Class of 2024 Cohort

An important part of Service Focus is carrying the service experience into the academic year. Service Focus cohorts are designed to connect peers and faculty mentors in conversation around a specific theme. 

  • Civil Society
  • Education & Access
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Health & Care: Addressing Structural Vulnerability
  • Public Interest Technology
  • Race, Migration, and Belonging
  • Urban Space/Housing

Civil Society

Faculty Mentor

Stanley Katz, lecturer with rank of professor, Princeton School of Public and International Affairs

Staff Mentor

Matt Lynn, Assistant Director of the Novogratz Bridge Year Program, Office of International Programs


  • Senior Fellow: Mary Davis
  • Junior Fellow: Claire Silberman 


Lauren Aung

As a ProCES Derian intern supported by the YS Chi '83 Fund, Lauren interned at the Historical Society of Princeton curating content for a digital interactive in the museum's upcoming and permanent exhibit Einstein at Home. Working with HSP's collection of 80 oral histories with Albert Einstein's  Princeton friends, neighbors, and colleagues, she organized 60 compelling audio selections into 10 different themes with the aim of constructing a portrait of the man that captures his intricate character.


Mia Beams

Mia spent her summer in the Bogle fellowship working at the local community farm called Sharing the Harvest near her hometown of Mattapoisett. The farm is dedicated to working to alleviate food insecurity through donating their  produce to food banks and other local organizations.


Paul-Louis Biondi

Supported by the RISE program and the Pat Canan Service Internship Fund, Paul-Louis spent the summer working at Let's Get Ready, a non-profit based in New York City that works with high school and college students through a near-peer mentoring system to reduce the disparities in college access and outcomes for these students. As a part of the curriculum development team, they worked to create training for mentors that would integrate culturally responsible perspectives and allow mentors to engage with students more authentically and empathetically around identity-based challenges.

Katherine Dailey 

Katherine spent the summer working in the Office of Congressman Tom Malinowski (NJ-07) in Washington, D.C. as a PICS intern and a Schaeffer Fellow. She communicated with constituents of the district and assisted the staff with policy research, particularly in foreign policy.


Zoe Evans

Driven by her interest in healthcare as an intersection of science and service to others, Zoe spent her summer training to become an EMT with the plan of volunteering with Princeton's rescue squad during her time on campus. Zoe’s training taught her the fundamentals of emergency medical services and allowed her to practice her skills through a series of field internships, in which she was able to provide emergency medical care to patients of varying needs and backgrounds.


Natalia Lalin

Following her first year, Natalia interned at Special Olympics International, a major nonprofit organization dedicated to one day achieving total acceptance and inclusion of people of all abilities. Specifically, she supported the Play Unified: Learn Unified program through projects ranging from collecting the narratives of participants spanning multiple continents to researching for the new E-learning Course for Teachers and Coaches.


Jackie Lydon

This past summer, Jackie worked as a PICS intern at the National LGBTQ Task Force, the oldest LGBTQ activism organization in the U.S., working on a variety of communications and advocacy projects surrounding LGBTQ policy issues.


Allie Matthias

Motivated by her work with Princeton's Religion and Forced Migration Project, Allie interned with the Community Engagement department of the Refugee and Asylum team of Church World Service this summer. There, she organized a 1-week educational webinar series for college students to learn more about global migration, pathways for resettlement,  and asylum in the US. In addition, Allie worked as a Community Action Fellow this summer, where she organized the programming for the ten Food and Housing cohorts of Community Action.


Shaky Salimjonova

As a PICS intern, Shaky worked with KIPP DC charter schools. She worked with the academic team to cultivate curricular material for middle school aged readers.

Isabel Schoeman

Over the summer, Isabel worked as a PICS intern at Jumpstart for Young Children, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure that every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Isabel worked in the Program Operations and Strategy department at Jumpstart and helped to support the colleges and universities whose students implement the Jumpstart curriculum in underserved preschool classrooms. 


Isabella Shutt

Intrigued by the organization's holistic approach to service and community history, Isabella joined Union Settlement in East Harlem as the Community Outreach intern. As a PICS intern supported by the Fred Fox '39 Fund, she hosted events, including a Summer Resource Fair for families and Summer Camp for isolated senior citizens, while also leading the newly formed COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach team.


Jalen Travis

Jalen Travis worked with the Just Action Coalition last summer conducting a survey of Minnesota youth (ages 14-24) in an effort to better understand the ways that youth have engaged and seek to engage in activism. As part of the organization he founded, Jalen will use this information to better inform the mission and programs of the organization that seek to meet youth where they are and address the needs expressed through the survey.


Alessandra Yan

Following her first year, Alessandra worked as a Senior Counselor at Cambridge Youth Enrichment Program, a summer program that serves low-income students, and works to prevent summer learning loss. For eight weeks, she led a virtual classroom of ten 6-year-old students, implementing a self-designed curriculum integrating math, science, and reading, while emphasizing socio-emotional learning.


