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Marxe School of Public and International Affairs Master of Public Administration Graduates Named 2019 Excelsior Service Fellows



Cici Matheny, a graduate from Baruch College's Marxe School of Public and International Affairs' Master of Public Administration program, was named a 2019 Excelsior Service Fellow.Tyler Picard, a graduate from Baruch College's Marxe School of Public and International Affairs' Master of Public Administration program, was named a 2019 Excelsior Service Fellow.Benjamin Wang, a graduate from Baruch College's Marxe School of Public and International Affairs' Master of Public Administration program, was named a 2019 Excelsior Service Fellow.
From left: Cici Matheny, Tyler Picard, Benjamin Wang

Three Baruch College graduates from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs are participating in the esteemed Excelsior Service Fellowship Program and are currently gaining valuable experience at top New York State agencies.

Cici Matheny, Tyler Picard, and Benjamin Wang, all who recently received their Master of Public Administration Degrees, join 50 other Fellows representing the 2019 Excelsior class. This year, the Marxe School is among other participating schools such as Cornell Law School, Columbia University, Fordham University School of Law, and New York University.

“We’re very proud of Cici, Tyler, and Benjamin, and excited that they were selected as Excelsior Service Fellows,” said Marxe School of Public and International Affairs Dean David Birdsell, PhD. “They join many Marxe graduates who have participated since the program launched in 2013, all of them representing the extraordinary passion, commitment, and preparation that 21st Century public service demands.”

Launched in 2013, the Excelsior Service Fellowship Program is a New York State initiative that brings “highly talented recent graduates of law, graduate and professional schools into government service.” Fellows are placed within the state’s Executive Chamber, a government agency or authority for a two-year fellowship.

Excelsior fellows work full-time alongside senior members of the administration and play a policy-influencing role in New York State with the opportunity to focus on the most pressing issues of the day.

Meet the 2019 Excelsior Service Fellows:

Benjamin Wang (December ’18), MPA with a concentration in Urban Development and Sustainability, is serving his fellowship in Albany at the Department of Public Service in its Policy division.

During this fellowship, Wang wants to learn how policy is created, crafted and implemented. At the Department of Public Service in the Policy division, a core part of his responsibilities will be working on Article 10: the process where New York State approves large-scale electricity generation projects.

As part of NYS's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), 70% of the state's electricity must come from renewable energy sources by 2030. Wang said Article 10 Projects will play a key role in helping us reach this ambitious goal. 

“This fellowship gives me the opportunity to see how policy can work to benefit people and communities,” Wang stated. “In the future, I want to help protect our environment, improve our communities, and make a lasting difference. I hope to leverage the experience and knowledge I will gain here to do just that.”

Cici Matheny (’19), is working for the Research and Innovation Division at the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) in New York City.

Matheny said it was “validating and exciting” being named to the 2019 Excelsior Fellowship class after studying for two years to earn her MPA degree. 

“I am looking forward to applying what I learned in the MPA program to the real world, and really gaining experience in policy research and analysis,” Matheny said. “I also want to learn what it’s like to work in the public sector, in a large, dynamic department of state government.”

Working at the DFS is new for Matheny as her previous experiences were in the education non-profit sector (after-school programs).

Matheny added, “While my primary interest has been education policy, I’m interested more generally in the ways state-level policy change can improve equitable access to public services for New Yorkers. In my Excelsior Fellowship placement in financial services, I am excited to learn about how the state’s financial regulation benefits and protects consumers, and to gain insights into how policy makers actually get things done.”

Tyler Picard (’19), MPA with a concentration in Urban Development and Sustainability, was placed to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) in Albany.

At the NYSERDA, Picard will be working on the Climate Leadership and Community Act focusing on helping serve low-to-moderate income communities by bringing green and sustainable practices to their communities. Another responsibility assigned to Picard is working on Green Affordable Multifamily Housing through multiple means such as new construction or energy efficiency improvements to pre-existing properties.

According to Picard, states are playing an “integral role in preventing climate change” and he knew this fellowship is an “amazing opportunity” to begin his career in state government.

“I firmly believe that New York State will play a vital role in climate change initiatives and I wanted to be part of that process,” Picard said. “My future career goals are really to grow in the position I landed through this fellowship. I would like to become a prominent figure in the field so I can help work on the governor’s agenda.”

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 (Story published on 11/6/19)

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