Seven SESP Graduates Named NUPIP Fellows

Seven SESP Graduates Named NUPIP Fellows

Seven 2012 graduates of the School of Education and Social Policy were selected as fellows of the Northwestern University Public Interest Program (NUPIP). Nadia Ahmed, Steven Chau, Brittany Fawcett, Leah Martinez, Jane Merrill, Emily Roskey and April Stewart will work with Chicago nonprofit organizations as members of the new NUPIP cohort of fellows.

NUPIP is a one-year fellowship that helps train a new generation of leaders for social change through paid public interest work, professional development seminars and mentorship by Northwestern alumni. NUPIP introduces young alumni to organizations that create systemic social change and enables these organizations to capitalize on the abilities of Northwestern graduates. Seven of the 10 fellows chosen at Northwestern were School of Education and Social Policy students.

Nadia Ahmed

Nadia Ahmed

Ahmed is a project manager at the LEARN Charter School Network, a charter school management organization that runs six campuses. She works on projects in different departments, including development, finance and human resources; currently she is organizing an all-staff professional development event. 

“I wanted to be involved with LEARN because in addition to being featured on Oprah as one of the six charter schools who is 'getting it right,' LEARN is a place I knew would provide me with the opportunity of personal growth,” says Ahmed. “They have really strong core values that are dedicated to ensuring the full well being of each of their students, and they are constantly looking for ways to improve their existing campuses and bring more campuses to the Chicago area. This job is giving me a deeper look into the administrative and policy aspect of schools, and I'm really excited to see what kind of projects I will be involved in throughout the next year.”

Steve Chau

Steve Chau

Chau is working with the Chicago Metropolitan Planning Agency. His duties include working with transportation data to try to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the trains around Chicago. “I will also work with the GOTO 2040 plan that promotes more efficiency and environmentalism throughout all of Chicago. The plan fosters better land usage, a more transparent and efficient government, better educated and networked people, and more efficient transportation. I will have the opportunity to work with all of these issues,” says Chau.

Brittany Fawcett

Fawcett is working with the Academy for Urban School Leadership, an organization that aims to improve student achievement in Chicago's high-poverty, chronically failing schools, based on a carefully planned transformation process and specially trained

Leah Martinez
teachers.

Leah Martinez

Martinez is working as an elementary mathematics tutor for the Academy for Urban School Leadership. She is assigned to the Math+ Program, a self- paced math learning program for elementary schools.

“I’ll be matched with one of their recently acquired Chicago Public Schools elementary schools. I wanted to work in this position because it is both an opportunity to expand my skills in teaching and tutoring young students and to learn firsthand about school reform,” Martinez says.

Jane Merrill

Jane Merrill
Merrill will be working at the Center on Halsted, a community center for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. “I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the NUPIP community,” says Merrill. “At the Center on Halsted, I will be working as a policy and advocacy fellow, putting my social policy degree to good use! The position was created to help the Center transition from a pure social service model to a blend of social services and advocacy. In this position, I will be helping to develop the Center's voice both in its immediate community and in the broader national conversation on LGBT rights.”

“I'm particularly excited to work at the Center on Halsted because it will provide me with the opportunity to dive deep in to a particular set of issues and develop concrete skills in this field. In addition, the community at the Center on Halsted is incredibly warm and welcoming and I can't wait to be part of that.”

Emily Roskey

Emily Roskey

Roskey will be working at Gary Comer College Prep on special projects with the school principal as well as helping out the Comer-to-college team, whose purpose is to support students throughout the college process starting in their freshman year. “I am looking forward to getting involved with the school because it is part of a bigger story — education reform in Chicago and America. The school has been successful thus far in getting all their students into college, and it serves a community that did not have these resources available until it was built,” says Roskey.

“To me, Gary Comer symbolizes hope for the future of education and a recipe for success that could be implemented elsewhere in the nation. I am also really looking forward to guiding students through the trying and challenging college application process because I am so grateful of my Northwestern education and want to help students also see the value in a higher education.”

April Stewart
Stewart is working at Galapagos Charter Schools, where her duties include analyzing academic data, working on compliance issues, planning alumni events, supporting development efforts and developing communications to parents and donors. “I wanted to work at Galapagos because I believe that education is one of the most integral ways of providing opportunity to everyone,” says Stewart.

“I specifically wanted to work at a charter school because they have the ability to use alternative learning techniques to teach students, and it has proven beneficial at this school. Furthermore, my great aunt, Milo Cutter, started the first charter school in the nation, in Minnesota in the early 90s, and since then my grandmother has helped open and worked at a number of charter schools as well. Watching both of them help students who would arguably not have this opportunity without the charter schools, I became interested in educational policy,” she notes.

One of the hallmarks of NUPIP, which is modeled after Princeton University's Project 55 program, is that fellows participate in weekly seminars and alumni mentoring. At the seminars, where NUPIP Fellows join Princeton and University of Chicago graduates, experts address relevant topics and fellows discuss common challenges and satisfactions of working for the social good. Alumni mentors at their organizations work with fellows in their various fields of interest.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/20/17