Lior Appel-Kraut, American Studies, A17

Lior is working with United for a Fair Economy, a national non-profit based in Boston that supports movements against wealth inequality.  She is in the popular economics education department, helping to develop workshops for upcoming trainings, strategize educationally for campaigns, and increase the organization’s capacity to have people of color and youth voices in the UFE office.


Amanda Borquaye, Sociology & International Relations ,A18

141203_15577_headshot079.jpgAmanda is working with the Petey Greene Program, an organization which supports academic achievement in prison classrooms in order to reduce recidivism rates and build stronger communities. The Petey Greene Program envisions a world in which all incarcerated people have access to high quality academic programs and all people recognize their stake in supporting education in correctional facilities. She will be starting a Tufts chapter of the program and serving as campus leader, recruiting and training volunteers and acting as a tutor as well.

Emma Brenner-Bryant, American Studies, A16

Emma works with Strong Women Strong Girls (SWSG), an organization that trains college-aged women to teach workshops to local elementary school girls about female empowerment.  She is creating a Junior Mentor Program (JUMP) for SWSG that will invite SWSG middle-school alumnae from a few Boston sites to return as junior mentors and assist in facilitating weekly workshops.  She is also designing and leading a curriculum for monthly junior mentor team-building sessions that are designed to support the junior mentors as they take on a leadership position, as well as to create a community to discuss their experiences as girls in middle school. The program is designed with the dual purpose of empowering girls who have aged out of the program by providing them with the opportunity to take on a leadership role within SWSG, as well as diversifying the type of role models SWSG provides to the girls in their programs.

Soerny Cruz, American Studies and Community Health, A16

For her final scholar project, Soerny is the Program Coordinator for the Racial Reconciliation and Healing program housed at the Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center. The program brings together Youth of Color and White youth to discuss, expose, and address structural racism at its roots. They also learn about health inequities and the intersection between oppression and the social determinants of health. She will be managing administrative aspects of the program such as participant interviews, screening, and evaluation

Jukurious Davis, Africana Studies & Education , A18

141203_15577_headshot067.jpgJD will serve this year as the Sankofa Youth Project (SYP) leader, which is a youth mentorship program that pairs Black Tufts college students with Black high school students in the Medford, Somerville, and Greater Boston areas. Historically, Sankofa Youth volunteers have had intensely motivating discussions and workshops that analyze the four founding principles of its parent group, Emerging Black Leaders: leadership, service, youth development, and education. As JD looks to revitalize the program this year, he intends to offer college readiness programming, professional development workshops, documentary and film screenings, facilitated discussions, and other meaningful activities organized to motivate the program participants to grow as socially-conscious young people and responsible community leaders.

Jessica Dimas, Community Health & American Studies, A16

Jessica is working with the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative on an operations manual for the Community Land Trust. The CLT model seeks to improve the community by establishing equitable, affordable housing and preserving productive open space, ultimately stabilizing the neighborhood. An updated internal operations manual and external documents for homeowners will provide access to clear, accurate information regarding policies and processes for refinancing, home repair, and re-sales. Along with the DNI team, Jessica will also simultaneously work to organize a resource fair for homeowners, where she will share the documents produced to incorporate community feedback.

Phillip Ellison, Africana & History Studies, A16

Phillip Ellison The objective of Phillip’s Tisch Scholars project is to support the Roxbury Community College Transfer Coordination Office’s advising efforts and outreach capacity to RCC community college students. His top priority is to build and test technology at RCC with students and the transfer advisor that will streamline the student to transfer advisor engagement process, increase outreach capability to students, help RCC collect data on transfer outcomes in real time, and help the RCC transfer advisor manage her workflow. Additionally, He will support/staff transfer fairs at RCC, represent the Tufts REAL program at the Tufts recruitment session with the RCC honors program and Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and support special projects with RCC transfer office. 

Alayna Feng, International Relations & Global Health, A16

Alayna FengAlayna is a senior scholar working with Asian Women for Health, a non-profit based in Somerville, MA.  This peer-led, community-based network is dedicated to advancing Asian women’s health and wellness through education, advocacy, and support.  AWFH envisions a world in which Asian women have access to high-quality, culturally appropriate care and are inspired to live happy, healthy lives.  As the Community Engagement Liaison, Alayna aims to strengthen the infrastructure of AWFH by improving stakeholders’ education, engagement, and empowerment via technology and social media.  Alayna also works on grants, programming, and database development.

