Murrell J. Higgins Duster served in several key faculty, administrative and leadership roles in her more than 35 years at Northeastern Illinois University. She was the Founding Dean and Associate Vice President of the Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs. Upon her retirement in 2012, Dean Duster continued her legacy at NEIU by endowing a scholarship fund.

The Murrell J. Higgins Duster Scholarship assists students with the costs associated with attending Northeastern, including tuition, books and fees. Scholarships are available to students for the Fall semester.

Scholarship Criteria

  1. All applicants must be currently enrolled Northeastern Illinois University students.
  2. Scholarships are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.
  3. Students currently enrolled in their last semester cannot apply.

How to Apply

The deadline for the Murrell J. Higgins Duster Scholarship is 11: 59 p.m. on Friday, March 22, 2024. Scholarships will be awarded to students who will be enrolled for the Fall 2024 semester. 

A complete application will include:

  • The completed application form with all information requested 
  • An essay related to your involvement with the Pedroso Center and how it has enhanced your understanding of diversity, social justice, and/or intersectionality and what these concepts mean to you with regard to your identity.

Please submit all completed applications to

For more information, contact:
Dr. DeWitt Scott
Northeastern Illinois University
Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs
Room B 159
(773) 442-5372

Please consider utilizing campus resources such as the Learning Success Center to review your essay before you submit your application.

Once the application submission period closes, scholarship recipients will be selected and then notified. Scholarships will be applied to recipients’ tuition accounts at the start of the Fall 2024 semester. Each recipient is required to submit a donor thank you letter upon notification of the scholarship award.