2016 Summer Scholar Program

   2016 PNPI Summer Scholar Program  

In the summer of 2016, the Postsecondary National Policy Institute (PNPI) was delighted to welcome Glen Casey and Irene Cruz for its inaugural Summer Scholar Program. PNPI’s Summer Scholar Program provides highly-motivated undergraduate and graduate students with demonstrated financial need an opportunity to learn federal higher education policy while receiving the financial supports needed to live and work in Washington, D.C.

See below to learn more about Glen and Irene and their summer in D.C.

2016 PNPI Summer Scholars

IMG_5056Glen Casey is now a senior at The University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Urban Studies with a concentration in Economics. Glen grew up in Philadelphia and graduated from University City High School, where he was involved in college access programming run by Penn’s Netter Center, through which he still teaches and mentors students in West Philadelphia. Currently, Glen is a research intern with Penn AHEAD (Alliance for Higher Education and Democracy) at the university’s Graduate School of Education where he assists with researching and organizing data on state financial aid programs. Glen is particularly interested in research that helps create college access and success for students from low-income families and racial/ethnic minorities.  He was the subject of a 2015 documentary “Glen’s Village,” a film released by The Philadelphia Notebook and 5th Borough Films. Glen has been accepted into Teach for America when he graduates in May 2017.

You can watch some of Glen’s reflections on his summer with PNPI with the following links: what he learned about federal policymaking and how his PNPI experience shaped his future plans.

“The highlight of the summer for me was meeting with top leaders in Washington…meeting with people in DC opened my eyes to the broad spectrum of career fields that I can pursue.”


IMG_5057Irene Cruz received a master’s degree in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University, with a concentration in higher education policy. Irene has extensive background in research methods, both quantitative and qualitative, and has volunteered her time with the Institute for Urban and Minority Education which provides college preparation workshops for Harlem high school students. Irene’s interests (and graduate studies) include exploring how to strengthen the four year college pathway for first-generation Latino high school students.  Prior to moving to the East Coast, Irene lived in the San Francisco Bay Area where she worked at a precollege outreach program located in University of California, Berkeley. Irene holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is currently working with Summer Search in the Bay Area.

You can watch some of Irene’s reflections on her summer with PNPI with the following links: the highlights of her summer with PNPI and how her PNPI experience shaped her future plans.

“Because of PNPI, I have a better understanding of the key stakeholders in higher education policy- which is broader and far more complex than what my graduate studies depicted.”               



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