Summer Fellows 2016

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Nonprofit and Public Management

Anna Garriott, CSSW'17, was a summer research intern with Council to Secure Justice, a nonprofit legal aid organization in Delhi, India that serves survivors of sexual violence. By providing interdisciplinary pro bono services in legal council, social work, and investigative services, survivors are provided justice through the legal system. Anna was responsible for conducting an evaluation to assess how restorative justice practices can be an alternative to the criminal justice system for incestuous child sexual abuse cases.

Tushar Malik, SIPA'17, interned with the Men Against AIDS Youth Group (MAAYGO), which works to empower LGBTQ+ populations by initiating a stronger and healthier society through active participation in reproductive health, economic development, and human rights advocacy campaigns in Kenya's Kisumu county. Tushar assisted the board with strategic planning and helped build the technical capacity of staff and volunteers engaged with various advocacy services and outreach programs.

Eddye Golden, PH'17, worked at Crisis Text Line (CTL), the first nonprofit hotline in which communication between Crisis Counselors and individuals in crisis is through text messaging. Since CTL's start, it has amassed over 14 million text messages, making it one of the largest data sets on mental health and crisis in America. CTL has begun accepting applications for researchers to use and analyze texter data to help improve future mental health and crisis policy. As the enclave data intern, Eddye worked to ensure the privacy and security of texter data while growing the value that academic research is bringing to the texters.

Tricia Wendt, CSSW/SIPA'18, interned at the Partnerships for Trauma Recovery, an organization dedicated to healing the psychological and psychosocial impacts of human rights abuses among refugees, asylees and asylum seekers in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a PTR intern, Tricia directly impacted the lives of refugees in local communities by providing them with medical, legal, social service and resettlement support. Additionally, by establishing an interpretation team and securing grant opportunities, she helped prepare the organization for their fall clinical volunteers, allowing PTR to maximize their impact by expanding their client base and providing greater support to those in need.

Samantha Lalli '17 and Jillian Roland '16 interned with Columbia Law School's Center for Public Research and Leadership, which hires graduate students across disciplines to consult for public– and social–sector organizations undertaking and supporting transformational change in K–12 education. Samantha focused on building and disseminating a toolkit for education organizations to train their employees in the evolutionary learning approach to problem solving and ongoing improvement. She was also engaged in a consulting project for a large nonprofit dedicated to finding ways to bring effective practices and solutions to the education space. Jillian consulted for the State Department of Education to develop a new teacher policy plan. She researched and prepared policy recommendations and drafted external–facing documents, impacting both state–level policy and public roll–out. She also worked with a foundation seeking to measure the diffusion of personalized learning nationwide, interviewing the foundation's grantees to develop, and then test, an evaluation framework and tool. The tool enables grantees to holistically evaluate and constantly improve their effectiveness.

Cleber Pellizzon '16 interned with the United Nations Department of Field Support (DFS), whose mission is to assist the United Nation's peacekeeping and other field operations in their various needs such as personnel, technology, logistics, planning, budgeting, supply chain, facility and asset management. Cleber worked with senior managers to improve field missions' performances through analytics optimization. By developing metrics, data models and visualization dashboards, analyzing mission performance, and improving forecasting models, he contributed to the long term mandate of the DFS to build a more performance–focused and data–driven approach for UN peace operations.

Nate Whitman '16 interned with the Middle Grades Partnership (MGP), an initiative of the Baltimore Community Foundation in Baltimore. MGP increases opportunities for academically promising Baltimore City public middle school students through public and private school partnerships. MGP is looking for opportunities to expand their programming to serve a greater number of Baltimore City students. Nate worked with the executive director and board of directors to develop a sustainable programming model to support their growth initiative. He provided a fiscal evaluation of the organization, identified and examined comparable programs, and developed a comprehensive messaging campaign.

Alexis Goldstein '17 interned at The Jewish Board, a large health and human services agency in New York City. As part of the outcomes team, she coordinated a site–specific pilot project, which included identifying data to be collected, identifying processes by which to collect data, and assessing and streamlining outcomes for the team data organization structure. In addition, Alexis developed a business plan to expand the services of the Martha K. Selig Educational Institute, the training and education center of the Jewish Board. In constructing the business plan, she conducted market research on potential customers and competitors and evaluated current internal resources including, space, staffing and other available resources.

