Meet the 2013-2014 Fellows!
Olivia Austin is majoring in history and art history. She has earned the Rutgers Academic Excellence Award in 2013 and is a Harvey Schwarz Scholarship recipient. She is a member of the National Society for Leadership and Success, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and Rutgers Performing Dance Company. She works in Digital Production in the Zimmerli Art Museum and as a history tutor for student athletes at Rutgers. Olivia is in Phi Alpha Theta, the History Honors Society, and she is an intern at the East Jersey Olde Towne Village. Furthermore, Olivia will be a FIGS instructor in the fall, teaching the course “Exploring History.” Olivia plans to pursue a PhD in history, and incredibly excited to start the Lloyd C. Gardener Fellowship. She spent the summer of 2014 studying art history in Rome!
Jessica Brand is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors program. She is pursuing a major in American studies, as well as minors in political science, critical sexuality and French and a certificate through the Institute for Women's Leadership's Leadership Scholars Program. She has taken part in the Rising Leaders Institute, the Darien Learning Community for Citizenship and Civic Engagement, and was an intern at the Eagleton Institute of Politics; in addition she is a proud member of Delta Gamma Fraternity and of Douglass Residential College’s Human Rights House. Jessica has sung in the Voorhees choir, held various other leadership positions on campus, and has worked for the past two summers as a camp counselor at Summer Institute for the Gifted. This past spring, Jessica had the amazing opportunity to study Trans-Atlantic Relations and Euro-American affairs at Sciences Po Paris- Campus Euro-Américain de Reims, in Reims, France and travel all around Europe. Jessica is a proud recipient of the Academic Excellence Award at Rutgers and is excited for the opportunity to participate in the Gardner Fellowship Program for Leadership and Social Policy. In the spring, she will be working with Leslie Fishbein from the American Studies Department on the topic of reproductive rights and the implications they have on democracy, in the sense of freedom and self-determination.
Shelley Friedman is an SAS Honors Scholar studying political science and psychology, and is a recipient of the Rutgers 2013 Academic Excellence Award. Over the course of her first two years at Rutgers she has served as an Aresty Research Assistant, Co-President of Rutgers University Shalom/Salaam, and Secretary of Rutgers Hillel. Currently, in addition to her participation in the Lloyd C. Gardner Fellowship Program, she is working closely with Professor Heumann studying the causes and consequences of whistleblowing. She is also serving as a Peer Instructor for the Aresty Research Program. Shelley is an aspiring yogi and lover of all things artistic, both in terms of producing and appreciating. She enjoys learning, traveling, great food, and even better company, and is excited to continue exploring her passions with an open heart and mind. In the Spring, Shelley will be researching the people's right to know, and the implications of and legitimacy of the government's concealment of information, with Professors Milton Heumann and Dennis Bathory from the Political Science Department.
Shane Guinan is a School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program double major in political science and genetics. He is an executive board member of Rutgers Association of Undergraduate Geneticists, the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children, and Rutgers Residence Hall Association and is an Honors Program Ambassador and Peer Mentor. He was selected to be an Apartment Advisor for the Silvers Apartments on Busch Campus next year. In addition to all of this, he has been working in the lab of Dr. Lei Yu from the genetics department studying neuropathic pain. Shane will spend the spring semester researching the laws surrounding gestation carriers and surrogacy under the advisement of Dr. Karen Schindler of the Department of Genetics and Dr. T. Patrick Hill from Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.
Shireen Hamza is an English and cell biology/neuroscience double major, and, when pressed, admits to being one of those "pre-meds". She was awarded an Academic Excellence Award for 2013, and had the privilege of working as an Aresty Research Assistant with Dr. Paul Lehrer on a biofeedback study for asthma at UMDNJ. She is the Managing Editor for the Rutgers pre-health journal, "The Examiner" (check us out on facebook). She debated throughout her first year of college with the Rutgers University Parliamentary Debate Union, and competed on the Rutgers slam poetry team, Verbal Mayhem, her second year. She is and hopes to continue as an active member of the spoken word and performing arts community at Rutgers. She also volunteers weekly in EMS with the North Brunswick Rescue Squad and tutors Arabic. In the summer of 2013, she will be volunteering with Project LEAP to teach English in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. In the long term, she hopes to holistically and ethically practice medicine internationally and/or work in medical research. In the spring,Shireen will be working on Islamic liberation theology and the role of faith in the work of Muslim women activists in the South African struggle against apartheid with Professor Edward Ramsamy, of the Africana Studies Department.
Dhrumit Joshi is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors program majoring in economics and philosophy. He is involved in a leadership capacity in the Rutgers University Student Assembly, whose goal is to make the university a better place. He is also interested in helping students with disabilities. He hopes to eventually become an attorney and one day a federal judge. He is very excited to be a part of the Lloyd Gardner Fellowship examining democracy and democratic revolutions. Dhrumit will spend the spring examining the role of affirmative action programs (specifically the Black Economic Empowerment program) in fostering a democratic culture and creating political and economic equality in South Africa. He will be working with Professor Edward Ramsamy of the Africana Studies Department.
Bernard Lin is pursuing a double major in classics (Ancient Greek & Latin) and economics, as well as a minor in music. He is a member of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program and a recipient of the National Latin Exam Scholarship. As a Resident Assistant at Rutgers, he oversees honors housing on the Livingston Campus. An active musician, he currently plays violin with the Rutgers Sinfonia and the Livingston Symphony Orchestra. Bernard travels frequently to New York, where he volunteers at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and obtains additions for his growing collection of autographed books. In the spring, Bernard will be working on extradition with Professor Milton Heumann from the Political Science Department.
