Ramzi Babouder-Matta, International Relations, 2014
Allie Lei, Quantitative Economics and International Relations, 2014
Libby Shrobe, Clinical Psychology, 2013

Allie Can Lei Ramzi, Allie, and Libby are working at Outside the Lines, an arts-based day program for people with mental disabilities and illnesses.  By  promoting  the  artwork  of   artists  at  OTL,  the three of them advocate  for  people  living  with  disabilities  and/or   mental  illness who  are  often  excluded  from  our  culture  and  society.  The three Scholars help make the artists’ work more visible in the community by setting up galleries and auctions in local venues. The Scholars also  initiate  relationships with  venues  such  as  coffee  shops,  offices,  and   galleries where OTL artists may  display their  work  and  hold  receptions. Finally,  Ramzi, Allie, and Libby assist  in  building  rapport  with OTL  artists and  providing   positive  reinforcement  as  they help them engage in the creative process.


Mariana Berenguer, International Relations, 2015
Joe Thibodeau, International Relations and American Studies, 2014

Mariana Berenguer

Joe Thibodeau1Joe and Mariana are working with the Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC) to empower its clients and the residents of the adult shelter to participate in a public speaking program aimed at educating the public about homelessness. The two are building on Joe’s work during the previous year on the curriculum for the Speaker’s Bureau, and they will be carrying out public speaking training sessions at the SHC to establish a group of people who will be available for speeches and talks. Simultaneously, they will work to find organizations, schools, and communities that would like to have speakers from the Bureau and facilitate the event coordination.


Ale Beretta, Quantitative Economics, 2013

For her final year in the program, Ale is improving the Scholar Community Experience. Working with other Tisch Scholars as part of a task force, Ale will be running point to ensure that objectives are completed and all opinion and voices of members within the program are heard and integrated.



Pooja Beri, Undecided, 2015

Pooja BeriPooja is working with Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center’s college-access program, which promotes and encourages the relationships between colleges and youths in order to foster a college-attending culture. The project allows for access to complete college preparation resources, including workshops, tours, and financial aid assistance.


 Benjamin Berman, Sociology and Economics, 2015

Ben BermanBen is partnering this year with Generation Citizen, a non-profit aiming to strengthen our nation’s democracy by empowering young people to become engaged and effective citizens. Ben will be working both as a democracy coach at Arlington High School and as a student leader of the Tufts chapter. In the spring semester, he will work on extending the Generation Citizen program to Tufts host communities, and Somerville and Medford high schools.


Bianca Blakesley, Clinical Psychology, 2014

Bianca Blakesley1As an extension of her membership in the Academic and Community Engagement (ACE) Fellows program, Bianca will focus on introducing the theme of Active Citizenship to first-year students. She will organize 2-3 off-campus trips per semester for new students to engage them in our neighboring communities. These events are designed to increase student’s civic knowledge of the community, give them opportunities to practice advocacy and service learning, and inspire them to continue their involvement in these communities.


Meghan Bodo, International Relations and Economics, 2015

Meghan BodoWorking with the Somerville City Chamber of Commerce, Meghan will conduct extensive research regarding the role of immigrant entrepreneurship in helping Somerville establish a 1-to-1 job-to-workforce ratio. The project will include synthesizing data and information from various resources around Somerville to benchmark the local immigrant and ESL workforce population, and to determine resources that would help to better serve the employment opportunities and advancement of Somerville’s immigrant population. The result of the project will be a presentation to members from different facets on the community involved in immigrant entrepreneurship that will spark constructive conversation on what Somerville can do to achieve these goals.


Verónica Brady, International Relations, 2015

Veronica BradyVerónica is working with the Welcome Project to recruit and train students for the Liaison Interpreters Program of Somerville (LIPS). LIPS provides opportunities for bilingual high school students to learn language interpretation skills and to practice those skills at community meetings and events throughout the city. The training that these students receive at LIPS helps them transform their bilingual skills that are built within their communities into an asset that can be used for their community and beyond.


Anjuli Branz, Sociology and Psychology, 2013

Anjuli is working with the Boston Police Department to further develop the Boston Reentry Initiative (BRI). BRI works with offenders at the House of Corrections before, during, and after their release to ensure their safe and positive reentry into the community. Anjuli’s project involves researching and planning a new family-centered component to the Initiative as well as strengthening the process of connecting offenders to housing options in the area.


Monica Brown-Ramos, Undecided, 2015

Monica Brown-RamosMonica will be working with The Welcome Project, an organization that shapes the collective power of Somerville immigrants. She will be taking part in the YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City project for which she will be promoting immigrant-run restaurants in the city through the YUM Restaurant Card. She will also plan and organize the Yum Celebration and Fundraiser event at the end of the year.


Craig Cooper, Biopsychology, 2015

Craig Cooper

Craig is working with Alyssa on the Calm Breathing and Relaxation Project, a feasibility study being performed by Tufts Medical Center at the Josiah Quincy Elementary School. This study aims to see if children with emotional-behavioral disorders who are taught calm breathing exercises exhibit decreased symptoms of their emotional-behavioral disorders and exhibit improved academic work.


