Student Leaders and Members

Brett Zakheim (’23)

Oslo Scholar 2021

Brett is a rising junior from New York City. She is majoring in Economics and minoring in Chinese. She is interested in pursuing a career in Sino-American relations, the social impact and nonprofit sector, or human rights. Studying Chinese, Brett is planning on studying abroad in Beijing in the fall and Hong Kong in the spring. She was a member of the 2020-21 EPIIC Colloquium: China and the World, which strengthened her desire to continue to study Chinese and China’s foreign policy. In her free time, Brett loves to play tennis, hike, and cook.

Grace Abe (’23)

Community Liaison

Grace Abe is a sophomore planning on double majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies. She is from Lexington, Massachusetts and attended Lexington High School. She serves as the Community Liaison for the Tufts Amnesty International Chapter. She joined Tufts Amnesty in the fall of her freshman year, after being involved in her high school’s chapter.

Claudia Aibel (’23)


Claudia is a sophomore at Tufts University double majoring in Psychology and International Relations. She is from Saratoga Springs, New York, and currently serves as Secretary of the Tufts chapter of Amnesty International. She has enjoyed working with Amnesty so far and is looking forward to the rest of the semester.

Kira Ambrose (’17)

Co-Founder and Co-President

Kira Ambrose is a sophomore majoring in quantitative economics. Her interest in women’s issues has grown tremendously since coming to Tufts through conversations with unique women on campus and interning with NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. She participated in the 2012-13 EPIIC colloquium on Global Health and Security, where she first conceived X-Effect with her classmate, Jessica Muganza. Outside of X-Effect, Kira is an lead analyst with Tufts Financial Group's Real Estate Sector and enjoys creative writing and going on adventures with her friends.

Elebetel Aseefa (’22)

Vice President, Honduras

Elebetel is a sophomore from Ethiopia and the Vice President of Tufts International Development Honduras. She is studying History and Philosophy. Elebetel is passionate about establishing a global healthcare system that does not discriminate, disregard, or discount any patients, no matter the race, age, or gender.

Simon-Pierre Behr (’14)

Co-Chair of PPRI

Simon-Pierre Behr is a junior majoring in International Relations and minoring in Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies. Growing up in France, Simon-Pierre's education was influenced by the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity. During his high school years he looked at micro finance and education as ways of empowering the poor and reducing inequalities. At Tufts, Simon-Pierre joined PPRI because he wanted to look at the paralyzing and damaging effects that corruption (in a broad sense) can have on economic and political systems, and on any efforts to reduce inequalities and injustices. Currently his research with PPRI is concerned with the effects of political and economic corruption on journalists in Turkey.

Ray Bernoff (’18)

Ray Bernoff is a senior majoring in Film and Media Studies. He grew up in Arlington, Massachusetts and was homeschooled for eight years before attending Harvard Extension in lieu of high school. His interests include image-making in a variety of formats, storytelling from filmmaking to journalism to creative writing, disability and LGBT+ activism, cycling, forensics, and hair styling. At Tufts, he is a staff photographer, former photo-exec, and investigative journalist at the Tufts Daily newspaper, a member of the disability group formerly known as CAST, and is co-producing and DPing a variety of video projects with other FMS majors and TUTV members. Last summer he was a news producer at Arlington Community Media, Inc.

Saloni Bhojwani (’11)

Coeditor in Chief (2011)

Saloni Bhojwani graduated from Tufts in 2011, where she earned her B.A. in Economics and International Relations, with a focus on Economic Development. She grew up in Singapore and attended international schools there.  While at Tufts, she was heavily involved in IGL Activities: Saloni was Editor-in-Chief of Discourse from 2010-2011, participated in EPIIC in 2008-2009 and was a member of Exposure through which she attended the Exposure workshop in Ajmer, Rajasthan in summer, 2009. Saloni now works as a management consultant in Singapore, and she plans to transition into development consulting in the near future.  She is fluent in French with a working knowledge of Mandarin.

Ian Boldiston (’22)

Discussion Lead

Ian Boldiston is a senior from Albany, New York majoring in International Relations with a concentration in Globalization and minors in Spanish and Political Science. He is particularly interested in the nexus of diplomacy and development as well as rule of law and human rights issues. In the past, Ian has completed internships in international development and legal research. On-campus, he was also a Tufts with Rwanda Fellow, is a Tufts Wilderness Orientation Leader, has been involved with the Prison Initiative student group, and plays for the Cricket Club. This is Ian's second year being a part of MERG, and he is also currently participating in the IGL's EPIIC Colloquium 2021-22: "Problems Without Passports".

Tamar Brandes-Krug (’22)

Vice President

Tamar Brandes-Krug is a junior serving as the Vice President of the Tufts chapter of Amnesty International. Tamar is majoring in Political Science and minoring in fine arts. She is from Medford, Massachusetts and is interested in working on issues that specifically pertain to the greater Boston area.

Zachary Burpee (’23)


Zack is a junior from Seattle, WA majoring in Middle Eastern Studies and International Relations with a concentration in Security. He is particularly interested in diplomacy and the cultural history of the MENA region. He has worked multiple internships connected to international relations and video production, most recently with Carpe Global, an international education website. Outside of MERG, Zack competes with the men’s ultimate frisbee team and works with the Boston Red Sox Fan Services Office.

Elana Chan (’21)


Elana is a senior studying Environmental Engineering and Community Health. She has been a part of the Malawi project team since her freshman year, and she travelled to Malawi for the first implementation trip in summer 2018. Outside of EWB, Elana can be found volunteering in her community, conducting research with the environmental


Nicola Chang (’14)

Marketing Co-Director

Nicola Chang hails from Hong Kong, and is a senior majoring in International Relations and Economics. Besides her interest in China-U.S. relations and how it pertains to her hometown in particular, Nicola is also involved in the music scene at Tufts University. In her spare time Nicola enjoys reading books on Behavioral Economics, listening to Maurice Ravel, or drumming on trashcans. Nicola hopes to someday promote music as a facilitator for development of social and human capital, but she'll get back to you on that eventually.

Manal Cheema (’14)


Manal Cheema is a first-year student pursuing a double major in political science and brain and cognitive sciences. On campus, she is involved with X-Effect, ALLIES, and Model UN, while also being a member of the Tufts JumboRaas team (an Indian dance group). As a result of her interest in government and law, Manal has interned with Senator Elizabeth Warren. Outside of academics, Manal enjoys to draw, play video games, and spread awareness of the issues women face across the globe.

Judy Chen (’19)

IGL Liaison

Judy Chen is a junior from Taiwan who studies Anthropology, as well as Cognitive & Brain Sciences and Science, Technology, & Society on the side. Having lived abroad her entire life, Judy loves traveling to and living in different countries to connect with people and see how they make life their own. She loves spending her time writing, creating, having six-hour lunches, and exploring the edges of human connection. Currently, she is interested in bringing more humanity and human nuance to the world of tech and design.

Karishma Chouhan (’21)

Karishma Chouhan is a junior at Tufts University double majoring in Quantitative Economics and International Relations. She has been a part of TuftsID: India since her first year in university and has been passionate about international development since middle school. She is also involved with the Tufts University drama department, and various on-campus organizations. In her free time, she likes to sleep, read, and lament how much it snows in Boston.

