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During the 2013 Fall Semester, a talented group of five undergraduate Ralph W. Voorhees Public Service Fellows will work with Elijah’s Promise and the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance to support their efforts to increase community food security in New Brunswick. Elijah’s Promise is a community based organization in New Brunswick that seeks to alleviate poverty and hunger by providing job training, small business development, education, jobs, and services. The New Brunswick Community Food Alliance http://www.nbfood.org is a community collaboration that seeks to improve community food security.
This coming Fall, students will
Conduct a garden assessment to better understand what community gardeners are growing, how they use their produce, and how much they grow. Students will research how gardeners in New York City and Philadelphia weigh and track produce and, in partnership with New Brunswick community gardeners, create a system to do the same.
Develop a farm-to-freezer guide for individuals and community institutions.
Research and produce a short report and fact sheet that explores how CSAs, farm markets and other community food efforts can use SNAP benefits and other food programs to increase access to local produce for people in communities that lack it.
Abdul B. Abad is a Philosophy major with a Linguistics minor from Jersey City, NJ. He transferred to Rutgers University after completing an associate's degree at Hudson County Community College. He is a Resident Assistant at Cook Campus’s Voorhees Hall, President of the Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Honors Society, member of the Community Review Board, member of the Resident Assistant Advisory Board, and a Summer Intern at the Institute for Recruitment of Teachers. As a Research Assistant for Paul de Lacy's Linguistics Phonolab, he collected data on field methods in Phonology. After completing his undergraduate degree, Abdul intends to pursue a master's degree in Higher Education Policy and Administration with a focus on social justice and diversity.
Katherine Fudacz is an International Environmental Policy major with a minor in Spanish. In July 2013, she will study abroad in Oaxaca, Mexico. At Puente a la Salud, she will learn to harvest Amaranth and, with local communities, learn about Amaranth’s health, economic and environmental benefits. Following her trip abroad, she will investigate the feasibility of growing, purchasing and commercializing Amaranth to enhance community food security in New Brunswick’s Oaxacan communities. The research will inform her George H. Cook thesis on Amaranth in global and local markets. As an Institute of Women’s Leadership Scholar, she will complete a 500-hour social action project during the fall 2013. Katie has been engaged in many activities on and off campus including serving as President of her dorm and as peer instructor for the Environmental Policy First Year Interest Group, in addition to interning at NJPERG. She attended Georgetown University where she interned for Conservation International – Center of Environmental Leadership in Business. She is a member of Cook’s agricultural honors/service fraternity Alpha Zeta and a writer for the Environmental Policy newspaper (EPIB Trail). She enjoys surfing, biking, playing piano, dancing, and reading!
Kevin Dahaghi is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences from Elizabeth, NJ. He is majoring in Sociology and Journalism & Media Studies, with a minor in Social Justice. Kevin is a research assistant to Dr. Lauren Krivo, whom he met through the Ronald E. McNair Program. He is analyzing the non-residential movement patterns of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups at the neighborhood-level. As a First-year Interest Group Seminars (FIGS) Instructor, he has taught the basics of sociology to 23 first-year students. He now serves the program as a Senior Peer Instructor, mentoring incoming PIs and consulting on programmatic changes. As a Bonner Leader, he has served two 300-hour terms at Rutgers Upward Bound, a college access program in New Brunswick and Piscataway. Moreover, he has served as a Rutgers Future Scholars mentor for two years. This summer, he will study crime and deviance as a research assistant at the University of Texas-Austin. He will be writing his senior thesis during senior year. Upon graduation Kevin hopes to teach abroad on a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) before entering a Ph.D. program in Sociology. His intends to become a sociology professor.
Erin Maguire spent her first two years of undergrad at Stockton College and had a new major every semester from Psychology to Public Health to Environmental Science. While working her way through Italy on organic farms she found her passion in sustainable agriculture. After returning from her travels, she transferred to Rutgers University, became an Environmental Policy major and designed her own concentration in sustainable food systems. She playfully calls herself an AmeriCorps Junkie. At Stockton College, she did two terms of service with Energy Service Corps, a campaign of the New Jersey Fund for the Public Interest. There she taught children about energy conservation and showed adults how to make their homes more energy efficient. This last year, she interned at the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance as a Bonner Leader. Erin looks forward to being a Voorhees Fellow and to continuing her work with the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance.
