Social Action Projects

As part of the required sequence in the IWL's Leadership Scholars Certificate Program, students are required to complete a social action project during their third semester in the program.  This component of the program gives Leadership Scholars the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge they have gained about leadership, advocacy, and social change with the practical and experiential knowledge they have developed about a particular policy issue or problem through the field site placement.  It also further develops important leadership skills by giving undergraduates the opportunity to practice leadership through action.


Champions of Life

Maddison Van Der Mark, School of Arts and Science, Class of 2024

Maddison created a book that shares the stories of the success of the youth participants that were directly impacted by NJ Give A Kid A Dream Foundation (NJGAKAD). Maddison organized and facilitated numerous art and writing workshops for the youth participants at a community-based boxing gym. The whole process of this book from start to finish has not only empowered donors but also has empowered the youth participants to share their stories to educate others.
View Presentation.

Black Mamas Prosper: A Package toward Wellness

Fatiha Masum, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2025

Fatiha created Black Mamas Prosper to provide incarcerated Black mothers with material resources and goods to assist them in transitioning back into society after their release. Her project sought to shift the ways in which society defines justice through a punitive lens to one of rehabilitation and healing. As a love letter to incarcerated Black mothers, Black Mamas Prosper was executed through a workshop where volunteers were able to offer their time to curate care packages with hygiene items, menstrual products, underwear, books, and government assistance applications.
View Presentation.

The Raritan River: Using Education as a Tool to Promote Awareness and Activism Regarding Environmental Concerns

Kirstin Slattery, Douglass Residential College/School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Class of 2023

Kirstin Slattery brought awareness to the Raritan River’s pollution issue through organizing an educational tour of the river aboard the Rutgers research vessel. Through this tour, she focused on the ways in which young leaders can be empowered to become environmental activists. Kirstin then curated a zine, “A Trip Along the Banks”, based on participants’ reflections. The zine has been used to educate Rutgers student on the Raritan River to promote awareness and inspire activism.
View Presentation.

Hear Our IX: Demands in Revising and Strengthening Title IX

Amanda Chen, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Amanda Chen generated a petition against Title IX regulations imposed by the Trump Administration, which greatly diminished the rights of survivors of sexual assault and harassment as well as their ability to achieve justice. In this petition, she included a letter to the Biden-Harris Administration and a nine-item list of research-supplemented demands to ensure stronger and more protective regulations. Amanda organized her college community to sign this document and lobbied the petition to the Department of Education, Office of
Civil Rights. View Presentation.

Step Lively: Find Our Recreational Bliss

Jasmin Hedvat, Douglass Residential College/Rutgers Business School, Class of 2022
Miranda Madrazo, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2022

Jasmin Hedvat and Miranda Madrazo organized Step Lively, an outdoor women’s intersectional recreation group at Rutgers University. This group was designed to reclaim outdoor spaces as safe for everyone, particularly young women of color, who are greatly impacted by a variety of social and environmental threats. Through Step Lively, Jasmin and Miranda generated a restorative and creative wellness practice that improves emotional, spiritual, social, and physical wellbeing. View Presentation.

I am You and You are Me: The Awareness Project

Favour Imhomoh, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Favour Imhomoh’s developed a website with information about human trafficking and what the public can do to address it. Favour aims to intervene in local trafficking contexts, since New Jersey is a hub for human trafficking according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This project brings public awareness to the local trafficking issue for foreign victims and survivors who do not have the same rights as those who are American citizens. View Presentation.

Sally on the Steps

Elizabeth Alt, School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program Class of 2019

Elizabeth Alt planned and implemented a 5-hour protest performance art piece at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. during women’s history month. This project acknowledged Sally Hemings and the lack of representation of minority women's narratives in American history. The two-day protest with the art piece instigated dialogue about rape, agency and power while demanding viewers to think about who has the privilege to write history. View Presentation.

Give Back-tivism: Fighting Tensions through Feminist Education and Organization

Krystina Matos, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

Krystina created a project to highlight differential oppositional consciousness that Chela Sandoval introduces as the most pivotal for changing the dominant order of hegemonic feminist. It navigates the tensions in Ailli Mari Tripp’s scholarship interweaved Sandoval’s concept by bringing together a forum for undergraduates to demonstrate innovative forms of activism. View Presentation.

Our Spirits, Ourselves

Ames Clark, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2017

affirming lgbtq identitiesFor their social action project, Ames Clark, organized a zine-making event where LGBTQ students made booklets of affirmations. The event was attended by young women, many of whom did not have a historical perspective of LGBTQ history. During the event, Ames facilitated a discussion about religious backgrounds and lesbian history to foster an understanding of LGBTQ history, memory, or archive. View Presentation.

I S.A.W Change: A Self-Advocacy Workshop

Vanessa Raymond, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2017

self-advocacy workshopFor this project, Vanessa Raymond worked with former foster youth at Rutgers University to develop knowledge, skills, and strategies to bring change at the policy and institutional levels. Vanessa facilitated a self-advocacy workshop in which former foster youth Rutgers students wrote a letter to policy makers explaining their reason(s) for demanding more available and accessible resources to former foster care youth at the university. Students gained valuable experience in learning how the legislative process works at the state level. View Presentation.

Letter Writing Party with Black & Pink

Bhupali Kulkarni, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2017

Bhupali Kulkarni’s social action project addressed reproductive justice of the incarcerated population in the U.S. For her project, Bhupali organized an event that consisted of writing and decorating cards to LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive people in prisons during the holiday season and provided an opportunity for students to discuss the prison industrial complex and how to support the prison abolition movement. View Presentation.

Putting the ‘Unity’ Back into Comm(unity) Organizing

Olivia Ajiake, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2017

Olivia Ajiake’s social action project compared the organizing strategies of past and current justice movements and critiqued social media--a tool that is increasingly used to unite people digitally as we’ve seen of increase of organizing on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for social justice purposes. Olivia held a student focus group called “Building Bridges Not Walls” in which students from diverse backgrounds, undergraduate students, PhD students, Undocu Rutgers and Muslim Student Association, came together to discuss their perspectives about how the communities of purpose they belong to enriched their college experiences and influenced the students social media presence. View Presentation.

Rutgers Divest from the Apartheid State of Israel

Luma Hasan, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015

For her project, Luma Hasan wanted to bring awareness to the human rights violations committed by the Israeli apartheid state against indigenous Palestinians in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, through a human rights lens without getting lost in the politics. She thus created a campaign with the help of the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, Students for Justice in Palestine, RUSA, a faculty committee, and a media committee to run a campaign and educate students.

Engaging Outside the Campus: How is Activism and Civic Engagement Feminist?

Olga Koslova, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

Olga hosted a panel discussion with student and professional activists working on ending violence against women, food security, water rights, and the 16 Days Campaign. The panel discussion focused on how this activism can be looked at through the feminist lens and how these issues are correlated. View Presentation.

Rapid Response Team Against Wage Theft

Hannah Roe, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

Hannah Roe worked with New Labor on developing a new strategy for a wage theft campaign that passed an ordinance that gives New Brunswick residents and workers the power to take a companies business license if they commit wage theft over a certain time period or over a certain amount of money. Hannah brought members of the Rutgers community in to aid in pressuring the town hall meetings and used the campaign to connect the Rutgers community with New Labor. View Presentation.

About The New Brunswick Homelessness Panel Event

A-Nam Nguyen, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013

The New Brunswick Homelessness Panel aimed to raise awareness and dispel myths of homeless individuals. Local homeless individuals spoke on the issues of homelessness as they see it occurring within New Brunswick and Middlesex County. Furthermore, a documentary film, “Living Broke in Boom Times” was also featured in the beginning of the panel to create a visual depiction of homelessness within the United States.

United Students Against Sweatshops: A Boot Camp empowering Students to Take Back Their Universities

Sonia Szczesna, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2013

This social action project was a 2-day conference held at Rutgers University for student groups at Rutgers as well as activist organizations from other universities in the northeastern region. The conference consists of workshops aimed at honing organizing skills to would enhance any groups’ impact. Some of these workshops included: one-on-one conversations, “telling your story,” recruitment, direct action, fundraising and media. This “boot camp such” not only provided an opportunity to teach others important skills, but also empowered others to teach and advocate. By bringing a variety of activists into the planning and execution of this project, it helps to train many to be teachers and mentors. View Presentation.

10 Events in Honor of the 10th Anniversary: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Amani S. Abdellah, Douglass College, Class of 2010

This project initiated 10 actions in support of the tenth anniversary of the United Nation’s recognition of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In conjunction with the annual 16 Days Against Gender Violence Campaign sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers, Ms. Abdellah took various types of actions including requesting donations, coordinating a letter drive, and coalition building among student organizations at Rutgers.

Stand Up. Say Something: Revitalization of the Women’s Center

Kaitlyn Herthel, Douglass College, Class of 2010

This project aimed to revive the Rutgers University Women’s Center, by targeting new students for recruitment and advertisements, fostering conversation and women’s and social issues through book clubs, and creating a website for the Women’s Center. Ms. Herthel successfully implemented these changes during the Fall 2009 semester.

Letters to Pallone: The Beginning of a Lobbying Effort to End the Conflict between the Ugandan Government and the Lords Resistance Army

Megan Kosovich, Rutgers College, Class of 2010

The major goal of this project was to create a coalition of Rutgers students to initiate a lobbying campaign to Representative Frank Pallone to support the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act. Working alongside “Resolve Uganda,” a national lobbying organization, Ms. Kosovich crafted a student coalition at Rutgers University to lobby this Congressional representative to support this important legislation.

Commission for Young Women: Young Women, Leadership and Social Change

Maggie Barone, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2008

This projected involved the creation of an organization entitled the Commission for Young Women at Rutgers University. The Commission’s purpose is to address current social issues, educate and raise awareness, and advocate for the needs of young women both at Rutgers and in the surrounding communities. The Commission plans to work with state based organizations, research topical affairs, organize events and advocate for legislation.

Dress for Success Suit Drive

Ashley Haughton, Douglass College, Class of 2007

This scholar conducted various suit drives on campus to benefit the Dress for Success (DFS) Jersey City branch. DFS is a non-profit organization that provides suits to low-income women, the majority of whom are exiting welfare or re-entering the workforce. By providing suits and job training, DFS helps women re-enter the job market with confidence and helps them to keep their jobs by providing additional suits and training once they receive a job. At various events on campus, Ashley held suit drives and was able to donate 150 suits, 25 pairs of shoes, between 50 to 70 and tops, bottoms, many sweaters and coats and other accessories to the Jersey City branch of Dress for Success.

Disney has NO Black Princesses and Other Thoughts on Animation

Dana Howze, Douglass College, Class of 2007

In response to childhood observations of negative stereotypes and absences in minority representations in cartoons, this scholar created a pamphlet entitled, “Disney has NO Black Princesses.” The pamphlet provides information about cartoons in a format that is easy to read and understand and hopefully leaves the audience wanting for more, encouraging them to research the issue further. In the spring she will present her pamphlet and observations to teenage girls in the IWL Leadership Scholars High School Certificate Program.

Grassroots Activism: Young Women Making a Difference

Emily Schechter, Douglass College, Class of 2007

This scholar created an event that included a panel of four women who engage in grassroots activism, discussion groups and literature materials, who presented their use and understanding of grassroots activism in relation to their identities as women and focused on different aspects including leadership, community organizing, sustainability and gender. An activist toolkit was also created and given to the audience to inspire them to create tangible changes in their communities.

LIVE! CLOTHED! GIRLS! TALKING! A Panel on Sex Work, Advocacy, and Social Change

Emily Seabridge, Douglass College, Class of 2007

This scholar developed a panel on sex work and advocacy that included speakers from three
organizations: HIPS, Urban Justice’s Sex Workers Project, and Spread Magazine. Panelists shared information on the debates and issues facing the diverse sex worker community before an audience of Rutgers faculty and students.

Student Leaders Initiating Change: Transforming the Douglass College Community Through Activism

Brigid Farrell, Douglass College, Class of 2006

Student Leaders Initiating Change (SLIC) seeks to empower students and create change at Douglass College through activism and advocacy. The organization successfully held a number of events during fall 2005 including a gathering of the presidents of student organizations and an event connecting students with Douglass College alumnae.

Tent State University: Building the New World in the Midst of the Old

Celena Posner, Rutgers College, Class of 2006

Tent State University was started at Rutgers University in 2003 in order to draw attention to tuition increases, discrimination, and privatization in public universities. To increase the strength of Tent State nationally, this scholar created a National Organizer Conference Kit to be used by student activists at colleges across the country.

Speak Out For Change: A Benefit Event for Independent Media and Feminist Action

Elizabeth Brice, Rutgers College, Class of 2005

Local musicians and radio host Amy Goodman participated in this benefit to raise awareness and funding for WBAI 99.5FM, The Joy of Resistance Multi-Cultural Feminist Radio Collective, and the Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls. This project raised over $700 and brought together student groups and members of the community to support independent media and feminist action.

Marriage Equality New Jersey

Andrea Vaccaro, Douglass College, Class of 2004

Marriage Equality New Jersey, a chapter of Marriage Equality USA, was founded as a result of this social action project. Marriage Equality New Jersey aims to secure civil marriage to same-sex couples while educating the public about gay and lesbian family issues and the importance of recognized marriage rights.

Feminist Leadership on a University Campus: Incorporating Gender in Student Activism

Miriam Moscovici, Douglass College, Class of 2002

Miriam worked with the Feminist Leadership Alliance on Douglass campus, in the spring of 2001, to try to revitalize the organization and incorporate a global perspective into their activism. She also worked to connect a number of student activist groups on campus around gender issues.

“A Usable Past: Words/Images” – Queer Women Students at Rutgers

Jan Oosting, Douglass College, Class of 2001

This project was a video and dramatic reading of five women Oosting interviewed who were active leaders in the queer women’s movement at Rutgers University, 1969-2000.

Re-creating and Re-establishing a Women’s Center at Rutgers University

Elizabeth Spohr, Douglass College, Class of 2001

This project involved the revitalization of the Women’s Center at Rutgers University, which was closed down amidst campus protest in winter 2000. Elizabeth won a Rutgers Human Dignity Award for her role as a leader of the Women’s Defense Coalition, which successfully led the movement to re-open the Women’s Center in the Douglass Student Center, where it is still located.


Feminist Leadership at Mason Gross School of the Arts Throughout the Years

Audrey Arias-Justo, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Class of 2024

For her social action project, Audrey produced beautiful and complex art reflective of the unique artistic traditions of the Latinx community, directly combatting the lack of visibility of Latinas and Latinx culture in art and academic spaces. Throughout this process, she collaborated with many artists, researchers, and academics in the fields of feminism, latina feminism, art and feminism, design history, exhibition curation and much more.
View Presentation.

Rhythm & Recovery: Dance Therapy for Mental Health

Jacqueline Finley, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors Program, Class of 2024

Jacqueline created a workshop series of improvisational dance classes to combat the significant increase in mental health issues among college students. Her social action project provided students with a unique opportunity to engage in a non-traditional form of mental health care that promotes principles of self-expression and empowerment through the art of dance.
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Finding Reality in Fantasy

Maria Zhang, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences Class of 2023

Maria Zhang wrote the first section of a fantasy fiction novel that draws from elements of traditional Chinese mythology and fantasy, a concept that is not well known within American fiction. The novel’s purpose is to promote empathy and effective intercultural communication, especially in wake of the extreme polarization of American society. Maria is continuing to write and edit this novel and has submitted this excerpt to four journals in the literary world.
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Artist/Activist/Educator: The Multiple Roles of Elizabeth Catlett, May Stevens, and Doris Derby

Cara Del Gaudio, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Cara Del Gaudio developed a website to increase public knowledge of the experiences of women artists and activists during the social movements in the United States from 1960 to 1971. Three case studies are explored in a digital exhibit: Elizabeth Catlett, an African-American sculptor and mixed media artist; May Stevens, a European-American painter; and Doris Derby, an African-American photographer. Through the art of three different women artists, Cara aims to raise public awareness of their experiences in the context of their gender and racial identities.  View Presentation.

Art from Within

Geidy Mendez, School or Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College 2019

Geidy Mendez’s social action project engaged New Brunswick students’ self-expression through a series of art workshops. This project also offered opportunities for the students to build community connections with the New Brunswick Public Library and Lazos America Unida, a local organization that represents and advocates for the local Mexican-American community.  Participants of this series were introduced to different forms of art such as comic book sketching, painting, poetry and dancing, encouraging young people, primarily of immigrant backgrounds, to explore new modes of creativity and wellness practices.  View Presentation.

Expressions of Frida: A Latina Youth Art Project

Pamela Hernandez, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

Pamela conducted a Latina youth art program focusing on women’s global labor rights using art. She was able to analyze the connection between women’s rights and Latina artwork. Pamela has continued on with her project through further exhibitions of her work at Columbia University and other local areas interested in highlighting Latina youth art.  View Presentation.