Emma Christman (’23)

Oslo Scholar 2021

Emma Christman is a member of the Tufts Class of 2023 from Sudbury, Massachusetts. She is pursuing a major in International Relations with a concentration in International Security. She is interested in journalism and issues surrounding human rights and democracy. At Tufts, Emma is the Editor in Chief of Hemispheres: The Tufts University Journal of International Affairs and serves on the executive board of Tufts Women in International Relations. She is passionate about making space for women to become involved in international affairs, a historically male-dominated field. In her free time, she loves to read, play violin, travel, and spend time with friends and family.

As an Oslo Scholar in 2021, Emma will intern remotely with Srdja Popovich at his organization, the Center for Applied Nonviolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) based in Belgrade, Serbia. She is looking forward to meeting international human rights activists and learning more about non-violent democracy movements around the world.

Nic Chung (’20)

Nic Chung is a sophomore majoring in Sociology and minoring in Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies. He is passionate about personal growth, sharing ideas with those around him, and telling stories through documentary film. By nature, he is an autodidact; he enjoys refining his skills and teaching himself new ones. In his spare time, Nic likes to read, write, and spend quality time with his friends. 

Evan Cook (’19)

Board Member

Evan Cook is a member of the class of 2019 from Columbus, Ohio interested in studying International Relations and Anthropology. His inquisitiveness and indecisiveness have led him to interests ranging from gender in international relations to the effects of viral dormancy in mice. Consequently, he hopes to find a career that works across different disciplines to address various issues facing the US and the world. Going forward, Evan is excited to engage Synaptic Scholars in larger communities, hoping to impart positive change on and off Tufts’ campus.

Sarah Dawson (’23)


Sarah Dawson is a sophomore from Connecticut! She is currently pursuing a double major in environmental engineering and environmental studies. For EWB, she is a member of the Tufts' Malawi project, and one of the co-treasurers for the chapter here on campus. A quick fun fact about her is that she absolutely loves to be outside, especially hiking and camping!

Nina Denison (’14)

Prose Editor

Nina Denison is a Junior from Concord, Massachusetts, majoring in English with a minor in Mass Communications and Media Studies. This is her first year with Discourse, and she is thrilled to take on the position of Prose Editor to engage with fellow creative writers at Tufts. Discourse appeals to her as a publication that is lively and relevant to the school and the greater community, combining scintillating debate with dynamic, artistic expression.

Athiri Derick (’23)

Empower Fellow 2021

Athiri Derick is the founder, and manager at Cornerstone Education Centre. He is a rising Junior in the school of arts and sciences, interested in macroeconomic psychology. He strongly believes in the power of education to transform lives, especially during a child’s formative years. He believes that our education system should prepare children for the future and that it behooves our generation to lay the groundwork for a new education system. A system that prepares young children to design instead of waiting for the future. The preparation for which begins in the earliest stage of formal education, early childhood.

He knows that no single approach is perfect for everyone, which is why he founded Cornerstone Education Centre, a school program centered around the pupil, not the curriculum. They hope to use learning algorithms using the athedu platform, a tool co-engineered by Cornerstone Education Centre, to produce the best pupils in any academic sphere. A partnership with the empower program brings them a step closer to making this dream come true. Aside from working on Cornerstone and Athedu, he loves playing chess and walking nature trails. He is also a big fan of picnics and studying outdoors, especially the spot behind miner hall, where sunny days always find him.

Elisabeth Di Domenico (’24)

Empower Fellow 2021

Elisabeth isa sophomore with the intended double majorin International Relations and Economics from New York City. This summer she is working as a Business Development Intern fortech-finance startupPezesha, in Nairobi Kenya.Pezesha’sworks to connectsmall and medium enterprises the tools to grow their business through financial education and connecting business owners to loans and capital holders.Through this experience, she hopes to take away a greater understanding of East Africa’s endeavors in social impactentrepreneurship.At Tufts, she is involved inTEDxTufts, 180 Degrees Consulting and the Tufts Investment Banking Club.

Alexandra Dingle (’24)

IGL Liaison

Alex is a sophomore majoring in International Relations and minoring in Arabic and Child Study and Human Development. She was raised in New York City but spent every summer visiting her family in Greece, which helped form her global worldview. Prior to Tufts, she participated in the Tisch 1+4 Bridge Year through Tufts and lived in India for seven months, and she spent the summer after volunteering at a refugee camp in Athens. Apart from MERG, she is also an intern for the Fletcher Initiative on Religion Law and Diplomacy and a Laidlaw Scholar, where she focuses her research on recreational programs for children growing up in refugee camps.

Ming Dongfang (’21)

Empower Fellow 2021

Ming is Chinese and joined Fletcher straight from her undergrad majoring in Economics. Prior to Fletcher she worked as a financial services consultant at Oliver Wyman and had experience in designing sovereign bonds earmarked for vaccine R&D during her work with GAVI, the vaccine alliance. In the past two years, she developed strong interest in ESG investing. She became the co-president of Fletcher Social Investment Group leading advisory projects for social enterprises, NGOs and impact investors. Mostly notably, she supported the rollout of the impact fund under Arab region's first venture philanthropy foundation. During the pandemic, she conducted equity research with Fidelity Investment based on companies' inherent resilience from their key business models and ESG integration; she also served as a research fellow under Responsible Asset Allocator Initiatives at New America, rating and ranking the ESG practices of 200+ SWFs and PPFs. Now she is exploring entrepreneurship opportunities in sustainable apparel.

Cody Eaton (’19)

Cody is a junior from Gloucester, MA studying International Relations with a concentration in international economic development. He got a camera at the start of 2017 and has since examined his academic interests in the environment, development, and Latin America through the lens. During June of 2017 he traveled to Ecuador to produce a video for Tufts International Development’s implementation of a digital library program in the earthquake-stricken community of Coaque. He then spent his fall semester studying abroad in Bolivia, where he produced a documentary on the impact of climate change in the rural municipality of Betanzos. He is passionate about climate action, soccer, and music, and can be found playing pickup in Gantcher or hosting his radio show on WMFO. 

Daniel S Eslami (’22)


Daniel is an international student from Zurich, Switzerland. He has lived in both Holland and Switzerland and now studies in the US.  He joined European Horizons to expose himself to different perspectives on European affairs and to discuss controversial issues with other students who are interested in Europe. For Daniel, European Horizons provides a great opportunity for people at Tufts to change their perspectives by interacting with other students on matters that interest them.

His own areas of interest include, labour economics, international migration, and conflict resolution.


Mike Feng (’21)

Mike is a junior at Tufts University currently studying abroad at Pembroke College at the University of Oxford. He majors in Quantitative Economics and International Relations while minoring in History. Mike is passionate about international economic development and enjoys playing football (soccer), traveling and listening to grime.

Connolly Ferraro (’23)


Connolly is a junior originally hailing from Chicago. At Tufts, Connolly is pursuing a double major in International Relations and Economics. A lover of history, he is always looking to connect current events to the past. Outside of MERG Connolly is a member of an MIT research group and enjoys hiking wherever a trail can be found.

Olive Garst (’21)


Olive is a senior studying electrical engineering with an interest in engineering education. She is from Philadelphia, PA and has been a part of EWB since freshman year. Outside of EWB, Olive participates in the women's ultimate frisbee team, climbs, and loves to draw.


