Connect with a master’s student

Our student ambassadors are excited to meet you and answer your questions about the Ford School experience, so ask them anything you would like to know about being a Fordie. Please email fspp-admissions@umich.edu so that we may assist you in connecting with a current Fordie. When contacting our team, we ask that you provide information on the degree program you are interested in (Master of Public Policy or Master of Public Affairs) and your top policy interests so that we may best connect you with our students.

Justine D'Souza, MPP/MSW, dsouzaj@umich.edu 
Justine D’Souza is a dual degree student in the Ford School and the School of Social Work (MPP/MSW). She has most recently worked as a marketer, writer, and phone counselor in the fields of international education and social services. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in French, with minors in Organizational Leadership, International Political Economy, and Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. In the pre-COVID era, Justine was a regular singer and actress in the Greater New York City performing arts community.

Scott Haeck, MPP/JD, haeck@umich.edu  
Scott is a 4th-Year JD/MPP focusing on civil and consumer rights law and social policy. He is a native Michigander, a first-generation college student (MSU accounting undergrad), an aspiring civil servant, and a father of four cats. In his spare time, he enjoys sci-fi and fantasy media.

Bryan Ricketts, MPP/MBA, rickettb@umich.edu
Bryan Ricketts is studying financial regulation via a dual MPP/MBA at the University of Michigan. He works as a research assistant for the Center on Finance, Law & Policy on topics including Dodd-Frank, central bank evolution, and climate change. During the past two summers, he interned with the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Previously, he wrangled data for the executive branch of Illinois State Government, including a fellowship in the Governor’s Office. Bryan completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Notre Dame where he also served as Student Body President.

Yasin Shafi, MPP, yasins@umich.edu  
F H Yasin Shafi comes from Bangladesh where he was born and raised. He completed his studies from University of Dhaka. He started his career as a researcher in a research organization where he took part in impact evaluation studies and research projects commissioned by development organizations. Before coming to Ford, he was working as a Lecturer of Development Studies in a public university where he taught courses related to fundamental concepts of Sociology, Development Project Management, Political Economy, and Public Policy Process. His academic interest is in Policy, Politics and Institution. He has co-authored and co-edited a book on competitive debating which he is passionate about. He also enjoys organizing events and competitions.

Yoni Siden, MPP/MD, jsiden@umich.edu
Yoni is a former social worker and a current MD/MPP candidate applying into ob/gyn for residency. His policy interests are in social policy with a focus on their intersection with maternal health disparities. His coursework at Ford explored a broad range of topics including economics, social insurance, poverty, and organizational theories. He especially appreciated the program's strong quantitative methods and writing instruction, which has already translated into a diverse set of scholarly publications, hearing directly from policymakers and analysts at special events throughout the year, and the opportunity to build relationships with Ford's supportive faculty. When he isn't in class or rotating at the hospital, Yoni is probably reading, obsessing over his plant collection (over 60 species!), or swimming in the Huron.

Steve Yaros, MPA, syaros@umich.edu  
Stephen Yaros is the Senior Project Manager in the Office of the President at the University of Michigan. He executes the strategic initiatives of the office by overseeing presidential advisory committees, executive searches, honorary degree awards, and other key projects and initiatives as needed. Before coming to the university, Stephen served in the Obama Administration as the Deputy Director for White House Operations and Strategic Planning, where he managed a team running the day-to-day business operations of the White House complex. Stephen received his B.A. in Political Science and Economics from the University of Michigan and is currently pursuing an M.P.A. from UM. Stephen is originally from Dearborn, Michigan.