Announcing the 2013 Vascellaro Fellows: A Commitment to Learning & Community

October 21, 2013

The Vascellaro Family Social Impact Fellowship was established in 2011 through  the generosity of Brown University Vice Chancellor Jerome Vascellaro ’74 P’07 and Mary Vascellaro ’74 P’07 in order to ensure that Brown students can explore their ideals and contribute their talents to urgent social issues - regardless of financial circumstance.  

Fellows are selected from the incoming class of first year students based on their commitment to public service, their desire to make public service an integral part of their Brown experience, and their interest in deepening their understanding of social concerns.  As part of the Fellowship, they participate in the University-Community Academic Advising Program and receive funding to pursue in-depth community work during a school year and summer.

Click here to listen to reflections from Vascellaro Fellows Sazzy Gourley ‘16, who spent last summer working for two nonprofits in Moscow; and Angela Ramponi ’15, who worked in Providence with the Rhode Island Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner. 

We are pleased to announce the 2013 Vascellaro Fellows, three exceptional students with diverse backgrounds in scholarship and service:

Christy Le, from Jamesville, N.Y.  Christy’s family immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam, a background that has had a significant influence on her life and goals.  During high school, Christy taught English to refugee children who had just arrived in the U.S.  She intends to study biomedical engineering from her love of science and her desire “to put my brain to use for the improvement of mankind.”

Catherine Liu, from Rockville, Md. After working in a traditional tutoring program, Catherine founded her own nonprofit, the Pillar Project, to take a new approach to mentoring elementary school students. In addition to academic preparation, the program integrates character education and the arts, seeking to inspire and engage the students more deeply. “[My] community service was about understanding children as people first and pupils only afterward.”  She plans to study English and pursue law after college. 

Queen Nefertiti Shabazz, from Berkeley, Calif. Queen Nefertiti, a spoken word artist, founded Radical Arts, a literary youth organization.  “Every day I am excited to encourage communal voice amongst young people, in order to share, preserve, and reclaim our own cultural and personal identities through literacy,” she writes.  She’s currently interested in a range of possible concentrations at Brown, including international relations and public health.

For more information on this opportunity, visit the Fellowships at Brown website.