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Fellow_PublicPolicy_Headshot _Collins, Alison 01

Alison Collins

Fellow_PublicPolicy_Headshot _Collins, Alison 01

Alison Collins


Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston


Rappaport Public Policy Fellow



Rappaport Public Policy Fellows spend 10 weeks each summer serving within the highest levels of state and municipal governments in the Greater Boston Area. The program includes students from graduate and professional programs at local universities.

Graduate School
Brandeis University

Undergraduate School
Dickinson College

Massachusetts Department of Transitional Services

Amy Kershaw, Associate Commissioner for Programs

Stephen Chan, The Boston Foundation and Rappaport Institute Advisory Board Member

Description of Fellowship
During her fellowship at the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), Alison helped the agency assess challenges and opportunities to improve the effectiveness of the delivery of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) services state-wide. Specifically, Alison conducted research and compiled in-depth analyses of other states’ TANF diversion programs and sanction policies to identify best practices for application in Massachusetts. Her research will assist DTA in designing and piloting new workforce development initiatives, providing critical support to DTA’s strategic planning efforts. To further support these efforts, Alison proposed strategies to improve engagement with DTA clients, support DTA staff, and increase DTA’s overall effectiveness at promoting work. Alison presented her findings and recommendations to multiple audiences within the agency, and expects that DTA will be able to take action on many of them in the near future.