Dean Murrell J. Higgins Duster

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 Associate Vice President for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs for the Angelina Pedroso Center. Upon her retirement in 2012, Dean Duster continued her legacy at NEIU by endowing a scholarship fund to assist students with costs associated with attending Northeastern Illinois University. 

The scholarship assists students with the costs associated with attending Northeastern Illinois University, including tuition, books, or 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

Application submissions for the Murrell J. Higgins Duster Scholarship will be accepted during the spring 2021 semester for the 2021-2022 Academic Year.

These scholarships will be awarded to students who will be enrolled for the Fall 2021 semester. 

A complete application packet will include the Application Form providing all information requested and 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 (specific essay topic to be determined and outlined in the application).

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to COVID-19 and the University's closure of its physical facilities, please submit all completed applications to

For more information, contact:

Angelina Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs
Attn: Michael Partipilo

By email:

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 after Sept.1. Each recipient is required to submit a donor Thank You letter upon notification of the scholarship award.