The Heller School’s student and alumni community are supported in their efforts to promote and realize authentic, appropriate, and beneficial social change toward a more just, global society.
Our mission is to serve Heller’s international development students and alumni by providing academic, professional, and logistical support. Through this support, they can utilize the many opportunities generated through the convergence of student energy, ideas, and unique experiences and the support of Heller’s faculty and staff and existing Heller resources.
The purpose of SAID is twofold: to serve the personal and professional needs of the Heller School’s student community and to facilitate and support student initiatives and activities.
The Student Association for International Development (SAID) is a student-initiated and student-run organization that was created to address the needs and activities of the Heller School’s graduate student community at Brandeis University. More specifically, SAID supports students who work towards appropriate and sustainable international development.
Started in the fall of 2004 by four Masters students in the Sustainable International Development program, SAID was 19 members strong by the following spring. The original 19 members constituted four working committees and a Steering Committee. The structure of the organization is intended to be flexible enough to change from year to year while still providing continuity and direction.
During our first year, SAID’s completed several activities. We developed a website and online calendar proposal to facilitate communication among Heller faculty, staff, and students. Other activities include development of an internship/job database, as well as an alumni database. We also initiated membership in the World Student Community for Sustainable Development. We designed a logo, drafted by-laws, and worked to create a solid foundation on which future SAID activities could rest.
The original members of SAID hoped to provide coordination for and a professional face to a diverse and experience-rich student body. Guided throughout by our dedication to create a supportive, viable, and professional association that would serve students and alumni, SAID’s members put much time and energy into realizing the above projects while not directly benefiting from the results themselves. Much of their work involved the inauguration of many projects which would benefit future students, such as an alumni and internship database.
For our organization to remain viable and useful, there are many challenges that it must face and address yearly. These challenges include, but are not limited to the lull between academic years, the gap in institutional memory because of the large number of students who are away the second year. It is our desire that this association provides the framework to students to discover or interpret how best to launch their extracurricular endeavors and fulfill their needs as students
We are thankful for the support that the faculty and staff gave us during our founding year. In particular, we would like to thank Associate Dean Lawrence Simon and Assistant Dean Doris Breay for their full support and our faculty advisor, Professor Susan Holcombe for guiding us. Special thanks goes to Heller’s Assistant Director for Student Services and SAID’s staff advisor, Mary Brooks. Her energy and dedication helped us to create an appropriate and sustainable student organization.
It is our profound hope that SAID continues to fulfill its mission of service, our philosophy of collaboration, and respect of Heller students and alumni who work as change agents toward a just and peaceful global society.