The Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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Past Fellows

2019 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Bishar Jenkins, MPP '20, will complete internships with AIDS United and Black, Gifted & Whole Foundation.

Bishar Jenkins

Lisa Knichols, MPP/MBA '19, will complete an internship with the Center for Effective Philanthropy.

Lisa Knichols

Yuqi Wang, MPP '20, will complete internships with Haymarket People's Fund and The Boston Foundation.

Yuqi Wang

2018 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Bria Price, MPP '19, completed an internship at the New England Foundation for the Arts.


Dominique Ramos, SID/MS Global Health Policy '19, completed an internship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. Reflection Paper.


John Haak, MPP/MBA'18, completed an internship with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation. Reflection Paper.

John H

Beth Smith, SID '19, will complete an internship with New England International Donors. Reflection Paper.


2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Sillerman Center Doctoral Fellow

Matt Brown

Matt Brookner, fourth-year PhD student, intended research focuses on philanthropic values education in the American Jewish community, and more generally how charitable behaviors and beliefs can be affected. Matt has professional experience at the Natan Fund, the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, and the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education. He has an MA in Jewish Professional Leadership and an MPP from Brandeis, during which time he was a Sillerman Center Intern.

2017 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Maryse Pearce

Maryse Pearce, MPP/MBA'17, completed an internship with Unbound Philanthropy. Reflection Paper

Sarah King

Sarah King, MPP'18, completed an internship with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. Reflection Paper.

Liora Norwich

Liora Norwich, MBA'17, completed an internship with Social Innovation Forum. Reflection Paper

2016 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Ariela Lovett

Ariela Lovett, MPP/MBA'17, completed an internship at the New York Women's Foundation. Reflection paper.

Adiba Nasser

Adiba Nasser, MA-SID'17, completed an internship at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. Reflection paper.

Oliver Supitux

Oliver Supitux, MPP'17, completed an internship at the The Boston Foundation. Reflection paper.

2015 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Abby Alexanian

Abby Alexanian, MPP/MBA'16, completed an internship at The Boston Foundation. Reflection Paper.

Erin Robinson

Erin Robinson, MPP'16, completed an internship at the Annie E. Casey Foundation Atlanta Civic Site. Reflection Paper.

Justine Zayhowski

Justine Zayhowski, MPP'15, completed an internship at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. Reflection Paper.

2014 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Sarah Mosca, MPP'15, completed a summer internship at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. Reflection Paper.

Marie Piayai, MA-SID'15, completed a summer internship at The Boston Foundation. Reflection Paper.

2013 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Marisa Daniel

Marisa Daniel, MPP/MBA'13, spent the fall of 2013 working on tracking grants, developing and creating a budget template for future use, and researching the current state and connection between criminal justice and education policy at the Schott Foundation. Marisa worked closely with the foundation's operations staff to evaluate and review current spending, mission, and future plan for the foundation.  Additionally, Marisa researched, compiled, and co-wrote an editorial piece re-allocating money from the prison system to the public schools. Read about her experience with AmeriCorps

Kristen Devoucoux

Kristen Devoucoux, MBA/MA'14, spent the fall of 2013 working at EdVestors with their grant-making team as well as assisting with strategic planning for the organization. During the semester, Kristen participated in the proposal review and analysis process for the Urban Education Investment Portfolio, assisted in preparations for grantee educational sessions, and engaged in strategic planning sessions with EdVestors staff. She will continue her internship during the Spring semester and have the opportunity to complete EdVestors' yearly grant cycle with the grant-making team.

Brian Ramsey

Brian Ramsey, MPP'14, spent the summer of 2013 at the Boston Foundation, a civic leader, donor partner, nonprofit funder and one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation. Response Paper

Nicole Rodriguez

Nicole Rodriguez, MPP'14, spent the summer of 2013 at GMA Foundations in Boston, MA working with foundation clients such as the Miller Foundation, Anna B. Stearns Charitable Foundation and Sociological Initiatives Foundations, providing proposal review and analysis, and retrospective impact assessments of grantmaking. Response Paper

Laura Rooney

Laura Rooney, MBA'13, spent the fall of 2013 doing strategic planning and operations work at GreenLight Fund. Laura worked closely with GreenLight Fund staff to develop an implementation strategy for the organization's recently identified five-year strategic plan. In addition, Laura  interviewed staff to find opportunities to document and improve the budgeting process. 

