Faculty Quotes

  • We're trying to understand why it is that there are huge disparities in health outcomes – between low-income populations, say – so that policymakers can find solutions. For example, we looked closely at Medicaid claims date to track how well primary care providers managed their patients. Did one provider have more emergency room visits that another? More primary care visits? What we found was that hospital clinics were much worse at managing patients than private doctors and free-standing, community clinics were. We're trying to sort out why this is. Wagner's Center for Health and Public Service Research (CHPSR) serves as a vehicle for connecting academic research with policymaking and program development in order to address key issues concerning the delivery of health care and social services.

    John Billings

    Associate Professor of Health Policy and Public Service

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  • Much of my research is done in connection with the Citizens Budget Commission. It is a nonprofit, nonpartisan civic organization that seeks to improve financial management and service delivery by the City of New York and the State of New York. Recent reports have dealt with methods to assess the affordability of debt at the state and local level, ways to use the internet and e-gov techniques to make procurement by City agencies more cost-effective and the implications of converting the civilian municipal workforce from a 35 to a 40 hour work-week. Research is now underway on cost containment strategies for New York State’s Medicaid program and options for financing major transportation infrastructure improvements. I enjoy the applied nature of the work, with opportunities to interact with state and local officials.

    Charles Brecher

    Professor of Public and Health Administration

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  • By 2030, when Baby Boomers will be between 66 and 84 years old, they will still represent more than 20% of the U.S. population. They are healthier, wealthier, more mobile, and more highly educated than any preceding generation, and the presumption is that they will remain active and stay involved in society for many decades. This has led to a shift in some of the research about the elderly, from traditional geriatric concerns (health, housing, psychological services) to such issues as full-time “encore” or bridge careers and volunteerism, job flexibility and life meaning, time management and mobility. This cohort could offer 30 or more years of active and creative involvement, revitalizing, in the particular focus of my work, the culture, civic engagement, social services, political activism, intellectual life and artistic creativity and communal institutions of minority and faith-based communities.

    David Elcott

    The Henry and Marilyn Taub Professor of Practice in Public Service and Leadership

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  • Leadership in public sector and healthcare organizations happens through leaders with the ability to communicate and achieve a clear and transformative organizational vision, create a sustainable financial structure, align the organizational structure to achieve the vision, and adapt continuously. Leaders of today’s and tomorrow’s public organizations must understand how to gather and use evidence to make more effective organizational systems and strategic decisions. They must create accountable organizations and be personally accountable. They must be persons of courage and integrity.

    John Donnellan

    Robert Derzon Professor of Health & Public Service

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  • I am now involved in a study of how social change organizations use various identities – racial, ethnic, class, geographic – as a resource in their work. In a related arena, I am also interest in team learning and, in particular, how multi-cultural teams can learn from and across difference. I am just embarking on a project studying teams and what enables team learning in a large state social services agency. I am very interested in the mutual influence between social identities, like race, gender and class, and organizational life. How do social identities affect organizations? And how do organizations affect their members’ experience of their social identities? My last study found that, in fact, work organizations do influence their employees’ racial and gender identities, even though those identities are usually understood as largely stable and immune to organizational effects.

    Erica Foldy

    Associate Professor of Public and Nonprofit Management

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  • Leadership training is extremely important for non-profit boards. The key distinctive characteristic of nonprofits is their mission. The boards of for-profit organizations are accountable to the shareholders, and those of public organizations are accountable to the voters. Part of the problem of accountability of nonprofit boards of trustees is that they often don’t get the information they need to carry out the function they’re supposed to perform.

    Anthony Kovner

    Professor of Public and Health Management

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  • My research is focused primarily on the well-being of individuals and how this is shaped by the interaction of individual decision-making, market institutions and government policies. I’m particularly interested in the economics of aging and retirement, especially the risks facing older households. Recently, I’ve collaborated with Professor Jan Blustein to examine health outcomes and the labor market behavior of grandparents raising their grandchildren. This work will help in developing better policies and programs to support this growing yet vulnerable group that is performing an important social role.

