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Distributed May 11, 2004
Contact Kristen Cole

2004 Starr Fellows
Fifteen Brown students receive fellowships for public service projects

Fifteen Brown undergraduates who have demonstrated a strong commitment to community service have been awarded C.V. Starr Fellowships to pursue service projects. They will receive up to $4,000 each to fund their work.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Fifteen Brown University undergraduates recently received C.V. Starr 4Fellowships to conduct individual service projects, more than half of which are located in Rhode Island. Brown’s fellows will receive up to $4,000 for each of their projects.

In Rhode Island, students will create a public mural, support the voter registration campaign for the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Union, create a library for a community-based education project, and a develop new sports program for a school.

Awarded annually by Brown since 1981, the fellowships are supported by a fund established by the C.V. Starr Foundation of New York City and administered by the Howard R. Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown. Throughout the year fellows will work together to deepen their knowledge of community work through conversations with local community members, faculty and alumni.

The Starr Foundation was established in 1955 by Cornelius Vander Starr, founder of the American International family of insurance and financial services companies now known as American International Group (AIG) Inc. Starr, a pioneer of globalization, set up his first insurance venture in Shanghai in 1919. He died in 1968 at the age of 76, leaving his estate to the foundation.

The 2004 Starr Fellows and their projects are:

  • Daniel Bassichis, of Newton, Mass. a concentrator in English and Africana studies and member of the Class of 2006, will document the experiences of incarcerated transgender people in several New York prison facilities. Bassichis will work with the Sylvia Rivera Law Project in New York City to publish a report examining the ways in which policy, politics and ideology target and criminalize transgender people.
  • Nicole Bazelais, of Brooklyn, N.Y., an Africana studies concentrator and member of the Class of 2006, will work with several practicing midwives to explore themes of class and race in their work and in the history of midwifery. Her study will culminate in a series of fictional narratives for publication.
  • Elizabeth Cespedes, of Roslindale, Mass., a visual arts and comparative literature concentrator and member of the Class of 2005, will work with New Urban Arts, a Providence youth arts studio, to create a public mural on Westminster Street. Cespedes will ask youth to research themes related to their community and translate those themes into a permanent piece of public art.
  • Nina Keough, of Brookline, Mass., a concentrator in public policy and Portuguese and Brazilian studies and member of the Class of 2006, will work with the Rhode Island Training School, the state’s juvenile detention facility, to pilot a debate program for incarcerated young women. Keough will work in partnership with the Rhode Island Debate League.
  • Alison Klayman, of Wynnewood, Pa., a history concentrator, and Julia Liu, of Watertown, Conn., a sociology concentrator, both members of the Class of 2006, will create a film exploring the evolution of women’s space at Brown and its impact on the experiences of female students over the last 40 years. The film will be used to spark conversation as part of the 30th anniversary of the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center.
  • Allison Lombardo, of Cranford, N.J., a political science concentrator and member of the Class of 2005, will work with researchers in the Bafokeng Nation of South Africa to investigate how students formulate expectations for their matriculation to post-secondary education and employment. Lombardo will explore the possibilities that high school students envision for their future.
  • Jeffrey Magid, of Cambridge, Mass., a concentrator in American civilization and member of the Class of 2005, will research the intersection of political theory and contemporary hip-hop culture. Magid’s work will culminate in an international conference of prominent hip-hop artists exploring the political implications of their work.
  • Katharine Moulding, of Northampton, Mass., a development studies concentrator and member of the Class of 2005, will work with the Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union in Providence to support their voter registration campaign. Moulding will integrate participatory education methods into the union’s work on elections.
  • Elisabeth Reinkordt, of Denton, Neb., a modern culture and media concentrator and member of the Class of 2005, will work to strengthen Brown Student Radio (88.1 FM) by increasing local community involvement in on-air and organizational roles at the station.
  • Erica Sagrans, of Belmont, Mass., a sociology concentrator and member of the Class of 2005, will create a library for the People’s School, a community-based education project in South Providence. This library will support the school’s mission to share resources and facilitate learning outside of traditional educational structures, as well as its ultimate goal of building community and working for progressive social change.
  • Melaina Spitzer, of Cambridge, Mass., a history concentrator and member of the Class of 2005, will evaluate the effectiveness of a peace-building program for Greek and Turkish Cypriot youth. Spitzer will interview past participants to determine the impact of the program on individual attitudes and on the development of diverse relationships. 
  • Arthi Sundaresh, of Moreland Hills, Ohio, a visual arts concentrator and member of the Class of 2005, will work with arts organizations in Rhode Island, New Mexico, New York, California and Oregon to create a collaborative electronic forum for dialogue among youth working on public murals.
  • Sarah Swett, of Newton, Mass., a community health concentrator, will plan a new sports program for girls at the Sophia Academy in Providence. Swett will develop a curriculum for the program and explore partnerships among the Sophia Academy, Brown University and the Moses Brown School.
  • Andre St. Clair Thompson, of Brooklyn, N.Y., a sexuality and society concentrator and member of the Class of 2005, will create a performance based on his own experiences and the personal narratives and communal struggles of transgender people of color. He will work with Brown’s Rites and Reason Theatre on the culminating production.


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