Muslim Feminists for the Arts

Zahra Bukhari, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Class of 2018

Zarhra is the co-founder of the organization Muslim Feminists for the Arts. Zahra organized an exhibition "Hello my name is" with a reception that included an artist talk and spoken word performance at the project space in Mason Gross School of the Arts. View Presentation.


Monica Torres, School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2017

For this project, Monica Torres produced a biomythography called “Mocahontas,” in which Monica researched hemispheric migration narratives, centering her family history within broader trends of hemispheric migration to place her father’s migration from China to the Dominican Republic, representation of women in the media, and produced animations of non-Eurocentric forms of beauty and animated characters with cultural depth. View presentation.

Artham: Exploring Bharatanatyam in the U.S. Diaspora

Sweta Devarajan, School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, Class of 2017

Sweta Devarajan co-directed, with IWL scholar Meera Murti, a film about Bharatanatyam and its meaning in the diaspora by interviewing dancers, students, and parents. Sweta edited the 17-minute short-film with interviews, and background footage of dance practice and shows to produce an innovative dance production combining traditional dance, reordered interviews and spoken word. View Presentation.

Capturing the Center for Latino Arts and Culture

Sarah Ferreira, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2017

In this project, Sarah Ferreria addressed the erasure of Latinx student history at Rutgers University, New Brunswick Campus. Sarah completed an independent study exploring the use of identity based research methods provided the Center for Latino Arts and Culture (CLAC) the service of collecting data in order to create an exhibition which archives the current moment of the CLAC’s culture and created a history for future generations to perform in to culture. This decolonial framework was applied in a student exhibition at the CLAC. View Presentation.

The Intersection of Art and Activism

Saskia Kusnecov, School of Arts and Sciences and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2015

Saskia Kusnecov worked on an arts workshop featuring a keynote presentation by artist and teacher, The workshop was based on the theme of storytelling and narrative in art, using quilts as the project. Each participant chose a felt quilt square to design with their story, and at the end all of the felt squares were put together to represent their collective story. View Presentation.

RAFT: Rutgers Association for Feminist Training

Vera Hinsey, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

RAFT is a feminist artist collective focusing on opening up a space to discuss life as 21st century college women with diverse backgrounds and then producing art to better work through our thoughts. View Presentation.

The Arts Empowerment Project: Teaching Arts & Culture through Civic Engagement

Cierra Kaler-Jones, School fo Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

The Arts Empowerment Project uses free visual and performing arts programming and mentorship as a strategy to empower economically-disadvantaged, adolescent girls and to hone their leadership capacities.

My Body Is…

Srutika Sabu, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Class of 2014

This social action project created a series of art workshops for the young women at Douglass Residential College focusing on women's reproductive healthcare to spread the message that women's reproductive health should not be politicized. After the workshops, the artwork created were displayed in a public exhibition. View Presentation.

Learning About Our Bodies through Interactive discussion and the Arts (L.A.B.I.A.): A Women's Roundtable Series

Shaneé Smith, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

Learning About Our Bodies through Interactive discussion and the Arts (L.A.B.I.A.) is a women’s roundtable series that serves as a means of combatting the invisibility, misrepresentation, and suppression of women’s sexuality. Utilizing an interdisciplinary approach and a feminist theoretical framework, L.A.B.I.A. works to bring forth and maintain a voice for sexually marginalized groups, diminish the negative effects of sexual power dynamics in women’s populations, and continue to introduce and enhance feminist-based models within private and public settings.

Women in Theatre: Marsha Norman’s ‘night, Mother as a Move for Gender Equality

Melissa Gabilanes, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2013

The centerpiece of the project is the production of the play itself plus the concurrent efforts that go into marketing and advocacy. The performance took the form of a theatrical production, a Special Project at Cabaret Theatre. The play produced was Marsha Norman’s Night, Mother, a play revolving around two women, a mother and daughter, grappling with a matter of life and death but more importantly a matter of choice. It is an experience that sought to create change, reminding us of theatre’s expressive motivational power.

Exploring Mental Illness Firsthand: Personal Histories Captured in Film

Shoshannah Buxbaum, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2012

This project is a documentary film that chronicles the personal histories of two young women who were prescribed psychotropic medications as children and adolescents. The film uses personal narratives a means to explore larger societal implications of the over prescriptions of medication to young people as well as the social and gendered constructions of mental illness.

Write. Share. Grow. Emotional Writing as Catharsis

Candace Irabli, School of Arts and Sciences Class of 2011

Ms. Irabli’s project targeted first-year female Rutgers University students and aimed at promoting writing for emotional healing and personal growth. The Write, Share, Grow participants met for 8 weekly sessions and shared fiction, musical lyrics, poetry and journal writing. Through non –judgmental, respectful and supportive dialogue, they learned to challenge themselves as thinkers, as writers, as women, as leaders, as listeners and as friends.

“Bee Real”

Crystal Coache, Hannah Weinstock-Gallagher, Meghan Reilly

These Leadership Scholars conducted a two-part Art & Literature workshop for 8th grade girls in the New Brunswick/Piscataway area enrolled in the Rutgers Future Scholars program. Using the novel The Secret Life of Bees as well as two reflective art projects, the Crystal, Hannah and Meghan delivered a workshop to empower, educate, and excite the young women. Additionally, the workshop nurtured a relationship between the IWL and the new Future Scholars Program.

Ladies’ Night: Progressive Female Art in Our Communities

Elizabeth Bryan, Rutgers College Class of 2010

Elizabeth Bryan’s project was to create a safe space for female art and to build a sustainable art community at Rutgers. For her project, Ms. Bryan successfully organized a special event in November 2009 titled Ladies’ Night, which was held at Cabaret Theatre at Rutgers. The event gave the female artists of the Rutgers community a chance to express themselves outside of the primarily male art community.

Arts-In-Action: A Social Action Project to Implement the Performing Arts back into Public Schools

Laurie Valora, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2008

Laurie developed a performing arts program that focuses on the importance of allowing students who attend inner-city schools, who do not have the financial ability to study the performing arts privately, to have access to an interactive and creative space where they can dance. Laurie implemented Arts-in-Action with a fellow Leadership Scholar, Jessica Dunn, at the Middlesex Interfaith Partners with the Homeless Organization (MIPH) in Edison. Laurie’s Arts-in-Action program will also serve as one of the workshops for the IWL Leadership Scholars High School Certificate Program.

In Public View: Accessibility, Representation, & Public Art

Danielle Schechner-Kanofsky, Mason Gross College, Class of 2007

“In Public View” was created to break down barriers of race, class, and gender in the arts, and to bring art into community spaces. Working with the New Brunswick Artist Collective and Albus Cavus art organization, this scholar created a traveling mural project, consisting of ten canvases that was displayed in sites across New Brunswick.

The Myth of Silence Art Exhibit

Victoria Reuter, Douglass College, Class of 2005
Nahal Zamani, Douglass College, Class of 2006

The “Myth of Silence” art exhibit was created to honor and validate individual expression, challenge traditional notions of silence, and build community among artists and viewers. Artwork from members of the Rutgers community was displayed for two weeks at the Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building with an opening night event to celebrate the exhibit.

Voicing Social Ills Through Art

Tanya Drago, Douglass College, Class of 2004

This creative project consisted of the writing of three dramatic monologues that demonstrate from different perspectives the harsh working conditions that women maquiladora workers face in Mexico. It uses art as a tool of social change, to raise consciousness about injustice and to educate.

The New Brunswick Artist Co-operative

Jaymie Stein, Douglass College, Class of 2004

The idea behind the co-op was to create an open atmosphere for people to come together and communicate through the abstract means of art, with the goal of using art as a medium of social change as it brings people together across differences. Working under the auspices of the Institute for Arts and Humanities Education, Jaymie brought together a group of founding members who not only developed an organizational constitution but also hosted its first exhibition.

Poetry by Residents of the Central New Jersey Jewish Home for the Aged

Sara Dietz, Rutgers College, Class of 2002

This project involved a three-session poetry workshop that was taught to elderly residents of the Central New Jersey Jewish Home for the Aged in Somerset, New Jersey. The final product of the poetry workshop was a booklet containing eight poems from seven of the residents.

Poetry 1: A Web Based Tutorial for Young Adult Poets and Poetry Lovers

Elizabeth Gorman-Hansen, Douglass College, Class of 2002

Poetry 1 was a website tutorial that allowed students to access poetry on-line from a culturally diverse pool of writers. The website included links to other poetry sites, guidelines for young poets, and poetry by students at Perth Amboy High School, which Elizabeth collected.


Herland: Envisioning Feminist Cities

Celia Hansen, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2024

Celia hosted a feminist urban planning workshop in which she briefly presented her research on feminist geography/urban planning and highlighted the need for participatory research methods. Celia encouraged participants to create their own model feminist cities using various crafting supplies. Her project aimed to inspire a new way of thinking about the physical world, specifically through a feminist lens and encourage women to become more involved in participatory planning and perhaps consider geography, urban planning, architecture, or another adjacent field as a career/subject of study in combination with Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
inequalities and socioeconomic challenges. View Presentation

M$ney Matters: Tackling the Lack of Financial Literacy Among Women

Sanjana Narayanan, Douglass Residential College/Rutgers Business School, Class of 2024

Sanjana Narayanan created a three-episode podcast to address the lack of financial literacy and quality financial education for below average income women within the tristate area. Each episode, she interviewed the staff of Savvy Ladies, a non-profit that provides financial literacy education to women. These interviews focused on the inception of Savvy Ladies, their strategies to empower women through financial literacy, and the future of women in finance.
This podcast will be published on the Savvy Ladies’ blogsite. View Presentation

“Falling Through the Cracks”: COVID-19 and Latino Immigrants

Janet Cazares, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2022

Janet Cazares created a podcast to better understand the experiences of Latinx immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they utilized community resources during this crisis. She partnered with organizations such as the Center for Latino Arts and Culture, Make the Road: New Jersey, and New Labor to secure interviews and learn about community resources. Janet hopes that this project will debunk misinformation about the Latinx
immigrant community and generate momentum for pro-immigrant legislation. View Presentation

Investigators: Guiding New Brunswick Youth in Promoting Stronger Political Accountability

Saidy Cedano, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2022

Saidy Cedano developed and implemented a curriculum to teach self-reflection and political advocacy tools to high school students in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Through a three-pronged approach, students showcased issues their neighborhood faced and developed projects to advocate for improved public policies for their community. This project supported high school students in bringing awareness to the city’s spatial
inequalities and socioeconomic challenges. View Presentation

MENA Women Unite

Haya Abdel-Jabbar, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020      

Haya Abdel-Jabbar organized and facilitated three meetings that addressed the lack of psychosocial support for women and girls influenced by Middle Eastern and North African cultures. Activities in the meetings included journal decorating, an interactive workshop, and a guided writing activity as forms of self-expression and self-advocacy. Storytelling in the form of creative writing and sharing allowed individuals to have an outlet to speak about difficult life experiences and build community. View Presentation

Value Your Voice: Engaging the Undergraduate NJ Woman as a Voter

Hallie Meisler, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2020

Hallie Meisler’s social action project addressed the critical issue of disengagement among undergraduate women in the political process. Hallie facilitated 10 voter registration drives throughout the semester, and registered over 150 undergraduate women to vote. She also organized the Value Your Voice event, which included panelists that discussed why college women’s voices matter in politics and the role of civic engagement and voting in making voices heard. View Presentation. 

Domestic Workers in New Jersey

Prosie Palad, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2019

Prosie Palad’s produced promotional materials for a worker’s rights organization in New Jersey. After interning at New Labor, in New Brunswick, Prosie engaged with domestic workers in Lakewood to learn more about the struggles and challenges that domestic workers face such as wage exploitation and abuse. The materials included legal rights, regardless of citizenship status, to provide resources, knowledge, and self-advocacy skills to take action against injustices. View Presentation.

Giving Choice: School Supplies and Personal Care

Kristin Terez, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences/ Douglass Residential College, Class of 2019

Kristin Terez’s social action project was a two-part initiative that focused on access to school supplies and the use of safe personal care products. Through educational workshops, the community learned about the lack of regulation on personal care products and the questionable ingredients in the everyday products used in the U.S. School supplies and personal care product donations were distributed to Five Loaves Food Pantry in New Brunswick, NJ and a local women’s shelter, The Center for Great Expectations. View Presentation.

Running for New Brunswick Board of Education

Nancy Wang, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2018

Nancy Wang ran for the New Brunswick Board of Education as a way to utilize her social action project in service to the local public school system and community. Her efforts to dissolve the barrier between the Board of Education and New Brunswick students, families and teachers won her second place in the election.  Nancy’s elected official candidacy platform advocated for the school district to provide important resources like bilingual Know-Your-Rights (KYR) workshops and for the schools to continue being a safe learning environment for all students.

Embracing Fluidity:  Collective Art and Altar Building Workshop

Jessica Mazzeo, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

Jessica conducted a self-care workshop, including meditation, movement, and the creation of a collective altar and art installation that explored and celebrated fluidity: of identity, nature, the universe, and life itself. Jessica created a communal space where people could feel comfortable freely expressing themselves and self-representing outside of institutions such as school and work, as well as embrace art as therapy and ritual. View Presentation.

Reentry of Women in Prison and Coming Home

Rhonda Coons, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2017

Rhonda Coon’s social action project focused on the challenges faced by formerly incarcerated women. Rhonda held a roundtable discussion with formerly incarcerated women discussing the issues of the lack of resources available to them once released from prison, homelessness, lack of healthcare, recidivism, lack of employment, and challenges of regaining custody of their children from state. View Presentation.

Where Are All the Lesbians?: Reclaiming the ‘L’

Olivia Hann, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2017

With Reclaiming The L, Olivia Hann addressed the rapid disappearance of lesbian spaces and identities due to the retroactive dismissal of all things "lesbian". Olivia partnered with the Pride Center in Highland Park, NJ and held intergenerational lesbian discussions which served as means of not only historical and cultural preservation, but support each other to talk about their lived experiences in a cathartic way. View Presentation.

Bridge of Transitions: Breaking Prisoner Recidivism

Anita Omambia, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2016

Anita Omambia held a panel discussion to hear actual experiences from previously incarcerated individuals. The panel consisted of seven people, four women and three men. The panel told a general story of their lives and the incidents that led to their incarceration, but spent most of the time discussing what their transition back to the community was like. The panelists varied in age and background, so all of their stories were unique. The discussion concluded with a question and answer session followed by a certificate award ceremony to recognize the panelists for their hard work. View Presentation.

The Shackling of Our Mothers: the Attack on Womanhood in New Jersey Jails and Prisons

Yameisha Bell, School of Arts and Sciences and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2015

Yameisha Bell worked with a panel that consisted of four women who were once incarcerated in New Jersey jails and prisons. The women had diverse backgrounds and experiences before leading to their incarceration. The panelists spoke about womanhood, motherhood, sexuality, race, poverty, etc. After about an hour, the panelist took questions from the floor. Furthermore, a skit called The Shackling of Our Mothers was included in the performance of Tales From the Cell to create awareness and engage discussion.

Community Substance Abuse Awareness Project

Francine Glaser, Edward Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2015

For this project, Francine Glaser worked with two events: Overdose Vigil and Incognito Lives. Both events focused on the narratives of victims of addiction. Research was comprised meanwhile working alongside experts in the field and reading academic material regarding addiction and stigma. The goal was to personify addiction in order to help eliminate stigma. View Presentation.

Food Security among Oaxacan Immigrants in New Brunswick: Exploring the Potentials of Amaranth

Katherine Fudacz, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

In partnership with Elijah's Promise, a community development center, and Lasos Unidos, a Oaxacan Sovereignty group, Katherine held an interactive Amaranth cooking workshop. Katherine spoke about her experiences as an intern with Puente a la Salud in Oaxaca, Mexico, empowering rural community members, especially women, to harvest, cook, consume and commercialize Amaranth. With the help and leadership of Elijah Promise culinary students, the workshop attendees prepared traditional Oaxacan dishes such as tortillas, horchata, alegrias, salad and mole. View Presentation.

Service Learning: Rutgers - South Africa Connection

Tara Toscano, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

This project was an expansion of the Politics of Gender and Sexuality in an African Context course at the University of Cape Town that add a service-learning component to the course. After gaining an understanding of South Africa from a classroom setting, the project allows students to experience what was taught by doing service in a non-profit organization like the Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children. Work included volunteering for services needed for undergraduate students and gaining clinical hours counseling under the supervision of a South African social worker for graduate students in the Master of Social Work program. This program will launch in summer of 2015.  View Presentation.

The College Coalition: A New Campaign at the Garden of Eden Organically Grown Food Initiative

Rebecca Eden Granet, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013

The College Coalition is a national nutritional outreach campaign deeply engaged in coalition building between universities throughout the country. The Garden of Eden at Rutgers is part of this coalition and provides a local, sustainable and organic farm for the Rutgers community. This student-run, non-profit farm allows for distinct educational opportunities for the university students. Thus The College Coalition aims to trigger a national domino effect through coalition building in which this course of education and action modeled at Rutgers University through the Garden of Eden can be spread throughout the country.

The Community Connection: The Mutual Benefits of Students Volunteering in New Brunswick

Amanda Gallear, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2012

Amanda planned and executed an event that featured a panel of three speakers from non-profit organizations in New Brunswick and student volunteers. Her project serves as a stepping stone in bridging the town and gown divide.

Compassion into Action: Teaching English & Transforming Heart

Melissa Chedid, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011

Working closely with Mexican immigrants who are parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Ms. Chedid began a series of classes to create a safe space for the women and men of Sacred Heart. Her goals were to share their problems and work toward collective solutions to their problems; to enhance their English skills by implementing English as a Second Language curriculum; and to provide programs and resources to assist with other problems including health care, counseling, and housing.

Girls Ready 2 Learn

Melanie Z. Placencia, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Class of 2011

Girls Ready 2 Learn was a ten-week mentoring program targeting the inner-city girls residing in Newark. The girls were involved in a variety of educational activities, such as reading and discussing Sandra Cisneros’s novel, The House on Mango Street, taking a trip to Rutgers New Brunswick and using arts and crafts to work creatively through the hardships of everyday life. Melanie’s project enabled the participating girls to see “the fun side of education” and raised the level of their educational aspirations.

Girls’ Respect Groups: Empowerment and Self Respect for Middle School Girls

Morgan Sills, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011

Morgan’s project aimed at educating girls from the New Brunswick area about the position of women in today’s society and the benefits self-respect, mutual support and social change. In the implementation of the project Morgan used books and activities specific to the Girls’ Respect Groups program, as well as supplementary resources that enabled the participating girls to work with familiar, real world scenarios.

People and Places: Newark in Perspective

Diana Won, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011

Developed in collaboration with the City Hall of Newark and the La Casa de Don Pedro non-profit organization, Diana’s oral history project documents the changes undergone by the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard neighborhood throughout the past decade.

The Produce Predicament: Addressing Food Injustice in New Brunswick

Alyssa Cocchiara, Douglass College, Class of 2010

This project aimed to provide a way for individuals of the New Brunswick community to voice their nutritional concerns. In creating her project, Ms. Cocchiara hoped to expose food injustice in New Brunswick by organizing community meetings with various groups. The ultimate goal is to establish sources for better quality and reasonably priced produce for community members.

The Yes for Wards Campaign

Martha Guarnieri, Rutgers College, Class of 2010

Ms. Guarnieri was the head student organizer of the campaign, “Yes for Wards, Yes for Change” in New Brunswick, New Jersey that culminated in the November 2009 election. The campaign sought to bring neighborhood democracy for a ward based city council in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The campaign, run entirely by unpaid volunteers, was a grassroots campaign that reenergized the city and empowered people to take part in action.

Economic Empowerment Program

Monica Raj, Douglass College, Class of 2009

Monica initiated this collaborative economic empowerment program with the New Brunswick-based South Asian women’s organization, Manavi. She established program resources, guidelines, the volunteer training program, the economic empowerment fund, and the templates for skill-based training workshops. This project seeks to provide career and academic support to South Asian women.

Fundraising for New Brunswick 4-H Club

Mangelin Rivera, Douglass College, Class of 2009

Mangelin worked with Lazos America Unida, a non-profit organization that seeks to empower the New Brunswick community, to plan and conduct an art auction to fundraise for the creation of a 4-H club house. The event, which will happen in May 2009, will provide an opportunity for residents of New Brunswick as well as Rutgers students and administrators to interact and learn more about the Mexican population and culture in the city, while raising money for the benefit of the city’s youth.

Haitian Home Buying Workshop

Sophonie Joseph, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2008

Sophonie created an introductory home buying education workshop for Haitian-Americans in the greater Trenton region. Focusing on immigration, assimilation, and the provision of social services, Sophonie used this workshop as a chance to provide Haitian-Americans with an opportunity to address the language and cultural barriers that can effect the quality of life for immigrants. Sophonie presented her workshop in Haitian Creole, and translated the curriculum and handouts as well.

Unidad de New Brunswick/Unity in New Brunswick: A Non-Profit Community Organization: Empowering and Organizing the Mexican Community in New Brunswick

Allison Attenello, University College, Class of 2004

Unity in New Brunswick was a non-profit organization established by Tomasa Nelson and Allison Attenello. Creating UNB was an attempt to organize a resourceful and responsive group of community members to address the needs of the Latino community in New Brunswick, specifically the Mexican population. These needs included: obtaining photo identification; access to affordable English classes; having domestic violence response resources; establishing connections with the Mexican Embassy in New York; and availability of child care in early morning hours before schools open.

Urban Storytellers: Women of Trenton Share Their Stories

Kristen Lyons, Rutgers College, Class of 2003

This project offered a forum for working-class women to write creatively. This Scholar taught five creative writing workshops to low income women in Trenton. These workshops culminated in “Urban Storytellers,” a collection of creative writings by the women who took the workshop.

Neighborhood Women’s Discussion Group in Issues Surrounding Hope VI

Dahlia Goldenberg, Rutgers College, Class of 2000

This project was an effort to begin a discussion group among the New Brunswick women who lived in the Memorial Homes public housing project, before they were torn down in 2001 as part of HOPE VI, a federal urban revitalization grant program. This project, which is deposited in the Archives, includes several interviews with women living in the Memorial Homes.


Rutgers University’s Beloved Community: The Need for Southeast Asian Studies

Colleen Tonra, School of Arts and Sciences, Class or 2025

Inspired by her own desire to learn about her Thai heritage, Colleen created an educational advocacy project for Southeast Asian Studies at Rutgers University. Colleen researched and curated existing curricula across all disciplines and promoted them to support the newly established major at Rutgers. She also aimed to give the Southeast Asian American community a platform to speak up about their experiences at Rutgers and identify their wants and needs from university leadership. View Presentation

Feminist Inquiries: A Feminist Financial Aid Reappropriation Report for Rutgers

Kristy Echie, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors Program/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2024

Kristy examined the implications of student debt among a select group of undergraduate women at Rutgers-New Brunswick to demonstrate the institution’s need to improve its financial aid resources to support its underserved students. By creating and distributing her survey, she was able to gain insights from thirty undergraduate women about their financial aid experiences. Her cumulative research findings enabled her to lobby for undergraduate women at Rutgers to the University’s financial aid stakeholders. View Presentation

Documenting Gendered Spaces Across New Jersey School Districts

Emily Chow, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Emily Chow developed a research paper that documents the conditions of transgender and gender-nonconforming spaces in public schools in New Jersey. In her paper, she incorporated both historic as well as quantitative data to uncover the gendering of public spaces in schools. To further develop her research, she visited and photographed public schools in New Jersey to provide qualitative documentation of current policies and conditions.
Through her research, Emily hopes to inform citizens of the necessity of gender-neutral spaces for children, as well as remind them of the responsibility of individuals in holding local and state politicians accountable for creating inclusive spaces.View Presentation

Online Lending Library

Neha Saju, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Neha Saju’s social action project addressed literacy and education by providing an online library to interested and underserved children in Central New Jersey. Children select books them by visiting the Facebook page associated with the project, and the books are distributed using community partner assistance. . View Presentation

Fighting the War on Drugs through Empowerment and Education

Nashia Basit, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2020

Nashia Basit explored the opioid crisis through research, education and the empowerment of high school students by providing them with information and resources. Activities for students were organized to address mental health, advocacy, and social justice. Students learned more about the opioid crisis by building word clouds, enacting a courtroom trial with pharmaceutical companies battling against victims of the opioid crisis, creating social justice campaigns via social media platforms and addressing mental well-being through ripping off the facial masks that people wear. View Presentation

Sex & Surveillance: Gender and Sexual Deviancy in the Era of the Comstock Laws

June Titus, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2019

June Titus’s social action project involved the production of a public history education podcast. This podcast connected the history of the formation and repercussions of the Comstock Laws with current gender political issues, such as legal restrictions on gender and sexual freedoms. This five-podcast episode series provided thorough historical research and dissemination describing an interconnected narrative. View Presentation. 

Women in Diplomacy: Lessons in Activism

Nainika Ashok Paul, School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2019

From the start of American history, women were banned or restricted from working in the U.S. Foreign Service. During the 1960's, the Supreme Court ruled that the State Department was engaging in the overt discrimination of female employees in its processes. Nainika chose to create a curriculum that could be instituted at Rutgers to teach women who are currently working on the front lines of diplomacy. Nainika’s project looks at, and honors avenues for peace negotiation through the lens of women’s diplomatic efforts with the hope it can help break barriers against women who are interested in this field. View Presentation. 

Non-Traditional Rutgers Students: Providing Resources for Self-Care and Success

Madeline Hehir, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

Madeline created a resource directory for non-traditional students at Rutgers University. It was geared towards providing resources for community building, support, and academic engagement. It brought together resources available through Rutgers, Douglass Residential College, Institute for Women’s Leadership, Middlesex County, New Brunswick, and the state of New Jersey. View Presentation.

RU First Gen Podcast

Salma Elakbawy, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2018

Salma created podcast series highlighting the experiences of first generation college students at Rutgers as well as exposing the opportunities available to them on campus. She partnered with first generation students on campus for her project, which embodied the first production on this podcast series.

Open Forum on Transgender Studies at Rutgers University

Duncan Mackinnon, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2017

For this project, Duncan explored the issue surrounding Transgender Studies, which is an emergent field with important contributions to conversations around gender, identity, oppression, and other related issues. Duncan focused on ways to better include Transgender content & curriculum in the Rutgers Women's and Gender Studies department. Mackinnon held an open forum which brought together student, faculty, and staff voices to discuss and inform current initiatives to further integrate Transgender Studies and transgender representation on campus. View Presentation.

Mapping the Personal and Erased as Historical and Relevant

Rebecca (Becky) Ratero, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2016

Becky Ratero’s social action project is a oral history project of her family’s history compiling historical information of the time right before and during the Francisco Franco dictatorial regime during the 1930s to 1950s. Becky provides a historical framework of what was happening in rural Castile, Spain during the Civil War, in particular how it affected women. Becky divided this project into three sections: positionality and methodology, historical context, and stories from her family in post-war Castile.

Perceived Enfranchisement and the Relevance of the Declaration of Independence

Jessica Brand, School of Arts and Sciences and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2015

For this project, Jessica Brand sought to provoke thought about the meaning of particular passages found in the Declaration of Independence and to explore the extent to which individual citizens feel that the Declaration argues that all people should have equal rights. The purpose of the project was to encourage students to think about their relationship regarding their rights and power in the United States. View Presentation.

Girls on Track and Girls on the Run: Big Sister/Little Sister Mentoring Curriculum Supplement

Gabriella Rossi, Schools of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

The underlying goal of this new initiative is to increase leadership ability and experience for our Girls on Track participants to build a network of support for Girls on the Run participants. By encouraging conversation between the two teams we can foster an environment of sisterhood where girls can connect, express themselves authentically, and celebrate what makes them beautifully unique. View Presentation.

GROW: Girls Realizing Opportunities in the World

Eva Billik, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013

Girls Realizing Opportunities in the World (GROW) is a unique collaboration between the Institute of Women’s Leadership and the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University. GROW provides young women in the foster care system with an intimate, friendly, and nurturing environment in which to develop a greater level of self-efficacy in addition to leadership skills . In this bi-weekly leadership and mentoring program, local foster care girls are paired with exceptional undergraduate women at Rutgers University to engage in an eight month long mentoring relationship. That focuses on things like positive body image, resiliency, health and fitness, and personal empowerment. By focusing on these topics, the program seeks to help girls in foster care “realize their opportunities in the world,” and ease the social cycle of oppression for this specific population. View Presentation.

Bullying in the 21st Century: Stereotyping of Minority Youth in Schools Post 9/11

Leila Brollosy, Douglass Residential College and School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2012
Leila addressed issues of bullying and discrimination against youth minorities in the public school system, focusing on the Middle Eastern community by designing and executing bullying and stereotyping workshops for 6th-8th grade students.

BEE Real

Jazmin Rivera, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2012
Jazmin continued The BEE Real Project, a literature based mentoring program that serves 6th- 8th grade New Brunswick girls. This program allows adolescent girls to negotiate various life obstacles through the use of fictional narrative. The issues discussed targeted self-esteem, peer pressure and gender-based discrimination in society.

Girls Realizing Opportunities in the World (GROW)

Aleksandra Tereshonkova, School of Arts and Sciences and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2012
Alexs’ planned and oversaw this mentoring program designed to link exceptional undergraduate women with teenage women in foster care. GROW provides young women with an intimate, friendly, and nurturing environment in which to develop leadership and academic skills. This project is a collaborative effort between the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology and the Institute for Women’s Leadership

Jewish-Muslim Dialogues

Danielle Barta, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011
Danielle’s project aimed at educating high school seniors about ethnic intolerance and prejudice. The resource guide that she compiled introduces films, novels and television shows addressing various issues of multicultural conviviality.

The Douglass Science Institute e-Mentoring Program: Making Connections between Women in Science

Brittany Greene, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Class of 2011
The DSI Mentoring Program fostered relationships between high school juniors interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and undergraduate women who are pursuing these subjects at college level. By enabling their interaction with successful female students in sciences, Brittany’s project provided the high school DSI participants with a valuable resource during the process of college application.

Financial Intelligence: Introduction to Financial Literacy Training for IWL Scholars

Seungwon Kim, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011
Under the supervision of Kate Sweeney, Sr. Vice President of Investments from Morgan Smith Barney, Seungwon’s organized a Financial Literacy training event as part of the Skills Building component of the Leadership Scholars Program. The goal of Seungwon’s project was to enhance the scholars’ awareness and knowledge of their financial options and opportunities.
Modern Day School Segregation: Understanding and Dismantling Academic Tracking Practices Danielle Levine, Rutgers College, Class of 2010

The main goal of this project was to bring light to the negative affects of the academic tracking system, known as ability grouping or leveling (along racial lines) in her hometown. For her project, Ms. Levine, who has spent four years on this issue, worked closely with selected people of the South Orange-Maplewood School District in New Jersey, who joined together to work to dismantle the academic tracking system there. Gaining membership on the school board sponsored task force was one of many achievements Ms. Levine made with her project.

Friends Without Borders

Sara Afayee, Livingston College, Class of 2010
Sara created Friends Without Borders to address the disconnect between international and domestic Rutgers students through a reciprocal mentoring experience. This relationship is designed to foster a dialogue about each student’s differing life experience and culture, reaching across barriers and borders to generate self-expression and discussion about international affairs.

MIPH– Enrichment Program: Caring About Our Youth

Jessica Dunn, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2009
Working with the Middlesex Interfaith Partners with the Homeless (MIPH), Jessica created an enrichment program for children. Having previously worked with women and children living in the MIPH Amandla Crossing, a transitional housing program for homeless women and children in Edison, NJ, Jessica felt passionately that the children she worked with could benefit from an after-school enrichment program that focused on allowing kids to express their emotions in a positive and healthy manner. Jessica recruited student volunteers to spend an afternoon with the kids, presenting workshops on dance, music, sports, and more. Jessica hopes to institute a continuing enrichment series for the children in the MIPH after-school program and summer program.

Mothering Student Support Collective

Maire Kirley, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2009
Maire’s project, The Mothering Student Support Collective, is a partnership with the Clifton High School’s School Based Youth Services program. Maire assisted teen mothers in the school in establishing a support group where they can discuss their troubles and successes, their evolution from child to mother, and the negotiation of the multiple demands as mother, student, teenager, and worker. The collective held its inaugural workshop in the Fall and will continue in the Spring semester with workshops on issues pertaining to motherhood, such as budgeting, nutrition, and stress management. The students and the Teen Center will ultimately press for this support group as a legitimate, institutionalized project of the Teen Center.

Educating for Bullying Prevention in New Jersey’s Public Schools

Lindsey C. Seltzer, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2009
Lindsey used the momentum of New Jersey’s newly created anti-bullying legislation to create a plan for an anti-bullying library in the Bartle and Irving Schools in Highland Park. Over the course of the semester, Lindsey presented a proposal to the Highland Park school board for funding for the anti-bullying library. With her advisor in the school system, Lindsey has created a list of books and resources for the library.

Teaching Tolerance: A Community Effort

Kate Bluhm, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2008
This scholar created a presentation for elementary school children to educate them on issues such as race, class, and gender with the goal that by teaching tolerance to children, they will begin to avoid bullying each other. Kate decided to begin the implementation of her project with a presentation in the elementary school of her hometown, Cherry Hill. In January, Kate gave a PowerPoint presentation (provided by Stop Bullying Now!) and handed out packets of resources and ideas that she collected from various agencies and from her research. In the coming months, Kate hopes to extend her presentation to other schools in the state.

