Our Students

Students in Washington, D.C. for the annual Employer Trek and Alumni Reception
SID students work on team building activities
Dean Weil (center) hosts "Coffee with the Dean" monthly throughout the semester
COEX students enjoy fun in the snow after Capstone presentations

What makes a Heller student a Heller student? A commitment to social justice and an earnest desire to create change throughout the world. When you come to Heller, your classmate could be a development professional from Egypt who’s been in the field for 20 years—or a recent grad from Texas who volunteered with AmeriCorps for two years after college. Learning in this diverse environment challenges every student to consider new points of view, and offers the unique opportunity to learn not only from our experienced faculty, but students who are nonprofit leaders, grassroots activists, policy analysts and more. 

Learn more about the types of students who enroll at Heller and get to know a few of our current students: 

Isaac Cudjoe, MA COEX’19

Co-founder, (Re)turn movement and documentary

“Heller’s a unique environment. I lit a match and it started a fire. I don’t think I could have found that anywhere else. Coalition-building of any sort starts with the individual and the people you surround yourself with, so I’m excited to see where this goes.”

Joanna Taylor, PhD student

Assets and inequalities concentration

“My whole professional background was working with youth who were fantastic people but who were really struggling in an academic setting for various reasons. We had a lot of kids who were in foster care, who’d been through the juvenile justice system or were in various forms of probation. I chose Heller because I was interested in an interdisciplinary approach. I wanted to think about the issues I was interested in in a broader context, and I've had that opportunity—to think about how education and discipline connect with health, mental health, housing, poverty and equity issues.” 

Gabriela Corbera, MA SID/MBA’18

“I chose Heller because of the mission statement. I was really compelled by the social justice focus of all the programs, but particularly sustainable development. I added the MBA degree because I was really moved by social entrepreneurship. As dual degree holders, we can be a bridge for other practitioners to consider the quality of design, management, operations and strategy.”

Lokesh Bhatt, MS’18

“I’ve worked with different populations in Nepal, different communities. I realized, if you don’t have proper policy, if you don’t have appropriate systems in place, working in any activity or any project is not enough. You have to work with policy. I wanted to learn how policy impacts the change in our communities.”