September 3, 2014

Contact: Natalie Higgins (, 978-227-8473)

Ferd Wulkan (, 413-627-5268)


This Friday PHENOM will present Senator Elizabeth Warren with a Thank You card, signed by its members, for her relentless fight against the student debt crisis

The rally, hosted by the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts, together with community partners, will bring together Massachusetts residents affected by student debt to thank Sen. Elizabeth Warren for her fight for student loan refinancing and to talk about the impact of student debt on their lives. This event will take place at 12 noon outside of Sen. Warren’s office at 15 New Sudbury Street in Boston. Speakers will include:

Senator Eileen Donoghue is the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. She also co-chairs the Subcommittee on Student Loan and Debt, which held seven public hearings throughout the state on the issue of student loans and debt and published a Report earlier this year.

Ruthie Liberman is the Vice President of Public Policy at the Crittenton Women’s Union in Boston. CWU formed the Workers’ Pathways to Education and Jobs Coalition, together with PHENOM and other community partners, to substantially increase access to education and training for low-income, non-traditional students.

Anastasia Wilson is a PhD candidate in Economics at the UMass Amherst. Anastasia is finalizing a paper that explores the causes and consequences of student debt in Massachusetts.

Marven Hyppolite received his B.A. in Political Science from UMass Dartmouth in May while serving as President of the Student Government Association. Marven has witnessed the effects of student debt on his own academic career as well as on his peers.

There will also be remarks by representatives of UMass President Robert Caret, the new President of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Barbara Madeloni, and Senator Warren.

Natalie Higgins, PHENOM’s new Executive Director, will emcee the event. Natalie received her B.A. in Political Science from the UMass Amherst, and is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Policy through UMass Dartmouth. Natalie also holds  J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Nearly one million Massachusetts residents have student loan debt. The total of debt for the state is more than $24 billion. 581,000 Massachusetts borrowers would benefit from Senator Warren’s bill. In the first year alone, Americans could save $14 billion.

After a series of hard-hitting speeches, PHENOM will present a giant Thank You card to Senator Warren, and make a commitment to continue the fight for affordability of public higher education from the campuses to the State House to the halls of Congress.