Meet the 2012-2013 Fellows!
Amani Al-Khatahtbeh is a Jordanian youth leader currently earning a degree in political science and Middle Eastern Studies and a certificate in women's leadership. In the summer of 2011, Amani led an independent study in Jordan about the country's youth movement and interned at the Ministry of Political Development in Amman, where she was asked to determine youth demands in order to better the relations between the government and the people. She has also conducted research about the sectarian identities of Iraqi youth and has spoken on the role of social media in the Arab Spring. Amani is the founder of MuslimGirl, a women's organization that has recently established its first college chapter at Rutgers University. In the spring, Amani will be working on democracy's prospects in Jordan with Hamid Abdeljaber from the Rutgers Political Science Department.
Sabrina Arias graduated summa cum laude in May 2014 from the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program with majors in Political Science and Philosophy and minors in Spanish and History and Jewish studies, with Certificates in Global Politics and the Eagleton Undergraduate Associates Program. She has served as Secretary-General of Rutgers Model United Nations, a FIGS Peer Instructor, and an Aresty Peer Instructor. Her thesis assessed the effectiveness of the United Nations in creating sustainable development policies, for which she earned Highest Honors Sabrina studied in Spain in the summer of 2011, interned in 2012 at the United Nations in New York, and interned in 2013 at the the Department of State at the US Mission to the United Nations in Rome, Italy. She has been honored with various recognition, including Phi Beta Kappa, and the Rutgers Presidential Scholarship.
Genevieve Campisano is majoring in English and minoring in history and philosophy. She is specifically interested in the British Renaissance and her favorite poets are Thomas Wyatt, Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. At Rutgers, she worked for New Student Orientation in the summer of 2011 and is currently a member of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society and the Humanist Chaplaincy. She also received an Academic Excellence Award for 2012, and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in the spring of 2013.. She loves to listen to music, especially Bob Dylan, A Tribe Called Quest and the Wu-Tang Clan. In the spring, Jenna will be working on issues of the Arab Spring with Hamid Abdeljaber from the Rutgers Political Science Department.
Sivaram Cheruvu graduated from the School of Arts and Sciences with majors in political science and history and minors in economics and French. In addition to being a Gardner Fellow, Siv was also an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate. During the summer of 2013, Siv interned for the Chris Christie for Governor campaign. In the spring of 2014, Siv interned at the Intergovernmental Affairs department of the Office of Governor Christie. During his time at Rutgers Siv served as the Secretary-General for Philadelphia Model United Nations 2014 and Director of Staff for Rutgers Model United Nations 2012. Both of which are United Nations simulations for the high school level that aims to provide an innovative educational opportunity for students. For his research paper, Siv worked with Professor Dan Kelemen from the Political Science department to study the Euroscepticism of the British Conservative Party. Siv will be attending the London School of Economics and Political Science in the fall for their MSc Politics and Government in the European Union program.
Greg Cui graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics and a minor in political science. During his time at Rutgers, Greg was selected to be a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Peithessophian Society, and the Cap & Skull Senior Honors Society. He also served as President of the Rutgers Mock Trial Association and Vice President of Community Perspectives, a student-run think tank that he co-founded. In the spring of 2014, Greg completed a year-long study - entitled "Expunge-Worthy" - in which he and two co-principal investigators researched the extent to which criminal record expungement in New Jersey does and can help ex-offenders reintegrate into society. In preparation for a career in the law, Greg spent two summers interning at Yerman & Associates, LLC, an immigration law firm, and another summer working for New York City's Criminal Justice Coordinator at the Office of the Mayor. Greg also studied policy making as an Eagleton Institute Undergraduate Associate, completing the three-semester certificate program. Finally, in his spare time, Greg volunteered for Dream4TK, a charity initiative through which student riders biked from New Brunswick, NJ to Orlando, FL. Greg helped Dream4TK raise over $31,000 for the Embrace Kid Foundation. In the fall, Greg will be attending Yale Law School.
Kevin Dahaghi was a double major in sociology and journalism and media studies. He was born in Portugal and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. While being a Scarlet Knight, he committed himself to civic engagement and community development as a Bonner Leader, Rutgers Future Scholars Mentor, and member of Journalists for Human Rights. His interests lay in understanding and reforming social policies affecting underdeveloped communities and at-risk populations. In the past he interned with the University of Orange, a nonprofit community development organization, where he spearheaded outreach initiatives and surveyed community partners to identify their needs and resolve their grievances. During Spring 2013, Kevin drafted his policy memo on lessening restrictions for immigrants groups to receive driver's licenses and IDs; he worked with Catherine Lee from the Rutgers Sociology Department. He will spend the 2014-2015 year in Macau as an Fulbright English Teaching Assistant.
