Summer Intern Profile: Jackie Stein

Jackie Stein

We're in our final weeks of our Summer Intern Profiles. The stellar efforts of talented student interns throughout the year allows NPP to expand and deepen what we do across all aspects of our work. This week's Summer Intern Profile is Jackie Stein, who has been working with NPP for more than a year now on our Faces of the Federal Budget project.

By Jackie Stein

I came to graduate school at UMass Amherst a few years ago spurred by an interest in the causes and consequences of economic inequality in the U.S.  My previous studies in public health helped me see the ways that social inequalities of wealth, race, and gender are tied to major health outcomes like shorter life spans and higher risk of heart attacks. At UMass, I’ve focused my studies on those inequalities.

Working at NPP has been a particularly good fit for me and my research interests.  As it turns out, the distribution of wealth and income in the US has a lot to do with federal budget policies (through tax policy, regulations, and programmatic spending).  Even better, the work I do at NPP has been great practice for the work I’ll do for my dissertation, where I’ll be trying to understand how Americans feel about economic inequality and how those feelings are related to policy.

For the past year at NPP, I’ve worked on a project called Faces of the Budget, interviewing people from around the country about ways they feel affected by federal tax and spending policy. These interviews have been a wonderful opportunity for me to hear a range of perspectives on federal budget issues, like education funding and tax policy, which have shaped my ideas for my own future research. They are also a great opportunity for me to learn to be a better interviewer, which will come in handy as I start my own research.

Working for NPP has not only helped me improve my interviewing skills, but has also boosted my knowledge of important federal budget issues that affect my life – and the lives of all of us in the US. I turn to NPP’s website and their book, The People’s Guide to the Federal Budget, to know how the federal budget affects me: how my income tax dollars were spent last year, what the federal budget battles mean for my state and my city, or how much it would cost to allocate tax dollars in a way that aligns with my priorities. In other words, working at NPP has not only made me a better scholar, but also a better citizen. Thanks, NPP!