Education & Access

Education is often considered a crucial gateway to opportunity as well as an engine of societal progress.  Yet, education in the United States is highly unequal -- in recent years, disparities in access and outcomes have persisted or grown across many dimensions such as race, gender, and socioeconomic status. This cohort will examine questions such as:

  • What are the structures and systems that drive educational disparities in the United States? 
  • What are practices and policies that can reduce educational disparities?   
  • What is the relationship between college access and educational equity?
  • In what ways does college create particular opportunities and barriers for low-income and first generation students?   
  • How has COVID-19 magnified and made visible existing disparities in our education system? What new challenges and possibilities does it present?

This group focuses on an exploratory approach to service, and meets every other week to discuss education through an interdisciplinary lens. Guest speakers and practitioners will occasionally join the cohort discussions. There may be opportunities for students to develop individual or small-group projects with community partners, such as: teachers and administrators from a variety of local schools, partners from community-based organizations such as Trenton Peers, LALDEF, and the Greater Trenton College Access Network, as well as University programs such as the Princeton University Preparatory Program, Scholars Institute Fellows Program, Program in Teacher Preparation, and alumni working in education.

Faculty Mentor

Jason Klugman, Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP)

Staff Mentor

Gray Collins, Internships Coordinator, Pace Center 



Ian Accetta

After experiencing many in-person theater education programs during normal academic years, Ian worked as a ProCES Derian intern with McCarter Theater's youth summer programs that had suddenly been shifted to an online setting in June 2020. He worked with McCarter staff to create a handbook of best practices in virtual theater education which also informed educators about disparities in virtual access among student demographics.

Luke Chan

Inspired by his experiences working with elementary/secondary school students and learning about race in America, Luke worked as a Bogle Fellow at the Manhasset-Great Neck Economic Opportunity Council (EOC) Youth Summer Program to support the education and activities of underprivileged students in his community. Luke spearheaded fundraising and awareness efforts with local businesses and legislative staff while also leading music classes and day-to-day activities.

Sandra Chen

In summer 2020, Sandra was a legal and policy intern for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, an organization that seeks to promote fair and representative democracy through data, science, and the law. Sandra has continued to work for PGP during her gap year through to this summer, gaining more experience in research, outreach, and analysis. Her responsibilities have included compiling information on redistricting in all fifty states, writing legal scholarship on key areas like communities of interest, and working with state partners to identify paths for reform.

Olivia Koch

Supported by the PICS program and the YS Chi '83 Fund, Olivia worked for the Office of Senator Menendez with legislative assistants, helping conduct research for bills being passed and writing memos based on congressional hearings and legal briefings. Additionally, she recorded and organized constituent calls each day, learning new perspectives about various policies in this current political climate.

Julie Levey

Inspired by her freshman seminar, "Music, Memory, and the Holocaust," Julie worked as a PICS intern in the education and exhibits department of Holocaust Museum LA (HMLA). With the goal of expanding the availability and accessibility of Holocaust education, she wrote panels for exhibit walls and created educational resources based on artifacts and survivor stories. Julie also learned about museum management as she helped with HMLA's exhibit updates, audio guide, and expansion project.

John Mulunda

Through the PICS program, John interned virtually for Break a Difference (BAD), a non-profit located in Baltimore. He helped research and plan for the organization's future service deployments to Puerto Rico as well as to Paradise, California. He was pleased to make meaningful connections with people who are truly working to bring change.

Oluwatise Okeremi

After taking ENT 200 her freshman spring, Oluwatise was captivated by Design Thinking. She enjoyed how human-centric it was and how the methodology acknowledged that no single individual had all the answers. This was exciting for Oluwatise to see in an academic setting as she had always valued learning about the target audience through proximity. As she used Design Thinking to innovate ways Princeton’s covid-campus could be improved, Oluwatise was interested in using Design Thinking to solve problems on a bigger scale. This led her to Tiger Challenge where she worked with a spectacular team of Princeton students to ideate ways for K through 12 students to learn a history that includes previously suppressed histories, highlights differences and sameness, and discusses race in America without avoiding uncomfortable discussions about the nation’s past actions. To this end, Oluwatise and her team conducted numerous interviews to learn more about the current situation and will continue designing different solutions.

Ana Palacios

As a Bogle Fellow, Ana worked with the Agape Youth and Family Center to learn more about the Atlanta based organization and how it works to empower students from under-served families through academic achievement. She developed a health education curriculum to add to Agape's programming for older adults.

Silvana Parra Rodriguez 

This summer, Silvana worked as a PICS intern in the Cognitive and Motor Aging Department at Montefiore Medical Center helping  Dr. Mirnova Ceïde with her ongoing research projects that focus on the prevention and management of cognitive impairment. Silvana assisted Dr. Ceïde in writing a grant application for her research on apathy as a possible predictor of dementia.

