Fellowship / Graduate Student Fellows

Becca Spindel Bassett

  • 2021–2022
  • Social Sciences
  • Arleen Carlson and Edna Nelson Graduate Fellow
  • Harvard University
Portrait of Rebecca Bassett
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Bassett

This information is accurate as of the fellowship year indicated for each fellow.

Becca Spindel Bassett is a doctoral candidate in education at Harvard, with a concentration in culture, institutions, and society. Her research combines sociocultural and organizational approaches to explore how American universities can design and implement cultural, academic, and organizational changes to ensure first-generation, low-income students not only reach but also complete college. Her scholarship has been published in the Journal of College Student Development and the Journal of Higher Education.

During her Radcliffe fellowship year, Bassett is writing her dissertation, which is a comparative ethnography of two universities that serve large numbers of low-income, first-generation students and graduate them at unusually high rates.

At Harvard, Bassett supports inclusive faculty development through her work with the Instructional Moves project and the NextGen Initiative. She has also served on the editorial board of the Harvard Educational Review, where she led a special issue on youth voices in education research. Alongside her academic work, Bassett actively supports a group of young leaders from Mississippi, and prior to beginning her doctorate, she founded the Alumni College Success Program (ACSP) at the Sunflower County Freedom Project, an educational and leadership nonprofit in the Mississippi Delta. Now in its sixth year, the ACSP provides holistic, intensive support to 25 college students from orientation to graduation. Before that, Bassett taught third grade for two years in Lyon, Mississippi, and worked as a program director at the Sunflower County Freedom Project. She attended Brown University, where she studied cultural anthropology with a focus in international development.

Creating a Culture of Success—For All College Students (Harvard Gazette, 1/3/22)

To Reduce Inequality on College Campuses, Invest in Relationships (Inside Higher Ed, 11/1/21)

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