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.

 

 

 

Spring 2020 Scholars

 

Kazi Ahmed

Kazi AhmedI am currently a junior in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Psychology. I was a Research Assistant for the Aresty Research Center for Undergraduates in the Summer Science Program, 2018. On campus and in the New Brunswick Community, I am involved with Youth Empowerment Club and tutor under the A2E Program at Roosevelt Elementary School. My interests include reading anything nonfiction, writing poetry, spending time with my family and friends, and eating out anywhere and everywhere!

 

Brianna Ashmen

Briana AshmenI am a third year student, set to graduate in 2021, studying Cell Biology and Neuroscience, as well as minoring in Psychology. On campus, I am a Resident Assistant, a Douglass Residential College student, and also work in Scream Theater to educate about interpersonal violence under the office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance. I volunteer with this same office as a crisis response advocate and, outside of Rutgers, I volunteer with the Red Cross to help those impacted by natural disasters. In my down time, I like to create in different ways, such as drawing and writing. While I am passionate about many issues, my main goal is to positively impact as many people as I can every day. I plan to continue this goal as I pursue a career in healthcare.

 

Jillian Bandel

Jillian BandelHello! I am Jillian Bandel - a sophomore at Rutgers University. I’m a Spanish major and Psychology minor, and will apply for the Graduate School of Education’s 5 year program to become a Spanish/ESL teacher! Some things about me: I love cats, am a tattoo enthusiast, greatly enjoy learning about other cultures, love activism, and like taking part in community service projects. At Rutgers, I am the Media and Communications Executive Board Chairwoman for the LGBT+ women’s club UltraViolet, a DRC Red Pine Ambassador, a mentor in the Douglass Big/Little Peer Mentor program, and a Livingston Writing Center tutor! This past summer I studied abroad in Cusco, Peru, and I am currently planning my study abroad in Valencia, Spain for the next academic year. Finally, some accomplishments of mine include: Girl Scout Gold Award recipient, Dean’s List student, DRC student panel speaker for its 101st Birthday Celebration, and selected participant for a Douglass externship this past winter break!

 

Rachel Bauman

Andreia Cheong-A-ShackHello, my name is Rachel Bauman. I am currently a senior at Rutgers double majoring in Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, and minoring in International and Global Studies. I am a member of Rutgers University Student Assembly and Douglass Governing Council. During my undergraduate career, I have studied abroad in India, Greece, and Israel. Besides knowing some basic language skills from these countries, I will have reached an Intermediate level in French by May. I hope to obtain my Master’s degree in International Relations after graduation. My dream is to work in foreign diplomacy and international affairs with a particular focus on the Middle East and North Africa. Aside from my scholarly interests, I am very passionate about traveling, exploring new cultures, and the arts. In my free time, I play the guitar, attend concerts, and explore the outdoors.

 

Veronica Bido

Veronica BidoVeronica 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 and international rights, as well as 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 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, Veronica has 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.

 

Rachel Broder

Rachel Broder I am a sophomore majoring in Environmental Policy and double minoring in Sustainable Global Food Systems and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. On campus, I am the social media and events chair for the Compost Club, as well as a member of the Climate Campaign, a committee within the Students for Environmental Awareness Club. I am interested in pursuing a career which addresses the lack of food justice in our communities by making responsibly sourced nutritious foods more accessible. I am very passionate about activism, social justice, and travelling. In my free time I enjoy cooking, playing guitar, hiking, and writing!

 

Emily Cheng

Lily BoyceHi! My name is Emily. I’m a fourth year majoring in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior, and minoring in Economics, and I’m passionate about environmental and climate justice, zero waste and the circular economy, utopias, and Harry Styles. Last semester I helped organize the Global Climate Strike at Rutgers on September 20th, and am actively involved in climate organizing on campus (check out Students for Environmental Awareness!). My favorite book is Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood and my favorite podcast is Code Switch. After graduation I hope to pursue a career(s) in organizing, journalism, and eventually environmental policy or law.

