Baruch MPA Graduates Win Excelsior Service Fellowships
November 13, 2023
Four Baruch College alumni—all Class of 2023 MPA graduates from Marxe School of Public and International Affairs—were selected for the prestigious Excelsior Service Fellowship program.
The two-year program brings highly talented recent graduates from law, graduate, and professional schools into government service.
Victoria Fix, Jonathan Rapoport, Peter Ryan, and Vanessa Lindo will work alongside senior leaders at state agencies and play a policymaking role in the most pressing issues of the day. They join more than 35 Marxe School alumni who have been selected for the highly competitive fellowship program since its inception in 2013.
Meet Baruch’s 2023 Excelsior Fellows
Victoria Fix: DOT Commissioner, Office of Policy, Planning & Performance
Victoria Fix (MPA ’23) is proud to be chosen for this program working with the Department of Transportation Commissioner’s Office of Policy, Planning and Performance.
“We are currently experiencing a once-in-a-generation investment in public infrastructure that has the potential to repair and reshape communities, while also improving people’s quality of life,” Fix says. “I feel fortunate and eager to be part of the Commissioner’s team during this time, and I am excited to see how the investment will reach the well-deserved communities across New York State.”
For her master’s capstone thesis, Fix focused on transportation equity and childhood poverty in Syracuse. Completing this project “sealed the deal” confirming her interest in becoming an Excelsior Fellow.
“In my last year at Baruch, I challenged myself to explore a policy area I had always been curious about – transportation justice,” Fix recalls. “My analysis solidified my desire to be a part of state governance, and I have a vision for a more equitable and prosperous future that includes all people and communities. The Excelsior Fellowship is a one-of-a-kind experience that will be critical to my professional success. It feels like a dream come true.”
Jonathan Rapoport: Department of Health and the Governor’s Executive Chamber Health Team
Jonathan Rapoport (MPA ’23) attended graduate school seeking a career change from journalism to public affairs. Rapoport said getting to work in a new work environment as an Excelsior Fellow is a “thrilling” moment.
“The Excelsior Fellowship gives me an opportunity to do real policy-work right out of the gate,” Rapoport states. “My area of interest is health policy, especially around access, coverage, and affordability, and it is an exciting (and scary) time to be working in state government. With the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, there are major changes happening in the health sphere and states are at the forefront of trying to innovate and improve health care.”
Rapoport was placed with the Department of Health and the Governor’s Executive Chamber Health team. He is working within the state’s Medicaid agency focusing on the transformative New York Health Equity Reform 1115 Medicaid waiver, which if approved, will allow the Medicaid program to help pay for health-related social needs for millions of New Yorkers, including covering rental subsidies, broker fees, nutrition, and transportation.
In addition, Rapport is splitting his Fellowship between the Department of Health and the Executive Chamber’s health portfolio.
“I’m excited to get both the experience of day-to-day programmatic work inside the Department of Health as well as the high-level policy view from the Executive Chamber,” he says. “There’s just a breathtaking amount of work to do, even in a place like New York that is lightyears ahead of many other states. It is a rare and exciting opportunity and I am grateful for it.”
Peter Ryan: Governor’s Office Working for the State’s Deputy Director of Infrastructure
Peter Ryan (MPA ’23) was appointed to the Executive Chamber (Governor’s Office) working for the State’s Deputy Director of Infrastructure.
As a Fellow, Ryan will be supporting the Deputy Director to track, monitor, prioritize, and advance critical infrastructure projects in New York, ranging from the Hudson River Tunnel Project to the build out of the State’s electric vehicle charging network. He will also assist Governor Hochul’s work in coordinating with the federal government, state agencies, counties, municipalities, other states, and non-governmental stakeholders on these infrastructure projects.
“I am looking forward to working directly with senior leadership and developing strong managerial and policy skills,” Ryan mentions. “I learned about the Fellowship through Marxe Career Services and thought it would be a great opportunity to put the knowledge I had gained through my MPA program to use in a policy/operations-oriented public sector position. My overarching career goal is to contribute meaningfully to the project of good and effective government through public service, and this Fellowship will help me achieve this goal.”
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