UEP helps students think of themselves as conduits rather than answers to problems, said Hana Migliorato, a 2017 graduate.
“It’s not about you and how you’re going to fix things,” she said, adding that UEP encouraged her to be more thoughtful in how she approaches policy-making.
Migliorato, who grew up in Tokyo, Japan, and in Hawai’i, is one of the first students to graduate from the BA-MA track at UEP, which allows Tufts University undergraduate students to earn a Master of Arts by adding a year of study to their Bachelor’s degrees. For Migliorato, the fourth year of her undergraduate career also served as the first year of her MA, which is typically two years at UEP.
While she was one of the younger members of the 2017 graduating cohort at UEP, Migliorato said she felt very much a part of the class. It was especially helpful that she front-loaded many of her undergraduate classes so she never felt she was straddling both degrees.
The five-year track is not for everyone, Migliorato said, and students should not take this path just because it is a better value and shorter than obtaining the degrees separately. The transition between programs was easy because, as an undergraduate double-major in Political Science and Economics, she already knew she was interested in policy and was able to use her undergraduate courses to fulfill some of the UEP core requirements.
For Migliorato, the draw to UEP came when she took a course taught by Professor Jon Witten and, for the first time, had discussions of policy grounded in human experiences. In that same spirit, Migliorato is graduating with a position at MassHousing that will enable her to continue research she started in her thesis on, “Accessing Social and Economic Opportunity in Massachusetts: The Spatial Consequences of State Statute Chapter 40B.”
During her time at UEP, Migliorato said, she has been most grateful for how the program has encouraged her to be reflective and grounded in people. UEP practitioners should be forever students, Migliorato said, “You always have to keep thinking and questioning your assumptions.”