 

Alyse Greenough

Alyse GreenoughMy name is Alyse Greenough and I am a Junior here at Rutgers University. Currently, I am double majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice; I am also part of the Criminal Justice Honor Society. Throughout my time at Rutgers I have been involved in Residence Life, specifically the Law and Political Science Living-Learning Community. Fortunately, I have been able to take numerous gender studies courses and made Dean’s List every semester I have been at university. My academic passion lies with finding the relationship between crime and society, particularly the way women both impact and are impacted by crime. I love studying politics and crime, but some of my hobbies include reading, watching films, and traveling.

 

Varsha Karne

Varsha KarneHi! My name is Varsha. I am dual majoring in Human Resource Management and Labor Studies and Employment Relations, graduating from Rutgers SAS in May 2020. I am Miss South Asia New Jersey 2019. On campus, I was previously a Career Peer Ambassador at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, and have served as a Teaching Assistant for an Employment and Law class. As for my hobbies, I like to draw, play ukulele, and am trying to learn electric and acoustic guitar. This is my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjQhtSIIuZ7_sbp3hiics0w/featured and Instagram page: @lvkbeauty, where I post about fashion and beauty, as I’m very interested in how they can function as creative outlets and venues to empower all.

 

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.

 

Nina Langhorn

Kristen MarcinekI am currently a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Douglass Residential College studying Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and minoring in Critical and Comparative Race and Ethnic Studies. I am very excited to graduate this May 2020! On campus, I am on the general boards of The Livingston Theatre Company and Cabaret Theatre, and have both on-stage and off-stage technical theatre experience. I am also an active member of Students for Environmental Awareness and Compost Club, which has truly honed my passion for community food justice and environmental justice advocacy. I sing with the Voorhees Choir, am a DJ on 90.3 The Core, and am on the Rutgers Rock Climbing Team. This year, I am conducting research for my Senior Honors Thesis about the gendered implications of sustainable development, particularly water security and women’s water management in rural India. My long-term career goal is to work internationally as an environmental educator to empower underprivileged women and girls, while inspiring environmental and social justice. My hobbies include cooking, traveling, hiking, climbing, gardening, singing, and making new Spotify playlists. This summer, I am part of an organization that will bike from New Jersey to Portland, Oregon while raising money for affordable housing in Middlesex County!

 

Mishelle Lema

Mishelle LemaI am a senior majoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and minoring in Public Policy. I am very passionate about social justice. In particular, I am passionate about women's, immigrant, and labor rights. On campus, I am involved with Douglass Residential College as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ambassador, and am currently the secretary for the Women’s Center Coalition. I am also involved in the Darien Civic Engagement Project as part of the Center for Youth Political Participation at the Eagleton Institute of Politics. In my spare time, I like to read, run, and spend time with my bunny, Maxwell.

 

Miranda Madrazo

Miranda MadrazoI am a sophomore in the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as a member of the Honors College and Douglass Residential College. I am majoring in Geography, and minoring in Spanish and English. My interests range from music to environmentalism to writing so, on campus, I am involved with Voorhees Choir, the Livingston Theatre Company, Compost Club, the HC Media Team, and am a service dog handler for the Companion Animal Club. I connect to the art of storytelling because it inspires empathy, shifts perspectives, engages, and entertains.

 

Amelia Metters

Amelia Metters My name is Amelia Metters. I am currently a sophomore pursuing a double major in Asian Studies and Economics. I am an advocate for women’s empowerment and eliminating traditional stigmas associated with women in all societies/cultures. My interests mostly lie in Asia-Pacific relations,, so I hope to one day work in Venture Capital or Law to reform/reconstruct disadvantaged areas of Southeast Asia. Outside of school, I enjoy doing/teaching yoga, running and promoting overall health and wellness.

 

Sattam Nabi

Sattam Nabi I am a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Cell Biology and Neuroscience and minoring in Psychology. I expect to graduate in May 2021. After graduation, I would like to further my education and enroll in a graduate program. I enlisted in the New Jersey Army National Guard in 2016 as a combat medic and I plan on continuing my career in the medical field. In addition, I am an avid reader; One of my favorite novels is Anthem by Ayn Rand.

 

Carlos Pareja

Neha SajuMy name is Carlos Pareja and I am a Biological Sciences major graduating in the spring of 2020. My goal for this year is to do really well on the MCAT so that I can apply to 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.

