The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Susan Eaton

Susan Eaton

Dr. Susan Eaton is Director of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at the Heller School. At the Sillerman Center, Susan and her colleagues engage funders and their advisors, socially concerned scholars and non-profit practitioners to increase and enhance grantmaking to social justice causes. Susan is also Professor of the Practice at the Heller School and an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Susan is an author, most recently, of Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at Its Best (The New Press, 2016), about myriad efforts that welcome and incorporate immigrants into their new communities across the United States. She also is the author of the critically acclaimed, The Children In Room E4: American Education on Trial (Algonquin, 2007), which chronicles a landmark civil rights case and life in a classroom and neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut and The Other Boston Busing Story: What's Won and Lost Across the Boundary Line (Yale, 2001), a qualitative interview study of the adult lives of African Americans who had participated in a voluntary school desegregation effort in suburban Boston. She is co-author, with Gary Orfield, of Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. (New Press, 1996).

Prior to her appointment at Heller in 2015, Susan was research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, Susan also founded and co-directed the storytelling project One Nation Indivisible, which amplifies the voices and work of people creating and sustaining racially, culturally and linguistically integrated schools and other social institutions. She has also been a frequent advisor, consultant and writer for national and regional foundations in the United States. For the first decade of her career, Susan was a newspaper reporter for dailies in Massachusetts and Connecticut where she covered public schools, city government and housing. 

Her writing has appeared in numerous scholarly and popular publications including the New York Times, the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine, the Nation, Education Week, Education Next, Virginia Quarterly Review, Harvard Law & Policy Review, Race Poverty & The Environment and many others. 

Susan holds a doctorate in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Sheryl Seller

Sheryl Seller '11, MA'13
Assistant Director

Sheryl Seller is Sillerman’s Assistant Director, with responsibilities including coordination of the Generous U prize, management of Sillerman Center Fellowships, and coordination of Sillerman events and communications. She also sits on the Steering Committee of the Social Justice Funders Network, where she collaborates with other social justice funders to execute informative events and learnings particularly around racial justice funding. She has a strong background in marketing and communications, and is passionate about leveraging those skills to increase social justice philanthropy. Sheryl also holds a TEFL certificate, has worked as an adult ESOL instructor, and has been nationally recognized for her commitment to volunteerism. She holds an MA in Global Studies with a concentration in Immigration Patterns and Policy, and a BA in Global Studies and Hispanic Studies, both from Brandeis University.


Stacey King
Department Coordinator

Stacey King is Sillerman's Department Coordinator. Her responsibilities include supporting program staff with scheduling, processing reimbursements, and providing administrative support.  Stacey also assists with communications and strategies to promote social justice philanthropy.  In addition, she manages the administrative needs of the department including, but not limited to dissemination of publications to strengthen grant making for social justice causes as well updating and maintaining the department's website and social media. Stacey holds an MS in Criminal Justice from Boston University and a BA in in both Political Science and Sociology from Merrimack College.

Anja ParishAnja Parish
Graduate Research Assistant

Anja Parish is a graduate student at the Heller School for Management and Social Policy, Brandeis University, and will be graduating in May 2018 with a Joint MPP in Social Policy and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. A former immigration officer with USCIS, Anja's research focuses on gender-based violence and humanitarian immigration policy.

Amber AbernathyAmber Abernathy
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Amber Abernathy is a sophomore at Brandeis double majoring in International & Global Studies and African and Afro-American Studies with a French and Francophone minor. Amber previously interned with The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta as their 2015 Summer Fellow. She also worked with Girl Talk Inc., which is an Atlanta based non-profit organization that helps high school girls mentor middle school girls. Amber will be studying abroad during the 2016-2017 academic year in both France and Cameroon where she will research the relationship between the colonized and colonizer along with international philanthropy.


Shikha Chandarana
Research Assistant

Shikha Chandarana is a senior majoring in Health: Science, Society and Policy and minoring in Peace and Conflict Studies. She is interested in health policy, ethical volunteering and philanthropy. She has previously worked with healthcare non profits in Mumbai, Sydney and Boston and is currently working with Boston Children's Hospital on a healthcare access project. She is also conducting a senior research project on compliance in healthcare non-profits and ethical voluntourism on college campuses. 

Jade Eckels

Jade Eckels
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Jade Eckels is a junior double majoring in English and African and Afro-American Studies with a minor in History. On campus, she is a 2016 Eli J. Segal Fellow, Community Advisor, Outreach Coordinator for the Women of Color Alliance, Coordinator for Brandeis Bridges, Steering Committee Member for the Brandeis Pluralism Alliance, and a tutor for the English Language Learning Initiative. She ultimately hopes to be a change agent in the education policy realm. 

Victoria St. Jean

Victoria St. Jean
Undergraduate Research Assistant

Victoria St. Jean is a sophomore at Brandeis double majoring in Politics and Business with a minor in Legal Studies. She is interested in immigration law and policy. Previously, Victoria has worked as the Communications and Outreach Intern for the ACLU of New Hampshire and as a mentor for Debate Mate USA, which is an organization focused on teaching middle school students the skills and confidence of speech and debate. On campus, she is the Issues Coordinator for Brandeis Amnesty International and a member of Pre-Law Society, Brandeis Debate, and Brandeis Pro-Choice.

Derek Lowry

Derek Lowry, MPP'16

Derek Lowry completed an MPP at the Heller School in May 2016 with a concentration in poverty alleviation. His research interests tend to focus on issues surrounding educational equity and the economic outcomes associated with proper access and quality. Before coming to Heller, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Alba Iulia, Romania, and volunteered extensively in Eastern Europe. During this time, he participated in many community building projects and taught English as a foreign language. He also has several years of experience as a teacher, in both the public and private sector, primarily working with students in the Southeast. Once his interest piqued in social justice, he created a nonprofit organization called Men’s Reentry Initiative that worked out of several prisons and jails in South Carolina in an effort to reduce recidivism rates and connect returning citizens with useful resources for success after incarceration. Recently, he’s finished a fellowship in Washington, D.C., where he did policy-related work for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education within the US Department of Education. Derek is currently a Policy Analyst at the Council of State Governments Justice Center in New York.

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