 Jordan Dashow, Political Science and International Relations, 2014

Jordan Dashow1Jordan Dashow is working as an Education Intern at Keshet, a national grassroots organization working for the full inclusion of LGBTQ Jews in Jewish life. At Keshet, Jordan has worked on an impact assessment of Keshet’s work and a “Best Practices” resource document on how to make institutions more inclusive and reflective of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities and expressions.


Brendan Dillon, Biopsychology, 2013

For his senior year project, Brendan is continuing his work with the Tufts After School Teaching and Enrichment (T.A.S.T.E.) at the Mystic Learning Center. Brendan is focusing his attention on the junior staff, which is made up of teenagers who live in the Somerville Housing Authority and work part-time at the after-school program. He is extending the mentoring component of T.AS.T.E. to this dynamic group of youth, so that every junior staff member has a Tufts student who will serve as an academic and personal role model. Brendan oversees not only special evenings, when the Tufts students can present interesting work and research they may be doing, but also nights focused on college preparation and other possible opportunities after high school.


Leah Effron, Child Development and Community Health, 2013

Leah is working with CitySprouts, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating and maintaining gardens in Cambridge Public Schools. She is collaborating with biology teachers, food service personnel, and CitySprouts staff to develop a garden at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. Additionally, she is working in elementary school classrooms, in school gardens, and with school officials on fundraising and outreach.


Caroline Geiger, Spanish and Community Health, 2013

Caroline is working with the Doula Program at the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), a program dedicated providing the service of trained women to support and accompany women during birth. The doulas come from many backgrounds and speak many languages. Their goal is to bridge the cultural divide and provide encouragement during a woman’s pregnancy. Caroline’s project will be to compile a set of digital stories detailing the role of CHA doulas in a woman’s pregnancy. The stories will address issues such as the role of a doula as an intermediary between recent immigrants and the American health care system, and the impact of doula assistance on the experience of giving birth.


Emani Holyfield, American Studies, 2015

Emani is working with Root Cause, a nonprofit research and consulting firm that partners with nonprofits, philanthropic organizations, the government, and businesses to make progress on today’s toughest social issues. Emani focuses on Root Cause’s project with Open Society’s Foundations Campaign for Black Male Achievement. She assists in the research and implementation of the Leadership & Sustainability Institute (LSI), a network of leaders in the Black Male Achievement field committed to improving the life outcomes of black men and boys. Additionally, Emani aids with the support and research for other Root Cause consulting projects as needed.


Ilana Hosios, International Relations, 2013

Ilana is a research assistant at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis (IFPA), a security-focused research organization. She is involved in a few of the IFPA’s research projects and plans IFPA events. Ilana’s project is in conjunction with her senior honors thesis on the relationship between terrorist organizations and the drug trade.


Claire Lamneck, Biology and Economics, 2014

Claire Lamneck1Claire is working with ISPG/H to organize an annual free flu clinic targeted at immigrant communities in Somerville. This year a survey will be conducted at the clinic in order to connect immigrant populations with high-contact jobs and prove the importance of vaccinating this particular population. The clinic will also provide tuberculosis testing, HIV testing, cholesterol readings, and eye examinations.


Lura Long, American Studies and Community Health, 2013

For her senior honors thesis, Lura chose to explore the private prison industry’s incentives behind worsening community trauma and violence. Through her research, she hopes to analyze and build on the historic relationship between trauma and incarceration and between incarceration and poor community health outcomes. She will interview key informants and community stake holders in the Boston area as well previously incarcerated adults.


Katelyn Montalvo, Anthropology, 2015

Katelyn MontalvoThis year, Katelyn will be working with Groundwork Somerville’s Food Justice Team.  The Food Justice Team works with Winter Hill’s middle school students on gardening in the school’s plant beds, cooking, teaching food justice-related topics, and more.  Katelyn will be the Food Justice Team teacher and will further educate them about issues of food justice.


Victoria Oliva, Anthropology and Community Health, 2015

Victoria Oliva RappaportVictoria is working with the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC), an organization comprised of students from 39 high schools that aims to promote student voice and action within the Boston Public Schools. Within BSAC, Victoria’s role is to facilitate college readiness and access. Her work with the students involves co-facilitating college-related workshops, organizing college tours, researching college scholarships, and creating a college resource book.


Ryan Parigoris, Psychology and Child Development, 2015

Ryan ParigorisThis year, Ryan is working at the Somerville Department of Health with both the Director of Mental Health and the LGBT Liaison. He is creating a curriculum of sensitivity training for LGBT teens who are dealing with mental health-related issues, and he is compiling a directory of mental health resources for LGBT teens living in Somerville with the ultimate goal of organizing a community event.


