Introducing the Galbraith Scholars
Jarrad Aguirre is a rising senior at Yale University, where he is majoring in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology. A native of Denver, Colorado, his interests include health disparities, inequalities in professional representation, and cross-cultural medicine. A Truman Scholar Finalist and Phi Beta Kappa Junior Inductee, Jarrad will research Alzheimer’s disease this summer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, funded by the Exceptional Research Opportunities Program (EXROP) of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He previously researched neuromuscular junctions, which are implicated in diseases such as myasthenia gravis, at Stanford University, winning several awards for his work. Recipient of the John O’Leary and Patricia Cepeda Fellowship for the Study of Latin America, Jarrad studied the role of traditional medicine in indigenous communities in various parts of Peru, including the Amazon and the Andes. He has also investigated the delivery of care to patients with dementia in a resource-poor district of Buenos Aires, thanks to the Richter Summer Fellowship and the John E. Linck and Alanne Linck Summer Fellowship. In the spring of 2008 he authored a paper titled ¨Targeting At-Risk Populations with Federally Qualified Health Centers, ¨ which will be published by The Roosevelt Institution in 25 Ideas for Community Development. Jarrad founded the group MAS (Math and Science) Familias, which aims to mentor and support Latino students interested in math and science, thereby addressing the dearth of Latinos in related fields. He co-founded and serves as president of YNepal, which organizes service trips to the Bal-Mandir Orphanage and the Tibetan Refugee Center in Kathmandu. In addition, Jarrad is involved in the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students, Walden Peer Counseling, and Yale Club Hockey, and volunteers in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Yale-New Haven Hospital. He plans to apply to either MD/MPH or MD/MPP programs so that he may pursue a career committed to social activism and policy formation. Jarrad is excited to learn from the other Galbraith Scholars and to explore graduate school options.
Jenné Baccar Ayers
Jenné Baccar Ayers is a rising junior at Harvard College from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. At Harvard she is concentrating in Government with a specific interest in examining domestic and international human rights abuses both presently and historically. Jenné’s academic and extracurricular involvements have been focused social justice work. In high school she was the President of the Philadelphia Chapter NAACP’s Youth Council. During those years, she and other students collaborated to implement solutions to racism and poverty in the Philadelphia area. Volunteering in this manner helped Jenné understand that many of the issues of inequality require structural changes. Therefore, last summer she was an intern in Congressman Chaka Fattah’s office (D-PA) through the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Through this internship, Jenné began to understand the powerful role that policy can have in determining societal outcomes. This summer she hopes to introduce the complexities in evaluating the effectiveness of both community service and public policy to high school students as she will serve as a tutor in a Telluride Association summer program. Over her last two years at Harvard, Jenné has been invested in ending the injustices that women of color face. While in college she has been heavily involved in the Association of Black Harvard Women and a participant in Harvard Institute of Politics’ Women’s Initiative in Leadership. Jenné looks forward to attaining a JD/MPP and using her life as a catalyst for positive change.
Jennifer Bailey is a rising senior at Tufts University, where she is majoring in political science. An Illinois native, she grew up in the small city of Quincy prior to moving to Chicago to attend high school. Her experiences growing up in these vastly different environments shaped her desire to pursue a career in the field of social and education policy. Inspired to serve by her Christian faith, Jennifer is a strong advocate of religious pluralism. Since 2005, she has actively been involved with the Interfaith Youth Core of Chicago where she currently serves has the organization’s policy intern. During her junior year of college, Jennifer served as President of the Emerging Black Leaders, an organization that focuses on providing minority high school students in the surrounding communities of Medford and Somerville with greater access to higher education and leadership development opportunities. Serving with faculty at Tufts on the Equal Educational Opportunity Committee and chairing the student government’s Culture, Ethnicity, and Community Affairs Committee broadened her understanding of the challenges that emerge at the intersection of education policy and cultural diversity. An avid lover of the performing arts, she is the Co-Founder of the Tufts Social Justice Arts Initiative and a proud member of the 3rd Day Gospel Choir. Jennifer is a 2008 Truman Scholar.
