Guttmacher Institute Announces the 2023 Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship Recipients

The Guttmacher Institute is excited to announce Elliot Harrison-Lee and Ariana Scott as the recipients of the 2023 Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship. This year’s recipients were chosen from a pool of almost 300 strong applicants. This is the 10th and final year of the scholarship.

Ms. Scott will use the scholarship to complete a dual master’s degree in public health and international development from the University of Pittsburgh, and Mr. Harrison-Lee will use the scholarship to complete his master’s degree in public health from Brown University.

“We are delighted to award the Cory Richards Scholarship to these remarkable individuals,” said Dr. Herminia Palacio, President and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute. “Although they are pursuing distinct paths, they share a commitment to social justice and embody the spirit of scholar-activism that this scholarship seeks to promote and advance.”


Elliot Harrison-Lee

Photo of Elliot wearing glasses with a button down shirt

Elliot Harrison-Lee received his BA in medical anthropology from Brown University. He will return to Brown to complete a master’s degree in public health with a focus on maternal and child health. His undergraduate thesis was an ethnographic study of the natal care experiences of transgender and nonbinary people; the results of his research have been presented at conferences such as the Harvard Undergraduate Scholarship & Social Justice Research Conference and the annual clinical and scientific meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

In the past three years, Elliot has interned with the Bronx Care Health System in New York, the Mansfield Department of Health in Massachusetts and the Lifespan Hospital System in Rhode Island. He has focused his work in these contexts on compiling available resources for underserved communities and improving equity and inclusion efforts. He is inspired by and aims to serve the queer community that has been so meaningful to him throughout his transition and young adulthood. He hopes to amplify the need for inclusive comprehensive reproductive health care that serves the LGBTQ community, especially transgender individuals.


Ariana Scott

Photo of Ariana standing outside wearing her graduation tassels

Ariana Scott completed her BA in sociology and political science at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. Ariana is a current dual-degree student at the University of Pittsburgh, working toward her master’s degree in international development and public health. Ariana's career goals are focused on global menstrual hygiene management (MHM), particularly for women in developing and crisis-ridden countries. Ariana is particularly interested in the relationship between a nation’s development and access to proper MHM for women and girls. She hopes to research the link between gender equality and adequate menstrual hygiene in a global context. 

As MHM is a new topic in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Ariana is involved in groups and opportunities focused on general WASH as well. In the final year of undergraduate studies, she created a fellowship for herself and other students focused on sustainable cities called SHUstainable Human Settlements and Resources. She is currently a member of the University of Pittsburgh’s Closing the Water Gap, which focuses on water access, affordability and governance both in the local Pittsburgh region and around the world. Ariana spent two months in Kenya completing a research internship aimed at working toward sustainability and governance of community-managed borehole projects. She hopes to bring a female perspective to the male-dominated WASH field to fully integrate MHM into the global health conversation. 

About the Scholarship

Named in honor of a leading figure in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights whose remarkable career at the Guttmacher Institute spanned nearly four decades, the Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship reflects what was for Cory a deep commitment: mentoring and nurturing the professional growth of emerging leaders. Each year, up to two individuals were designated as Cory L. Richards Scholars and each person was awarded a one-time scholarship of $20,000 to support full-time graduate study in the United States. In keeping with the Institute’s and Cory’s dedication to equalizing opportunity, priority was given to students with demonstrated financial need.

This is the 10th and final year of the scholarship. The scholarship provided financial support to 13 students seeking graduate degrees in public health or public policy, some of whom have since gone on to careers in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Said Dr. Palacio, “we are heartened to see that a number of Richards Scholars have moved into key roles in the movement, applying the skills they were able to hone during their graduate studies to our shared mission. Although the scholarship is now closing, the principles it sought to advance—principles that Cory embodied and held dear—will live on through the work of these dedicated scholars.”

Find out more about past Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship recipients.