Francesca Pauca 

Francesca worked with the Shalom Project, a free medical clinic in her city, seeking to address the needs of its patients by both expanding clinic services as an intern and creating an informative handbook of resources for the city’s underserved.

Environmental Sustainability

Building a sustainable and resilient world is one of the most pressing and intersectional issues of the day. As we rethink the way we approach topics like urban planning and community development to increase sustainability, there is an added need to ensure these conversations are infused with a lens of equity and social justice. This cohort will develop interdisciplinary skills and habits of mind necessary for ethical development and design of our homes and cities, by exploring the growing movement of urban agriculture.  Urban agriculture has many potential societal benefits, such as increasing food security within cities, providing access to fresh foods within underserved urban neighborhoods, creating community green space, and reducing the carbon footprint of food transport. This cohort will explore innovative practices and engage together in developing strategies and solutions around effective advocacy for this important topic.  Core questions will include:

  • What are the special challenges in urban communities (i.e. socioeconomic, infrastructural, topographic, and built-environment) that urban agriculture needs to address?
  • How can we use urban agriculture as an example of the attention needed to design a future in a safe and equitable way?  
  • How can collaboration and communication among researchers, governments, and communities be enhanced for equitable and sustainable action in this field?

This group will meet biweekly and take an exploratory approach to the topic.  Throughout the year, we will have opportunities to convene around a tiny (sub)urban farm that has been constructed for student use.  This will allow us to experience and discuss urban farming (and directly sample products from the farm).  Interested students may also choose to work on the farm.  Guest speakers and community practitioners will occasionally join the cohort discussions, and there may be opportunities to visit with community organizations to learn more about their work as well as visit innovative farms and farm-to-table restaurants in the region.  Students may also engage in individual or small-group projects in support of campus and community organizations, such as: the Princeton Garden Project, Neighborgrowers (Baltimore), Isles (Trenton), and Urban Tree Connection (Philadelphia)

Faculty Mentor

Sigrid Adriaenssens, Civil and Environmental Engineering 

Staff Mentor

Alvin Zhang, Service Engagement Intern, Pace Center for Civic Engagement



Akhila Bandlora

Inspired by her freshman seminar, "Saving Seeds," Akhila worked as a Bogle Fellow at Native Seed Search, a seed conservation organization in Tucson, Arizona. During her time at Native Seed Search (NSS), Akhila learned hands on seed saving practices, conducted outreach to Indigenous community organizations to build more sustainable relationships between them & NSS, and created a resource map for young people in Arizona interested in farming & food sovereignty.

Jamie Kim

As a ProCES Derian intern supported by the YS Chi '83 Fund, Jamie worked with CivicStory to research how news organizations in New Jersey were reporting environmental news. She used this research to create a competitive analysis to help CivicStory better effectively share important information to the public, especially to environmentally vulnerable communities.


Laeo Crnkovic-Rubsamen

Driven by the 2020 congressional redistricting and the far-reaching impacts of those maps, Laeo worked for the Princeton Gerrymandering Project over the summer of 2020.  Laeo used data analysis skills to compile a collection of voter data to inform the redrawing and outreach efforts of the PGP.

Maddie Lausted

After recognizing the importance of geology and climate science while working on a documentary about the tragic Oso Landslide in high school, Maddie interned with Princeton's Sigman Research Laboratory to participate firsthand in paleogeology research. As part of her internship, she generated a new nitrogen isotope record derived from foraminifera-bound organic matter for the last glacial-interglacial period in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific, one of the world's largest oxygen minimum zones, to determine changes in the extent of the water column denitrification that takes place within. Whether the new record is consistent with the established bulk sediment nitrogen isotope record has important implications for understanding how a warming climate influences nitrogen cycling, circulation, and ecology in the ocean.

Sabrina Kim

Sabrina worked for ten weeks as a PICS intern at StoryCorps, a nonprofit that facilitates interviews across the country and promotes the importance of storytelling and listening. On the Learning & Engagement team, she worked on a range of projects, including designing a book highlighting the intersectionality and interconnectedness of people affected by serious illness and giving an internal presentation on healing, queer identity, and younger voices in AAPI narratives.

Sakhi Shah

As a PICS intern at Princeton AlumniCorps, Sakhi primarily worked on the Project 55 Fellowship that places Princeton graduates at various nonprofits in the US. Sakhi assisted in curating board meeting reports and redesigning the organization's website to streamline the information around the programs. Sakhi was supported by the YS Chi '83 Fund.