Bridget Gattinoni (’23)

Co-Fundraising Chair

Bridget is a sophomore majoring in Mechanical Engineering and minoring in Computer Science from Newtown, CT. She is a member of the Nicaragua project team and is a fundraising co-chair this year. Outside of EWB, Bridget is on the Women’s Club volleyball team and participates in Junior Jumbos.


Hailey Gavin (’18)

Hailey Gavin is a senior at Tufts majoring in Political Science and minoring in English and Film & Media Studies. As the executive editor of the video section of The Tufts Daily, She produces video journalism pieces, as well as marketing videos for organizations, including the Golden Gate National Parks. She is. She is also a Writing Fellow at Tufts and plays on the club soccer team. She is originally from San Francisco.

Konrad Gessler (’14)

Operations Co-Director

Konrad Gessler is a senior from North Salem, NY majoring in International Relations: Security Studies. As a member of the 2011-2012 EPIIC Colloquium "Conflict in the 21st Century", Konrad traveled to Muscat, Oman to research Omani-Iranian bilateral relations during the tensions in the Straits of Hormuz. Konrad co-directed FIELDEX, a real-time simulation of a conflict scenario with participants from civilian universities and military academies. He also organized a career panel for ALLIES with panelists representing careers in the public and private sectors. Konrad is looking forward to his continued involvement in the IGL's programs during his last year at Tufts.

Molly Gould

Molly Gould (’22)


Molly is a sophomore at Tufts University from Washington, DC, and President of Tufts International Development. She is studying International Relations and Civic Studies, with a concentration in culture and identity systems. In the future, Molly hopes to continue learning about global health and education and pursue opportunities to work in international development. In addition to her role with TID, Molly is a Laidlaw Research Scholar and enjoys working in education and mentorship initiatives, including the Big Brothers Big Sisters Foundation.

Mallory Grider (’19)

Meeting Coordinator

Mallory Grider is a member of the Class of 2019. Mallory balances her love of numbers and narratives at Tufts University, where she studies Mathematics, Computer Science, and History. She hails from Sandy, Oregon, a rural town near Mount Hood, though she thinks of Boston as her adopted hometown. Mallory spent half of her high school career studying mathematics at Reed College, in Portland. At Reed, during a project on elliptic curve cryptography and its practical application, she developed an interest in number theory and cryptanalysis. On campus, Mallory is an editor of the Tufts Historical Review, an academic journal of history, a member of Chi Omega sorority, and a volunteer for Tufts’ Girls of Code.

Meg Grieve (’24)

Trip Coordinator

Meg is a sophomore from Washington D.C. studying Arabic and International Relations with a concentration in Globalization. She has studied Arabic since the beginning of high school and before Tufts she participated in a gap year program in Rabat, Morocco with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). In Morocco, she lived with a host family, took Arabic classes, and taught English at a local youth center. In addition to serving on the e-board of MERG as Trip Coordinator, she plays for the women’s club soccer team and is involved with JumboVote and Tufts Mountain Club.

Jeremy Gumener (’19)

Jeremy is from Geneva, Switzerland and is a Junior at Tufts studying Film and Media Studies. His dream is to become a writer & director for his own feature films. He has been seriously into photography for about 4 years now and shoots solely on film (regular and medium format). He is currently in the process of writing/directing/producing his first short film with the help of Professor and filmmaker Khary Jones.

Esra Gurcay (’20)

E-board member

Esra is senior at Tufts University majoring in International Relations with a concentration in the Middle East and minoring in music. She is the co-president of the Middle East Research Group (MERG) at Tufts. Her interest in the Middle East is rooted in her love for Istanbul, her hometown, and the various languages and cultures that give color to the region. Esra has been studying Arabic at Tufts since her sophomore year and spent the summer of 2018 learning Arabic in Beirut, Lebanon. Throughout her years at Tufts, Esra has been involved in a variety of student organizations such as Tufts Amnesty International, MERG (formerly NIMEP), the Tufts Daily, ESL and the Tufts Jazz Orchestra. Her academics interests include Turkish politics, U.S. foreign policy, Islam, the Kurdish question and international migration. Outside of classes and school clubs, Esra regularly performs with her band at gigs around Tufts and Boston.

Anne Hall (’19)

Meeting Coordinator

Anne is a member of the Class of 2019 and is from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She is a Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies double major, and has passions ranging from women’s health to Spanish language and culture to photography. She is involved in numerous groups on campus including the Tufts First-Gen Council, GlobeMed at Tufts, Minority Association of Pre-Health Students (MAPS), and Oslo Scholars.

Engaging in meaningful conversations regarding the intersectionality between faith and social justice work is extremely important to Anne, and she is ecstatic to continue contributing to this conversation at Tufts as a 2017 Cafe Peer Leader. In her free time, Anne loves to read, embark on spontaneous adventures and go on walks.


Laura Harvey (’23)

Empower Fellow 2021

Laura Harvey is a junior in the combined degree program, studying a self-designed major in Colonial and Environmental History, and a BFA in Studio Art. Prior to beginning her studies at Tufts, she participated in Tisch College's 1+4 Bridge Year program, in which she was an environmental education apprentice for the City Council of Florianopolis, Brazil. At Tufts, she has serves as a Peer Advisor at the International Center, and has promoted environmental action as a part of the SMFA Sustainability Committee. Laura contributes to audio journalism efforts on campus as an audio editor for the Tufts Daily's podcasts and has also exhibited in many SMFA art exhibitions. This summer, Laura is working with the NGO Cultural Survival to develop radio programs with indigenous radio stations.

Anna Haugen (’16)

Copy Editor

Anna Haugen is a sophomore from the San Francisco Bay Area, majoring in International Relations with a concentration in Europe and the Former Soviet Union, and considering a minor in Cognitive and Brain Sciences. This is Anna's first year on the Discourse staff and she'll be working as a copy editor. She is very excited to be part of the fantastic Discourse staff and looks forward to putting together a great journal!

Wenyi He (’15)

Programming Co-Director

Wenyi is a junior from Beijing, China. She is a Quantitative Economic and International Relations (International Finance concentration) double major. Wenyi is currently an e-board member in Tufts Economic Society and Tufts China Student Association. This past summer, Wenyi participated UBS Private Wealth Management workshop in Beijing and also interned in Simon- Kucher & Partners Beijing office, a price-strategy consulting firm.  At Tufts, Wenyi is dedicated to promoting American understanding and perception of China by bringing in more Chinese perspectives.

Sofie Hecht (’18)

Sofie has always loved telling stories and learning from others, so finding documentary photography was a perfect fit for her when she arrived at Tufts. She is now a graduating senior TA’ing for the Advanced Documentary Practice class and is an International Literary and Visual Studies (ILVS) and Spanish double major. She has travelled extensively around Latin America and hopes to generate social change and impact through visual narratives.

Carolina Hidalgo-McCabe (’23)


Carolina is a junior studying Civic Studies and International Relations. She grew up living in the D.C. area, Dominican Republic, and Panama. After taking a gap year in Morocco, studying Arabic with NSLI-Y, Carolina is now co-President of MERG and a Tisch Scholar at Tufts. Carolina is passionate about gender justice and social movements both domestically and in the MENA region. She has previously held internships with Counterpart International, the D.C. Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren, and several community mobilizing and political organizations. Outside of MERG, Carolina loves to cook (and blog about food), stay active, and enjoy time outside with friends and family.