Rakim Brooks, a native of New York City, is a junior concentrator in Brown's Africana Studies Department. A member of the 2007 Mellon Mays cohort, Rakim has interned at the Brookings Institution, worked as a research assistant for Economics Professor Glenn Loury, and will spend this summer working for the Center for Law and Social Policy on workforce social programming. Currently, he chairs the Africana Studies Departmental Undergraduate Group and the Academics and Administrative Affairs Committee on the Undergraduate Council of Students, and last summer was awarded the Charles Nichols Award for Leadership. As a senior, he plans to complete a thesis that combines many of his disciplinary interests and explores the intersections between globalization, urbanization, and race. This will hopefully position him to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science (his top choices are UCLA, UChicago, Columbia and Harvard).
Claire is a June 2008 graduate of Dartmouth College, where she majored in social American history and minored in public policy. Recently Claire completed her senior honors thesis, a work that presents two activist groups of poor mothers in Boston during the 1960s and their respective fights for social justice. Examining a welfare rights group and a public housing group, Claire's research suggests that the needs and actions of low-income mothers are motivated by multiple identities, and that motherist politics are grounded in rights based language in addition to calls for necessary physical and material change. As her honors thesis evidences, Claire is particularly interested in women's rights and the history of social justice movements. In addition to her academic pursuits at Dartmouth, Claire has involved herself in various women's organizations and a mentoring program, through which she was paired for four years with a teenage girl living in a local public housing development. A Boston native, Claire plans to return to her hometown upon graduation and work at a local non-profit organization before pursuing a PhD. in American History and a law degree. She hopes that with such a dual degree, she can strike a balance between writing the history of justice movements and making history as a social justice activist.
A native of Los Angeles, Daniel Edeza is a rising junior majoring in History at Yale University. Through his work as a Public School Intern at Fair Haven School in New Haven and his work as an ESL-tutor at Columbus Elementary School, Daniel has become adamant about reforming the educational school system to better serve underprivileged and limited English proficient (LEP) students. As a Public School Intern Daniel has helped organize the first ever Hispanic Heritage Day at Fair Haven School to promote cultural awareness and acceptance; helped start the site program Youth Together (an after-school mentoring program for inner-city students); encouraged communal philanthropy through his organization of school fundraisers; and has contributed immensely as a tutor to English as a Second Language (ESL) students. As a Gates Millennium Ambassador, Daniel propagates scholarship information to low-income minority students in the community, in an effort to eliminate the financial burden that deters many from pursuing a higher education. On the weekends Daniel teaches acting classes to New Haven elementary school children to promote leadership skills and to engross students into the arts. This summer, as a Yale President’s Public Service Fellow, Daniel will work with the group Solar Youth to help teach New Haven students about the environment and will implement an educational program that will promote environmental preservation to other community members. In addition to his work in education, Daniel volunteers for the organization BRED by delivering left-over food from Yale dining halls to homeless shelters, contributes to the Yale literary world through his involvement in the literary and arts magazine Jonathan Edwards Spider’s Web, and is currently working on creating a scholarship for New Haven college-bound seniors. Daniel is currently pursuing his high school teacher certification through Yale’s Teacher Preparation Program and plans to study educational policy in the future.
Kevin Feeney recently completed his bachelor's degree in African American Studies at Harvard College. His senior thesis, which interrogates racial and professional identities in the novels of Colson Whitehead and David Bradley, was honored with Harvard's Hoopes prize. Kevin spent several years planning the launch of 826 Boston, a non-profit writing and tutoring center. The center opened its doors in Roxbury, Massachusetts last fall, and provides one-on-one tutoring to local students and curricular support to public school teachers. Kevin is particularly interested in the intersection of inequality, social policy and criminal justice. He has worked as a tutor at a youth detention center, and as a research assistant for a work reentry pilot project initiated by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. A paper of his, which evaluates the efficacy of work programs for formerly incarcerated people, is slated to be published in the Roosevelt Review. This summer, Kevin will be returning home to the San Francisco Bay Area to begin a fifteen-month fellowship at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, where he will work with families of incarcerated youth to advocate for reform of California's juvenile justice system. He is still deciding what kind of graduate program he might pursue to more effectively engage social justice issues, and to enrich his participation in democratic and interdisciplinary methods of social change.