Sophia Stewart

Supported by the YS Chi '83 Fund, Sophia participated in the ProCES Derian internship program to undertake research with professor Tessa Desmond, an Associate Research Scholar in American Studies, on the potential of seeds as a shared resource. She also worked with Nagisa Manabe, the Executive Director of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey and Chief Vincent Mann of the Ramapough Turtle Clan to re-establish Ramapough Lenape Nation crops on 40 acres of land in Northern New Jersey.

Temi Ayeni

Motivated by her passion to study effective ways to bridge educational gaps that marginalized communities face, Temi spent her summer as a PICS intern at HomeWorks Trenton, a community-based, after-school residential program that provides academic and social-emotional enrichment while empowering marginalized high school girls in their community.

Edward Zhang

Through Princeton's Andlinger Center for Energy and Environment, Edward worked with Moonshot Missions, a non-profit organization providing peer-advisors for water and wastewater utilities to assist with project, financial, and technical support. Edward's research focused on the small utilities that are underfunded or in BIPOC communities.

Brendan Kehoe

Eager to learn more about public service and help his community, Brendan interned at the Office of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal this summer. As a PICS intern supported by the YS Chi '83 Fund, he sorted messages from Connecticut constituents, completed projects such as briefing memos for staffers, and explored policy solutions to improve the lives of Connecticut residents.

Health & Care: Addressing Structural Vulnerability

The uneven course of the COVID-19 pandemic, both between and within countries, has highlighted how much work is needed to address structural disparities that leave so many vulnerable.  As we recover and rebuild, careful attention to the concepts of ‘health’ and ‘care’ is needed if we are to meaningfully improve.  This cohort will critically reflect on your personal and community service experiences of health and caregiving, and explore what it might mean to conceptualize health and care more thoughtfully and humanely.  As we consider how biosocial and medical realities shape each other in the context of our current predicament, we will delve into questions such as the following:  

  • What are the social and medical implications of how we imagine ‘health’ and ‘care’?  How do these concepts vary among patients and health practitioners and from community to community, and how are they intertwined with ideas of therapeutic efficacy and wellbeing?  
  • How is healthcare organized and delivered and which values undergird it?  Which structural factors and social markers impact healthcare access and health disparities? 
  • How do vulnerable communities conceptualize illness and suffering and enact care?
  • How are ‘best practices’ in healthcare evaluated?  Which kind of methodological toolkits can we assemble that will allow us to better identify people’s needs and create responsive and caring practices?   

We will begin the year with discussion-based reflection and exploration, and then will elaborate on this conceptual base by collaborating with Dr. Bon Ku and his team at Jefferson Medical School’s Health Design Lab in Philadelphia.  The Health Design Lab is exploring innovative ways to conduct COVID outreach to underserved neighborhoods in Philadelphia, while at the same time building on their previous work to address community residents’ other health concerns (e.g. the opioid epidemic) in these historically neglected areas.   Students will work to curate and share narratives and data on the lived experiences of city residents and caregivers.  These projects will inform ongoing work on community health and caregiving and contribute to neighborhood development.

Faculty Mentor

João Biehl, Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology and Sebastián Ramírez Hernández, Postdoctoral Research Associate 

Staff Mentor

Yi-Ching Ong, Director of Service Focus 



Stella Choi

Seeking to pursue global health work and medical school, Stella interned through the IIP program for Child Family Health International in Uganda and worked with the founder and executive director of KIHEFO, a local not for profit organization in the health sector of Uganda. Stella worked with other interns to develop a project proposal for a cooperative in which individuals, and hence communities, would be empowered through the novel approach of bringing high and low income populations together.

Sophia Colmenares

Funded by OURSIP, Sophia worked with the Avalos Research Group at Princeton which specializes metabolic engineering and systems biology to make valuable products such as biofuels and pharmaceutical drugs. Her research project focused on  analyzing metabolites in the reaction pathways of Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. Inspired by the vast mentorship she received during her internship, Sophia also worked with the Office of Undergraduate Research as a Program Assistant to increase research outreach and participation.

Aditi Desai

Drawing from her Medical Spanish course, Aditi worked as a PICS intern at the Montefiore Medical Center's Neurology Department in the Bronx, New York. She worked with Dr. Daniel Correa to analyze patient datasets and work on drafting health advocacy articles regarding transportation barriers to epilepsy care. She was also able to shadow different types of doctors in the Headache Disorders, Neurosurgery, and Neuroradiology departments.

Magdely Diaz de Leon

Inspired by the increasing exposure of racial disparities, Magdely is engaging with FIU Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine through RISE to raise awareness and combat racial inequalities. With a questionnaire centered around the essential worker population in South Florida, she aims to understand the factors that make it difficult to obtain health care from the worker’s perspective, not the institution. Simultaneously, Magdely is organizing training, meetings, and clinical visits for the Florida Clinicians for Climate Action and their Climate Health Outreach Team to expand environmental justice advocacy of medical professionals in Florida.