Karissa Ruck

Karissa Ruck, MPP/MBA'14, spent the summer of 2013 at Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, a philanthropic organization in New York City which conducts grantmaking both domestically and abroad with a particular eye for the intersection of lesbian and trans issues, race, nationality, and economic justice. With Astraea, Karissa has been able to actively participate in grantmaking decisions, research and summarizing the work Astraea's grantees do. Response Paper

Rachael Weiker

Rachael Weiker, MBA/MPP'13, is focused on social entrepreneurship and effective venture philanthropy. She's worked in a range of established and start-up nonprofits, and spent the fall of 2013 as a management Fellow for SheGives, a start-up women-led venture philanthropy organization. Rachael is an Eli J. Segal Fellow, an AmeriCorps alumna, and a graduate of  the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

2011, 2012 Sillerman Center Doctoral Fellow

Blake Dohrn, PhD in Social Policy. She worked on the evaluation team for numerous projects at the Sillerman Center and the Center for Youth and Communities, including the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and United Way of Allegheny's Pathways to Careers, the Hyams Foundation's Teen Futures, YouthBuild USA's Postsecondary Education Initiative and the Skillman Foundation's Good Neighborhoods and Good Schools

2012 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Matt Brown

Matt Brookner, MPP/MA'13, spent the summer of 2012 at Natan, a grantmaker in New York City that inspires young philanthropists to become actively engaged in Jewish giving.

Janice Neiman

Janice Neiman, MPP'13, spent the summer of 2012 at the Annie E. Casey Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland.

Lauren Threatte

Lauren Threatte, PhD Student, spent the summer of 2012 at the Chicago Foundation for Women where she gained experience in policy from a programming, development, grantmaking, and fundraising perspective.

2010, 2011 Sillerman Center Doctoral Fellow

Jodi Benenson

Jodi Benenson, PhD in Social Policy at the Heller School and a former Research Assistant at the Sillerman Center. Her research interests include civic engagement, inequality, and social policy. Jodi’s dissertation examines the relationship between civic engagement and economic mobility among low-income individuals living in the United States. At the Center, Jodi serves as the Project Manager for a study that examines the effects of experiential philanthropy courses on college students.

2011 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Elizabeth Ascoli

Elizabeth Ascoli completed her summer internship at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation in Quincy, MA.  Her work involved learning about and reporting on the policies and infrastructures that are in place in seven school districts throughout New England in order to determine their ability to sustain very involved and specific education reform. 

Nicole Hudson

Nicole Hudson, MPP'12, spent the summer of 2011 at the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. Nicole works on a variety of projects that contribute to the Foundation's mission of expanding access to health care coverage and understanding health care cost trends. 

Ellen Marya

Ellen Marya, MPP'12, spent the summer of 2011 at the Greater Worcester Community Foundation, working on the Foundation's Leadership Initiative to focus and improve grantmaking strategy. 

Molly Preston

Molly Preston, MPP'12, spent the summer of 2011 at EdVestors, a Boston-based nonprofit that works to drive change in urban schools.

2010 Sillerman Center Doctoral Fellow

Kate Szczerbacki

Katherine (Kate) Szczerbacki is a former Sillerman Fellow and worked as a research assistant.  Kate focused on a project that profiled family foundations' conversations about shifting policies and practices to better address social change and justice issues.  Prior to attending the Heller School, she worked as a student law clerk and as a project assistant to a law professor working on access to services for survivors of intimate partner violence.  Kate currently serves as a research assistant at the Heller School's Center for Youth and Communities where she plays a support role on various projects, including an evaluation of the Skillman Foundation's Good Neighborhoods and Good Schools Initiative. 

2010 Sillerman Center Master's Fellows

Jason Gray

Jason Gray, MPP'11, spent the summer of 2010 at Root Cause, a nonprofit organization located in Cambridge, on their venture philanthropy program.  This internship allowed him to gain valuable experience working with potential funders and innovative social ventures.

Jennifer Ross

Jennifer Ross, MPP'11, spent the summer of 2010 at the Hyams Foundation in Boston applying her knowledge of youth development while working on a capacity building project for the Teen Futures Initiative.  

Andrea Shaye

Andrea Shaye, MBA'10, spent the fall of 2010 at the Hyams Foundation as the Grassroots Leadership Development Intern.  She explored the creation of a leadership development institute and developing recommendations for advancement of the program.

2009 Sillerman Center Doctoral Fellow

Laura Sullivan

Laura Sullivan, PhD'13 at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management.  Her dissertation research investigates the impacts of household level economic shocks on family financial stability and explores the role that foundations can play in helping families achieve long-term economic security.  In her work as a Research Associate at the Institute on Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Heller, she conducts quantitative data analysis using national surveys, contributes to research reports, and collaborates in the development of grant proposals.  In 2007, through the National Academy of Social Insurance Washington Internship Program, Ms. Sullivan conducted policy analysis and research at the Social Security Advisory Board (SSAB) on the impacts of asset limits and marriage penalties for disabled and older adults who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

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