Public Policy Students Chosen for Inaugural Civic Action Project Fellowships

: Clockwise from top left: Gabriel Adams-Keane, Elizabeth Berman, Gina Vitale, Sarah Nordberg
: Clockwise from top left: Gabriel Adams-Keane, Elizabeth Berman, Gina Vitale, Sarah Nordberg

Four School of Public Policy (SPP) students were selected for the inaugural group of fellows in the new Civic Action Project (CAP), which provides internship experience, training and mentoring for the next generation of public service leaders. 

Gabriel Adams-Keane, Sarah Nordberg and Gina Vitale, all Master of Public Policy candidates at SPP, and Elizabeth Berman, who received her Master of Public Policy in May, are among the eight graduate students chosen as fellows in CAP’s first year.

“To me, the CAP fellowship is really what a graduate-level internship should be,” said Satu Zoller, associate director of the School of Public Policy. “It provides students with paid, real-world work experience in their area of professional interest, valuable mentoring from a public-sector leader, and the opportunity to meet and work on a research project with students from the other UMass public policy schools. I wish every student could have such an opportunity.”

The Civic Action Project was founded by former state senator George Bachrach; Steve Crosby, who served as secretary of administration and finance to Governor Paul Cellucci and founding chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission; Ira Jackson, who was Massachusetts commissioner of revenue and Judith Young, an attorney with a background in social justice, consumer protection, and legislative policy making. 

The Civic Action Project matches fellows with summer internships, where they gain real-world professional experience, and assigns each fellow a professional mentor. Three School of Public Policy students will work in the Massachusetts Legislature and one will work with the 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East union.

In addition, over the course of the summer, the fellows will attend weekly meetings that include training sessions on policy-related skills, led by experienced policy practitioners, as well as talks by leaders from government, nonprofits, academia, and other policy-related sectors. The fellows will also work together on projects that draw on what they’ve learned in their internships and at their weekly meetings to tackle a major public challenge.