2015 Sorensen Fellows


T-B, B-F: Anni Long, Bethlehem Seifu Belaineh,
Shaoleen Khaled, Wilkins Lugo, Regina Roberg,
Bezaye Teshome, Ariella Assouline, Tove Freeman

Download "Rediscoveries: Reconciling Personal Narratives in Community Building," which highlights the Fellows' experiences.

For PDFs of each essay, click here.

Ariella Assouline ’17, from Miami, Florida, is double majoring in film and women’s studies and minoring in creative writing. She has a special interest in the ways television and film have shaped global understandings of gender and sexuality. On campus, Ariella is the publicity and media chair of the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance and is producing The Vagina Monologues. In her spare time, she enjoys watching Parks and Recreation, designing stickers, and engaging in feminist discussions. For her Sorensen Fellowship internship, Ariella worked as a West Coast Campus Organizer for the Feminist Majority Foundation. She organized and strengthened feminist student groups on college campuses across the West Coast. She also monitored anti-abortion groups, counter-protesting their "defund Planned Parenthood" events.

Bethlehem Seifu Belaineh ’16, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, majored in biological physics and economics with a minor in physics. Before coming to Brandeis as a Wien Scholar, she studied at the African Leadership Academy in South Africa, a prestigious two-year pan-African program for Africa’s top young leaders. Bethlehem is a member of the Brandeis African Student Organization, Brandeis Encourages Women In Science and Engineering, the Brandeis Black Student Organization, the Afro-Caribbean Dance group Rebelle, and the South African step team Brandeis Gumboot, and is an Undergraduate Departmental Representative for biological physics. She dedicated the majority of her summer to founding the Ethio-STEM Summer program in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, planning and organizting various workshops with students from grades 7, 8 and 9. She recruited university students from the STEM track to become mentors in the program, and worked directly with school administration to create a community of learners, mentors and mentees. She enrolled a total of 36 students, and 12 university mentors into the program, and is working to upgrade her summer internship into an organization.

Tove Freeman ’16, from Oakham, Massachusetts, double majored in health: science, society, and policy and biology and minored in business. She was a coordinator for Waltham Group and organizes one-time service events for students on campus. In addition, she was the captain of the women's varsity indoor and outdoor track and field team. As a person of color who identifies as both Norwegian and African American, Freeman has always been interested in better understanding health disparities in minority communities, especially in Norway and United States. Her passion for research and improving health outcomes led her to her summer internship at the National Center for Minority Health Research in Oslo, Norway. She worked on a project about Health Literacy in migrants who had been in Norway for less that 4 years. She partnered with Caritas Working Migrant Information Center to interview migrant workers about their experiences with Health and the Norwegian Healthcare system in order to determine what they did and did not know. Additionally, Tove worked on transcribing interviews for a project about children as next of kin who had parents with terminal illnesses.

Shaoleen Khaled ’16, from New York, New York, double majored in biology and health: science, society, and policy with a minor in chemistry and politics. While interning for the American Civil Liberties Union for three years, Shaoleen developed a strong passion for empowering and advocating for women taking full ownership of their bodies. She explores her pursuit of women’s reproductive health through many avenues including clinical research, black and white film photography, and philanthropy. Shaoleen is president of the Brandeis Photography Club, a research assistant at Harvard University’s Laboratory for Developmental Studies, and a volunteer at a shelter for battered women and their children. Shaoleen Khaled was an intern for the Center for Young Women's Health at Boston Children's Hospital. She extensively researched health information to update and create wellness materials for adolescents with endometriosis, PCOS, and MRKH. Shaoleen also conducted training sessions with medical interns and residents. Through simulations of teen health appointments, she provided feedback to the medical students to stress the importance of communication and how to initiate effective dialogue with teens, enabling accurate diagnoses and suitable treatment.

Anni Long ’16 triple majored in anthropology, international and global studies, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies with minors in social justice and social policy and peace, conflict, and coexistence studies. Born in Tianjin, China, she lived in several cities in northern and southern China in her childhood. At the age of 10, she moved to Shanghai. She was a youth reporter for Shanghai Morning Post, a major daily news publisher in the city. As a young journalist and writer, she published several articles in newspapers and Chinese youth literature journals. While studying at Brandeis, she found her interests in gender, culture and power dynamics studies. She loves vocal and visual arts. She is now working as the Director of Internal Operations for the Brandeis International Journal. Anni interned with Media Monitor for Women Network located in Beijing, China, where she joined a continuing project that investigates gender discrimination in Chinese college admissions. She participated in several domestic violence events and assisted group therapy sessions.

Wilkins Lugo ’17, is majoring in biochemistry. He was born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He is a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar, treasurer of the MLK and Friends club, and a peer mentor for first year students. Before studying at Brandeis University, Wilkins worked in his hometown with Groundwork Lawrence as part of their Green Team, which is composed of high school students working towards environmental stewardship. He interned over the summer with the Housatonic Valley Association in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut. His responsibilities included assessment of the status of culverts encompassed by the Housatonic River watershed for the North Atlantic Aquatic Connectivity Collaborative and Trout Unlimited, for qualities of potential failure or barrier to wildlife continuity. He also assisted with the outreach effort for (potentially) under-served communities within the Still River watershed.

Regina Roberg '17, from Chicago, Illinois, is double majoring in psychology and Hispanic studies, and minoring in international and global studies and legal studies. She works as a community advisor for first year students, is a Brandeis-Genesis Institute Fellow, the program coordinator for the Romance Studies Department's Hispano-American Roundtable discussion group, and serves as a member of the Psychological Counseling Center Committee. In her free time, Regina loves reading, dancing, and photography. Regina interned in Buenos Aires, Argentina at a local community health center as a psychologist's assistant. She helped psychologists with observations and cases, helped facilitate holistic health workshops for both the elderly and young mothers of the community, participated in patient home visits, and volunteered at the clinic's play area for children.

Bezaye T. Teshome ’16, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia majored in neuroscience and biology and minored in anthropology. She was president of the Brandeis African Students Organization, a volunteer for Global Medical Brigades, and a community advisor at Brandeis. In her spare time, Bezaye loves watching TV shows, especially Friends, working on her creative writing, and participating in cultural performances. Raised in a culture where developmental disorders are largely attributed to supernatural causes, Bezaye witnessed the lack of treatment and rehabilitation services for children with special needs. This led to her interest in working with Ethiopian children with special needs, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder, by interning with the Nia Foundation. Bezaye participated in speech therapy and social skills trainings, and in workshops designed to equip parents with techniques to enhance their children’s communication and social interaction abilities. She also worked with professionals in special needs education to plan activities for the children at the Nia Care Center.