Public Catastrophes, Private Losses

IRW Undergraduate Learning Community Scholars 2019-2020

Fall 2019 Scholars


Lily Boyce

Lily BoyceI am a senior in the Rutgers School of Nursing. On campus, I am a third-year Resident Assistant, Vice President of the Nursing Council for New Brunswick, and a member of the Douglass Residential College. I participated in the IRW Learning Community my freshman year and I am looking forward to taking it again with a new perspective. Upon graduation I plan to work in pediatrics, eventually getting a Doctorate and becoming a pediatric nurse practitioner!


Dru-Valerie Bright

Dru-Valerie BrightHello, my name is Dru-Valerie Bright. I am currently a senior at Rutgers University, majoring in Public Health with a minor in Women and Gender Studies. My future plans include becoming involved in international health organizations to become more open and aware of how other countries healthcare systems work, and to also become involved in bettering the health care in impoverished countries. My biggest goal in life is to just become someone that makes a lasting change in at least one person’s life and I hope my future plans give me the chance to make an impact. In my spare time, you would probably find me learning dance choreographies from various Korean pop groups. When I am not dancing, I would be in the kitchen baking or cooking various treats or meals for myself to try. One thing I hope people would take away when meeting me is that I always bring positive energy wherever I go. I almost always try to be the person that keeps everyone going and keep the atmosphere fun and bright.


Andreia Cheong-A-Shack

Andreia Cheong-A-ShackI am a senior double-majoring in Psychology and Communications specializing in Public Relations. I am also an Ambassador for the Paul Robeson Leadership Institute and a Program Assistant for the Division of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement. A self-taught artist, I have had my artwork published in the Rutgers PuBLACations 2018 art book. I am greatly interested in the arts, including movies/theatre, various genres of music and traditional artwork.


Claire Donahue

Claire Donahue I am currently a sophomore in the Honors College focusing on sustainable Supply Chain Management and Chinese. I am passionate about social innovation and solving global issues with business applications. On campus, I am a part of the marketing team for TEDxRutgers and I am in charge of student stories for the Honors College Media Team. Additionally, I am involved with Alternative Breaks, Outdoors Club, and a proud member of Douglass Residential College. In my spare time, you can find me reading, hiking, listening to podcasts, or scarfing down Tacoria. I am a firm believer that authentic storytelling can be a catalyst for understanding and unity.


Shanthi Kandala

I am a non-traditional student expected to graduate in May 2021. I am passionate about social justice and majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in American Studies. I hope to get into the field of student affairs and work for a university in either their LGBTQ or Multicultural offices. One thing I aim to do is lift up the voices of marginalized people.


Varsha Karne

Varsha KarneHi! My name is Varsha, I am in my final year of my undergraduate studies majoring in Human Resource Management and minoring in Labor Studies and Employment Relations at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. I was previously a Career Peer Ambassador at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations. I have also served as a Teaching Assistant for an Employment Law class. As for my hobbies I like to draw, watch TV, and review products. I am very interested in fashion and beauty because of their potential to function as creative outlets and venues to empower all genders.  


Malachi Kimzey

Malachai KimzeyI am a sophomore double-majoring in Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and Sociology, with a minor in Plant Science. On campus I’m part of the Honors College, I volunteer in Dr. Kimberly Russell’s Bee Lab, and I’m the current vice-president of the Beta Sigma chapter of Delta Lambda Phi. Outside of class, I spend my time knitting, gardening, and reading. I’m from Tennessee and I’m interested in exploring how queer and working-class southern people interact with their environments.


Kristen Marcinek

Kristen MarcinekI am a junior at Rutgers University majoring in Labor Studies with a minor in Social Justice. I am part of Douglass Residential College, a program for women here at Rutgers. On campus I am involved in Douglass Friends of the United Nations Population Fund, which works with sexual and reproductive health and rights on campus and globally. Through this I have been invited to a summit in Nairobi, speak at Fordham Law, and attend meetings at the UNFPA’s headquarters. When not focused on work or academia, I like to tend to plants, play video games, and visit museums.