Sarthi Tuli is a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences, majoring in Economics, Mathematics and Statistics. He was born in Haryana, India and immigrated to the US at age 15. At Rutgers, he is a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity, where he also serves at the Vice President for Academic Excellence. He is also a member of the Omicron Delta Epsilon, the Economics honors society. As a Research Assistant for Professor Michael Bordo, he works on various projects ranging from the financial history of the 19th century to the 2008 economic recession. He is also Research Assistant at the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), where he does data analyses for different studies. He serves as the Assistant Director for Marketing in Rutgers University Programming Association (RUPA). In fall 2012, he was a Grant Writer for Coming Home of Middlesex County, a non-profit organization that is fighting to eliminate homelessness in the County. He tutors for various subjects at the Kreeger Learning Resource Center at Rutgers. He is part of the Rutgers debate team, currently ranked third in the country. He is also a Resident Assistant for the New Gibbons Residence Hall on Douglass Campus. After graduation, Sarthi hopes to pursue doctoral studies in Economics.
During the 2012 Fall Semester, a talented group of five (4 undergraduate and 1 graduate) Ralph W. Voorhees Public Service Fellows worked with the graduate Community Development Studio and community partners: Elijah’s Promise and the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance to research the potential for developing a community food hub in New Brunswick. Elijah’s Promise is a community based organization in New Brunswick that seeks to alleviate poverty and hunger by providing job training, small business development, education, jobs, and services. Students explored the potential to build relationships with local New Jersey farmers to increase farm stability, grow light processing jobs, and improve community food security.
Nolan Patel is a junior with a double major in Public Health and Philosophy. He transferred from Northeastern University, where he was a Behavioral Neuroscience major. While in the Honors Program At Northeastern he assisted in research in perception and movement coordination that would eventually help patients with neurological disorders. Nolan has been volunteering with local rescue squads since he was a sophomore in high school and has been licensed as an emergency medical technician for three years. He is a brother of the community service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. During the spring of his sophomore year at Rutgers, Nolan went on an alternative spring break trip to Nicaragua with his International Public Health class. After being heavily moved by this trip and many trips to the villages in India, Nolan's focus is global health, but more specifically, ensuring that humanity is preserved even while all else may be lacking. Nolan has been selected as a Plangere Writing Center intern. After graduation, Nolan plans to go to medical school while also pursuing a Masters in Public Health. He wants to eventually give his time as a surgeon for Doctors Without Borders.
Tyler Seville is a senior in the School of Arts and Sciences from Delran, NJ. He first received his associate’s degree in Political Science at Burlington County College, graduating with Phi Theta Kappa- Honors. At Rutgers University, he is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha and Phi Sigma Tau, the political science and philosophy honors societies. As a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, he recently published his work in the continued recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Tyler is involved in making a difference at Rutgers by serving on the RUSA Allocations Board and as a Mentor for the Rising Leaders Institute. He is an Undergraduate Associate at the Eagleton Institute of Politics and is conducting research with Prof. John Weingart at the Center on the American Governor. Tyler worked in Washington D.C. as a summer fellow at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy. In the past, he has interned at the New Jersey Assembly Minority Office and for his State Senator, Diane Allen. In his final year, he hopes to complete his honor thesis’s in political science and philosophy, while working as a Resident Assistant. Upon graduation, Tyler hopes to stay politically active and enter a doctoral program for political science or public policy.
Jeanifer Uwaechie is currently majoring in Cell Biology Neuroscience and Public Health. She grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and immigrated to the United States. She graduated from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington DC. She received several scholarships and awards including the Prudential Community Service award and Soroptimist Service Award. Jeanifer is currently participating in a Research Program, Continuing Umbrella for Research Experience (CURE) at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She is currently conducting research on effects of DNA damage on ovarian cancer cells. She is also a Research Assistant for the African Women’s Development Fund, which was founded in Accra, Ghana. This organization provides funding for organizations in Africa that are providing low-income women with the assistance to improve their health, education, and their career. As an intern for the African Women’s Development Fund, she will research for AWDF USA’s groundbreaking US African Diaspora Giving Project (U-DAP), using available literature, popular press, statistical analysis, and interviews. This project is a comprehensive study of different organizations giving to Africa by US African immigrants. She will research on various organizations located in the United States and Africa to analyze the difference in these organizations’ contribution to the development of programs to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged women in Africa. She is also a Bonner Leader at Rutgers University. As a Bonner Leader, she volunteers with non-profit organizations, such as Elijah’s Promise, that assist people of low-income background. As a Bonner Leader, she volunteers for 300 community service hours in an organization to help low income citizens in New Brunswick area. During the winter break Jeanifer will volunteer at Lagos University Teaching Hospital(LUTH). Her heart’s desire is to found a clinic that is geared towards educating people about different diseases and ways to prevent these diseases.
