This fall, Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) welcomed its third cohort of Social Justice Scholars, a competitive scholarship program with the aim of enhancing SP2’s ongoing commitment to the recruitment and retention of students with a particular interest in and demonstrated capacity for social justice leadership in their field. 

Social Justice Scholars receive full tuition benefits, are supported through an enriched structure of mentorship and additional training opportunities, and are part of a dynamic cohort of scholars. SP2 Associate Professor Dr. Yoosun Park is faculty director of the program and Dr. Jessie Harper is the director of the program.

SP2 welcomed the first cohort of three Social Justice Scholars in the fall of 2021, and the program has since experienced tremendous growth, with nine students in the 2023-2024 cohort. Scholars’ social justice leadership interests range from socioeconomic inequality to anti-racism to community development. 

To be eligible for consideration for the Social Justice Scholars Program, a student must apply by the priority deadline to one of SP2’s three master’s degree programs, demonstrate financial need, and demonstrate an interest in and capacity for social justice leadership. The priority deadline in 2023 is December 1 for all three master’s programs.


Myles Browne

Myles Browne

MSSP Program
Interests: Civic engagement, LGBTQ+ youth, & community organizing
Education: Hampton University, International Relations & Minor in Spanish

Mariel Edokwe.

Mariel Edokwe

MSSP Program 
Interests: Criminal justice reform & racial equity 
Education: Middlebury College, BA in Sociology & Minor in Education Studies 

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Matthew Encarnación

MSSP Program 
Interests: Economic inequality, guaranteed income, & affordable housing
Education: Mercer University, BS in Psychology 

Hallela Hinton Williams

Hallela Hinton-Williams

MSSP Program
Interests: Educational justice, anti-racism, & community development
Education: Grinnell College, BA in Spanish and Religious Studies with a concentration in American Studies

Shug Miller

Shug Miller, MSEd

MSW Program
Interests: Abolitionist social work
Education: University of Chicago, BA in Sociology; University of Miami, MSEd in Education and Social Change 

Ajanee Russell Hopkins

Ajanee Russell-Hopkins

MSW Program
Interests: Women’s reproductive rights, socioeconomic equity, & anti-racism
Education: Rutgers University-New Brunswick, BS in Public Health with a concentration in Medical Ethics and Africana Studies

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Davina Scott

MSW Program
Interests: Mass incarceration, school-to-prison pipeline, urban poverty, & trauma
Education: Howard University, BA in Political Science & Minor in Criminology 

Breanna Sheehan

Breanna Sheehan

MSSP & NPL Programs
Interests: Tribal sovereignty, community development, & cross-cultural engagement
Education: Dartmouth College, BA in Anthropology and Native American Studies 

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Tamara Sonera Serrano

MSW Program
Interests: Education equity and accessibility, community organizing, & anti-racism research
Education: Florida State University, BSW & Minors in Psychology & Education 


Mayowa Fageyinbo

Mayowa Fageyinbo

MSSP Program
Interests: Education policy, economic justice, anti-racism, international education, & public health
Education: Howard University, BS in Psychology & Minor in Sociology

Sparsh Maheshwari

Sparsh Maheshwari

NPL & MSSP+DA Programs
Interests: Socio-economic inequality
Education: Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Bachelor of Engineering; Indian School of Development Management, MBA

Joelle Lingat

Joelle Lingat

MSW & NPL Programs
Interests: Immigration, health access, transformative justice, & community care
Education: Oberlin College, BA in Environmental Studies and Comparative American Studies & Minor in Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies; CUNY School of Law, JD