Meet the Fellows!

The Yale Alumni Nonprofit Alliance (YANA) and Dwight Hall at Yale are pleased to share the recipients of this year’s and past YANA-Dwight Hall Summer Fellowship.

Nathan Kim '22

Nathan Kim '22

Summer 2021 Fellow

I’m a rising senior at Yale College double majoring in Ethnicity, Race, & Migration as well as Statistics & Data Science. I’m interested in using quantitative methods and technical skills critically for a more equitable, just, and less oppressive future. On campus, I’ve been on the board of the Asian American Students Alliance and the Korean American Students at Yale, and was a staffer for the Asian American Cultural Center this past year. I’ve previously worked with New Haven nonprofit LEAP through the Dwight Hall Urban Fellowship, and I currently create graphics and analyses with nonprofit DataHaven.
Project description: This summer I’m working with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a counter-cartography group begun in San Francisco that uses maps to fight predatory housing and capitalist speculation across the country. I’m specifically working for the EvictorBook project of AEMP, which tries to make obfuscated property relations between landlords and evictors visible for tenants and housing organizers. This involves linking mailing addresses, court files, and so on to look past one-person shell companies and reveal which entities are responsible for urban displacement.
Charlie Tran '22

Charlie Tran '22

Summer 2021 Fellow

Hi! My name is Charlie Tran and I’m a rising senior in Pierson College from Honolulu, Hawai’i. I’m majoring in the History of Science and Medicine (HSHM), in the Global Health Scholars program, and a 5-year BA/MPH candidate in Social & Behavioral Sciences. After I complete the MPH, I hope to work for a year or two before applying to medical school. I’m passionate about health equity and social justice and believe that the two go hand-in-hand. Through my academics and career, I aim to make quality and effective healthcare accessible for all, but especially marginalized, peoples. Outside of my career interests, I enjoy trying new restaurants around New Haven and making various caffeinated drinks at home.

 

Project Description: This summer, I’m working with Fair Haven Community Health Care as an intern with the Care Coordination team. Care coordination includes a variety of support services to bridge any gaps between social and medical needs of patients. One of my projects includes piloting social determinants of health screenings in clinic waiting rooms to streamline appointments and identify opportunities to connect patients with other community resources. Another project includes implementing and evaluating the efficacy of preemptive care coordination efforts to reduce disease burden and related costs of emergency medical needs. Over the course of the summer, I aim to learn more about how community clinics operate to ensure high-quality service while balancing expenses and logistics to continue offering services.

Jose Garcia '22

Jose Garcia '22

Summer 2021 Fellow

 I’m a rising senior in Pierson College from Orlando, Florida. At Yale, I study Ethnicity, Race, & Migration and Education Studies. I am an aspiring public interest child advocate. I hope to wield public interest law in service to pursuits of educational justice, protecting every children’s right to an education that is free of discrimination. I envision not only repairing the harms schooling institutions inflict disproportionately on BIPOC students but foregrounding the rights and voices of youth to transform these systems and achieve equitable alternatives. As an attorney practicing public interest children’s advocacy, I envision supporting youth through free legal services such as representing students at school disciplinary hearings, supporting students with disabilities at the district and state level, and providing legal writing and research skills to advance justice-impacted children and families’ vision for more equitable systems. Outside of my career and academic interests, I enjoy cooking and walking around the city of New Haven!
Project Description
This summer, I am interning at the New Haven Office of the Federal Public Defenders. Under the Federal Defenders’ Mitigation Specialist, I am primarily responsible for drafting “social histories” of clients— interview reports that contextualize the root causes of a client’s charge. The social histories are accompanied by further interviews conducted with a client’s network of kin as well as record digests that index a client’s educational and medical history. Once complete, social history materials are compiled into a sentencing memorandum utilized in support of the client’s case. Reviewed by judges in the federal courts and in the attorney’s building of the case, the memos are intended to either wholly interrupt or dramatically reduce a client’s incarceration sentence.
Chie Xu '22

Chie Xu '22

Summer 2021 Fellow

Chie is a rising senior in the Humanities major from Rochester, NY. This past year, Chie
took a leave of absence to work in investigations with the Orleans Public Defenders, and to
work in curatorial with the Jewish Museum in New York. On campus, Chie was formerly the
director of Hemispheres, a free education program in professional skills and international
relations for New Haven public high school students. She is also passionate about literature
and the arts; prior to her leave of absence, she was a first violinist in the Yale Symphony
Orchestra, co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Literary Translation, managing editor of the
Yale Herald, and a research assistant for the Yale Translation Initiative. In her spare time,
Chie is a film photographer and aspiring outdoorist.