Cynthia is a junior at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences where she is in the General Honors Program. She is pursuing a double major in Animal Science and Public Health. She is the recipient of several university, state, and national scholarships and awards including the League of United Latin-American Citizens National Scholarship. Cynthia has been working as a laboratory assistant in the cell culture department of Chromocell Corporation since her freshman year. She has also been actively involved in research with Dr. Nurgul Fitzgerald of the Department of Nutritional Science. In spring 2012, she was responsible for surveying children and parents to determine if implementation of a classroom program in a New Brunswick preschool improved motor skills and health awareness. In summer 2012, she began working with the New Brunswick Community Food Alliance Council to research and address food insecurity in the city of New Brunswick. In addition, Cynthia volunteers three hours a week through the Big Buddy program at Rutgers University in which she assists a special education classroom. She is public relations and fundraising e-board member for the club. Cynthia loves science, travel, and culture, which has fueled her desire to want to become an epidemiologist focusing on global public health. She is fluent in Spanish and so far has traveled to over thirty countries. She hopes to travel to many more countries to do public health research in impoverished areas dealing with emerging infectious disease in the future.
From left to right: Ronit Leib, Alexandra Tereshonkova, Ralph W. Voorhees, Chike Achebe, Anita Kambhampati, Harini Kidambi, and Katie Nosker (not pictured).
Chike Achebe is a senior majoring in political science with an organizational leadership minor. He is the recipient of many academic scholarships including the School of Arts and Sciences Excellence Award. While growing up, Chikeís mother always told him, “to whom much is given, much is expected” and that has been the driving force behind his decision to give back to his community through public service. He serves as a Resident Assistant, a member of the Rutgers University Student Assembly, helped found a campus nonprofit dealing with international development, and has worked as an AmeriCorp volunteer with Elijahís Promise and the Rutgers Bonner Leader Program. Chike has conducted research focusing on American civic engagement through a research assistantship with Professor Mark Magyar in the Department of Labor Studies. He is a tutor with the Rutgers Future Scholars program and mentors inner city at-risk youth in his hometown Newark, NJ with Big Brother Big Sisters of America. After graduation, Chike plans to go to law school and will use his foundation in law to be a catalyst for change.
Anita Kambhampati is a senior, double majoring in public health and political science. She is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honor Society. Anita is involved with the Institute for Domestic and International Affairs (IDIA) which promotes civic education through Model United Nations and Model Congress conferences for high school students. She will direct committees at two conferences during her senior year. She also serves as the Global Initiative Chair of the Rutgers University chapter of The Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and has volunteered with the organization at a medical clinic in Costa Rica. As a member of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, Anita is a Peer Mentor and Honors Ambassador. She enjoys playing the flute for the Rutgers Concert Band. Starting in the Fall 2012, Anita is pursuing a Masters in Public Health with a concentration in Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
Harini N. Kidambi
Harini N. Kidambi is a senior with a double major in political science and public health and a minor in South Asian studies. She is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha National Political Science Honors Society and the Eta Sigma Gamma National Health Education Honorary Society. She has interned at Congressmen Rush Holtís district office where she was responsible for constituent communication. Harini currently serves as Executive Board Vice President of the Rutgers Collegiate 4-H organization, Executive Board Secretary of the Bloustein Public Service Association, and Historian of the Eta Sigma Gamma National Health Education Honorary Society. During the summer between her sophomore and junior year, Harini attended two study abroad programs,where she taught English in Limon, Costa Rica, and studied the politics of the European Union in Brighton, England. At Rutgers Harini has worked with the Eagleton Institute of Politics, the Center for American Women in Politics, conducted qualitative research as an Aresty Research Assistant with the Youth Political Participation Program, and is the student coordinator of RU Voting? a student voter registration program. In the summer before her senior year, she interned at the United States Department of Agriculture where she researched and wrote about import and export policy between the United States and countries in South Asia and the Middle East. In her final year, Harini has been selected as an instructor of a Freshman Interest Group Seminar and will teach ëExploring Law and Leadershipí, will write her honors thesis on the influence of social media on youth political participation and plans to pursue a Civic Pathway Certificate. Upon graduation, Harini plans to attend law school and hopes to continue to be involved in the study and practice of community organization and politics.
