An exceptional group of 20 graduate and undergraduate students will build their skills and impact the community as Tisch Summer Fellows in Massachusetts. In addition to individual mentorship at each placement, each student will also be supported by a Tisch Summer Fellows Graduate Assistant who will serve as a resource and lead reflections.
Safiya graduated from Tufts in 2015, with degrees in International Relations and Leadership Studies. She plans to obtain graduate degrees in public health and medicine, and is currently enrolled in the Tufts Master of Public Health program. Last summer, Safiya was a Tisch Summer Fellow working at RESPOND, Inc., New England’s first domestic violence agency. For four years, Safiya has also worked with resettled refugees in the greater Boston area and coordinated the Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program (TU-RAP). Through the Institute for Global Leadership, Safiya traveled to Jordan with a team of student researchers, assessing the challenges of a temporary health system for Syrian refugees. She also worked on implementing health education initiatives at the Foundation for Mother and Child Health in Jakarta, Indonesia. Safiya was also a Truman Scholar, a Tisch Scholar for Citizenship and Public Service, and a volunteer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
The 2015 Massachusetts Tisch Summer Fellows:
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Fehintola Rebekah Abioye is a rising junior at majoring in International Relations and Anthropology. She is involved in various groups on campus including Tufts’ All Female Step Team ENVY and the African Student Organization. She is passionate about working towards effective means of improving the lives of those in underdeveloped communities at home and abroad, and finding avenues to provide them with the opportunities that they deserve. She is eager to gain new experiences and learn the skills necessary to make impactful change through her Tisch Summer Fellowship at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, where she will work on the Dudley Real Food Hub and a Community Land Trust pilot program for Boston.
Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
Benjamin is a graduate student in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning (UEP). As a Tisch Summer Fellow at the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, he will work alongside Tufts undergraduate Fehintola Abioye on the Dudley Real Food Hub and a Community Land Trust pilot program for Boston.
Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Development
Matt is a rising junior majoring in History and Political Science. He hails from New York City and is interested in public policy at both the local and national levels. At Tufts, Matt helped found Cooperation and Innovation in Citizenship (CIVIC), a group that serves as a nonpartisan discussion forum that encourages people from the left, right, and center to think openly about a wide range of issues. Matt is excited to get involved with the policy process at the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development this summer as Legislative and Communications Fellow, supporting the office’s legislative agenda.
AJ Fields is a rising senior studying Biology and Community Health. He is interested in researching health polices and the racial and socioeconomic disparities within the country’s healthcare system. At Tufts, he is the health education chair of Tufts Health Advocates, does research with the community health department, serves as a representative for the Talloires Network global student working group, and is a peer advisor for the Africana Center. Through Tisch Summer Fellows, AJ will conduct policy research and program evaluation at YouthBuild, which teaches low-income young people construction skills to help build affordable housing and other community assets such as community centers and schools.
The Welcome Project
Carissa Fleury is a rising sophomore double majoring in American Studies and Education. Outside of academics, she is part of Strong Women Strong Girls, United for Immigrant Justice, Tufts Health Advocates, and the Prison Divestment Coalition. She is interested in the intersections of art, identity, education, and empowerment and through her fellowship she hopes to examine these intersections and build community and strength within the Somerville immigrant community. Through her Tisch Summer Fellowship at The Welcome Project, Carissa will lead activities with children of immigrant families such as spoken word workshops, photography projects, music and language discovery, and a collective community mural to examine culture through means of self-expression and art.
Somerville Community Corporation
Sophia is a rising senior majoring in American Studies and minoring in Colonialism Studies. Originally from Seattle, WA, she is interested in issues of environmental justice, race, and ethnicity. Sophia is excited to be working and learning with the Somerville Community Corporation this Summer, where she will support the First Source Program that strives to create economic opportunities for 150 active participants from Somerville.
Somerville Public Schools
Alison is a rising senior studying International Literary and Visual Studies. Alison focuses her studies on literature and languages, particularly French and Russian, and the rest of her time on photography. She is fascinated by details—shadows swept up in the wind, the passing glances of strangers on the street—and loves to capture these types of things with her camera. She also enjoys telling stories, narrative or multimedia, and works on photojournalistic projects. Alison works in Tufts’ Art Gallery and on the staff of the Tufts Observer, editing photos and articles for the literary magazine. For her Tisch Summer Fellowship, she will be a Communications and Marketing Assistant at Somerville Public Schools, developing, implementing, and evaluating a communications strategy for summer programs in the district.
Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
Alexandria is a graduate student in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and a Human Development who is passionate about teaching. This summer, as the Communications Fellow at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, she will help collect and disseminate personal stories of how the organization has made a difference in the lives of community members.
BUILD Meghan is a joint Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning/ Child Development M.A. student. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. Following completion of her undergraduate degree, she served for two years as an AmeriCorps team leader with City Year, a national education nonprofit, in Little Rock, AR. Additionally, Meghan has worked with YouthBuild USA, a national education- and youth employment-focused organization, as a Policy Advocacy Intern. Meghan’s research interests include policy around urban education, juvenile justice, and other child and family centered social issues. As a Development Intern this summer at BUILD, she will support the organization’s fundraising efforts through grant proposal and report writing.
