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Learn more about the Sorensen Fellowship.

Announcing the 2015 Sorensen Fellows

February 4, 2015

The Ethics Center is pleased to announce the 2015 undergraduate Sorensen Fellows. This summer Ariella Assouline '17, Bethlehem Seifu Belaineh ’16, Tove Freeman '16, Shaoleen Khaled '16, Anni Long '16, Wilkins Lugo '17, Regina Roberg '17, and Bezaye T. Toshome '16 will travel to locations around the world to put social justice into action.The 2015 Sorensen Fellows

Each year, the Ethics Center selects a cohort of sophomores and juniors to receive funding for a summer internship related to the Center’s mission, with a preparation course beforehand and a writing course afterwards. A one-time grant allowed the Center to support eight Sorensen Fellows this year instead of the typical six.

Also for the first time, Sorensen Fellows were eligible for a need-based Summer Earnings Replacement Grant as partial replacement for what they would have earned at a summer job. This grant is in addition to the merit-based award all Sorensen Fellows receive to cover internship-related costs ($4,000 for international internships, $3,500 for U.S.-based internships). The Summer Earnings Replacement Grant is made possible by a generous gift from Ethics Center International Advisory Board member Gillian Sorensen. Gillian Sorensen is a former United Nations official and spouse of the late Theodore C. Sorensen, for whom the Fellowship is named. Details: brandeis.edu/ethics/atbrandeis/sorensenfellowship/serg.html

Read about the 2015 Sorensen Fellows below, and learn more about the Sorensen Fellowship and previous Sorensen Fellows at the Ethics Center website: go.brandeis.edu/Sorensen

The 2015 Sorensen Fellows

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. Ariella’s internship is at the Feminist Majority Foundation in Los Angeles, California, where she will work on leadership building for local college feminist organizations. She plans to research and develop discussion workshops regarding the lack of diversity and representation of women and women’s roles in television and its subsequent effect on society.

Bethlehem Seifu Belaineh ’16, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is majoring 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. During her time at the Academy, she was exposed to a multifaceted curriculum of African studies, entrepreneurship, and leadership that ignited her passion to come back to the African continent and work for positive social change. 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. Bethlehem tutors high school students in Waltham, Massachusetts, goes to cultural shows around the Boston area, and loves cooking traditional Ethiopian food. This summer she will be starting EthioSTEM, a mentorship and leadership program for young Ethiopian girls that will match them with university mentors in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and other professionals in Addis Ababa.

Tove Freeman ’16, from Oakham, Massachusetts, is double majoring in health: science, society, and policy and biology and minoring in business. She is a coordinator for Waltham Group and organizes one-time service events for students on campus. In addition, she is 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. During her internship Tove will assist with cultural competency training for clinicians in Norway.

Shaoleen Khaled ’16, from New York, New York, is double majoring in biology and health: science, society, and policy with a minor in chemistry. While interning for the American Civil Liberties Union from 2009 to 2012 Shaoleen developed a strong passion to empower, support, and advocate 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. Her internship will be with the California Women’s Law Center, where she will gain valuable experience in optimizing reproductive health awareness, care, and access among marginalized groups (such as adolescent girls, low-income, and immigrant women). Through the media of photographs and sound bites of underserved women, Shaoleen seeks to champion those whose voices are unheard and drowned out. These visual and oral accounts will illustrate the hardships women experience due to the lack of rightful reproductive resources and policies in place today.

Anni Long ’16 is triple majoring in anthropology, international and global studies, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies with a minor in 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 a public relations officer for the Brandeis International Journal. Anni will intern with Media Monitor for Women Network, a Beijing-based Chinese feminist organization that promotes gender equality in the media. She hopes to initiate lectures/forums in middle schools to plant seeds for complex thinking about feminism among Chinese youth.

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 will intern with the Housatonic Valley Association, focused on their efforts to improve water quality in the Still River Watershed, education and outreach, and more. His goal for this internship experience is to inspire others to be proactive about their environment. “One person taking action is great,” says Wilkins, “but having others being moved to do the same is even better.” Knowing how he can best inspire others to take initiative will help make his intended Peace Corps commitment after graduation much more meaningful and effective.

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 will intern in Buenos Aires, Argentina at a local health center's psychiatric wing through the nonprofit organization Voluntario Global. While there she will assist psychologists with observations and cases, lead community workshops about topics such as mental hygiene, and will broaden her own understanding of how different communities and cultures approach the discussion and treatment of mental illness. Given Argentina's pioneering history in mental health care and reform, Regina hopes to examine the intersection of mental health treatment and human rights in Argentina, since the latter has deeply shaped both societal and medical approaches to mental health.

Bezaye T. Teshome ’16, from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is majoring in neuroscience and biology and minoring in anthropology. She is 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 will be participating in speech therapy and social skills trainings, taking part in workshops designed to equip parents with techniques to enhance their children’s communication and social interaction abilities, and working with professionals in special needs education to plan activities for the children at the Nia Care Center.