Muskan Effendi

Driven by her interest in the intersection of health and social advocacy, Muskan spent the summer as as PICS intern working with Boston Healthcare for the Homeless Program. This program works with a team of doctors, Physician’s assistants, nurses, and case managers to help curate and carry out a holistic plan of care for patients on the streets and recently housed. Muskan was able to pursue projects and interventions to increase awareness of safe spaces such as women’s clinics to the population of women on the streets, to increase mammogram screenings for the patients, and to create feminine specific hygiene packets to hand out on the team’s rounds.

Ashley Fan

Following her passion for health policy, Ashley worked at the New York Foundling within the Developmental Disabilities division through PICS. She created benchmarks in accordance with state regulations and a dashboard which displayed the behavioral assessments of the Foundling's clients. Ashley's work will help the Foundling continue to provide high quality, individualized care and advocate for those with developmental disabilities.

Eric Lee

As an aspiring physician, Eric worked in a lab at the National Jewish Health hospital in Denver this summer, supported by the Bogle Fellowship. There, he assisted in research and performed experiments related to pathways involved in repairing damaged lung cells caused by ARDS and COVID-19.

Hannah Lee 

Hannah worked as a Bogle Fellow with the Asian New Life Foundation to create informational content on the significant disparity for Asian Americans in bone marrow donor registries, with the goal of expanding the donor registry for the Asian American community.

Alison Parish

As a PICS intern supported by the Fred Fox '39 Fund, Alison interned with the Volunteer Services department at Children's National Medical Center and coordinated a high school volunteer program virtually. The program had five main components: Speaker Series, Hospital Support Opportunities, Learning Opportunities, Professional Development, and Capstone Project. With the support of the Child Life Services staff members, Alison served as a mentor to the volunteers and created an engaging and educational program.

Jiyoun Roh

Inspired by a younger brother with disabilities, Jiyoun worked a PICS internship at Special Olympics to conduct a health assessment of India's COVID-19 situation as it impacts children with disabilities, pointing out present issues and determining how Special Olympics could aid a group that has been so significantly affected. Special Olympics will utilize Jiyoun's project as it navigates a post-pandemic world, while Jiyoun will apply what she learned to her study in health.

Rachel Tam

Rachel worked as an IIP intern with Child Family Health International in Ecuador with Dra. Alvear to conduct a literature review about rural telemedicine in the Andean states. She also learned about various aspects of the Ecuadorian healthcare system and how programs have been established to address health inequities.

Safiya Topiwala

Through the Office of Religious Life's (ORL's) Faith-Based Internship Program, Safiya worked to strengthen mental health and wellness resources for refugee populations as an intern at Cornerstone this summer. Safiya facilitated a teen wellness program, while mentoring refugee youth who were navigating the transition to social and academic life in their communities. Additionally, she conducted oral history interviews of refugees for the ORL's Religion and Resettlement Project, which were being placed in an archive for future research and policy creation.

Chioma Ugwonali

Supported by the Class of 1978 Foundation, Chioma spent approximately nine weeks organizing a mutual aid cookout to connect residents and people experiencing homelessness on the Southside of Fort Worth, Texas, with local organizations that will help them secure long-term healthy food access and promote well-being. With the support of community partners and grant funding from the Princeton Class of 1978 Foundation, she was able to provide 150 nutrition-dense meals prepared by local Black- and/or Latinx-owned restaurants; invite organizations that practice trauma-informed care and intervention, share cultural knowledge about sustainable gardening, and offer ministerial services for those who are unhoused; and offer a self-researched brochure listing local collectives that help people address their food, housing, legal, and health needs.

Colton Wang

Curious to learn more about the implications of technology on the health of adolescents (especially amidst the pandemic), Colton worked with Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, a non-profit organization based in New York. As a remote summer research intern, Colton planned expert convenings for various stakeholders in media and child development and prepared research notes and materials for parents, legislators, and the general public.

Public Interest Technology 

Public interest technology is an emerging field that is defined by asking how we can use our technological expertise in the service of the public good. The goal is to develop best practices in human-centered design, product development, and data science to address problems in an inclusive, iterative manner that aims to better serve the public. In this cohort we will explore the potential and challenges of engaging in public interest technology, especially as it relates to issues of systemic injustice. We will also have the opportunity to directly engage with community partners to help understand and address their needs. Core questions will include: 

  • What does it mean to be a civic-minded technologist?
  • How do we improve the relationship between digital technology and society?
  • How can we use technology to address systemic injustice?
  • How do we learn about challenges community organizations face and how can technology be used wisely to address those challenges?
  • What are the limits of technological solutions?

