2008 Fellows

2008 Fellows

From left: Hannah “Boots” Janoowalla ’10, Benjamin Bechtolsheim '10, Angela Tse ’09, Aaron Voldman ’09, Avram Mlotek ’09, and Catherine McConnell ’10

Download "Contrasts & Connection: Nine Students Reflect on Their Worldwide Internships," which highlights the Fellows' experiences.

For PDFs of each essay, click here.
Benjamin Bechtolsheim '09 from Arlington Heights, Illinois, studied Politics, Sociology, and International and Global Studies. During the summer of 2007, Benjamin worked in the former Yugoslavia studying the Balkan conflicts of the 1990s as a fellow with Abraham's Vision. Benjamin was co-facilitator of Klal, the Jewish pluralism dialogue group at Brandeis. For his internship, Benjamin worked with Reproductive Health Uganda, headquartered in Gulu, helping internally displaced persons (IDPs) as they transition from IDP camps to permanent housing.

Hannah Janoowalla ’10, or Boots, majored in Biology and Politics, on a pre-med track. She was born in Mombasa, Kenya and lived in Nairobi until she was 9 years old, when she moved to Passaic, New Jersey. During the summer of 2007, she was awarded a Breakthrough Collaborative internship and she spent two months teaching literature and writing to underprivileged eighth-graders in Houston, Texas. For her internship, she worked on AIDS prevention initiatives with sex workers in Mumbai, India, through the local chapter of Population Services International. 

Catherine McConnell ’10, from Providence, Rhode Island, is a Fine Arts major, with minors in Environmental Studies and Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies. She served as a Community Engaged Representative for housing and the environment, working with organizations like WATCH (Waltham Alliance To Create Housing) to build relationships between the University and the local community. During the summer of 2007, she interned at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence, an organization working towards reducing youth violence in the city of Providence. Catherine spent June and July 2008 at the Artist Proof Studio in Johannesburg, South Africa, where she helped promote social change through art education and AIDS action outreach.

Avram Mlotek ’09, from Teaneck, New Jersey, majored in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. Performing publicly since age 4, Avram speaks and sings in Yiddish, Hebrew, and English. During his time at Brandeis, he worked in two different Hebrew schools teaching third- to fifth-grade students, some who had Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism. For his internship, Avram worked for Hope Community Services in Mekelle, Ethiopia, at an orphanage, teaching English, counseling, and creating a music-program based on the traditional Jewish concept of niggun, or voice music. He then traveled to Israel to teach music at Yemin Orde Children's Village, home to 500 children aged 6-18 from difficult family circumstances.

Angela Tse ’09 is a Politics and East Asian Studies double major, with a minor in Legal Studies. Born and bred in upstate New York, she spent a year in 2005 studying abroad in China, where she volunteered with and interviewed migrant workers. She continued this project during the summer of 2008 interning with the International Bridges to Justice international non-governmental organization, providing legal aid to migrant workers in Beijing.

Aaron Voldman ’09, from South Burlington, Vermont, majored in Philosophy and Politics, and minored in Peace, Conflict, and Coexistence Studies. He was the founder of Brandeis Democracy for America and served as the executive director of the Student Peace Alliance (SPA), a national youth movement to establish a cabinet-level US Department of Peace. For his internship, Aaron worked in Nepal with the Asian Study Center for Political & Conflict Transformation (ASPECT), which focuses on peacebuilding and conflict transformation. While in Nepal, Aaron supported ASPECT's peacebuilding and democratic-strengthening initiative, as well as observed the impact of the recently formed Nepalese Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction.