The deep engagement of our young people in every aspect of our civic life could not be a greater charge. When we empower young people to lead, they do so with an urgency that is unmatched, effectively tacking today’s problems as they grow into the leaders of tomorrow
— Michelle Wu, Boston City Councilor

Our Fellows

Our 10 fellows for the Inaugural Summer session of the Civic Action Project are graduate level students diligently studying Public Policy at one of three UMass Campuses: UMass Amherst, UMass Boston McCormack Graduate School of Public Policy, and UMass Lowell. Fellows were a part of a rigorous selection process organized and overseen by UMass Deans, Satu Zoller (UMass Amherst) , David Cash (UMass Boston), and Thomas Piñeros- Sheilds (UMass Lowell). Each fellow will receive a charitable stipend of $5,000, and will be placed in a 10-week internship according to their interests in offices of government officials, non-profit organizations, and labor unions. CAP is proud to Partner with UMass in training the next generation of policy professionals and thanks them for their commitment and support.

Gabriel Adams-Keane   Gabe is from Arlington, Massachusetts, and will complete his Masters in Public Policy from UMass Amherst in December of 2019. Gabe graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass in December of 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. He holds a variety of professional experiences in political operations and campaigns, and has worked for organizations including the Massachusetts Democratic Party and Raise Up Massachusetts.  Gabe’s Fellowship will be with Senator Cindy Friedman in the MA Statehouse.

Gabriel Adams-Keane

Gabe is from Arlington, Massachusetts, and will complete his Masters in Public Policy from UMass Amherst in December of 2019. Gabe graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass in December of 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. He holds a variety of professional experiences in political operations and campaigns, and has worked for organizations including the Massachusetts Democratic Party and Raise Up Massachusetts.

Gabe’s Fellowship will be with Senator Cindy Friedman in the MA Statehouse.


Jessica Amedee   Jessica is currently finishing up her first year in the Master's of Public Administration (MPA) program at UMass Lowell. Last May, she received her undergraduate degree in Sociology. With a MPA degree, Jessica hopes to work in the non-profit sector at an organization with a mission of promoting civic participation, advocacy, and community development. Jessica's passion is to be a part of and contribute to the driving force for equality. In her free time, Jessica enjoys being active by running and weightlifting.  Jessica’s fellowship will be with Justin Kang, Founder of City Awake, at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Jessica Amedee

Jessica is currently finishing up her first year in the Master's of Public Administration (MPA) program at UMass Lowell. Last May, she received her undergraduate degree in Sociology. With a MPA degree, Jessica hopes to work in the non-profit sector at an organization with a mission of promoting civic participation, advocacy, and community development. Jessica's passion is to be a part of and contribute to the driving force for equality. In her free time, Jessica enjoys being active by running and weightlifting.

Jessica’s fellowship will be with Justin Kang, Founder of City Awake, at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce

Liz Berman   Liz received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management with an additional major in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in May 2018. Now having received her Master of Public Policy in May 2019, Liz is committed to establishing a career in which she can assist and empower underrepresented communities. During her academic career, Liz was in the founding cohort of UMass Women into Leadership and took part in multiple internships in Washington, D.C. and Boston, MA. Most recently, Liz served as Finance Fellow for the Freedom for All Massachusetts – Yes on 3 Ballot campaign that aimed to add gender identity as a protected category in the Commonwealth’s public accommodations law.  Liz is looking forward to gaining hands-on experience at her internship with SEIU 1199 this summer.

Liz Berman

Liz received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management with an additional major in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in May 2018. Now having received her Master of Public Policy in May 2019, Liz is committed to establishing a career in which she can assist and empower underrepresented communities. During her academic career, Liz was in the founding cohort of UMass Women into Leadership and took part in multiple internships in Washington, D.C. and Boston, MA. Most recently, Liz served as Finance Fellow for the Freedom for All Massachusetts – Yes on 3 Ballot campaign that aimed to add gender identity as a protected category in the Commonwealth’s public accommodations law.