Gender Socialization in the Middle School: An Ethnographic Research Project

Samantha Liu, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2008
This scholar conducted an ethnographic study at a local middle school to observe patterns of gendered behavior in pre-adolescents. For over three months, Samantha attended classes of sixth, seventh and eighth graders, to observe students and teachers’ interactions in the classrooms. Through careful observation she found certain patterns of gendered behavior. In the coming month, Samantha will present her research at the Annual Eastern Sociology Conference in New York City.
Reach Out and Read (ROAR): Enriching Community Through Literacy
Jennifer Luo, Rutgers College, Class of 2008

This scholar revitalized the Eric B. Chandler Health Center’s Reach Out and Read (ROAR) program through a partnership of the ROAR Rutgers Student Organization. ROAR promotes literacy through the distribution of books and through volunteer reading and events that invite children to be creative through games, arts and crafts and group story time.

Changing Minds, Changing Lives

Diana Ruiz, Douglass College, Class of 2008
Working with Science High School in Newark, New Jersey, this scholar developed a two part program to motivate 11th and 12th grade students at Science High School to apply to college and also to encourage Rutgers University Students to implement ways in which they can motivate high school students, through their respective Rutgers organizations, to apply to college. The program includes an informational CD and presentations for students on how to prepare and apply for college, including information pertaining to admission processes, financial aid, student life and activities on campus and will promote awareness surrounding the lack of minorities in institutes of higher education.

The Road Less Traveled: Urban High School Women’s Path to Leadership

Celeste Barretto, Douglass College, Class of 2007; Rosemary King, Livingston College, Class of 2006
Building on a partnership formed between the IWL and Jersey City’s Snyder High School, these scholars developed a women’s leadership curriculum for high school students that focuses on skill-building and introduces key feminist concepts. The first class of fifteen “Lady Tigers” was inducted January 2006 and met every other week through the end of May at the IWL.

Getting to Campus: An ESL/Bilingual Student’s Guide to College

Lillian Forero, Douglass College, Class of 2007
This scholar hosted a series of workshops targeting ESL/Bilingual students entitled, “Getting to Campus: An ESL/Bilingual Student’s Guide to College” at Clifton High School in Clifton, New Jersey. Two workshops were conducted in Fall 2006 covering an introduction to the U.S. college system and popular majors at universities. The series will conclude this spring with a panel of Rutgers students who are also immigrants sharing their experiences and a workshop on financial aid.

A Dialogue Between Young Urban Women and Adolescents with Developmental Disabilities

Corinne Motta, Douglass College, Class of 2006
This scholar aimed to connect youth from the Lower East Side Girls Club of New York City and the Young Adult Institute. For her project, she worked to organize a trip to Frost Valley Winter Camp in the Catskills, NY in order to build community between the two groups.

Shaping a Life Mentoring Program

Meg Bilby, Douglass College, Class of 2005
Working with Douglass College staff and faculty members, this Scholar contributed to a peer mentoring program that places students with Women’s and Gender Studies backgrounds in Shaping a Life classes as mentors. The project was implemented during the Spring 2005 semester.

“Girlz 4-1-1”: Youth Outreach Program

Natay Hayes, Douglass College, Class of 2005 and Minna Urrey, Rutgers College, Class of 2005
Girlz 4-1-1 was a weekend-long mentoring program designed to help underprivileged adolescent girls from New Brunswick experience college life, with the hope of encouraging their pursuit of higher education. Accompanied by Rutgers students, the young women spent the night at the Ruth Dill Johnson Crockett Building and participated in a number of games and educational workshops.

Post-Graduation International Opportunities: A Panel on the Peace Corps and the Japanese Exchange Teaching Program

Pamela Kavalam, Douglass College, Class of 2005
This Scholar organized a panel discussion at the Rutgers Student Center which provided students with information on post-graduation service learning opportunities outside of the United States. A representative from the Peace Corps and the Japanese Exchange Teaching Program shared their experiences and fielded questions.

“The Douglass Identity: 1968 – 2003”

Kelly M. Brennan, Douglass College, Class of 2004
This unique social action project involved the development of an exhibit chronicling and celebrating the history of Douglass College from 1968 through 2003. Originally developed to include a panel discussion with Douglass Alumnae to kick-off the exhibit, the final project was slightly modified to accommodate inclement weather and involved an opening event appropriately coinciding with Douglass College’s Founder’s Day.

UMDNJ-RWJMS Eric B. Chandler Health Center Reach Out And Read (ROAR) Literacy Volunteer Program

Rosanna Eang, Rutgers College, Class of 2004
The Reach Out And Read (ROAR) program, a volunteer literacy program started by this IWL Scholar at the Eric B. Chandler Health Center in New Brunswick, makes early literacy part of the pediatric practice. Volunteers reach out to children in the waiting room, speak to parents about the importance of reading to their children, and help promote early literacy. This is now a volunteer program for Rutgers students and others.

RU CHAMPS: Curriculum for a Mentoring Program

Jessica Bates, Douglass College, Class of 2002
RU CHAMPS (Collegians Helping As Mentors in Public Schools) is a mentoring program between Rutgers students and third and fourth grade students in New Brunswick public schools. It is embedded in the CASE program. The Leadership Scholar who contributed to the development of this mentoring program wrote a curriculum for the mentor orientation training and helped shape the program itself.

Women’s Leadership and Civic Involvement for Teenage Mothers

Naomi Silverman, Douglass College, Class of 2002
This project was a curricular addition to the Union Industrial Home for Children’s summer day camp, Camp MAC in Trenton, New Jersey, for teenaged mothers. The IWL Scholar wrote a curriculum focusing on women’s leadership and civic involvement, which includes women’s history, the role women have played in American politics, the American feminist movement, and women’s issues such as reproductive rights and welfare.

Girls Think Difference: A Diversity Awareness Program for Girls

Michelle Edwards, Douglass College, Class of 2001
This project involved the writing and piloting of a diversity awareness program/curriculum for girls ages 9-15. The author built on the skills and knowledge she gained in her internship at Girls Inc.

IWL High School Scholarship Program

Adia Phillips, Douglass College, Class of 2001
This project reached out to students of color in Middlesex County high schools, inviting them to participate in an essay-writing contest about the “multiple jeopardies” of race and gender.

Diversity Curriculum: Maxson Middle School, Plainfield, New Jersey

Jessica Greenstone, Douglass College, Class of 2000
Jessica wrote a diversity awareness curriculum and taught it at Maxson Middle School in Plainfield, New Jersey, which had been her internship site the previous fall.

New Political Science Course on Advocacy Skills

Jessica Roberts, Douglass College, Class of 2001
This project involved the creation of a proposal for a new Rutgers political science course that focuses on preparing students for advocacy work. The course was piloted Spring 2001 and co-taught by the Leadership Scholar who helped create it, and has been adopted into the department’s curriculum and offered at Rutgers annually. Note - This project notebook is not deposited in the Archives.

Creation and Implementation of Dissection Alternatives at North Hunterdon High School as a Means of Keeping Students Interested In and Participating in the Sciences

Julie Trotta, Douglass College, Class of 2001
This project presented computer simulated alternatives to dissection to students and faculty at North Hunterdon High School. Julie Trotta, who completed this project in Spring 2001, believed that dissection turns young women off to science, and hoped that dissection alternatives would keep them in the pipeline.


The Purple Place: Connecting Survivors of Domestic Violence to Community Resources

Siddhi Shah, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Siddhi Shah centered the psychosocial needs of domestic violence survivors in Middlesex County through the development of a website,, to assist in the healing processes of survivors. This easily accessible online platform incorporates a collection of digital and Middlesex-located community resources for survivors. Through this website, Siddhi cultivated a supportive and healing-based online safe space for women survivors of domestic violence and allies of all sexualities and socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds. View Presentation

Interpersonal Violence & Mental Health Among College-Age Women

Mackenzie Lawson, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Mackenzie Lawson created an informational public health pamphlet on the impact of interpersonal violence on college women’s mental health. She conducted a series of interviews with experts from a variety of fields, such as social work, psychology, and healthcare, to generate a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge and resources. Mackenzie distributed the physical pamphlet across the Rutgers campus to provide this resource to survivors. View Presentation

We Believe You: An Introduction to On and Off-Campus Resources for Survivors at Rutgers

Marina Ford, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Marina Ford organized and moderated a public online event about sexual assault. Panelists from several offices and organizations discussed topics such as: the prevalence of sexual assaults and rape culture on college campuses, resources available for survivors during the pandemic and normal times, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships, sexual assault education, consent, intersectionality, and the importance of activism and community partnerships. This project connected participants with a list of key resources at Rutgers and contact information about local organizations. View Presentation

Head Trauma and Interpersonal Violence (IPV): Assessing Current Understandings

Jacqueline Mehr, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Jacqueline Mehr conducted a research based social action project that explored head trauma and IPV by conducting a series of in-depth interviews and a literature review. Education was singled out as one of the most pivotal aspects to improve the health outcomes of individuals exposed to partner-inflicted head trauma. In addition, the research is the basis for a detailed report aimed to support those working in IPV and head trauma spaces. View Presentation

Keep Gun Control on the Table

Sarah Pomeranz, Rutgers Business School/Honors College/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2019

Sarah Pomeranz conducted a multi-pronged approach to the issue of gun violence in America for her social action project.  This was a movement to promote unity amongst organized supporters for common sense gun control and amplify women's voices in the oppressive arena of gun politics. Sarah curated a compilation of stories from women affected by gun violence, in the form of a testimonial book entitled, Keep Gun Control on the Table:  Stories of Women Affected by Gun Violence. Sarah hopes to sell the book and donate the proceeds to women-led organizations supporting women affected by gun violence. View Presentation

Let's Talk about IPV: Behind the Clenched Fist

Maggy Fread, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

Maggy’s social action project investigated the experiences and effects of interpersonal violence on male, LGBT, and disabled college student survivors by utilizing an interdisciplinary panel. Each panelist came from a different area of the interpersonal violence field: research, clinical/counseling, and legal. Each perspective brought a different outlook on college interpersonal violence and was able to contribute different stories to the conversation. Maggy constructed the question to encompass these broad knowledge areas so there audience members could walk away with a nuanced understanding of the complexities of the issues highlighted as well as great resources and action items to become more involved. View Presentation

Shattering Stereotypes and Personalizing Sexual Assault at Rutgers University

Karimah Munem, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2015

Karimah Munem worked on an educational workshop that sought to increase awareness about campus sexual assault. The goals of the workshop were to share Karimah’s observation of a Rutgers University conduct hearing that addressed a sexual assault on campus and present her critiques of the conduct process she witnessed. In this workshop, she discussed discourse surrounding consent, standards of evidence, and the importance of appointing well-trained hearing officers to preside over sexual assault cases. This workshop was presented to Deans and Case Managers of the Rutgers University Office of Student Conduct.

ACT (Affective Catharsis through Theatre)

Marisa Irabli, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

ACT is a student theatre showcase of student-written theatre pieces with regard to domestic violence and sexual assault performed by other students in the Cabaret Theatre on Douglass Campus, Rutgers University. The project was designed to begin a cathartic experience for all involved, including playwrights, actors, and audience. All proceeds went to Women Aware, a local domestic violence shelter. Everyone involved received general and specific literature about DV/SA, including hotline phone numbers, information, and contacts. View Presentation.

Consent is Sexy

Ireh Michelle Shin, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

In this workshop, Ireh reintroduced the concept of consent, and addressed the detriments of traditional gender scripts, to my peers in an engaging and accessible way. The event took place on November 20, 2013 at the Rutgers Student Center. The reception included catered food, a photo-booth with a photographer, and tabling from various Rutgers departments: RSLS, VPVA,VAWC, and H.O.P.E. The event opened with introductions and a short clicker quiz to assess the audiences’ knowledge on sexual assault and consent. Following the quiz, Scream Theater performed. Scream Theater’s performance set the stage for a ten-minute TED talk, rooted in academic literature. View Presentation.

Dancing Against Domestic Violence

Erika Halpern, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013

Erika executed a project that aimed to provide a stress-relieving experience for survivors of domestic violence by encouraging participants to attend a series of workshops. “Dancing against Domestic Violence” created an outlet for self-expression where the participating mothers and children built ways to improve their social, physical and mental health through a fun and entertaining art form.

The Revitalization of the Domestic Violence Awareness Program at the Eric B. Chandler Health Center

Gillian Generoso, Douglass College, Class of 2008

To address the specific needs of patients of the Domestic Violence Awareness Program at the Eric B. Chandler Health Center in New Brunswick and the various issues surrounding domestic violence, this scholar developed a plan to revitalize and bring more visibility to the Domestic Violence Awareness Program at the Eric B. Chandler Health Center. She hosted monthly workshops and co-coordinated the annual “March Against Domestic Violence” in New Brunswick and assessed the needs and resources of the program based on patient concerns and surveys.

PAWS: Preventing Abuse Within Survivors – A Pet Therapy Program at Women Aware

Kathryn Blake, Douglass College, Class of 2006

Using trained animals, this project was designed to prevent violence and aid the healing process of children who have been exposed to domestic violence. Children at the domestic violence shelter Women Aware were offered weekly opportunities to interact and play with non-threatening dogs and cats from the organization TheraPet.

Mindfulness Meditation: A Tool for Healing

Rajni Bhardwaj, Douglass College, Class of 2005

This project aimed to reduce the high stress levels experienced by domestic violence survivors by offering women a mindfulness meditation workshop. An experienced instructor led four support groups from the domestic violence shelter Women Aware through discussion and meditation techniques that participants could incorporate into their lives.

Education is Prevention: A Curriculum for the Prevention of Domestic Violence in the Orthodox Jewish Community

Rahel Bayar, Douglass College, Class of 2004

This curriculum is designed to raise awareness, both among youth and Jewish educators, about domestic violence within the orthodox Jewish community. It was disseminated to high school students and Jewish community leaders.

The Road to Success: Financial Opportunity and Awareness for South Asian Women

Anuradha Ananthakrishnan, Rutgers College, Class of 2003

This project involved the creation of a resource library at Manavi, a domestic violence organization in New Brunswick that focuses on South Asian domestic violence victims. The project also included a one-day conference, “Road to Success: A Conference for Financial Independence for South Asian Women.”

Broken Spirit, Broken Bodies: Clergy Aiding Victims of Domestic Violence

Anne Marie Gibbons, University College, Class of 2002

This project aimed to educate, create, and mobilize a clergy coalition to combat domestic violence in Monmouth County, New Jersey. It culminated in a daylong conference to educate members of the clergy and/or women’s ministries about domestic violence with a special focus on African American communities.

Meals That Heal

Abigail Skillman, Rutgers College, Class of 2001

This project built on an internship at Women Aware to create a relationship between New Brunswick shelters for victims of domestic violence, Rutgers University students, and local businesses. Abby raised funds for Women Aware by convincing several local businesses to donate a percentage of their proceeds to the women’s shelter.


Ghanian Girls: Breaking Barriers to Education

Chantel Amissah, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Chantel Amissah hosted a discussion event for Douglass students and faculty, in which she presented her research on Ghanian girls in the informal labor sector in Ghana. In her discussion, Chantel explored the labor conditions of girls and women in the markets, the gendered disparity in education, and ways in which people can provide support without saviorism. Chantel also developed a resource sheet of organizations that support women and girls’
access to education in Ghana. View Presentation

Main Tumhare Saath Hoon: “I Am With You”

Amna Ahmed, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2022

Amna Ahmed created an oral archive of South Asian female narratives. This archive explores the diverse ways in which South Asian women participate in activism and how intergenerational trauma has influenced their organizing work. She interviewed four women to further understand how hybrid identities generate resistance techniques to combat against systems of domination. Through her project, Amna has recognized relationship building
and active listening as essential tools for feminist leadership. View Presentation

Safe Drinking Water is a Right, Not a Privilege

Sarah Ekenezar, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Sarah Ekenezar’s social action project addressed the issue of water inequity and lack of water quality awareness through the production of an animated YouTube video targeting urban adolescents. The visual piece discusses the prevalence of common water contaminants in New Jersey and includes advice for appropriate water filters and testing kits. With this visual aid, Sarah hopes to educate the public, in particularly youth, about water inequality and environmental justice. View Presentation

RU Native

Melanie Arroyave, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020
Barbara Shi, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2020

Melanie Arroyave and Barbara Shi explored and raised awareness about issues affecting Native American populations through the production of a 10-episode podcast, RU Native. The podcast promoted discussions about the diversity of Native American culture and life. The scholars covered a variety of topics, such as art, historical events, healthcare, and voting rights. Through this work, Melanie and Barbara formed connections with leaders in academia and indigenous community members across the United States to better understand these topics as two Non-Native women. View Presentation.

Social Justice Sound Bites

Jamila Osborne, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020

Jamila Osborne facilitated a series of classes and round table discussions to enhance the social awareness of college bound high school student’s grade 10 through 12. The discussions targeted issues such as reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights and what it meant to be marginalized in America. In the classes and discussions, the students practiced emotional literacy and focused on the fundamental differences between opposition and oppression. View Presentation

Human Rights and Campaigns for Environmental Justice

William Baumle, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences, Class of 2019

William Baumle conducted research and wrote a report on how human rights frameworks can influence environmental justice campaigns and disseminated his findings to a number of environmental justice organizations. This project created awareness and generated discussion on the varying forms of environmental justice activism. It also provided community organizers with the background and strategies to realize the potential of using a human rights framework in local environmental justice struggles. View Presentation.

