Joslin Award Recipients 2012

Jessica Biesel
Brandon James Broome
Amit Jain
Amanda Kozar
Araceli Mendez
Remy Fernandez-O'Brien
Tara Kane Prendergast
David P. Salsone
Emily C. Simmons

Jessica Biesel '12 is from Wyckoff, New Jersey and will be receiving an A.B. in Sociology with honors. Through her leadership of the Student Volunteers for the Samaritans of Rhode Island, Jessica has developed and brought to fruition programming and initiatives that were able to both create safe spaces and encourage broader awareness and dialogue, from a hotline, to teach-ins, to open mic events. Her work has also spanned other social concerns both on and off campus as she identified other topics and places where more dialogue is critical. For those who struggle with suicidal urges or are faced with the aftermath of the suicide of a loved one, the results can be isolating and devastating. In ways both subtle and obvious, she has made Brown a campus more receptive to discussing suicide specifically and mental health more generally. After graduation, Jessica will work as a staff sales engineer at Citrix.

Brandon James Broome '12 is from Charlotte, North Carolina and will be receiving an A.B. in Economics and Education Studies with an emphasis in Human Development. Brandon has taken full advantage of his liberal education in the form of personal academic enrichment as well as community involvement. He has had a number of mentoring roles within the Brown and Providence communities, including serving as a Meiklejohn advisor, minority student mentor through The Brotherhood, and a youth mentor through the John Hope Mentoring Program. He has been a leader of the Imani Jubliee worship community and, as a member of the University Disciplinary Council, demonstrated sound judgment, consideration, and ethical acumen. He was one of two students chosen by his peers to serve on the committee to select Brown’s 19th President. In the classroom, in the Chapel, in the dormitory, on and off campus, and through his friendships and the roles he chosen to shoulder, he made Brown a better place. After graduation, Brandon plans on spending a few years working in the consulting or financial sector and enrolling in a graduate business program.

Lorena Carmen Garcia '12 is from El Paso, Texas and will be receiving an A.B. in Ethnic Studies. Throughout her time at Brown, Lorena has held several positions at the Third World Center as Minority Peer Counselor (MPC), MPC Coordinator, MPC Friend, and member of the director search committee. Aside from her residential counseling responsibilities, Lorena has been an active member of the Brown and greater Providence queer communities as facilitator of The Next Thing and volunteer at Youth Pride and AIDS Care Ocean State. She has been an active member of the Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition, Brown Students for Financial Aid, and the Brown Women’s Rugby Team. Lorena is a Royce Fellowship recipient and a member of the staff of the Science Center. After graduation, Lorena is hoping to get EMT certified and live in Spain and Ireland to study their organ donation policies and programs. She will then continue her research as a medical student at Brown’s Alpert Medical School.

Amit Jain '12 is from St. Louis, Missouri and will be receiving an A.B. in Political Science and Economics. At Brown, Amit served as a Meikeljohn advisor, Minority Peer Counselor (MPC), MPC Coordinator, MPC Friend; co-director of the Badmaash Dance Company; co-coordinator of the John Hope Mentorship Program; co-founder of Brown for Financial Aid; staff writer for the Brown Noser and the Brown Daily Herald; and member of the Janus Forum. Amit was also a co-founder of the Learning Exchange, a program that connects students at Brown and Providence schools to teach math and science through excitement with music and animation. After graduation Amit hopes to join the Obama campaign as a member of the field team in Florida. After the election, he would like to work in education, preferably with a school or nonprofit. He then hopes to enter graduate or law school before pursuing education policy work.

Amanda Kozar '12 is from Springfield, Illinois and will be receiving an A.B. in Political Science. Amanda found a community at the Sarah Doyle Women Center early in her time at Brown, and for the next four years became an integral part of and leader at the Center. Jessica enhanced the impact and relevance of the Center’s programming, including engaging the larger Providence and Rhode Island communities. For example, in her junior year, she brought together scholars from across the state to discuss the future of women in US politics. Outside Sarah Doyle, she has served as an intern at RI NOW and in the office of Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts. For the past two summers she was an intern for United States Senator Richard Durbin. She has worked for New Moon Girls magazine and brought the magazine’s founder to speak to students from both Brown and Sophia Academy, a local middle school for girls from low-income families. After graduation, Amanda will be working in campaign politics.