University of California, Los Angeles
Lupita Ibarra is sophomore at the University of California- Los Angles, and is double majoring in Sociology and Political Science with a Human Complex Systems minor. At the present moment she is Ronald McNair research fellow hoping to continue on to a scholar position in the fall. She is currently researching the manner that female day laborers in particular utilize the work industry to promote higher human and social capital for themselves through different forms of networking that take place under informal and unstable labor practices. Lupita was born and raised in Baldwin Park, CA in a predominantly Mexican immigrant working-class community. She interned with the United Farm Workers (UFW), and specifically helped in the process of organizing a campaign against D'Arrigo Produce Company for its refusal to renew its labor contract, which placed workers (majority immigrants) in a vulnerable position to wage and benefit cuts. Her responsibilities were to mobilize and contact religious leaders in New York to support the campaign and ask that they compose letters of support. Her research conducted thus far accompanied with her involvement in extracurricular activities have established a strong interest in an area that she hopes to eventually receive a master's degree, which is International and Comparative Health and Social Welfare Policies.
Annie Liang is a rising senior at Williams College, majoring in Psychology. Hailing from the inner-city Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, Annie grew up in a community of working-class immigrants and minorities, in a neighborhood plagued by homelessness, drug addiction, prostitution, and violence. Since a young age, she has been attuned to the needs and disparities of her community, and over the years, has remained a steadfast member of the Salvation Army, mentoring underprivileged children, reaching out to the homeless, elderly, and struggling families. Throughout high school, Annie volunteered at low-performing public schools and got a glimpse of politics while interning at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Simultaneously, she was selected as a youth ambassador for Rotary International and the World Affairs Council, and while living amongst the people of Hungary and Mexico for a year, began bridging cultural barriers and developing a passion and awareness for the experiences of poor and indigenous populations abroad. Thereafter, Annie spent six months working with local communities in Panama, Mozambique, and South Africa, supporting youth programs, social services, and community development work. Most recently, Annie traveled to various urban centers in Argentina, India, China, and the Middle East in a comparative study of development, politics, sustainability, and globalization, which has been a formative experience in shaping her understanding of the critical condition of the world and issues of inequality and urban poverty. On campus, Annie actively engages students in topics of racial and social justice and has lead service learning trips to challenging places such as Camden, New Jersey and Jackson, Mississippi. She is also an active leader of the Williams Christian Fellowship, Asian American Students in Action, and volunteers her time at the local elementary school as a teacher and mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Kuong graduated from Boston College with a Philosophy major and a double minor in Studio Art and Faith, Peace, and Justice Studies in May of 2008. As an undergraduate, his research was focused on the relationship between trauma and diabetes and its affect on the Southeast Asian American communities in the United States. He examined the access disparities in the American healthcare system faced by refugee and immigrant populations. In addition, Kuong is deeply involved in human rights issues and has collected oral histories from survivors of genocide, created workshops to educate Rwandan youth about the history of genocide and researched mental health issues for repatriated refugees. As an intern at the U.N. Development Fund for Women in Beijing, he reviewed grant proposals and wrote policy proposals on the trafficking of women. Kuong leads an annual service trip out to the Navajo Nation and has explored the relationship between displacement and trauma and the effects on indigenous populations in the Southwest region of the United States. As a researcher with the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, he has prepared a mental health tool kit and served as a Khmer-English translator at a local health clinic. As a policy and research intern at the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Kuong has worked to defend the rights of refugees and asylum seekers in the United States and around the world. A Patrick Stewart Human Rights Scholar, Harry S. Truman Scholar, an Institute for International Public Policy Fellow and a member of USA Today's 2008 All-Academic First Team, Kuong is passionate about the arts, traveling, independent films, good cuisine and enjoys learning about ancient civilizations.