Corruption and the New York City Department of Investigation

Farah Elattar, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2019

Farah Elattar’s social action project directed and produced a documentary film that explored corruption through an intersectional lens, both in the U.S. and the Middle East. Farah focused on the link between gender and corruption by conducting interviews with government officials about their experiences with corruption and and also interviewing feminist scholars and exploring research questions related to gender.  The goal of the film is to inform its viewers on the topic of corruption, its place in history, its relation to other concepts such as gender and minority status, its effects, and the tools that exist to fight it. View Presentation.

Reconciling Faith: A conversation with Mahdia Lynn

Maryam Abdur Rasheed, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

Maryam carved out her social action project around a powerful and leading-edge woman leader who is on the frontlines of activist work within the Muslim American community. Maryam produced a podcast series to highlight the often silenced and invalidated voices of LGBTQ and Muslim community. This was conducted by drawing upon scholarly qualitative research on the experiences of LGBTQ individuals of Muslim faith in the United States and the United Kingdom and capturing an in-depth interview with activist and religious leader, Mahdia Lynn. This podcast delved deep into themes such as deliberate ignorance by religious leaders, spiritual trauma and religious abuse and is being curated to be on Tumblr to get the most widely accessible multimedia platform to reach the demographic of her target audience, i.e. U.S. LGBTQ Muslim youth.

Koreans from the North: The Future Ahead

Na-Yeon Park, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2017

Na-Yeon Park’s social action project cumulated in a lecture focused on a North Korean human rights organization that hosted a North Korean defector at Rutgers University for the first time in history. The goal of this lecture was to educate the Rutgers community about North Korean human rights violations and to dispel misconceptions of North Koreans. 

Water Rights, Privatization, and Reducing Plastic Waste

Maegan Kae Sunaz, School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2017

Maegan Kae Sunaz’s social action project explored the elements of privatization in the water industry. It included a water tasting contest, a panel discussion, and a film presentation of a documentary called "Tapped." Sunaz researched the gendered aspects of environmentalism, particularly the strand of feminism called ecofeminism. View Presentation.

We Are the 70%

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

This project addresses the corrupt political framework that stifles progressive change in by examining the lack of youth representation in the government. This projected created, an online petition to amend the Jordanian constitution and lower the national age requirement for parliament. This project documents a journey of creating an online social media campaign to draw attention towards the shortcomings of the country’s current politics and to empower the endless potential of the new generation of Jordanian youth. View Presentation.

Analyzing Contemporary Transnational Feminism through a Critique of FEMEN

Hajar Hasani, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

Hajar set out to challenge the marginalization of Muslim women. This thesis project and Social Action Project consisted of research on FEMEN and the marginalization of Muslim women in their global feminist campaigns at the Asian American Undergraduate Research symposium. Hajar also facilitated a discussion during the South Asian American Collective of New Brunswick on the intersection of Muslim and queer identity. View Presentation.


Kara McCloskey, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013

The Jiva Women and Children Project is an educational initiative that addresses the needs of women and children living in Vrindavan, India. Initially created by the Jiva Institute of Vedic Studies, the Project was revived in August 2012 when an Institute of Women’s Leadership Scholar, Kara McCloskey, partnered with the Jiva Institute to provide an education program for a group of approximately twenty-five children, ages five to thirteen, living in the neighborhood of the Jiva Institute. The project provides a stipend for a teacher to come to the neighborhood for one hour a day, six days a week to teach English and environmental awareness. The teacher instructs the children in a way that retells the sacred stories of Hinduism and focuses on Indian culture rather than Western Culture. View Presentation.

Garment Factories in America: A Research Project

Lai Wo, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013

This Social Action Project is a research-based project that analyzes the various representations of garment factories and garment workers located in America. Through the use of a feminist research lens, normalized representations of garment factories are deconstructed through interviews with student activists and the garment workers themselves. This project hopes to challenge popularized representations of garment work by providing voice to the workers who often are posited as helpless, voiceless, victims devoid of agency. This SAP ultimately hopes to produce a work of knowledge that would enable a greater representation of garment workers within America, accounting for all the nuanced lived experiences. View Presentation.

Unveiling the Issue and Empowering Victims: Domestic Violence within the South Asian Immigrant Community

Prachi Baodhanker, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2012

Prachi’s project entitled “Unveiling the Issue and Empowering Victims: Domestic Violence within the South Asian Immigrant Community” was conducted through an internship with Manavi, a local South Asian women’s organization with a state-wide reach. Prachi worked with clients, assessing the needs of women in the Manavi community.

Breaking the School to Prison Pipeline

Misha Bernier, School of Arts and Sciences and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2012

Misha planned, conducted, and screened “Breaking the School-to-Prison-Pipeline,” a film produced by the American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom File television series. Students and faculty attended, while panelists Gabriel Nyenator, Rutgers, Walter Fortson, Mountain View Program and Tony Conover, NAACP-Rutgers Chapter shared experiences within the juvenile detention system.

Haiti in Focus: Women’s Participation in the Aftermath of Natural Disaster

Wislande Guillaume, School of Arts and Sciences and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2012

While in Haiti, Wislande conducted interviews with Haitian women about their lives before and after the earthquake. Using the narratives from those interviews Wislande created a Digital Story that highlights their vision for the future of Haitian women and the role that they want to play in reconstruction. The Digital Story is narrated in Creole and subtitled in English in order to fully capture the heart of their lived experience.

Creating an International Opportunity for Leadership Scholars

Jillian Fiore, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011

This project provided the IWL with the information necessary to create a global component for the Leadership Scholars Program. By surveying the 1st and 2nd IWL scholars and through web-based research Jillian determined the potential benefits and the resources that could be mobilized towards this end.

What Happened in April 1994?

Jennifer Kanyamibwa, Douglass College, Class of 2010

Leadership Scholar Jennifer Kanyamibwa planned and implemented a panel discussion on the Rwandan genocide and how it changed international perspectives on genocides and ethnic civil war. Jennifer brought together experts on the Rwandan judicial system, human rights, and women’s rights in a panel that explored the topics of justice, peace, development, and the consequences of war on women. Donations from the event went to the African Women’s Council, a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization.

Stand Up! Against Modern Day Slavery in New Jersey

Alexandra L. Espinosa, Livingston College, Class of 2009

Alexandra planned, developed, and implemented this one day activist training workshop. Stand Up! taught participants about human trafficking and empowered them to make a difference in their communities through leadership and activism. Attendees developed leadership skills, including public speaking, organization, teamwork, public policy analysis and developing strategies for action. Participants bridged theory with activism and formed networks with each other to harness resources and to unite anti-trafficking initiatives throughout the state.

Rutgers Campus Coalition Against Trafficking (RUCCAT)

Alexis Kennedy, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2009

This scholar created a student organization at Rutgers University that addresses the issue of human trafficking by working to educate the student community and raise money to help support organizations that deal with the problem first hand. Rutgers University Campus Coalition Against Trafficking is a university chapter of the already existing organization, Campus Coalition Against Trafficking. During the fall semester Alexis planned a conference on human trafficking with Drew University, and a live music and slam poetry session in which the organization raised almost $500 for Polaris Project, a New Jersey organization that works to fight human trafficking.

Youth Experience in Occupied Iraq

Arwa Ibrahim, Rutgers College, 2008

Arwa wrote an article entitled, “Iraqi Youth’s Lives Under the Occupation,” which was submitted to the Middle East Report, the foremost US magazine of critical analysis on the Middle East. During the summer of 2006 Arwa traveled to Jordan where she interviewed two Iraqi youth ages 16 and 18, Ahmad and Qasim, whose testimonies served as the framework for her article. Arwa’s article was also heavily based on research she conducted regarding current human rights abuses in Iraq. Should the Middle East Report decide to publish Arwa’s article, it will be read by an international audience of 25,000 people. In addition, Arwa plans to organize a discussion event surrounding this topic in the up-coming months through BAKA, a student-organization she is involved in on campus.

Revisiting the Past and Educating Our Future: Conversations on Genocide in Rwanda and Darfur

Lauren Braswell, Douglass College, Class of 2007

“Revisiting the Past” aimed to bring greater awareness about the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur, Sudan to the Rutgers community. This scholar founded an organization called RU STAND (Students Take Action Now in Darfur) so that students interested in advocacy on the issue could meet and work together.

Prizm Project: Global Human Rights Education for Young Women

Natalie Jesionka, Douglass College, Class of 2007

In order to ensure that young women have the opportunity to create “safe spaces” to talk about human rights, this scholar created the PRIZM project, a human rights education organization for women, which works to ensure that young women around the world have access to tools and resources to become educated about their human rights. She and her PRIZM staff developed and distributed an international toolkit for PRIZM human rights retreats as a special guide for community organizers that includes guides, skills and inspirational resources to allow women to set up a human rights retreat in their home communities.

Student Organization for Micro-lending Abroad (SOMA)

Bhavini Doshi, Rutgers College, Class of 2005
Tal Kanfi, Rutgers College, Class of 2006
Dineo Mpela-Thompson, Douglass College, Class of 2005
Melissa Weisz, Rutgers College, Class of 2005

Scholars working on this project founded a nonprofit organization called “Student Organization for Micro-lending Abroad, Inc.” (SOMA), with the dual aim of raising public awareness of the feminization of global poverty and providing small loans to women in developing countries through partnerships with other organizations. The group also created a student organization called the Rutgers University Microfinance Initiative (RUMI) which enables Rutgers students to become active in establishing microfinance projects.

VISA: Voluntary Internship in South Asia

Shwetha Iyer, Rutgers College, Class of 2004

VISA: Voluntary Internship in South Asia, had the goal of sponsoring students in the United States (beginning with one Rutgers student), particularly students with some training in developing health or economic programs, to work within an organization in India to promote financial independence among women in rural areas.

A Unique Service Learning Experience: G.O.Y.A. in Kenya

Sivan Yosef, Rutgers College, Class of 2003

G.O.Y.A. in Kenya is a Rutgers service learning program designed to introduce students to the importance of global citizenship through educational initiatives in the Teso district of rural Kenya. This project initiated this program, offered for the first time in Summer 2003, through the Global Literacy Project, Inc.

Master Document on the Current Conditions of Human Rights in Iran

Sasha Wood, University College, Class of 2001

This project involved the creation of a reference source entitled Human Rights Conditions in Iran (2001). This volume includes NGO reports, governmental reports, and newspaper articles on human rights conditions in Iran. The Leadership Scholar completed this project with the assistance of her internship site, the Committee for Humanitarian Assistance to Iranian Refugees (CHAIR).


Breaking Barriers: South Asian Mental Health

Nivedita Krishnakumar, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2024

Nivedita’s social action project addressed the pervasive silence surrounding mental health within the South Asian community. Despite the undeniable stressors faced by this population, mental health remains largely unaddressed due to a profound lack of conversation and the stigma associated with it. She partnered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness to put together a panel event and discussion bringing both parents and students into the room to dismantle these stigmas by normalizing conversations around mental health. View Presentation.

Attitudes and Experiences Towards Health Education in NJ Schools

Andrea Potesta-Oliva, School of Arts & Science/Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2024

Andrea’s social action project highlighted the importance of health education in all public schools and the need for curriculum and delivery adjustments. She interviewed five college students who attended a NJ public school before enrolling in Rutgers to assess their knowledge on vital health and wellness topics. She also hosted a panel discussion centered around health knowledge and retainment. View Presentation.

Green Space Guide: A Resource on Nature Areas in Rutgers-New Brunswick

Anya Gowda, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2024

Anya created the Green Space Guide to increase awareness of nature areas around campus and connect people to a broader community to explore these spaces. This project aimed to address access to a healthy environment and green spaces to improve mental and physical health for college kids at Rutgers-New Brunswick. Anya was able to accomplish this by working with the Scarlet Media team to create a website that showcases information on these spaces such as the location, 360 tours of them, descriptions, and related organizations. View Presentation.

The Effect of Mindfulness on Mental Health

Sanaa Rangwala, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Sanaa Rangwala developed and produced a mindfulness meditation podcast with the Rutgers Social-Emotional and Character Development Laboratory. The podcast focuses on the positive impact of mindfulness meditation on students and the ways in which people can utilize it. Sanaa also created an informational flyer on mental health and other promotional materials, which were distributed to young women student leaders. View Presentation.

Get Vaxxed

Raheen Syed, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Raheen Syed addressed the topic of vaccine hesitancy among women of color and pregnant women, as well as preventing the spread of misinformation in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She developed a website, GetVaxxed, that blog posts, tips on navigating misinformation online, and statistics relating to vaccine disparities. Raheen also printed 500 educational brochures with vaccine information to different locations in New Brunswick, in partnership with the Rutgers chapter of the NJ Public Health Association. She hopes to expand the website, particularly with new blog posts from Rutgers students and healthcare workers. View Presentation.

“Of Age” Zine

Adrianna Bugliarello-Wondrich, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Adrianna Bugliarello-Wondrich created a magazine on the experiences of aging women in order to combat patriarchy’s devaluation of older women. Popular media currently depicts aging as a negative and undesirable experience for women. This magazine serves to generate reflection, appreciation, and joy in growing old for both younger and older women. View Presentation.

The Uplift Challenge

Emily Foltiny, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2022

Emily Foltiny created a one-month points-based fitness challenge on social media to empower college women to engage in physical exercise without fear of judgement. In her research, Emily found that college women are not getting adequate exercise, particularly in comparison to male counterparts, due to issues such as time constraints, lack of fitness education, and fear of entering a male-dominated space and encountering the male gaze. Her Uplift Challenge encouraged women to engage in various forms of exercise
and to build community in which their physical wellbeing is prioritized and celebrated. View Presentation.

The Preparedness Health Education Series (PHES)

Caitlyn Horton, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2022

Caitlyn Horton developed the Preparedness Health Education Series to empower women to initiate basic life supporting measures in crisis situations. The series included four workshops, comprised of trainings on Naloxone, mental health first aid, severe bleeding response, and CPR. Caitlyn partnered with several organizations, including the Mental Health Association in New Jersey and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School’s Division of Addiction Psychiatry, to facilitate these workshops. View Presentation.

Policies Behind My Vagina: Reconstructing the Idea of Women’s Healthcare

Alisa Farley, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Alisa Farley directed and produced a short film that discusses women’s healthcare, issues that surround it, and ways to improve it through the lens of an undergraduate student. The video features Rutgers faculty highlighting how the public advocates for women’s reproductive health. This video also includes interviews and conversations about how to use policies such New Jersey Family Planning Legislation as a stepping-stone for protecting reproductive policies without fearing federal funding restrictions. View Presentation.

From the Clinic to Congress: Bridging Healthcare, Science and Policy

Wamia Siddiqui, School of Environmental & Biological Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Wamia Siddiqui organized and facilitated a virtual workshop series to educate and empower the next generation of health equity advocates. The workshop curriculum focused on pressing health policy issues, including: COVID-19 and pandemic preparedness, healthcare access and coverage; immigration health policy; educational equity and housing access; systemic racism in healthcare, and sexual and reproductive health. The project also involved an adaptable policy-equity curriculum, sustainable online resources including a website, Google Classroom and virtual community-building. View Presentation.

Patient Advocacy Workshop

Leshya Bokka, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2020

Leshya Bokka planned and facilitated a workshop for aspiring healthcare professionals. Topics discussed in the workshop were the rights and responsibilities of patients, situations in which to seek second opinions, implicit gender biases, social determinants of health, a patient-centered approach to healthcare, shared decision making, and social resources. Participants analyzed and discussed seven case studies, including the laws that shape patient rights, such as HIPAA and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. View Presentation.

Balancing Wellness, and Academic Success in College Settings

Anisha Patel, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2020

Anisha Patel developed and implemented a wellness fair in the Honors College, a first-year residence hall, to teach students about the ways they can balance their health with the stresses of college life. The wellness fair took place in the first week of the semester and included activities to introduce students to the nine dimensions of wellness, as well as various workshops covering topics such as sleep, sexual health, and body image. View Presentation

New Brunswick Menstrual Hygiene Accessibility Initiative

Natalie Settimo, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2019

Natalie Settimo’s social action project advocated for access to menstrual hygiene products as a human right. As an intersectional issue in public health, feminism, social justice, and human rights, this initiative worked to combat the stigma against menstruation. Through this project, Natalie collected and donated 500 organic menstrual pads to organizations within the New Brunswick Community. View Presentation.

Clinical Internship Program in Correctional Health

Mansi Shah, School of Arts and Sciences, Honors College/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2019

Mansi Shah’s social action project implemented a clinical internship program for pre-health undergraduate students in a correctional health facility. Students interned at a New Jersey correctional facility for 8 weeks in the summer of 2019, in collaboration with Rutgers University Honors College and Rutgers University Correctional Health Care (UCHC). These students had the unique opportunity to shadow healthcare professionals, design and implement a health education seminar and learn to advocate for a marginalized population.  Mansi successfully pitched the program to the Honors College to secure its continuation. View Presentation.

