Dr. Tony Laing
MPA in Public & Nonprofit Management & Policy - 2000
How did being in New York impact your professional journey?
I attended a small liberal college in Massachusetts that had little visible diversity in the student body, professors and staff. Although I appreciated the experience of attending a liberal arts college, I wanted to attend a larger, more diverse University for graduate school where additional employment, networking, cultural, and professional opportunities would be afforded to me. I’ve also had opportunities to serve on nonprofit boards; my first being headed by an NYU Wagner friend.
How did your Wagner experience prepare you professionally for what you are doing today?
NYU Wagner provided me with a firm foundation for understanding the importance of group dynamics and team work. Although my current job entails a lot of work independently, I am responsible for communicating with various constituencies about the progress of my work. I credit NYU Wagner for exposing me to the importance of collaboration through its group approach to learning.
Describe your current job.
I am leading an in-depth qualitative study as part of the Research Alliance’s evaluation of the Expanded Success Initiative, which aims to improve college readiness among NYC’s Black and Latino young men. My research interests lie at the intersection of K-12 education, gender studies (specifically, constructions of masculinity), and African-American studies.