Student Profile
Kelsey Burhans
International Affairs and Economics, College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Burhans, Kelsey
Hall of Fame


At Northeastern, Kelsey Burhans immersed herself in understanding Latin American culture and economics through the lens of microfinance and financial inclusion—experiences that included working and studying abroad in Argentina, Honduras, and Bolivia.

Burhans, who graduated in January 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and economics, worked with the student organization Global Brigades where she saw microfinance in action for the first time. Following that experience, Burhans completed a co-op at Fundación Progreso where she worked on economic development research. For her final co-op, she worked at Cignifi, a company using mobile platforms to support communities with limited access to traditional banking structures. These experiences helped drive Burhans to apply for a Fulbright award.

Burhans’ Fulbright project brought her to Bolivia and Peru. She worked closely with rural communities as well as microfinance organizations, banks, and mobile money operators in these countries to understand the common variables that support and inhibit progress toward expanding marginalized communities’ access to financial services.