Embracing Self-Health Through Recognizing Mental Health (African American Women)

Kayla Fowler, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Class of 2017

With her social action project, Kayla Fowler addressed mental health awareness for African American women. Due to the lack of institutional value put on African American mental health and beauty, African American women are forced to suppress or downplay their mental health and emotional concerns. Kayla organized a workshop for African American women on how beauty plays a role in one's mental health and self-health.

Heart Yourself: Fighting Heart Disease in Women

Cilgy Abraham, School of Nursing, Class of 2016

Cilgy’s social action project helped create a greater awareness of heart disease in women while also educating nursing students on cardiovascular disease presentation and preventative action with particular attention to women and gender. Cilgy’s social action initiatives included: completing research; performing a secondary data analysis; presenting findings at the Scientista Symposium on October 17, 2015; creating heart healthy brochures which were distributed to women (hospitalized and not hospitalized); and, conducting two workshops pertaining to caring for patients with cardiovascular disease with nursing students at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. View Presentation.

Combatting Mental Health Stigmas and Analyzing Policies at Rutgers

Ashley Polukord, School of Arts and Sciences and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2016

For this project, Ashley Polukord wanted to emphasize the need for administrators to review policies and procedures that could either help break down social stigmas or that may perpetuate the current silencing of students’ experiences. The goal is to help break mental health stigmas that prevent students from seeking professional help.

Managing Gestational Diabetes in New Brunswick

Nicole Scaramella, School of Arts and Sciences and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2016

For this project, Nicole Scaramella focused on women’s health and the prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in New Brunswick. She worked to improve affected patients’ education and care with hopes of decreasing overall disease prevalence. Furthermore, the project determined what was missing in the care and education of these women, while seeking to combat these problems through future initiatives such as Teaching Back and postnatal programs. View Presentation.

Women’s Empowerment Program for Public Health in Rural Nicaragua

Laura An, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015

Laura An worked with AMOS Health & Hope, a public health grassroots organization based in Nicaragua. She assisted in the collection baseline data for a women’s empowerment initiative regarding nutrition in rural communities. Laura also helped develop a comprehensive women’s empowerment program, addressing issues such as maternal health and child malnutrition in the area. View Presentation.

Educating and Empowering Women through Gaining Knowledge of the Current U.S. Cosmetics Industry

Sara Pagliante, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015

Sara Pagliante created a website to help educate consumers on cosmetic ingredients and their safety.

The website serves to provide information and places to find the least biased research on cosmetic ingredients as well as helpful tips and recommendations for proper care of cosmetics and most importantly educate women on the discourse surrounding cosmetics safety, which in turn empowers them to make informed decisions on their purchases.

Sara Pagliante created a website to help educate consumers on cosmetic ingredients and their safety.
The website serves to provide information and places to find the least biased research on cosmetic ingredients as well as helpful tips and recommendations for proper care of cosmetics and most importantly educate women on the discourse surrounding cosmetics safety, which in turn empowers them to make informed decisions on their purchases. View Presentation.

The Need for Health Clinicians to Improve Health Literacy and Communication with their South Asian Patients

Mosammat Taher, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015

The objective Mosammat Taher had in mind for her project was to address the needs of South Asian patients with limited health literacy and minimal access to health awareness. An informational session was held at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital which gave information about the importance of educating patients about their health, made sure they understand what is going on, and provided appropriate and patient-friendly tools that cater to a specific community or demographic. View Presentation.

Spreading Awareness about Reproductive Rights

Ami Kachalia, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

The project's goal was to create awareness about the current state of reproductive rights in politics in the United States of America. Using research on state trends, current policies, and organizations, this project sought to education college-age women about the battles around the right to choice and the gradual loss of these rights in states around the country. View Presentation.

Girl Talk: A Women’s Sexual Health Workshop at Millville Senior High School

Katie Stump, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

Working alongside Rutgers Sexual Health Advocate Program, tis project implemented a sexual health education workshop delivering a range of information about women’s health and sexuality to an audience of under-served female high school students in a district with an abstinence-only sexual education policy. The day-long workshop addressed diversity in human sexuality, social expectations for female sexual behavior, contraceptive use, and hyper-sexualization of women in media. The project’s objective was to empower young women with knowledge and insight they need to deal proactively with issues related to their sexual and overall health and better equip them to neutralize the array of cultural and societal challenges they face.

The Dangers of Beauty

Rebekka Idesis, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011
Michelle Szymanski, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Class of 2011

The goal of this project was to raise Douglass students’ awareness of the health risks associated with the consumption of cosmetic and hygiene products. The presentation that Rebekka and Michelle delivered informed the participants about the toxic content of such products, about the unsatisfactory current FDA regulations, and about the healthier available alternatives.

The PharmFree Campaign at Rutgers University

Devangi Patel, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011

The Phamfree Campaign is a national endeavor to address physicians’ relationships (and funding) with pharmaceutical companies. For this project, Ms. Patel spearheaded a consciousness-raising campaign about this topic at Rutgers University. She encouraged students to become active with the national PharmFree campaign, and to raise awareness and funds to promote the agenda. One of her major focuses was a Letter Writing Campaign about this topic, directed to the National Institute of Health.

Education and HIV/AIDS: An End to the Epidemic

Caitlin Flynn, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2009

This scholar developed a presentation to raise awareness around the need for HIV/AIDS education. Believing that the connection between education and HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment is paramount, Caitlin began to develop a thesis on education as a method of prevention in ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Through extensive research, Caitlin has put together a wealth of educational materials, including books, charts and official documents. In addition, Caitlin will attend the AIDS 2008 XVI International Conference in Mexico City in August, where she hopes to present her research.

Mental Illness Affects Everyone: A Focus on Young Women’s Mental Health

Giselle Colorado, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2008
Mi-Yeet Wong, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2009

For their social action project, Giselle and Mi-Yeet collaborated to create a panel event focusing on the importance of mental health for young women. Both scholars interned at Women Helping Women, a local mental health clinic, where they saw a deficit of younger women taking advantage of the counseling services provided by Women Helping Women. Bothered by the fact that young women were not taking advantage of these important services, Giselle and Mi-Yeet decided to create a panel event as a way to raise awareness in the Rutgers community about the importance of mental health for young women.

The Rainbows Difference: Grief Counseling for Children and Adults

Shayna Alexander, Rutgers College, Class of 2007

This scholar underwent training to become a certified RAINBOWS grief counselor. She was the youngest facilitator in the state of New Jersey and led a support group for adolescents in Westfield, New Jersey during the spring semester.

Pa’lante Mujeres: Cuidando de Nuestra Salud!– Women Ahead: Taking Care of our Health

Liza Bianchi, Douglass College, Class of 2007
Karol Silva, Rutgers College, Class of 2007

These scholars designed an educational program entitled, Pa’lante Mujeres: Cuidando de Nuestra Salud (Women Ahead: Taking Care of Our Health) to help Latino women in New Brunswick initiate modes of prevention and increase their use of sources available to them to enjoy healthy lives. Partnering with the Eric B. Chandler Health Center, they created an educational program of four classes covering topics including cancer, STI’s, preventative screening, nutrition, exercise, reproductive health, family planning, empowerment and activism.

Mujeres: El Cuidado de Nosotras y de Nuestras Familias

Carol Mendez, Douglass College, Class of 2005

“Taking Care of Ourselves and Our Families” is a culturally sensitive health care course developed for Hispanic women who utilize the Eric B. Chandler Health Center in New Brunswick. The four-part course, which focuses on reproductive health, preventive screenings, healthy eating, parenting skills and child rearing, was piloted in December 2004 and continued through the spring of 2005.

HIV/AIDS and Our Youth of Color: How to Protect Ourselves

Adenrele Akintobi, Douglass College, Class of 2004

This project was designed to educate urban youth about the HIV/AIDS disease by inciting both awareness and prevention. To implement the first half of the project, Adenrele talked with students both about the disease and their own sexuality through health education programs in New Brunswick high schools. In the second half, she held a health conference involving doctors, social workers, and Rutgers students on HIV/AIDS Awareness and Safe Sex that invited many high schools to the Rutgers Community.

Power and Hope in Survivorship: A Photo-Interview Project

Katherine Killingsworth, Douglass College, Class of 2004

This health awareness project was intended to make viewers aware of the need for health advocacy and health education. This Scholar interviewed and photographed survivors of chronic illnesses like stroke, cancer, and Hepatitis, to give survivors a chance to voice their feelings and to promote a hope and power for survivorship.

Creating a Support Group for the Daughters and Sons of People with a Mental Illness

Sara Nordstrom, Rutgers College, Class of 2004

Sara began a support group of the children of parents with a mental illness. This new forum, designed for Rutgers University and the community, had the ultimate goal of deepening discussion and awareness around the issues faced by children of the mentally ill, so that parents and children will learn useful techniques to talk about the illness. The goal is that the healthiest relationship possible is achieved, one of honesty, openness and acceptance.

BACK IT UP: Proactive Education on Emergency Contraception

Shira Lynn Pruce, Douglass College, Class of 2004

In response to the need for public education on contraception alternatives that Shira sensed on campus here at Rutgers, she developed this proactive education program to disseminate information about how to obtain and effectively use Emergency Contraception (EC). With the help of Planned Parenthood NJ, she gathered key information which was assembled into a pamphlet (with the assistance of a Rutgers graphic design student) that was distributed with a button to students and pro-choice groups on campus.

College Women’s Health Fair at Douglass College

Elizabeth Bossard, Douglass College, Class of 2003

This day-long women’s health fair at Douglass College was intended to educate college-age women about their health, and encourage them to be healthy and informed. This project includes a notebook full of resources from the Health Fair participants who included the Eric B. Chandler Health Center, the New Jersey Women and AIDS Network, Planned Parenthood, Women Aware, South Jersey Breast Cancer Coalition, and Rutgers organizations.

Effects of Ethnicity, Gender and Language on AIDS Knowledge among School Aged Children in Lagos, Nigeria

Abiola Fasina, Rutgers College, Class of 2002

This study analyzed the effects of ethnicity, language and gender on AIDS knowledge among school children (ages 10-15) in Lagos, Nigeria. This research was part of a larger study that concluded that girls have significantly less understanding of AIDS than boys; that English users have clearer understanding than those who speak Yoruba, and that minority groups in Lagos have the advantage in access to AIDS information. The dissemination of this research formed the core of the social action project.

Legislative Awareness for a New Jersey Needle Exchange Program

Courtney Turner, Rutgers College, Class of 2002

This project worked to help promote needle exchange legislation in the state of New Jersey. The Scholar surveyed health care providers throughout the state on their opinions regarding the need for needle exchange legislation in New Jersey as a way to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. The findings of this survey were shared with the governor’s staff as a resource guide with hopes of initiating such a program in the future.

Youth, Politics and Healthcare: Our Future is in Your Hands

Cristal Xavier, Douglass College, Class of 2002

This one-day Women’s Wellness Forum included information on physical health, mental health, domestic violence, rape crisis, alternative medicine, and health issues of women of color. Speakers represented the American Cancer Society, the NJ Women and AIDS Network, and the American Heart Association. The event also included informational tables from local health organizations and women’s healthcare workers.

Radio Public Service Announcement on HIV/AIDS in Lagos, Nigeria

Vivian Nwosu, Douglass College, Class of 2001

This project involved the writing of a Public Service Announcement on HIV/AIDS to air on radio stations in Lagos, Nigeria with the goal of reducing HIV/AIDS infection among young people there. Note – this project is not deposited in the Archives.


Through the Eyes of Native Women Elders: Rebuilding Culture Through Wisdom and Oral History

Alexandria Chastain, School of Arts and Sciences/SAS Honors Program, Class of 2024

Alexandria was inspired by the stories of her grandmother, who is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, Oregon, to create a podcast to document the lives of Native Women within her community who are in administrative positions within the tribe. Through utilizing voice recordings and transcript editing software, she created a podcast focused on how leadership and cultural rejuvenation look different for everyone. View Presentation

Professionals for Tomorrow

Judalisse Garcia, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Judalisse Garcia explored social issues faced by local high school students in a podcast series. This project captured interviews with recent high school graduates from New Brunswick on the topics of education, culture, and career. Judalisse is using the interviews to inform the development of an after school program to prepare local high school students with the tools and skills they need for internships and college admissions. View Presentation

South Asian Empowerment Coalition

Sarah Arshad, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2020
Mannal Babar, School of Arts and Sciences/School of Communication and Information, Class of 2020

Sarah Arshad and Mannal Babar’s social action project was an initiative that provided college-aged South Asian women with the tools, resources, and knowledge to navigate disempowering cultural practices and attain financial independence. The program included three different workshops throughout the fall semester; topics included budgeting and financial agency, body shaming, eating disorders and mental health issues in the South Asian community, and the political theories of Orientalism and Anti-blackness. View Presentation

Global Girls

Mikaila John, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglas Residential College, Class of 2019
Falak Shahid, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglas Residential College, Class of 2019

Mikaila John and Falak Shahid implemented an after-school empowerment program for adolescent girls aged Maxson Middle School in Plainfield, New Jersey.  The program fostered a save space for students facing racial, cultural, and economic barriers, an opportunity to grow into agents of change.  By addressing problems in their local community, Global Girls helped students cultivate a new view of themselves and the world. The program aimed to raise self-confidence and inspire students to locate and utilize their voice. This 9-week program included an evaluation component with the interest of it being used as a model to pilot programs at other schools in the future. View Presentation. 

We Will Lead Conference

Antoinette (Toni) Gingerelli, School of Art and Sciences Honors Program/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2017

Toni Gingerelli’s social action project addressed the lack of women in politics, particularly in positions of elected office. Gingerelli organized a day-long conference called, “The We Will Lead” Conference, which focused on introducing 7th and 8th grade girls to the field of politics and government to foster leadership development through exposure to women leaders in politics. A large emphasis of the conference was placed on the model of women supporting women/girls supporting girls and development of self-confidence. View Presentation.

GROW (Girls Realizing Opportunities in the World) Program and Leadership Development Workshop Series

Kenya Graham, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

Kenya worked as a Program Assistant for the GROW (Girls Realizing Opportunities in the World) Program. The program pairs high school girls in foster care with undergraduate mentors at Rutgers. We met four times during the semester for mentor/mentee programming that focused on life skills, leadership development, and confidence building. View Presentation.

Raising Ms. President: A Film Screening and Panel Discussion on Young Women's Political Participation

Felise Ortiz, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014
Jennifer Osolinski, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

Felise and Jennifer worked together to host a film screening of the 2012 documentary "Raising Ms. President" in conjunction with a panel of three New Jersey local and state female politicians. The event was held November 13th at 5:30pm in the IWL building, and concluded at 8pm. Twenty people showed up to the event and were actively engaged in a lively discussion about how to bring women to the table and how to encourage women of color to become politically active and hold office. View Presentation.

Girls Leading Outward: A Leadership Program for Adolescent Girls at Bound Brook Middle School

Lizethe Martinez, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2013

Young girls face the challenge of navigating through their femininity and the limiting gender norms set on them by American society. Due to their gender, they encounter several negative messages and suffer many emotional trials. They persistently have lower self-esteem than young boys, a problem that potentially affects the rest of their lives and limits their aspirations. These issues received little if any attention at Bound Brook Middle School. Girls Leading Outward is a school based leadership development program for seventh grade girls. GLO fosters social, emotional, and leadership skills by creating a safe space for girls to learn and practice new skills. GLO encourages girls to be the leaders of their lives and leaders in their community.

First Annual Lehigh University Feminism in Practice Conference

Alicia M. Reaves, Rutgers Colleges, Class of 2009

At this conference, the Leadership Scholar Alicia Reaves presented a paper entitled “The Misconception of Reflection: Effects of the Outward Appearance on Feminism, Feminist-based Discourse, and Interpersonal Mentoring Relationships.” Using discourse from Audre Lorde’s essay “Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference,” the Leadership Scholar examined the effects of outward appearance and race on the interactions and mentoring relationships between adolescent women and young adult women. She based her analysis on observations from her role as Mentor Chair for the High School Leadership Program, 2008.

Leadership Through Service: IWL-Service Leaders Program

Judith Simms, Douglass College, Class of 2006

This scholar worked on a new IWL program that connects ten Rutgers students to partner organizations in the New Brunswick area as part of a seven-week summer program. The students chosen gain hands-on leadership experience and receive stipends for their work in the community. The program kicked off summer 2006.

Walk the Walk: Steps to the White House – Sharing Skills and Experience For and By Young Leaders

Alanna Chan, Douglass College, Class of 2004

The goal of this half-day workshop was to provide essential, transferable leadership skills to teenage females, with the goal of encouraging their civic activism. It included workshops on public speaking, networking, and a panel of student community leaders. This powerful workshop for high school students was motivating and inspirational, and encouraged young people to get involved with the community and exercise their own leadership in shaping public policies.

