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Tufts Grad Tapped To Lead Public Policy Institute

Tufts Grad Tapped To Lead Public Policy InstituteTufts graduate Diana Kerry, who recently became director of North Shore Community College’s Public Policy Institute, is looking forward to working with local cities and towns to promote civic engagement.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [11.02.05] For decades, Tufts graduate Diana Kerry worked as a teacher and administrator in schools throughout the world. Now, the sister of United States Senator John F. Kerry is bringing her experience, expertise and enthusiasm about social responsibility to the Public Policy Institute at the Lynn, Mass., campus of North Shore Community College (NSCC).

On Oct. 31, Kerry, who earned a masters in education from Tufts in 1975, took over as part-time director of the institute, which NSCC president Wayne Burton started earlier this year. The goal of the grass-roots organization, he told The Boston Globe, is to promote civic engagement at the college and in the communities it serves.

“[The Institute’s initatives] dovetail with my own sense of what the purposes of education are, and what has driven my career, to raise social awareness and to promote working for the common good through education," Kerry told the Globe.

While Burton, who met Kerry during her brother's presidential campaign, admits that name recognition doesn’t hurt when it comes to running a public policy institute, he said it was Kerry’s credentials that ultimately landed her the institute’s top spot.

Burton said he hired Kerry based on “her background, her education and her passion for solving society's problems,” according to the Globe. “Over the last few months,” he added, “she has proven to be really good in engaging people in the public policy process.”

Kerry is looking forward to continuing those efforts.

''It's very much still a pilot program. But it's exciting to be planning the institute and planning the projects we will be collaborating on with various members of the community," Kerry told the Globe.

Already, Kerry is working with the city of Lynn on an antigang initiative geared towards middle school students, according to the newspaper. The institute is also collaborating with a NSCC student club that is trying to establish a local chapter of YouthBuild USA, a national organization that helps unemployed young men and women transform their lives, the Globe reported.

While those programs represent early successes for the institute, Kerry and her colleagues have no plans to slow down. Later in the month, the institute will co-host a public seminar on the state legislative process and present a public forum on poverty. The institute will soon publish research papers, as well.

Down the line, Kerry would also like to see the creation of an institute website to encourage the exchange of ideas on regional issues. In the meantime, she says she happy just to help the institute get off the ground and begin to take an active role in the promotion of civic engagement at NSCC and in its surrounding communities.












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