Stephanie Shaw '17 spent her summer at the Office of Health Insurance Programs (OHIP) within the Division of Operations and Systems at the New York State Department of Health. OHIP's mission is to optimize the health of Medicaid members by wisely using all available resources. They are responsible for administering New York's $58 billion Medicaid budget and implementing major initiatives including Medicaid redesign, the Affordable Care Act, and state administration of Medicaid. Stephanie was responsible for the development and management of initiatives to bring more accountability to the agency by designing an activity–based costing system for two statewide initiatives totaling $1 billion.

Alexander Pearlman '16 interned with the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES). The DOES Office of Youth Programs (OYP) develops and administers workforce development programs. Alex supported OYP leadership by redesigning the human capital structure of the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP), a locally funded initiative that provides District youth with constructive summer work experiences through subsidized placements in the private and government sectors. This redesign emphasized lean and efficient workforce management and institutionalizing better practices.

Kira Plastinina '16 worked with The Elisa Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting eating disorders through education, support and advocacy. She worked on the development of a formalized nationwide distribution plan for its awareness programs, design of the Wellness Longevity Survey for school–age youth grades 6–12, and development of a post–evaluation form to measure quantitative outcomes. She also worked on additional organizational accountability tools for board members and assisted with organization of ESTEEM – an annual fashion show celebrating positive body image and self–esteem.

Matthew Moll '16 interned at Oconomowoc Residential Programs, an employee–owned family of companies that provide services and professional care to over 1,500 children and adults with disabilities throughout Wisconsin and Indiana. Matthew worked with the Child and Family Services team to develop a consolidation plan for the marketing and operations of the service line.

Sustainability / Corporate Social Responsibility

Devavrat Kadam, SEAS'16, worked for Kaya Energy Group, a company based in the Dominican Republic and New York that installs and finances solar power systems. KAYA offers strategic technical and financial guidance to individuals, governments, and companies in order to facilitate their transition to renewable energy. Devavrat spent the summer in the Dominican Republic researching markets where KAYA can potentially expand, working on project proposals and developing project timelines. In addition to this research, he worked on a social project in a rural school in Haiti and a few other social responsibility installations in the Dominican Republic, promoting these installations and projects to potential donors and stakeholders.

Molly Engel, CC'17, worked as a Summer Fellow at the Relationship Coffee Institute, a nonprofit public benefit corporation that fosters direct trade relationships, creates a closer connection between farmers and consumers, and increases social and economic opportunity for smallholder coffee farmers and their families. Molly conducted research for Sustainable Harvest's new “women in coffee” initiative, to help demonstrate why working with women coffee farmers is so important for both improving coffee quality and supporting farmer communities.

Emilene Sivagnanam, GSAS/EI'16, interned with A Growing Culture, a start–up connecting smallholder farmers with the resources needed to produce ecologically sound food systems through information exchange, outreach, and advocacy. Smallholder farmers depend on the predictable nature of rainfall and temperature patterns, making them one of the most vulnerable populations to climate change due to uncertainties in projected precipitation and temperature variability. Emilene supported farmers' documentation of agro–ecological innovations, suggested ways to integrate climate change information, and incorporated farmer input into academic climate change and risk assessment tools to acknowledge farmers' experiences.

Rohan Rane, SEAS'16, interned at Duro UAS, an eco–drone manufacturer and youth development company based in New York City, which builds unmanned autonomous systems to collect data in complex urban environments. Duro's mission is to ensure safety and sustainability of cities through engineering and education. Rohan worked on the Harbor AUV project, which assists with the restoration efforts in NY Harbor and helps collect information for environmental research. Duro UAS aims to manufacture this eco–drone by the end of October 2016, and Rohan worked closely with mechanical design and manufacturing engineers to assist them with the manufacturing of the AUV.

