2023 Joslin Award
Ritiika is a senior from Mumbai, India. She is receiving an AB in International and Public Affairs on the Development Track and an A.B. in Economics.
Ritiika's contributions to Brown's campus have centered around creating community & ameliorating the student experience writ large. At the CareerLAB, Ritiika worked as a Peer Career Advisor for 2 years before being appointed the program's Student Coordinator. She helped set up the first-ever BrownConnect First Year Immersion Program, wrote a HireVue guide and has interacted with more than 400 students on campus, educating them about the internship search process through workshops, panels and open hours.
Additionally, Ritiika served as the Education Chair, Coalition Chair, Social Chair & Senior Vice President of the South Asian Students Association, Brown's largest cultural organization with 300+ members. She revitalized their SASA Pals programs connecting freshmen to upperclassmen, created the club's first-ever website and initiated the first-ever Ivy League collaboration with Yale's SAS.
During her tenure on the International Students Advisory Board, Ritiika drafted recommendations about the gaps in financial support for the often neglected low-income and first generation international graduate students. She initiated collaborations between the OISSS and CareerLAB to provide tailored advice to international students navigating their visa and work authorization status.
As Treasurer of the Undergraduate Council of Students, Ritiika secured the first-ever $26,000 lump sum from UFB that created funding for collaborations with organizations like Art for Impact. She sustained these efforts as UCS' Chair of Health and Wellness the next year. Furthermore, Ritiika shared her immense love for Brown with hundreds of prospective students as a Tour Guide and Admissions Rep for the Office of Admissions.
She also infused her academic passions outside the classroom as a Royce Fellow, receiving funding to study the Portuguese postcolonial legacy in Goa, India. Ritiika pursued her love for teaching as a Teaching Assistant for the Watson Institute's MPA course “Management and Implementation in Non-Profit Organizations” and the College's UNIV 0060 "Exploring Career Options".
After graduation, Ritiika will be working as an Investment Analyst at Partners Capital in Boston. Her two greatest passions lie in increasing access to education for underprivileged children and destigmatizing women's health. She intends to use her time at Partners to develop skills in strategy and finance that will eventually allow her to contribute to startups or companies that work towards either of the two aforementioned goals.
Aliyah (she/her) is from Beaverton, Oregon. She received an A.B. in literary arts with honors and an A.B. in gender and sexuality studies. Her academic work largely explored the intersections of queer, Jewish, feminist identity and politics as frameworks for envisioning and enacting more liberated futures.
Blattner's work mostly revolved around community building and story sharing. She worked as the inaugural Gender and Sexuality Peer Counselor Coordinator, mentoring a cohort of ten student leaders between the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender and the LGBTQ Center. She also worked as a Women Peer Counselor Coordinator and a Women Peer Counselor, living in first year dormitories and supporting students as they transitioned to college. Additionally, Blattner facilitated workshops on gender-based violence as a Sexual Assault Peer Educator.
Blattner was also deeply engaged in Jewish life on campus. She served as Brown RISD Hillel’s student president, Conservative High Holy Day Intern, Executive Student Trustee, and Shabbat Chair. For her incredible commitment, Blattner was honored with the Levi Adams Citation, the Elie Hirschfeld Modern Hebrew Award, Brown RISD Hillel President’s Award, and the Goldberg Family Ruach Award. Ultimately, these experiences empowered Blattner to create home spaces on campus that empowered students to show up authentically as their whole selves.
After graduation, Blattner will move to Brooklyn to work at Sanctuary for Families, a non-profit that supports survivors of gender-based violence, as part of Avodah’s Jewish Service Corps. Specifically, Blattner will work on Sanctuary for Families’ Matrimonial/Economic Justice Project.
Elon C. Colins
Elon Constance Collins is from the Bronx and Queens, New York. She will receive a A.B. in Gender and Sexuality Studies with honors in December 2023. Elon champions Black women’s social wellbeing in her academic work where she examines the visual cultural productions of contemporary Black women pornographers, and advocates for their inclusion in critical Black feminist theory. The Pembroke Center awarded Elon the Linda Pei Grant to further enrich her thesis research. She was also awarded the John Hay Racial Justice Fellowship to work within the Black Feminist Theory collection and transcribe the personal journal entries of each scholar.
