*Asterisk denotes Second Year Leadership Scholars
Sahar Ali-Jenkins*, School of Arts and Science ‘23, is a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major and Political Science minor. She enjoys her involvement in tutoring programs at local libraries in her hometown as well as her volunteer work in the South Bronx gardens. Sahar is a member of the Rutgers Dance Team, which she dances with at all Rutgers football and basketball games. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Sahar interned at the Center for American Women and Politics. In the future, Sahar plans to continue her education through law school and become an advocate for those that cannot speak for themselves.
Sheaa Amin*, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College/Douglass Residential College ‘24, is a Political Science and Mathematics double major. She is actively involved in the Douglass Honors College Coalition and her sorority, Alpha Chi Omega. Off-campus, Sheaa is involved in voter initiatives, through organizations such as Young Asian Americans for Biden, to increase voting access to Asian Americans nationally as well as youth voter turnout. She is an advocate for mental health and intersectionality. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Sheaa interned at the Center for American Women and Politics. Through her dedication to these social issues, Sheaa aspires to make a difference in her community.
Chantel Amissah*, School of Arts and Sciences ‘23, is a Political Science major with a double minor in Theater and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her passion lies within advocacy for global women’s rights and has interned at the IWL Center for Women’s Global Leadership, a Rutgers-affiliated organization that aids and brings awareness to women's issues globally through hands-on activism and diplomacy. She is an active member of the Douglass Residential College and an Educational Opportunity Fund scholar. Chantel enjoys expressing her passion for global women’s rights through different mediums, including performing and visual art.
Audrey Arias-Justo, Mason Gross School of the Arts ‘24, is a Design major with a minor in Latino and Caribbean Studies. She is currently a public relations strategist for UndocuRutgers, a student organization that works to empower, support, and advocate for undocumented students. Audrey is also a member of the design committee for CreativeX, a multidisciplinary group of students passionate about elevating design. Audrey is passionate about spreading cultural diversity. She utilizes her skills of creative thinking, graphic design, communication and compassion to elevate underrepresented and minority communities.
Alexandria Chastain, School of Arts and Sciences/SAS Honors Program '24, is a Political Science and Sociology double major with a minor in Criminology. She is an intern at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at the Center for Public Interest Polling, a member of the Rutgers Advocacy Corps, and a peer leadership mentor. Alexandria is engaged in advocacy work with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon Health and Human Services Department. She is passionate about Indigenous women's rights and equity in education. She hopes to pursue a dual J.D/PhD program in Sociology to advocate for survivors of human trafficking.
Emily Chow*, School of Arts and Sciences ‘23, is an Economics and English double major and an intended minor in Statistics. She is an Aresty research assistant focusing on issues related to American food consumption. She is an ambassador intern for Asian Student Council, the marketing director for The Rutgers Review, a peer tutor, a participant in the Advancing Community Development program, and a member of the Rutgers University Debate Union. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Emily interned at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Emily plans to pursue a law degree and work in either the finance or nonprofit sectors. Through this endeavor, she hopes to continue to develop her interests in political, social justice, and financial reform.
Anna Cordova, School of Arts and Sciences '24 is a Human Resource Management and Psychology double major with a minor in Critical Intelligence Studies. She is passionate about student issues on campus and has served an advocacy liaison for her residence hall and as an SAS senator for the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA). Anna is also the events coordinator for the Organization of Luso-Americans at Rutgers, planning events that educate others about Luso/Latino culture through music and food. She is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian. After graduation, Anna hopes to either pursue law school or a career in the critical intelligence field.
Kristy Echie, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors Program/Douglass Residential College '24, is an Economics major with intended minors in Public Policy and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is a member of the Rutgers National Black Law Student Association and Rutgers American Sign Language Club. Kristy is passionate about women's health and reproductive rights. She plans to earn her law degree and become a policymaker to stimulate economic and social growth for minoritized women.
Libah Farooqi, Rutgers Business School '24, is a Business Analytics and Information Technology (BAIT) major with a minor in Computer Science. Libah passionately works with Muslim youth and is currently the NJ Chapter’s registration chair for the non-profit organization, Muslim Inter-Scholastic Tournament (MIST). Libah is also the Rutgers ambassador for the National Millennial and GenZ Community, in which she leads and participates in corporate, political, and ethical conversations and events with members from across the country. Libah’s interests include the business of videogaming and e-sports. After graduation, she hopes to join the gaming industry and use her voice to advocate for girls in the community.
