Public policy advocacy encompasses a range of activities, in settings as varied as the streets of our local New Hampshire communities and the halls of the U.S. Congress. Fortunately for Sarah Nadeau ’19, a student in the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program at the Carsey School of Public Policy, she’s worked in both environments.
“I spent this past summer serving as a fellow for the Central New Hampshire Bike Coalition and advocating for the addition of more bike lanes and bike traffic signage across central New Hampshire,” Nadeau said. “I really enjoyed the chance to promote greater access to public infrastructure for bicycling as it’s a healthy, environmentally friendly method of getting around.”
Nadeau is used to traversing the streets (and snow paths) via muscle power. As a D-I athlete on the University of New Hampshire’s Nordic ski team, she spends part of the off-season training via roller skis on paved surfaces. The Hopkinton native is entering her last season of NCAA eligibility and has racked up an impressive list of achievements as a Wildcat, including being named to the 2019 National Collegiate All-Academic Ski Team.
This grassroots campaigning provided a nice juxtaposition to the work Nadeau did in the summer of 2017 as an intern in the Manchester, New Hamspire, office of Sen. Maggie Hassan, and in the summer of 2018, when she interned with the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.
“With Sen. Hassan’s team, I was able to explore policy analysis and get a glimpse into national politics,” she said. “With the Commerce Department’s SelectUSA program, I saw how policy can effect change and guide government strategy. Both were great opportunities for me to apply my undergraduate training and to explore where a career in public policy can take me.”
Nadeau, who graduated earlier this year from UNH with a bachelor’s degree in economics, credits a longtime passion for politics and policy advocacy as helping to steer her toward Carsey’s accelerated MPP program. That, and some inspiration from Reagan Baughman, associate professor of economics and public policy at UNH.
“We talked about how her own career in economics has overlapped with policy work and some of the research she’s been involved in,” Nadeau said. “And she showed me how a background in economics and public policy can easily work hand in hand.”
Now, the master’s degree student is considering a career in policy analysis and consulting, possibly even legislative work.
“The flexibility and adaptability of the Carsey School program has really allowed me to choose what I wanted to study,” Nadeau said. “Plus, added opportunities like the MPP Washington, D.C., colloquium trip give me the chance to learn how I can directly apply classroom training within a career."