Annmarie Hoch (’21)

Institute for Global Leadership Chair

Annmarie is a senior studying Community Health. She is from Chelmsford, MA and has been involved in Engineers Without Borders’ Malawi project since her sophomore year. Around campus, she is also involved in the Melisma music magazine, Jumpstart, and the Center for Engineering, Education, and Outreach.


Carlos Irisarri (’21)

Oslo Scholars Coordinator

Carlos Irisarri is a senior at Tufts University studying Political Science and Philosophy. He was selected his sophomore year to an internship in the Olso Scholars program and worked at El Chiguire Bipolar, a Venezuelan satirical periodical. He was also selected to attend the Olso symposium where he met many of the heads of the organizations that now partner with the program. This is where his desire to help advance the Oslo scholars program comes from. Carlos is also heavily involved with other Institute for Global leadership Programs such as the flagship course, EPIIC. When he is not working on academics he enjoys long walks in the park, renaissance art, ventriloquist dummies and eating pizza.

Hena Kapadia (’11)

Coeditor in Chief (2010-2011)

After completing her degree in Art History and Economics at Tufts, Hena  Kapadia joined Christie's Education in London for a master's degree in Modern and Contemporary Art. Hena has recently completed her Master’s dissertation entitled “dis[orient]ation” which is focused on contemporary art from South Asia. She has interned at several art spaces in Boston, Mumbai and London and is currently back in Mumbai, India where she plans on setting up a venture of her own in the coming years.

Sarah Kee (’15)

Photography and Arts Editor

Sarah Kee is a sophomore from Dallas, Texas, double majoring in International Relations and Anthropology. This is her first year on the Discourse staff and she will be working as a Photography and Arts Editor. She is excited to be a part of Discourse and is looking forward to learning more about important social issues through the diverse beliefs andexperiences of fellow Tufts students.

Youngchan Kim (’16)

Panel Leader

There is a Korean proverb that says, “The frog in the well knows nothing of the great ocean.” The story continues with the small frog, “Haewa” means ‘sea frog’ in Korean, leaving the well, the only world he has known, to experience a new world. He is not satisfied with staying near the well and journeys beyond the town and country he is from. He heads towards the sea, his ultimate goal, passing over mountains and through rivers. His is a life of insatiable challenges in a new world outside the well; and that has been Youngchan’s life for the past 27 years.

Youngchan Kim is a graduate student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University. He is from South Korea and finished his bachelor’s degree at Kyung Hee University majoring in Political Science and International Relations with special focus on China and North Korea. With his academic interests in China, he attended a number of academic activities in China and Taiwan including one year of exchange study at National Cheng Chi University (NCCU) in Taipei. He also served the Korean Army for two years as a soldier of the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA). Before he came to the Fletcher, he also worked at Center for Medicine and Korean Reunification, Seoul National University. As a researcher, he participated in a number of different projects including publishing a white paper for North Korea Public Health as well as in developing a Public health contingency plan for North Korea’s emergent situation with special focuses on mass influx of refugees. At the Fletcher School, he is concentrating on International Conflict Resolution and Development Economics, while he is actively engaging in many school activities as a member of China Studies Society and North Korea Working Group of the Fletcher School. Youngchan is a big lover of backpack travel and he has been traveled in 78 cities in 18 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America so far.

His panel “US Pivot Change and Asia’s Response” will cover the Obama administration’s foreign policy toward Pacific Asia and what has been done in the past based on the policy and the reactions of the countries in the Asia-Pacific area, especially in East Asia; China, Korea, and Japan. Furthermore, the panel will examine the future of the US Pivot Change and its impacts on the political spectrum in Pacific Asia. 

Olivia King (’22)

Events Coordinator

Olivia King is a sophomore at Tufts University majoring in International Relations and Economics. She is from Medford, Oregon, and currently serves as Tufts Amnesty International’s Events Coordinator. She joined Amnesty in her first year at Tufts to take action on human rights issues across the world. She looks forward to helping grow Amnesty and hopes to work with other social justice-centered clubs to expand Amnesty’s impact.


Alex Knapp (’14)

Research Coordinator

Alex Knapp is a sophomore majoring in international relations.  He is very excited to be research coordinator for X Effect and looks forward to supporting members' research.  His interest in gender issues started spring semester 2013 when he took the class Introduction to Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.  Alex also enjoys music and theater, and is a member of Tufts Concert Choir and is treasurer for Bare Bodkin Theater Company.

Saba Kohli Dave (’14)

Curriculum Advisor

Saba Kohli Dave is a first-year student who is planning to major in International Relations and minor in WGSS. Growing up in India and subsequently interning with a childhood cancer organisation, Saba’s interest in women’s issues began when she saw how gender discrimination existed and was perpetuated in almost all spheres. After the recent cases of violence against women in India, Saba decided to participate in the domestic as well as international struggle for women’s equality. On campus she is involved with The X-Effect, Student’s Acting for Gender Equality and the Tufts Equestrian Team. Saba loves horses, food and driving cars. 

Tara Kola (’15)

Panel Leader

Tara Kola is a junior majoring in Computer Science and minoring in Chinese. She was born near San Francisco, and moved to Bangalore, India at the age of 13. With a strong interest in linguistics and the application of computational tools, Tara will be spending next year in Beijing and Kunming studying natural language processing and Chinese calligraphy. She is also interested in health informatics, and is currently working with the Village Zero Project on visualizing geotemporal trends in cholera epidemics in Bangladesh. She hopes to extend her work with health informatics to preventative traditional healthcare practices in India and China. Tara spends her spare time reading travel books, writing articles about the residents of Boston, practicing Indian classical dance, cooking dishes from around the world, and running down the Charles.

She will be leading this years panel on Foreign Media Perceptions. This panel aims to study how the picture painted of China by domestic and international media affects how the global community understands China. To what extent is the media's image of China consistent with how it sees itself? How do international perceptions of China affect policy-making? By bringing together the viewpoints of diplomats, foreign correspondents and researchers in social psychology, this panel attempts to address these questions from a multidisciplinary perspective.

Madeline Krahn (’14)

Public Relations Director

Madeline Krahn is a sophomore majoring in economics and international relations with a concentration in developmental economics. As the public relations director, she manages the Facebook page and publicizes events, as well as collaborating with the rest of the group. Madeline’s interest in global women’s issues began through an internship with Children International, which provides support for families and children in the US and developing countries. She also volunteers at LIFT-Somerville and enjoys dancing in her free time

Katyln Kreie (’19)

Katlyn is a junior from St. Louis, Missouri and intends on majoring in Film and Media Studies and Political Science. At Tufts, she is involved with theatre and comedy groups including The Institute Sketch Comedy and Stand Up Comedy Collective. She is the PR director for Major:Undecided sketch comedy. She also is the co-creator of the TFL comedy blog and is in the process of starting her own podcast. She is interested in American politics, especially topics centered on education, and is a member of Tufts Tutors. In the future, she would like to pursue her passion for journalism and work for a news publication doing photography, filmmaking or writing.

Olivia Lazan (’21)

President, Honduras

Olivia is at junior at Tufts University from Brooklyn, NY, and the President of Tufts International Development Honduras. She is studying Spanish and International Relations, with a regional focus in Latin America. In addition to her work with TID- Honduras, Olivia coordinates ESL classes on campus for the local immigrant community and is a member of Enchanted A Cappella and Model UN. The past two summers, Olivia worked at a legal non- profit helping represent and advocate for Central American refugees.