Jacqueline Finley, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors Program ‘24, is a Biology major with double minors in Psychology and Public Health. She is passionate about global health equity and strengthening the connection between primary care and population health. On campus, she is a community building and campaigns director for Rutgers GlobeMed, an SAS peer tutor, and a member of Club Soccer and the Performing Dance Company. Additionally, Jacqueline is a volunteer at Jersey Shore Medical Center. In the future, Jackie plans to attend medical school where she hopes to combine her passions for working with children, advancing the healthcare industry, and working towards health equity.
Kaitlyn Fung, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College ‘24, is a Psychology and Cognitive Science double major. She is a wellness coach with Health Outreach, Promotion, and Education (HOPE) where she helps other students achieve their goals. As a videographer for the Honors College Media Team and a video intern with the Center for Women in Business, she uses videos to inspire, educate, and entertain the Rutgers community. She is passionate about mental health and LGBTQ+ representation in media. Kaitlyn hopes to use her creativity and knowledge to amplify the voices of underrepresented groups.
Anya Gowda, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College ‘24 is an intended Biology major with minors in Spanish and Public Health. She is an alcohol and other drug peer educator for Health Outreach, Promotion and Education (HOPE). Anya is a board member for Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA), Baby Friendly Space (BFS), and One Health. She is passionate about environmental and drug prevention advocacy and is a national young adult ambassador for the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and a trained Climate Reality leader.
Celia Hansen, School of Arts and Sciences ‘24, is intending to double major in Political Science and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality studies. She has a passion for ethical fashion consumption, art history and creating visual art, and women’s health research. Celia is most proud of her work as a tutor for children attending school virtually due to the pandemic. On campus, she is a member of the RU Stitch for Life and the READ Book Club student organizations. After graduation, Celia plans to continue her education at law school and hopes to become a divorce and family lawyer for victims of domestic abuse.
Dilrooh Israil, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors Program ‘24, is a Psychology major and Health & Society minor. She entered Rutgers through the Paul Robeson Success Institute program. Dilrooh is president of the Central Asian Student Organization and is a stylist for Routure Magazine. Dilrooh is also involved with Craft for Cure, the Period Equity Project and is a peer tutor through the Honors Program. Dilrooh studied the intersection of racism and representation of Central Asians in Western media at the Institute for Research on Women. Dilrooh hopes to continue this research area and spread awareness on the importance of mental health in Central Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
Nivedita Krishnakumar, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College ’24, is a Cell Biology & Neuroscience major with a minor in Biological Sciences. She is a cultural advocacy and competency ambassador for APAMSA (Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association). Nivedita currently works as a research assistant for the James Lab at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as well as a medical assistant at the SR Medical Center in South Brunswick, NJ. In the future, she hopes to become a medical doctor specializing in OB/GYN in order to advocate for women’s reproductive rights and gender equality.
Fatiha Masum, School of Arts and Sciences ‘25, is a Political Science major with an intended minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She works as an office assistant at the Paul Robeson Cultural Center, working to extend resources to the Black student population and uplift Black student organizations at Rutgers. Fatiha is passionate about addressing state-sanctioned violence in Black and Brown communities and reimagining a world of accountability outside of prisons and policing. Upon graduation, she plans to go to law school and become a criminal defense attorney. Fatiha hopes to build a career in the criminal justice system that humanizes those who are targeted by the prison industrial complex and gives them the resources to re-enter society.
Miracle Matthews*, School of Arts and Sciences ‘23, is a Criminal Justice major as well as an African Studies and Psychology double minor. She is passionate about the need for Black representation within law enforcement and the awareness of police brutality. Miracle is also involved in the Bonners Leadership program, an undergraduate service program that develops students’ leadership and advocacy skills in order to support the communities in which they live. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Miracle interned at the Center for Research on Ending Violence. Miracle hopes to achieve a career in law enforcement to continue to amplify her voice for the importance of black equality.