Audrey Fernández, Undecided, A18

141203_15577_headshot110.jpgAudrey is currently working with Haley House in Boston’s South End. Haley House is dedicated to combating homelessness by providing fresh meals, housing, clothing, promoting economic independence, and organizing art workshops while challenging the structural inequalities that perpetuate poverty and discrimination. Audrey works in the soup kitchen helping to prepare healthy meals and building relationships with the guests as well as in the administrative office helping with tasks that include grant writing and prospecting, program evaluation and monitoring, soliciting donations and other general tasks.

Arthur Fields, Jr., Biology and Community Health, A16

AJ will spend his senior year assembling his past scholar experiences with prostate cancer, racial health dsparities and community health education into his senior thesis. Along with the community health department at Tufts, he will look into practical methods for increasing Black men’s knowledge of the disparity and of the shared decision making process for prostate cancer screening and treatment. AJ will also consider literature on the impact of medical mistrust in the shared decision making process.

Betty Fong, American Studies , A17
Betty is working with Dudley Neighbors, Incorporated (DNI) to coordinate a resource fair for local home-owners, lease-holders, and residents as well as community members in the Dudley neighborhood. DNI is a Community Land Trust created by the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) to revitalize and maintain control of the neighborhood. The Dudley Triangle, the name of the land owned by DNI, consists of 225 affordable homes, community greenhouses and urban farms, playgrounds, gardens, and other parts of an urban village. Betty will be working with DNI and DSNI staff, board members, community partners, contacts, and volunteers to coordinate a community-wide home-owner and lease-holder resource fair. Resources will include repair businesses, programs providing home improvement loans, information on home-ownership and/or re-financing, and more.

Joscelyn Garcia, International Relations, A16

Joscelyn GarciaJoscelyn is coordinating the TASTE Project (Tufts After School Teaching Enrichment Program), which takes place at the Mystic Learning Center (MLC) in Somerville. The MLC serves as a support center for the residents of the Mystic Public Housing Developments and the surrounding neighborhoods in East Somerville. Its mission is to help enhance the lives of low-income families by providing a comprehensive after school program for children that incorporates academic support, mentoring, and community activities.  Joscelyn’s role as the Project Coordinator is to organize the TASTE Buddy Program by pairing student mentors from Tufts with the children at the MLC and ensuring that all mentorship relationships are healthy and effective.

Sarah Gargaro, American Studies & Political Science, A18 

141203_15577_headshot072.jpgSarah is working with Groundwork Somerville, a group striving to improve the social wellbeing and physical environment of Somerville through education and land stewardship. At Groundwork this year Sarah will be working with the Greenteam, a group of Somerville high schoolers employed by Groundwork. With the Greenteam, Sarah will be assisting the teenagers in their work on community gardens, in their entrepreneurial ventures with Somerville mobile farmer’s markets and and will guide them in discussions about social justice, food access, and identity.

Eric Halliday, Political Science and Italian Studies, A16

Eric SquaredEric is working at the Somerville Boys and Girls Club to analyze the Club’s existing programming options and implement new alternatives. He will stay at the Boys and Girls Club until his graduation in 2016, so he will have time to assess the efficacy of the new programs in coordination with the Club staff.  Additionally, he works with the Club members to improve their reading, writing, and mathematics skills.


Lily Hartzell, International Relations & Environmental Studies, A18

141203_15577_headshot023.jpgLily is working at Somerville Community Corporation (SCC), an organization dedicated to organizing around affordable housing and local employment. Specifically, she will be working with the Jobs for Somerville Committee and the First Source Program, which connects Somerville residents with local employers. SCC is in a unique position to affect change in Somerville as developments like the Green Line Extension get underway.

Anna Hymanson, Biopsychology & Community Health, A16

This year, Anna is working at Daily Table, a not-for-profit food market in Dorchester whose goal is to increase food access. She will be working closely with the next door Codman Square Community Health Center to further the partnership between primary care and access to healthy, fresh, and affordable foods.



