The Howard Scholar program, launched in February 2021, provides a full-tuition scholarship for one Howard University student or alumnus to attend a McCourt School of Public Policy graduate degree program. “The program is a good first step in alleviating barriers to entry for Black students,” said Rodriguez-Shah, who hopes “to see the program expanded to create scholarship opportunities for other HBCUs and African universities.”
Rodriguez-Shah is a 2020 Howard graduate with degrees in Afro-American studies and economics and a minor in mathematics. He was most recently a senior research assistant at the Federal Reserve Board where he specialized in financial institution risk evaluation and financial stability.
“I was drawn to the McCourt School by the uniqueness of the Master of Science in Data Science for Public Policy (MS-DSPP) program,” said Rodriguez-Shah. “It seemed like a perfect fit considering my career aspirations.”
Following his time at McCourt, Rodriguez-Shah plans to explore careers in academia and in the private sector. “I am interested in getting a Ph.D. in Black Studies and becoming a professor at an HBCU, or working at a policy institute or think tank,” he said. “The MS-DSPP program will serve any of these interests, increasing my skills as both a data analyst and a researcher.”