Liz is looking forward to gaining hands-on experience at her internship with SEIU 1199 this summer.

Patricio Belloy   Patricio is a Ph.D. student in the Public Policy program at the University of Massachusetts Boston and recently completed a two-year Mel King Community Fellowship at MIT. He has collaborated with planners and policy specialists in local and international projects focused on climate change and renewable energy, working in the private, public, and academic sectors.  Patricio looks forward to his fellowship with the Environmental League of Massachusetts

Patricio Belloy

Patricio is a Ph.D. student in the Public Policy program at the University of Massachusetts Boston and recently completed a two-year Mel King Community Fellowship at MIT. He has collaborated with planners and policy specialists in local and international projects focused on climate change and renewable energy, working in the private, public, and academic sectors.

Patricio looks forward to his fellowship with the Environmental League of Massachusetts

Rachelle Jeanty   Rachelle recently graduated from UMass Boston, receiving her Masters in Public Administration. She is also a graduate of the Gender, Leadership and Public Policy Graduate Certificate Program (UMass Boston). While pursuing graduate school, Rachelle worked as a program manager at Bay Cove Human Services in Boston and as a community activist in Randolph. Rachelle explored opportunities for policy and leadership in the GLPP and MPA program and plans to continue her work in civic affairs after graduation. As a woman of color, she believes it is important to understand systems in organizations and to develop leadership skills to effectively guide others.  Rachelle will complete her fellowship with Boston City Councilor, Michelle Wu.

Rachelle Jeanty

Rachelle recently graduated from UMass Boston, receiving her Masters in Public Administration. She is also a graduate of the Gender, Leadership and Public Policy Graduate Certificate Program (UMass Boston). While pursuing graduate school, Rachelle worked as a program manager at Bay Cove Human Services in Boston and as a community activist in Randolph. Rachelle explored opportunities for policy and leadership in the GLPP and MPA program and plans to continue her work in civic affairs after graduation. As a woman of color, she believes it is important to understand systems in organizations and to develop leadership skills to effectively guide others.

Rachelle will complete her fellowship with Boston City Councilor, Michelle Wu.

Leena Maqsood   Leena is a doctoral student in Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program at McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston. Prior to joining UMass Boson, she served as program support specialist with the nonprofit JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. and some of the United Nations bodies such as United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Leena has rendered her professional services in the thematic areas of: Health systems strengthening, food security and poverty reduction; strengthening grievance redress mechanisms, pro-poor governance; and women empowerment. She is a two-time winner of the Safe Motherhood Award from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns Project to produce television programs for advocacy to improve the then ongoing situation of maternal and neonatal health in Pakistan. Among her research interests are included resource nexus approach, gender and informal sector of economy, prospects for rural development, and use of information and communication technologies for human development.  Leena will spend her fellowship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ Sustainability & Environmental Health Team.

Leena Maqsood

Leena is a doctoral student in Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program at McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston. Prior to joining UMass Boson, she served as program support specialist with the nonprofit JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. and some of the United Nations bodies such as United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). Leena has rendered her professional services in the thematic areas of: Health systems strengthening, food security and poverty reduction; strengthening grievance redress mechanisms, pro-poor governance; and women empowerment. She is a two-time winner of the Safe Motherhood Award from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funded Pakistan Initiative for Mothers and Newborns Project to produce television programs for advocacy to improve the then ongoing situation of maternal and neonatal health in Pakistan. Among her research interests are included resource nexus approach, gender and informal sector of economy, prospects for rural development, and use of information and communication technologies for human development.

Leena will spend her fellowship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ Sustainability & Environmental Health Team.