Taylor Lewis (’21)

E-board member

Taylor Lewis is a junior at Tufts majoring in international relations and economics, and minoring in Middle Eastern history. In addition to his role with MERG, Taylor serves as a 2021 Class Senator and is a member of Tufts Debate and Economics Society. Studying Arabic and French, Taylor hopes to study abroad in Morocco next semester, and do economic development work in the MENA region. In the meantime, however, he reconnects with his Portland, OR roots by wearing fuzzy flannels and drinking copious amounts of coffee.


Anastasiya Lobacheva (’15)

Copy Editor

Anastasiya Lobacheva is a sophomore from Atlanta, Georgia. This is her first year working on Discourse, and she is joining the staff as a Copy Editor. As a Philosophy major, she is thrilled to be part of the rebirth of a magazine that provides a space for the faculties of reason and debate.

Miranda Macaulay Miller (’20)

E-board member

Miranda is a senior from California majoring in International Relations and minoring in Arabic and Art History. She has  studied Arabic and the history, politics, and culture of the Middle East and North Africa since her freshman year and spent last semester studying in Morocco. She is particularly interested in arts and culture in the region and helped prepare the opening of a Washington, DC based art gallery featuring modern and contemporary video, art, and photography from the Middle East and North Africa this summer. 

Samira Manzur (’16)

Photography and Arts Editor

Samira Manzur is from Dhaka, Bangladesh. She recently joined Discourse as one of the Photography and Arts Editor. She is trying to blend her passions and interests with her academics. Her interests mostly revolve around visual women and socio-economic empowerment (they are more correlated than we’d like to think), social justice and visual arts. She is very excited about Discourse as it is her first key involvement in Tufts.

Nicholas Martin (’24)


Major: Mechanical Engineering

Nicholas is a sophomore from New York City who is majoring in Mechanical Engineering. He is especially fascinated with the study of interstate conflicts as well as the interaction between new technologies and international relations. At Tufts, he is involved in the running club in addition to ALLIES. During his free time, Nicholas enjoys reading the news, practicing his ukulele, and going to the gym.


Kimberly Martin (’21)

Empower Fellow 2021

Kimberly Martin is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Tanzania for three years, she has decided to attend the Fletcher school because of that same Peace Corps spirit of community. During her first two years of service in the village of Mwena, the majority of the projects focused on life skills and girl’s empowerment, which lead to her to extending a third year with a girl's empowerment organization called AfricAid in Tanzania. After her Peace Corps service, she wanted to continue working on gender equality and equity and was one of the main reasons she chose to study at Fletcher and to focus her field of studies on Gender and Intersectional Analysis and Business for Social Impact.

Now, as a full-time graduate student and a full-time special education paraprofessional, she believes and has seen how important representation is firsthand. Students need to be seen and heard, especially at a young age. As an Empower Fellow, she can focus on what she is passionate about by creating and designing a S.T.E.A.M-focused program for students that incorporate expressive art through marketing and design. The program seeks to provide a positive experience for students impacted by bullying with a curriculum is designed to focus on identity, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.

Nicci Mattey (’22)


Nicci is a junior serving as the President of the Tufts chapter of Amnesty International. She is majoring in International Relation and Political Science, with a minor French. She grew up in San Antonio, Texas and now lives outside Washington DC. Since high school, she has worked closely with the immigrant and refugee community and has developed a passion for immigrant advocacy, a crucial aspect of Amnesty’s work. The Tufts community is filled with passionate activists, and Nicci could not be more grateful to be part of mobilizing this group. She is excited to engage with the IGL community and fight for human rights on our campus, in our community, and beyond.


Carolina McCabe (’23)

Outreach Coordinator

Carolina is a freshman from Vienna, VA who is planning on majoring in International Relations and Civic Studies. She is interested in pursuing work in international development in the future. Carolina took a gap year with the NSLI-Y program studying Arabic in Rabat, Morocco and since then has been fascinated by the politics and cultural dynamics in the MENA region. At Tufts, Carolina is also a part of CORES and Generation Citizen.

Kristin McConnell (’12)

Co-Chair of PPRI

Kristin McConnell is a sophomore majoring in International Relations and Peace and Justice Studies. At Tufts, Kristin is also actively involved with LIFT Somerville and BUILD India, which have expanded her interest into various fields. Kristin is very interested in the interaction between gender and politics, particularly how gender is impacted in conflict and post-conflict reconstruction. Kristin was attracted to PPRI because of its interdisciplinary approach to encouraging intellectual exploration, and its foundation in encouraging student-led research. Her research in PPRI is currently focused on the relationship between politics and journalism in Turkey, and particularly how this affects the freedom of speech of minority groups like the Turkish Kurds.

Frankie Michielli (’22)

Oslo Scholar 2021

Frankie is a member of the class of 2022 from New York City. Through her double major in International Relations and Economics, she has developed a strong interest in comparative politics, development economics, and political violence; in particular, she is interested in exploring questions surrounding state power, accountability, and human prosperity. The IGL has been a formative part of her Tufts experience, as she served as President of Women in International Relations, worked with the Tufts International Development Honduras team, and was a member of the 2020-2021 EPIIC colloquium on China and the World. Elsewhere on campus, Frankie loves to sing with the Tufts Jackson Jills and volunteer with the Food Rescue Collaborative. She is excited to be working under Srdja Popovic at CANVAS this summer and hopes to learn about how collective action brings about sustainable political change.

Anna Miller

Anna is a staff photographer for Tufts University, capturing news, portraits, sports and daily life on the university’s four campuses. On the weekends, she enjoys making short documentary films and audio stories about wildlife and environmental issues in the New England area. She loves to go on hikes with her pup, working on local farms, drinking iced coffee and trying to teach herself Spanish on cd during her commute to work. She’s excited to be in the PNDP this spring semester and learning more about visual storytelling.

Natalya Minoff (’13)

Poetry and Prose Editor

Natalya Minoff is a senior from Northampton, MA double majoring in International Literary & Visual Studies and Arabic. As Poetry and Prose Editor of Discourse, she has the opportunity to integrate her love of writing with her interest in international cultural and political issues. While she is not composing and compiling literary pieces for Discourse, she works to promote a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through her involvement with J Street U. In her spare time, she also enjoys road-tripping with friends and solving crossword puzzles.

Julia Mioduska (’21)


Julia Mioduska is a junior majoring in international relations and German, with a minor in Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies. During the summer, she interned with the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC. At the Atlantic Council, she researched new developments in European politics and assisted with the curation of public events. Prior to college, she studied British and European politics at St. Edward’s Oxford. As a rising junior, she also interned at Schwarzkopf Junges Stiftung. This organization educates high school students about the European Union and about the importance of political participation. She is currently a TA for "Intro to Business Planning" and also works part-time at the Small Planet Institute.


Mika Mizobuchi (’24)

Curriculum Director

Major: International Relations

Mika is a sophomore from Bethesda, Maryland, and is majoring in International Relations with a minor in Spanish. She started as a freshman representative and is ecstatic to continue working with ALLIES. She is also on the JCC (Japanese Culture Club) e-board and an active member of WIIR (Women in International Relations) on campus.