    Sewin Chan

    Associate Professor of Public Policy

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  • I’m currently finishing a book on what the RAND Corporation knows about managing high-performing organizations. It’s a three-year study looking at RAND research on everything from army logistics to the quality of health care, and draws a number of conclusions about the characteristics of high-performing organizations and how, through careful and appropriate change, they can improve. I’m also conducting a study for the Carnegie Corporation about the value of the national infrastructure on associations, schools, college, universities, publications and networks that help individual nonprofits improve their performance. The basic question is – What works, what doesn’t, and what is the value of having a nonprofit infrastructure in the first place?

    Paul Light

    Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service

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  • Although I am trained as an economist, my interest in neighborhoods started by thinking about the social networks one develops when raised or living in a poor neighborhood. Such networks can be very important for a variety of reasons, including creating expectations about work and even finding a specific job. In fact, it turns out that more than half of jobs are found through some you know, and people ion low-income neighborhoods, where employment levels are low, may well face a big disadvantage. The importance of neighborhoods in shaping people’s life chances has sparked my interest in several aspects of community development efforts, such as the provision of affordable housing, and the performance – particularly the governance – of nonprofit and community based organizations.

    Katherine O’Regan

    Associate Professor of Public Policy

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  • My book explores the stability of racial integration in neighborhoods. The conventional view, to borrow Saul Alinsky’s famous line, is that racial integration is merely the time between when the first black moves in and the last white moves out. Counter to this view, I found that many neighborhoods in the United States are racially integrated and stay that way for years. Integration has become both more prevalent and more stable over the last several decades. Still, metropolitan areas in the United States remain highly segregated and many integrated neighborhoods do “tip” top become majority black. Thus, in the second half of the book, I explore why this happens and why certain neighborhoods can remain successfully integrated over time.

    Ingrid Ellen

    Paulette Goddard Professor of Urban Policy and Planning

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  • The challenge is to make the connection between medical care and health and to understand how factors other than medical care can influence health among older people. In doing research that will benefit older people, it is vital to have an appreciation of the importance of housing, maintaining social connections and maintaining functional abilities, in addition to the benefits of high-technology medicine.

    Jan Blustein

    Professor of Health Policy and Associate Professor of Medicine

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  • We are seeking to understand how the placement of new information and telecommunication systems affects the form and function of cities and metropolitan regions. Just as the automobile shaped the pattern of metropolitan development in the twentieth century, information will influence the development of the twenty-first century. Communities, cities and nations without an advanced information infrastructure are destined to decline and diminish in importance.

    Mitchell Moss

    Henry Hart Rice Professor of Urban Policy and Planning

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Alumni in Action

  • Paul Tainsh
  • Aaron Ampaw
  • Susie Lupert
  • Becky Rafter
  • Thalia Washington
  • Bonnie Stone
  • Sharad Aggarwal, Ellen O’Connell
  • Joseph Jarrin
  • Michael Butler, Donna Madey Butler
  • Bonnie Osinski
  • Luciana Mermet
  • Victoria Shire
  • Susan Lacerte
  • Brent Cohen Alumni
  • Malini Patel
  • Sean Maloney
  • Kenneth Wong
  • Erik Korolev
  • Marc Minor
  • Satish Chandra
  • Doug White
  • Jennifer Maulsby
  • Antonio Whitaker
  • Kathleen Mullin, Rosalind Ross, Olivia Stinson
  • Vanessa Leon
  • Cuong Nguyen
  • Gail Sussman
  • Elwood Hill
  • Marlon Williams
  • Peter Grace
  • David Bergman
  • Nupur Chaudhury
  • Alicia Polak
  • Dave Gottesman
  • Andrew Steininger
  • Margaret diZerega

Testimonials

  • I usually "check-in" with myself after each semester as a way to strategically plan my future. I process what I've learned in the classroom or at an internship, and assess how what I've learned will strengthen my skills. I also evaluate what I liked/did not like about a particular job/organization and apply that to my goals for the future and as direction for pursuing other internships. This process has showed me that it is okay to be interested in many different things (i.e., management, policy, public health) and that it is possible to find a career that encompasses all of those interests. I have also realized that the field of health is much broader than I ever thought, and there are many possibilities out there to pursue.

    Sarah Dannan

    MPA-PNP 2007

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  • Doing informational interviews, looking for internships, applying for scholarships, peer advising and selecting classes have all given me pause to think about my goals. This summer, I received a job offer from a previous employer that really forced me to reassess where I am going. I have moved away from some of the areas of interest I had when I started at Wagner and developed new interests that I had not expected. The experience of considering a really good job offer helped me confirm my interest in working in government and in local economic development.

