Rohit Aita is a Presidential Scholar of the Honors College, majoring in Genetics, and pursuing a Certificate in Computational Genetics. After being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2016, Rohit has been inspired to pursue a career in medicine and help make a difference in research, patient care, and advocacy. During his freshman year, Rohit was honored with the New Jersey Governor’s STEM Scholars (NJGSS) Fellowship to lead a team of high school students to conduct research on metabolic syndrome and inflammatory disease under Dr. Harini Sampath. He presented his research at the New Jersey Statehouse during the 2018 STEM Month and continues to serve as a NJGSS ambassador. Rohit has also been honored as an Aresty Research fellow under Dr. Michael Verzi at the Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey, where he uses bioinformatic analyses to investigate projects related to intestinal epithelial expression. Recently, Rohit has become involved as an intern under the COMBINE clinical trial, the first to study whether Methotrexate is needed for pediatric patients with Crohn’s disease in supplementation to conventional drugs. Outside of research, he volunteers in hospitals and underserved clinics, serves as President of the Rutgers IBD and IBS Association, and is a member of the Improve Care Now Patient Advisory Council. In his free time, Rohit likes playing and watching basketball, working out, doing yoga, and cooking.
2019 - 2020 Fellows
The 2019-2020 Fellows all recorded videos sharing the research projects they completed as part of the Fellowship Program. These videos are available HERE.
Grace Alt is an Honors College student double majoring in French Cultural Studies and Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences. Her initial interest in policy came about through her involvement in high school with the Educational Theatre Association, of which she was the Chair of their national student leader board for two years. She has been an active advocate for arts education since 2015 when she attended the National Arts Action Summit for the first time and has since been pictured and quoted for her work in publications such as the New York Times. Since coming to Rutgers, Grace has been a part of Baker’s Dozen, a selective seminar where she wrote a 30-page group report on the midterm elections, an Aresty Research Assistant, of which she produced hundreds of hours of data with her team to further a multi-national initiative pinpointing problems with our modern political system, and an intern for Congressman Brendan Boyle, to facilitate casework, research, correspondence, and community events for the 2nd District of Pennsylvania. Outside of her political involvement, Grace is a Student Manager at Starbucks on Livingston campus, is the Music Director of the collegiate a cappella group Deep Treble and is the Secretary for the Honors College Alumni and Employer Engagement Board. Up next, Grace plans to take her studies abroad in Spring 2020 to Sciences Po, Paris, also known as The Paris Political Science Institute. After graduating from Rutgers, she hopes to accomplish one of the following goals: earn a dual-master’s degree in International Finance and Law from Sciences Po, Paris, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, enter the Peace Corps to work in a West-African nation, or pursue a Fulbright to teach in a French-speaking nation. Grace hopes to eventually go to law school and pursue a career with the United Nations.
- Research Topic: Gender, Security and Mobility in Paris, France
Luke Athanassopoulos is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Philosophy. He’s spent his entire life facing the New York skyline, and his favorite place to visit is the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He plans to attend law school following his undergraduate education at Rutgers. During the school year he works at Rutgers Student Legal Services, aiding students seeking free legal consultation. His summers have been spent interning at the Bronx County Supreme Court, where he assisted Justice Wilma Guzman in answering motions for summary judgement and other tasks for the judge. In the little bit of time he has when not studying for the LSAT, Luke is an avid music fan.
- Alum: Veronica Bido
Veronica Bido, School of Arts & Sciences ’21, is a Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies major with a minor in Arabic. She is also an ambassador for the Douglas Women's Residential College. Veronica is passionate about advocating for both human rights and international rights and women's empowerment throughout the world. She is currently a research assistant for Dr. Eric Davis working on a project that creates an online platform where youths from the Middle East and North Africa region receive entrepreneurial training with the hopes of creating a network of investment and growth in that part of the world. This summer she was one of the student leaders selected to travel to Israel to learn about the Israel and Palestinian conflict. In addition to this, Veronica also interned with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. She was assigned to the Quality of Life unit. Veronica is also happy to welcome prospective students to campus as a Scarlet Ambassador. She is the founder of the Rutgers Moot Court Association, and the Community Liaison for the Latin American Women’s Organization. Veronica regularly competes around the country with the Rutgers Mock Trial Team, volunteers as a crisis response legal court advocate for the Department of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance and is a tutor for the Petey Greene Program.
Luke Hinrichs (‘21) is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, majoring in Economics and Political Science and minoring in Philosophy. At Rutgers, Luke works as the Opinion Editor for The Daily Targum, the second-oldest independent college newspaper in the country. He represents the voice of the paper through writing the editorial and coordinates a staff of 24 columnists with the goal of inspiring debate and discussion on campus. With a passion for teaching, he also volunteers as a tutor in a local New Brunswick elementary school through Youth Empowerment Services’ A2E program and taught civic education to sophomores in New Brunswick High School as an RU Ready research intern for the Eagleton Institute of Politics. He spent his sophomore year researching the influence of interest groups on policy formation as part of a multi-national project. Throughout his junior year, he will be researching aspects of the criminal justice system in terms of inequality, biases, and Islamophobia. His driving mission is to be an active participant in the allocation and preservation of justice. Luke aspires to be a public servant and advocate in the political and criminal justice system and intends on enrolling in law school following graduation.