University of California, Berkeley
Stephanie Puentes is a rising senior at the University of California, Berkeley where she is majoring in Psychology with a minor in Public Policy. She was born to Mexican immigrant parents and is the only female in a family of three. She was born and raised in Salinas, California, a predominately Latino community enriched with a history of farm working yet infested with gang violence and drugs. In high school she fought for the inclusion of Latino students within school sponsored activities, and now at Berkeley she continues to fight for Latino rights, more specifically her focus lies on the attainment of higher education. Throughout her time at Berkeley she has been involved with various organizations that promote education and aim to break down the barriers that deter minorities, specifically Latinos, from graduating from high school and continuing on to attain a higher education. This past year she was the Outreach Coordinator for the RAZA Recruitment and Retention Center at UC Berkeley. As the Outreach coordinator her main task was to speak to students about the importance of higher education; the students were usually from under funded schools located in communities that did not promote education. Stephanie’s overall goal as the Outreach coordinator was to raise awareness among students that college was a possibility for all of them, regardless of what they saw in their communities. This summer she has attained an internship with the Center for Latino Policy Research at UC Berkeley and for the upcoming school year she will be working with the Associated Students of The University of California in the Executive Affairs Vice President’s office as the Chief of Staff. She will be tackling issues that affect students at the campus, city, state, and national level, such as voter registration, student fees, and students’ rights. Eventually, Stephanie wants to attend Graduate School for Public Policy with a focus on Education or Law School with a joint degree in Public Policy. In her spare time she enjoys playing and watching sports (GO BEARS!), watching movies, traveling, and exploring the outdoors.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rocio Sanchez-Moyano is a rising senior majoring in Economics (with a mathematical emphasis) and Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A daughter of Argentine immigrants, she grew up in the Midwest and currently resides in the Twin Cities. Her research interests have been varied, from comedy as a form of democratic dissent, which she presented at the 2007 Undergraduate Research Symposium, to this past year’s focus on democratic time in Alexis de Tocqueville with her research mentor and an independent project on the disparities in wealth between whites and Hispanics. This summer she will continue her research on Tocqueville as a Hilldale Research Fellow. This fall, Rocio will begin an accelerated Masters in Public Affairs at the Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs, and plans to pursue a Ph.D. following her masters. She aspires to work in government in the development and implementation of social programs. At UW-Madison Rocio is involved in a variety of activities, including tutoring Economics, serving as a board member for the Economic Students Association, and developing policy proposals through the Economic Policy Center at the UW-Madison chapter of the Roosevelt Institution (the most recent of which was presented to the Wisconsin Deputy Secretary of Commerce).
Jessica Simes is a rising senior at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, double majoring in Sociology and Critical Theory and Social Justice (CTSJ). She is interested in studying racial conflict, urban poverty and segregation, mass incarceration, and political economy. Jessica is originally from Arcadia, California, a suburb of Los Angeles fraught with racial tension between an established white population and a growing Asian immigrant community. From her experiences, Jessica developed a project to explore the origins and patterns of segregation within cities like her hometown. In the summer of 2007, she received a Ford Anderson Undergraduate Research Fellowship to study white flight from California suburbs with pronounced Asian populations. This research will be expanded for her senior thesis. Dedicated to advocating for marginalized women in her Los Angeles community, Jessica volunteered for two and a half years as a Crisis Hotline Counselor and Survivor Advocate for Peace Over Violence, a non-profit organization devoted to building communities free from sexual, domestic and interpersonal violence. Throughout her time at Occidental, Jessica has served as a Program Assistant for the school's Intercultural Community Center, a member of student government, Senior Editor for Oxy's undergraduate research journal Global Perspectives, and a founder of Oxy's STAND Chapter, a student coalition committed to ending the genocide in Darfur. This summer Jessica will be a Getty Foundation Multicultural Intern with The HeArt Project, a non-profit organization that links teenagers who have dropped out, been expelled or incarcerated with community artists and resources to produce and present new artwork. After graduating in 2009, Jessica plans to pursue a PhD in Sociology. In addition to her academic work and public service, Jessica is an accomplished photographer and has published several pieces of her artwork. For fun, Jessica enjoys cooking, traveling, and is an avid basketball fan.
Washington University in St. Louis
Alicia Stallings is a rising junior at Washington University in Saint Louis with a major in Women and Gender Studies and a minor in American Culture Studies. She is an Ervin Scholar, selected to be a member of this distinguished community due to the commitment to leadership, diversity, social advocacy and academic achievement she demonstrated in high school, a commitment she continues to make today. During her junior year, Alicia will serve as a Residential Advisor for upperclassmen students, the History Chair on the executive board of the Association of Black Students, and volunteer with the Social Justice Center on her University’s Campus. As it relates to social policy and issues of inequity, Alicia’s interest and passion lies in the immediate reduction and eventual elimination of the disparity between the health of the economically disadvantaged and their wealthier counterparts. This interest was sparked from years of working and volunteering in doctor’s offices and clinics in underserved areas, where she witnessed first hand the social causes and resonating consequences of poor health. Alicia would like to structure her future goals and career around this and relating issues.