Eric Peckham, International Relations and Political Science, 2013

Eric’s project has been leading the Institute for Political Citizenship (IPC), which develops leaders in public policy from within the Tufts community by facilitating intellectual discussion of political issues and by increasing community members’ involvement at all levels of the political process and their understanding of its implications. The IPC organizes discussions, speakers, and get-out-the-vote initiatives.


Enxhi Popa, Economics and International Relations, 2015

Enxhi PopaEnxhi is working with the guidance office at Somerville High School, with the goal of assisting seniors and juniors with college applications, SAT registration, and Financial Aid Applications.



Neethu Putta, International Relations and Philosophy, 2013

The E3 Project: Educate, Engage, Empower is composed of two parts: a quidnunc course in the Tufts University Experimental College during the fall semester, in which students can earn 0.5 credits, and an after-school service learning curriculum for students at Somerville High School during the spring semester. Neethu collaborates with the Tisch College and the Cambridge nonprofit organization Barakat, which strives to educate women and children in South and Central Asia. The purpose of the quidnunc course is to provide members of the project with a chance to finalize the curriculum through their own investigation of the presented issues, as well as through the creation of a high school manual for the students in the spring semester. Each student is responsible for learning and “mastering” one section of the curriculum, and practicing teaching it during the quidnunc course. Each student then teaches his or her section of the curriculum to the high school students in the spring.


 Erica Satin-Hernandez, Community Health and American Studies, 2013

For her senior honors thesis, Erica will be working under the field of Critical Race Theory, which is devoted to the analysis of the role that race plays in law. Specifically, she will attempt to create a theoretical framework for analyzing multiracial people’s place in United States law and society. This process will include creating a number of points that define the tenets of the subfield, Multiracial Critical Theory.  She is also exploring legal cases that have led up to the current state of affairs as well as current legal cases that may shape the future of multiracial people in the United States.


Emily Schwartz, English and Anthropology, 2014

Emily is expanding Connect 2, a digital storytelling project at SCALE (Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences). Connect 2, which was modeled after NPR’s Storycorps, gives students and staff at SCALE the opportunity to record and share their life stories with the community, an experience that aims to improve literacy and empower participants by giving them a voice. Emily is filming new digital stories and building the Connect 2 website with new graphics and formatting. She hopes to share the life stories of students from a wide range of backgrounds and to increase the visibility of their stories by marketing Connect 2 to the Somerville community.


Annie Sloan, American Studies, 2013

In the fall of 2012, Annie completed her American Studies capstone research paper entitled “‘Bullied to Death’: The News Media’s Tale of Homophobic School Bullying.” In the capstone, she explored how dominant discourse conceives of homophobic school bullying, and analyzed how the news media frame this type of bullying. She argued that the media tell simplistic and selective stories that serve to perpetuate heterosexism and reinforce hegemonic notions of masculinity. This semester, Annie is interning for Governor Deval Patrick’s office. She is working specifically in the office of the Judicial Nominating Commission. She assists in the judicial application review process by drafting executive summaries and memoranda, and by preparing for weekly Judicial Nominating Commission meetings.


Thomas Stack, International Relations and Chinese, 2015  

Thomas StackThomas is working with the Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) to develop and implement a plan for tenant engagement within ACDC housing.  He is administering a survey to better understand the needs of ACDC housing tenants.



Maya Taft-Morales, Latin American Studies and Child Development, 2015

Maya Taft-MoralesMaya is the coordinator of the Tufts After School Teaching and Enrichment (T.A.S.T.E.) program.  In this program, children living in the Mystic Housing Development in Somerville are matched with Tufts students who act as their personal buddies. Each pair of buddies spends two hours a week together in the Mystic Learning Center doing homework and various activities.  Over time, the buddies develop a positive mentoring relationship, giving the children a much needed support system and the Tufts students a highly rewarding experience.


Sarah Tralins, Child Development, 2014

Sarah Tralins1Sarah is working with a Simmons graduate student at the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS) to create and facilitate Group Art Intervention for children of the Brazilian community who have been exposed to and/or traumatized by domestic violence. The project incorporates thoroughly researched art projects used for strategic therapy, child development, Sarah’s major, and clinical psychology, Sarah’s co-facilitator’s area of study. Sarah will also create a survey used to determine the success of the group therapy programs offered to women who have experienced domestic violence and/or sexual assault.


Lia Weintraub, International Relations and Spanish, 2014

Lia is working with the Somerville Promise Alliance (SomerPromise) to create a manual highlighting the organization’s mission and its work within the community.  SomerPromise, following the model of the Harlem Children’s Zone and President Obama’s Promise Neighborhood initiative, works to provide support beyond the reaches of the classroom to Somerville’s students.  Through her work, Lia hopes that SomerPromise will be able to provide many children with the resources that they need in order to receive an outstanding education.


Alyssa Wohlfahrt, International Relations, 2013

Alyssa is working on the Calm Breathing and Relaxation Project, a feasibility study to see if children with emotional-behavioral disorders who are taught calm breathing exercises exhibit decreased symptoms of their emotional behavioral disorders and produce improved academic work.


Learn more about the Tisch Scholars Program.