MPM '24 (NUF)
Hometown: Houston, TX
Current City: Washington, DC
Why did you choose McCourt? I love connecting the dots from technical-scientific research methods to the broad scope or the "bigger picture" that impacts communities. One of the monumental shifts in my career was working in local government where my career had been focused on community impact from a policy, engagement, and educational standpoint. Understanding that the McCourt NUF-MPM program is designed to equip mid-career professionals with tools and knowledge promoting public service, equity, and social impact, applying for this program at this stage of my career I felt would provide the skills and abilities to be a more impactful servant leader through the understanding of how equitable principles and outcomes impact the communities we serve. I chose McCourt because I believe the MPM program would give me a better framework on what it takes to embody equitable principles when leading efforts in cross-cultural and social justice organizing. Additionally, I felt this program would assist me in creating and implementing a strategic plan engaging the African Diaspora located in the United States in civic engagement. As one of the top ranked Public Policy Schools striving to be the most diverse programs, I believe the McCourt NUF-MPM program will help me achieve my goal in connecting the dots in the African Diaspora community. I plan to achieve this by connecting the African Diaspora to social impact issues affecting them locally, empowering them to be more involved in policy and decision making projects that can bring funding, resources, and a better quality of life to this community, and increase voter registration and education.
What professional/ work experience did you have prior to coming to McCourt? Prior to my selection as a National Urban Fellow in the McCourt MPM program, I was a public servant with a decade-long career working at the state, city, and county level in Texas. Recently I served as a Community Affairs and Advocacy Advisor for Harris County Precinct One where I utilized my training and experience to organize around various community issues and policies centered around equity in underserved and marginalized communities. Prior to my public service career I worked in private industry as a Chemist and in Academia where my substantial involvement with environmental scientific research received research funding from The United Negro College Fund Special Program (UNCFSP), NASA Science and Technology Institute Fellowship, Air Force Research Laboratory Minority Leadership Fellowship, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellowship. Additionally, I am the Founder/Principal Consultant of E.CHRYS, LLC a business focused on specializing in a variety of services ranging from strategic planning and logistics to brand development and management for nonprofits, government, private companies, etc.
What has been the best part of your experience so far? The best part of my experience so far has been enjoying the peer-to-peer learning, exploring new concepts in the classroom, and relationship building with my NUF cohort, MPM classmates, and McCourt family. I especially love learning about what brought people to McCourt and what their overall goals are within and beyond the program. It's motivating and empowering to see future world leaders being shaped and prepared through McCourt. Additionally, I have enjoyed getting to meet different people from student organizations to faculty and staff. This experience so far has been rewarding and fruitful.
What internships have you had so far during your time at McCourt? As a National Urban Fellow I was matched with the National League of Cities (NLC) to complete a 9-month fellowship residency where I was integrated into the Member and Partner Engagement Center Senior Leadership team under the leadership of Seantae Byers, Senior Executive and Director of Member and Partner Engagement. NLC is a 100 year old nonpartisan organization comprised of city, town and village leaders focused on connecting officials to local government solutions and improving the quality of life for their current and future. To celebrate NLC's centennial milestone I am co-leading their 100th Year Roadshow Celebration which showcases NLC members, partners and the work NLC has done over the last 100 years with the goal of visiting 100 cities in the NLC 100th Year Roadshow RV. Additionally, I am working with the CEO, Clarence Anthony, Senior Executive team to curate this season of their podcast CitiesSpeak with Clarence Anthony to celebrate NLC's 100th year. Additionally, I am also working with the Senior Executive team to work on national diplomacy initiatives.
Student organization involvement while at McCourt: Georgetown Public Policy Review; Georgetown Global Cities Scholar; AfriKa: African Policy Student Association; Migration & Refugee Policy Initiative; Black Graduate Student Association; The Development Implementer Group (DIG)
Undergraduate University, degree, and major: Texas Southern University, Bachelor of Science in Chemistry; Master of Science in Environmental Toxicology
Interests: I am interested in Immigration Integration Policy work specifically in the African Diaspora as well as in Environmental Justice Policy.
Hobbies: I enjoy participating in Georgetown's Intramural Sports, going to the movies, various festivals, museums, block parties, and other social activities.
Reach out to me about: Moving to DC, NUF Experience, Preparing for life after McCourt, Networking