Jessica Muganza (’16)

Co-Founder and Co-President

Jessica Muganza is a sophomore from Rwanda majoring in International Relations and Community Health. She is passionate about Healthcare and Development work and was a member of the EPIIC 2012-13 Global Health and Security colloquium. She has interned with several NGOs like Partners in Health and with the Rwandan Ministry of Health. She is also interested in women's issues and African politics. She enjoys poetry and cultural dances.

Katie Murphy (’14)

Marketing Co-Director

Katie Murphy is a senior at Tufts majoring in Quantitative Economics - technically. Really she's just here to try to educate herself holistically and doesn't like being confined to one major. Aside from curious educational pursuits, Katie also loves rock climbing and good food. She once survived 4 days alone in Ho Chi Minh City's red light district with only $5. She is also interested in startups and data analytics.

Ellie Murphy (’22)

IGL Liaison

Ellie Murphy is a junior at Tufts University double majoring in International Relations and Sociology. She is from Westchester, New York and attended Fox Lane High School. She serves as the IGL Liaison of the Tufts Amnesty International chapter. Ellie joined Amnesty because she is passionate about international human rights, specifically in regards to equitable access to education. She likes how the Tufts Amnesty chapter focuses on educating the Tufts community about human rights issues and also creating opportunities for advocacy work. Ellie is also the co-president of Tufts Women in International Relations.

Nitya Nadgir (’23)


Major: International Relations

Nitya is a junior from the greatest state in the world, New Jersey. She is majoring in Applied Math & STS and has been a part of ALLIES since her freshman fall. Outside of ALLIES, she is Co-President of an RPSO, works as a first-year Resident Assistant, researches in the CS department, and plays flute in the Tufts orchestra. She is excited to continue working with the ALLIES community in person this year!


Daniel Ndirangu (’21)

Merge Curriculum Director

Daniel is a junior from Kenya majoring in International Relations with a focus on Africa and the Middle East, and Economics. Daniel became interested in the geopolitics of the Middle East in his formative years, and especially since he realized a huge overlap between the Middle East’s political and socioeconomic structures and those of Africa. He is also part of the IGL’s Synaptic Scholars. Daniel hopes to work in consulting and international development in Africa and the Middle East.

Jeremy Newman (’23)

Co-Fundraising Chair

Jeremy Newman is a sophomore in the class of 2023. He is from Morristown, NJ and is majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science. He loves to play Spike ball and will be the Fundraising Co-Chair for EWB for this year.

Nora Nord (’18)

Nora is a senior at Tufts University studying history, economics and international relations. She is a 6ft Norwegian with a passion for photo documentary and storytelling and a penchant for wearing maximalist outfits. She grew up in an international environment in Oslo, Norway and Palo Alto, California, and continues to fuel her curiosity for the world by volunteering in places like Kashmir, India and Maasai Mara, Kenya. After graduation she plans to move her base to London and work in Vietnam, Bangkok, and wherever she might find herself. 

Guillaume Pailhoux (’21)


Guillaume Pailhoux is a third-year student from Paris, France, double-majoring in International Relations and Economics. As the founder of Tufts European Horizons, he is interested in creating a space for the discussion of European affairs at Tufts and give young people the opportunity to have a voice in the transatlantic relationship. He has been previously involved with the IGL by taking part in EPIIC and being a member of Tufts International Development Costa Rica. He is also involved in the larger European Horizons organization as the Director of US Chapters, where he oversees other European Horizons chapters across 26 universities in the United States. His interests include debating about politics, traveling, and ice hockey.


Alyssa Pak (’23)

Empower Fellow 2021

Alyssa is currently a junior at the School of Arts and Sciences, studying Economics and International Relations, with a minor in History. On campus, she is the one of the presidents of Women in International Relations and serves as one of the events chairs for JumboVote, Tufts’ nonpartisan civic engagement initiative. She also works as a research assistant for Digital Planet of the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC) at the Fletcher School, focusing on the digital economy, as well as Tufts Labor Lab, which focuses on understanding and improving working conditions in factories across the globe. In her spare time, Alyssa loves doing the New York Times’ crossword puzzles, finding new restaurants, and playing the piano or viola. This summer, Alyssa is working for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) initiative, where she is looking forward to deepening her knowledge of renewable energy and the environment. SWIFt aids water and wastewater utilities in improving energy efficiency and implementing advanced energy technologies.

Ravi Patel (’23)

Outreach Coordinator

Ravi is a junior International Relations major and Economics minor from Foxborough, Massachusetts. He has been involved with the IGL as the ROTC Representative for ALLIES his freshman and sophomore year, IGL Liaison/Marketing Lead for MERG his sophomore year, and as one of the Outreach Coordinators for MERG currently. He is also an International Relations intern for The Trebuchet, through which he serves as a TA for Sai University’s Global Challenges course, conducts MENA research, and aids in facilitating webinars.

Sofia Pedersen (’23)


Sofie Pedersen is a Freshman from Copenhagen, Denmark who is considering majoring in International Relations with a concentration in international economics. This year, she is serving as treasurer for MERG. She is interested in the Middle East because she grew up and went to school in Bahrain. She is very excited for her first year at Tufts and being able to help lead MERG!

Maude Plucker (’18)


Maude is a senior studying Cognitive and Brain Science and Philosophy at Tufts. Born in Brussels, Belgium, she enjoys traveling, living in new countries, and learning languages. While she is passionate about studying the mind and the brain, Maude hopes to pursue a dynamic, international career in humanitarian aid, public health, and diplomacy. She values her fellow Synaptic Scholars for their ability to pursue diverse interests with enthusiasm and humility, as well as for their unlimited love of learning. 

Vladimir Proaño (’20)


Vladimir Proaño is a third-year student from Quito, Ecuador, studying International Relations and Economics. As co-founder of LAC, he seeks to create spaces and programs for students to learn about and discuss Latin American affairs. Vladimir is additionally involved in Tufts International Development, with the Ecuador team. He enjoys road trips in his home country, discussing politics, and música protesta.

Hiram Reynolds (’14)

Panel Leader

Hiram Reynolds is a senior from Wayland, Massachusetts, double majoring in International Relations and Chinese.  Hiram has lived in China on three occasions to study or intern abroad and hopes to continue working with Chinese in the Foreign Service or the private sector after graduating.  In addition to being interested in foreign policy and security studies, Hiram plays ultimate Frisbee and loves hiking and rock climbing.  Aspirations include publishing his thesis on Chinese UAVs, learning Arabic, perfecting a chocolate sauce recipe, and finally outrunning his dog.

This year’s panel on Military and Cyber issues examines Chinese and U.S. security interests and recent political and technological developments within the context of this year’s theme, Engagement.  Specific topics cater to the expertise of panel speakers and may include the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands, Taiwan, international norms of unmanned vehicles, and government-sponsored cyber-espionage.

Lizzy Robinson (’15)


Lizzy Robinson is a junior from Albany, New York, double majoring in International Relations and Economics. On campus, she is involved in NIMEP (New Initiative for Middle East Peace) and EPIIC, and works as a research assistant in the Political Science department. Lizzy is primarily interested in foreign policy, security issues, and diplomacy, and hopes to join the Foreign Service. Outside of academics, Lizzy enjoys running and raspberries. 

