The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Brianna Sunryd

Brianna Sunryd, MPPA '20
Director of Communications and Civic Innovation
Town of Amherst, Massachusetts

Degree & graduation year: Master of Public Policy and Administration, 2020

What I do: Engage the public and work to improve the technical functions and access for citizens of Amherst.

How I ended up working there: I have worked in local government for over ten years, including as a work-study student for the Town of Amherst during my undergrad program.

The best part of my job: Being able to solve issues in real-time with community members.

A recent exciting work experience: I worked with a very active neighborhood group that was having trouble accessing digital documents. Now their digital literacy has improved and they know they have help.

How the School of Public Policy prepared me for my career: SPP helped me make complicated policies and issues more digestible for short attention spans. The research methods course taught me thoughtful and unbiased data collection methods.

Advice to students considering a degree in public policy: My advice is always to get involved in local government. It gives you a real sense of the work and there is a need.

Future plans: Become a city manager for a town that is innovation forward.