UEP Welcomes the 2019 Mid-Career MPP Cohort

UEP’s Master of Public Policy program brings seasoned practitioners with at least 7 years of relevant experience to Tufts. MPPers come to the program to enhance their professional practice, pursue a career shift, or simply further their learning. These mid-career professionals have already been turning vision into practice and have a lot to share with the Tufts UEP community. The majority are still working while studying at UEP part-time. Meet the incoming cohort for 2019 below:

Julia Beebe is Lead Organizer of the Matahari Women Workers’ Center, through which she organizes women workers throughout Greater Boston. Julia’s work includes bringing together domestic workers for leadership development and collective action through a multi-racial, multi-lingual approach, organizing against corporate attacks on state labor laws, and developing innovative models for raising labor standards for caregivers and others workers in decentralized workplaces. Prior to joining Matahari, Julia organized with the Industrial Areas Foundation in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. At UEP, Julia is eager to learn more about policies that support sustainable communities and address climate change in order to better integrate these critical areas into her worker organizing.

Juan Bonilla is Deputy Director of Lawrence CommunityWorks, Inc. in Lawrence, MA. He joined LCW in 2004 and as the organization’s first housing counselor. Prior to LCW, Juan served as a Financial Services Representative and Compliance Officer at MassMutual Financial Group. He brings over 17 years of experience in management, personal finance, housing and economic empowerment initiatives. He holds dual Bachelor degrees in Sociology and Spanish from Bowdoin College and is a graduate of the Institute for Non-Profit Management and Leadership certificate program (now the Institute for Nonprofit Practice at Tufts University). Juan sits on the board of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations (MACDC) and is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank Community Advisory Council. Born in Puerto Rico, he came to Lawrence at age 9 and grew up in the City. As an MPP student, Juan is interested in digging deeper into policies that promote and hinder the upward economic mobility and financial well-being of low-to-moderate income, minority and immigrant individuals and families.

Matt Cannon is a graduate of Connecticut College, and is originally from Rhode Island. Growing up on the beach, with a family connected to nature, Matt pursued environmental studies in college. He served as an AmeriCorps Member on Cape Cod in environmental education and natural resources management. In Washington D.C. Matt worked as a research assistant at American University and interned at the U.S. Senate. Then, he moved back to Cape Cod with his partner and worked at non-profit conservation land trusts, both as land steward and executive director. After moving to Maine, he was a research assistant at the University of Southern Maine, and now currently works in communications at the Sierra Club. He has presented at the Massachusetts Land Conservation Conference, volunteered with the Sierra Club, and served on the Board of the Friends of Pleasant Bay and as a Member of the Town of Brewster Coastal Committee. Matt’s policy interests are understanding how to justly transition to a post fossil fuel world and addressing economic inequality and environmental justice.

Georgiana Chevry is a higher education administrator with 15 years’ program development experience in student and academic affairs. She has a demonstrated commitment and success working with diverse staff, faculty, employer, and student populations in the following federal and regional workforce development initiatives: Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Success Boston, Massachusetts Life Science Internship Challenge, Mass Clean Energy and Hack Diversity. A longtime resident of Medford, Georgiana is also the two-time governor -appointed Commissioner of Medford Housing Authority. Her public policy interest lies at the intersection of education, economics and public housing.

Vanessa Jean is the Founder and CEO of Powered Consulting. Powered Consulting transforms every client’s edge into impact with strategy, planning, and execution. Vanessa holds a BA in Global Studies/International Relations with concentration in Management and Economics from Emmanuel College, and a graduate certificate in Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy from UMASS Boston. She spends her time travelling, dancing, writing, and exploring new adventures with her vibrant daughter, Victoria Rose Jean-Joseph. Vanessa is interested in studying economic development to further well-being and quality of life and political representation of communities of color.

Genie Polycarpe-Nortelus is Deputy Director of Civil Rights Office of Diversity and Inclusion for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. Genie is responsible for cultivating a work and learning environment that encourages and supports diversity. Genie has developed and incorporated inclusion initiatives, such as organization-wide diversity training and multicultural events. Genie has been charged with creating strategies to recruit a diverse workforce. In some cases, this includes ensuring that the Commonwealth complies with affirmative action or equal employment opportunity regulations. Genie has also identified areas where the Commonwealth has lacked in multiculturalism and minority support. Genie also investigates and rectifies any charges of discrimination or harassment. Genie is currently working on the barriers of transportation and housing and how it affects individuals with disabilities. Genie is currently developing an action plan to meet the needs of people with disabilities.

Aliesha J. Porcena currently serves as the Senior Manager for the Emerging Leaders Initiative in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration at Interise. Aliesha helps 60 locations throughout the U.S. and its territories find and recruit small business owners from low and moderate income communities to develop their success infrastructure by providing innovative support, consultative resources, and programmatic information in order to achieve accelerated growth. Aliesha is passionate about leveraging local community capacity through entrepreneurship. health, education, and civic empowerment to uplift communities. She brings over 7 years of development, relationship management, and public health experience, which are essential to her ability to advocate and transform underserved communities. Prior to joining Interise, she worked in several capacities for Partners In Health. Most recently, she served as the Haiti Development Associate. A Boston native, Aliesha graduated Cum Laude from Northeastern University with a BA in Political Science and International Affairs with a minor in Latino, Latin American, and Caribbean Studies. In her graduate studies, Aliesha is interested in social policy and the intersection of poverty, policy, and health in communities of color.

Dana Rebeiro is finishing her third term as a New Bedford City Councilor (Ward 4). Dana attended Howard University in Washington D.C. where she majored in literature and double minored in communications and political science. Following college, she worked in the film and entertainment industry, producing films, music videos, commercials, and television shows. She also worked as a media liaison for a production company that produced concerts and as an associate editor for High Times magazine in New York City, where she also became involved with radio. She then returned home to New Bedford, during a rash of unsolved shootings. She produced a feature documentary and several shorts in an effort to spark change. She ran two unsuccessful campaigns for Ward 4 City Councilor before being elected. After 3 terms, she decided not to seek re-election, as she believes in term limits. As a Councilor, she helped bring refrigeration to the Pier allowing longshoreman to work throughout the year, added a bus route along the fisheries after she learned immigrants were being targeted for robberies, and wrote an ordinance that allows the city to be able to issue licenses for the ever growing aquaculture industry.

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