Student/Alumni Panel Praises Supportive Environment at McCormack Graduate School

McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies | December 05, 2013
Student/Alumni Panel Praises Supportive Environment at McCormack Graduate School

Their interests and talents are varied. But the eight student and alumni panelists who spoke to prospective students at McCormack Visit Day have one thing in common. They love their faculty, cohort members, and classes at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

On December 2, Dean Ira A. Jackson welcomed more than 30 prospective students, exalting the world-class faculty who care about student success and who are passionate about making a difference in local and global communities.

“Like you, they are interested in ‘wicked hard problems,’ like poverty, inequality, global warming, and social justice,” he said.

Yet, it was the student and alumni panelists whose testimonials about the faculty and classes that drove home the distinguishing features of the McCormack Graduate School.

Ryan Whalen, a graduate of the Master of Science in Public Affairs program (MSPA) and a current student in the Public Policy PhD Program, also applauded the faculty. “Having MSPA professors who are really there for you, to guide you through the heavy concepts and coursework, is really great. The PhD program offers access to even more amazing faculty members and you are able to collaborate with them on their research agenda, too,” referring to an article he coauthored with Professor Heather MacIndoe on issues of nonprofit management. Whalen also consults with staff at McCormack’s Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management, where he enjoys the networking opportunities and finds the applied experience “really rewarding.”

Conflict resolution student Elysse Magnotto praised "the small-knit community and the wide range of ages and experiences" of her classmates, which “bring a lot of depth to enrich our learning experiences.”

Summarizing the college in general, public policy student Ronald Marlow, assistant secretary for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Access and Opportunity, called it “a jewel.”  Lauding the affordability, the focus on social justice, and the ability to earn a PhD on a part-time basis, “I just love it here,” he said.

Hailing from Trinidad and Tobago, PhD student Deborah McFee chose McCormack Graduate School for its interdisciplinary degree in global governance and human security. More than once she acknowledged the cold weather in Boston, but she, too, was quick to praise the supportive environment as one of the key strengths of her doctoral program. “The faculty and administrative staff are committed to look after us−especially the international students. And my classmates come together as a group; this is one of the best parts of the program for me. We have really become each other’s’ rocks. It has been an excellent experience for me.”

Hayley Gleason moved from Colorado to Massachusetts to enroll in the Gerontology PhD Program not only for the policy orientation of the program but for the rich educational and career resources available to graduate students in the Boston area. She also appreciates the applied research nature of the program. “Through my assistantship, I help prepare community needs assessments. This brings the research to life.”

Acknowledging their desire to make a difference in the world, Associate Dean Connie Chan noted, “Our students are our best assets.” Dean Jackson added, “Our students are our best ambassadors. By expressing their appreciation for what McCormack Graduate School has to offer, they are our best recruiters, too.”

Tags: alumni , conflict resolution , gerontology , public policy

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