This upcoming summer, Chie is excited to continue her role at the Orleans Public
Defenders with the support of the YANA-Dwight Hall Fellowship. In addition to working on
investigations for individual cases, she will be working on the Surveillance Database
Project. The project seeks to outline processes for collecting video surveillance footage
from various sources in the community before they are erased. Chie takes a particular
interest in the human impact of information systems, and plans on writing her thesis on the
inequalities in criminal justice record-keeping systems based on her work at OPD.

Grace Jin '20

Grace Jin '20

Summer 2020 Fellow

As a premedical student and first-generation immigrant, Grace majored in Global Affairs to explore the intersection of global health with policy and international relations. To understand social determinants of health and policies that reinforce health disparities, she saw a need to combine biological and social sciences in her academic studies before becoming a physician. Through coursework in science, statistics, writing and policy, Grace developed skills to contribute to clinical research, volunteer as an EMT and at the HAVEN free clinic for immigrant and uninsured patients, as well as conduct global health fieldwork. Grace’s major at Yale has fueled her goal to serve patients, especially in immigrant and marginalized communities, and advocate evidence-based policies for health equity.

Grace aspires to become an emergency medicine physician and care for all patients who come to the hospital. In addition to clinical practice, she aims to advocate fiercely for preventive primary care and work to reform the health system so that all patients can get the care they need when they need it, rather than end up in the ER for lack of insurance or immigration status. In the long-term, Grace plans to stay engaged in research and evidence generation, while collaborating with government, policy organizations, and international NGOs. More immediately, Grace will spend the next two years conducting independent public health research in China on a Fulbright scholarship, and pursuing a Master’s in global health governance at the Graduate Institute Geneva before attending medical school to begin her clinical training.

Fellowship Project

Grace will be working with GetUsPPE, a volunteer coalition founded by ER physicians to address the COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortage crisis, as their Blog lead on the Marketing/Communications team. As the organization has quickly grown to become the largest national database of need for PPE, Grace will work with the founding physicians and project teams to launch a new blog, with main goals of increasing GetUsPPE visibility, establishing thought leadership, and mobilizing the public for government advocacy.

This physician-led grassroots coalition has built the most comprehensive public national database for need identification and relief distribution. As of April 16, nearly 7,500 requests have come in from hospitals, nursing facilities and home health aid all over the country.  A majority of institutions, especially in hard-hit states, reported that most of their PPE would run out within the next week or two. By robustly assessing national demand, GetUsPPE.org can develop internal and partnered solutions to equitably match and deliver donated supply. As of April 13, around 150,000 pieces of PPE have been delivered to healthcare personnel in California, 130,000 pieces in Michigan, and 45,000 in Baltimore.  The organization is now continuing outreach to health workers in underrepresented/marginalized communities, building the solution with transferability to local or state government in mind, and working to resolve the PPE shortage as quickly as possible.

Grace is excited about working with GetUsPPE because it is an urgent, united effort, a targeted, data-driven solution, and an advocacy leader. She feels her small contribution of a blog will aim to amplify medical workers’ voices and push for government action, while expanding reach in communities that face disproportionate shortages. Her objectives for the blog are increasing GetUsPPE visibility, strengthening credibility and thought leadership, and mobilizing advocacy. 