Karen Xia, CC'18, interned with the SocialCars Research Group, a German organization focused on significantly improving future road traffic and transportation infrastructure through cooperative approaches. SocialCars aims to help make optimal use of the transport infrastructure so that safety is increased and congestion and pollution are reduced. During her time interning with SocialCars, Karen helped develop machine learning algorithms aimed to improve parking availability estimations and parking search strategies in urban centers. She analyzed large datasets, which allowed her to apply both computer science and statistics skills to her work.

Anna Libey, BS'17, Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering at SEAS, and Fernanda CabaƱas, SEAS'17, worked at Citizengage in Bengaluru, India, a waste–to–energy start–up that connects communities, informal waste collectors, energy producers, and recyclers through transparent transactions monitored in real time. 90 percent of India's waste sits in landfills, although over 85 percent of this waste is recyclable. Anna analyzed air and water quality data and environmental impacts associated with the lifecycle of a product in order to quantify and communicate a sustainability rating to businesses and residents. Fernanda developed waste–to–resource models to recommend prototype paths, investigated the economic and environmental impact of valorization of waste on the whole life cycle, and developed public policy recommendations on integrating informal recyclers and creating a more sustainable waste management system in India.

Joshua Newell '17 worked in business development at SolarKal, the first network of solar energy brokers in the United States representing businesses and commercial real estate owners who want to switch to solar and cut their energy costs. SolarKal helps businesses navigate the process of going solar by conducting feasibility assessments, financial analysis, and installer selection for their clients. Josh helped SolarKal build and execute the company's go–to–market strategy by identifying key target industries and designing marketing and financial plans for target markets.

International Development

Faridah Ibrahim, SIPA'17, interned in the Dar Es Salaam office of First Access, a social enterprise whose mission is to increase financial access for the poor, especially in informal markets. Using big data and mobile technology, First Access provides lenders with accurate measures of risk and creditworthiness. Faridah's research with the data science, sales and marketing teams helped develop a product that lenders will use to unlock finance for smallholder farmers in Africa. Her work aided First Access in their understanding of how best to serve this highly underserved market and the business case for such a product.

Sharon Kim, CSSW'17, interned for The Adventure Project, a nonprofit that adds capital to local businesses in developing countries with the purpose of job creation. Their mission is to recruit and train locals to become entrepreneurs in order to deepen their impact on their communities. Sharon worked on their fundraising plan of reaching a quarterly goal of $250,000 on behalf of their international partners. This plan included developing grant applications for appropriate funders, identifying and maintaining partnerships with donors, and distilling program data into donor reports.

Tyler Muntean, SIPA'17, was a business development consultant for the Bosh Bosh Project, an early stage social venture based in Liberia, West Africa, that produces, markets, and sells various Liberian–made bags and fashion apparel. Sales revenue is directed back to a girls' club that promotes and provides educational and training programs for women and girls. Tyler joined their operations and management team to develop strategies to scale their business model and assess the viability of exporting their products to the United States and other western markets.

Megha Khandelwal, SIPA'17, worked as a strategy and business development associate at Villgro Kenya, an early stage incubator that supports start–ups with a global health impact in the East African region. They work with entrepreneurs to help them become ready for commercial investment. Megha identified scientific and technological breakthroughs in the healthcare sector in Kenya and developed ideas that could be used by the team to evaluate opportunities and guide the discovery and incubation selection process.

Henok Begashaw, SIPA'17, worked with GreenPath Food, a social enterprise based in Ethiopia that has been active for two years. They partner with smallholder farmers to grow organic fruits and vegetables, which they purchase above fair trade prices and then sell in domestic, urban, and international markets. Henok assisted the team in Butajira by improving their English, computer, and data analysis skills. Additionally, he completed grant proposals on behalf of the venture and conducted data analysis on the productivity efficiency of the farmers as well as the crop selection, and social and environmental impact.

