Roosevelt Fellow Bios

Aneesh Avancha (he/him) is a current pre-health senior at Brandeis majoring in Neuroscience and Biology along with a minor in Chemistry from Southington, CT. After graduating from Brandeis, he plans to pursue his MD. Outside of the classroom, Aneesh is a member of the NCAA varsity baseball team. During the past two summers, Aneesh has worked at the Tufts Medical Center in the Emergency Department where he has held various roles such as Unit Coordinator, Nursing Service Assistant, and Medical Scribe. In the summer of 2021, Aneesh also worked part time as an undergraduate research intern for Prizm Therapeutics helping to perform research on Allan-Herndon-Dudley syndrome. Reach out to Aneesh with any questions regarding the sciences, navigating a busy schedule, and becoming involved with the Brandeis community.

Rebecca Brandon (she/her) is a junior from Westwood, New Jersey. She is majoring in History and European Cultural Studies (ECS) and minoring in Anthropology with the hope of becoming a professor or museum educator. She is a recipient and member of the Humanities Fellowship Program. At Brandeis, she dances with the Ballet Club and discusses books with the Brandeis Official Readers' Guild. You can talk to her about dealing with health setbacks as a college student and methods to be successful when things are rough, but also fun things like creating art and gaming! She believes in the capabilities of every single person and wants to remind all Brandesians to not be afraid to ask for help and that it is perfectly fine to make mistakes.

Haley Brown (she/her) is a senior from Belmont, Massachusetts majoring in American Studies and Film, Television & Interactive Media with minors in Legal Studies, English, and Creative Writing. In addition to being a Roosevelt Fellow, she is also an Undergraduate Departmental Representative for Legal Studies, the co-General Manager of WBRS (the Brandeis radio station), a Brandeis Ambassador for the Office of Admissions, and a member of Brandeis Buddies. Something that Haley thinks can be really important for academic success is simply getting to know your professors — not only is it a great way to feel more engaged with the material, but you might even make a new friend out of it! You can talk to Haley about anything from academics, to music, to thrift stores and burger joints!

Emma Canter (she/her) is a junior from Chicago, Illinois double majoring in Psychology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and minoring in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies. She was a midyear and studied abroad in London in Fall 2019, and would love to talk to you about the midyear experience. In addition to being a Roosevelt Fellow, she is a member of SSIS, Brandeis’s Student Sexuality Information Service, and active in Brandeis Hillel. You can talk to Emma about book recommendations, LGBTQ issues, Jewish life at Brandeis, and the best strolls across campus!

Topaz Fragoso (she/her) is a senior from Tennessee majoring in Politics along with minors in Legal Studies and Arabic. In addition, she is on the pre-law track and plans to attend law school after she graduates from Brandeis. When she is not dedicating her time to being a Roosevelt Fellow, she is a volunteer at The Right to Immigration Institute, as well as an intern with the Court Services Center where she is able to work in family law. In her free time, she loves to hike, dance, and practice her photography. Topaz is also a first generation student with Haitian and Cuban descent. If you need advice on how to navigate the challenges of Brandeis or the world in general, please do not hesitate to reach out to her!

Tianyi Gao (she/her) is a senior from Anhui, China majoring in Business and Economics, and she intends to minor in East Asian Studies. In addition to being a Roosevelt Fellows, she is also the Ayala (Culture Show) Coordinator of Southeast Asia Club and an Intercultural Center office assistant. She enjoys participating in various cultural events at Brandeis. As an international student, she believes that the best way to be more involved at Brandeis is to step out from your own comfort zone and connect with people from different cultural backgrounds. Besides her academic life, she likes doing digital art, photography and listening to K-pop and J-rock. Feel free to talk to Tianyi about anything from course recommendations, utilizing academic resources, your favorite show, to your to-go bubble tea order.

Beck Gold (he/him) is a senior from Pleasant Valley, NY majoring in neuroscience. He hopes to attend medical school in the fall of 2022. He confirmed his desire to study medicine by taking advantage of a number of clinical and nonclinical opportunities. This includes working as a medical assistant at an urgent care, volunteering at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, participating in Waltham Group's Hospital Helpers, and doing virtual shadowing. Beck also has a passion for helping the LGBT community and volunteers as a peer counselor for the Trevor Project and the GLBT National Hotline. In addition to academics, he is part of the women's varsity soccer team. You can talk to Beck about obtaining research, finding clinical and nonclinical opportunities and strategies for getting the most out of your college experience!

