Students & Alumni


Students in the WSSS program bring a wide variety of interests and backgrounds to the program. Read profiles of some past and present WSSS students to see different perspectives on the WSSS experience.



Allie Platt

Allie Platt, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning '16


"I always felt that water is the next gold, the most precious resource, and the one that we are most seriously depleting and polluting. I wanted to learn more about the solutions to prevent that, especially coming from California. I wanted to better understand both the problems and solutions given the stress associated with the drought and high demand for water there, given California is Americaís largest food producer."


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Meagan Erhart

Meagan Erhart, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, School of Medicine, '16


"As soon as I went to the first meeting I knew I was going to participate in WSSS - it seemed like the perfect way to combine and apply my interests in global and environmental health and sustainable agriculture."


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WSSS Student Joanna Brown

Joanna Brown, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy '16


"WSSS was one of the reasons I applied to Tufts. Major humanitarian issues like water security seem so intractable from any single perspective, which is why it's so important to bring the disciplines together to communicate and collaborate."


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WSSS Student Kyle Monahan

Kyle Monahan, Civil and Environmental Engineering '17


"Iím interested in working on sustainable water treatment and disinfection at the intersection of practical engineering concerns and novel chemical removal techniques, with understanding of the social factors which influence the feasible techniques."


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WSSS Student Thomas Pols

Thomas Pols, Fletcher '15


"Working [in humanitarian aid] also involves addressing the broader public health situation in which water is a key factor. For this you donít only need medical knowledge, but also knowledge and understanding of the water systems and the ways in which water is used by a society. In the WSSS program I get this knowledge, making me more capable to help design smart and feasible solutions to the health problems in humanitarian disasters."


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WSSS Alumnus Derek Etkin

Derek Etkin, Civil and Environmental Engineering '08


"I was impressed by the personal relationships I developed with people in a wide variety of disciplines. Their insights – in conversations in the hallway, after classes, in the library – really served me well. They were able to give me perspective on what might have become a very focused, discipline-specific research project I was working on. Some of those conversations led me down interesting, interdisciplinary paths in my own graduate research. "


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WSSS Alumna Jyotsna Jagai

Jyotsna Jagai, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy '09


"The conceptualization of the whole program was exciting to me. Iím an engineer by training Ė my undergrad was in engineering Ė so even though I ended up in Public Health, Iíve always looked at the world as one big system. This program is really systematic, too, in how it sees the world as interconnected via this issue of water. All issues are interconnected, from poverty to food systems to health care to infrastructure. It really suited my nature."


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WSSS Alumnus Jonathan Lautze

Jonathan Lautze, Fletcher '05, Civil and Environmental Engineering '08


"In WSSS most people get a broad perspective on water resource issues, so when you get out into the water field you can draw on that background – skills as well as knowledge. For example, classes like GIS or systems engineering gave me practical skills; classes like hydrology or integrated water resource management gave me exposure to a lot of issues. At Tufts I picked up a broad range of knowledge about water – with a focus on specific areas – and also the ability to publish and write analytically, and convey messages clearly and concisely."


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WSSS Alumna Regina Lyons

Regina Lyons, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning '09


"With WSSS, suddenly youíre not with people Ė you have conversations with engineers, public health or nutrition students, or students from the Fletcher school. When youíre sitting in class thereís a little more back-and-forth. People are coming from different areas, which broadens the discussion. I think itís going to be different every year because of the mix of students and levels of involvement from the participating schools Ė that changes the dynamics."


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WSSS Alumnus Armando Milou

Armando Milou, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning '08


"What I really liked about WSSS was that it brought together people from different disciplines. When you’re in UEP, you’re with the people in UEP, and when you’re in engineering, you’re with the people in engineering. Same with nutrition or medicine or history or Fletcher. I got to know a lot of other graduate students from all over Tufts who I wouldn’t have otherwise; I’m still in touch with all of them. My experience at Tufts would have been very different had I not gotten the WSSS certificate."


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WSSS Student Patrick Ray

Patrick Ray, Civil and Environmental Engineering '09


"In engineering education, it's often about being technically excellent... but you can't learn everything, and there's real value in other things. I took classes in Public Health; I took classes in the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and in Economics... I believe pretty strongly that what I learned from economics, public health, statistics and policy classes that took while at Tufts is at least as relevant to what I'm doing now in the Middle East – water systems planning and management – then further education in traditional Civil Engineering curriculum would be."


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WSSS Alumna Katie Resnick

Katie Resnick, Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning '09


"During the seminars I was really impressed by the caliber and type of research that was being done by the students. WSSS brought all of the different disciplines together; it was really great to be able to meet and work with some of the people in the nutrition school and in engineering and to see their research – it's very different from what we're doing at UEP."


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