Admissions and Financial Aid

Contact Us

Office of Admissions
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Brandeis University
415 South Street (MS 035)
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
Phone: 781-736-3820

Admissions Staff

Lynn Davis

Assistant Dean of Admissions

 • 781-736-2780

Contact me about: Financial Aid questions

Ellen Driscoll

Admissions Counselor

Contact me about: MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence admissions; MS in Global Health Policy and Management admissions

About me: Throughout my professional career, I have worked in college and university admissions at undergraduate, graduate and professional schools. As an undergraduate, I coordinated campus visits for prospective students and families. After receiving my bachelor's degree, I began my career involving all aspects of the admission process. One of the most rewarding opportunities has been meeting prospective students in their hometowns in North and South America, Europe, and Asia and welcoming each to campus. I’m looking forward to welcoming you to my hometown, Boston. It’s a compact city with lots of wonderful neighborhoods, each with its own distinct qualities, characteristics and food. Boston is often referred to as a ‘walking city’ where you experience the city from the original streets in Charlestown and the Boston Waterfront to our newest neighborhood, the Seaport/Fort Point Channel; and it’s only a short 30 minute train ride from Brandeis to North Station.

Favorite place in Boston/Waltham: On a sunny day,  I enjoy walks along Boston Harbor from South Boston, to the Waterfront and to Charlestown. And don’t miss our newest park, the Greenway, which rests atop our tunnel through downtown Boston and connects the North End neighborhood to Quincy Market and the Financial District.

Hannah Locke, Associate Director, Admissions

Hannah Locke

Senior Associate Director of Admissions


Contact me about: MA in Sustainable International Development admissions; PhD in Social Policy; Coverdell Fellows program

About me: I've been on the Heller Admissions team since August 2017.  I have a BA in English Literature, Creative Writing, and Art History and a TEFL certificate for Teaching English as a Foreign Language; I'm also currently pursuing an MS in User-Centered Design at the Brandeis Rabb School of Continuing Studies. Before joining Heller, I held a number of roles within International Education and also lived abroad as an English Teacher in the Czech Republic and Italy. I've lived in Boston since 2013 and really enjoy the New England lifestyle. In my free time, I like going on walks with my husband and Mini Aussie, Beacon, in various parks and green spaces around the city and checking out the newest restaurants and cocktail bars.
Favorite place in Boston/Waltham: I recommend checking out the various New England islands in warmer weather - Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, MA; Block Island, RI; Deer Isle and North Haven, ME. In winter, try skiing in New Hampshire or cozy up at the Isabella Gardner Museum, Boston Public Library, or the Boston Athenaeum.
Jill Maley, Assistant Director of Admissions

Jill Maley

Associate Director of Admissions

 • 781-736-2647

Contact me about: Master of Public Policy admissions

About me:Education has always been at the center of my career. Prior to joining Heller Admissions in 2019 I worked in several different educational environments and with many different age groups--in fact my work has now spanned from preschool all the way to higher ed! I'm a first-generation college student and a graduate of the Heller School's Conflict Resolution and Coexistence program. One of my favorite things about working in Admissions is that I get to connect with prospective students as they explore what path their learning will take next. In my free time I enjoy teaching and taking dance classes, reading domestic thriller novels, and telling my cats how cute they are. 

Favorite place in Boston/Waltham: The Courtyard Tea Room at the Boston Public Library is a really fun experience, especially if you leave time to wander around the library afterwards.

Graduate Assistants

Serina Herron-Smith, MA in Sustainable International Development'25

About me: I was born and raised in Boston, and even though I considered going out of the state, I ended up attending UMass Boston and received my undergraduate degree in Women's and Gender Studies and Sociology. Working at a center on campus that focused on social and demographic research on aging, sparked my interest in research. After graduating, I spent five years as a member of the research team at the healthcare non-profit ICER (The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review). While evaluating the clinical and cost effectiveness of drugs seeking FDA approval, and communicating with various stakeholders on their experience with the treatments, I developed a passion and interest in healthcare access, social justice, and poverty. I knew that in order to contribute to the great work many organizations around the world are already doing to end poverty and create programs and policies grounded in equity, I had to go back to school. In my free time I love visiting museums and trying chai lattes at any coffee shop I pass by! 