Jürgen Lipps is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program majoring in Philosophy and Comparative Literature and minoring in German and Cognitive Science. He is Vice President of the Rutgers chapter of Phi Sigma Tau, the International Honors Society for Philosophers and is an Executive Board Member of the Rutgers Undergraduate Philosophy Club. Jürgen is an Editor for Arete, the Rutgers Undergraduate Philosophy Journal, and a Section Editor for Mental Note, an interdisciplinary undergraduate journal in cognitive science. His academic interests include analytic philosophy of language and mind, Marx and Hegel, and German Critical Theory. Jürgen is also an avid cyclist and has completed unsupported tours from Fort Lee, NJ to Montreal and from Fort Lee to Acadia National Park. In his free time, Jürgen enjoys reading and discussing philosophy and German literature, going on long walks with friends, and playing board games.
- Research Topic: What Do We Want From a Theory of Conceptual Engineering?
Valmir Magjuni is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences double majoring in philosophy and economics. At Rutgers University he is a part of both the Rutgers University Debate Union and Rutgers Consulting Group. As a member of the Consulting Analyst Program, he worked with a local New Brunswick startup performing pricing, investor, and competition analysis. For the upcoming academic year, he will also be a research assistant with the Aresty Research Center analyzing Fed meeting transcripts and designating members as “hawkish” or “dovish.” Both of Valmir’s parents are refugees from Kosovo and his family history plays a crucial part in who he is today. He wants to pursue a career as an immigration lawyer so he can help families who are in the same position as his family once was.
- Research Topic: The Origins and Effects of Kosovo’s Patronage System
Julia McMillan is a student double majoring in English and Public Health, and is a member of both the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program and the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. In the future, she plans to use her knowledge of these two topics to bridge the gap between the fields of medicine and humanities through a career in bio ethics, narrative medicine, or public health policy. At Rutgers, Julia is an active member of the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, a professional Greek organization that emphasizes the three pillars of scholarship, leadership, and fellowship. She served as the chapter’s fundraising chair for the 2018-19 school year, and now holds the positions of recruitment chair and Dance Marathon Family Liaison for 2019-20. Additionally, Julia has worked for the Biology Department at Rutgers since October of 2018 as a member of the Biology Student Leader Program. As a student leader, Julia teaches a one-credit general biology review session for ten weeks each semester, and aids students in tackling difficult material. Outside of school, Julia enjoys running, writing, and yelling about the futility of language. She looks forward to the opportunities this fellowship will provide her and is excited to combine her two passions within research.
- Research Topic: The Semantic Dissonance Surrounding Palliative Care
Hena Mehta, School of Arts and Sciences '21, is a double major in Political Science and Criminal Justice. She has been on the Dean's List every semester since her enrollment at Rutgers University and is a member of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. She hopes to study abroad sometime in the upcoming year to learn about the political and governmental operations of another country. Upon graduation at Rutgers, Hena anticipates on continuing her education in law school, and then eventually fulfilling her ultimate dream of becoming a prosecutor. For the past year, she has been working at an injury law firm in Somerville, New Jersey, where she has gained insight about the inner-workings of a law firm and the expectations of someone practicing in this field. At Rutgers, she is an active member of The Association of Punjabis, where she served as a Fundraising/Philanthropy committee member and is currently serving as the organization's Secretary. Hena was a tutor in conjunction with the Collaborative Mentoring Program, where she assisted students of New Brunswick Middle School towards their path to secondary education. During her freshman year, she was accepted in a first-year fellowship sponsored by the Department of Leadership and Experiential Learning and was awarded with certification for successfully graduating the course. Additionally, her group was awarded the most outstanding social change project by the department. Hena is an SAS mentee under the direction and guidance of Professor Lisa Miller of the Political Science department. In her free time, Hena enjoys watching crime-mystery movies and re-runs of Friends.
Dylan Mullins is an honors program student in the School of Arts and Sciences who is currently studying political science. From June of 2017, Dylan spent two years serving as the National President of Students Against Destructive Decisions, a national non-profit dedicated to advancing the interests of youth health and safety. During this time, Dylan traveled the country to speak on behalf of the organization, and lead a federal lobbying effort to include traffic safety programming in the F.A.S.T. Act reauthorization bill. After concluding his tenure in June of 2019, Dylan accepted a seat on SADD’s National Board of Directors, where he is currently working to rewrite SADD’s national policies based on contemporary research. Dylan is also currently researching the public’s perception of the ever-dwindling “right to privacy” with Professor Heumann, and hopes to pursue a related career after graduating from law school. In his free time, Dylan volunteers as an Emergency Medical Technician with the Marlboro First Aid and Rescue Squad. Dylan also greatly enjoys roller coasters, which nicely compliments his current position as Supervisor of Emergency Medical Services, Safety, and Risk Management at Six Flags Great Adventure.