Minh Vu '20

Minh Vu '20

Summer 2020 Fellow

With a focus in Afro-Asian aesthetics and intimacies in contemporary literature, Minh is grounded in a politics of relationality and solidarity. He firmly believes that the humanities—in particular the disciplinary schools of critical ethnic studies, gender studies, and ethnic literatures—serves as a critical space of intervention that illuminates the numerous ways people are (dis)connected. Understanding these gaps and overlaps between people of color, gender minorities, immigrants and refugees, incarcerated populations, and other marginalized communities allows us to imagine possibilities of coalition and collectivity. Majoring in English and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies has given Minh the practical and theoretical tools to conduct a relational politics within his scholarship, community organizing, and everyday life.

Next year, Minh will be continuing at Yale through its Ph.D. program in American Studies. His goal is to build a methodological repertoire in critical ethnic studies and the public humanities, then serve as a Teaching Fellow for both Yale students at the College and the Yale Prison Education Initiative. Afterwards, he plans to complete his dissertation on Afro-Asian intimacies and literatures. 

Fellowship Project

Minh plans to continue his work (remotely) as a Fellow for the Yale Prison Education Initiative (YPEI) through a series of projects geared towards student involvement and program development. In particular, he hopes to pursue two main projects in furthering the incarcerated students’ continued scholarly engagement: (1) co-designing a creative writing workshop and (2) developing and augmenting the students’ recently cancelled Introduction to Ethnicity, Race, and Migration (ER&M) seminar. With these two projects, Minh is concerned with both the present and future—allowing students to continue their current scholarship, which was formally suspended due to COVID-19, while setting up the institutional scaffolding for them to finish their coursework once in-person visitation is permitted.

As a Fellow for YPEI this summer, Minh seeks to establish himself as a constant and reliable point of contact for the students through a robust series of remote programming. In this position, he will be responding to the students’ direct needs which they have voiced—i.e., continuing their academic programming through a snail mail-structured creative writing workshop and planning for future coursework and academic opportunities.

Through letter-writing with the YPEI students, Minh will be focused on two simultaneous projects: (1) the creative writing workshop and (2) future academic coursework and opportunities. The Creative Writing Workshop will involve a condensed course packet, created by a guest lecturer or artist, to send the students as a mini-lesson on any genre within creative writing. The program will also entail workshopping with rounds of edits, feedback, as well as comments, which the students can then implement and send back. Ultimately YPEI hopes to publish the students’ creative writings, either independently through a chapbook or through The Yale Literary Magazine. 

Minh will also be heavily emphasizing the development of the suspended ER&M class. He plans to extend the curriculum so that the YPEI students can experience a full semester’s range of ER&M once classes resume. Furthermore, Minh hopes to make ER&M a repeating feature of the students’ curriculum, necessitating the recruitment of professors from the humanities and social sciences departments to teach for future years.

Related to ER&M, Minh will also be working with current Yale faculty to conduct final coursework for the YPEI students related to COVID-19. As a summer project, the students will be developing a curriculum project or a final essay related to ER&M in order to “make a work that they want to see in the world, which they think the world needs to have.” Lastly, Minh plans to devise a master spreadsheet of conference, workshop, roundtable, and publication opportunities for the students to present and publish their work beyond the YPEI classroom with the goal of having their work placed in the larger academic community.

Mariko Rooks '21

Mariko Rooks '21

Summer 2020 Fellow

Mariko has wanted to enter the field of public health since her junior year of high school. Studying the history of science and medicine, particularly with a focus on the little-discussed roles that slavery and racial discrimination have played in producing both inequities and advances in today’s healthcare practices, has allowed her to locate current health disparities in her advocacy and organizing work. Double-majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration has allowed Mariko to ground her studies of health in third world and indigenous studies to produce a fuller theoretical understanding of systemic discrimination. Mariko is also an MPH candidate at the Yale School of Public Health in the combined BA/BS MPH program, which allows her to expand her applied public health classes to focus specifically on issues of discrimination and inequity in healthcare.

Mariko is interested in designing, evaluating, and providing support for community-based interventions that rectify disparities in healthcare access and treatment caused by demographic and socioeconomic marginalization.  Interventions of interest include those designed to alleviate the health effects of discrimination and trauma, to provide health education and healthy behavioral practices, and to teach health advocacy. In particular, Mariko is interested in careers that involve technical assistance provision, or linking community-based projects with resources and funding. 

