Meet Our Fellows

TPC's New Fellows 2017-2018
TPC’s New Fellows for 2017-2018: from left to right is Abby Alexanian, Robin Miller, Shailean Hardy, and Leigh Chandler (Photo by Michael Brook)

The Philanthropy Connection provides Fellowships for women between the ages of 21 and 35 in order to support and encourage the next generation of philanthropists. The Fellowship is open to any young woman who is interested in becoming part of the women’s collective giving movement and who is motivated to help The Philanthropy Connection redefine what it means to be a philanthropist – anyone who donates her time, talents, and/or treasures in an effort to improve the lives of others.

Click here to learn more about the TPC Fellowships

2018-2019

Alysé Bigger is an alumna of Bates College where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, and of Tufts University where she received her Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership via the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.

Over the past nine years, Alysé has worked with small and national nonprofit organizations in direct service and administration roles. Her personal and professional work has focused on supporting access to great schools and programs that provide equitable educational outcomes for young people, and leading organizational efforts with a goal of developing socially responsible nonprofit leaders.

Alysé has volunteered with United Way as a grant reviewer, Mother Caroline Academy as a mentor, the YWCA of Boston as a facilitator, and BPS Code of Conduct Advisory Council. During the day, she is living her best life as a Program Manager for the Massachusetts Promise Fellowship, an AmeriCorps program created to decrease high drop-out rates across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for young people in grades 6-12.

 

Meghan Higgins is currently a member of the Resource Development team at Madison Park Development Corporation (MPDC), one of the nation’s first nonprofit developers of affordable housing. She holds a joint Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning/Child Studies & Human Development from Tufts University. Prior to joining MPDC, Meghan was an Associate Consultant with Emerging Executive and the Development Officer at Our Restorative Justice, a nonprofit using restorative practices to disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline. Meghan is an AmeriCorps alum, serving from 2012-14 as a Team Leader with City Year Little Rock. As a graduate student, Meghan also worked at YouthBuild USA, focused on state and federal policy strategy around youth unemployment and criminal justice. A Pittsburgh native, Meghan is a passionate advocate for community-led development, equitable public education, and juvenile justice reform, with a particular interest in gender-responsive programs and policies.

 

Nyah Macklin is a dedicated and charismatic diversity and inclusion professional who has dedicated her life to creating and sustaining systems of education, government, and society that consistently re-examine and re-evaluate the ways these institutions perpetuate the exclusion of historically underrepresented communities. Nyah specializes in holistic and programmatic reform, drawing on her experience as a consultant to various institutions. She has analyzed, designed, and implemented policies centered on the empowerment of diverse, marginalized communities within these institutions, thereby strengthening their culture, operations, and revenue.

Prior to obtaining her degree in African and Afro-American Studies from Brandeis University, Nyah studied in the New Haven, CT public school system. It was here that she watched her fellow low-resource Black and Latin-x students struggle to excel in an educational environment where budget cuts left students with tattered and outdated textbooks, overcrowded classrooms, and frequent engagement with the school-to-prison pipeline. Her undergraduate studies and her background shaped her drive to re-examine policies that affect urban education, housing markets, and income inequality.

Nyah is a Breakthrough Collaborative alumna and teaching fellow alumna, the first Black woman in the history of Brandeis to serve as President of the University’s Student Government, one of four women of color to negotiate for the rights of 100 students of color during a 12-day crisis occupation. This effort resulted in a diversity and inclusion implementation plan for Brandeis University. She serves as Vice Chair on the board of the Black Alumni Network at Hopkins School, and is also a New Leader’s Council-Boston alumna, serving on the board as Co-Chair of Admissions. Currently, Nyah works as the Legislative Aide to a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and is a proud Dorchester resident.

 

Christine Nguyen has been working with non-profits serving Asian American and immigrant families since 2009. Her experience includes youth leadership development, program management, event and volunteer management, fundraising, and communications. Christine currently serves as the Development and Communications Manager at Asian Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit that has been building affordable homes, empowering families, and strengthening communities for over 30 years. She is originally from Houston, Texas and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Texas at Austin. Christine is the daughter of Vietnamese refugees and enjoys visiting art museums, competing in dragon boat races, and spending as much time outdoors as possible in the summer and fall.

 

Miriam is a Massachusetts native who has lived and worked both abroad and domestically, and currently finds herself back in the Boston area where she provides legal administrative support. Armed with a liberal arts degree with a gender focus on the social sciences and economics, she started her professional career as a business analyst primarily in the life sciences industry. Desiring to increase her impact beyond a company’s bottom line, Miriam obtained a Master’s degree in International Development and set about working with marginalized populations with an emphasis on unemployed, low-resource, working-class women, as well as young children and women vulnerable to exploitation and violence. Outside of work, Miriam continues to find opportunities to engage with women and children in her community. Additionally, Miriam enjoys making and eating desserts, traveling, watching and playing contact sports, reading, and being outdoors.

 

2017-2019

Abby Alexanian graduated from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University with a Master’s in Public Policy and an MBA in Non-profit Management, and holds a BA in International Studies from Vassar College. While at the Heller School, Abby was awarded a fellowship by the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy and spent a summer working with The Boston Foundation conducting research to inform TBF’s strategic plan. She has more than five years of experience as a practitioner and researcher in the non-profit and public sectors, and her previous work has focused on providing crisis intervention services, reducing and preventing adversities in early childhood, violence prevention, and creating equitable, collaborative systems of support for children and families experiencing trauma, poverty, and housing instability. Abby is currently a manager at Root Cause, where she provides social impact consulting services to non-profit organizations.

 

Leigh Chandler graduated from Davidson College in May 2016 with a degree in English and Communication Studies. A South Carolina native, she moved to Boston shortly after graduating to pursue a job in non-profit development. She currently serves as the Fund Development and Communications Associate at YW Boston. She is responsible for assisting the development team with gift management, donor research, and cultivation of strong relationships with YW Boston’s audience. She is also the coordinator for YW Boston’s Young Professionals Network and serves on the organization’s Advocacy Committee. As a fellow, Leigh is excited to learn more about Boston-specific needs and solutions. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring Boston, and pretending she’s the next Top Chef.

 

Robin Miller works as a manager at Ceres, a sustainability nonprofit working with the most influential investors and companies to build leadership and drive solutions throughout the economy. Robin’s passions lie in the intersection of sustainability, community, and finance. This has led her on many work-life adventures including leading a trail crew in the Alaskan backcountry, cooking for over 300 people in the mountains of Southern California, and helping customers reach their financial goals as a banker at Citizens Bank. She holds a joint MBA/MS Environmental Science and Policy degree from Clark University and a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University. Outside of work, Robin serves as the Events Co-chair for BASIC-Boston (Building a Sustainable Investment Community) and the Board President of Miranda’s Hearth, a community arts non-profit that builds community through creativity.

 

Click here to view our Alumnae TPC Fellows