Fellows 2013-2014

Left to right: Ariel Magid, Jonathan Wexler, Ankita Sukthankar, Aliza Gans, Rhea Sanghi, Jessica Friedman, Farhat Jilalbhoy (not pictured: Kiran Gill, Molly Lortie, and Alina Pokhrel)

Left to right: Ariel Magid, Jonathan Wexler, Ankita Sukthankar, Aliza Gans, Rhea Sanghi, Jessica Friedman, Farhat Jilalbhoy (not pictured: Kiran Gill, Molly Lortie, and Alina Pokhrel)

In April 2013, the Brandeis-India Initiative selected ten new fellows to represent Brandeis in India this summer and during the upcoming academic year. Below is a description of each of their projects:

  • Jessica Friedman ‘14 is working with Solidarity for Developing Communities (SFDC), a non-profit, secular NGO located in Odisha. SFDC works mostly with Dalit, Adivasi, and minority communities in four districts and utilizes peace-building and rights-based frameworks for its work on education, environment, agriculture, health and livelihoods. Jessica will be working on Monitoring & Evaluation for SFDC’s new Inclusive Schools Program and proposal writing for the scaling up of a hydrology project this summer.
  • Aliza Gans ’15 is volunteering in Varanasi this summer as a Communications Intern for The Dove Foundation. This youth-led NGO aims to provide quality healthcare, education, and employment opportunities to marginalized youth. Aliza will be promoting the organization’s online fundraising campaign, creating promotional materials, assisting with events, and writing web content. For her Fellows project, she will be keeping a blog documenting her social justice efforts. Upon returning to Brandeis she plans to host a fundraising event for the organization.
  • Kiran Gill ’15 is interning with Vogue India and MD Media this summer in Mumbai. At Vogue, she will work with the Marketing Department to facilitate the second annual Vogue Fashion Fund India. For her fellows project, Kiran will be blogging about the arts and fashion scene in Mumbai.
  • Farhat Jilalbhoy ‘14 is undertaking her practicum for the Heller School’s Sustainable International Development program at the Deshpande Foundation in Hubli, Karnataka from September through April. She is interested in working on sustainable livelihoods. While in India, she hopes to report on internship highlights, interviews with Brandeis alumni, tips to students interested in working in India, and opportunities for non-profit internships.
  • Molly Lortie ’15 is interning with the organization Ritinjali in New Delhi in June. Ritinjali is a non-profit that works with marginalized individuals, providing education, employment and internships, vocational training, and income generation activities. Molly will be assisting with their Dalil Ekta Camp initiative in Vasant Kunj – a project to make school accessible to children living in slums.
  • Ariel Magid ‘14 is interning with EduCARE India in Januri, Punjab this summer. She will be assisting on a microfinance project with rural women, facilitating educational workshops on financial literacy and health. Upon returning, Ariel will continue to write about her experience, working to bring attention to these community-based efforts in India. Ariel also plans to use her experiences in India as the basis for her MA thesis.
  • Alina Pokhrel ’15 is spending the summer in Bhopal volunteering with Sambhavana Trust. She will be responsible for producing publicity materials and preparing a report on the Bhopalis successful struggle for clean water.  Alina is especially interested in the healthcare system in Bhopal, and she plans to interview patients and survivors of the gas leaks at the Union Carbide India Limited plant about their experiences with medical clinics. She hopes to use her summer research as the basis of her undergraduate senior thesis.
  • Rhea Sanghi ’15 is volunteering with Udayan Care, a Delhi-based non-profit working with youth to improve their employment options through IT & vocational training. Rhea is interested in studying the role of gender in employment opportunities. For her fellows project, she plans to develop a research publication documenting the stories of unemployed youth. As a member of the South Asian Students Association, Rhea will continue to raise awareness about global employment issues upon returning to campus.
  • Anita Sukthankar ’15 is spending the summer in Dharamshala, working with the NGO Sankalp. This organization focuses on increasing children’s access to equitable and quality primary education in low-income communities. As an Education Studies major, Ankita will be involved in the Teaching in Schools program, putting the skills she has studied at Brandeis into practice. For the second half of her fellows project, Ankita hopes to work with the Alumni Chapter in Mumbai to organize an event.
  • Jonathan Wexler ’13 is returning to Varanasi this summer to work with students at the Little Stars School where he volunteered three years ago. As a Computer Science and Neuroscience major, he has been working on an independent study project at Brandeis to build an interactive website that promotes early education for non-English speakers. He plans to implement this project at Little Stars, a school that provides free education for underprivileged children.

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