Summer Fellowship Project

Mariko will be working under the guidance of Dr. Cheryl Grills ‘80 as an intern in the Psychology Applied Research Center at Loyola Marymount University (PARC@LMU). Mariko’s internship will involve data analysis, literature reviews/presentation assistance, and potential publication of conference papers pertaining to the California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP) Phase II, or the evaluation of CRDP.  The CRDP was developed in response to disparities that exist in mental health care for diverse populations. The central component of CRDP Phase II are the Implementation Pilot Projects (IPP) representing 5 priority populations (African American, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latino, Native American and LGBTQ communities). Thirty-five groups will implement Community-Defined Evidence Practices (CDEP) that provide culturally competent prevention and early intervention programming aimed at these target populations. Phase II focuses on strengthening and demonstrating the effectiveness of population-specific interventions and developing and reinforcing infrastructure to effectively deliver mental health services to impacted populations. As the statewide evaluator on this project, PARC@LMU will use a Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) integrative mixed methods multi-year approach to discern best practices associated with the implementation of culturally defined evidence practice as well as CRDP Phase II’s achievement of its objectives.

Ending health inequities through providing targeted mental health services and models of care for those impacted by marginalization-induced trauma is something that is important to Mariko at a personal and political level. CRDP is the first of its kind to do this work at a statewide scale, and the first with this kind of funding and evaluation and implementation support. Millions of dollars in funding have been awarded to community organizations to produce pilot initiatives that treat mental health problems in their target populations; this kind of statewide investment in community-driven programming is rather unheard of, and the ability to invest in Black, Asian/ Asian American, Native American, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ populations through the same grant is remarkable in scope.  This means that the results from the data on best practices and effects of community-designed interventions could serve as models for countless public health prevention and intervention programming at the private and state level in the future; additionally, the success of this initial work could possibly provide a model for community-specific care funding for years to come. Working on a project with both an incredible ability to help marginalized communities through ethical research practices that also helps her develop her practical data analysis skills and professional network in this particular field is Mariko’s main motivation for pursuing this work.

Trinh Truong ‘19

Trinh Truong ‘19

Summer 2019 Fellow

Combatting the deportation of asylum-seekers and immigrants in her hometown of Utica and the broader central New York region, an area where there are only a handful immigration attorneys within several hours’ drive. Trinh will be working closely with immigration advocacy groups in her community, particularly the Mohawk Valley Latino Association, to build a network of allies prepared to fight to keep families together and safe from deportation.

This summer, Trinh will be helping individuals and families to navigate immigration processes; organizing a rapid-response refugee and immigrant defense network; creating and distributing multilingual know-your-rights educational materials; and organizing local congregations to create sanctuary spaces. Trinh’s work will take her across the state to urban cities as well as the rural farms of New York dairy country.

Trinh’s summer fellowship continues the grassroots community organizing and advocacy that she started at the age of 13, when she planned her first protest against public education cuts. In high school, Trinh organized an educational justice movement in Upstate New York that focused on improving the quality of public education particularly for immigrant and refugee students. During high school she was appointed to the board of the Central New York chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the youngest person to hold such an honor.

In New Haven, Trinh maintained her commitment to refugee and immigrant rights. She tutored refugee and immigrant students with New Haven Reads and with Students of Salaam. Through the Schell Center at Yale Law School, she helped create and teach a human rights workshop for students at Wilbur Cross High School. She has also been involved with the Yale Refugee Project and served as an Urban Fellow at Dwight Hall with the Immigrant Bail Fund, researching ICE enforcement patterns, aggregating a pro se defense curriculum for asylum-seekers, and helping to bond immigrants out of pretrial detention. During her summers at Yale, she has interned at Alliance for Quality Education, the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center.

Trinh seeks to obtain a JD and PhD to continue advocating for better immigration law and policy, with the hope that one day she will be able to assist her community in central New York. In September, she will be moving to Cambodia to do transnational political advocacy with Southeast Asian refugees who have been deported in efforts to reunite them with their families.

