Student Spotlight: Glenda Kee (MPA-PNP)
Name: Glenda Kee
Program and Specialization: MPA-PNP, International Policy and Management
Current employment: Teaching Assistant for UPADM-GP 140 Economics for Public Policy
1. Tell us about yourself:
I’m Glenda, a full-time, second-year MPA-PNP student. Born and raised in Singapore, I moved to New York City over a year ago to pursue my master’s degree at NYU Wagner. Previously, I graduated from the National University of Singapore with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. Since I’ve been in New York City, I’ve enjoyed catching Broadway shows, exploring different neighborhoods, and hunting down the best matcha latte.
2. What are you currently working on? Can you describe the project or work you would like to highlight?
Capstone is a huge part of every second-year MPA student’s experience at NYU Wagner! My team is working with Ek Kadam Aur, a nonprofit based in the US and India, to evaluate the impact of their virtual classroom program. This program gathers professors based in different parts of the world to give life, interactive lectures to high school students in India and Nepal with the help of video conferencing technology. My Capstone team traveled to Andhra Pradesh, India and Kathmandu, Nepal over the winter break, and is currently analyzing all the collected data.
I also volunteer regularly with Cru Inner City, a faith-based nonprofit that works with over 130 partner churches across the city. By providing them with training and homeless care kits, the organization supports the churches as they serve their local communities.
3. What NYU Wagner experiences have helped you the most with this project or work?
I took Program Analysis and Evaluation last summer, which has been really helpful for my Capstone project. The course taught me how to systematically analyze a program and identify underlying assumptions and ways to properly measure the impact of an intervention. Together with quantitative classes like Multiple Regression and Estimating Impacts, I am now better equipped to craft programs and policies based on evidence.
4. What experiences at NYU Wagner helped you in your search for an internship or job?
NYU Wagner’s Office of Career Services has been really helpful. They do a great job with providing one-on-one feedback during drop-in hours and bring in a wide variety of employers via panels and information sessions. I’ve also benefited from chatting with professors to learn about the industry that I’m interested in.
5. Can you recall a memorable NYU Wagner experience that struck you as particularly meaningful?
I currently serve as the chairperson of the Wagner International Student Society. It has been a great way to connect with fellow international students and do fun things like exploring NYC. My favorite event has been our annual cultural day, where the entire student community comes together to celebrate NYU Wagner’s diversity in cultures. Students share fun facts about their country, bring traditional food from their cultures, and we even end with a karaoke session with songs from around the world!
6. What is something about your identity that has impacted the way you approach public service?
My time in NYU Wagner and NYC has broadened my understanding of equity, diversity, and inclusion. Having grown up in Singapore where I’m part of the ethnic Chinese majority, moving to the US has allowed me to view issues of representation through a different lens. I’ve been able to explore what it means to be a minority and the complex spectrum that exists between being an insider and an outsider. This experience reminds me that policies and programs affect people differently—and as public service leaders, we need to consider the various implications of our actions.
7. If you could start over at NYU Wagner, is there anything you would do differently?
Not a major point, but I would have paid closer attention to course waivers. I knew I didn’t have the college credits to waive out of core classes, but I failed to consider the waiver tests. That could have allowed me to take more electives. The electives at NYU Wagner are really great, so I’m always in such a dilemma at the start of each term about which courses to choose!
8. What is your favorite spot on campus or at The Puck Building where you feel inspired or simply enjoy working?
North, quiet study rooms in Bobst Library: I love the floor-to-ceiling glass windows that give a great view of Washington Square Park. It’s stunning in the winter since you get to see the beautiful snowy landscape without braving the cold!
9. What’s next for you?
Having been awarded a scholarship by the Singapore government, I will be deployed to the Singapore civil service after graduation where I look forward to working on policies that address social inequality.