Vlada Gromova, SIPA'17, interned for Ampion, a social innovation nonprofit that empowers entrepreneurial minds to become successful change makers in their communities and boost private sector growth for economic and social development. The start–ups that AMPION helps to create through mentorship, funding, collaboration, and access to its network are focused on generating sustainable impact in the region. Vlada was based in Nairobi, Kenya and helped organize Ampion's Venture Bus 2016 program as well as the expansion of the model to other regions in Africa and the world. She also supported the business development of Ampion Ventures, which is currently in its early stage of development.

Mary Chun, MIA'17, interned at Mobile Surveys, Inc. (mSurvey), a mobile data start–up in Nairobi, Kenya that utilizes mobile technology to effectively survey a large amount of the Kenyan population. mSurvey's tools gather micro–level data in real time to help clients better understand Kenyan attitudes, motivations, and preferences. Mary's role focused on using mSurvey's data to create data stories and content that provided insights on Kenyan consumers and for communications material in order to promote mSurvey's mission.

Alicia Simba, BC'19, worked as a media intern at Ubongo, a social enterprise based in Tanzania that creates interactive “edutainment” for children in Africa. Its animated programs entertain 2.8 million households weekly in East Africa, urging children to love learning. Alicia designed a new social media plan, managed their blog, and organized digital releases of their CDs. For the duration of the summer, she also made creative contributions to the television programs by creating new segments and composing music.

Ian Krohn '17 worked with Impacto Capital, a Mozambican impact investing and advisory fund focusing on small and medium enterprises adding social value to Lusophone Africa. His work was focused on developing a pipeline of socially sustainable investments for the fund's portfolio as well as working with entrepreneurs in the fund's pilot investments to create sustainable growth plans and implement impact targets.

Ian also interned in Mozambique as a merchant banking services provider for ThirdWay Africa. He focused on sourcing and conducting due diligence on socially impactful investment opportunities. He provided operational and strategic analysis on potential partners and stakeholders as they built out their impact investing arm. He also established partnerships between potential investors, development institutions, and public officials to create a more cohesive business development strategy for the fund and broader impact investment community in Mozambique.

Rachel Han '17 interned for Praava Health, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures portfolio enterprise. She primarily assisted with strategic planning relating to a launch date for the first medical facility in Dhaka in 2016. Throughout the project, Rachel helped develop an initial quality management plan, eventually leading up to the creation of a revised financial model as well as the administrative and clinical process flow mapping.

Christopher Perkins '17 worked for SunCulture, a start–up based in Nairobi, Kenya that designs and sells solar–powered irrigation products and services that make it easier and more cost effective for farmers to grow food. He conducted a risk analysis and assessment of Kenyan farmers and designed the framework for an asset financing option for solar–powered irrigation systems. This work was the foundation of SunCulture's PAYG financing option for farmers.

Ron Bucca '17 worked with Off Grid Electric (OGE), a social enterprise seeking to power the world with clean, transformative energy in the next decade. OGE uses a distributed solar model, known locally as M–POWER, to provide an end–to–end solution that overcomes the typical barriers of solar adoption in frontier markets. For the same amount of money customers already spend on kerosene, OGE provides clean energy with 25 times more light and additional energy for appliances like TVs and radios. Ron worked with senior management to help restructure operations to achieve their goal of providing one million homes in Tanzania with electricity by the end of 2017.

Social Entrepreneurship

Peter Satre, SIPA'18, interned at New Women New Yorkers, a nonprofit organization that aims to empower women immigrants in New York through its LEAD professional development program. LEAD offers women a free, three–month program that combines skills training, teamwork, and leadership development workshops. Peter's primary role was to oversee the monitoring and evaluation of the LEAD program as well as assist with community outreach and donor research initiatives.

Zoe Yang '16 interned with Eat Offbeat, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures enterprise that provides authentic catering around New York City with recipes created and cooked by a team of refugee women. In this capacity, Eat Offbeat creates high–quality employment for refugee women, while celebrating their cuisines. Zoe helped the founders size the market in New York, identified new customers and potential nonprofit and for–profit partners, and explored strategies to obtain funding for further growth of the company.

