Meet the 2017-2018 Fellows!
Sonya Abrams is in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program and Douglass Residential College, majoring in Political Science and double minoring in American studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. Sonya is involved in local politics and has been a board member of the Rutgers Democrats, serving first as a freshman representative and more recently as Secretary where she organizes and invites guests to come and speak. She is also active in Rutgers Hillel, and is the Vice President of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Pi Colony. Her sophomore year, she received an award from the American Studies Department for an essay on the integration of the Montclair Public Schools. During the spring of 2017, she took advantage of Douglass College’s externship opportunities and was an intern in State Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt’s office, writing memos and gaining hands on experience in the political field. This coming year, Sonya will be an Aresty Research Assistant with Professor Weingart and the Center On The American Governor. She is incredibly excited to be part of the Gardner Fellowship.
Christine Botvinnik is a student in the Rutgers Honors College, majoring in Finance and Economics and minoring in Political Science. She is currently a member of the Rutgers University Mock Trial Association, where she serves on the executive board, was a Team Captain, and now competes on the A Team. Additionally, Christine is the Vice Chair of the RUSA Allocations Board and a Peer Instructor in the Aresty Research Center. Through Aresty, she had also served as a Research Assistant to Professor Mark Killingsworth in the Economics Department, statistically analyzing factors that go into the pay of public university presidents. This summer, Christine worked at S&P Global in the Content Acquisition group, analyzing market data contracts and putting together budgets for the various divisions at the company. A member of the Road to Wall Street program, she hopes to pursue a career in the financial services industry or attend law school following graduation. She is excited to join the other Lloyd C. Gardner Fellows in learning about and debating global issues.
Anu Chugh is a student in the Honors College and School of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Political Science and double minoring in Economics and Hindi. Anu is a member of the Rutgers University Mock Trial Association, and volunteers as a tutor and Team Lead for the A2E program, where she works with 1st and 2nd grade students to improve their reading and math skills. In the past, Anu has worked with nonprofit organizations including the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and the Children's Defense Fund. Under the Kneller Fellowship, she is also currently involved in research with Professor Heumann in the Political Science Department, with their latest project focusing on police perceptions of body-worn cameras.
Courtney Davenport is an Honors College student in the School of Arts majoring in Political Science and triple minoring in Critical Intelligence Studies, Spanish, and International and Global Studies. She is the recipient of the SAS Excellence Award and is a consistent Deans List student. Courtney is currently an Honors College Ambassador, Civic Engagement and Advocacy Chair for the Honors College Service Assembly Executive Board, and Team Lead for Asset Based Community Driven Education (A2E). She has also served as the Honors Community Liaison in McCormick Suites. At Rutgers, she takes great pride in being a member of the Douglass Residential College and has served as the Barbara Voorhees Mentor for “Knowledge and Power” and Douglass Global Ambassador for the Annual Global Summit. Courtney will serve as a Red Pine Ambassador this upcoming year. Courtney has travelled to Spain and China with the Honors Program, and intends on studying abroad in Peru. She is passionate about homeland security and international relations. She was awarded the honor of being one of only two undergraduate students to participate in the Rutgers-Newark graduate level event on homeland security in Washington D.C in January 2017. This past June, she also had the privilege of attending the National Security Analysis and Intelligence Summer Seminar as a student in the Intelligence Communities Centers for Academic Excellence Program, where she met with representatives from several intelligence agencies and participated in an emergency stimulation with undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students from colleges and universities throughout the United States. At the conclusion of the seminar, Courtney received the Most Effective Leader Award. When Courtney is not busy with on-campus responsibilities, she works as a Student Manager at the Livingston Starbucks. She hopes to eventually work as an Intelligence Analyst within the Intelligence Community and is confident that participating in the Lloyd C. Gardener Fellowship will provide her with the knowledge and analytic ability needed in order to achieve this goal.
