2024-2025 ENACT Research and Advocacy Fellows

Ten Brandeis students have been selected to serve as Brandeis ENACT Research and Advocacy Fellows for the 2024-25 academic year: Maria Antonio ‘26, Jovita Bell ‘25, Happy Emmanuel ‘27, Rachel Gao ‘25, Alyssa Golden ‘26, Aviva Gornick ‘25, Vickie Hsieh ‘25, Melora Hutcheson ‘25, Gerardo Enrique Rios Ramirez ‘27, and Lev Sewald ‘26.

The ENACT Research and Advocacy Fellowship affords Brandeis students the opportunity to collaborate with a group of their peers to engage in on campus research followed by an on campus change project. Together, the cohort will explore themes of access and ultimately create events and/or awareness raising efforts to enact data driven change in their community. Students will also learn about state level policy and ways in which they can advocate for state, local, and institutional policies.

They will conduct research under the mentorship of ENACT Assistant Director of Research Charlotte Powley, and each will implement a change project on campus linked to the research.

“I am so excited to work with this very first cohort of Research and Advocacy Fellows,” says Powley. “They are  all amazing scholars and passionate about change. I look forward to supporting students in creating  a sense of community as we work together on a common mission.”

Maria Antonio
Maria Antonio ’26

Maria Antonio is currently a sophomore majoring in Economics, International Global Studies, and French, set to graduate in 2026. Maria is an international student from Brazil who moved to the U.S. to finish high school and pursue her undergraduate education. She is very involved on campus, and has worked as an Editor at the Brandeis Law Journal, a Treasurer at the Brazilian Students Association (BRASA), Community Advisor at Massell, and ESL Volunteer at the Language Empowering Action Project (LEAP). Maria is looking forward to making an impact on the community by developing projects that create positive change and doing research to acknowledge what Brandeis truly needs!

Jovita Bell
Jovita Bell ’25

Jovita Bell is a Neuroscience major, graduating in the spring of 2025. She is from Decatur, Georgia. Jovita is looking forward to addressing issues on campus and starting the process to make a change on campus.

Happy Emmanuel
Happy Emmanuel ’27

Happy Emmanuel, a prospective double major in Economics and IGS (International and Global Studies), with a minor in Legal Studies, is expecting to graduate in 2027. Happy is originally from Atlanta, Georgia. She is eager to engage with this opportunity as it aligns with her passion for advocacy and community involvement. Happy looks forward to collaborating with everyone involved and gaining valuable insights while contributing to positive change.

Rachel Gao
Rachel Gao ’25

Rachel Gao is from Queens, New York. She is a member of the Class of 2025, double majoring in Politics and Anthropology, and minoring in Legal Studies, International and Global Studies (IGS), and Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP). Rachel looks forward to doing research as well as collaborating and working with other ENACT fellows to make tangible change on campus.

Alyssa Golden
Alyssa Golden ’26

Alyssa Golden hails from Southern California and plans to eventually attend law school. Currently, Alyssa is a rising junior studying Anthropology with minors in Legal Studies and Hispanic Studies. Alyssa feels fortunate to be part ENACT'S first Research and Advocacy Fellowship cohort, and looks forward to utilizing social science research in order to effectuate positive social change.

Aviva Gornick
Aviva Gornick ’25

Aviva is from Los Angeles, California. She is a rising senior studying sociology and politics with an intended minor in business. She is graduating with the class of 2025. Aviva is passionate about policy research that focuses on providing actionable insights within a designated community. She greatly looks forward to being a part of a dedicated research cohort centered around creating tangible, positive change as a result of group-oriented legislative research and policy analysis.

Vickie Hsieh
Vickie Hsieh ’25

Vickie Hsieh is from Taipei, Taiwan. She is a rising senior (class of 2025) majoring in HSSP and Anthropology. Vickie looks forward to developing her research and advocacy skills further and to meet new people on the team!

Melora Hutcheson
Melora Hutcheson ’25

Melora Hutcheson is from Daytona Beach, FL, and Tucson, AZ. She is in the graduating class of 2025, and a major in Sociology with a minor in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Melora is really excited to be a part of the ENACT Research & Advocacy Fellowship because it will not only provide her with the opportunity to further develop my research skills, but also gives her the chance to continue engaging and connecting within different communities, implementing social justice values, and making an impact where necessary.

Gerardo Enrique Rios Ramirez
Gerardo Enrique Rios Ramirez ’27

Gerardo Enrique Rios Ramirez is currently a first year student at Brandeis. Gerardo intends to major in Business with a minor in Psychology. Gerardo expects to graduate in the Spring of 2027. He is looking forward to meeting new people and expanding his network all while paving the way for a Brandeis with better access to resources.

Lev Sewald
Lev Sewald ’26

Lev Sewald (class of 2026) is a History and NEJS major and a Russian minor. Lev is originally from Seattle. While attending college is an incredible opportunity, it also often separates non-local students from their home network of support. Lev is looking forward to helping lessen this issue for peers by improving student access to resources while at Brandeis.