Alex Jubb is a public policy major and social justice minor from Voorhees, New Jersey, land of Wawa and water ice. She joined the Rutgers University Debate Union in her sophomore year and is one of the twenty-five best novice debaters in the country. She and her regular debate partner have won the novice division of two major tournaments. When not debating, you can find Alex dancing, with or without music. In the spring, Alex will be working on demographic challenges to understanding citizenship with Marc Weiner from the Rutgers Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
Ami Kachalia is a student in the School of Arts and Science Honors Program and the Douglass Residential College. She is majoring in political science and minoring in women's and gender studies. She is currently an intern at the Center for American Women and Politics, and in the past she has been a Barbara Voorhees mentor for the DRC's mission course, Knowledge and Power: Issues in Women's Leadership. She is also a James Dickson Carr Scholar and involved in a few Douglass student organizations. In the spring, Ami will be working on the effects of quota systems and their ability to create democratic representation with Mona Lena Krook from the Rutgers Department of Political Science.
Aniket Kesari was a student in the School of Arts and Sciences (Class of 2014) and majored in political science and history. In addition to being a Gardner Fellow, he was also a FIGS Peer Instructor, an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate, and a Kneller Fellow. He was also a co-principal investigator on the World of Whistleblowing research project in the political science department. His main on-campus involvement was with the Institute for Domestic and International Affairs (IDIA), where he was the Executive Director of Rutgers Model Congress 2013. In this role, he created the conference theme, "Constitutionalism in the Information Age" and is now going to study constitutional law and technology at the University of California Berkeley's Jurisprudence and Social Policy PhD program.
Abdul Rehman is a School of Arts & Sciences Honors Scholar, majoring in economics, public policy, and political science. He is a recipient of the Rutgers Academic Excellence Award, the Rutgers Scarlet Scholarship, and the Dean’s List Scholarship. Abdul Rehman has served as President of Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, President of the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting, and was a co-founder of the Global Philanthropic Symposium at Rutgers University. He is currently an Undergraduate Eagleton Associate and was previously an Aresty Research Assistant for the Director of the Eagleton Institute of Polling, Dr. David Redlawsk. He has interned with Teach for America, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, and the International Rescue Committee. He loves biking—it provides a faster transport between classes, can be a non-time allocated exercise, and makes his hair feel phenomenal in the wind. Abdul Rehman is currently researching the Riverwalk in New Brunswick with Dr. Alan Cander from the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, addressing issues of an increasingly gentrified locale through policy initiatives that can potentially turn this pathway into a public art exhibit.
Gordon Morrisette is majoring in history, political science and math. After spending a year abroad at the University of St. Andrews, Gordon looks forward to returning to Rutgers to finish his math degree. He is a Rutgers Presidential Scholar, a Star Ledger Scholar, and a proud recipient of both the Rutgers Global Reach Scholarship and a School of Arts and Sciences Merit Scholarship. He is a member of the Rutgers University Debate Union and was the eleventh novice of the year for the American Parliamentary Debate Association in 2011. Gordon likes playing with cats, having a beard, and would probably make an excellent lumberjack if he didn't like trees so much. In the spring, Gordon will be working on national jurisdiction in international human rights violations with Richard O'Meara from the Division of Global Affairs.
Michael Nanfara is a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors program, majoring in molecular biology and biochemistry. He is an undergraduate research assistant for Dr. Andrew Vershon at the Waksman Institute where he studies gene regulation in yeast. For this research, he received the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the Aresty Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Outside of the lab, he served as the peer mentor and First Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) peer instructor for the Health and Medicine discovery house program. Recently, he was selected to become an Aresty Peer Instructor for the 2013-2014 academic year. In his work for the Gardner fellowship, Michael is working with Peter Gillies, the director of the New Jersey Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, to develop a framework to ethically utilize genomic technologies.
Evangelia Psarakis is a history and political science major and a comparative critical race and ethnic studies minor. She will be applying to the Rutgers Graduate School of Education next year to become a teacher. Evangelia is a proud member of Douglass Residential College as well as the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. She is a recipient of the Rutgers Academic Excellence award for being in the top ten percent of her class. Among other things, Evangelia loves music, poetry, and art, and enjoys writing and performing her own original songs at various events across campus. In the spring, Evangelia will be working on democratic transitions in Cyprus with Eric Davis from the Rutgers Political Science Department.
Although Kristopher Roohe's main area of study is literature, he is interested in nearly all disciplines associated with the liberal arts. For this reason, he considers himself particularly fortunate in his pursuit of a degree in English at Rutgers, where the professors are, and expect their students to be, well-informed in every subject. Trying to meet these expectations takes up most of his time, but when Kris has spare time he usually spends it rock climbing with a group of friends. He looks forward to taking more classes in philosophy, his minor area of study. Kris is also a Dean's List student, a member of the Tau Sigma National Honor Society, and the recipient of a Rutgers 2012 Academic Excellence Award. In the spring, Kris will be working on education and citizenship in American political history with Dennis Bathory from the Rutgers Political Science Department.
Rashmi Singh is an English major and an environmental policy, institutions, and behavior minor. She earned the SAS Excellence Award in 2011. She was born in California and spent nine years there before moving to New Jersey. She is also a runner on the Rutgers cross country and track teams. In the spring, Rashmi will be working on issues of civic education in secondary school curricula with Ben Justice from the Rutgers Department of Education. This summer, Rashmi will be travelling to Turkey to work with women farmers on developing sustainable farming techniques. Upon returning, she will be working at a non-profit, Food and Water Watch, to help advocate for policies ensuring safe drinking water.