"I would love to be the person someone calls to make themself and their environment eco-friendlier."
– Alexa Ruscitto, Class of 2020

What attracted you to Pace?

When I met with the director, Clinical Associate Professor Michelle Land, the program felt like a perfect fit for me. She truly makes the program the gem it is!

What has your experience as a student in the MA in Environmental Policy (MAEP) program been like?

I’m extremely passionate about the environment, and this program allowed me to take a step further and do something about it. Last summer, I was an advocacy fellow at the Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit organization, and currently, I am working for both the Town of Bedford Supervisor and VHB, an engineering firm.

At the Town of Bedford, I research what other municipalities are doing in terms of policies, to see whether or not Bedford can adopt the same policies, if beneficial to them. I also apply for grants, and recently received one for the installation of two zero emission vehicle charging stations from the New York State Department of Conservation. With the pandemic occurring, I have been helping the Town create an FAQ and resources page for residents about the Town’s response to the coronavirus.

At VHB, I have been working on downtown revitalization initiatives, profiles for mixed-used developments, analysis of impediments for villages, as well as design guidelines for comprehensive plans.

I'm learning a lot from both internship opportunities that will only benefit me in the future.

How is the study of environmental policy meaningful to you?

I want to open the eyes and ears of people who think climate change is fabricated, that recycling won’t make a difference, and plastic pollution doesn’t occur. I believe this program has provided me with the knowledge to be able to be the voice the environment and society needs.

What are your career goals?

I’m extremely passionate about so many things; however, one main goal of mine is addressing water pollution, specifically, plastic pollution found in waterways. This has become such a crucial and overlooked issue that is significantly impacting the marine ecosystem and the human population. [A second goal] is to implement more sustainable infrastructure. Some buildings are energy-hoarding monsters, and I would love to be the person someone calls to make themself and their environment eco-friendlier. Right now, I think the world is my oyster (without the plastic)!

What advice, if any, would you like to give to current students?

I think my advice would be to keep being the best version of yourself. During graduate school, I think it’s so easy to lose sight of your goals. You’re in your program to better yourself in every aspect, and it will only help you and your future. Keep pushing, have pride in everything you do, and promote positive thinking!

See Other Profiles
More Student Stories