Feminism and Resistance: Politics, Peril, Power

IRW Undergraduate Learning Community Scholars Spring 2018

Rebecca Ambrosino

Rebecca Ambrosino photo I am a Psychology major and Women’s and Gender Studies minor planning to graduate in 2018. I really enjoy taking courses related to child psychology and hope to have a career that incorporates both child psychology and women’s and gender studies. In my spare time I enjoy doing anything related to food. I have always had a passion for cooking and baking and can be found in the kitchen whenever I have the time. I am so incredibly honored and excited to be part of the IRW’s 2018 Learning Community and to apply my academic background to real life experience.

Jensen Benko

Jensen Benko photoI am currently a junior graduating in May 2019. I am majoring in Women’s and Gender Studies and minoring in Political Science. On campus I am involved with the Rutgers chapter of She’s the First which helps raise money to fund girls’ education globally. My academic interests include studying queer theory, the effects of gender and identity on politics, and how language shapes the way we live. Outside of school I enjoy reading memoirs, (poorly) singing along to show tunes, and exploring bookstores.

Lee Chang

Lee Chang photoI am a senior majoring in Physics and minoring in Computer Science. This is my second semester of a one-year exchange program from Taiwan. I am interested in photography, playing percussion, traveling, and reading. During my time at Rutgers, I have met a variety of people who grew up in different backgrounds and have their own identities. I enjoy observing cultural difference and comparing people with those in my home country.

Kai Durant 

Kai Durant I am a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, as well as a member of Douglass Residential College, double majoring in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. I am also part of the Douglass Student Recruitment Network and Women’s Center Coalition. I participated in CLASP, Leadership Scholars Program, and Aresty Research. Aside from academics and extra-curricular activities, I enjoy traveling, reading, and watching Parks and Recreation. I hope to pursue a career that focuses on social justice and fighting inequality.

Renatta Fordyce

Renatta Fordyce photo I am a junior majoring in Comparative Literature: Colonial and Postcolonial Studies and minoring in Women’s and Gender Studies. In my native country, Guyana, I worked as a News Reporter for The Stabroek Newspaper and volunteered with the Guyana Human Rights Association’s Rights of the Child (ROC) organization. While with ROC, I was actively involved with the “Eradicate the Hate” campaign that sought to mend the country’s political divide during electoral seasons. At present, my research interests and activism are focused on Black and Brown domesticity, the ways migrant female bodies are defined by race, citizenship, and workspace, and the Anti-Man aesthetic/queer Guyana as borderland.

Henessa Gumiran

Henessa Gumiran photo am a child of immigrants and a first-generation graduating Asian American womxn studying Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics. I shoulder the burden of Orientalism, marked as a foreigner in a country where my melanin level is the determinant of how high the ceiling is. I’ve been involved in community organizing around issues of global and domestic poverty, racial justice, and promotion of solidarity among peoples of the Global South. In my research, I want to symbolically shatter the bamboo ceiling and disrupt the antiquated discourse of the “model minority” by addressing political complacency, colorism, and postcolonial generational trauma, among other considerations, through a sociopolitical and economic feminist lens.

Jennifer Helminski 

Jennifer Helminski photoI am a nontraditional senior Geography major and Religion minor. I came back to school in Fall 2014 as a Mason Gross visual arts student with the intent to transfer and study astrophysics. While at Rutgers I have worked as a writing tutor, geography tutor, and at the Rutgers Climate Institute where I co-authored a research paper for the USDA on climate change and agriculture. Prior to coming back to school, I worked mostly with animals as a zookeeper, dolphin caretaker/trainer, veterinary assistant, and on farms. Outside of school I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking, drawing and painting, rollerskating, and meditation. After graduation I would like to continue my education, but I'm not sure yet what to pursue and plan to spend a year in service to a non-profit organization working to make our world a better place.

Lily Kwak

Lily Kwak photoI am a sophomore in the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as a member of Douglass Residential College and the Honors College. As a student double majoring in Women's and Gender Studies and Biological Sciences, I have the unique opportunity to delve into both fields of study that inspire me on a daily basis. Taking a variety of classes in both the sciences and humanities has allowed me to discover new complexities in the natural world and to improve my understanding of people and their relationships. I am also a teaching intern for General Chemistry courses, I tutor elementary school kids in New Brunswick with the Youth Empowerment Club, and I volunteer at a local hospital. In my free time, I make vocal and guitar YouTube cover videos of my favorite K-pop songs.