Deborah Royer (’22)

Events Coordinator

Deborah Royer is a junior at Tufts University majoring in International Relations with a minor in Economics. She is from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and serves as Event Coordinator of Tufts Amnesty International Chapter. Deborah’s passion for human rights activism began in highschool and has been fueled throughout her time here at Tufts. She believes the fight for international equity is one we must all engage in and is excited to plan events that integrate Tufts to the greater global community. She is also a member of Tufts COCOA dance team and loves cultural arts.


Jacob Rubel (’21)

Co-Leader Ecuador Team

Jacobis a sophomore from Brooklyn, NY. He is majoring in political science and minoring in economics, with afocus in political theory. His involvement in Tufts International Development has inspired a passion for sustainable development and educational access.Jacobis also a monitoring and evaluation intern at the MIT D-Lab, where he works to understand the impact and strategy of the different international development initiatives that the D-Lab oversees.

Jacob Rubel (’21)

Undergraduate Empower Coordinator

Jacob is a senior studying Political Science at Tufts University from Brooklyn, New York. In his academic work, Jacob has been a Mathew Howard Shea Scholar in the Department of Political Science and is currently a Laidlaw Scholar. While studying at the University of Oxford, he began leading an ongoing study with two PhD students examining the role of federalism on the outcomes of grassroots social movements. In 2018, he won the Peter Belfer Award for best paper in the Tufts political science department for his independent research on the role of sentimentality and emotion in the political thought of Baron de Montesquieu. Outside of his academic work, Jacob has rigorously engaged with roles that materialize his concern for community and bottom-up changemaking. As an MIT D-Lab Impact Fellow, Jacob engaged in participatory design research to create reports that evaluated the effect of the D-Lab’s international development projects around the world. He has also served as a team leader of Tufts International Development, where he led a project that brings E-Library centers to remote regions of Ecuador that had been affected by the 2016 earthquake. He has worked for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services and plans on returning to work in his city as soon as he can. He also loves volunteering for social causes in NYC, exploring different parks in NYC, and cooking.

Marianna Schantz (’23)

Major: International Relations

Marianna is a junior from Raleigh, North Carolina. She is double majoring in International Relations and Russian and Eastern European Studies with a minor in French. Marianna is new to the ALLIES executive board this year and is excited to be working with the team as the Logistics Director! At Tufts, she is a News Editor for The Tufts Daily and the social chair for the Club Tennis Team.


Jason Schwartz (’21)

Expert Coordinator

Jason is a junior majoring in History, planning on concentrating on Modern European history, and Economics.  He likes to read the Economist magazine as well as the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to keep up with nationwide and worldwide current events. Jason also has a desire to become a holder of a private-pilot license in the foreseeable future. Jason is involved in several other clubs on campus, including Tufts Financial Group, Tufts Trading Fund, Tufts Entrepreneurs Society, Friends of Israel, and the Tufts Daily sports section. He joined European Horizons because he is very interested in European current events and loved the prospect of discussing and debating hot-button issues with other motivated Tufts students.


Kyle Scott (’18)

Kyle Scott is a senior from Baltimore, MD who is majoring in Film and Media Studies. He's interested in and art and photography and how the intersection of those two mediums reflect truths about the human existence. At Tufts, Kyle works as the Creative Director for the Tufts Observer. On the weekends, you can catch Kyle at the Somerville Theater watching almost anything. Kyle is very excited to be in PNPD this semester and is looking forward to understanding more about how we tell stories.

Elizabeth Shelbred (’22)

Oslo Scholar 2021

Liz Shelbred is a member of the Tufts Class of 2022 pursuing a double major in International Relations and Civic Studies, with a concentration in Security and Peace and Justice Studies. From a young age, her travels to various parts of the world sparked her interests in human rights, migration, and conflict resolution. She is a firm believer that education is the key to dismantling systems of oppression and has done research on the transformative power of critical pedagogy.

She carried this ideology to her internship with Education for Employment (EFE) during the summer before her junior year, where she aided in assembling a global network of prominent influencers, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists to fund and promote EFE’s Fall 2020 Women’s Empowerment campaign across the MENA region. At Tufts, she has been involved with The Tufts Daily and Amnesty International. As Associate Editor and Executive Opinion Editor of The Tufts Daily, she used journalism as a means of preserving the truth and mobilizing change on campus. After college, she plans to pursue a career in conflict resolution and human rights law.

As an Oslo Scholar this summer, she is interning remotely with Jamila Raqib and the Albert Einstein Institution, which specializes in the study and application of nonviolent resistance in conflicts. She looks forward to learning more about accessible, grassroots ways to defend democracy and freedom abroad.

Julia Shufro (’22)

Oslo Scholar 2021

Julia Shufro is a member of the Tufts University Class of 2022 with a double major in history and in French, and with an art history minor. Julia is also a joint degree candidate, and she will graduate from The Fletcher School in 2023 with a Master of Law and Diplomacy. She is passionate about human rights and in preventing genocide and mass atrocity crimes. Julia was in the EPIIC Class of 2019-2020, in which she learned about international organizations, conflict resolution, peace negotiations, and policy. She intends to study human security, humanitarian affairs, and international law at Fletcher. On campus, Julia is the president of La Société Française, a choreographer for Tufts Tap Ensemble, and an active participant in Tufts History Society.

As an Oslo Scholar for Summer 2021, Julia will work remotely with the renowned journalist, Rafael Marques de Morais, who runs the Ufolo Studies Center for Good Governance in Angola. As part of her work, Julia will research case studies of police brutality, civic engagement fighting against corrupt governments, and the intersection of environmental crimes and human rights.

Grace Spalding-Fecher (’23)

Oslo Scholar 2021

Grace Spalding-Fecher is a rising junior studying International Relations and French. After growing up in Cape Town, South Africa, she moved to and attended high school in Amherst, Massachusetts. She is a member of Tufts University Social Collective (TUSC), where she serves as the social media coordinator, as well as being the IGL liaison for Amnesty International. She has a special interest in human rights and migration, which she is exploring through the Globalization concentration. She plans on studying abroad in Paris in the spring, where she hopes to spend her time surrounded by art and delicious food.

As an Oslo Scholar, she will be working with One Day Seyoum (ODS), an international human rights organization raising awareness about human rights abuses in Eritrea. She is excited to learn more about lobbying in the international arena and to spread awareness of ODS’s work.

Alexa Stevens (’13)

Editor in Chief

Alexa Stevens is a senior from the San Francisco Bay Area, double majoring in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. She joined Discourse in her freshman year as a Photography and Arts Editor, a role she held until becoming Editor in Chief last year. She's drawn to Discourse for the intellectual space it provides for honest debate on complicates issues,especially those relating to the Middle East and North Africa. She is excited to bring together a new Staff for the 2012-13 academic year and to inspire a new group of leaders.

Sarah Strand (’12)


Sarah Strand is in the combined-degree program between The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts, where she is a geological sciences major. Though she dedicates most of her time to the geology lab and art studios, she always finds time to get outdoors. Both her academic and artistic interests are rooted in a love for the natural world and interest in environmental justice. She serves on Tufts' Sustainability Council's working group for Energy and Emissions and works in the Earth and Ocean Sciences department and Tisch Library.

