Sara Arman, A19

Sara Arman was recently accepted to the competitive EMERGE Fellowship. EMERGE is a program that recruits and trains women, across Massachusetts to run for political office. Alumni of the program include Boston City Council President, Michelle Wu, Somerville State Rep. Christine Barber, and many other elected women. EMERGE is a 501c3 non-profit and relies on students paying their tuition fees to be able to sustain itself. The funds from the Tufts Professional Development Fund helped Sara with the tuition fee for EMERGE.

Sara grew up in Chelsea MA, and through her work as a Tisch Scholar always prioritized civic engagement in my community. Since graduation, she worked at the Women and Public Policy Program, working on disseminating research on gender equity to policymakers, scholars, and practitioners. Much of her work surrounds the barriers preventing women, especially women of color and Black women from running for office. Sara’s end goal was to work in her city by running for the city council in Chelsea. EMERGE helped her learn the small steps it takes to run a campaign, from fundraising, to debate prep and managing media and government as well as putting her in contact with a powerful network of women in Massachusetts who are committed to changing their communities through civic engagement.

Sara Arman, A19, International Relations & Middle Eastern Studies

Sara Arman, A19, International Relations & Middle Eastern Studies and recipient of an Alumni Professional Development Fund.

Christine Avena, VG13

Christine Avena was a bat researcher with a Masters in Conservation Medicine. She requested funds to attend the Northeast Bat Working Group 2020 meeting and share her work with the regional research community. This meeting brings together scientists, veterinarians, local, federal, and state entities, and professionals that work with bats in New England and New York to talk about the most pressing issues in bat conservation.

She has been an active member of the Colorado Bat Working group during her Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder and was looking forward to making new connections and collaborations with the working group here. Attending this conference over three days allowed her to be up to date on the latest research done in the Northeast and allowed her to share her work with a wide audience. This was an important step in establishing herself as a new researcher in the Northeast and building key collaborations for her future career.

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Christine Avena, VG13, Conservation Medicine

Haleigh Len Copley-Cunningham, A19

Haleigh Len Copley-Cunninghan requested funds to support her Vietnamese language study as a volunteer in Vietnam. She volunteered as a Princeton in Asia Fellow in Southern Vietnam through Princeton University, as the only foreign English teacher for the local community college in a rural town called Soc Trang. Haleigh’s goal was to have a language level of mid-upper intermediate by the end of the fellowship in May, as a firm understanding of Vietnamese is imperative for daily life, her work, and future career goals. As someone already highly proficient in Mandarin with a conversational ability in Japanese and Cantonese (all three of which she studied formally during her time at Tufts), having a strong Vietnamese ability was an invaluable asset for transnational and local employers alike. Having this funding to pursue a formal study of the language along with informal methods helped her to rapidly gain this critical skill.

Testimonial: As a volunteer in rural Vietnam, being able to effectively communicate is Vietnamese with the people in my local community has been invaluable. Aside from making daily life a whole lot easier (yesterday I successfully went to a mechanic alone for an oil change and felt so proud!), more knowledge of Vietnamese has truly unlocked countless opportunities to build connections with people, dive deeper into the culture here, and be a proactive member of the community. I am so grateful for the Tufts Professional Development Fund's support of my Vietnamese language lessons. Not only has it infinitely increased my success in living in Vietnam, but this skill has provided me with a newfound confidence for adapting to challenges. Furthermore, I am excited to acquire a transferable, highly sought-after skill that will well positions me to succeed professionally in Asia, the world's fastest growing economic region. Tôi rất biết ơn về điều này . Cảm ơn rất nhiều về sự ủng hộ của nhà trường dành cho Tôi.”

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Haleigh Len Copley-Cunningham, A19, Peace & Justice Studies

Rachel Henige, A15, AG18 Occupational Therapy

Rachel requested funds to enroll in the Basic Sequential-Oral-Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding Course at the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorders. The SOS Approach to Feeding is used to treat feeding issues with children ranging from infancy to adolescence. This evidence-based, family-centered program is unique in its culturally sensitive and multi-disciplinary model, which looks at the child as a whole and addresses the many different factors which affect feeding, such as environment, culture, family relationships, cognitive skills, sensory processing, and motor skills. This program is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. After taking this course, Rachel was prepared to work with families to alleviate mealtime stress and help children receive the nutrition they need to develop.

Taking the SOS Approach to Feeding course was the first step towards Rachel’s goal of opening her own private practice as an Occupational Therapist and certified SOS provider. Rachel was extremely passionate about feeding therapy, and the course taught her a variety of skills to develop oral motor and sensory processing skills in children with feeding issues. “I now feel equipped to evaluate children's baseline feeding skills, determine which factors are affecting their performance, and develop intervention plans to encourage increased independence and nutritional intake with feeding. Additionally, I learned about resources I can share with parents and other therapists on a child's team so they can effectively support the child's feeding therapy. By taking the 4-day training conference, I am now on the road towards obtaining a specialized certification in feeding therapy.”- Rachel

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Rachel Henige, A15, AG18 Occupational Therapy

Josephine Faith Ong, A17

Josephine Faith Ong attended the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) 2020 annual conference. The (AAAS) annual conference brings together Asian American Studies scholars throughout the nation to discuss their work and push the boundaries of the field further. As a graduate student that focuses on bridging the divide between Asian American Studies and Indigenous Studies, attending the conference helped them to maintain and expand their networks with other Asian American Studies scholars. Josephine presented her paper “Monumental Collaborations: Evaluating Filipino and U.S. Military Memorialization in Guåhan/Guam.” In this paper, they combined archival analysis and oral history interviews with Chamorro (Indigenous people of Guam) and Filipino community leaders to analyze the history of the Philippine Consulate’s collaborations with the U.S. military in Guam.