Putting theory to practice, sex education forms the foundation of Elon's extracurriculars at Brown, exemplified by her participation in the Sexual Health Awareness Group (SHAG) during all four years of her time in undergrad. In addition to advocating for healthy relationships campus wide, Elon supported the freshman community as a Women's Peer Counselor and Bruno Leader, guiding students through their first experiences at Brown.
She engaged the wider community in her role as a Graphic Designer for both the LGBTQ Center, the Sarah Doyle Center, and BWell Health Promotion. Throughout her time at each center, she designed the current LGBTQ Center logo and sticker, various event graphics, and the 2023 Spring Weekend BCA and BWell collaboration graphics.
Elon dedicated her time in undergrad to uplifting student voices through events coordination with the Underground Thursdays performing arts collective and the creation of Chronic Community, Brown's first support group for students dealing with chronic illness.
Following commencement, Elon will study abroad at Goldsmith’s University of London where she will continue research on Gender and Sexuality Studies. Elon also hopes to stay in performing arts spaces by attending events and performing her own poetry. After completing her final semester, Elon aims to work with Sotheby’s Institute of Art again at their London headquarters, helping students attain their arts education dreams.
Alexa De La Fuente
Alexa De La Fuente (she/her) is from Dallas, Texas. She is graduating with an A.B. in Ethnic Studies and Education. She has conducted research while at Brown supported by the SPRINT Faculty Collaboration award and the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship. She is interested in thinking through gender-based violence, power dynamics, borderlands, and media analysis with a focus on considering theory as praxis. Alexa’s thesis research analyzes representations of Latina survivors of gender-based violence in U.S. television shows.
In tangent with her academic work, Alexa has been involved with the Sexual Assault Prevention Education (SAPE) program since her first-year, and she became a coordinator during her sophomore year. In SAPE, she has facilitated community-based workshops to navigate conversations over sexual, relationship, and gender-based harm on campus. Within the SAPE community, she has hosted numerous community-engagement events and helped develop educational content for the group. Plus, she has facilitated Culture of Consent workshops for three years.
Relevant to her passion for feminist thought and action, Alexa has also co-coordinated Women’s History Month events for the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender surrounding questions on how communities have been and continue to build the worlds they want to live in. Additionally, Alexa has been active in the Student Clinic for Immigration Justice as a trained asylum advocate for three years, the First-Gens at Brown group as the Community Outreach Chair for two years, Project LETS as a trained Peer Mental Health Advocate, WORD! Performance Poetry, and the Campus Life Advisory Board.
This upcoming year, Alexa will be serving with CIty Year as a Student Success Coach in her hometown as she hopes to one day become an educator for her community and build curriculums providing intersectional and transformative viewpoints into silenced violences. Alexa hopes to apply to an interdisciplinary PhD program in the upcoming future to continue her research significant for its theorizations over movements against violence.
Bintou Diarra is from the Bronx, New York. She is receiving an A.B. in Medical Anthropology, and will matriculate into Alpert Medical School this August. Her work on campus spans many spheres. During her freshman and sophomore year, she participated in clubs and organizations to enhance the experiences of Black students at Brown. One of her contributions was the first talk honoring diversity within the Black community, which acknowledged the manifestations of colorism and its impact on Black women and femmes on campus. As a first-generation, low-income college student, Bintou is led by her desire to pay it forward. The summer of her freshman year, she worked alongside a mentor at New York University's School of Medicine to teach low-income middle and high school students STEM-related topics.
Bintou prides herself on her multidimensionality, and her work on and off Brown's campus reflects it. Among her various roles was her presidency of the League of United Black Women, where she worked to create a safe space for Black women and femmes at Brown. Additionally, she led [email protected], where she worked alongside others to bring the principles of reproductive justice to Brown's campus. Through her hair-braiding venture, Bintou's Beauty, Bintou was able to meet a range of students at Brown while filling a communal need. Much like the defining component of Brown University's open curriculum, Bintou emphasizes the significance of bringing her personal interests to her education and vice versa. Pulling from her love for medical anthropology, she writes articles about bioethical issues and has been published on major platforms such as KevinMD, The Las Vegas Sun, the Miami Herald, Inside Higher Ed, and Mama Glow.