Jahi Wise is a community servant interested in the intersections between activism, research and public policy and their combined potential to catalyze social change. In May 2008, Jahi completed his bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in economics. Jahi has worked on numerous community development projects in the U.S. and around the world, ranging from re-building community centers in South Central Los Angeles and mentoring disadvantaged youth in Southwest Atlanta, to repairing homes in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and helping to feed the hungry in Paris, France. In his senior year of college, Jahi launched The Voice Radio Project, a monthly radio broadcast designed to open community radio airwaves as an organizing, activist, and informational tool for Black college students. Jahi has successfully extended his community advocacy to the public policy arena. In addition to tracking and analyzing policy as a legislative intern with the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, Jahi has studied domestic public policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley. However, Jahi’s policy interests are not limited to domestic issues. He has studied European Comparative Politics at the American University of Paris and international public policy at the Ralph Bunche Center for International Affairs at Howard University. Jahi has augmented his work in policy research and analysis with extensive mock policy formulation experience, as a senior member of the Morehouse College Delegation to the Harvard World Model United Nations Conference. Jahi’s academic and research interests proceed directly from his interest in social justice and mechanisms of social change, especially as they relate to African American communities. His senior thesis titled, “The Impact of Social Movements on Public Policy; An Analysis of the March on Washington of 1963 and the passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964”, analyzed the relationship between social movement organizations and the public policy apparatus and was selected for presentation at the 2008 gathering of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists in Chicago, Illinois. Jahi will spend this summer conducting research on violence in black political thought and its translation and impact on conceptions of the state at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He looks forward to graduate study in political science and a life as a social advocate.
University of Southern California
Daniel Wu is from Cypress, CA and is currently a sophomore at the University of Southern California, majoring in International Relations and Public Health. He is the Assembly Chair for the University of Southern California's Asian Pacific American Student Assembly and the Assistant Director of the University Student Government's Diversity Affairs. He is involved with several community-based organizations such as the Bus Riders Union and Strategic Action for a Just Economy. He has interned as part of the Health Access Project for the Korean Resource Center and the K.W. Lee Center for Leadership on issues of health care reform and health equity. As a Young People For Fellow and a McNair Scholar, Daniel hopes to integrate community activism with research by critically exploring equitable and sustainable local, regional, and global development, particularly around transit and land use patterns in Los Angeles. Through the lens of community-based regional equity, he hopes to integrate issues such as climate change, immigration, smart growth, and participatory governance. He hopes to pursue a graduate program in urban planning and community development after USC as well as a law degree to integrate research and advocacy, both at the grassroots and policy level.
University of California, San Diego
A native of Los Angeles, Queenie is a senior at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where she is double-majoring in Sociology and Human Development, and minoring in Education Studies. She recently completed her Sociology Honors Thesis, where she examined educational stratification beyond race and class at a newly-restructured and rebuilt urban school. Other research endeavors include undergraduate research with Dr. Hugh Mehan in UCSD CREATE (Center for Research on Educational Equity, Assessment, and Teaching Excellence) and a Summer Research Fellowship at UCSD, where she studied socialization and integration processes as incoming high school freshmen transitioned from typical “neighborhood” middle schools to a college-preparatory, richly-resourced high school. For the majority of her undergraduate career, Queenie has also been involved as a tutor and research assistant for The Preuss School UCSD, a college-preparatory charter school that serves exclusively low-income students, and that sends over 90% of its students to college. In addition to volunteering at Preuss, she has taught, mentored, and conducted research at socio-economically diverse schools and Boys and Girls clubs in San Diego and Los Angeles. Although primarily committed to issues of educational inequality, Queenie is also interested in exploring how social inequality is manifested in other contexts. Currently, she is co-authoring a paper with Dr. David P. Phillips in the realms of medical sociology and demography. Future plans include obtaining a Ph.D. in Sociology, becoming a researching professor, and continuing her active engagement in the research and university community.