This group will meet biweekly and take an exploratory approach to the topic. Guest speakers and community practitioners will occasionally join the cohort discussions, and there may be opportunities to visit with community organizations to learn more about their work.  There may also be opportunities for students to engage in individual or small-group projects in support of campus and community organizations, such as: Technology for a Just Society (JuST), Fair Share Housing Center, Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and Mercer County Park Commission. Students may engage in projects focused on software development, cyber security and advising on best practices for partners.

Faculty Mentor

Mihir Kshirsagar, Center for Information Technology and Policy

Staff Mentor

Yi-Ching Ong, Director of Service Focus 



Benjamin Cai

Inspired by his previous research on financial aid and his freshman seminar on socioeconomic equality ("Divided We Stand"), Ben researched for Prosperity Now, a national nonprofit based in D.C. that implements policies and programs to address the racial wealth and income gap. As a PICS intern supported by the Hodge '68 Service Focus Fund, Ben assisted with the execution of a cash assistance pilot for undocumented Latinx immigrants and analyzed surveys/interviews on low-income credit/debt usage amidst COVID-19.

Amber Chow

With the help and support of the Pace Center of Civic Engagement, Amber worked as a Community Action Fellow develop the CA 2021 theme of The Carceral System for the first-ever on-campus CA program in Princeton's history. After months researching, outreaching, and solidifying over half a a dozen unique schedules including activities, community partners, and logistics, Amber watched all her efforts come together when she trained and supported the 20 fantastic CA Leaders as they brought months of planning to life for over 100 first year students with overwhelming success.

Stephen Dong

Wanting to learn more about service-oriented careers, Stephen interned at the New York Foundling. He was supported by the PICS program.

Lily Gittoes

Lily worked as an intern on The Princeton Farm Project through the High Meadows Environmental Institute. The goal of the project was to collect data from farms in the Princeton area in order to analyze organic and regenerative agriculture practices. As an intern, Lily split her time between doing field work on the farms and working on data entry and analysis.

Ananya Grover

Applying her academic interest in CS toward tackling and preparing for environmental disasters, Ananya worked with Professor Ning Lin's group through PEI on a real-time hurricane hazard risk analysis and forecasting system. She visualized hazard risk on interactive maps and built a Python Flask website to display periodic updates to the predictions.

Thomas Hughes

At Baker Industries in Philadelphia, PA, Thomas worked closely with participants returning from prison to develop their personal and technical skills for achieving long term employment. After working alongside these men and women and hearing their powerful stories, he began conducting interviews which became a promotional video for the organization. Thomas was supported by the PICS program and the Diane K. Weeks '75 Fund.

Megan King

As a PICS intern in Houston, TX, Megan worked at New Hope Housing, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing affordable, permanent housing to Houston's most vulnerable citizens. Megan transformed data into understandable and creative media in the form of a map, training guide, and newsletter to improve internal and external communications.

Vassiliki (Viki) Mancoridis

Vassiliki Mancoridis spent the past summer working as a Data Science Research Intern at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Her work focused on developing a deep learning pipeline for digital pathology analysis, which essentially used deep learning techniques to identify features of cancer tissue culture samples.  She is interested in the applications of computer science for social good, especially in the field of health sciences.

Cole Meyer

Interested in exploring the intersection between scientific research and nonprofit ideologies, Cole worked a virtual IIP with the ALMA Observatory, a radio telescope array in the Atacama Desert of Chile. There, he worked to investigate possible causes for a mysterious drift found in antenna position measurements to ensure that scientists utilizing ALMA’s instruments receive the most consistent data possible.

Yash Parikh

Given his interest in the intersection between technology, economics, and society, Yash worked at Proficio Investments this summer through IIP. Argentina was recently downgraded from an emerging market status and has had inflation and debt issues in recent times. He focused on both quantitative and qualitative research to analyze market trends and their implications on Argentinian companies, alongside investment options for Argentinian clients looking to invest abroad.

Warren Quan

During the summer, Warren participated in TigerChallenge to explore and combat pre-existing, embedded assumptions about the role immigrants plays in U.S. society. To do this, Warren worked with a team to conduct interviews with experts, community engagers, and immigrants from different countries and gathered data from credible secondary sources. After synthesizing their findings on this subject, he and his team aspire to use design thinking to create an empathetic solution that can create a lasting impact.

Nathan Shin

Supported by Princeton's Center for Health and Wellness, Nathan worked on a research project at the University Malaya about the psychosocial impacts and quality of life among type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients during the COVID pandemic. This study helped identify and aid local authorities to identify and mobilize approaches to provide continuous psychosocial support to mitigate the negative impacts of pandemic.