Bintou currently leads editorial efforts at maternal health and lifestyle brand Mama Glow. She was recently awarded a Sexual Health Advocacy and Policy Education (SHAPE) Grant for future research, where she will work to integrate and strengthen reproductive justice curricula at Alpert Medical School.
Michael is an Italian-rooted Clevelander who now abides in Naples, Florida. He will receive an ScB in Computer Science with honors and an AB in Physics. He grew up deeply intwined with technology as his father revolutionized surveillance methods, which deeply influenced him to take a yearning to apply technology in a more positive way at a young age. In high school, his contagious passion for educating and mentoring others has bled into his impact here at Brown. In all he does, his core goal is to make the college experience as best as it can possibly be for others, through doing things he personally enjoys.
He started serving as an RPL and CS TA in his sophomore year then joined the CS DUG his junior year. Now as a senior, he has revived the CS DUG after assuming presidency, set the foundation for a safe, booming community in Metcalf Hall as a Community Coordinator, and managed one of the largest User Interface’s course with ~400 people as it’s Head Teaching Assistant.
In his smaller roles, he has served on the IT Advisory Board, organized the creation for the CS Yearbook, participated in Club and Intramural sports, mentored new research assistants within Andy’s Dash group, shared his Italian heritage, spurred initial design of Tagg App (a Brown startup), sang for the Catholic Community’s Choir, rebuilt Brown’s Esports overwatch team, and traveled home to volunteer in repairing unreal damages from Hurricane Ian.
Lastly, he is truly grateful to have connected and worked with such amazing people here at Brown, especially those outside of academics - advisors, department staff, facilities workers, police officers, custodians, BUDs employees, and others who deserve more recognition. He hopes his impact in the Brown communities, big or small, will motivate others to educate or mentor others - in an enjoyable way using their talents through a perspective of joy and gratitude. His time here at Brown allowed him to develop skills as a strong, effective, and professional leader, which he will take with him as he inevitably becomes manager of his family’s fiscal management and investment company in south Florida after pursing a PhD program.
Leona is from San Diego, California and will be receiving a Sc.B in Neuroscience and Theatre Arts and Performance Studies with honors. She is passionate about healing justice and consistently centers community-based models of care in her work. She founded [email protected], a birth and postpartum doula collective dedicated to advancing reproductive justice on campus, and supporting the birthwork already being done in the community. In this role, She spearheaded the expansion of the program to Tougaloo University, an HBCU with a long standing partnership with Brown. Additionally, she served as a community-based learning and research fellow for GNSS 1501A: Reproductive In/Justice, where she supported the integration of doula training into a university based course.
Hariharan also works on campus in a wide variety of roles. As a Women, Gender, and Sexuality Counselor with the Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender and LGBTQ Center, she organized events like Queering Intimacy: A workshop on arousal and desire, and a screening of the seminal reproductive justice film, Belly of the Beast. At BWell, she works as a Sexual Assault Peer Educator (SAPE) and a Wellness Peer Educator. In her Wellness Peer Educator role, she has worked with student groups and individuals to create educational interventions like a Restorative Yoga Series, Silver Linings Recovery Dinners, and refill your cup : a day of radical rest and restoration. As a SAPE, she has facilitated workshops on sexual, relationship and gender-based harm prevention across campus.
She recently submitted her Theater Arts and Performance Studies honors thesis entitled “Embodied Imaginations: Performance, Care, and Healing Justice,” which explores the relationship between performance and care through a series of ethnographic encounters in performance and care specific space. As a part of this work and with the support of the Swearer Center’s Royce Fellowship, she traveled to Mysore, India where she conducted ethnographic research on experiences of maternal social support.
After commencement, Leona plans on continuing her work in Reproductive Justice and Community Based Healing.
Shantal Hernández Guerrero
Shantal is a Mexican-American immigrant raised in Monterrey, México and Ankeny, Iowa. She will receive an A.B. with honors in Latin American & Caribbean Studies and an A.B. in International & Public Affairs.