Yuwei Zhang, SEAS'16, worked for BlocPower, an organization that works with community leaders and institutions to assemble multiple nonprofits, houses of worship, schools, small businesses or multi–family residences in financially underserved communities into a “Bloc” of potential retrofits. Yuwei's project focused on developing the engineering aspects and feasibility of these projects, creating energy efficient systems for the project to proceed. Additionally, she developed and designed energy efficiency retrofit projects to help New York City reduce its energy costs and GHG emissions and help communities with housing affordability.

Mehemed Bougsea, SIPA'17, and Frederik Franz, SEAS'16, interned at Kiron Open Higher Education, a social enterprise and the world's first university for refugees that provides online education for students in Jordan, Turkey and Germany. Founded in 2014, Kiron uses an innovative combination of online and offline learning to provide accessible, sustainable, and cost–effective education. As an intern in Istanbul, Mehemed supported Kiron in the development of their second study hub and expanded partnerships with local enterprises as well as the Turkish Ministry of Education. Frederik worked as an assistant to the managing director and applied his business and analytic skills to provide the board with strategic analysis and improve the outreach to industry partners, universities and politicians. This helped Kiron make their education model available to refugees across Europe and the Middle East.

Ghada Jerfel, BC'19, interned for CodeSchool, a program for refugees incubated within Kiron University. It aims to create a long–lasting impact on European society for refugees through professional training and easy access to the job market. Ghada supported the team in the academic and operational setup of their one–year learning program. Her tasks included developing corporate relationships with client companies and partner organizations. Ghada also developed strategies and recommendations to better foster communication between students and partner companies.

Matthew Lohry, GSAPP'17, worked with Urbanscale, a New York City– and London–based urban systems design practice. Matthew's research and design focused on alternative affordable housing proposals for the Peckham neighborhood in London. The project focuses on decentralized property development methods facilitated by peer¬–to–¬peer software technology. He explored equity crowdfunding and distributed governance features that enable community members to participate in ownership, decision making and profit sharing as the property develops over time.

Monica Lustgarten, CSSW'17, interned as a business developer for Latin America at Visit.org, a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures enterprise that acts as an online marketplace for tours and activities that directly benefit nonprofits and communities throughout the world. Visit.org is interested in enhancing the mission of social organizations and increasing public awareness, channeling their proceeds directly to the hosting organization for investment in future projects. Monica was in charge of making new connections with different organizations throughout Latin America and fostering the relationships with existing ones and the visit.org team.

Nisha Prasad '17 interned at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) in the Financial Services department. Headquartered in NYC, NFF is a leading CDFI dedicated to expanding access to capital and advisory services to nonprofits focused on community development in the United States. As a 2016 Janet Thompson Fellow, Nisha helped NFF expand their impact investing program through focused industry research and supported the identification of new capital sources to promote the organization's growth. She also worked to improve NFF's ability to invest in clients through systems and operational improvements, which streamlined their evaluation and compliance processes.

Nisha also interned at Veris Wealth Partners in the investment research department. Veris is a wealth management firm committed to aligning its clients' wealth with their values by offering sustainable investment strategies. Nisha helped expand Veris's understanding of the impact investing landscape by researching thematic investment products and impact reporting and drafting a whitepaper on long–term investment horizons and sustainability.

Sarah Zilinski '16 worked with Local Farms Fund (LFF), a high–impact, socially responsible farmland access venture established to provide secure land access to sustainable early stage farmers in the New York City Foodshed. Through lease–to–own arrangements, LFF has the goal of accelerating land ownership for the farmers that will be feeding future generations. Sarah worked with the fund manager to audit and make recommendations around LFF's use of social media, investor marketing, and investor management. Her project will enable LFF to be more efficient in raising money, and more productive in communicating with investors and the public.

Ian Clowes '17 and Margaret Thomas, SIPA'17, interned at Rabble, an online crowd investment platform that connects people with projects that produce financial return and social or environmental impact for communities. Rabble uses crowdfunding to raise capital for projects that make cities healthier, greener, and more diverse and, in return, provides investors with access to real asset products with low investment minimums. Ian conducted diligence on a range of projects including affordable housing and building refurbishment as well as market research on impact investing platforms targeted to retail investors. Margaret measured and communicated the impact generated by Rabble financing, assessed the social and environmental impact of investment opportunities, and conducted research into how to make Rabble capital complementary to existing sources of community development capital.