Kathy Yang

Race, Migration, and Belonging

The United States is often erroneously described as a “Nation of Immigrants,” which omits the Indigenous communities who first lived in the nation and also suggest all immigrants had a similar experience when they arrived. The reality of course is that many African Americans were forced to come to the United States as slaves, whereas other populations like Asians and Latin Americans have found themselves excluded by federal law from entering the nation. We will consider the ways that race, ethnicity, and citizenship affect the experience of people in the United States. These discussions will include topics such as the militarization of the border, the detention of immigrants, deportation, refugees, voting rights, access to educational and social services. As we consider these questions, we will be coming back to some core questions, such as:

  • Who is considered an “American”? How do you become an American? How has it changed over time? 
  • How is citizenship defined and what rights does it provide in principle and in practice? 
  • In what ways does race and ethnicity alter the immigrant experience and efforts at belonging?
  • In what ways does refugee status intersect or diverge from the experience of undocumented immigrants?
  • How does the century-long tightening of the border relate to the lived realities of undocumented migrants, undocumented crossers, and the general public’s perception of them?

This group will meet biweekly and take an exploratory approach to the topic. Guest speakers and practitioners will occasionally join the cohort discussions, and there may be opportunities to visit with community organizations to learn more about their work.  There may also be opportunities for students to engage in individual or small-group projects in support of campus and community organizations, such as: the Office of Religious Life’s Forced Migration Initiative, the Keller Center’s ‘Maker-not-Taker’ Tiger Challenge, or partners from community-based organizations such as Not In Our Town and LALDEF.

Faculty Mentor

Rosina Lozano, History

Staff Mentor

Tara Carr-Lemke, Program for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ProCES)



Tiffanie Cheng

Tiffanie worked as a PICS intern at Epiphany School located in Boston to aid with summer enrichment of disadvantaged middle schoolers. Tiffanie hosted a counseling service for troubled teens at Epiphany. She also assisted in the Early Learning Center of Epiphany to ensure the proper functioning of the organization. 

Faraaz Godil 

As a PICS intern, Faraaz worked at The Resource Foundation, an organization that works to connect charitable contributions to local nonprofit organizations across the Americas. Faraaz primarily worked on compiling project information to report impact to donor clients.

Uma Menon

Uma served her Bogle Fellowship as a Development Intern at the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), the largest aid group in Texas that provides legal services to undocumented immigrants and asylum-seekers in the US.  During her internship, she drafted and edited fundraising emails, completed an audit of donor communications, and designed educational materials on asylum in the US.

Bethany Villaruz

Last summer, Beth worked as a PICS intern at Veterans Campaign, a nonprofit that works to recruit and train veterans to run for public office. She completed communications work such as social media, blog writing, and digital archiving in order to serve Veterans Campaign's mission.

Mohan Setty-Charity 

Supported by the RISE program and the Champ Family Service Internship Fund, Mohan worked with the Princeton Community House to run the STEAM summer camp, which had activities in Writing, Engineering, Art, and Earth Sciences. Continuing his passion for working with teens, he also helped run SAT preparation programs for high schoolers in the Princeton area. He was glad that the teenagers in both of these programs enjoyed themselves while preparing for the challenges of this upcoming year, and hopes that the activities and lessons set up over the summer can be used during the year and in future summers.

Kate Van Dusen

As a Bogle Fellow, Kate interned with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation in Washington, D.C. The foundation provides grants to international development organizations around the globe. Kate was involved with coordinating and supervising grants to organizations working to fight gang- and gender-related violence in Latin America.

Shirley Yang 

Supported by the International Internship Program, Shirley interned with the Kigezi Health Care Foundation (KIHEFO), a non-governmental organization based in Uganda whose mission is to break the cycle of disease, poverty, and ignorance using an integrated and sustainable approach. Under the mentorship of KIHEFO’s director and in collaboration with fellow interns, she formulated a comprehensive document entitled “Harnessing the Full Potential of Cooperatives: Bridging the Wealth Gap in Uganda”. It details a novel approach to cooperatives, one that unites higher-income and low-income individuals to generate regular income for Ugandan households living below the national poverty threshold, with the hopes that it uplifts not only individuals involved but also enhances the quality of life in rural Uganda communities.

Gisell Curbelo

Gisell Curbelo formed part of the Princeton RISE (Recognizing Inequities and Standing for Equality) 2021 cohort. During her RISE fellowship, she worked alongside the Latin American Legal and Education Fund (LALDEF), Especially; she worked with the legal team on immigration matters. Gisell is committed to immigration law and Racial Justice.

Urban Space/Housing

What Do We Want the Future City to Be? The Arts, Public Space, and Housing in the (Post?)-Pandemic City

After nearly two years of lockdowns, upheavals, and transformations, cities are at a crossroads. The protests following the murder of George Floyd brought unity across diverse areas and renewed calls for meaningful change, while the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the race and class divisions that shape our communities. An eviction crisis looms, while a booming real estate market is making housing even less affordable. Smaller cities and towns are swelling with residents, while central business districts remain empty. Streets have been remade as outdoor cafes or parks, but not all can access these new spaces. As we (haltingly) return to post-pandemic life, this cohort will focus on the following key questions:

  • What role do the arts play in creating attractive and vibrant streets and neighborhoods? How do the arts highlight overlooked narratives in our communities? Does urban art encourage gentrification and displacement? 
  • How can community members, designers, and policymakers work together to create inviting and inclusive public spaces? 
  • What solutions are there to the affordable housing and eviction crises? What roles can governments, nonprofits, developers, and citizens play?

