Latest News: Increasing Access to Postgraduate Education

Increase access to postgraduate education

Hannah Turner ’19 works at Leadership Brainery, which seeks to eliminate the systemic exclusion of marginalized groups in graduate school and the workforce.

Author: Grace Oddo ’22
Tuesday, February 22, 2022 08:41



Image courtesy of Hannah Turner ’19

Hannah Turner ’19 has been her program manager at the nonprofit organization Leadership Brainery for about a month. However, she is already seeing the impact of her work, which includes connecting future graduate students with underrepresented backgrounds to graduate student teachers, recruiters and admissions professionals.

“I get emails from people who say they are very grateful to this organization and see it [Leadership Brainery] making a difference in their lives, it was so exciting and humiliating, ”says Turner, who was a dual major in media, communication and theater with a history juvenile in Müllenberg.

Leadership Brainery, a nonprofit organization in Boston that aims to expand access to graduate education and workforce leadership opportunities for underrepresented populations, was founded in 2018. It works with colored students, LGBTQ + individuals and other demographers who are systematically excluded from such opportunities. Leadership Brainery bases its work on its theory of change: «With more resources and access to inclusive networks and advanced education, BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, people of color] communities can use higher-paying careers to establish financial stability and reinvest in their communities to create the well-being of generations, thus closing gaps in wealth and opportunity. ”

Turner heard about Leadership Brainery from a friend in her master’s program at Boston University, where she graduated with a degree in media science in 2021. She started working for a nonprofit as a communications intern last September. “As someone who wants to work in academia in the future, it was important for me to learn how to serve underrepresented students and make sure classes became more like the world.” Turner says.

Turner’s job title is Dear Future Colleague (DFC). DFC, founded by Harvard law student Nancy Fairbank, is a mobile and desktop Leadership Brainery platform acquired in 2018. It is designed to connect future graduate and doctoral students with teachers, master recruiters and other admissions professionals. Through Leadership Brainery DFC has collaborated with 13 graduate students, and DFC has served more than 500 wards since its inception, according to Turner. DFC also connects students with scholarships, leadership opportunities and employment.

Turner conducts seminars and talks on diversity, equity and inclusion with Leadership Brainery partner institutions. Another aspect of Turner’s work is the selection of students with teachers based on personal characteristics or affiliation to their teacher: “For example, if a Latin American student wants to be a lawyer, I definitely picked them up. with a Spanish-speaking lawyer, ”Turner says. “It’s important that these people see others like them in this area.”


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