    Ana daSilva

    MPA-PNP 2007

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  • Working on events with WEPSA (Wagner Education Policy Studies Association) allowed me to develop relationships with others interested in education and gave me a reason to reach out to and develop a network within the broader education network in NYC.

    Laurie Price

    MPA-PNP 2007

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  • If you keep seeing job postings in your field asking for skills you don't have, it means it's time to assess yourself and see what you can do to improve.

    Seth Rosen

    Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy

    MPA-PNP 2005

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  • Since I'm exploring career options in another city, I used an assignment in Intro to Public Policy to learn more about the economic and political situation in that area. I researched an economic development initiative in St. Louis that helped me become more aware of the challenges facing the city and who is addressing them. This helped me during informational interviews by demonstrating my interest and helping me contextualize some of what I learned during the interviews.

    Ana daSilva

    MPA-PNP 2007

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  • I'm very focused on my career goals, so with every class and work assignment, I feel like I'm constantly honing my interests to find out exactly what I want to do. So far, I think that I've reaffirmed that I want to be in the public sector working at the city level, but I'm still working out what role I want to have. Administration (the field that I initially thought that I would be in), still interests me, but so do planning/economic development and finance, so I'm hoping to explore those fields more over the coming year.

    Kate Bender

    MUP 2007

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  • OCS has given me concrete tools to help me with my career. As an international student, I have taken advantage of all types of OCS services: walk-in hours; resume, cover letter and interviewing workshops; career panels; employer information sessions; Alumni Career Advisement Program; and career fairs. All of this led to my finding four internships in my first year at school.

    Yinghua Liu

    MPA-Health 2006

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  • Wagner alums are everywhere! I feel like I run into them constantly, especially in my current job. I found my job last year through a current student, my supervisor now is an alum, and I plan to talk to other alums before seeking future internships.

    Kate Bender

    MUP 2007

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  • I made sure to take as many prereqs as I could for the planning program and the Wagner core, and looked at what was offered in the spring versus the fall. I consulted my advisors and other professors for advice about classes to take that would match my areas of interest.

    Kate Bender

    MUP 2007

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  • My goals have become more clear and tangible. I have done a lot of self discovery of my talents and limitations.

    Carlos Calderon

    Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy

    MPA-PNP 2005

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  • Getting work experience has been central for me at my time at Wagner. I worked at a private planning firm last fall, since I had never worked in planning, and wanted to understand the field. I felt like I got a lot of basic, core knowledge from that job. When I was looking for my next internship/job, I decided to go to the opposite extreme - to look only in the public sector, and to look for a position in administration rather than planning (these are two of the roles that I'm considering in my future job search). That is how I ended up working for the Division of Citywide Administrative Services for the City of New York. I feel like through only 2 internships (so far), I've gotten a tremendous breadth of knowledge.

    Kate Bender

    MUP 2007

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  • The 'How to...' tools on-line are fantastic; specifically, the resume and cover letter writing guide and the interviewing and negotiating offers guide. I have used them to prepare my resume and cover letters, paying close attention to the job description and how to adjust my resume to fit what the employer is seeking. I have forwarded them to friends outside of Wagner and they have found them very useful as well.

    Gabriel Verdaguer

    MPA-PNP 2007

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  • Once I knew I had been accepted to Wagner I began to craft a plan to take my prerequisites first. Declaring my specialization as policy also set the direction for the courses I scheduled. I planned my courses according to their availability (Fall, Spring) and also made sure to enroll in the required specialization courses ASAP so that I could begin taking elective courses for my specialization.

    Sarah Dannan

    MPA-PNP 2007

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  • If you want to develop leadership skills… join a student group! Student groups are the most interesting venue as they unite busy students in a volunteer experience, motivate them to put events together, and foster relationships amongst board members. I cherish my experience and am grateful for the way it challenges me to become a better leader.

    Sarah Dannan

    MPA-PNP 2007

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  • There are constantly forums and speakers being held at NYU that are open to both students and local urban planning professionals. The exciting thing about these events is that they provide an opportunity to be exposed to new research or ideas while also seeing how the professional sphere reacts to the same concepts. Thus you could see a piece of research in a totally different light than if you had only read/discussed it in class.

    Kate Bender

    MUP 2007

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