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MPPA Scholar-in-Residence Program seeks candidate interested in a democratic approach to policy process

A professor at the college, Vinny Cannizzaro, teaching three students from a whiteboard in a classroom

Applicants for the MPPA Scholar-in-Residence Program can apply through April 15, 2021. The person awarded the scholarship receives full tuition remission, $800/month stipend, and housing in an apartment above Marketview Arts in downtown York.

It can sound too good to be true: full tuition remission, $800 a month in stipend, and housing in a beautiful downtown York apartment, plus the research experience that can launch a career.

Vinny Cannizzaro, Director of the Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy, wishes such a program existed when he was completing his master’s program. Instead, he gets to help select the next Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) Scholar-in-Residence candidate at York College of Pennsylvania. It is available to an individual who has earned a bachelor’s degree in a pertinent field, has an interest in public policy/administration, and has demonstrated the ability to conduct reliable and valid research.

“York College has internships, we have research opportunities for students, but this will give them the day-in and day-out experience of working for a local think tank,” Cannizzaro says. “It’s an experience that gives some true ownership of public work.”

Scope of work

The focus area for the 2021-2023 Scholar-in-Residence will be the Urban Collaborative, an initiative aimed at policies and practices surrounding equitable housing. As a donor-supported initiative with the Center for Community Engagement (CCE), it engages students and faculty from multiple disciplines in project-based research that tangibly supports an improved quality of life in York city. 

“We see York as representative of other third-class, post-industrial cities across the nation,” Cannizzaro says. “It goes back to this idea of York being on the precipice of some really democratic work, where citizen engagement assists in city government, and good policy work—along with collaboration of the public and private sectors—fills the gaps and needs of the local community.”

A lot of the work done by the Glatfelter Institute has created a good baseline understanding of what’s going on in the community. From research on Opportunity Zones for the York County Economic Alliance (YCEA) to a study on the Hispanic and Latinx community, Cannizzaro’s work has collected “bits and pieces” of what makes up the city.

“This opportunity is a more holistic approach to urban revitalization and specific to housing,” he says. “In particular, we’re looking at it as a method of equitable community development.”

The right opportunity

The MPPA Scholar-in-Residence program offers someone the opportunity to graduate with a master’s without any debt and the added benefit of putting classroom knowledge into practice through research.

“A lot of the work that I do is very participatory and community-focused, and for the Urban Collaborative, I want someone who can go down to Central Market, can go to the local restaurants, and really understand what York is all about,” Cannizzaro says. “We aren’t looking for someone who is just going to come in and say, ‘here’s what’s wrong with the city.’ We want to give them that lived-experience of the area they’re studying, so we can take a democratic approach to the policy process in general.”

At the end of the program, while Cannizzaro hopes there are some “legislative wins” that come out of this research process, he also hopes it helps launch a student into their future. Whether they pursue a doctorate or look for work with a think tank or government agency, he knows this experience will give them a portfolio of important work that can change a community.

How to apply

Applications for the MPPA Scholar-In-Residence program are being accepted until April 15, 2021. For more information or to apply, visit https://www.ycp.edu/academics/graduate-and-professional-studies/master-of-public-policy-and-administration/mppa-scholar-in-residence/