Luisa Graden ‘20

Luisa Graden ‘20

Summer 2019 Fellow

Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, Federal Coordination and Compliance Section, which works to ensure that courts, correctional facilities, and law enforcement are adequately meeting the needs of non-English speakers, Washington, DC.

Hailing from the Idaho panhandle, Luisa is one of only 8% of the Yale undergraduate body from rural regions, which are often entrenched in poverty and lack many resources for upward mobility. Luisa has been working with New Haven Legal Assistance (NHLAA) since the fall of 2017, an experience that has since defined her life’s path. Working closely with undocumented woman victims of severe domestic violence, Luisa developed close relationships that enabled her to better detail the kinds of experiences of stalking, abuse, and assault her clients experience. Luisa has been a primary advocate in over 15 cases involving survivors of crimes such as human trafficking, childhood neglect, state torture, sexual abuse, gang violence, and kidnapping.

While working on these cases, Luisa identified several systemic challenges that impeded survivors from accessing the help they needed and took steps to improve them:  (1) The insurmountable barriers that non-English speakers face in the justice system, from their initial interactions with law enforcement to the inability to locate, or understand availability of, mental health care and other resources, the providers of which are unable to accommodate non-English speakers. Luisa drafted a bill that addresses weaknesses in law enforcement language access policies that she and her supervisor are intending to submit to the Connecticut General Assembly. She also founded the Yale Interpretation Network (YIN), an organization that provides pro-bono language services to local nonprofits with the goal of increasing the accessibility of resources to the immigrant community.  (2) The challenge for survivors who are often isolated from community resources that could ameliorate their circumstances, primarily due to a lack of easily-accessible information about available social and other services. Luisa thus created the Resource Access Mapping Project (RAMP), a free digital platform that connects service providers and marginalized populations to community resources. The app maps services like legal aid, English classes, and food pantries and provides information such as location and eligibility. As Director, she has grown RAMP into a 40-person community based organization (CBO) comprising students, faculty, and community members.

Luisa plans to pursue a career in public service, specifically related to family health and immigrant rights. She intends to pursue a joint JD/MSW as a means to combine the skills and empowerment she will gain from knowledge about the law with skills in community organizing and clinical services.

Nicole Chavez ‘19

Nicole Chavez ‘19

Summer 2019 Fellow

Make the Road CT, a nonprofit and organizing group that works alongside communities of low-income and working-class Latinos — many of whom are recent immigrants — in Bridgeport and Hartford.

On campus Nicole spent a significant amount of time focusing on community-building efforts and advocating for the needs of students within marginalized spaces on campus, including but not limited to: first-generation and low-income (FGLI) students, queer students, and students of color. Nicole also focused on communities outside of the Yale campus in New Haven through teaching an urban studies summer class in the Ulysses S. Grant Program for local New Haven elementary and middle school students. She also spent a summer in the Washington Office of Latin America (WOLA), a nonprofit think tank that advocates for human rights in Latin America, where she worked in the citizen security sector, conducting research on the conditions of political violence that is inciting the large rush of migration from Central America to the United States.

Nicole’s experiences and education at Yale have led her to focus on “the urgency of grass-roots coalition building” as a complement to advocating for more government resources and better policies. At Make the Road CT, Nicole will be working with the Madres Guerreras (i.e., Warrior Mothers) team to craft campaigns to advocate for better language equity services for both  students in special education programs and the non-English speaking parents of students. She is also hoping to work alongside the Puerto Rico Advocacy team to urge local governments to improve public housing resources for those displaced by Hurricane Maria and its aftermath, who are at chronic risk of homelessness.

Nicole hopes her summer internship will allow her to become more familiar with Connecticut’s history and stance on these aforementioned issues before heading to law school so she can further support the larger immigrant and refugee community. Nicole intends to obtain a JD/PhD to better understand the U.S.’s complicity, through military and economic policies, in current and rampant cases of corruption, impunity, and human rights violations in Latin America. She seeks to pursue a career in law to advocate for immigrants and ensure accountability for responsible parties.