Favorite place in Boston/Waltham: I recommend visiting the Institute for Contemporary Art in Seaport, and then having dinner at the Ruka Resto Bar (the sushi and drinks are some of the best around!)

Danielle Lund, MA in Sustainable International Development/MA in Conflict Resolution and Coexistence'24

About me: Born and raised in Longwood, FL, I have lived in the same home my entire life. I went to Stetson University in DeLand, FL, where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. I was always interested in politics, but my degree helped me realize how much more there was to learn about the field, and how deeply I wanted to know. I made the decision to leave the only place I had ever called home to attend The Heller School, so I could learn among people from all over the world, whose experiences are directly applicable to the material I study. By attending school here, I am constantly learning from not only my professors, but my peers. Heller is problem-focused and solution-oriented; With my interest being peacebuilding in the MENA region, I knew I could apply this type of approach to my studies. In my free time, you can find me indoor cycling, reading a book by my favorite author (Brené Brown), or searching for unique finds at a thrift store.

Favorite place in Boston/Waltham: The Cambridge Public Library is not only a beautiful study spot, but a great place to attend author meet-and-greets and join book clubs. Fun fact: if you sign up for a library card, you can gain free, or discounted, admission to museums around the city!

Calah McQuarters

Calah McQuarters, Social Impact MBA/Master of Public Policy'24

About me: I was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I graduated from Howard University in 2021 with two bachelor's degrees in Political Science and Afro American Studies. Prior to attending Heller, I helped open Greenwood Rising: Black Wall Street History Center, a new museum dedicated to uncovering the history of the Greenwood District and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. I also served in the consulting space, leading a team to create innovative solutions that addressed barriers hindering civic engagement for immigrants and refugees in the city of Tulsa. As an Afro-Latina, I am especially passionate about providing access and opportunities to underserved black and brown communities. During my time as an admissions GA I am excited to meet individuals from around the world and help them see their place at Heller. In my spare time, I enjoy singing, cooking, and watching true crime documentaries (so if you have any recommendations, send them my way!)

Favorite place in Boston/Waltham: If you’re looking for good food, great drinks, and fun music, Top Mix Bar & Kitchen is the place to go!

Brielle Ruscitti

Brielle Ruscitti, MS in Global Health Policy and Management/MA in Sustainable International Development'24

About me: I grew up in Massachusetts, an hour north of Brandeis, but spent my summers and my college years living in Arizona. I attended Arizona State University and graduated with my bachelor’s in Biology and Society. While I loved the desert landscape, I couldn’t quite handle the heat. I was ready to come back to the northeast to pursue graduate education and stumbled upon Heller. I loved that the Heller school allowed me to pursue two of my passions at the same time and in conjunction with each other. I hope to connect more students with this opportunity through an admissions role. In my free time, I love to be outside, hiking, running or reading a new novel.

Favorite place in Boston/Waltham: I love the Boston area, but my favorite place is the Boston Public Garden, it's an amazing public space to be outside in any season— but beware, the squirrels are very friendly.

Hannah Watson, Master of Public Policy'24

About me: Although I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY, I grew up in Pennsylvania, where I studied biology for four years. Eventually, I graduated with a Bachelor's in Sociology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to Heller, I was an HR assistant at Brunswick Group LLC in New York, NY, where I handled employee relations, training, and onboarding. As a student researcher and student leader at Frederick Douglass Institute and Multicultural Student Leadership and Engagement at IUP, I worked on projects regarding social justice incentives and developed a passion for advocacy and policy. Heller allowed me to explore my passions further; I was excited to learn and work with leading professors in social policy, as well as meeting new people and colleagues from around the world who are as passionate about creating and developing a better society for humankind as I am.

Favorite place in Waltham/Boston: If you enjoy museums, check out the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA),  the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum!