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Segal Fellows share summer experience

By Ryan Spencer

Section: News

September 11, 2015

This past summer, six Brandeis students completed internships in line with the values of citizen leadership of the Eli J. Segal Fellowship.

This year, Aja Antoine ’17, Witney Christie ’17, Leah Sakala MBA ’17, Estela Lozano ’16, Analissa Iversen MPP/MBA ’16 and Molly Pearlman ’16 were inaugurated into the Segal Network as the most recent Fellows. As part of the program, over the summer, the students participated in intensive internships focused around societal-advancement and social justice and were supported by mentors from the network. Unique to this internship-placement and funding organization is that Segal Fellows are forever part of the network, which can aid students with their careers.

The Segal Fellows interned for many different organizations and covered myriad subjects. Lorenzo is a Health, Science, and Social Policy (HSSP) and Latin American and Latino Studies double major who spent the summer interning at the National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C., as part of the immigration policy team. She researched immigration policies and the impacts they have on individuals and on society. From her experience at the National Council of La Raza, Lorenzo found that she “did like research and being able to learn more about policies” but she “still [wanted] to be involved within the community.”

Iversen, who is a graduate student working toward a dual MPP/MBA at the Heller School of Social Policy and Management, spent the summer interning at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. There, she worked with youth, including individuals from the juvenile justice system, who demonstrated strong leadership. Iversen knew when choosing this internship that the experience would be “mutually beneficial,” because as well as learning from her experience, she also “had a perspective that would benefit” The Casey Foundation. Ultimately, Iversen said her experience made her “more passionate about social justice.”

Sakala, who is also in the process of earning a dual MPP/MBA at the Heller School, interned this summer at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center in Washington, D.C. There she deepened her understanding of criminal justice policy and reform while strengthening her research, analysis, and presentations skills.

“I gained much greater appreciation for the breadth and depth of the broader Segal network,” Sakala said. She reminds students who are interested in pursuing social justice and bettering society that “building community is especially key.”

Pearlman, a sociology major, interned this summer at Hitchcock Legal Aid located in Syracuse, New York. There she worked for a parole unit serving as an investigator who worked with public defenders.

Christie is an education studies major who spent this summer interning America’s Promise Alliance. The America’s Promise Alliance is a non-profit organization aiming to ensure that all youth have access to safety, education, healthcare, caring adults and opportunities to serve the community. Christie worked with the vice president of this organization to create a policy that aims to increase high school graduation rates to 90 percent by 2020.

Antoine, an African and African-American Studies (AAAS) and Sociology double major, interned this summer at Facing History and Ourselves. This non-profit organization focuses on ensuring that moments of American history are taught in an ethically responsible manner. Antoine worked in the regional strategies department of this organization while conducting research in collaboration with City Year and Teach for America.

The Segal Fellowship began at the Heller School in 2007, following the death of Brandeis alumnus, Eli Segal. Segal led a career in politics and was one of the “Fathers of AmeriCorps,” an organization that involves young adults in community service. According to the the program’s website, the Segal Fellowship, “commemorates [Segal]’s legacy, and continues his commitment to developing new generations of citizen leaders.”

The Segal Fellows will give short presentations on their summer internships on Monday, Sept. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Heller School, in room G3.

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