Office of Alumni Relations

Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships

This year, the Heller Fellowship Fund is designated to support our ten annual diversity and inclusion scholarships. These full-tuition scholarships are for students who demonstrate commitment to the advancement of diversity and inclusion through their academic, professional, and/or personal lived experience. 

Your generous gift in support of Heller fellowships enables the most promising social policy leaders of today and tomorrow to access Heller’s prestigious degree programs, regardless of their background or financial circumstances. Fellowships are the primary tool to attract and retain the robust and diverse student body that is a signature strength of the Heller community.

Our top priority is making sure a Heller degree is accessible and affordable for our extraordinary students, especially in these economically uncertain times. Please contact Director of Development and Alumni Relations Kate Kaplan with any questions. 

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Current Recipients of the Heller Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship

Meet some of our current Diversity and Inclusion Scholars.

Kelly Akuffo

Kelly Akuffo, MS GHPM’22

Akuffo says the global health policy and management program at Heller appealed to her because it is policy focused and incorporates STEM courses in health economics and data analysis that will help hone her analytical skills.

“What I like about the classes is that the professors challenge us to become change-makers. The curriculum encourages innovative solutions to many issues in the health system, from improving performance to eliminating access barriers for consumers,” she says.

Neh Meh, MA SID/COEX'24

As a former refugee herself, Neh Meh understands the challenges many refugees face when trying to obtain an education in the U.S. Now she’s hoping to make that process more equitable for others.

“Right now, a lot of refugees in camps receive an education, but it’s not a standardized education or an education accepted by the host country, which limits their economic growth potential and job opportunities,” she said. “That’s something I’d like to try to change.”

Branden Miles, MPP’23

Inspired by the Atlantic Fellows and leading voices in the Black Lives Matter movement, Branden Miles decided to pursue a graduate education that would help him become more involved in closing the racial wealth gap.

“Heller is a unique space in that there is a richness of experience both in the faculty and staff but also amongst my cohort,” he says. “I think there’s a lot of varied experience that I can really learn from and that there’s a lot of different positions and different experiences that we have a lot of chances as students to investigate.”

Past Recipients of the Heller Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship

Zari Havercome ’16, MBA/MA SID’22

Zari Havercome ’16, MBA/MA SID’22

As an undergraduate at Brandeis, Havercome studied Health: Science, Society, and Policy and International and Global Studies. She then joined AmeriCorps (teaching third grade in Brooklyn), then continued to work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand. Her passion for service work motivated her to pursue joint degrees at Heller, where she hopes to tackle issues of affordability and access for programs like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.

Dahiana Loaiza ’14, MS GHPM/MA SID’21

Dahiana Loaiza ’14, MS GHPM/MA SID’21

The child of immigrants from Colombia, Loaiza was born and raised in East Boston. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to work with the Latinx community, on health disparities specifically,” she says. After completing her undergraduate degree at Brandeis, she completed a year of AmeriCorps service with City Year in her home community of East Boston. She hopes to build a career working on solutions to health disparities for Latinx communities in the U.S. and globally.

Joel Pugh, MBA'20

Joel Pugh, MBA’20

Community Development Specialist for St. Louis County

“I did two terms of AmeriCorps, and I absolutely loved it. It completely changed my life,” says Pugh, “but I didn’t see a career for myself as an educator.” He decided to pursue a Social Impact MBA at Heller to combine his interest in public service with his belief in the power of business for social good. Since graduating Heller, Pugh has become a Community Development Specialist for St. Louis County in Missouri. 

Isaac Cudjoe, MA COEX'19

Isaac Cudjoe, MA COEX’18

Founder, (Re)turn Movement

Cudjoe has launched (Re)Turn, an ambitious, multi-part project about the reintegration of diaspora throughout the world. Cudjoe, who immigrated to the U.S. from Ghana with his family at the age of three, says, “People in the diaspora need to unlearn stereotypes they’ve been taught about their countries, relearn the truth and make purposeful decisions to serve their communities.”