This group will meet biweekly and take an exploratory approach to the topic. Guest speakers and community practitioners will occasionally join the cohort discussions, and there may be opportunities to visit with community organizations to learn more about their work.  There may also be opportunities for students to engage in individual or small-group projects in support of campus and community organizations, such as Isles, Einstein’s Alley, NJ Future, New Brunswick Tomorrow, Newark Symphony Hall, Women's Community Revitalization Project, and the Village of Arts and Humanities.

Faculty Mentor

Aaron Shkuda, Princeton-Mellon Initiative

Staff Mentor

Gray Collins, Internships Coordinator, Pace Center for Civic Engagement 



Sam Bisno

A believer in the power of listening to elicit empathy and understanding, Sam interned through PICS at StoryCorps and supported their mission to assemble an archive of human voices and stories from across the U.S. As a member of the Marketing and Communications team, he was responsible for curating content, writing language for dissemination, and analyzing performance to develop strategies for more meaningful public engagement. His largest project was a collection of stories demonstrating the diversity of Americans' experiences and complicating our understanding of what it means to be American.

Casey Beidel

In order to approach his interest in the arts from a more administrative standpoint, Casey worked as a PICS intern for New York Foundation for the Arts, a non-profit organization that helps provide support, resources, and opportunities for artists and arts organizations. He worked in the Communications, Learning, and Development department as a Marketing Intern and engaged with a variety of projects involving social media, analytics, sales, outreach, and design.

Melat Bekele

Inspired by her short film Paper Cuts surrounding microaggressions in an educational space, Melat worked in Philadelphia, PA at the Young Scholars Charter School with summer school students and administrators to serve low-income students of Philadelphia. Melat was a PICS intern.

April Dong

Interested in sustainable architecture, April interned through IIP with Thesing Construcciones, a construction company based in Argentina that aims to minimize waste on job sites and construct with recycled materials. April conducted independent research and interviews with professionals to produce a deliverable that offers recommendations and next steps forward for Thesing to achieve their goal.

Jonny Gagnon

Hoping to explore the intersection between art, service, and urban planning, Jonny had the privilege to work with Groundwork Bridgeport located in Bridgeport, CT this summer through the PICS program, supported by the Fund for Service Focus. At Groundwork, Jonny worked as in graphic design and marketing to amplify the organizations' many initiatives towards educating the city's youth in the fields of urban planning, landscape architecture, and creative placemaking in order to empower young people to cultivate and develop their communities.

Tommy Goulding

In Summer 2021, Tommy worked at Unity Gardens, a nonprofit urban farm on the industrial west side of his hometown of South Bend, Indiana. Tommy worked as a Garden Guide, showing members of the public how best to utilize this community resource. Tommy  organized volunteer groups contributing labor to the garden, conducted  outreach to community leaders, led tours for urban farmers from around the country, and advised neighborhood residents on how to locate and use nutritious crops grown on the seven-acre site. 

Elliott Hyon

Elliot worked at Logische Phantasie Lab.

Sabina Jafri

To further explore her interest in the intersection of social justice theatre and education, Sabina worked as a ProCES Derian Research Intern at Passage Theatre in Trenton, supported by the YS Chi '83 fund. She assembled a research guide for use in eighth grade classrooms to teach a history curriculum centered around the Hedgepeth-Williams court case that desegregated New Jersey Schools in 1945.  The research will also be used to develop of an upcoming production of Junior High #2: The Hedgepeth-Williams Story.

Becky Rosen

Following her childhood dream to become an architect, this summer Becky worked at a local architecture firm in her hometown to support the community that has supported her throughout her life. Becky collaborated with local businesses to help revitalize her city and beautify downtown.

Gabriela Veciana

Through the ProCES Derian program and the YS Chi '83 Fund, Gabby spent her summer working at Instituto Nueva Escuela (INE), a non-profit education organization dedicated to the reopening and transformation of public schools in Puerto Rico.  Specifically, she worked on a proposal to implement music curriculum into 4 of INE's partner schools. Gabby has long been passionate about giving back to the island and hopes to return soon.

Max Widmann

As a PICS intern, Max worked at Museum at Eldridge Street in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Located in the historic 1887 Eldridge Street Synagogue, the Museum offers tours and programs about Jewish immigrants and their lives in New York. Max worked in visitor services, program management, and institutional advancement during his internship at Eldridge Street.