Carina DeBarcelos made the most of her graduate student experience at UNH, and her almost two years on campus have ended with one more achievement: The Distinguished Wildcat Award, which she received from the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) in December.
DeBarcelos, 23, received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth in 2017 and entered the Carsey School of Public Policy in August of that same year. She joined GSS a few months later, and ever since has served as the graduate school senator.
“I felt like it was an enriching experience for me, especially when I jumped to a university in a state that I wasn’t familiar with before,” DeBarcelos says.
She was especially interested in the different concerns between undergraduate and graduate students. During her time in UNH student governance, she served on the GSS health and wellness committee, most recently serving as committee chair during the 2018-19 academic year. In her free time, she also volunteered occasionally at a local thrift shop.
DeBarcelos, who is from New Bedford, Massachusetts, was originally drawn to UNH because of the course offerings at the Carsey School and the internship opportunities. She is currently finishing her final capstone project, which is more of a professional client-based project than a thesis. Her project focuses on education equity and the funding issue that persists in New Hampshire. She worked with Reaching Higher NH on a traditional policy report, which involved trying to find innovative ways to help resolve gaps between communities with low property valuation and wealthier communities. The interest stemmed from her work on education equity in Massachusetts during her undergraduate education.
“We work with selected clients in the New Hampshire area based on our policy interests to help achieve not only their goals but our own,” she explains.
DeBarcelos is expecting to graduate in May and hopes to find a job that relates to K-12 education policy in the New England area.