 

Franny Perez

Franny Perez My name is Franny Perez, and I am currently a Junior at Rutgers University, majoring in Social Work. I am a first generation college student, an SAS EOF scholar, and a member of Douglass Residential College. I work at the Rutgers College Support Program for students with ASD, and have done many things like host/prep events and am currently handling Inquiries. My future plans are to help children in single-parent homes, specifically through Policy and Administration in Social Work. I would like to make a difference in the lives of this particular group of people, but also anyone I come into contact with. My hobbies include cooking and baking. I often spend my time participating in creative activities like painting or reading a good book. I am always open and interested in learning and expanding my knowledge of different subjects.

 

Tucker Rodriguez

Tucker RodriguezMy name is Tucker Rodriguez, and I’m from Jersey City. I’m twenty years old and currently a sophomore at Rutgers. I hope to double major in Psychology and Theater Arts and minor in Japanese Studies. Since I’m indecisive, I plan to be either a gender therapist or school counselor, as well as a full-time actor. A translator is in the works, too. I have a major interest in the arts, be it visual or performance, and am a writer, actor, singer, and artist. I’ve written a book, and am writing more stories every day. During high school and my freshman year of college, I’ve taken part in a number of acting productions. Spider-Man is my number one hero and, like him, helping people is something I like doing! I currently work as a tutor. When I’m not busy with work or school, I’m playing video games, reading, writing, sleeping, or spending time with my family. Let’s not forget eating, of course.

 

Reva Rutherford

Reva Rutherford Hey y’all! I’m Reva Rutherford, a junior majoring in Communication with a specialization in Relationship and Family, and minoring in Psychology. I’m a Gemini sun, Libra moon, and Sagittarius rising, which lets you know how long it took me to decide on a podcast topic for this class! I’m a poet, collector of earrings, and music lover who would love to one day become a meme and/or appear on the show “What Would You Do?” Whatever my purpose is, I know it will be cosigned by my ancestors and involve making black people smile and feel safe.

 

Brigitte Schackerman

Brigitte SchackermanI am a junior majoring in Environmental Policy, Institutions and Behavior and minoring in Landscape Design. I became interested in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies when I joined Douglass Residential College. As a Global Village Human Rights house alum, I had the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico in January 2019 for a service-learning trip where we learned about human rights in the context of natural disaster, specifically Hurricane Maria. Some of my other interests include environmental justice, community planning, and food accessibility. On campus, I am involved in climate activism with the RU Compost Club, Students for Environmental Awareness, and the Sustainability Coalition. Outside of academics, I enjoy printmaking, gardening, and playing with my cat.

 

Sophie Wei

Sophie WeiI’m a sophomore/PP2 studying Pharmacy at the Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. In the future, I hope to fight against the greed of Big Pharma and play a role in making medicine and healthcare more accessible and affordable. Outside of pharmacy, I am especially interested in the intersections between queer liberation and East-Asian values, and was recently lucky enough to have my research paper selected for publication in Dialogues@RU‘s 2018-2019 edition. On campus, I am a DJ and the Development Director at the radio station, 90.3 the Core. Through this platform, I make an effort to highlight underrepresented queer and POC voices in music. I am also involved with Rutgers Art and Design as the Adobe Brand Ambassador. In my free time, I enjoy music production, hanging out with my cat, cooking, and watering my plants.

 

Sydney Yankowicz

Sydney YankowiczMy name is Sydney and I am currently a junior at Rutgers, majoring in English and minoring in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I am involved in the Rutgers Companion Animal Club, which helps service dogs gain public access before being placed with a recipient. I also just recently joined the National Society of Leadership and Success. I love finding new books to read, and watching TV shows and movies. My two favorite places to be are live music concerts and the beach.

 

Elissa Zikoff

Elissa ZikoffI am sophomore double-majoring in Economics and Russian, with a minor in Critical Intelligence. On campus, I was part of the 2018-19 Law and Politics Living Learning Community, where I had the opportunity to challenge my understanding of politics. I currently tutor at the Livingston Writing Center. Due to the many courses I have taken on Russian literature, I have become very passionate about understanding the extent to which Russian society’s model of gender relations differs from those in the United States and western Europe. In my free time, I enjoy reading and just being active, whether working out at the gym or going to a yoga class.

 

 Archives

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