Fellowship Spotlight: Finding Inspiration in Her Roots

April 19, 2022

Rebekah Haigh, Religion

Rebekah Haigh, a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton with a growing public profile, draws inspiration from her own trajectory, which began as a community college student in Michigan.

Through GradFUTURES, Rebekah took up a Social Impact Fellowship at New America, a public policy institute devoted to solving some of the social, economic, and political challenges America faces today. There she collaborated with her mentor, Iris Palmer, to collect and analyze data for the Center on Education and Labor’s ongoing project on community college baccalaureate programs.

Rebekah also wrote several pieces for New America that combined her own research interests as a scholar of religion with CELNA’s focus on education, labor, and workforce development. One of her articles, “Faith and Community Build HOPE and a Connection to Jobs in Detroit,” concentrated on the role non-profits and faith-based organizations can play in workforce development.

Working with the GradFUTURES team, Rebekah has also been a key partner in the creation and launch of the GradFUTURES New Media Studio. While creating events and curating resources for her fellow graduate students, Rebekah has also been hard at work co-creating her own podcast, Women Who Went Before, which takes audiences on a journey into the past to give voice to women from antiquity.

"As a graduate student, you know you’ve accumulated a certain set of skills. But you don’t always see how those skills translate beyond the daily grind of graduate school. Through my GradFUTURES Fellowship, I saw how research, data analysis, and communication skills could be leveraged beyond a classroom or dissertation, both in professional and public spaces.” 

Rebekah Haigh, GS, REL

Read more about Rebekah’s experience in our Fellowship Spotlight Series.

Rebekah Haigh Fellowship Spotlight

Our Fellowship Partner

New America logo

We are dedicated to renewing the promise of America by continuing the quest to realize our nation's highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges caused by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create. Since 1999, New America has nurtured a new generation of policy experts and public intellectuals. Today we are a community of innovative problem-solvers, combining our core expertise in researching, reporting and analysis with new areas of coding, data science, and human-centered design to experiment and innovate nationally and globally. We prize our intellectual and ideological independence and our diversity, seeking to do our best work and to reflect the America we are becoming.

Iris Palmer

"I have benefited from many people in my life providing unique experiences in many different workforce environments. I am happy to give that help back to people looking for new experiences on the job. Our GradFUTURES fellow was a delight to work with. She helped us by blogging and doing some very high quality internet research."

Iris Palmer, Senior Advisor for Higher Education and Workforce, Education Policy Program, New America

Learn More About GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowships


GradFUTURES Social Impact Fellowships are bespoke opportunities for Princeton graduate students with nonprofit organizations that have partnered with the Graduate School. Host organizations work closely with the Graduate School to determine the learning outcomes and professional development goals for these immersive experiences. Each fellowship is custom-designed for you to apply discipline-specific skills, gain interdisciplinary project team experience, and receive one-on-one mentoring while contributing to the social impact mission of the organization.