Ronit Leib is a second-year MCRP student with a concentration in urban and community development. She received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers College with a major in statistics and minors in economics and art history. After graduation, she worked as an actuary. She decided to switch gears after becoming active with Manhattanís Community Boards 2 and 4, where she participated in discussions about land use issues and observed the interactions among community stakeholders. Ronit interned with the New York City Housing Preservation and Developmentís (HPD) Division of Preservation Finance where she worked on several Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects, helping to preserve the affordability of multifamily apartment buildings. Ronit also assisted with a financial analysis of HPDís underwriting criteria, and the results of this study led to an adjustment in the subsidy applied to affordable housing projects. She is a graduate assistant at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development. This summer Ronit completed an internship in Washington, D.C., with the non-profit organization Population Reference Bureau (PRB). At PRB Ronit assisted with a demographic study of the characteristics and geographic distribution of scientists and engineers in the United States that was funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. She also helped to write an article for PRB on unemployment trends and women and minorities in science and engineering fields. Ronit is looking forward to learning about and working with the New Brunswick community this semester as part of the Ralph W. Voorhees Fellowship in Civic Engagement.
Katherine Nosker is a second year MCRP student with a concentration in community development. She majored in Sociology at The College of New Jersey where she studied how and why people behave the way they do. This sociological background provided a useful base as she transitioned to the more applied field of planning. Her interest in community development stems from projects she worked on as a Research Associate at Regional Plan Association of New York such as advocating for transportation equity, researching how community land trusts are taxed, and contributing to research on how to improve the functionality and capacity of the New York regionís airports. Katherine has also served on the transportation committee and “green team” committee for South Orange, NJ which worked with the parking authority to improve functionality and ridership rates of the local jitney and assisted the townshipís sustainability certification in the Sustainable Jersey program. Katherine has interned at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at the Bloustein School where she assisted with the centerís work creating performance measures for the New Jersey Department of Transportationís Complete Streets policy. Finally, she just completed an internship with The Louis Berger Group, Inc. in the Philippines in which she helped conduct a program evaluation study of the Job Enabling English Proficiency program (JEEP). It is with great pleasure that Katherine begins community development work in her home state of New Jersey.
Alexandra Tereshonkova is a senior with a double major in womenís and gender studies and planning and public policy. She is a second-year scholar at the Institute for Womenís Leadership, social chair of the Bloustein Public Service Association, and coordinator of the Womenís Political Caucus of New Jersey. Alexandra volunteers at the Pride Center of New Jersey and the Womenís Center. She has interned with Childrenís Rights, a national foster care reform group, where she developed a report on disproportionality of African American youth in Americaís child welfare system. Alexandra studied the development of the foster care system in America as an Aresty Research Assistant and, in her senior year, will implement a leadership and mentoring program for local foster care girls. The summer prior to her senior year, she interned in Ghana with Women United Against AIDS and Buduburam Refugee Camp. Having grown up in Belarus, she is interested in womenís and childrenís rights and international development. Upon graduation, Alexandra plans to pursue a dual Masterís in Public Administration and Social Work.
From left to right: Weis Baher, Diana Won, Ralph W. Voorhees, Soozi Voorhees Hunt, Natasha Ramsey, and Rachel Swanson.
Weis Baher majored in English and Economics and grew up in Paramus, NJ. At Rutgers he was a Resident Assistant and was awarded a research assistanceship at the Aresty Center for a project documenting the Kwakwaka’wakw Native Americans. He worked as a group leader for high-school aged international visitors in New York. Weis worked with the Intersect Fund in New Brunswick which is an organization that encourages entrepreneurship. Weiss wrote a document about the Fund, talked about the Fund in courses to attract students, learned about local media, and worked on local bizarres. Weis is fluent in Farsi.
