Shaping Educational Equity: Charlotte Harris (MNA ’21)
Published: October 20, 2020 / Author: Charlotte Harris
Student Charlotte Harris shares how Mendoza’s Master of Nonprofit Administration program is helping her address gaps in educational opportunity for society’s most vulnerable.
A Path with Purpose
After completing my undergraduate degree, I pursued a career in executive search, primarily focused on placing leaders into key positions at mission-driven organizations and educational institutions. From that experience, I was able to gain a deeper understanding of these organizations and what it would take to have impact in the education sector.
After working closely with colleges and universities across the country, my eyes were further opened to the inequities in access and resourcing that students, faculty, staff and administrators face. These educational inequities start in K-12 experiences, which shape their higher education opportunities and culminate in their labor market outcomes.
For these reasons, I knew I needed to learn the financial and operational skills to lead an organization that tackles issues of access, racial justices and education equity. This ultimately led me to pursue the Master of Nonprofit Administration at Mendoza.
Joining the Notre Dame Community
My family and friends were shocked that I would make a move halfway across the country – during a pandemic – to South Bend, but this community could not be more welcoming. My classmates are competent, thoughtful and rooted in strong values. They push me each day to see new perspectives and grow stronger as a learner and leader.
My professors have been dedicated to our academic and personal success. They have each demonstrated efforts to get to know us personally and foster a learning environment that is beyond the classroom.
Outside of my coursework, I have been fortunate to become a teaching assistant to Wendy Angst, a faculty member who pushes her students to innovate and collaborate.
Within the Mendoza community, I am a member of the Women in Business club, which has created amazing friendships, and I am serving as the newly founded MNA Student Association president. Additionally, I joined the Triathlon Club team to continue my marathon and Ironman Triathlon training.
Although this academic year looks different as we face challenges from COVID-19, I am incredibly grateful I took a leap of faith to come to Notre Dame and join the Master of Nonprofit Administration cohort.