Dasia Moore ‘18

Dasia Moore ‘18

Summer 2018 Fellow

The 2018 Fellowship was shared by two outstanding members of the Class of 2018:  Dasia Moore and Olivia Paschal. Dasia and Olivia, along with Michelle Peng, founded GoSouth, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting nonprofits in the South and providing pathways for top Northeastern college graduates to begin careers in these nonprofits.  Go South was founded in response to two challenges:

  1. The systemic lack of funding and human capital available to many of the South’s most dedicated public service organizations
  2. The large number of students at Northeastern colleges who do not consider the South when choosing where to live and work.

By providing Ivy League students with an exciting, financially viable, and clear way to pursue work in the South, they aim to simultaneously support nonprofits in their vital work and expand Yale students’ perspectives and life options in the South.

Dasia and Olivia launched Go South as a full-established nonprofit and developing relationships with local organizations to host summer interns.  With the support of the Fellowship, Go South placed their own fellows at four organizations in Savannah, GA in its inaugural year: Step Up Savannah, an anti-poverty nonprofit; Lutheran Services of Georgia, for refugee resettlement; the Georgia Historical Society; and the Chatham-Savannah Authority on Homelessness. Through Yale summer fellowship funding and generous in-kind donations from the Savannah community (including homestays and cultural outings), Go South was able to run approximately $40,000 worth of programming at no cost to partner nonprofits, and at little cost to the new organization. The City of Savannah recognized Go South’s impact by declaring July 19, 2018 Go South Day.

Olivia Paschal ‘18

Olivia Paschal ‘18

Summer 2018 Fellow

The 2018 Fellowship was shared by two outstanding members of the Class of 2018:  Dasia Moore and Olivia Paschal. Dasia and Olivia, along with Michelle Peng, founded GoSouth, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting nonprofits in the South and providing pathways for top Northeastern college graduates to begin careers in these nonprofits.  Go South was founded in response to two challenges:

  1. The systemic lack of funding and human capital available to many of the South’s most dedicated public service organizations
  2. The large number of students at Northeastern colleges who do not consider the South when choosing where to live and work.

By providing Ivy League students with an exciting, financially viable, and clear way to pursue work in the South, they aim to simultaneously support nonprofits in their vital work and expand Yale students’ perspectives and life options in the South.

Dasia and Olivia launched Go South as a full-established nonprofit and developing relationships with local organizations to host summer interns.  With the support of the Fellowship, Go South placed their own fellows at four organizations in Savannah, GA in its inaugural year: Step Up Savannah, an anti-poverty nonprofit; Lutheran Services of Georgia, for refugee resettlement; the Georgia Historical Society; and the Chatham-Savannah Authority on Homelessness. Through Yale summer fellowship funding and generous in-kind donations from the Savannah community (including homestays and cultural outings), Go South was able to run approximately $40,000 worth of programming at no cost to partner nonprofits, and at little cost to the new organization. The City of Savannah recognized Go South’s impact by declaring July 19, 2018 Go South Day.

Daniel Hamidi ‘18

Daniel Hamidi ‘18

Summer 2017 Fellow

Daniel interned for the Orleans Public Defenders, a nonprofit law office in New Orleans that provides legal representation to indigent clients in Louisiana.  Daniel has been active with several nonprofit and government organizations including the Esperanza Immigrant Rights Project, the UC Irvine legal clinic, OutRight Action International (formerly the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission), the office of a New Haven Alder and the Yale College Democrats.

Marwan Jalani ‘20

Marwan Jalani ‘20

Summer 2017 Fellow

Marwan split his summer between the Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Service (IRIS) in New Haven and a nonprofit based in Palo Alto, CA, raising awareness of immigration issues in schools and places of worship and assisting with the integration of new refugees.  In the past year, he has been involved with A Leg Even, the Yale Refugee Project, and DOX-BOX (a nonprofit that raises funds for Arab filmmakers).

Marwan presented at the YANA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion event in NYC on February 21, 2018.  This DEI event was awarded the AYA SIG Event of Excellence. A video of that program can be viewed on our YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/5XzUZhaBknY.