Faryal Jafri, International Relations, A18

141203_15577_headshot090.jpgFaryal is working in Somerville with the Immigrant Service Provider Group, which is a coalition of direct service providers and health care professionals who are immigrants themselves, or who advocate on behalf of immigrants in the Boston area. During the year, she will be working on organizing a health and flu clinic that caters particularly to the needs of immigrants. Faryal will also be working with the local Muslim community to identify health care needs faced by Muslims.


Kianna Medina, Education & Community Health, A18

141203_15577_headshot009.jpgKianna is working with the Young People’s Project as a College Math Literacy Worker. The Young People’s Project’s goal is to eliminate institutional obstacles that are barriers for the success of elementary and high school students in higher education. Her project is a non-profit organization that works with 2nd-4th graders in several schools across the Greater Boston area during 8-12 week long after school math enrichment sessions. As a College Math Literacy Worker Kianna will be overseeing the Math Literacy Workers as well as working with elementary students in the classroom. She hopes to be able to empower both the elementary and high school students as scholars and young people.

Kimberly Mendoza, Child Development, A16

Kim MendozaFor the 2015-2016 school year Kimberly Mendoza will be working with YouthBuild’s Green Affordable Housing Design Program. Kim will be helping to organize and deliver two-day design charrettes that will bring people from varying disciplines together to produce green housing designs at ten YouthBuild programs across the country.  The charrettes will be completed for housing projects that will later be built by YouthBuild students.


Ravali Mukthineni, Community Heath & Biology, A18

141203_15577_headshot085.jpgRavali is working with the Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health (ISPG/H), a coalition of direct service providers who are immigrants, the heads of immigrant coalitions, and health care professionals who are either immigrants or who represent health care agencies that serve immigrants. ISPG/H works to increase access to health care for the immigrant community in Somerville. Ravali will assist in planning and implementing the annual flu clinic and health fair that aims to increase free flu immunizations for the immigrant community in Somerville.

Norihito Naka, Electrical Engineering, A16

Norihito will be working on his Senior Honours Thesis for his Tisch Scholar project on the topic of metamaterial thermophotovoltatics.  The focus of his research will be to find effective and efficient ways of transforming heat into electrical current, which could possibly change the way we think about energy.


Benjamin Neikrie, Political Science, A18

141203_15577_headshot029.jpgBen will be working for MassVOTE, a statewide nonprofit that works to register, educate, and mobilize voters, with a focus on historically underrepresented communities in Massachusetts. While at MassVOTE, he will be registering and educating voters on a nonpartisan basis, working will Boston schools to help promote civc education and early voting, and fighting for election reform.   Ben will also be working on a program that seeks to identify consistent and engaged voters from minority communities, and work with them to help increase voting in their neighborhoods.

Amanda Ng Yann Chwen, Interdisciplinary Studies & Education, A18

141203_15577_headshot037.jpgAmanda is part of Mission Hill K-8 School’s process of designing Mission Hill Art Science High School based on community needs and ideas. She is learning about what it takes to build a truly democratic schooling environment that fully respects everyone’s voices, identities and humanity. Her specific role involves listening generously, engaging voices, and honestly documenting and sharing the process of designing this high school, which brings together community members across disciplines, generations, institutions, races and backgrounds.

Doyinsola Oladipo, International Relations, A18

141203_15577_headshot055.jpgFor her first year project, Doyinsola will be working with the Liaison Interpreter Program of Somerville (LIPS) at the Welcome Project. Her duties involve building the student’s awareness on the many options after high school through the use of workshops, college visits and one-on-one counseling. The end goal is to provide students with the confidence and tools needed to apply to college regardless of their background, financial situation or upbringing.

Madeleine Pelton, International Relations, A16

maddyMaddy is working for the MIRA Coalition in its Citizenship Program. The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) serves the Commonwealth’s one million foreign‐born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, and strategic communications. For MIRA, Maddy will be using the model of the Cities for Citizenship initiative, a national program aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents and encouraging cities across the country to invest in citizenship programs, to create city partnerships with MIRA. Maddy will also conduct outreach to encourage cities all around Massachusetts to become more aware and involved in immigration reform debates and the naturalization process.

