The Heller School for Social Policy and Management

Student Working Groups

2019-2020 Heller Student Working Groups

#1619 Project

Contact Kaleigh Mency,, and Cheyenne Evans,

The #1619 Project from The New York Times re-examines the history and legacy of slavery in the United States and its impacts on the country today. This working group creates space for students to dissect and reflect on the articles together and analyze how the issues talked about in the Project manifest in our everyday lives and what we can do to solve them. If you want to learn about the United States’ history, the true history, then this working group is perfect for you!

4th Annual Hult Prize Challenge

Contact Max Brodsky,

The Hult Prize is a worldwide student social enterprise competition for those interested in changing the world. Participants will present an idea for a social impact venture to a panel of judges at Brandeis with an accelerated track to the regional competition in Boston. See a video from last year’s competition. Register here.  

7th Annual Heller Startup Challenge, October 18-20, 2019

Contact Elizabeth Nguyen,, or Joel Pugh,  

The startup challenge is a 3-day event for students to innovate, collaborate, develop, and pitch their startup social enterprise ideas. Teams of participants will present an idea for a social impact venture to a panel of esteemed judges at Brandeis. The winning team receives prize money! Register here.  

Asian Baptist Student Koinonia (ABSK)

Contact Ziqi Zhang,

Grad Asian Baptist Student Koinonia (ABSK) is a student group dedicated to the pursuit of Jesus Christ in our everyday lives as graduate students! We conduct weekly Bible studies on campus to help graduate students understand about the meaning of life from God’s perspective. 

Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA)

Contact Adrianna Shy,

The Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA) at Brandeis is an interdisciplinary graduate student organization designed for Black graduate students to know and support each other both on- and off-campus. Membership is open to any graduate student at Brandeis. BGSA aims to meet the professional, academic, and social needs of Black graduate students through the following three avenues: (1) by providing professional networking opportunities and scholarly activities on- and off-campus; (2) by providing social opportunities for members to relax and relate through recreational entertainment (Black Joy), and (3) by connecting with the Black undergraduate community to foster a pipeline to graduate school through mentorship and social activities.

Brandeis University Africa Forum

Contact Professor Joseph Assan,

The Brandeis University Africa Forum is a working group of African students and other members of Heller who are interested in African history and culture. Some of its activities include 1) organizing various panels with a focus on African socioeconomic and political context; 2) coordinating cultural events that reflect African and African descent culture and history; 3) creating a network with other African Student Associations in the U.S. 

Brandeis Graduate Christian Fellowship

Contact Danielle Chun,

We are a multi-ethnic community, gathering for food, friendship, and conversation about life and the intersection of faith and profession. We meet weekly from 5-6 pm on Thursdays in the Harlan Chapel to study different passages of the Bible together and talk about integrating faith in our work and learning. We welcome everyone and would love to get to know you!

Brandeis Queer Graduate Student Union

Contact Margo Worman,

Brandeis Queer Graduate Student Union is a student organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual graduate students. The group builds community among LGBTQ+ graduate students at all three graduate schools (Heller, IBS, GSAS). In addition to monthly meetings, BQGSU organizes social events including potlucks, board game nights, and happy hours.

Critical Discussions Working Group

Contact Jeffri Navarro,

Description not available.

DisABILITY Working Group

Contact Mel Ptacek,

The Heller DisABILITY Working Group meets regularly to discuss issues facing Heller students with disabilities, both visible and invisible. We participate in a wide range of Heller School and Brandeis-wide events and we bring important issues and concerns to the attention of the Heller and wider communities. Most fundamentally, we work for positive change. 

Environmental Justice Working Group

Contact Omar Saho,, and Joel Pugh,

The Environmental Justice Working Group brings students together to raise awareness around local and global environmental issues and to promote environmental justice and sustainable practices on- and off-campus. 

Gender Working Group

Contact Professor Cristina Espinosa,

The GWG approaches development from a gender perspective by making space in the development dialogue for discourse surrounding gender inequality, gender identity, and sexuality. Our goal is to be as inclusive and intersectional as possible, and to foster important and meaningful discussions through speakers, movie screenings, discussion groups, and campaigns. 

Global Goals Working Group (GGWG)

Contact Omotoyosi Oyebanji,

The Global Goals Working Group exists to promote and create awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals on campus, taking action through creative activities. We share knowledge as global goals ambassadors in the Heller Community and Brandeis as a whole. We have organized events such as International Women’s Day 2019 and movie screenings in the past. We hope new students can join us this fall.

Net Impact – Heller Chapter

Contact Elizabeth Nguyen,, and Francis Hwang,

Net Impact is an international network of professional and student networks focused on using business for environmental sustainability and social impact through topics such as corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship. It serves as one of the largest MBA organizations in the world. Net Impact Heller partners with the IBS and Boston Net Impact chapters to host a variety of professional and networking events such as the Impact Summit in Boston and the Triple Bottom Line speaker series. 

Steps to creating a working group 

  1. Check the list of current working groups to determine if you can work with an existing group. A streamlined list of working groups means events are less likely to overlap with each other!
  2. Draft a short introduction to the objectives, goals and proposed activities of the working group. 
  3. Meet with the Associate Director of Academic Affairs, Marc Kiredjian (, to discuss your idea(s).

Contact Information

Maria Madison, Associate Dean for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity

Office: Heller-Schneider 119

Phone: 781-736-3886