Natasha Ramsey majored in Public Health and grew up in New Brunswick. She graduated from New Brunswick Health Sciences and Technology High School. She received the several scholarships including the James Dickinson Carr and Edward J. Bloustein Scholars awards. Natasha was involved in Diamonds, a mentoring program for girls at the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, the Paul Robeson Special Interest Section (a living community at Rutgers) and interning at Project L/EARN, a competitive summer health research program. She is a member of the Black Student Union and the Eta Sigma Gamma Public Health Honor Society and hopes eventually to create a non-profit organization to serve women of color. As a Ralph W. Voorhees Fellow, Natasha mentored New Brunswick youth as part of the Diamonds Program. The college students partner with local young women to teach them about college and mentor them. The young women engage local youth and hold events including a Kickoff event at a local church and other activities. They brought the students to Rutgers University and talked with them about a variety of topics from domestic violence to gender inequality. They used videos, activities, discussions and journals.
Rachel is majoring in Biochemistry and Public Health and grew up in Marlboro, New Jersey. She is Vice President of the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children and has volunteered in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Locally, she tutored at Elijah’s Promise. She has been Bubbles the Clown and the Mad Scientists, guises in which she served children in local hospitals and taught science in New Brunswick Elementary and middle Schools.
Diana Won majored in Planning and Public Policy and is from Closter, NJ. She was President of the Campus Coalition Against Trafficking and a member of several other service organizations on campus. In Spring 2009, Diana interned at La Casa de Don Pedro, a community development corporation in Newark where she worked on housing and foreclosure. She volunteered with children in a shantytown in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has worked with Habitat for Humanity and assisted with Hurricane Katrina relief. Diana speaks Spanish and Korean and belongs to a traditional Korean dance group.
From left to right: Professor Briavel Holcomb, Program Director, Victoria Gilbert, Rachel Swanson (2010-2011), Weis Baher (2010-2011), Michael Lamm, Ashley Sawyer, Diana Won, and Drew Hart.
Victoria Gilbert is a major in the Planning and Public Policy Program with a Minor in Economics. She is the recipient of an Elks Legacy Scholarship, DB Kelley Foundation, Scholarship and she’s a Bloustein Scholar. Victoria has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, YMCA, Model UN, Christian Appalachian Project in Kentucky, and worked as an intern for PriceWatersCooperhouse during New Orleans reconstruction following Hurricane Katrina. She has work with Dr. Roland Anglin’s Initiative for Regional and Community Transformation and hopes to work in Newark and Camden in the future.
Drew is a major in Ecology and Natural Resources. He transferred from Stony Brook University and has done study abroad in Madagascar. He is passionate about sustainable agriculture and has worked in Oaxa, Nicaragua, and Paraguay on agriculture and community development. He currently volunteers with Duke Farms and the Northeast Organic Farming Association. He is fluent in Spanish and worked with the Rutgers organic farm and local Latino community gardens. Drew worked with Lord Stirling School to facilitate the development of a school garden which required navigating some bureaucratic hurdles, identifying and gathering donated supplies, working with teachers and building the garden. Drew also worked with Professor Radha Jagannathan on Nurture through Nature, a community gardening project in New Brunswick and on an English literacy program with a local food pantry.
Micahel Lamm majored in Statistics/Mathematics and Political Science. He was in the honors program and was a Bloustein Scholar. Michael tutors in the Rutgers Honors program, taught English in Global Pact in Thailand, and was a research assistant for The Cambodia Project. He has worked as a home health aide for a child with cerebral palsy. Michael worked with data analysts at the Rutgers Center for State Health Policy to learn more about data analysis and to further his substantial interest in healthcare. Michael worked on the Center’s project on Childhood Obesity and on the 2009 New Jersey Family Health Survey.
Ashley Sawyer majored in Political Science with a dual minor in Women’s Studies and Spanish. She is the New Jersey Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission Scholar. While at Rutgers, she was the President of the Douglass Black Students Congress, worked as undergraduate associate at the Eagleton Institution of Politics, volunteered with NJ Nets CARES program in Newark, the 4th Grade Science Stars of Douglass Project and Adopt-a-Family for Children with Cancer. Her passion is reducing educational inequity.