Maia Tarnas (’19)

Meeting Coordinator

Maia is a junior who hails from the Island of Hawaii and studies Community Health, Middle Eastern Studies, and Arabic. She is passionate about exploring the spaces in which these overlap, specifically with regards to epidemiological research and infectious disease control within vulnerable populations and in zones of crisis. She is grateful for the Synaptic Scholar community for being a constant source of support, discussion, and genuine connection in her life. 

Josefine Tijssen (’21)

Media Coordinator

Josefine Tijssen is a Junior studying Computer Science and International Relations, with a focus on systems and cyber security. Last summer, she interned for Akamai Technologies as a Security Engineer, and during the school year she works as a student Tech and Media assistant for the Institute for Global Leadership and is a teaching assistant for Comp40 in the Tufts CS department. She grew up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and she is very excited to have a group such as European Horizons to discuss European affairs and issues with. She looks forward to delving deeper into problems that the EU is facing and hearing about the different perspectives of students.  At Tufts, she is also involved with JumboCode, Tufts SEDS, and the European Students Association. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking weekly dinners with friends, playing D&D, and binge-watching classic movies.


Katja Torres (’12)


Katja Torres is a senior at Tufts University majoring in Sociology and minoring in Philosophy.  Hailing from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, she is a self-proclaimed human rights activist with a wide array of interests. She is passionate about film, photography, graphic design, and singer-songwriting, all of which she pursues with the ultimate goal of creating a more peaceful and just society.

Sachin Vallamkonda (’20)

Sachin Vallamkonda is an undergraduate student at Tufts University. He is studying Child Studies & Human Development and has extensive coursework in Chemistry as well. Sachin is involved on-campus with several student-run organizations that work in the social justice and health service sphere. He also works in a neurobiology laboratory and dances on the Tufts JumboRaas cultural dance team. He is passionate about global health equity and sustainable development.

Allie Wainer (’16)

Social Media Editor

Allie Wainer was immediately drawn to the Discourse magazine upon hearing about it. As an active member of Amnesty International, Allie is very interested in human rights abuses and how they play out in international affairs. Allie is the Social Media Maven of Discourse and hopes to spread the world to as many people as possible about our publication. She’s excited to get a Facebook page and Twitter account going for the journal in the upcoming year.

Ben Yunmo Wang (’14)

Panel Leader

Ben Yunmo Wang is a senior from Toronto, Canada majoring in International Relations and Political Science. An aspiring young professional, he has worked as a research intern for organizations including the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the Stimson Center. Currently, he is writing a senior honors thesis examining the relationship between China's peacekeeper contributions and economic interests in Africa. Ben is a fan of Tottenham Hotspur, and he looks forward to traveling the world, particularly Africa, after graduation.

The panel "China and the US in Africa" will examine the political, economic, and cultural dimensions of China's growing presence in Africa, and attempt to triangulate evolving national interests in the Africa-China-US relationship.

Jessie Wang (’14)


Jessie Wang is from Austin, Texas double majoring in International Relations and Community Health with a minor in Chinese. In her junior year Jessie studied abroad at the University of Ghana and the University of Hong Kong. After coming back, as a culmination of her academic background and work experience Jessie is co-directing the China-US Symposium. Post-graduation she hopes to do a Fulbright in Hong Kong studying site-specific art or continuing on to law school. While academic pursuits are a worthy cause, Jessie would ideally divide her time ice climbing in Patagonia or soloing in Krabi.

Simon Weiss (’24)

Programming Director

Major: International Relations

Simon is a sophomore from the great city of Iowa City in the great state of Iowa. He is intending to major in International Relations and is new to the ALLIES team this year as one of the freshman reps. He is also part of the Tufts ski team, a debate coach, and is trying to learn Chinese.


Sally Weltner (’22)

MERG Expert Coordinator

Sally is a sophomore from Atlanta, GA focusing in the Middle East region within her International Relations major. She is hoping to work in Naval Intelligence when she graduates and one day hopefully work in development in the Middle East. She became passionate about Middle East studies after spending a summer studying Arabic in Morocco, and hopes to use her time within MERG learning how to use the research she collects within the club to give her direction for her career goals down the line. Outside of MERG, Sally is a midshipman in Naval ROTC, and heavily involved in the Sunrise Movement.

Sabrina Wen (’22)


Major: International Relations, Computer Science

Sabrina is a senior from the greatest city in the world, New York City. She is majoring in international relations and computer science, and has been part of ALLIES since her first year at Tufts. Outside of ALLIES, Sabrina is a TA for the computer science department, head of outreach for JumboSec, and studying abroad in Madrid for the fall semester.


Harrison Wilson (’24)

Freshman Representative

Harrison is a freshman at Tufts from Maine planning on studying Biomedical Engineering. He learned about Amnesty International through a teacher in high school and sought out the Tufts Chapter upon becoming a student. Harrison is excited to learn more about the organization and work on issues affecting rural communities.

Kristin Wright (’14)

Operations Co-director

Kristin Wright is a February 2014 graduate from Austin, Texas with a degree in Biology. She participated on the Varsity Women’s Soccer team at Tufts as a goalkeeper for four years, and was selected as a member of the 2013 NESCAC All-Sportsmanship Team. Though nominally interested in the life sciences, Kristin also enjoys studying international relations and history, sparking her participation in the China-US Symposium. She hopes to find employment that can bring together a wide variety of these passions. In her spare time, Kristin loves to paint, play with animals and quote bad movies.  


Hongye Wu (’16)

Content Editor

Hongye Wu is a freshman from Guangzhou China, still wondering about what her major will be. She joins Discourse this year as a content editor. She finds Discourse appealing because she loves the concept of exchanging ideas of the journal, and she believes Discourse would be a great platform for two subjects she loves the most :philosophy and arts. She is thrilled to work with other members in the group and can't wait to receive submissions of brilliant thoughts from Tufts.

Carol Wu (’23)


Carol Wu is a sophomore at Tufts University majoring in Sociology and planning on co-majoring in Civic Studies. She serves as the Treasurer of the Tufts chapter of Amnesty International. She grew up in Shanghai, China, but then lived in Durham, New Hampshire since junior high. After taking a class about international human rights during the summer of her junior year of high school, she started to become aware of the human rights issues that have been happening around the world, especially in child labor. She looks forward to working with others in Amnesty.

Vicky Yang (’23)

IGL Liaison

Vicky is a sophomore studying civil engineering from Troy, PA. She has been on the Nicaragua project since her freshman year. Outside of EWB, she is in Tufts Taekwondo and enjoys to read and volunteer in the community.

Leah Yohannes (’21)

Social Media Coordinator

Leah Yohannes is a senior at Tufts University double majoring in Peace and Justice Studies and Political Science. She is from Castaic, California and attended Valencia High School. She serves as the Social Media Coordinator of the Tufts Amnesty International chapter. Leah joined Amnesty because she believes in its human rights work and wants to aid in its representation in our community. She has been involved with Amnesty since her sophomore fall.


Yoojin Yoon (’19)

Media Coordinator

YooJin Yoon is a member of the Class of 2019, pursuing a double major in Biology and Community Health. She is fascinated by science and hopes to help many people through exploring her passions in biology and public health. She was born in Incheon, South Korea and currently resides in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Some of YooJin’s other passions include art, ceramics, badminton, tennis, humanitarian works, and exploring foreign cultures. She is excited to discover new possibilities through her experiences in Synaptic Scholars, while teaching others of her own passions.