Araceli Méndez '12 is from Laredo, Texas and will be receiving an A.B. in Ethnic Studies. Throughout her time at Brown, Araceli has worked tirelessly to help reenvision Greek Life and has been a driving force in mobilizing the community to translate ideas into action, both within her fraternity (Zeta Delta Xi) and as a leader and chair of the Greek Council. After years of dwindling interest, she challenged the Greek community to rethink the Rage on Wriston – creating Fratty at the Ratty. She pushed the Council to play a greater role in the accountability of member organizations, including reworking new member education programs and increasing the philanthropic profile of the community. With changes in Residential Life and Brown preparing to celebrate its 250th anniversary, she began an archive project on Greek history at Brown, recognizing that understanding the past is critical to charting a course to the future. Araceli was also a member of the Queer Alliance Dance Committee and Conexiones. After graduation, Araceli hopes to channel her passion for cultural preservation into a career in library sciences and archival management.

Remy Fernandez-O’Brien '12 is from Shutesbury, Massachusetts and will be receiving an A.B in Political Science. Remy’s leadership in the areas of dance, choreography, peer mentorship, and sexual assault education have touched and inspired the lives of hundreds of people on campus and in the greater Rhode Island communities. In addition to being a workshop facilitator for the Sexual Assault Peer Education Program (SAPE), he got involved in this issue at a University level, including serving on the Student-Staff Sexual Assault Advisory Board and the Campus Life Subcommittee on Alcohol and Other Drugs. He was a dancer and puppeteer with Big Nazo, an innovative organization that combines life-sized puppets with dance to bring joy to the Providence community. He was a teacher at the Woodlawn Community Center where he taught a Spanish language adult computer class to non-native English speakers. After graduation, Remy plans to attend the Headlong Performance Institute in the fall. He aspires to be a community organizer, choreographer, and humanitarian.

Tara Kane Prendergast '12.5 is from Crawford, Colorado and will be receiving an A.B. in History. Throughout her time at Brown, Tara has devoted herself to community service work. Tara has been a leader of the Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment (BRYTE) program, member of the University-Community Academic Advising Partnership (UCAAP) planning team, a Breaks Project leader, and has been engaged in homelessness outreach work. As a member of Brown for Providence, Tara helped organize student response to the tax and payment negotiations between Brown and the City. Tara also served as a Writing Fellow, eventually being selected by her peers to be the program’s Assistant Director. She was awarded a C.V. Starr Fellowship, spending a summer working at the International Institute of Rhode Island to strengthen BRYTE as a program. After graduation, Tara plans to continue doing refugee support work, eventually returning to school to earn a Ph.D. in human geography.

David P. Salsone '12.5  is from Oceanside, New York and will be receiving an A.B. in Economics. David has served as president of both the Resumed Undergraduate Students Association and the Brown University Student Veterans Society, participated in the Brown Outdoor Leadership Training (BOLT) program and Brown for Financial Aid, and coordinated fundraising efforts for The Mission – a non-profit organization committed to helping disabled veterans continue to serve their communities. David came to Brown after having served in the United States Navy, and sought out the opportunity to join the Mens’ Crew Team. After the NCAA determined he was ineligible, instead of leaving the team, David voluntarily took on a new role as tutor, advisor, and mentor, demonstrating the ideals of integrity and commitment. In all roles he consistently looked for broader systematic, cooperative solutions - forgoing short-term gains for long-term, sustainable change. After graduation, David plans to volunteer in a developing country for several months, and then return to the U.S. to begin his career as an analyst for Morgan Stanley’s Technology Investment Banking Division in Menlo Park, California.

Emily C. Simmons '12 is from Buffalo, New York and will be receiving an A.B. in Literatures and Cultures in English. Emily has been the driving force behind the vision, mission, and expansion of the Brown Women in Business Group, leading organizational process across a spectrum of areas, including visibility, financial planning, connections with alumnae, and expanding the group’s membership. Emily has also played crucial roles on Brown’s Ski Team. As a competitor, she was an Academic All-American for three years in a row, received conference honors for top-15 in the MacConnell Division, and received the team overall third place award at nationals in her sophomore year. When the Athletic Review Committee recommended skiing be discontinued, she was instrumental in leading the team’s response. She also brought her motivational talents to the sales and marketing teams in the Brown Daily Herald, lifting morale during a very challenging economic climate. Emily is starting in October as an associate consultant at Bain & Company in New York City, before pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School beginning in 2014.