Britni Russell

MA in Educational Studies, Educational Leadership and Policy (LEADPOL)

Britni  Russell, School of Education

Student status: Alum, graduated 2015

Geographic region of origin: Battle Creek, Michigan

Education prior to Ed Studies MA: Western Michigan University, B.A.

I began the Educational Leadership and Policy program in 2015 while working full time at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This was daunting, to say the least, but I felt the support and mentorship from faculty and staff right away. I could not have known then what this incredible program would prepare me for.

Two aspects of the program stand out. The first was the mentorship from faculty. Dr. Don Peurach, a nationally recognized education scholar, supported my growth as a student, demanded rigor and expanded my worldview on education policy and practice. The second was a thoughtful curriculum that honed my ability to think critically and analyze systems, practices and policies to understand the multitude of implications for accountability and improvement efforts in schools.

Just one year removed from graduation, I am an associate program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation working in global health and media. I develop and implement grants and projects with media organizations in the U.S., Europe, Africa, India and China. Our goal is to build a society where all people lead healthy and productive lives. It is truly exciting work. Every day, I think back to my time in the program and am thankful that U-M prepared me for the challenge and privilege of this work.

Russell’s program of study:
Educational Leadership and Policy