Help me save the gators!

Help me save the gators!

In June 2014, I will be traveling to the Everglades national park with some of my amazing UConn MPA classmates. Once we’re in Florida, we’ll be participating in environmental stewardship activities, like trail clearing and invasive species removal. Our work in the Everglades will help keep the park in good condition. As a public policy student, this is a great opportunity to see environmental policy in practice!

The catch? Since we started organizing this event at the beginning of the year, each of us needs to raise money to cover costs for the  trip. As a graduate student, my funds are limited.  Since my time at Holy Cross, I’ve always wanted to go on a service trip, but never had the funds or the courage. This may be my last opportunity to go on one.

Everything I raise will go directly towards airfare, food, gas, housing, and other costs associated with the trip.  Once I reach my fundraising goal, I will close the donation page.

Thank you so much for your help! The alligators will appreciate it!

Grad school!


I am officially done with week 2 of graduate school! I basically dove right in last week and have been going nonstop ever since.

For those of you who haven’t talked to me lately, I’m pursuing my Masters in Public Administration (MPA), which is like a hybrid of an MBA and a Master’s in Public Policy. Basically, I’m learning skills that will help me pursue a career in the public sector, whether in government or in nonprofits.

So why did I choose this degree? My liberal arts education gave me a great foundation for my career–strong writing skills, presentation skills, research and analysis skills, etc. However, through my AmeriCorps VISTA service, I realized that I needed more quantitative skills in order to move forward in my career. It was also the right timing to go back to school in my personal life.

Right now I’m taking four courses:

  • Public Budgeting and Finance
  • Intro to Public Policy
  • Quantitative Methods (ie STATS)
  • Analytic Tools for Public Problems (ie MICROECONOMICS)

Since I haven’t had any math in 6 years, save for when I was prepping for the GRE, it’s been a little tough. I know it’s going to be a lot of work, but I’m ready. Much readier than I would have been if I’d come straight out of undergrad.

I’m also working 15 hours per week as a graduate assistant/work study student .I’m mainly coordinating events, like open houses and the department speaker series, but I’m also helping screen applicants for a senior faculty search. Come winter I’ll probably help out with recruitment for students for the program. (Yes, my VISTA Leader skills translate! That was a relief).

In other news, my family vacation to Disney World rocked! I got Minnie Mouse ears. They’re sequined. And awesome. The end.



I got my graduate assistant paperwork in the mail yesterday, and filled out my first 1-9 and W-4 in almost 3 years–since I filled out my last Kimball forms. I’m official, bitch!

It finally started to hit me that I’ll be leaving NHEAVP soon.  This year has really flown by, and I’ve grown so much both professionally and personally. Part of me wants to stay on for another year to see the great plans we developed this year come to fruition. The other part of me knows that I need to move on to this next adventure.  I finally got used to waking up early and spending 8 hours in an office, and I have to prepare myself for schoolwork.

It helps that I have plans moving forward, and that I don’t have too much to worry about financially because my graduate assistantship gives me a stipend and tuition waiver (plus, 2 ed awards). I also just used a chunk of ed award to pay my fee bill and dropped $400 on textbook purchases and rentals. That’s basically all I have to spend this semester for school.

Things are definitely changing for the better, and i’m so excited to start school!

UNRELATED: Check the new layout!

Grad school updates!

Now that my office has a 2 hour delay…here’s some updates about my grad apps!

I got into Brandeis two weeks ago for the Master of Public Policy Program! Because of my AmeriCorps affiliation, they offered me a $20k merit scholarship…which covered only about half of tuition. I was super pumped to get in, but I knew I couldn’t afford to move to Boston and take out any more student loans. Sadface.

THEN…the UConn MPA saga. At open house, grad students told me that the admissions committee was meeting on March 4th and notifying applicants that day. March 4th and 5th passed, no answer. I went to a class on March 5th, and the program director told me they were meeting March 6th and notifying applicants THAT day.

So when March 6th passed with no word, I immediately assumed I didn’t get in and had a major meltdown at home.  I basically didn’t sleep and woke up at 5:30 in the morning. For those of you that know me, you know that I NEVER EVER WAKE UP THAT EARLY .

I called UConn in the morning yesterday and got no answer, and I assumed that they were giving me the dip.  I called again like a crazy person in the afternoon and finally got answers!

I was accepted into the MPA program with a graduate assistantship! I get a full tuition waiver + stipend, meaning I can save my 2 Segal ed awards for another day.

Also, the Department of Public Policy campus is RIGHT NEAR A NOODLES AND COMPANY. I’m in heaven.

ETA: My sister got into the MSW Program at UConn and my brother passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review! This has been a really good week.