Adelphe Chi: Women’s Leadership Ministries

Amanda Tassin, Douglass College, Class of 2004

This Scholar launched the Adelphe Chi Women’s Leadership Ministry, affiliated with Campus Crusade for Christ International, for her social action project. This new program centers on the role that women in the Christian community can play in leadership, and advocating for independent lives for women. Adelpe Chi is based on the model of sorority-like sisterhood with an emphasis on personal growth, relational fellowship and servant leadership. Rutgers is the home base for this program which has spread to other universities as well.

Expanding Horizons: Women Impacting the Future Conference

Alanah Odoms, Rutgers College, Class of 2002 and
Janine Gianfredi, Douglass College, Class of 2002

The Expanding Horizons Conference was a one-day leadership development and empowerment seminar for inner-city high school women of diverse backgrounds. Approximately fifty young women attended the conference from Snyder High School located in Jersey City, New Jersey. The conference focused on leadership development and skills, and raised awareness about unique problems faced by women in all aspects of life and work.

Manual for Student Leaders on Leadership in Transition

Amanda Hoffman, Douglass College, Class of 2001

This project involved the creation of a manual for college student leaders that would collect and organize strategies for passing on leadership positions. Not deposited in the Archives.

Women’s Online Leadership Conference

Sara Bluhm, Douglass College, Class of 2000

This project involved the creation of a new website which hosted an online conference on women’s leadership.


Conversations Between South Asian Mothers and Daughters:
Finding Reconciliation, Forgiveness, and Empowerment

Priyanka Sarkhel, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College, Class of 2024

Priyanka’s social action project was the creation of a YouTube video series featuring two South Asian, specifically Bengali, mother-daughter pairs, who sat down across from each other to speak on issues of race, gender, immigration, culture, and more. Despite similar lived experiences of oppression, belittlement, and being forced into gendered boxes they did not choose, South Asian mothers and daughters often misunderstand each other due to a lack of open, honest, and clear communication. Her video series sought to foster a sense of openness and honesty that is missing from South Asian parent-child relationships. View Presentation

Media as a Mirror: A Reflection of the Queer Experience

Kaitlyn Fung, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors College, Class of 2024

Kaitlyn produced, directed, and edited a 35-minute documentary film to highlight the importance of LGBTQ+ representation in the media. The documentary features the stories of five queer Rutgers students as they recount LGBTQ+ representation of the past and present and express their hopes for the future. Her social action project culminated in a live screening and Q&A. She hopes this project can support LGBTQ+ youth, as they are at a higher risk of suicide due to the discrimination they face. View Presentation

One Team

Sahar Ali-Jenkins, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023
Gabrielle Thurm, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Class of 2023

Sahar Ali-Jenkins and Gabrielle Thurm addressed gender inequity in college sports, specifically the ways in which women athletes are underrepresented or shown in narrow tropes in media, through a multimedia newsletter. They increased awareness through interviewing the Rutgers female athletic community and sharing these interviews within their newsletter. This project demonstrates the inequalities female collegiate athletes face regarding media coverage and image. Simultaneously, it uplifts the voices of female collegiate athletes to reclaim their stories. View Presentation

“If It Bleeds”

Murphy Boccher, School of Arts and Sciences/School of Communication and Information, Class of 2022

Murphy Boccher produced a documentary that explores how the media utilizes violence to perpetuate stereotypes and further harm on minoritized racial and gender communities. They focused on cisgendered women of different backgrounds and the ways in which media has responded to violence perpetuated against them based on their identities. The documentary displays that the media’s views on race impacts how these
narratives are told. Murphy further asserts that racial justice must play a
significant part in addressing violence against women. View Presentation

Meta Memory

Ameena Qobrtay, School of Arts and Sciences/School of Communication and Information, Class of 2022

Ameena Qobrtay explores the pervasive force of social media in people’s lives through a non-fiction narrative on her family’s relationships with Meta Inc. apps. Through the use of interviewing women family members and observing their activity on these apps, Ameena examines how surveillance capitalism impacts the ways in which people both interact and form belief systems online. View Presentation.

Sex and the Internet

Evelyn Besom, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2021

Evelyn Besom explored female sexual empowerment as it relates to sex work through the creation of an online magazine called Libéré Zine. In combination with a research paper and case study of social media and sex work, this social action project considered the relationship between sexual empowerment and sex work, and the intersection of sex work, race, class and sexuality and how they affect the dominant perceptions of female sexuality. View Presentation

4th World Feminism – A Feminist Future for All of Us

Michelle Fan, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Michelle Fan created an online platform that showcases the work of women writers from the Global South and marginalized communities from the Global North. These voices are featured to encourage more inclusivity and demand more self–reflexiveness in mainstream American feminism. Michelle vetted writing submissions from around the world, and published on a self-designed website. An important component of this project was to create an online global community of women, on the instant messaging and digital distribution platform of Discord, where they share publishing opportunities, creators’ resources, and collaborate on projects. View Presentation


Bea Song, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2021

Bea Song created an Instagram series highlighting the stories of Queer, Trans, and People of Color (QTPOC) about how they express joy. Bea interviewed the featured guests about their methods of self-expression, thoughts on QTPOC joy, and identity. The transcribed and edited interviews were transformed into a zine and posted on the @qtpocjoy Instagram page. The interview transcripts are available for viewers through the link posted on the Instagram page’s bio. View Presentation

Defining a Champion: I Am a Womxn

Christina Froelich, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy, Class of 2020

Christina Froelich created a blog that explored and shared research on the persistence of gender inequality in sports. The first series reflected the struggles of Title IX as told by collegiate athletes. In conjunction with a public forum for dialogue on this issue, research was also conducted on ways to create a scholarship fund at Rutgers University for a deserving woman athlete. The seed grant from the Institute for Women’s Leadership was Christina’s way of contributing a donation to what she hoped could grow into an annual scholarship. View Presentation

Modest Magazine

Ifrah Akhtar, School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program/ Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

A fashion magazine that challenges the image of the veiled Muslim women as the sole figure for modest fashion. This project aims to be inclusive to women of all faiths, those who veil and those who do not. It aims to expand to men participating in modest fashion as well. The project resulted in an online magazine and a website. View Presentation. 

Social Media for Change

Chelsea (C.C.) Crane, School of Arts and Sciences/School of Communication and Information, Class of 2018

Chelsea created a resource website for social justice groups to help those better use social media as a tool for activism. Chelsea’s project was positioned at the intersection of three areas; media, tech, and social justice. The website’s mission was to make communications and media managers for social justice organizations more efficient by helping them save time in creating content and possibly improving the reach of their social media. Chelsea project goals were to assist the organizations’ expansion through community outreach, reach new demographics, and raise more money. View Presentation

The Lack of Representation of Asian-Americans in Hollywood Films and in the Media

Deborah Lee, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

Deborah focused on how and why Asian Americans are not being represented in popular Hollywood films or in the media for her social action project. She also wanted to spotlight how the limited opportunities for Asian American actors and the lack of representation affects self-perception. With this project, she aimed to expose people to Asian American talent and highlight the accomplishments of different Asian American actors, artists, and comedians. View Presentation

Lady Bits: Unsolicited Commentaries on Womanhood (a Theatrical Production)

Justice Hehir, School of Arts and Science and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2016

For her project, Justice Hehir created a Theatrical Production called Lady Bits. It is a national series of 2-5 minute monologues centered on narratives of moments that have shaped, defined, or otherwise influenced one’s perception of what it means to be a woman in the spaces they inhabit. Monologues were selected from a pool of over 100 submissions. Lady Bits will premiere this spring in New Brunswick, New Jersey through the Rutgers Institute for Women’s Leadership. The goal of this project is to spotlight the lack of female voices being produced on stages around the world through reclamation and ownership of gendered experiences by female writers.

Bringing Awareness to Women’s Involvement in Gun Trafficking Through Art

Nia Allen-Lee, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

Through the use of video and poetry, Nia created a dynamic online campaign intended to shed new light on women's involvement in gun trafficking. View Presentation.

Get Loud

Shaneez Tyndall, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014

Stemming from the idea of women being silenced in the media, the “GET LOUD!” Project aims to provide agency to young women, giving them the opportunity to create their own films and tell their own stories. The “GET LOUD!” Student Film contest encourages young women to take action and get innovative, critical and creative. The “GET LOUD!” Project (2012-2013) consisted of a student film contest, a panel discussion featuring five student filmmakers and film screenings of both the contest participants’ and panelists’ film submissions. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide Rutgers women with the opportunity to get critical, innovative and creative, make their voices heard and allow them to be the change that they want to see in the media. View Presentation.

The Intersection of Queerness, Gender and Fashion

Arabelle Sicardi, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2014

This social action project focuses on the intersection of queer identity, feminist practices, and the system of fashion. This zine is decidedly pro-fashion and feminist whereby contributors find fashion or style as a mode of expression of their identity. The contributors are all queer identified artists, photographers, writers spanning the ages of 14-35 and come from everywhere in the world and are from different classes, races, and genders. View Presentation.

My Body My Mind: E-zine

Allison Richman, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2013

This project is a e-zine that discusses body image issues and the inconsistency in how society presents the human body, both female and male alike. Its purpose is to help young women and men achieve a new perspective on these issues and gain a new sense of self. This project is a collection of interviews, screenshots, comics, and articles that serve as social commentary on this issue. This e-zine represents people from all backgrounds in order to provide articles and stories help individuals overcome body image issues that they may be going through.

Creating Spaces for Community Engagement through Documentary Film

Anna Zalik, Douglass Residential College and School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2012

Anna’s project included two main components: (1) five workshops with adolescents that included watching three documentary films chosen by the students and talking about the social issues behind them; (2) a community screening of the film chosen by the students followed by a group dialog in order to engage adolescents in social issues, to encourage action through discussion at the community screening, and to inspire adolescents to continue using documentary film as a tool for social change.

Media & Me

Princess N. Belton, Mason Gross School of Arts, Class of 2011

Princess’s goal was to make high school students aware of the impact that mass media images have on their social behaviors and self-identities. Through a series of five workshops and two film screenings, the Media & Me project addressed critical issues of gender and race. Princess’s project gave students the tools to think critically about popular culture and advertising and to understand their relations to sexism, eating disorders and gender violence.

Leadership through Mothering: A Documentary Film Project

Nancy Santucci, School of Arts and Social Sciences, Class of 2011

Nancy’s project was inspired by her relationship with her mother. In order to explore the idea of leadership through mothering, Nancy interviewed five women. She then edited the filmed interviews into short documentary film that portrays mothers as the leaders who shape the younger generations’ values, attitudes, believes and aspirations.

To Make Our Voices Heard: Women’s Leadership Inside the Classroom and Out

Annalise Leonelli, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2009

Annalise created a documentary film about the Institute for Women’s Leadership and its goals, presented through the experience of one IWL scholar and her social action project. The film conveys the importance of combining theory with practice within women’s leadership education. It intends to inspire IWL students and show how they are not limited to just reading, writing, and talking about issues in their communities. This film shows young women that they have the power to make change.

Found in Cyberspace: New Jersey Campus Feminist Activism and the Internet

D. Brielle Nalence, Douglass College, Class of 2009

The New Jersey Campus Feminist Activist Network (NJCFAN) is the brainchild of Leadership Scholar Brielle Nalence, who saw a lack of community among the state’s feminist groups. She harnessed the trend of Internet-facilitated communication among young adults to create the Network. The website, featuring a blog, forum, events page, directory and more, is a virtual space for social networking among feminists at New Jersey’s colleges and universities, where emerging activists can form coalitions, facilitate communication, and bring important social issues to the forefront of social action and leadership.

Internships: A Young Women’s Guide to Success

Fabiola Tony, Douglass College, Class of 2009

Fabiola believed that if young women had a comprehensive, attractive, and convincing resource for internships at their disposal, more women would participate in this invaluable experience earlier in their undergraduate education. She created both a paperback manual and a CD-rom, and divided her project into the subject areas of Internships, Mentoring, Networking, Statistics on Women and Work, Interview Do’s and Don’ts, sample resumes, and a directory of potential, women-centered internship placements. This project features transcribed interviews with words of wisdom from women professionals and students, and will be an asset in young women’s search for the perfect internship.

"Synthesis: A New Age in Activism": A Documentary Video

Heesun Cho, Douglass College, Class of 2007

The documentary was created to address the issues of a chaotic post 9/11 America, especially from the perspective of Rutgers University. The purpose of this documentary is to highlight the initiatives of student leaders and to portray how their efforts have brought about a new age in activism. The documentary video also highlights the institutions that provided the support to make their initiatives possible.

Media Mavens: Analyzing Women in Media

Whitney Pennington, Douglass College, Class of 2007

As a part of the IWL Leadership Scholars High School Certificate Program, Whitney will present an intensive workshop on media literacy in April 2007. Through the development of a workshop, Whitney will guide girls in the program to learn the basic principles of medial literacy (the ability to access, analyze, evaluate and create media messages) and the ways in which to apply what they have learned to their daily activities. The workshop will include the screening of a video, dissection of advertisements, and relation of media literacy concepts to broader media through discussion.

Restructuring Storytelling: Cognition, Art, Film and the Female Protagonist

Tiffany Slotwinski, Douglass College, Class of 2007

Interdisciplinary in nature, this scholar’s project created an interactive narrative environment using media, cognitive science, computer science, philosophy and art in an effort to fundamentally alter the female experience. It served as a springboard for the subsequent “adventure” wherein the subject deconstructs and reconstructs her notion of subjective experience in the larger tradition of storytelling, thereby validating her point of view beyond the project itself.

Ghosts in the Media: The Invisibility of South Asians in American Television and Film

Nina Raja, Douglass College, Class of 2006

Seeking to raise awareness about the stereotypes of South Asians in the media, this scholar created a multimedia presentation that addresses the issues of invisibility and misrepresentation in the mainstream media. The ultimate goal of the presentation was to introduce a new form of communication into the dialogue about racial stereotypes.

The Douglass Pine

Jaime Valora, Douglass College, Class of 2006

After being dissatisfied with campus news coverage of Douglass events and organizations, this scholar reestablished the Douglass Pine newspaper in order to highlight how the college educates and empowers its women students. The first issue, published in December 2005, was written entirely by Douglass students and was devoted to events and news at the college.

The Warren Hills 'Zine Project

Alexis Finc, Douglass College, Class of 2004

This IWL Scholar developed a six-week teen feminist writing course, that culminated in a publication produced by those in the group. She taught the course at her former high school, Warren Hills Regional, in Warren County. Topics covered included pop culture, feminism, personal identity, and culminated in the creation of a ‘zine, which is an underground magazine, handmade, cut and pasted, photocopied and uniquely creative.

“A Third Eye Opening”: Films to Evoke Social Change

Ingrid Dahl, Douglass College, Class of 2002

This black and white, silent film represents social situations from the vantage point of youth culture. The film explores the experiences of mixed race men and women, gender roles, and beauty/body image for women.

Women in Music: Extending the Audience

Mary Simonson, Rutgers College, Class of 2001

This project involved the writing and dissemination of a syllabus on women and music for high school students.


Weary: The Mental Health of Black Women

Miracle Matthews, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Miracle Matthews developed a website,, to address the mental health disparities that Black women face in the United States. Through surveying her community, conducting a photoshoot, and collecting real stories of Black women and their mental health journeys, Miracle cultivated an online space dedicated to supporting Black women’s mental health. The aim of her website is to reduce stigmas surrounding seeking mental healthcare within the Black community, highlights the importance of culturally competent care and healthcare specialists of color, and generates conversations around mental health. View Presentation

Ambition: Platforming Students and Conversations

Cassandra Vega, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Cassandra Vega conducted a series of interviews with women and non-binary Rutgers student leaders of color to highlight their involvement in leadership and social change. “Ambition” addresses representation for Rutgers students of color on campus and starts conversations about the intersectionality of issues. From these interviews, she created the Instagram account, ambition.iwl, to spotlight their leadership and perspectives on their changemaking work. View Presentation

Body and Mind: A Working Storybook of Asian American Women Student Voices

Johanne Vidola, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023
Peristera Vikatos, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Johanne Vidola and Peristera Vikatos curated the digital zine, “Body and Mind: A Working Storybook of Asian American Female and Non-Binary Student Voices”. “Body and Mind” addresses the lack of accurate, nuanced representation of Asian American women and non-binary people’s stories in American media and arts. It also serves to provide these creators with a platform to use their voices and share their perspectives through a creative lens and through the art of storytelling. This zine also helps build an online community for these artists and creators to facilitate conversation and discourse and build empowerment. View Presentation

Diaspora: Anti-Asian Hate Zine

June Park, Rutgers Business School, Class of 2022

June Park produced a zine to bring awareness to Asian communities’ issues and reflect on the rise of hate crimes against the Asian American community during the COVID-19 pandemic. She included articles on topics such as colorism in communities, fetishization of Asian American women, and the range of the Asian American identity. Through this magazine, June amplified Asian American voices while advocating for the end of violence and bigotry to her community. View Presentation

Women Building Women: Educating and Raising Consciousness Among Black Women and Girls

Sierra Winder, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2022

Sierra Winder explored the ways in which Black women empower themselves and reject stereotypes that are forced upon them by society. She utilized a survey to ask Black women, “What is something you know now that you wish you would have known earlier in your life?”. Through their responses, Sierra developed a blueprint for a program, Women Building Women. This program would provide Black girls the tools for self-love and empowerment. View Presentation

Together, Unequal: Exploring the Racism and Inequity in the South Orange-Maplewood School District

Carson Cummins, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2021

Carson Cummins created a four-episode podcast series that takes a behind-the-scenes look at two supposedly diverse and progressive towns in northern New Jersey, South Orange and Maplewood. Listeners will come to understand that diversity is no more than a façade, particularly when viewed through the South Orange-Maplewood School District (SOMSD). The final episode is an audio toolkit for organizers and educators around the country on how to build community movements that target the race and class-based educational opportunity gaps in their school districts. View Presentation

Black in Denial: Identifying What it means to Be Dominican

Delilah Garcia, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2018

Through research, Delilah looked at how Black/African/Haitian culture is prevalent and integrated in Dominican culture and identity. Delilah conducted a focus group with Dominican student members of SED here at Rutgers University to analyze how history and exterior factors has created resentment within the Dominican community to deny their African ancestry. View Presentation. 