Shantal has focused both her work and studies on uplifting students and communities of color. As a Minority Peer Counselor (MPC) and MPC Coordinator, she has served the Brown Center for Students of Color throughout the academic year and during the pre-orientation Third World Transition Program for three years. As an immigration advocate, Shantal has volunteered for the Student Clinic for Immigrant Justice throughout three academic years and interned for the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic for two summers. She worked on more than 35 pro-bono immigration cases. She also volunteered at Women’s Refugee Care in Providence as a French translator. Shantal served as the Company Director for Mezcla, the only Latinx dance troupe at Brown. Additionally, she participated in Brown’s Mock Trial team, the Latin Student Union, and MeCHA de Brown. She was asked to inaugurate the role of Chair for the Watson Student Advisory Council in 2021 after serving as an officer for two years. Shantal also served as one of the leaders for the LACA Department Undergraduate Group.
After studying abroad at the Sorbonne University in Paris, she was also granted an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award to help create a new course that traces the relationship between Latin America and Paris. This experience also inspired Shantal’s LACA honors thesis "Student Protests as a form of Political Power: 1968 in Paris and México." Shantal’s IAPA senior capstone “How Employment Authorization Can Save the Lives of VAWA Self-Petitioners” was chosen to be published by the Brown Undergraduate Law Review.
After graduation, Shantal plans to continue to fight for the immigrant community. Next year, Shantal will be researching Nicaraguan migration and resettlement in Costa Rica as a Fulbright Scholar. In the future, Shantal hopes to attend law school and become an immigration attorney.
Rachel L. Huynh
Rachel Huynh is from San Jose, California, and is graduating with an Independent Concentration in Food and Health in U.S. American Society (AB). She has been an Army ROTC cadet since her freshman year and will commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Army upon graduation.
Rachel is a supervisor with Brown Emergency Medical Services, where she has been an active member since her sophomore year. She has assisted with campus-wide COVID operations, has taught CPR and First Aid classes to the Brown community, and works weekly shifts where she provides patient-centric, trauma-informed care to Brown students and staff in their greatest moments of need.
Her passion for addressing health disparities and encouraging community members to adopt healthy lifestyle changes motivated her to teach nutrition and fitness classes to children with autism and neurotypical children –– both virtually and at home in San Jose. She has also engaged in public health-related research. Under the mentorship of Dr. Tayla von Ash, Rachel published a paper in the International Journal of Eating Disorders titled “Associations between Mukbang Viewing and Disordered Eating Behaviors.”
Rachel also works closely with Dr. Celeste Corcoran, a Hasbro pediatrician working with children with obesity, to ensure her patients receive the follow-up care and health advocacy they deserve. Through conversations with parents of hundreds of pediatric patients, she has positively impacted the lives and health of Providence youth. She has also been involved in other health initiatives, such as promoting vaccination efforts at Rhode Island Community and Justice.
Finally, Rachel is a co-coordinator for the Independent Concentration (IC) program at Brown. She has made an incredible impact on the academic pathways of many students at Brown by giving them peer mentorship and guidance as they undergo a particularly challenging but rewarding IC proposal process.
This fall, she will be attending the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine to pursue her dream of becoming a physician in the United States Army.
Justin Lu is from Hastings on Hudson, New York. He is receiving an S.c.B in Biology. Lu cultivates religious and multi-faith communities on campus, deeply caring for the spiritual, mental, and emotional health of all Brunonians. As coordinator of the Brown Meditation Community (BMC), he welcomes and helps facilitate students, faculty and staff in contemplative practice. Lu spearheads collaborations with organizations inside and beyond Brown, such as BURP, Wellness Peer Educators, RISD Residential Life, Providence Zen Center, and the Rhode Island Zen Dojo. He represented BMC on a student panel as part of Faith in Blue, an event hosted in collaboration between the Office of Chaplains and Religious Life and the Department of Public Safety. Lu pioneered Brown's first week-long spiritual retreat at the Amata Meditation Center where he fostered a community that aided all to deepen their contemplative practices. Amongst his many contributions to supporting students throughout their spiritual journeys, he has helped others work towards inner peace, building genuine connections with one another. Lu's leadership nourishes the interfaith spiritual care of many individuals on campus, even those who are spiritual but not religious or have no faith/affiliation.
