Category Archives: Student Profiles

A Day in the Life of a UEP Student: Meet Katie

“My name is Katie Rieser, and I come to UEP after ten years in education — 7 as a teacher and 3 as a Director of Curriculum at a school. So far, it’s been a thrill to dive back into UEP after many years spent outside of higher education, so I’m pleased to share a day in my life with you.

“Every day in UEP is slightly different, as the program prepares us for work analyzing data, writing policy papers, working in education reform organizations, and, of course, going to class.

“Since the days in my week are so different, I’ll use a typical Wednesday to share with you. On any given Wednesday, I wake up around 6:30 in the morning, make myself a glass of tea, and quickly scan my email for anything important that may have popped up overnight. Then, I jump into my car and drive to Central Falls, RI, for my internship at The Learning Community Charter Schools. My office in the charter school is deep in the weeds of starting a new graduate school of education in Rhode Island, the first to be affiliated with a full time working elementary school. At The Learning Community, I analyze data, conduct research on best practices in teacher education, and contribute where I can in meetings.

“At around noon, I jump back in my car and drive home, where I usually pack a quick lunch and snacks for my afternoon classes. I then hop on my bicycle (if the weather is nice) and head down Hope St. to Brown. I take two classes on Wednesdays: a theoretical sociology class about race and ethnicity, and a required UEP statistics course. Both classes are helping me to shape the way I think about my internship, and my work beyond UEP. After so many years ‘in the field’, my courses have been a welcome chance for me to think deeply about the daily work that I do and fill out my understanding of my work with more concrete knowledge and sources. Although my professors are quite different, they are similar in their openness to students; they’ve been so encouraging and supportive of my work.

“Typically, my classes on Wednesdays end around 6:30 PM, making for a long and eventful day (and a typical one in the education sector). I then hop back on my bike and head home, where I have dinner with my wife, read or watch some TV, and head to bed.  

“On other days of the week, you can find me studying in the graduate student section of the library, collaborating on group projects with members of my cohort, chatting with my professors in office hours, at home writing papers, or working at my part-time job in Boston as a Lecturer of English Methods for new teachers at Harvard Graduate School of Education. I can honestly say that, as a mid-career professional, the UEP masters program has been a really wonderful chance to explore and expand my current thinking and skillsets. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions–UEP ambassadors can put you in touch!”


A Day in the Life of a UEP Student: Meet Melitzi

“Happy Friday, everyone! My name is Melitzi Torres and I am a current UEP graduate student at Brown. I was asked to share what a day in my life is like as a UEP student. Before I dive into that, I want to share a little about who I am and what brought me to this master’s program.

“I am a first-generation Latina college student, I go by the pronouns she/her/hers, and I love spending time with people I love. I grew up in Rhode Island, graduated from Brown (undergrad) in 2015, taught second grade for two years, and came back to Brown this past summer as a full-time graduate student. As a product of a public school system, as a first-gen Latina, as a former teacher, and as an advocate for educational equity, I knew I needed to be working in policy to make the difference I wanted to make. In undergrad, I had the opportunity to intern for a policy research and advocacy group, Rhode Island’s  senate policy office, and a community partnership organization. These internships, along with my experience as a teacher, really fueled my drive to head into policy. After bouncing back and forth between three other master’s programs and the UEP program, I knew Brown was where my heart is. There’s truly no other place like Brown. #evertrue

“So much has changed from my life as a teacher. Part of the UEP experience is taking on an internship that would help prepare you for a future job placement. I am currently interning as a data analyst for the Gil and Jacki Cisneros Foundation in Los Angeles, CA. Through working remotely, I have learned that time management and clear communication are key to success in a position like mine. On any given weekday, I’ll wake up, drink my coffee #frenchpress while catching up on social media, and then I dive into work for a couple of hours before class. UEP classes are in the afternoon so I have the mornings to get work done for my internship and classes. Depending on how much work I have, I usually like to relax after class and explore Providence with friends.

I hope this has been helpful to you as you decide on a master’s program. Please feel free to reach out with any questions–I’m one of the program’s ambassadors so I’m actually here to help in any way I can! You can reach me at: or on any social media platform @melitzitorres”

UEP Student Internship Intertwines with White House

bidensUrban Education Policy graduate student Madalyn Ciampi’s internship with Civic Nation has opened new doors for her – most recently, the doors to the home of Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden.

Civic Nation’s College Promise Campaign, which builds public support for making community college free of tuition and fees for students, intertwines with the White House, as the campaign stems from President Obama’s America’s Promise initiative.

Last week, Ciampi helped host a three-day “PromiseNet 2016” conference in Washington, D.C. as part of her internship. On the last day of the conference, she and her colleagues hosted a convening at the White House, and Dr. Jill Biden, the honorary chair of the campaign’s National Advisory Board, invited the group to a luncheon at her and the Vice President’s home before they returned to the White House for the National Advisory Board meeting.

When asked how her internship and passion for Civic Nation ties into her graduate studies at Brown University, Ciampi responded,

“I think that one of the most valuable components of the internship so far has been seeing the behind-the-scenes, hands-on aspect of education policy, which I feel really complements the classroom-based learning in UEP. The campaign is working to build public support, and this also involves promoting economic implications of making college accessible and affordable, to incentive governmental stakeholders, businesses, etc. to back the movement. I’ve also found the conversation around the importance of research in moving the College Promise forward to be really interesting, given that this is a huge component of UEP. In this respect I feel that the courses in the UEP program have prepared me to be much more well-versed in the work that I’m doing in my internship.

The internship component of my education has already benefited me greatly, and I am looking forward to seeing how it may continue to complement and build upon my classroom learning!”