Ryan Partlan (they/them) is a senior majoring in linguistics and mathematics with a minor in computer science. They are a native of Newburyport, Massachusetts. They are also a math tutor at the Brandeis Quantitative Skills Center. Their recommendation for academic success is to never sell yourself short. Challenge yourself! Ryan would love to talk with you about philosophy, science, birds, and strategies for navigating Brandeis on a longboard with minimal maiming/mortality. Don’t be afraid to reach out!

Sasha Sha (she/her) is a senior from Shanghai, China majoring in Biology and minoring in HSSP. Aside from being a Roosevelt Fellow, she is an undergraduate researcher in a neuroscience lab at Brandeis. She also tutors with the Waltham Group’s General Tutoring program. Outside her studies, she enjoys doing sports such as fencing, jogging and hiking. She is a big fan of traveling and learning languages. Apart from speaking Mandarin and English, she took French for two years at Brandeis and is self-studying Japanese. One piece of advice is to keep exploring new things. It is never too late to discover your interests, and to meet people who can inspire you! You can talk to Sasha about anything such as scheduling classes, doing research, dealing with stress, the experience of being an international student and even jogging tips or good places for traveling! Please feel free to reach out and chat!

Luca Swinford (he/him) is a senior from Belmont, Massachusetts double majoring in HSSP and Education Studies. In addition to being a Roosevelt Fellow, Luca is the Lead UDR for the Social Sciences as well as a UDR for the Education Program. He is also one of the co-founders of the Disabled Students’ Network. Luca enjoys meeting new people and you can talk to him about anything, including your academic goals, disability law, horror movies or music!

Jessica Tai (she/her) is a senior from Quincy, Massachusetts, double majoring in HSSP and Psychology. Outside of her studies, Jessica is the co-president of Club Cantonese @ Brandeis and a part of the Campus Center Team. She has also been involved in Waltham Group, Archon Yearbook, and the Southeast Asia Club. She encourages all students to get involved with various campus activities to find what you enjoy the most (and meet so many new people on the way)! As a first-generation college student, Jessica understands how scary it can be to navigate the college experience. Feel free to reach out about anything ─ being first-gen, academics, extracurricular activities, places to go to in Massachusetts, and literally anything at all!

Marissa Torelli (she/her) is a senior from Windsor, CT on the pre-law track. She is double-majoring in Politics and International & Global Studies as well as double-minoring in Legal Studies and African/African-American studies. In addition to being a Roosevelt Fellow, Marissa works at the front desk of the Hiatt Career Center, works as a political science research assistant for the Western Jihadism Project, is a volunteer program coordinator for a Waltham Group after-school tutoring program called "Afternoon Enrichment" which works with local middle schoolers, and is involved in Greek life. Finally, she is a 2021 Brandeis Undergraduate Fellow for the Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program and a former recipient of the WOW Fellowship. Marissa is passionate about work involving criminal justice/reform, especially for juveniles, and has an aspiration to attend law school post-graduation. You can talk to Marissa about finding a good balance of extracurriculars, jobs, and school, what it means to be pre-law at Brandeis, applying to internships, fellowship opportunities at Brandeis, or even music and pop culture!
Nathalie Vieux-Gresham (she/her) is a Haitian-American and a junior from Harlem, New York City. She is a Neuroscience major and intends to pursue the four year B.S/M.S track. She is a Posse Scholar, a member of Brandeis STEM Posse 12. Alongside being a Roosevelt Fellow, Nathalie is also a Peer Health Educator for Brandeis Bridge to Wellness, one of the Neuroscience Undergraduate Department Representatives, a Community Advisor for Skyline, a research assistant in the Birren lab, and the Lead Ambassador for the The Women's Network Brandeis Chapter. She is also a regular attendee of the John Bible Study. You can talk to Nathalie about anything neuroscience, college life hacks, getting connected and building community, navigating a STEM major and career ideas, prepping and applying for jobs and internships, wellness and self-care tips, and time management. Outside of her academics and extracurriculars, she enjoys cruising around on her longboard, theatre (reading plays and stage managing), discovering and listening to all kinds of music, playing video games, playing sports, shopping and cooking- you can talk to her about any of those things as well! She's also always down to give you an encouraging, energizing, motivating, positive pep-talk! Feel free to reach out to her.