Lu has also served as co-captain for Brown Club Swim where he organized community service events, ran weekly practices and mentored younger teammates. He has volunteered with Brown Math Circle, leading math enrichment activities for Providence high schoolers historically underrepresented in STEM. Lu tutored for Partnership in Adult Learning, assisted in the surgical recovery room of Rhode Island Hospital, and facilitated food distribution in the Brown Market Shares Program. Across ten first author publications, Lu is advancing clinical knowledge with big data and machine learning. At Brown and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, his research on long COVID combats healthcare disparities and improves clinical guidelines. After graduation, Lu plans on attending medical school.
Victoria Rose grew up on her family’s sheep farm in Hillsboro, WV. She is receiving an AB in Geology-Biology and Education Studies.
Victoria’s biggest accomplishment was creating Rural Students @ Brown, a space for students from rural backgrounds. The group provides a welcoming community by hosting events like end-of-semester celebrations, a family weekend reception, and a meet & greet with rural faculty members. Victoria also led the club’s outreach by working with the admissions office to improve recruitment of students from rural areas and centering current students’ voices. She is most proud of her work on the Rural Students Fly-In Program, where she successfully advocated for current rural students to play a central role as the admissions office invited rural high schoolers to visit Brown and learn about life at college, financial aid, and how to create a strong application.
Victoria has been a trombone player in the Brown Band since her freshman year. She was a section leader and served two years on the Band Board. As the Vice President and Corresponding Secretary, she helped to transition the band from virtual to in-person operations after the pandemic and strove to make sure that the band was an accepting, welcoming community. For her dedication to the band, she was awarded the Axlerod award for outstanding first-year, and later the Irving Harris award for contributing the most to the welfare of the band.
Victoria was active in several other groups at Brown. She served as a BOLT manager for two summers, re-envisioning what the wilderness leadership program could look like after a hiatus and with pandemic restrictions. As a member of Alpha Chi Omega, she guided prospective sorority members as a Recruitment Counselor. She worked with Professor Lindsay Page to redevelop and TA the “Current Issues in US Higher Education” course.
After Brown, Victoria plans to work as the Music Coordinator at the National Youth Science Camp, and then seek employment in outdoor STEM education. She eventually plans to attend grad school to study rural access to higher education.
Andre Grossmann-Level and Davi Sapiro-Gheiler
Andre is a Venezuelan-American student and grew up in Holden, Maine. They are receiving an A.B. in Ethnic Studies and Environmental Studies (Conservation Science & Policy). At Brown, Andre has spent their time finding and cultivating spaces that center leaning into discomfort, transformative conversations, and love. They have engaged with a variety of student centers in their work as a Minority Peer Counselor, Gender & Sexuality PC, and B-TEAM Coordinator.
Grossmann first got involved in facilitation work through the Community Dialogue Project’s weekly discussion group, Masculinity 101. They became a facilitator quickly afterwards and aided in the transition of M101 into BWell. Here, they helped co-found B-TEAM through an extension of the pre-existing Masculinity Peer Education program. They led initiatives of collaboration that aimed at bringing conversations around critical masculinities to a wide variety of audiences. Some of their favorite aspects of this work include the ability to surround themselves with community invested in each other’s growth, facilitation through humor, and forming relationships with many mentors along the way.
After Brown, they hope to spend some time remembering their home state before diving back into gender-based violence prevention, facilitation, and education work.
Davi Sapiro-Gheiler is a daughter, a sister, a friend, sometimes a mentor, often an artist, and always a femme queen from Durham, NC. She is completing an Independent Concentration in “The Body: Trans Studies, Aesthetic Culture, Creative Practice.” Davi began her journey at Brown as a freshman at the Third World Transition Program (TWTP) organized by the Brown Center for Students of Color (BCSC), where she found community and learned essential perspectives for her time at the institution. She would continue working with the BCSC as a cohort member for the next two TWTPs before serving as co-coordinator for TWTP 2022, “Beautiful Monstrosities: Crafting our Own Mythologies.” During her first weeks at Brown, she was also introduced to the Community Dialogue Project through Masculinity 101, where she would eventually work as a facilitator. This work led Davi to help oversee the transition of masculinity education over to BWell Health and Wellness, where she served as a co-founder and co-coordinator of Brown Transforming Exploring and Affirming Masculinities, better known as B-TEAM. She is so excited to see where the program grows and sends much love to the gang.