Kiranjot Kaur is majoring in political science and minoring in history. She hopes to one day join the world of politics through civil service. Kiranjot is involved in a variety of clubs on campus including the Rutgers University Debate Union, Cook Apartments Residence Hall Association, and the WRSU radio station. She is fluent in Punjabi and hopes to one day fluently speak Spanish. For now her phrases are limited “hola,” “bueno,” and “gracias.” Over the summer she interned for New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. In the fall, Kira was the student coordinator of RU Voting, a division of the Eagleton Institute of Politics’ Youth Political Participation Program. Her responsibilities include encouraging Rutgers students to pay attention to politics, register to vote, and turn out on Election Day. In the spring, Kira will be researching the topic of religion in America, particularly examining the Affordable Care Act and abortion. She will be working with Cynthia Daniels from the Political Science Department.
Raman Maingi is a student in the School of Arts and Science Honors Program who is currently pursuing a double major in economics and political science. He is currently a member and a regular participant in the Rutgers University Debate Union, for which he clinched 3rd novice in the nation in his freshman year of college. When he is not involved in debate or academic pursuits, you could see Raman playing Minecraft, going bowling, or tending to his stuffed animals.
Rachel Moon is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program who is majoring in planning and public policy and minoring in Spanish. She is an SAS Honors Program Ambassador and recipient of the 2013 SAS Excellence Award. She will be the chairwoman of the RUSA Allocations Board, which oversees the allocations process of $1.5 million annually to student organizations on campus, for the 2014-2015 year. Rachel will also be teaching a one-credit course called Law and Leadership in the fall semester of 2014 as a FIGS Peer Instructor as well as being a returning varsity debater for the RU Debate Union, the third highest-ranked debate team in the nation. She has previously interned for the U.S. Senator Robert Menendez and a non-profit organization in Brookly, New York. Rachel is an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate and has been selected to intern at the Rutgers Office of Federal Relations in Washington, D.C., for the summer of 2014 as her internship placement. In the spring, Rachel has worked with Professor Janice Fine from the School of Management and Labor Relations on policy regarding paving paths to citizenship for undocumented youths in America.
Jeffrey Niesz is a history and political science double major, and he is considering a minor in American studies. Jeffrey is a recipient of the Rutgers Academic Excellence Award, and he is also a Dean’s List student. He currently works with the Rutgers Mathematics Department as an Undergraduate teaching assistant, and he worked with the Graduate School of Education’s Dr. Benjamin Justice last summer as a research assistant. Jeffrey looks forward to bringing his talents to the Lloyd C. Gardner Fellowship Program.In the spring, he will be working with Dr. Benjamin Justice in the Graduate School of Education. They will be studying civic education in American middle schools, with a hope of impacting education policy in a way to promote engaged and active future citizens, a hallmark of any great democracy.
Parag Shende is a double major in political science and economics with a minor in French. He enjoys being a part of Residence Hall Association (RHA). He was Secretary for the Busch Suites Hall Government for the 2012-2013 year and is going to be the Busch Residential Council Vice Chair for the 2013-2014 year. He is a member of Rutgers University Association of International Relations. He also did research on protest politics and civil society as part of Aresty with Professor Kubik. Parag is an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate and a junior inductee into Phi Beta Kappa. Outside of school he enjoys watching sports. He is a New England Patriots fan and a New York Yankees fan. In the spring, Parag will be researching the European Union and its role in spreading democracy with Professor Ewan Harrison of the Political Science Department.
Raymond Wang is an English and computer science double major in the School of Arts and Sciences. He arrived at Rutgers as a James Dickson Carr Scholar studying music performance with Mason Gross, and he has been fortunate to continue to enjoy several opportunities to participate in both band and orchestra ensembles. Most recently he has become involved in the Institute of Domestic and International Affairs, for which he is an active member of the directorate. He is a brother of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and a staff writer for The Daily Targum. In his free time, he likes to play guitar, run, and recommend "Scrubs" to his friends, and he is always looking for new activities to add to his interests.
Sara West is a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program from Bridgewater, New Jersey, majoring in Women’s & Gender Studies and Political Science with a minor and Theater Arts and a certificate in Women’s Leadership with a policy focus on Human Rights from the Institute for Women’s Leadership She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society, and an Eagleton Undergraduate Associate. Her interest in human rights advocacy and feminist pedagogy has led Sara to intern at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, where she managed a large selection of international publications and assisted with preparing students to attend the UN Commission on the Status of Women. She has also has interned at the office of the late Honorable U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg where she assisted staffers dealing with community organizations, military veterans, education, and immigration. Most recently, Sara has served as the Rutgers University United Nations Youth Representative, attending briefings and working with student organizations to promote the work of the UN, in addition to publishing a handbook on the Rutgers Youth Rep Program. Her experiences thus far have influenced her concern for U.S. ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which she made her research focus for the Gardner Policy Conference. Sara hopes to someday blend her love of theater and social justice to bolster youth civic engagement by creatively integrating human rights into common core curriculum standards by using the arts to democratize classrooms and open up space for empowerment.
Zachary White is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program majoring in history and Middle Eastern Studies and minoring in political science. He is a Rutgers University Presidential Scholar and was an intern for United States Senator Frank R. Lautenberg. Recently, Zach was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State and will spend this summer improving his Turkish in Ankara, Turkey. He is also an avid soccer player and fan and is a member of the Viking Army, a supporters club for the New York Red Bulls. Zach hopes to one day work with the U.S. State Department as a foreign service officer. In the spring, Zach will be researching the political rights of Kurds in Turkey with Professor Eric Davis from the Political Science Department.