Max DuBoff is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences studying Philosophy and Classics. He focuses on Greek and Roman philosophy, particularly on the practical ethics of Aristotle and the Hellenistic schools, and studies Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. Max is a member of the inaugural Honors College class and has been honored on the Dean’s List each semester. He conducts research under the direction of Prof. T. Corey Brennan on Papal son Giacomo Boncompagni and citizenship in late Renaissance Rome; Max was awarded Best Poster in the Humanities at Rutgers’ 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium for his analysis of a previously unpublished Latin document granting honorary Roman citizenship to Giacomo Boncompagni. Last summer he studied abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and he loves to explore ancient and modern historical sites. Max serves as President of Kol Halayla, Rutgers’ premier Jewish a cappella group, and as Koach (Conservative Community) Co-Chair for Rutgers Hillel. In his free time, Max enjoys board games, singing, and intense discussions about politics and philosophy.
Aysenur Guc is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, majoring in philosophy and minoring in religion. She is a recipient of the SAS Academic Excellence Award, the Chancellor’s Award for diversity and inclusion, and the Ernest A. Lynton Fellows Scholarship. During her sophomore year, she served as the outreach coordinator for the Muslim Student Association. She has also been writing for the Daily Targum’s opinion column since her freshman year. In the Fall, she will be serving as an Aresty research assistant for Professor Charles G. Häberl and will be a FIGS instructor teaching the course “Exploring Philosophy.” You can find her on Fridays at the Cooper Dining Hall or lounging on the grass at Voorhees Mall.
Mikaila John is a junior majoring in Political Science with a minor in Public Policy. She is currently enrolled in the School of Arts and Sciences and has been on the Dean’s List every semester. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and a scholar at the Institute for Women’s Leadership. She currently works part-time at a dance studio as an instructor where she teaches different styles of dance to kids ranging from 2 to 18 years old. In the future she hopes to continue her academic study and pursue a masters degree in diplomacy and international relations.
Ioannis C. Lovoulos is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program majoring in Political Science and minoring in Economics, Greek Modern Studies, and French. He has received the Chancellorship Scholarship for studying abroad in 2016 and he has received the SAS Academic Excellence Award for 2017. He is an active member of the Hellenic Cultural Association and was elected to the board this past spring as Secretary. He contributes to the “Voice of Greece”, which is part of Rutgers Radio - WRSU 88.7. In addition to supporting Hellenism on campus, he is a founding member of the “Poetries-Politics” exhibition, an effort that will be dedicated to displaying famous political poetry and celebrating the array of languages spoken and taught at Rutgers University. He is interested in foreign affairs, particularly related to European, Turkish, and Russian politics. This past summer he completed an internship at the Consulate General of Greece in New York City.
Daria Martin is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program and member of Douglass Residential College. She is pursuing a major in History and a minor in Comparative and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. This past year, Daria served as the Resident Assistant for Jameson Hall, a community of Douglass Women in the SAS Honors Program. Daria’s passion for social justice is reflected in her other leadership roles on campus. She is President of Douglass Q/ummunity, an organization and discussion group that caters to the needs of LGBTQ women and their allies. Furthermore, she is the Vice President of Queer Caucus, the representative body for LGBTQ organizations at Rutgers that serves to empower LGBTQ individuals on campus. Daria also works for the Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities as an office assistant. Within this capacity, she assists professional staff in creating a supportive environment for students of all backgrounds, with a focus on gender and sexuality. This past summer, Daria assumed the role of Resident Mentor for the W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars Institute at Princeton University. There, she mentored students from historically disadvantaged backgrounds to advance both their academic and leadership abilities. Daria’s ambition is to become a high school social studies teacher where she will advocate for comprehensive curricula encompassing the suppressed histories of marginalized groups within the United States and across the world.
Elizabeth O'Brien is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program majoring in Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies and minoring in International and Global Studies. She is currently a research assistant for the PRACCIS project in the Graduate School of Education, a project aimed at promoting reasoning and conceptual change in middle school science classes. This summer, Elizabeth also interned at Mujeres en Desarrollo, a non-profit dedicated towards the development of women located in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic. Elizabeth is a founding sister of the Lambda Delta chapter of Alpha Gamma Delta, currently serves as the Gamma 1 officer, and was one of fourteen sisters chosen nationwide to participate in Alpha Gamma Delta’s first Service Immersion Trip. She served as president of Brett Hall her sophomore year, was a Scarlet Day of Service site leader for Spring 2016 and Fall 2016, and is a SAS Honors Program peer mentor. Elizabeth loves traveling, doing service, and petting dogs.