Geidy Mendez 

Geidy Mendez photo sI am a School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College student graduating in 2019, and a double major in Political Science and Latino & Caribbean Studies. I am a 2017 intern and work-study student for the Center for American Women and Politics and actively involved in various organizations on campus such as the Latin American Women Organization, G.O.Y.A. (Galvanizing and Organizing Youth Activism), and First Generation Student Union. In addition, I am the Class of 2019 Representative for the Douglass Governing Council. I have interned at El Centro Hispano Americano where I worked on domestic abuse cases for undocumented individuals ensuring they are heard no matter their immigration status. I hope to earn a JD in Immigration Law and continue advocating for immigration rights.

Timothy O’Donnell

Timothy ODonnell photo croppedI am currently a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Political Science with a minor in History. On campus, I serve as President of Golden Key International Honour Society. My current research interests include the development of inclusive space(s) in relation to monuments and waymarkers, as well as the political implications of public history methods. I spend my free time reading Latin American fiction and going to basement shows in Brooklyn.

Anjali Patil 

Anjali PatilI am a senior Journalism and Media Studies major with a Cinema Studies minor, and am pursuing a career in broadcasting. I am the co-founder and co-President of the Rutgers Documentary Club, and am also a DJ at the Rutgers radio station, 90.3 The Core. For the past two years, I have been a tutor at the Livingston Writing Center where I help students in a variety of writing courses improve their critical thinking and essay writing skills, and I consider it one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at Rutgers. I intend to pursue documentary work in broadcasting, and want to combine non-fiction storytelling with artistic elements of fiction to expand the genre, exploring issues concerning the environment, human rights, and mental health.

Barbara Shi 

Barbara Shi photoI am currently a first-year student in the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, and a member of Douglass Residential College, double majoring in History and Women’s and Gender Studies, and minoring in Public Health. Around campus, I am a DJ for 90.3 The Core, a volunteer with the Women’s Center Coalition, and an Assistant Director for Rutgers Model Congress. I have also been a reporter for the hyperlocal newspaper, New Brunswick Today, for the past year. In my free time, I love to read, listen to music, and collect stickers. I hope to help provide much-needed educational resources for immigrant populations, specifically women and minorities, in navigating American health care services and naturalization.

Jyotsana Thapa

Jyotsana Thapa photo cropped I am currently a sophomore majoring in Biological Sciences. I am a first-generation college student and part of EOF and Douglass Residential College. My future goals are to become a doctor and to help those who are disadvantaged and lack resources. Currently, I am a secretary for the Rutgers University Nepali Student Association where our goals are to share our Nepali culture with others in the community. Most of my free time is spent volunteering at the hospital. I also enjoy playing tennis. In the future, I would love to travel all around the world.

June Titus

June TitusI am a junior double majoring in History and Women’s and Gender Studies and minoring in Art History. I am interested in the intersections of gender, sexuality, art, and history, and am currently a volunteer with CoLab Arts and the Pride Center of NJ for the TrueSelves Oral History Project, archiving the oral histories of transgender and non-binary people. On campus, I am involved in the Rutgers Art History Student Association and Douglass Friends of UNFPA. This fall, I will be leading tours of Rutgers through my public history internship for the Scarlet and Black Project, presenting the history and experiences of disenfranchised populations at Rutgers. I am passionate about incorporating advocacy/activism within academia, and plan to attend graduate school to become a professor of Women’s History.   

Shaniya Wilson-Harper 

ShaNiya Wilson Harper photo cropped I am currently a junior studying Human Resource Management. The reason I decided to major in human resources is because, while I enjoy the management aspect of it, I hope to one day change how people of color and women are treated within the workplace. I realize that the world we live in can be terrifying, especially with everything that has been recently going on. This is why I am attempting to become the change that I wish to see. I am currently a part of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance, which allows me to advocate for anyone who has been or are victims of sexual assault or harassment. I am also a part of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization that helps families dealing with mental illness, as well as Embrace Kids who support children with cancer or any other life-threatening disease. I am a strong believer that I was placed on this planet for a reason. Until I find that reason, I plan to touch and inspire the lives of everyone who crosses my path.

Gali Zaborowski

Gali Zaborowski photoI am a sophomore in the Honors College studying Psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies. On campus, I am involved at the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance as a SCREAM Theater performer, student advocate, and undergraduate intern for the Spring 2018 semester. Through VPVA, my studies, and involvement in psychology research, I have developed a passion for working with interpersonal violence survivors and other trauma-affected populations. As a First-Year Scholar in the Institute for Women’s Leadership Scholars Program and an Institute for Research on Women Learning Community Scholar, I am excited to learn more about feminist activism and how to make an impact on the Rutgers and greater community!

Missing: Komal Naqvi

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