Davi’s visual art exhibit, after Ooze, has displayed at the Aborn Gallery at AS220 in Downtown Providence and is currently up at the Grannof Center on campus. She has been a spoken word performer at a number of campus events for the BCSC, LGBTQ Center, and Sarah Doyle Center and is a loud voice for trans woman of color communities on and off campus.
After Brown, Davi will continue building community through engagement with queer creative spaces and further involvement with family histories and our cultural legacies. After some time evolving her artistic practice both as an expression of self and as a tool for individual, and collective liberation she will enroll in the Master’s Program at NYU to pursue a degree in XE: Experimental Humanities and Community Engagement, one of the oldest interdisciplinary masters programs in the country.
Jasmine Lee and Calista Manuzza
Jasmine Lee is a senior from Bremerton, Washington. She is receiving an Sc.B. in neuroscience and a certificate in data fluency. During her time at Brown, her work has centered around peer mentorship and promoting mental wellbeing. Lee competed for the Brown Gymnastics Team and served as team captain for the past two seasons. Outside of the gym and the classroom, Lee worked as an undergraduate research assistant in the Burwell Lab of Memory and Attention. She also served as an academic coach through which she provided individualized support to help peers develop academic skills, explore self-care and wellness strategies, and connect with other resources to manage challenges and ultimately enhance their Brown experience. Lee is also interested in promoting youth financial literacy. In 2020, she co-founded the Gen-Z Project, an extracurricular program where undergraduate students are equipped with personal finance fundamentals and then teach the curriculum to high school students. The curriculum placed a large emphasis on applicability and mentorship.
Lee is passionate about mental health advocacy, specifically with a focus on the intersection between mental health and sport. She co-founded Brown Student-Athletes for Mental Health (SAMHA), a new organization designed to help address the mental health stigma and create a community where student-athletes can learn and support one another through the unique mental health and performance challenges of collegiate athletics. In addition, Lee worked extensively with Galea Health, a platform designed to provide tailored mental health support and education to athletes. After graduation, she plans to take a gap year and work in clinical research before attending medical school.
Calista Rosemarie Manuzza
Calista is from North Caldwell, New Jersey. She received a Sc.B. in Cognitive Neuroscience and is a first-year MPH student through Brown’s Five Year Undergraduate/Master’s of Public Health program. During her time at Brown, Calista’s involvement has spanned Athletics, Greek Life, and Research. As a four-year member of the Varsity Field Hockey team, she has spent a significant amount of time working with Brown Athletics. As the Co-Founder and Co-President of Student Athletes for Mental Health Awareness (SAMHA), Calista has worked alongside Jasmine Lee to bring speakers, workshops, and resources to improve mental health within Brown Athletics. Together, they hosted numerous Mental Health Awareness games, created a Constitution and Executive Board, and helped with the hiring of a Sports Psychologist and Sports Nutritionist. Since its launch in August of 2022, SAMHA has partnered with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and The Mindfulness Center at Brown’s School of Public Health to bring resources to the Student Athlete community.
Calista is also an Ambassador for the Student Athlete Gay Alliance (SAGA) which strives to provide a welcoming and inclusive space for athletes of all genders and sexual identities. After the group disbanded during COVID, Calista and Claire Pisani, a Water Polo senior, relaunched the group with the help of Vicky Flowers. This semester, SAGA created an Executive Board to launch programing, sexual and gender identity education, and Pride Events within Brown Athletics.
Outside of athletics, Calista served as a New Member Leader for Zeta Delta Xi, a local queer fraternity at Brown. She also works at the Weight Control and Diabetes Center, affiliated with Brown Albert Medical School, on a pilot weight loss intervention for LGBQ+ women. During her senior year, she worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Cognitive, Linguistics, and Psychological Sciences and Public Health Departments at Brown. Upon completion of her MPH in 2024, she will be immediately pursing work at a nonprofit to improve US Medicare policy.