January 2023 Alumni Spotlight
In January’s alumni spotlight, we connect with Master of International Affairs alumna Anastacia Pal and discuss COVID-related legislation review, liaising with FEMA in her role as Regional Preparedness Liaison at Teracore Inc., and more.
You mentioned on LinkedIn that you’ve reviewed and analyzed more than 100 city, state, and national pieces of policy and legislation. Are there any in particular that stand out?
I think the changes I saw during COVID were interesting. Until you saw the changes in person, it didn’t really click that your world could change that quickly. The regulated processes that you never give much thought to had a huge impact on the city. For example, sanitation and trash disposal were prioritized differently.
In 2021 you began a new job at Teracore, Inc. as Regional Preparedness Liaison. Can you tell us about the region you’re responsible for, how you liaise with FEMA, and what challenges you’ve encountered thus far in this role?
I am a contractor working with the FEMA region 2 national preparedness division. I work in preparedness programming to empower individuals and communities to prepare themselves for really any emergency that can come their way. I have been able to create partnerships with different organizations that led to pretty great events. We held a Girl Scout’s Day at our WTC office where we held a panel of women in public services to talk careers and their journeys. As well as a series of preparedness workshops from first aid to working with service dogs and discussing pet preparedness.
What is your earliest memory of civic engagement? Did it help to shape how you approach it today?
I think my earliest memory of civic engagement was doing community service projects as part of a club in middle school. We had a core advisory group and decided on causes and projects each semester and it all felt so ‘grown up’ and I liked feeling like I could make change. I think it helped me see that I could do it and my small but might my team of 6th graders could make a small difference but now I get to help people do the same.
What impact did the Marxe School have on your job prospects upon graduation?
The first thing I did when I started classes was visit career services. I was so excited about all the possibilities and I didn’t want to miss out on anything and I asked about what others had done and fellowships. I think I emailed [career services director] Suzanne so many times and had chats with [then-career services assistant director] Marny before interviews just to be in the loop and it made all the difference. I was offered the opportunity to apply for the John D. Solomon fellowship because of one of those emails. I had an interest in security studies and took a chance on an emergency management fellowship. I didn’t realize it would become what I would move toward as a career. I was placed with the NYCEM gov. relations team and learned so much so quickly and then got to continue as a contractor and now as a contractor with FEMA.