Announcing the 2021 Herbert Roback Scholarship Winners

The late Herbert Roback was a highly respected public servant. During his 34-year career, he encouraged talented and promising students to consider lifetime careers in the public service. To honor Mr. Roback, his family and friends established the Herbert Roback Scholarship Fund to perpetuate his work. To fulfill this goal, the Academy annually awards scholarships to graduate students currently enrolled, or admitted for enrollment, in a full-time accredited master’s degree program in public administration, public and international affairs, public policy, and/or political science.

And this year's winners are:

Rochelle Brahalla, a second-year MPA candidate at NYU Wagner and a transportation planner at the NYC Department of Transportation. After graduating with a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from Cornell University, she moved south to Memphis, TN to create productive landscapes through urban agriculture. While collaborating with local communities to build 100+ public school gardens in Memphis, Rochelle observed how structural inequalities in the built environment perpetuated the disenfranchisement of BIPOC communities. Realizing the crucial role of government in facilitating equitable and thriving cities, she moved to NYC to continue creating meaningful infrastructural change. Within City government, Rochelle collaborates with DOT colleagues and other City agencies to develop innovative strategies to calm traffic near schools. At Wagner, she continues to explore the intersection of policy and the built environment through her specialization in Development Policy. Rochelle enjoys biking in Brooklyn and admiring street trees. As a biracial Mauritanian-American, Rochelle is interested in local and global identity politics, and finds joy in riding trains and buses alongside fellow New Yorkers.

Julia Konrad, MPA candidate at NYU Wagner, specializing in policy analysis. She is interested in studying policies that address neighborhood inequality, and particularly those that relate to education, housing, and voting. Before Wagner, she earned an AB in social studies from Harvard College and an M.Ed from Vanderbilt University. She then had the honor of teaching 11th grade U.S. history at a Brooklyn public school for five years. As a NYU VOTE 2020 Fellow last fall, Julia was thrilled to join One Fair Wage's campaign to increase state minimum wages. This spring, as a research assistant at the NYU Furman Center, she contributed research and writing to the Furman Center's collection of housing policy briefs and case studies. And as a Parke Fellow this summer, she joined the Redistricting Project at the Brennan Center to study partisan gerrymandering. Through a career in public service, she hopes to serve as a bridge between the practitioners who enact policies, the legislators who craft them, and the researchers who study their impact.

Celebrate this year's winners at the 2021 Academy Meeting -- register today!