Growing up in Brazil, Julia Vieira, a Master in Public Policy (MPP) student, knew she wanted to expand her horizons by studying in the United States. “My parents have always pushed me to pursue experiences that were very different from what we were used to because that’s the best way to grow and understand the different perspectives of the world,” Vieira says. That desire led her to pursue her public service education at UNH's Carsey School of Public Policy.
Since arriving at UNH, Vieira has excelled, doing research as a Carsey Fellow, working with the town administrator in Goffstown, New Hampshire, and interning with the New Hampshire Fiscal Policy Institute (NHFPI) — all while completing her capstone research project on Brazil’s Guarani Aquifer. Recognized by her professors and mentors for her hard work and outstanding accomplishments at these organizations and in the classroom, Vieira was nominated for the UNH Graduate Research/Scholarship/Creativity Award.
“Julia is a terrific student in class,” says Michael Ettlinger, director of the Carsey School of Public Policy, “and really shined working with me as my research fellow on a complicated project analyzing how governments around the world spend their resources.”
Vieira says that winning this award “shows me that I am heading in the right direction and that the skills I have acquired and honed at the Carsey School enable me to make impactful contributions in policy research and socioeconomic development.”
The chance to meet with and learn from policy professionals in the Capitol during the MPP program’s Washington, D.C., Colloquium “was unique and really changed my perspective on the possibilities for applying public policy knowledge,” says Vieira. She also found new perspective and appreciation for regional and local issues during her time with NHFPI and in meeting with government administrators in Concord.
On a personal note, Vieira sees this award as “a way to recognize all the sacrifices my parents, Karen and Luís, and my husband, Cristiano, have made to enable me to fulfill my dream to be here,” says Vieira. “I was looking for a program that would allow me to improve my quantitative skills, that was professionally driven and would deepen my knowledge of economic and environmental policy. I was fortunate to find all this — and many more opportunities I never really considered — at UNH.”
As she completes her degree, Vieira advises students to take advantage of the numerous opportunities that UNH and the Carsey School provide.
“The Carsey School extends students a very welcoming environment in which professors and staff truly care about them, their interests and their development,” says Vieira. “Don’t underestimate what UNH offers you, because it constantly amazes me what students can do here.”
Moving forward, Vieira hopes to conduct policy research at the local and regional level both in the United States and Brazil.