Excelsior Service Fellow
Metropolitan Transit Authority's Capital Program Management Division
Having just finished his MPA at Baruch College, Brooklyn resident Silverio Bracaglia was working as a Transfer Admissions Advisor and Freshman Recruiter for the NY College of Technology at CUNY when he found out he was selected to participate in the prestigious Excelsior Service Fellowship.
Recently announced by Governor Cuomo, the inaugural program allows 80 talented graduates from colleges, universities, law and professional schools to gain policy and operations experience at one of 41 state government agencies and authorities.
As he recently returned to school after spending 30 years in the private sector, Silverio says "I was one month away from my own gradation – you can imagine how I was delighted to be chosen as a Fellow!"
After working as a successful freelance photographer, manager for two photo labs, and Associate Art Director for the Food Group, Silverio decided to go back to school, with interest in studying politics and law. He earned a paralegal certificate from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 and a CUNY BA in human rights advocacy and international law through the CUNY Graduate School in 2009.
It was his next position as Assistant Manager of Human Resources and Administration for the U.S. Census Bureau Decennial 2010 that motivated Silverio to earn the MPA from Baruch. Also an avid swimmer and photographer, Silverio volunteered as a swim program instructor, lifeguard and photographer for a number of government agencies, and served as Freelance Events Coordinator for NYC Swim's "Take Back Our Rivers" initiative. He rounded out his government experience with a legislative research position for NYC Council member and Transportation Committee Chair Hon. James Vacca.
With all his project management and human resources experience, it's easy to see why Silverio was chosen as a Fellow and appointed to the Metropolitan Transit Authority's Capital Program Management division. The department handles annual expenditure budgets and reports on the progress of the MTA's building projects, which are particularly busy these days with imminent building needs caused by Super Storm Sandy. "I am responsible for reviewing and approving budget requests for tasks within the Bridge and Tunnel Authority's Capital Plan and the Sandy recovery projects that are being advanced jointly with FEMA," Silverio explains. What he likes best about his fellowship is learning non-profit management from accomplished experts, he says.
"It's a privilege to be working alongside mentors who possess years of experience and occupy high-level positions at the MTA."
Silverio advises that current SPA students know their numbers and learn everything they can about finance. "Policy is nothing without numbers to back it up - whether you work in government or at a public authority, a non-profit, public-private collaboration or an arts foundation," he says.
As far what he's hoping to accomplish in the future, Silverio says he is learning to take it as it comes. Pleased with how seriously the MTA takes its accountability to state government and the taxpayers, he says, "The job I do now gives me a chance to actually exercise that accountability we so often demanded from others in public service. I look forward to the challenge!"
Written by Celene McDermott