Brown University Urban Education Policy Master’s Degree Candidate the Fifth Recipient of Full-Tuition Award 


1300 PROVIDENCE –Dalma Diaz, an incoming graduate student in Brown University’s Master’s program in Urban Education Policy (UEP), was named the 2016 winner and the fifth recipient of the Ruth J. Simmons Urban Education Policy Scholarship, a full-tuition award, announced Brown’s Education Department Chair Kenneth K. Wong.

The Board of Overseers of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University (AISR) established the permanent, annual scholarship in 2012 for the UEP student who most epitomizes the former Brown University president’s commitment to education equity and social justice.

Diaz, a Los Angeles native, is a 2012 graduate of UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy.  At commencement, UCLA honored her with the Chancellor’s Service Award for contributions to the university and the surrounding community.

Since February 2014, the first-generation college graduate served as a Parent-School Partnership Program Associate for the Mexican-American Legal Defense & Education Fund in Los Angeles.  Following graduation, Diaz was a tutor and mentor for City Year Los Angeles, and since August 2015 she has served on the City Year Alumni Board. While an undergraduate, she interned at California JusticeCorps, assisting in providing in-depth and individualized services to self-represented litigants in Los Angeles Superior Courthouse.

“I hope to positively impact the lives of Latino students like myself, and to address the educational inequities I’ve encountered firsthand as a student and a parent advocate,” said Diaz, who grew up and lives in the predominantly Hispanic East Los Angeles neighborhood of Boyle Heights. “Ensuring a high-quality education for all students is vital to the economic growth and prosperity of the Latino community.”

Dalma Diaz: Ruth J. Simmons Urban Education Policy Scholarship Winner 2016

The UEP program, launched in the summer of 2006 and recently celebrating its tenth anniversary and reunion during Brown’s Commencement weekend, has since conferred degrees on over 200 graduates. The tightly focused, 12-month academic curriculum, integrated with a nine-month internship, is designed to impart a set of core skills and competencies necessary for successful careers in urban education policy. The UEP program also provides a solid foundation for those anticipating advanced study in areas related to urban education policy. 

“Over its brief, 10-year history, the UEP program has quickly established its prominence both on campus and in the larger education reform community,” said Wong, founding director of the UEP program, and the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Professor in Urban Education Policy, a chair endowed by AISR in 2005. “Graduates of the program are now serving as leaders and change agents in urban school initiatives in Rhode Island and around the country.”

About AISR

AISR is a national education policy research and reform support organization that focuses on improving conditions and outcomes for all students in urban K-12 public schools; especially those attended by traditionally underserved children.

Founded in 1993 with support from the Annenberg Foundation, AISR’s participation in the UEP program, from curriculum development to teaching to engaging students as research assistants in our work, gives UEP graduate students a unique opportunity to connect to the world of “practice” as they develop core skills via academic course work.


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