Josiah Bates, JRN'16, was an intern for the Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization that focuses on the American criminal justice system. Their goal is to create a sense of urgency about criminal justice in America. Josiah pitched and wrote stories for the organization while assisting the newsroom with daily functions.

Jack Dodson, JRN'16, interned at Retro Report, a nonprofit documentary journalism outlet based in New York City that specializes in deep reporting. Retro Report uses archival and documentary storytelling to peel back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories, with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events. During his internship, Jack helped develop a database of archival material, helping the organization streamline reporting and develop story ideas from rare footage.

Brian Freskos, JRN'16, was a fellow at The Trace, an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to expanding coverage of guns in the United States. The Trace publishes articles and commentary, bringing awareness to the belief that the country's epidemic rate of firearm–related violence is coupled with a shortage of information about the issue. Brian helped in research and reporting, and his tenure culminated with a hard–hitting investigative article about how guns stolen from lawful owners — including police — are fueling crime around the country.

Kim Gittleson '17, Jad Najjar '17, and Menatalla Shoukry '16 worked with Tamer Center co–director Bruce Usher to set up an impact investing structure that would bring Syrian refugees to study at the University by fall 2017. Their work focused on building the framework of the program, such as project cost and implementation; overcoming legal hurdles; and finding suitable on–the–ground partners in Lebanon and Jordan, all while striving to alleviate the waste of human capital that has resulted from the sectarian civil war in Syria and the subsequent refugee crisis.

Leora Herman, GS/JTS'17, interned with Shop Ethica, an e–commerce start–up that provides eco–friendly and socially conscious fashion products to its consumers. Shop Ethica ensures that it uses materials that are not harmful to the environment such as natural fibers, recycled materials, and cellulose fibers. Its use of socially conscious fashion products also ensures that the workers who create these materials are treated well and paid fairly. Leora wrote articles, styled photo shoots, and enhanced Shop Ethica's social media presence in her editorial position, all of which will educate consumers and promote the benefits of wearing ethical fashion.

Christina Hopkins '17 interned with BBMG, a brand consultancy aimed at helping organizations integrate humanity and sustainability into the heart of their brands to create shared value and drive culture change. Christina worked as a strategist, doing market research, trend analysis, brand positioning, messaging and activation. She will be playing a lead role in a partnership with an international foundation that trail–blazes innovative solutions to urgent social problems across sectors, with the ultimate goal of developing a brand strategy and messaging tactics that will amplify the foundation's mission of taking a bold approach to tackling social problems in new ways.

Lisa Lei, SEAS'17, interned at Radiator Labs a Tamer Fund for Social Ventures Enterprise, aiding in the creation of the COZY, the world's first thermally insulated smart radiator cover. The COZY allows buildings to save significant amounts of energy while providing temperature control to tenants. Lisa worked on developing and modeling analog circuitry for the simulation of the heat flow in a building to serve as a guiding tool for optimizing the design of the COZY.

Derek Pollak '17 interned at Impact Squared, a global consultancy startup that works with clients to empower communities to increase their social impact. As a data analyst consultant, Derek was responsible for designing surveys; facilitating focus groups; conducting networks, sentiment, and other quantitative analyses; and preparing presentations for clients to better understand their results. Derek supported the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation in helping them to improve their immersive Israel experience, REALITY, as well as the Coalition for Inclusive Capitalism in preparation for an upcoming summit conference on millennial and sustainability.

Trace Welch '17 worked at Inspiring Capital, a B–Corp that aims to pair talented business professionals with high–potential, purpose–driven organizations ranging from large nonprofit organizations to social enterprise startups. Trace consulted for GSMA, a nonprofit representing nearly 800 mobile operators. The project was to assess the innovation landscape in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East and to outline GSMA's unique value proposition to members and stakeholders. GSMA aims to curate a Global Innovation Network with the goal of accelerating growth in the mobile marketplace and promoting a 100% connected society.