer doctoral fellowship from the Rappaport Institute and Harvard’s Taubman Center for State and Local Government to help the state’s Department of Youth Service assess the impacts of recent changes to its evaluation and placement process.

Both the Rappaport Institute and Suffolk’s Rappaport Center for Law and Public Service were founded and funded by the Jerome Lyle Rappaport Charitable Foundation, which promotes emerging leaders in Greater Boston.