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Janet Andrade
ARNOVA Graduate Diversity Scholars Scholarship Recipient

What program are you currently enrolled in and why did you choose to attend Rockefeller College?

Janet: I am currently in the Master of Public Administration program, concentrating on nonprofit management. I initially chose to attend Rockefeller College because I was at a point in my career in which I felt I was no longer learning about my field. Going back to school after 14 years was daunting, so the fact that I could start by obtaining a certificate in nonprofit management and leadership was appealing. The five-course program seemed like a good way to start my graduate education while also balancing my career and family life. The fact that such a top-notch program is right here in Albany was a bonus!

How have your Rockefeller classes and experiences outside of the classroom impacted your academic and career goals?

Janet: When I started the program, I lacked confidence in my own knowledge about the nonprofit sector. But as I learned about theories and research in the field, I realized I could trust my own experiences and draw upon them to explore concepts being presented in class. Personally, I enjoy when professors challenge us to tie classroom materials to what we see and experience in our daily lives. It was these types of events that impacted my decision to continue beyond the certificate program and enroll in the MPA program. My academic time here at Rockefeller is the first time I've truly enjoyed learning, so much so that a part of me is considering continuing on for a PhD.

What accomplishment are you most proud of during your time at Rockefeller thus far?

Janet: For me, there's not one particular class or paper or moment I can point to as my proudest accomplishment. Rather, I'm proud of myself for taking the risk to start this journey. As a mom to three young children, I knew I wanted more for myself and by extension them. From taking a course through the School of Social Welfare, navigating the world of online learning, to serving as a teaching assistant, I've used my time here to challenge myself to try new things.

Tell us about your experience at the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) Conference in Austin, Texas?

Janet: The ARNOVA conference was an amazing experience! Everyone was so kind and welcoming. It was an honor to be invited by ARNOVA to join the Graduate Diversity Scholars and Leaders Professional Development Workshop. There were so many interesting sessions, led by the very experts whose work we read in our classes, that it was nearly impossible to select which sessions to attend. Additionally, it was exciting to see Rockefeller professors and PhD students present their own work in front of their academic peers.

What are your post-graduation plans?

Janet: I've worked in nonprofit fundraising my entire career and I don't see that changing after graduation. However, because of this program I've gained the skills and confidence needed to aim my sights on one day serving as executive director of a not-for-profit.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2019 Rockefeller College News Magazine.