Sarah Nordberg   Sarah Nordberg is a Master of Public Policy student at the School of Public Policy at UMass Amherst. She is interested in health and substance use policy and holds her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst. Through her time at UMass, Sarah has served as a fellow and board member of the UMass Women into Leadership program, which prepares undergraduate students for careers in public service. Previously, Sarah served as a fellow on Setti Warren's campaign for MA Governor, a finance intern for the Hillary for America campaign, and a constituent services intern for Congressman Joe Kennedy III. Sarah is looking forward to gaining experience at the State House this summer and working with public policy students from across the state.  Sarah will complete her Fellowship in the office of Rep. Marjorie Decker in the MA Statehouse

Sarah Nordberg

Sarah Nordberg is a Master of Public Policy student at the School of Public Policy at UMass Amherst. She is interested in health and substance use policy and holds her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst. Through her time at UMass, Sarah has served as a fellow and board member of the UMass Women into Leadership program, which prepares undergraduate students for careers in public service. Previously, Sarah served as a fellow on Setti Warren's campaign for MA Governor, a finance intern for the Hillary for America campaign, and a constituent services intern for Congressman Joe Kennedy III. Sarah is looking forward to gaining experience at the State House this summer and working with public policy students from across the state.

Sarah will complete her Fellowship in the office of Rep. Marjorie Decker in the MA Statehouse

Esther Rogers   Esther is an alumni of UMass Boston, and received her Bachelors degree in Psychology. She is currently studying to receive her Masters in Pubic Policy, and a certificate in Gender Leadership and Public Policy. She was a former Fellow for At-Large Boston City Councilor Essaibi-George. Her Professional goals include a cabinet appointment for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She is also a big fan of he Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots. Esther will complete her fellowship in the Boston office of US Representative Joe Kennedy.

Esther Rogers

Esther is an alumni of UMass Boston, and received her Bachelors degree in Psychology. She is currently studying to receive her Masters in Pubic Policy, and a certificate in Gender Leadership and Public Policy. She was a former Fellow for At-Large Boston City Councilor Essaibi-George. Her Professional goals include a cabinet appointment for the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. She is also a big fan of he Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.
Esther will complete her fellowship in the Boston office of US Representative Joe Kennedy.

Natalie Shellito   A native of Wichita, Kansas, Natalie moved to Boston in 2008 to attend Boston University. After receiving a Masters of Arts in Aging Studies at Wichita State University in 2015, Natalie returned to Boston to continue her education. Currently a rising fourth year Gerontology PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Natalie's research interests include the direct care workforce and the role physical activity plays as we age. Upon completion of her PhD in Gerontology, Natalie plans to work to help shape the policies and practices that impact all people aging in the United States.  Natalie looks forward to her fellowship with Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell.

Natalie Shellito

A native of Wichita, Kansas, Natalie moved to Boston in 2008 to attend Boston University. After receiving a Masters of Arts in Aging Studies at Wichita State University in 2015, Natalie returned to Boston to continue her education. Currently a rising fourth year Gerontology PhD student at the University of Massachusetts Boston, Natalie's research interests include the direct care workforce and the role physical activity plays as we age. Upon completion of her PhD in Gerontology, Natalie plans to work to help shape the policies and practices that impact all people aging in the United States.

Natalie looks forward to her fellowship with Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell.

Gina Vitale   A graduate from UMass Amherst, Gina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and a minor in Chinese language. She is currently a Master's candidate in the School of Public Policy focusing on the intersection of science, technology, policy and human rights. This summer, Gina will be carrying out her CAP Fellowship in the office of Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka. She is looking forward to gaining first-hand experience in legislative agenda setting, political consensus building and policy research and writing.  Moreover, Gina hopes her overall experience in the State House with Senator Karen Spilka will prepare her for a future career in government relations or policy consulting to inform policymakers on societal issues regarding science and technology.

Gina Vitale

A graduate from UMass Amherst, Gina holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and a minor in Chinese language. She is currently a Master's candidate in the School of Public Policy focusing on the intersection of science, technology, policy and human rights. This summer, Gina will be carrying out her CAP Fellowship in the office of Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka. She is looking forward to gaining first-hand experience in legislative agenda setting, political consensus building and policy research and writing.

Moreover, Gina hopes her overall experience in the State House with Senator Karen Spilka will prepare her for a future career in government relations or policy consulting to inform policymakers on societal issues regarding science and technology.