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit
Hannah, born and raised in Saigon, Vietnam is a rising sophomore majoring in Political Science. Before coming to Tufts, she lived and studied in Singapore on a four-year scholarship. Her passion for community service was kindled when she joined Rotary’s Interact Club in high school, where she organized and participated in numerous community service projects. This summer, she’ll be working as an intern at the Greater Boston Legal Services’ Asian Outreach Unit, where she will support the indigent Asian immigrant community through outreach and advocacy activities.
Sarah “George” Killian was born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland, where her love for the outdoors was cultivated by canoeing on the Chesapeake Bay and picking tomatoes in her parents’ vegetable garden. As a Peace and Justice major at Tufts, her academic focus is on community organizing and environmental justice, and she is particularly interested in local issues of social justice. At Tufts, you can find her performing interactive plays for preschoolers with the Tufts Traveling Treasure Trunk or making edible art with the Crafts House. Through her Tisch Summer Fellowship at Groundwork Somerville, she will lead a group of at-risk teens on bikes throughout the city to cultivate, harvest, and sell the produce grown on our reclaimed lots-turned-farms.
Mystic Learning Center
Becca is a rising junior from Westchester County, New York, majoring in Child Study and Human Development. On campus, she writes feature articles for the Tufts Daily; volunteers with JumboRead, Tufts Hillel’s literacy program for 4th and 5th graders; and plays flute in the Tufts University Wind Ensemble. In her free time, she enjoys photography and playing tennis. She is excited to be working at the Mystic Learning Center this summer as a Reading Up! Fellow, creating learning experiences that will prevent children from losing knowledge and skills acquired during the school year by utilizing untapped potential and critical hours for learning over the summer vacation.
Anastasia is a rising senior majoring in Psychology. As a Tisch Summer Fellow at MassVOTE, she will work on the Democracy for Nonprofits program, which provides civic engagement grants to non-profit and community based organizations to conduct non-partisan voter registration, voter education, and voter mobilization to build power in their communities.
Eagle Eye Institute
Michelle is a rising sophomore who plans on majoring in Biology and minoring in Mandarin Chinese. She enjoys walking dogs with LCS Animal Aid, sparring with the TaeKwonDo team, and playing violin in the Tufts Symphony Orchestra. She is also an enthusiastic member and event planner of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. Additionally, she is excited to be a STEM Ambassador for the 2015-2016 academic year, spreading her passion for science along with her peers in local public high schools. Through her Tisch Summer Fellowship at the Eagle Eye Institute, Michelle will help implement its environmental stewardship projects for urban youth.
Chinese Progressive Association
Danielle grew up in Escondido, CA. She attended UC Berkeley and received a BS in environmental science. At UC Berkeley, she was involved with the Public Service Center for four years, coordinating one- and two-week long service-learning trips across California, Oregon, Arizona, and Louisiana. Danielle is a dual-degree Master’s student at Tufts, studying Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning (UEP) and Agriculture, Food and the Environment (AFE). After earning her UEP/AFE degree, she aims to become an urban food systems planner in California. As a summer fellow at the Chinese Progressive Association, Danielle will work on the Chinatown Stabilization campaign, supporting Chinatown families threatened by displacement.
South End Technology Center Michelle Nguyen is a Child Study & Human Development major interested in how educational technology can promote and influence social and emotional development. During her junior spring semester, she studied abroad at the University of Hong Kong. In addition, she has designed graphics for various projects and was a research assistant at the Institute of Applied Research in Youth Development at Tufts. She hopes to use her graphic design skills and research skills to promote positive change in the community. As a Learn 2 Teach, Teach 2 Learn College Mentor at the South End Technology Center, Michelle will help youth teachers learn through hands-on activities and mentor them as they build a project that solves a community issue.
Chinese Progressive Association
Kaitlin is a rising senior majoring in American Studies. As a Tisch Summer Fellow Chinese Progressive Association, she will work alongside Tufts graduate student Danielle Ngo on the Chinatown Stabilization campaign, supporting Chinatown families threatened by displacement.
The Young People’s Project
Sam is a rising sophomore from West Hartford, Connecticut. He hopes to major in American Studies and Mathematics, and is involved with a wide range of activities on campus. Sam has a passion for political activism and social justice, as well as a love for abstract mathematics and computer science. He is interested in exploring how social justice interacts with methods of education within various STEM fields. At The Young People’s Project, he will be a College Math Literacy Worker, serving as a mentor, motivator, and facilitator to high school students, in order to develop activities and lessons plans that are educational and exciting.
Somerville Public Schools TU-RAP
Bekah was born in Tucson, Arizona, living there for 18 years before coming to Tufts. She is excited to stay in Massachusetts for the summer and work at Somerville High School with unaccompanied minor students as part of a new initiative by the Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program (TU-RAP), of which she has been a co-leader for the past year. Bekah is a rising third-year International Relations and Environmental Studies double major with a minor in Arabic. Academically, her interests lie in water and sustainability issues, but her passion since high school has been with refugee and immigrant communities in the United States.
Anissa is a rising Junior at Tufts, majoring in Sociology. She is currently a BLAST Scholar through the School of Arts and Sciences and a Tisch Scholar whose year-long project involved working at LIFT. As a Tisch Summer Fellow, Anissa will continue her work at LIFT by serving as a member advocate who meets one-on-one with LIFT members to to build the strong personal, social and financial foundations they need to get ahead, and additionally working to update the Exchange Knowledgebase, LIFT’s internal online platform containing information on core service areas such as housing, employment, public benefits, and education. Following her 10-week internship, Anissa will be leaving to study abroad through the Tufts in Ghana program for her fall semester.