Nick Pellitta is a Rutgers Presidential Scholar in the Honors College studying Political Science, Economics, Spanish, and International & Global Studies in the School of Arts & Sciences. He has spent the last two summers working on a statewide election and interning for the office of Senator Cory Booker, as well as conducting research for Professor Mason Ameri investigating job search outcomes for people with disabilities. At Rutgers, Nick serves as the President of the Honors College Student Advisory Board, an organization meant to facilitate conversation between students and faculty, contribute to the development of administrative policy, and improve the Honors College student experience. He is also the cofounder of A2E, an afterschool tutoring program at Roosevelt Elementary School in New Brunswick, as well as the Director of Staff for Rutgers Model United Nations, Secretary of the RUSA Allocations Board, and a brother in Chi Psi Fraternity. Nick has particular interest in American government, political strategy, and dance.
Briony Smith is a School of Arts and Sciences student, double majoring in Political Science and Spanish with a minor in Creative Writing. She is also a member of the Douglass Residential College, part of the inaugural class of the Rutgers Honors College, and has been on the Dean's list for every semester of college. She has just returned from a Creative Writing workshop in England, through the Rutgers Study Abroad department. Previously, she has traveled to Sao Paulo Brazil to study Brazilian culture and history with the SAS Honors Program. She also spent the first semester of her sophomore year living and traveling in Santiago, Chile, where she was able to study Political Science at the University Diego Portales. This past semester, she interned at Legal Services of New Jersey, a non-profit that provides free legal aid to low income families in New Jersey. This fall, Briony will be tutoring expository writing through the Plangere Writing Center. Briony hopes to eventually pursue an MFA in Creative Writing, and in her spare time she can be found playing the piano or working on her first novel.
Paige Tetens is a student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program majoring in Philosophy and Political Science and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. Paige is a proud member of the Douglass Residential College and has spent the past spring researching the effects of climate change on women in poverty for the Institute for Research on Women. In the Spring of 2015 she was honored to travel to the Netherlands with the Honors Program to learn about the shared history of Rutgers and Utrecht University. She is also very involved in local political organizations, serving as the Political Director for the Rutgers University Democrats in 2016, and is currently their Director of Women’s Outreach. She is also the Communications Director for Rutgers for Phil Murphy, an organization working for Phil Murphy’s gubernatorial campaign, and previously she had worked as an intern on Josh Gottheimer’s 2016 campaign for New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District. In Spring of 2017, Paige was the recipient of the Kahn Family Scholarship for her academic performance and her goal of going to law school. She is very excited to be a part of the Lloyd C. Gardner Program this fall.
Andrea Vacchiano is a member of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program double-majoring in History and Political Science. Andrea serves as President of Young Americans for Liberty, Public Relations Chair of the Rutgers University Debate Union, and Treasurer of Young Americans for Freedom. She spent the summer of 2017 interning at The Daily Caller News Foundation in Washington, D.C., where her work was featured in The Drudge Report, The Daily Caller, and the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, among others. Andrea has also interned at the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, the Eagleton Institute of Politics, the Madison Historical Society, and Chris Christie’s gubernatorial campaign in 2013. She was also an opinions columnist for The Daily Targum during her sophomore year. In addition, Andrea was an Aresty Research Assistant for Dr. Louis Carlat of the Thomas Edison Papers, where she transcribed wax cylinder recordings containing the memories of Thomas Edison's colleagues. She is currently a research assistant for Dr. Lisa Miller and will be interning for the Scarlet and Black historical project in the fall of 2017. Andrea is often split between political and historical interests and hopes to either pursue a PhD in history after graduation or work at a news publication or think-tank. In her free time, she enjoys reading primary documents, debating, attempting to learn German, and watching Stanley Kubrick films.