2011 Sorensen Fellows


The 2010 Sorensen Fellows (L-R): Jessye Kass, Shani Rosenbaum, Calliope Desenberg, Sarah Van Buren, Piyawat "Paul" Sukijthamapan and Sarah Michael.

Download "Voices in Solidarity: Six Friends Reaching for Healing Across the World," which highlights the Fellows' experiences.

For PDFs of each essay, click here.

To read an introduction to the fellows in BrandeisNOW, click here; to read the fellows' mid-summer reports "from the field," click here.

Calliope Desenberg '12, from Sarasota, Florida majored in Social Justice and Social Policy with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. In the summer of 2010, she worked at the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, where she contacted organizations serving disenfranchised populations to set up and conduct presentations in both English and Spanish about discrimination and individual’s civil rights. For her internship, Calliope worked with the Centro de Estudios para la Paz (CEPPA – Center for Peace Studies), in San Jose, Costa Rica. CEPPA works to eradicate direct violence (e.g. beatings, murder) and structural violence (e.g. racism, sexism, xenophobia) by providing trainings to help people transform conflict in both public and private realms. Calliope helped facilitate workshops for prisoners, at-risk youth, educators, and survivors of domestic violence.

Jessye Kass '13, from Concord, Massachusetts, double majored in Anthropology and African & Afro-American Studies, and minored in Social Justice and Social Policy. She is the founder and was president of the Brandeis Anthropology Club, tutors Facilities Department workers, and worked at Lemberg Children's Center. During the fall semester of 2009, Jessye volunteered in Ghana, teaching at a school and working in an orphanage. In the summer of 2010, she returned to Ghana and worked in Kenya as a medical intern. For her internship she returned to Ghana to work with a new NGO, the Attukwei Art Foundation (AAF). AAF aims to bring art projects to students living in underprivileged areas, as well as to students who have been victims of sex slavery or child labor. Jessye taught memoir writing and art classes, and helped AAF become a more prominent organization by creating a website, advertising for the organization and finding local and international partnerships.

Sarah Michael '12,  from Keller, Texas, majored in Health: Science, Society, and Policy. She was one of the Waltham Group coordinators of Junior Brandeis Achievers — an afterschool program for children in kindergarten through fifth grade at two Waltham elementary schools.  She became interested in working with children with disabilities since becoming a mentor to a Vietnamese girl with autism in December 2008. In 2011, Sarah interned at Children’s Association for Maximum Potential, a summer camp in Texas for children and adults with special needs.

Shani Rosenbaum ’12, from Seattle, Washington, majored in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and minored in Creative Writing. Her interest in the intersection of Judaism and social justice led her to an internship last summer at Jerusalem-based Bema'aglei Tzedek, a Jewish-inspired social justice non-profit organization. There she became familiar with some of the salient social problems in Israel today, including the struggles of migrant workers and asylum seekers. Driven by the Biblical imperative to seek justice for society's most vulnerable, Shani interned with the Hotline for Migrant Workers in Tel Aviv, a non-profit devoted to promoting the rights of migrant workers and refugees and eliminating human trafficking in Israel.

Piyawat "Paul" Sukijthamapan '13, originally from Central Thailand, now of Arlington, Massachusetts, was a double major in Biology and Health: Science, Society and Policy. Having lived in a rural community as a child, Paul is interested in development of health systems for underserved populations. He is an Emergency Medical Technician on campus and works with STAND (Students Taking Action Now Darfur) to coordinate assistance for victims of the genocide. Paul interned with the Bairo Pite Clinic (BPC) in East Timor, in South East Asia, a region where medical needs often exceed resources. BPC was founded when the bloody war for independence from Indonesia broke out in the late 1990’s. Today, BPC is still operating to provide free care to the East Timorese and working to guide the nation in the recovery from that conflict by building a self-sufficient health system. Paul worked closely with the founder of the clinic, to gain hands-on experience in clinical practice and the community health care system.

Sarah Van Buren
'13, originally from Tokyo, Japan currently resides in Falls Church, Virginia. She majored in Biochemistry and International & Global Studies with a minor in Peace, Conflict and Coexistence Studies. She has an interest in women’s healthcare access in marginalized communities, and spent last summer in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico working with the FEMAP Foundation (Federacion Mexicana de Asociaciones Privadas). This organization focuses on providing medical and economic aid through a grassroots approach to women in the colonias of the border city. In 2011, she interned with Wildflower Home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which serves as a shelter, clinic, and school for women who have been victims of sexual abuse and the sex trade. She led sexual health education and women’s empowerment courses for adolescent girls, and taught English and Japanese to the children at Wildflower Home.