Hira Qureshi, Economics and Community Health, A16

Hira is working at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) as the Market Performance Intern. The HPC’s role is to improve the implementation and quality of health care across the Commonwealth, while driving down costs through increased transparency and innovation. The Market Performance team focuses on conducting cost and market impact reviews (CMIR) of market transactions, including hospital mergers and acquisitions. Hira will be assisting with building a comprehensive database for the HPC, where she will compile data for payers and providers that exceeded the cost growth benchmark. She will research and analyze the causes for the increase in costs and help develop Performance Improvement Plans for each organization.

MD Rasimul Rasim, Economics & Peace and Justice Studies, A17

141203_15577_headshot119.jpgMD Rasimul will be working at YouthBuild for his Tisch Scholar project.  YouthBuild is a non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training in construction and other in-demand occupations to 16-24 year-olds who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school, or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational and career milestones.


Hannah Recht, Anthropology and Environmental Studies, A16

Hannah is working as an “Eco-Advisor” for the Rez Cafe, the student run coffee shop on Tufts campus.  She was inspired to pursue this project by her time spent as a barista at the Rez, where she noticed many opportunities for waste reduction and more sustainable policies.  The first initiatives will focus on waste reduction, including a “Bring Your Own Mug” campaign and composting.


Anna Rodríguez, Community Health & Education, A18

141203_15577_headshot004.jpgAnna is working with St. Stephens Youth Program in Boston’s Southend- a youth program that serves local kids in the area during the summer and throughout the school year. Growing up being involved in the program, and eventually being employed there, Anna hopes to create a mentorship program between Tufts students and the teens that SSYP employs, to help them navigate the college process, as well as apply to prestigious universities. She hopes to serve as a useful resource for these high school students who are predominantly of color and low income. She believes St. Stephens youth programs has helped her in her journey to self discovery, as well as academically- she now hopes to repay by creating this mentorship program.

Yarsita Sanchez, Economics & Drama, A16

This year, Yaritsa is working with Boston Mobilization, an organization located in Cambridge that supports youth leadership development, social justice education and community organizing through their Sub/Urban Justice programs, trainings, workshops and consulting. She will provide support and guidance to teens from the greater Boston area as they discuss social justice issues such as racism, classism, heterosexism, and more specific systemic problems (e.g Massachusetts State Tax). These discussions will become extremely important as she, along with the teens, go into communities all over Boston to lead these kinds of discussions. In addition, Yaritsa will help establish and expand relationships with several youth-serving organizations in the Medford/Somerville area.

Talmon Smith, Film & Media Studies, A16

As a dual undertaking as both a Tisch Scholar & a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, Tal is creating a series of policy briefs entitled: How Campaign Finance Reform Can Be a Tool for Social Justice.

The papers are to stem from intensive empirical research on the distortive impact money-in-politics can have on policy decisions that especially affect marginalized communities. Drawing on the foundational knowledge he gained through his previous scholar project working as a writer and researcher at Issue One – a DC-based bipartisan campaign finance reform organization – Tal is aiming to bring new energy to the issue by interrogating the increasing correlation between affluence and public influence as a possible threat to equality of citizenship in the United States.

Using the policy proposals of current prominent activist organizations and 2016 presidential candidates as case studies, the research seeks to accessibly examine and narrate the monetary barriers each reform effort faces, in the form of a well-funded industrial complex.

Michelle Sodipo, Biology and Community Health , A17

Michelle is working with the Immigrant Service Providers Group/ Health, a coalition of direct service providers who are immigrants, and health care professionals that represent health care agencies serving immigrants. During the school year, Michelle is working toward helping plan and implement health flu clinics and health fairs to increase free immunizations for the immigrant community of Somerville.


Wayne Yeh, American Studies, A16

Since the summer of 2014, Wayne has been an intern and fellow at the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) in Boston’s Chinatown. CPA is a grassroots community organization which works for full equality and empowerment of the Chinese community in the Greater Boston area and beyond. Wayne’s work focuses on the Chinatown Stabilization Campaign, which focuses on stabilizing the working class residential core of Chinatown. In his final year as a Tisch Scholar, Wayne will link his academic and co-curricular interests through writing his American Studies Senior Honors thesis. He will document and analyze Chinatown’s grassroots community organizing and resistance against displacement, while researching the impact Tufts has on our host community.

Learn more about the Tisch Scholars Program.