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William K. Reilly Scholar: Maria Manuella Athayde

Maria Manuella Athayde, left, and William K. Reilly, right.

Maria Manuella Athayde is a first year MPA student with a concentration in Environmental Sustainability and Methods, and one of the two 2016 William K. Reily Scholars. For her undergraduate education, she attended Mount Holyoke College and received her B.A. in International Relations. For the summer of 2016, Maria has worked as an a Permits and Policy Intern for the Montgomery County Government’s Department of Environmental Protection.

“My internship experience at Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection provided me with an opportunity to supplement my coursework from American University in a practical setting. Throughout the internship I was responsible for three main projects that strengthened my skills as a researcher. Moreover, I was able to observe the day to day of how policy is made and implemented at the county level. The main learning objective of my internship was to understand how the policy process works at a county level. Additionally, I wanted to learn and describe the institutional context of environmental protection in Montgomery County and what procedures hinder or sustain reform. I spent the majority of my time developing a water quality protection charge matrix for different counties in Maryland. In this matrix, I researched the status of 10 different criteria and the policy mechanisms different counties are using to achieve them.” - Maria Athayde