From Undergraduate Research to Graduate Acceptance

Headshot of Abby Maxwell

Abby Maxwell, RWU Class of 2020

Majors:  Psychology + International Relations

Graduating with a double major in psychology and international relations, Abby Maxwell ’20 was excited to be accepted to American University’s Masters of Public Policy Program in Washington, D.C. 

“I’m very excited to be able to go to D.C. You work a job or an internship and then you have classes at nighttime, so it’s a really exciting opportunity to be able to work and learn at the same time in a place where it all happens,” said Maxwell. 

Maxwell says that RWU’s smaller size and project-based approach to education helped her get into the graduate program of her choice.

"I got to do a lot of hands-on projects really early on,” said Maxwell. “I’ve been doing psychology research since the beginning of my sophomore year. Because it’s a smaller school, you have the opportunity to be able to take a class with a professor and have them ask you to participate in their research.” 

Since her sophomore year, Maxwell worked closely with her professor on their research. 

“It was really good to have a faculty member who trusted me to make decisions about her research. I was able to have a hand in how decisions are made and actually collecting the data,” she said. 

Now, Maxwell is concentrating in advanced public policy analysis at American University, designing programs and creating policies for various public sectors to use. 

“It was so helpful to really get a look at how community is actually run from my time at RWU,” she said.  “That project-based mentality showed me how important well researched and well implemented policy is to actually helping communities.”