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Katrina Shaw, MSW, 2017 Honorary Degree Recipient's citation

2017 Honorary Degree Recipient – Katrina Shaw, M.S.W.

May 14th, 2017

Katrina Shaw is the Chief Executive Officer of Freedom House, Inc. and shares a deep commitment to promoting social justice through education. The granddaughter of Alabama sharecroppers and the daughter of survivors of the Jim Crow South, Ms. Shaw has an impressive record of working on social issues from increasing the academic achievement and graduation rates of students in Baton Rouge and New Orleans public schools, to working on combating homelessness.

At Freedom House, Ms. Shaw is actively engaged in advancing the organization’s mission to transform the economic and cultural fabric of Boston’s high need communities through education, with a focus on helping young people access and succeed in postsecondary educational opportunities.

As a small college that serves 85% students of color, it is no surprise that at Pine Manor College we found Ms. Shaw’s work on racial equality to be both inspirational and important. Shaw is a visionary leader who can see the challenges and potential in the journey ahead for each young student and can translate students’ needs into concrete programs and offerings. Her commitment to improving college access and opportunity for first-generation college students ensures college-readiness for many high school students in the Boston area, and proves to be one of the key predictors of students’ success. The partnership between Freedom House and Pine Manor College has led to innovative new programs aimed at ensuring post-secondary educational and personal success to all students as well as professional development training for staff and faculty.

Ms. Shaw has served on several charitable boards and is a founding member of New England Blacks in Philanthropy, whose mission is to inform, reform, and transform the practice of philanthropy. She serves on the board of HEARTH, a charity whose aim is to end elder homelessness, and the Wall, a faith-based initiative.

She is the recipient of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s 2016 Excellence Award in Leadership and serves as a Fellow in the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Certificate Program at the Boston University Questrom School of Business.


Pine Manor College is a small, private four-year liberal arts college situated in the Chestnut Hill section of Brookline, Massachusetts, only a few miles outside of Boston. For over 100 years Pine Manor has provided a highly student-focused education and mentoring grounded in the liberal arts tradition. With 85% students of color, Pine Manor is one of the most diverse private colleges in the U.S. and offers Bachelors degrees in a variety of areas including Biology, Psychology, Community Health, Business Management, and Early Childhood Education. The College focuses on pathways to careers through internships and organizational partnerships and academic programs that instill skills and competencies needed in today’s changing workplace. By partnering with private and public organizations, Pine Manor College creates experiential learning opportunities that lead to careers. As an example of our success, 100% of the class of 2016 were employed or pursuing advanced degrees within six months of graduation.

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