Julien Rosenbloom is a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences studying Political Science and Economics with a minor in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) and a certificate in Public Policy Economics. In addition to being a Lloyd C. Gardner Fellow, Julien is a Ralph W. Voorhees Fellow in Public Service and a past recipient of the Rutgers-Eagleton Washington Internship Award. He is passionate about improving how the social and public sectors address the needs of vulnerable and underrepresented communities and hopes to forge innovations in how the public interacts with and benefits from health policy, higher education policy, and labor policy. Julien is currently an intern at New Jersey’s Department of the Treasury working on health policy, and has previously held policy-related internships at the Rutgers Office of Federal Relations and Winning Strategies Washington, as well as a strategy consulting internship at High Lantern Group. On campus, Julien is a committed leader in civic engagement and international affairs. He served as the Legislative Affairs Committee Chair in the Rutgers University Student Assembly, was an Aresty Research Assistant at the Center for Youth Political Participation (CYPP), and is heavily involved with CYPP’s voter engagement and civic education efforts. Additionally, Julien serves as a director at the Institute for Domestic and International Affairs, has completed graduate coursework in political science exploring cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, and has spent time studying and traveling in Mexico and Israel. Outside of Rutgers, Julien is a Senior Partner at JUV Consulting, where he leads the firm’s work in healthcare, public health, data analytics, and social sector projects. Born in Venice, Italy, Julien is passionate about languages, coffee, people, and politics, and hopes to study law, economics, or policy after completing his undergraduate education.
- Research Topic: White Hostility and the Great Recession
Juan Alberto Santiago is a current junior in the School of Arts & Sciences who is majoring in Political Science & Spanish and minoring in French. Although his family is originally from Mexico, he was born and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from Bound Brook High School and is one of the first members of his family to attend a four-year university. During his time at Rutgers, he has become a member of the SAS Honors Program as well as participating in the National Student Exchange. Fond of travel, Juan has spent this last summer backpacking with his partner throughout Europe. After Rutgers, Juan plans to attend law school.
- Research Topic: Security and Sustainability: New Jersey Agriculture
Adriana Scanteianu is a student in the Honors College and a member of the Douglass Residential College studying Mathematics with a minor in Urban Studies. She is a Rutgers Presidential Scholar, a recipient of the SAS Academic Excellence Award, and the 2018 recipient of the Katherine Hazard Prize in Mathematics. Adriana has conducted research in quantum mechanics through the Rutgers DIMACS REU program, and traveled to Rwanda under the Western Washington University REU program to study Rwanda’s incredible family planning system. This past year, she was a speaker at the Population Association of America demography conference in Austin, Texas, and her family planning research was featured in the World Conference on Health Promotion in New Zealand and the Gates International Conference on Family Planning in Rwanda. She has also published research in the field of computational biology. Adriana is very interested in prison reform and currently interns at Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison, a non-profit organization which helps provide college education to incarcerated individuals, and volunteers at NeighborCorps Re-Entry Services to support people coming home from Middlesex County Jail. In her free time, Adriana enjoys attending Rutgers Verbal Mayhem spoken word performances, camping, dancing, and playing basketball.
- Research Topic: Alternative Criminal Justice Systems: A Game Theoretic Analysis
Nathaniel Serio is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, where he studies philosophy, cognitive science, and linguistics. His main research interests lie broadly at the intersection of these fields, but he is particularly captivated by issues surrounding language acquisition and development. Currently, Nate is a research assistant at the Rutgers Laboratory for Developmental Language Studies and the University of Pennsylvania’s Child Language Lab. At Rutgers, he serves as Vice-President of the Philosophy Club, Treasurer of Phi Sigma Tau —The International Honor Society in Philosophy, and a course instructor for “Exploring Philosophy” as part of the FIGS program.
- Research Topic: The 30 Million Word Gap
Chelsea Wong is an Honors College student double majoring in Economics and Political Science with a minor in Philosophy. She is a James Dickson Carr Scholar as well as a Cullen Family Endowed Scholar. She has recently completed a semester abroad in Hong Kong studying Economics and Politics at the University of Hong Kong. There, she studied under Dr. Eliza W.Y Lee, completing a research project that analyzed the fallout from the “Two Systems, One Country” promise in the Special Administrative Region. At Rutgers, Chelsea served as the External Vice President for Phi Beta Lambda, a professional development organization, this past year and organized events promoting networking, public speaking, and resume-building to the Rutgers student body. On campus, she is also a Scarlet Ambassador, representing Rutgers New Brunswick to prospective students and families. Chelsea hopes to attend law school in the future to study criminal defense law to represent those wrongly incarcerated and work with the Innocence Project. Outside of her studies, she enjoys playing the piano, drinking excessive amounts of coffee, and taking pictures of her cat.