Sanjana Narayanan*, Rutgers Business School ‘24, is a Finance major with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. She is an active member of Rutgers Undergraduate Women in Business and president of the Strong Women Strong Girls (SWSG) Rutgers branch, which is currently in the process of becoming an official organization. SWSG organization seeks to mentor and goal orient elementary-aged girls to adapt into resilient leaders and defy societal norms. Sanjana is also a board director for the Rutgers Institute for Corporate Social Innovation, where they discuss campus-wide issues and brainstorm solutions to create a better campus. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Sanjana interned at Savvy Ladies. Sanjana hopes to combine her passion for business, public speaking, law, and social movements to be a lighthouse for others.
Andrea Potesta-Oliva, School of Arts & Science/Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy/Douglass Residential College ‘24 , is double majoring in Public Health and Italian Language with a minor in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is a member of the Marching Scarlet Knights Band. Andrea is active within the Douglass Residential College Community, being both a Barbara Voorhees Mentor and a member of the Big-Little Mentoring Program. She is also an Educational Opportunity Fund Scholar and Thrive SSS Scholar. She is a student worker at the Center for Latino Arts & Culture (CLAC). Andrea is interested in women's health as well as conducting policy work for underrepresented communities.
Sanaa Rangwala*, School of Arts and Sciences ‘23, is a Psychology major and an intended Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies minor. She is a transfer student who works at the Digital Writing Center and provides tutoring services to those in Expository Writing and other English Courses. Sanaa interned at the University of Michigan for the 1cademy database, a collaborative online platform for researchers and academics to share their work. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Sanaa interned at the Robert Wood Johnson Women’s Health Institute. Sanaa is passionate about mental health awareness and advocating for women's rights.
Priyanka Sarkhel, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College ‘24 is a Journalism and Media Studies major with a double minor in Cinema Studies and Business Administration. She writes for The Daily Targum and Everyday Health Group, a digital media company that she has also interned with. Priyanka mentors Honors College freshmen as a part of the HC Ally program and creates innovative solutions to improve the Honors College’s mental health resources through the Student Advisory Board. She is dedicated to storytelling, giving a platform for minoritized communities to share their stories through her work as a journalist and a filmmaker.
Siddhi Shah*, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors Program/Douglass Residential College ‘23, is a Cell Biology and Neuroscience major. She is a managing editor for Rutgers’ pre-health journal, the Examiner, and part of the Community Outreach Committee for Rutgers GlobeMed. Siddhi is also a research intern at the Adamson Brain Stimulation Lab at Stanford University. Passionate about education, she published a children’s book about the brain and has led an initiative to teach elementary school students about neuroscience for the past few years. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Siddhi interned at Libertas Center for Human Rights. In the future, Siddhi hopes to combine her interests in research, medicine, and education to positively impact individuals with neurological disorders.
Kirstin Slattery*, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/ Douglass Residential College '23, is an Environmental Policy, Institutions, and Behavior major with minors in Sustainability and Nonprofit Leadership. She is passionate about her studies and is currently working as a research assistant to the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics through the Douglass Residential College. Outside of the classroom, she is involved with many campus organizations such as Alpha Zeta, a professional society for students studying agricultural and natural resources, the Society of Animal Science, and the Rutgers University Companion Animal Club. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Kirstin interned at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). Kirstin desires to further her education through graduate or law school to advocate for both environmental protection and human rights.
Raheen Syed*, School of Arts and Sciences ‘23, is a Public Policy major with a minor in Political Science. She is a former member of the Rutgers One Coalition where she passionately worked with other student organizations to advocate for social justice issues including women's rights. Raheen is also involved with the Palestine Children Relief Fund of Rutgers, working to aid children affected by the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East. She has substantial leadership experience through local Black Lives Matter protests and organizing demonstrations fighting for racial equality. Raheen has also worked with underprivileged children and volunteered with the Red Cross. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Raheen interned at the Robert Wood Johnson Women’s Health Institute. She believes that by encouraging youth participation and using the resources around us, we can spark meaningful social change on the path to equality.
Gabrielle Thurm*, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy ‘23 is an Urban Planning and Design major. Gabrielle is an active member of both the Chabad and Hillel communities on campus, acting as the Social Co-Chair of Hillel’s Orthodox community. Currently, she is a research assistant working with the Center for Urban Policy Research, which focuses on the historic preservation of Route 66. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Gabrielle enhanced her leadership capacities as a design researcher and collaborative author at the Center for Urban Policy Research. In the future, she hopes to adaptively reuse historic properties to create a more sustainable urban environment.