Fighting to be Noticed: Exploring the Gendered Racial Microaggressions Affecting Women of The African Diaspora

Ayana Jihad, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2018

Ayana created a short film that shares the narratives of six black college women attending Rutgers University, New Brunswick campus. The film was produced to educate others about the realm of higher education and the gendered racial micro aggressions that are the hidden barriers that are impeding the success of the black college women. View Presentation

Resurgence: Healing by Loving Blackness

Jamila Daniel, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2018

Jamila did her project on creating a day of healing for black students on campus based heavily on bell hook's Yearning: Race Gender and Cultural Politics. Jamila planned this holistic, multi-layered day bringing together undergraduates and high school students through yoga, Zumba, live music, and culturally appropriate vegan food. View Presentation

#MuslimGirlSpeak: Narratives from Post-9/11 Muslim American Women

Najeeha (Gia) Farooqi, Rutgers Business School, Class of 2017

Gia Farooqi’s social action project created an opportunity for young Muslim American women to express themselves beyond the stereotypes created by the anti-Muslim climate in the U.S. Gia organized an open mic hosted in partnership with the Muslim Writers Collective to showcase the work of Muslim American women are doing in their communities and allow a platform for Muslim women to speak about how nationalism, religiosity, and gender politics have shaped their identities. View Presentation.

Creating Curricular Strategies for 21st Century Life Skills and Success in the Islamic Center of Old Bridge (ICOB) Academy

Juhi Farooqui, School of Arts and Science and Douglass Residential College, Class of 2016

Juhi Farooqui worked with the Islamic Society of Old Bridge Academy (ICOB), a small, private Islamic elementary school for her project. This work was conducted with the teachers to help create social-emotional learning –inspired curricular strategies for addressing some of the needs of the students. The results include a feelings-based, problem-solving approach rooted in understanding and expressing emotions as a basis for problem solving, a religious diversity education plan promoting tolerance and understanding, as well as an ICOB Grads Club allowing alumnae to return to a familiar space to discuss their new challenges and experiences. View Presentation.

The Malala Project: A Workshop for the Formation of Young Women Activists

Fullamusu Bangura, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015

Fullamusu Bangura worked with The Malala Project in a workshop ultimately aimed at creating spaces for visibility and to empower young women of color with the tools to become revolutionary activists in their communities. Named after the youth activist Malala Yousafzai, the project works to shift the activist atmosphere from an elitist male and female women dominated space to one that gives power back to youth, particularly young women of color through radical multicultural education and discussions centered on dismantling power structures. View Presentation.

Decolonizing the Queer/Queering the Asian

Hima Sathian, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2015

For this project, Hima Sathian focused on the lack of visibility for queer women in South Asia. She held a conference which included a film screening, a panel event, and a photo campaign with the help of the Center for Social Justice and South Asian cultural organizations at Rutgers University. This project aims to actively involve the South Asian community at Rutgers with opening up dialogue on South Asian queerness.

Project Rabia: Inspiring Muslim Adolescent Girls to Overcome Challenges and Achieve their Dreams

Hana Hamdi, School of Engineering/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2014
Project Rabia was a workshop series designed to support adolescent Muslim-American girls as they navigate the challenges of identity and self-esteem that are associated with adolescence. There were 35 girls from ages 11 – 17 that participated in five workshops that took place twice a month from October to December of 2013. Each workshop was themed around an issue that Muslim Adolescent girls face or a coping strategy. View Presentation.

AGAPE Small Groups: A Partnership with Chinese Christian Church of NJ

Hilary Shui, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2012

Hilary worked with “AGAPE Small Groups” to bring high school girls together on a monthly basis to explore common struggles within the Asian-American Christian community.

Women Unchained. Raising Awareness about Issues Concerning the Agunah and Get Refusal in the Jewish Community

Leora Cohen, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011

Leora’s project aims at educating the Rutgers community about the problem of get refusal and the situation of the women who become agunot because of it. Through the screening of a documentary film and panel discussions featuring the filmmaker and legal experts, this project addressed the questions of how laws concerning marriage and divorce within the Jewish community came into being and what can be done by people both within and external to the Jewish community in order to assist women and families suffering from instances of get refusal.

The Real Women of Abraham

Kira O’Brien, Douglass College, Class of 2009

The Real Women of Abraham is designed as a reading circle for Jewish and Muslim women to discuss common issues of sexuality and sexual identity across conflict lines. Lead by Douglass College senior and Leadership Scholar Kira O’Brien, eight women will come together to read short stories by female authors in order to find commonalities in their culture’s construction of sexual identity. This project addresses the importance of creating safe, women-centered spaces for dialogue, and explores how such efforts affect the large issue of cross-culture conflicts. The research gathered from these Spring semester reading groups will be compiled into a paper entitled “Eve’s Rib” for the Middle Eastern Studies department.

Translating Brazilian Women’s Identity in the Newark, New Jersey Space: A Critical Analysis on Immigration, Sex Politics and Religion

Erika Vela, Rutgers College, Class of 2007

To understand Brazilian immigrant gender identity, Brazilian women’s identity within their cultures and the way gender is defined by their religion in the Newark space is identified and addressed through academic research and interviews in both English and Portuguese. This interdisciplinary research paper serves as a useful tool to advance the promotion of a better understanding of Latina immigrant women both in the United States and Brazil.

Little Pink Book: Pamphlet on Feminism for Black and Latina Girls

Namibia Muid, Douglass College, Class of 2005

Written with a strong hip hop influence, the Little Pink Book’s purpose is to expose adolescent Black and Latina women to feminist issues using real life examples and resources. Once finalized, the Little Pink Book will be distributed to public high schools and teen health programs in the New Brunswick community.

The Middle Eastern Myths Project – “Iran: Beyond the Veil”

Maryam Moheb, Douglass College, Class of 2004

The goal of the Middle Eastern Myths Project was to challenge the image of Middle Eastern women propagated by the media in the aftermath of 9/11, and provide an opportunity for students to learn about the current status of and issues facing women in this region of the world. The project resulted in the presentation of a talk given by Prof. Paul Sprachman entitled “Iran: Beyond the Veil.”

Breaking the Chains: A Black Women’s Empowerment Conference

Ikhlas Rashid, Douglass College, Class of 2003

This one-day Black women’s empowerment conference was held at Rutgers University in the spring of 2003. The conference included an opening seminar, six workshops, and a closing reception. Seminar topics included self-love and identity, networking and leadership, politics and community involvement, money management, health, and spirituality. The vision of the conference was to create a strong network among black women, to share resources and build community.

Conversasian: A Pan-Asian Newspaper at Rutgers

Allyson Mangalonzo, Douglass College, Class of 2002

Conversasian, Rutgers University’s first pan-Asian newspaper, grew out of this social action project. This publication serves as a unique media forum dedicated to serving the needs of the rapidly growing Asian American student community on campus, and aims to help unify that community. This Scholar, who served as executive editor of the newspaper, won a Human Dignity Award for promoting diversity awareness on campus through this publication.

Black Women’s Leadership Conference at Rutgers University

Alakee Bethea, Douglass College, Class of 2001

This project laid the seeds for a Black Women’s Leadership Conference to address the needs of black women at Rutgers University, and build unity around activism and leadership issues. Not deposited in the Archives.

Book on New Jersey Urban Latino and African American High School Students

Kristy Perez, Douglass College, Class of 2001

Entitled Listen, Learn, and Teach: The Real Voices of Urban Latino and African American Youth in New Jersey, this book is a compilation of creative writings by successful urban Latino and African American high school students in New Jersey. Completed in Spring 2001 by Kristy Perez, it is not yet in the Archives. The editor is seeking a publisher.


Black Women’s Experiences at NYC Big Law Firms

Faith Wilson, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2024

For her social action project, Faith interviewed three Black women who are attorneys in Big Law. Diversified by one partner and two ex-Big Law employees, she gathered a sense of the factors conducive and inconducive to retention rates of Black women. She aimed to identify how the dual discrimination of Black women affected their attempts at long-term careers in Big Law within New York City. View Presentation

Breaking Narratives: Muslim Women Excellence in the Workplace

Libah Farooqi, Rutgers Business School, Class of 2024
Dilrooh Israil, School of Arts and Sciences/Honors Program, Class of 2024
Samahal Waseem, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2025

Libah, Dilrooh, and Samahal addressed the lack of awareness surrounding Muslim women’s experiences in the workplace by giving Muslim women a platform to tell their stories. They hosted the Breaking Narratives Gala, which included a speaker panel, dinner, and networking circles. This Gala served as a storytelling space for the panelists as well as a space for up-and-coming undergraduate Muslim women to ask questions and seek support. View Presentation

The Women Who Run Rutgers

Sheaa Amin, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2023

Sheaa Amin developed a policy report to advocate for women support staff workers at Rutgers and their experiences with gender-discrimination at work. She interviewed women workers anonymously, providing them a platform to speak up about their workplaces and identify solutions to workplace issues. With assistance from the Center for Women and Work, interviews were compiled into a formal policy report that was presented to Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) in December 2022. This report will be shown to university leadership through the RUSA University Affairs committee. View Presentation

From Finances to Healthcare Pay: Narrowing the Gender Pay Gap

Wen Shao, Douglass Residential College/School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2022

Wen Shao organized and facilitated a financial literacy and leadership workshop for undergraduate women in healthcare. This workshop explored the gender wage gap and tools women need to combat the wage gap, particularly in the healthcare industry. This workshop also taught feminist leadership methods to participants in order to help women further gender equity within their fields. View Presentation

Women’s Internship Guide for Empowerment

Brenda Montecinos, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020

Brenda Montecinos’ social action project was developed as a guide to to help undergraduate women navigate the internship world. Brenda developed an internship Master List published by the BOLD Center that provided paid internship opportunities, and included other avenues to secure funding. The project hosted a panel in partnership with the BOLD Center, which showed the experiences of women and provided networking opportunities. View Presentation

Working On It: A Look into the Gendered Experience of the American Workplace

Amarachi Chukwuma, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020
Madelyn Winkler, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2020

 Amarachi and Madelyn planned and conducted a workshop about financial negotiation and self-advocacy relating to the American Wage Gap. Their project also included a 3-episode podcast series about the gendered experience of the American workplace across various fields. The research-based, educational podcast series covered gender discrimination, gender composition, and overall experiences for women and gender minorities in male vs. female dominated industries. The workshop and podcasts provided participants with the tools to address and combat gender issues the in the workplace, and encouraged them to be allies for others. View Presentation

The Social Costs to Women Working in the Fast Fashion Industry

Anastasia Bellisari, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences/Douglass Residential College, Class of 2019

Anastasia Bellisari planned and implemented an event to create awareness and discussion about why ethical consumerism is a feminist issue at Rutgers University. The goal of her project was to give students and faculty a better understanding of where clothing comes from and the ethical issues surrounding industry. Her event featured a screening of “The True Cost,” a documentary that focuses on clothing, who makes them, and the impact that the clothing industry has on the world. Following the viewing, there was a panel discussion with faculty and students and a clothes swap. View Presentation

Black Women Leaders Navigating Work

Kai Durant, School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program/ Douglass Residential College, Class of 2018

Kai focused on the experiences of African American women and work. The core mission of her project was to connect current professional black women with undergraduate students to network and share their experiences. The first phase of the project consist of interviewing members of the African American community understand the current obstacles and struggles they face as black women in work. The second phase of the project consisted with a roundtable discussion on campus with a panel of current professional black women. This panel gave the opportunity for college students to connect and network with professional black women.

Resume Writing and Business Etiquette Workshop for Women

Tiffany Stewart, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2011

The main goal of this project was to serve women of the working poor population in Paterson, New Jersey. Ms. Stewart successfully organized a one-day workshop held in Paterson in November 2009, which targeted female recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or other forms of public assistance. The goal of the workshop was to give each participant self-confidence, job seeking skills, and interview preparation. View Presentation.

Business Etiquette Workshop

Ruchi Pandya, School of Arts and Sciences, Class of 2008

This scholar created a business etiquette workshop to be implemented as part of the IWL High School Leadership Program curriculum. Addressing the lack of resources that young, urban females receive, Ruchi wanted to provide these high school students with business etiquette skills, so that they would have ample time to develop them. She created a resource booklet to hand out in her workshop and planned activities to address basic business etiquette– handshaking and introductions, dining etiquette, dressing for success, non-verbal communication and self-presentation.

Women & The Law: An Insight On the Future

Karina F. Martinez, School of Arts and Sciences, Douglass Residential College, Class of 2008

This scholar put together a panel of female lawyers, who practice different types of law ranging from criminal law to public law, to demonstrate their lifestyles and career paths. Through her panel, Karina worked to combat the stigma that female lawyers are unable to juggle family and career. Using her panelists as role models, Karina worked to give female students of color a vision of lawyers that demonstrates diversity in the field of law and in career paths.

Life after Rutgers: Career Expectations and Health Care Realities Symposium

Viktoriya Davydan, Douglass College, Class of 2007
Christie Irizarry, Douglass College, Class of 2008

In December of 2006, Viktoriya and Christie held a day-long symposium for Rutgers students entitled, “Life after Rutgers: Health Care Realities and Career Expectations.” The symposium included two panels and a workshop aimed to educate Rutgers University students on health care options and to adjust their career expectations for life after graduation in the workforce.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Raising Awareness Among Students and Corporate Women

Renu Singh, Douglass College, Class of 2006

The “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” panel discussion was held December 2005 as part of the WINGS (Women Investing in and Guiding Students) Mentoring Program. The panel included speakers from Rutgers University, JPMorganChase, Northrup Grumman Electronic Systems, and Girls Incorporated. More than fifty students and corporate women attended the event, which focused on women in the workforce.

SCALES: Seeing Creativity Awaken Life Energy Seminars

Kara Grieco, Douglass College, Class of 2004

This relaxation seminar for busy professional women emphasized the importance of self-care. Described as “an evening dedicated to helping professional women create balanced lifestyles,” it included workshops on dance/movement, art, and journal writing, taught by professionals in each of these three areas.

Backpack to Briefcase: A Conference for Young Women Entering the Workforce

Jaclyn Mareno, Douglass College, Class of 2004

This half-day conference on women and the workplace was held in February 2004 at Douglass College, with the goal of preparing college women to enter the workplace. It included three workshops: (1) Marketing Yourself – resume and cover letter writing, interviewing tips; (2) Compensation and Rewards – negotiating salaries and investing your money; and (3) Know Your Rights – workplace laws, including sexual harassment laws and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

Women in Neuroscience: An Interview Project

Tejal Mehta, Rutgers College, Class of 2003

This project involved a set of four interviews conducted with women professionals in neuroscience. Neuroscience is a field dominated by males, and women neuroscientists face gender barriers that prevent them from moving ahead in the profession. The interviews share common themes expressed by these women scientists.

Savvy Money Management: A Conference for Women and Financial Independence

Megan Murphy, Douglass College, Class of 2002

This one-day conference for college women on managing money and financial independence was offered at Douglass College in the spring of 2002, and has since been incorporated as an annual offering by the college. The conference included workshops on women and investing, credit awareness, and building blocks for career success.

Collapsing the Gap, Expanding the Possibilities: Gender Differences in Career and Family Expectations of Rutgers University Students

Edna Ishayik, Douglass College, Class of 2001

This research project measured college seniors’ attitudes toward future career and family choices. It was based on a survey that this Scholar conducted with graduating female and male Rutgers students about their expectations about work and family in their future lives.

My Future: A Webpage Project

Fumi Sugo, Douglass College, Class of 2001

This social action project involved the creation of a web page on working women who are leaders in their fields in Japan for high school and college-age women in Japan. The goal was to encourage young women in Japan to enter the workplace, and aim high.


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