Former high school teacher Kathryn Gabriele knew she wanted to change careers but wasn’t sure what path to take until she connected with Professor of Public Administration Brenda Bond.

The two met when Gabriele, then a graduate student, accepted a job at the Sawyer Business School’s Moakley Center for Public Management.

Gabriele, who had taught History, Spanish and Civics, worked as a research assistant for Bond on a nationwide study of innovative practices in police departments while she was pursuing a master in Public Administration at the Business School. Gabrielle received her MPA in May.

'A true mentor'

“This project was like my own tutorial,” she said. “I learned about a whole new public sector, and working with Professor Bond was such a meaningful experience. She was a true mentor and so passionate about her work that I took her for three different courses.”

Gabriele also worked as an evaluation consultant for Higher Ground, a non-profit organization focused on improving programs and community outcomes in the areas of education, early-childhood development, health and youth employment in Boston neighborhoods.

And she served as a job coach for a supportive employment program, preparing 14-to-21-year-olds on the basic skills needed to land a job.

Launching new career

Her impressive resume led Gabriele to a job as a policy analyst for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, where she is responsible for data analysis and policy research. She also works with teachers to implement grant-funded programs.

Supportive campus community

Gabrielle, who hails from Ohio, discovered Suffolk University after she fell in love with Boston during a visit.

I didn’t know anyone, but the entire Suffolk community was totally supportive,” she said. “I met people from all walks of life, and everyone brought something different to the table.”

Despite her smooth transition from teacher to graduate student, Gabriele hadn’t been sure what she would do with her MPA until her research work gave her inspiration.

“Working at Suffolk while finishing my degree was an incredible opportunity and helped me to really connect my coursework to my own work,” she said. “I hope to take what I’ve learned about policy development, program management and public sector governance and apply it to my new job.”