I think of AAP as my supportive intellectual bubble, where I've been able to learn and explore ideas with the guidance and encouragement of both the faculty and my cohort of M.R.P. students.
Why did you choose Cornell and AAP?
I went back to school because I wanted to learn about a more critical perspective on community development. I had been working in rural community and economic development for a few years in both Kentucky and California, and I wanted to learn about the emerging field of social finance. I hoped social finance could be used to put more money into underserved areas, like all the rural communities I had visited. I found out that Professor Mildred Warner had worked on both topics, and that's what made me choose Cornell AAP.
What experiences have contributed to your sense of belonging at AAP?
I just love my classmates and professors. I am truly fortunate to have found a program that offers me exactly the mentorship and collaboration I needed. I think of AAP as my supportive intellectual bubble, where I've been able to learn and explore ideas with the guidance and encouragement of both the faculty and my cohort of M.R.P. students
What are your extracurricular interests and how have you incorporated them into your college life?
I've worked on a couple of research projects outside of class, which have been immensely rewarding. One of them was to research social impact bonds in the U.S. I learned about the academic research, writing, and presentation process along the way. I also worked with a group of students to research austerity and state receivership in Michigan local governments. We've learned so much together as we figured out how to execute a research project as a group and to read between the lines about what is happening in Michigan.
What do you hope to accomplish during your time at AAP and after graduation?
After graduation, I will be moving to the Toronto area, where I hope to pursue my interest in social finance. I'm interested in what social finance tools, such as social impact bonds, impact investing, and social entrepreneurship can offer to communities that need more funding and resources to truly thrive.