Carlos Pareja

Carlos ParejaMy name is Carlos Pareja; I am a Biological Sciences major graduating spring 2020 from Rutgers University. My goal for this year is to do really well on the MCAT to apply for medical schools. After high school I enlisted in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman (medic) where I developed my interest in the medical field. I am 26 years old, born in Peru, from North Plainfield, NJ, a Baltimore Ravens fan, father to a three-year-old, and a fan of old school hip hop.


Sarah Pomeranz

Sarah PomeranzI am currently a senior (RBS/HC/DRC ‘20) with a Leadership and Management major, a concentration in Entrepreneurship and a minor in Social Justice. On-campus, I am a Study Abroad Peer Advisor, a Douglass Ambassador for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, an Alternative Breaks Site Leader and a Scarlet Ambassador at the Visitor Center. I am an alum of the Leadership Scholars Program, the Laurie Chair Fellowship and am working towards a certificate in Women’s Business Leadership. Throughout my four years at Rutgers, I have been involved with a wide array of organizations and founded the Rutgers chapter of TAMID, an innovative business education group. I am very passionate about activism, travel and want to pursue a career that uses business as a platform for social change.


Genesis Rodriguez

Genesis Rodriguez I’m Genesis Rodriguez, I am a first-generation college student, I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health in May 2020! I absolutely love to travel, so far I’ve visited 2 countries and 3 states. I try to book a trip to a new location at least once a year, this year I will be delving into Italian culture and cuisine! On campus, I am involved with Douglass Residential College and have been the Event Coordinator for the Women’s Center Coalition (come check us out on the 3rd floor of the DSC!) for the past 3 years. When I am not on campus or traveling, I am working at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as an Administrative Assistant for the department of General Internal Medicine. I aspire to move on to get my masters post-Rutgers and potentially pursue a career in the healthcare/medical field.


Neha Saju

Neha SajuI am in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program/Douglass Residential College ’22, and I am double-majoring in Political Science and History with a French minor. Last year, I completed an externship with the Center for American Women and Politics, and I was a regular columnist for The Daily Targum (column titled Pride, Not Prejudice). I am currently a Site Leader through RU Alternative Breaks, I am involved with the Darien Civic Engagement Project at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, and I am working towards completing a Certificate in Women’s Leadership through The Institute for Women’s Leadership. I love reading novels of all genres. I grew up on Percy Jackson books, and I read everything from Pride and Prejudice to Six of Crows.  


Sara Soherwardy

Sara Soherwardy I am a junior majoring in Cognitive Science and minoring in Psychology. After graduating Rutgers in 2021, I plan on applying to Physician Assistant (PA) school. On campus, I’m a part of the pre-PA club and I help out at the Ronald McDonald House whenever I’m able to. I enjoy expressing myself through art and words, whether it be poetry or stories. My favorite things to do are traveling, reading, listening to music, and watching shows. I’m keen to try new things and gain new experiences. One of my life goals is to travel to all seven continents and/or travel to all 50 U.S. states.


Rong Song

Rong Song I am currently a senior in the Rutgers Business School, and I am majoring in accounting. I also plan to go to graduate school and take the CPA exam after graduating. At Rutgers, I am a member of CRUCHCREW, the urban dance team. I also like to take photos to record the beauty of life and freeze the beauty of that moment in time. Baking and making Chinese foods are what I like to do in my spare time, which I find to be a lot of fun. Currently I am a tutor at the Livingston Writing Center where I help students improve their writing by encouraging them to analyze and write the essay critically.


Xi Yang

Xi YangI am a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Communication and Education for Social Study. I also plan on applying to the five-year Graduate School of Education program. I am from China. Recently, I joined my friend’s organization to help autistic children get equal educational opportunities in society. Back in China, I volunteer as a tutor for an ESL studio to help kids ages ten to seventeen learn English and help them prepare for college life. I enjoy traveling, baking, and playing LEGO.



2018-2019 Learning Community Scholars (Fall & Spring)
2017-2018 Learning Community Scholars (Fall)
2017-2018 Learning Community Scholars (Spring)