Colleen Tonra, School of Arts and Sciences ‘25, is a History and Education double major with a minor in American Studies. She is passionate about the experiences and histories of minoritized groups. She is passionate about mental health advocacy, civil rights, environmental justice, and equal access to education. As a senior intern at the Asian American Cultural Center and a RUSA representative on campus, Colleen is working on ways to improve her community through local activism and advocacy.
Maddison Van Der Mark, School of Arts and Science ‘24, is a History major and Military Science minor. She enjoys her involvement in the Army ROTC program and her tutoring for the Writing Center on campus. Prior to attending Rutgers, Maddison has served 4 years as Active Duty in the Army. She is particularly passionate about serving the Veteran community and ensuring the proper resources during the transition from military to civilian life. Maddison will return to the Army as an Officer upon graduating.
Cassandra Vega*, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College ‘24, is a Political Science major. She is the Director of Cultural Outreach in the newly formed Department of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (RUSA). Cassandra is also involved on campus as a member of the Rutgers Alumni Association (RAA) and the Rutgers Democrats. She is an activist, writer, intersectional feminist. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Cassandra interned at the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling. Cassandra aspires to create policy that benefits low-income communities, people of color and LGBTQ+ youth.
Johanne Vidola*, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College/Douglass Residential College ‘23, is an Information Technology (ITI) and Cognitive Science double major with a minor in Digital Communication, Information and Media. She is involved on-campus as Secretary for Reach Out and Read (ROAR), an organization to promote children's literacy in the New Brunswick Community. Johanne is also a Douglass Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Ambassador as well as the Social Science chair for the Douglass Honors College Coalition. For her Leadership Scholars Program internship, Johanne interned at the Institute for Women’s Leadership. She is passionate about social change and strives to gain a better understanding of the way in which technology and media play in addressing issues in our world.
Peristera Vikatos*, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College/Douglass Residential College '23, is an English major with a minor in Comparative and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. She currently serves as a Douglass Changemaking community facilitator at the Honors College and a Rutgers writing tutor. As a Protect Democracy intern at Public Citizen last fall, she worked on combating electoral misinformation and decreasing voter suppression during the 2020 presidential election. Peristera is an active learner of multiple languages, including Greek, Spanish, Korean, and Arabic. For the Leadership Scholars Progam, Peristera was an Honors College Undergraduate Intern for Diversity Initiatives. Peristera hopes to utilize her passions for environmental protection and communication to help educate and increase civic engagement in underrepresented communities.
Samahal Waseem, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College ‘25, is a Psychology and Political Science double major with a minor in International and Global Studies. She is involved on campus as an active member of the Institute for Domestic and International Affairs (IDIA) and Rutgers Pre-Law Society. Samahal aims to create a welcoming community at Rutgers through her involvement with the global student advisory committee. She is also an advisory board member for Voices of Diversity, an initiative of the SAS Office of Undergraduate Education. She hopes to pursue a career in law that allows her to advocate for positive change in the world.
Faith Wilson, School of Arts and Sciences ‘24, is a Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major with a minor in Comparative and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. She is passionate about research that explores misogyny in hip-hop, homophobia in the Black church, and the intersection of educators’ behavior in relation to their identities. Faith serves as an editor for Routure fashion magazine, overseeing and reviewing editorials prior to publication. Faith is passionate about the LGBTQ+ community, advocacy for women of color, and fashion journalism.
Maria Zhang*, School of Arts and Sciences ‘23, is an English major with a minor in Creative Writing. Maria has been passionate about education her entire life and has become interested in issues concerning social and climate justice since high school. Maria has participated in many teaching volunteering programs, including one in Taiwan, where she taught English in rural elementary schools. At Rutgers, she is a member of the Douglass Residential College (DRC) and participated in the STEAM program with other members of the DRC, learning about climate resilience and innovations that combine art and science in New York City. During the Spring 2022 semester, Maria studied abroad at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. Maria hopes to use her love for art and writing to creatively educate others about important issues and promote positive change.