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When Arianna Fischer MPP ’21 was admitted to Duke, she also found out a second piece of information: She had been selected for the Morris B. and Jane M. Abram Fellowship.

“I was extremely surprised to have received the fellowship and grateful to have been selected. I truly appreciate the Morris B. and Jane M. Abram Fellowship Fund for helping me to pursue my professional and career goals at Duke. I had no idea when applying how great the support would look like,” she said. “Receiving this fellowship made pursuing the MPP program at Duke possible!”

Adam Abram is a longtime friend of the Sanford School and Chair Emeritus of the Sanford Board of Visitors. The endowed fellowship fund was established in 2006 by Adam Abram and Dr. Rosalind Abram, in honor of Adam’s parents. The endowment provides fellowship support to graduate students of Sanford who have superior academic records and who have demonstrated an interest in civil liberties or human rights.

Fischer grew up on the west coast of southern California. She studied global health and social policy as an undergraduate at Northwestern University, then worked in the policy field for a few years in Chicago and Washington, D.C. before applying to Duke to enhance her policy analysis skills.

She said the fellowship support has given her more time for her studies and to engage in extracurricular activities.

“One amazing opportunity I have had at Sanford has been participating in the Sanford Board Leadership Initiative (SBLI), which matches students with a non-profit located in North Carolina. Through SBLI, students serve as a non-voting board member for one year and complete a policy project. I worked with the North Carolina AIDS Action Network (NCAAN) and was able to conduct research and provide a recommendation for how North Carolina can increase access to HIV-prevention medications. My work with NCAAN has continued past my year with SBLI, and I hope this will lead to policy changes in North Carolina to expand access to these essential medications,” she said.

Upon graduation in May, she plans to return to California to work in the field of public consulting in the nexus of health and social policy.

“I am studying public policy in order to increase equitable outcomes for underserved communities,” Fischer said.