Testimonial: “Without the Tufts Professional Development Fund, I would not be able to attend the Association for Asian American Studies' 2020 conference. As an American Studies and Gender Studies scholar, being able to attend the Association for Asian American Studies’ 2020 conference helped me introduce my work to prominent scholars in my field. By expanding my networks with other Asian American Studies scholars, I can continue to further develop my work, establish connections with other young Asian American Studies scholars, and explore possible career opportunities after graduation. Because I am a board member of the Asian Settler Colonialism Caucus, attending the conference also helped me grow our subfield by creating action plans to grow the caucus, networking with other interested scholars, and ensuring our continued registration with the Association for Asian American Studies’ general board.”

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Josephine Faith Ong, A17, International Relations & Asian American Studies

Karen Schiff, AG06 Studio Art

Karen Schiff has an M.F.A. (Honors in Drawing) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts / Tufts University (2006), and a Ph.D. (in Comparative Literature, with a dissertation on artists’ books) from the University of Pennsylvania (1998). She has pursued career tracks in both fields simultaneously. Karen sought funding for two-professional development-oriented trips. The first was to the District of Columbia Arts Center in Washington, DC, where she had a solo exhibition, at the Nano Gallery. The second trip was to the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where she delivered a paper about her research, “Books at the Borders of Picasso’s ‘Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,’” at the annual conference of the International Society of Textual Scholarship. This conference requires participants to pay registration and membership fees as well as cover travel and housing costs. These opportunities solidified her standing as an artist and scholar and her professional profile. In studio art, a solo exhibition was an especially strong benchmark of achievement for Karen, and in art research, a scholarly conference presentation helped establish her academic reputation. 

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Karen Schiff, AG06 Studio Art

Hillevi Jaegerman, A12, PSM20

At Tufts, Hillevi loved the marine biology courses and went on to pursue a PSM graduate degree from the University of New England. Hillevi requested funds to attend the Seafood Expo North America (SENA) and Seafood Expo Global (SEG) trade shows. These trade shows bring together top seafood suppliers and buyers from around the world. Hillevi’s goal was to attend the Boston-based SENA trade show as an exhibitor and to bring a selection of Maine-grown shellfish to present to potential buyers at the event, and then follow up on these connections in the following month at SEG, strictly as an attendee. SEG exposed Hillevi to a larger international export market for their product and gave them the opportunity to conduct business research on the potential of foreign markets. Funding to attend these events propelled Hillevi’s career within the oyster industry. Since graduation from Tufts in 2012, Hillevi has been focused on the production side of ocean food systems and attendance at seafood trade shows. Attending SENA and SEG allowed them to shift their focus towards distributors and end consumers, to continue forming their network, and to position them within the global seafood marketplace. This relationship building, coupled with networking with other growers and the Maine shellfish community, made Hillevi’s career goal of starting an aggregator shellfish exportation business possible on an accelerated timeline.

Amanda Gross, BS12, SG18

Since beginning graduate school at Tufts in 2012, Amanda has been conducting research within the broad fields of translational immunopharmacology and inflammation. After defending her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Tufts in September 2018, Amanda was eager to join the pharmaceutical industry. Since graduating she has transitioned into more of a “pure immunology” role in biopharma, and it is crucial for her to both keep abreast of the newest research and technology as well as make more professional contacts within this constantly changing field. Thus, she requested funding to attend the 2020 Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS) Annual Meeting. The FOCIS Annual Meeting brings together leading researchers and clinicians presenting the latest breakthroughs across immune-mediated diseases. For the past year, Amanda has been working as a contractor, meaning no typical permanent employee benefits such as medical insurance, 401K programs, or reimbursement for conference attendance. Thus, the Tufts Professional Development Fund was one of her only options.  Amanda’s goal was to continue conducting immunology bench research for a few years, before transitioning into a managerial role with increasing opportunities to lead drug development programs. Funding to attend the 2020 FOCIS Annual Meeting greatly affected the trajectory of Amanda’s career by allowing her to interact with some of the leading translational immunology professionals.

Emma Leavitt, A14

Emma Leavitt requested funding for the creation of a public art mural at the new Powderhouse for Somerville building outside Teele Square. The design was created through a collaborative design process with students at the West Somerville Neighborhood School, using an approach inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach to early childhood education. Emma was a professional muralist with over 5 years of experience in the field, thus her guidance elevated the creative vision of these children so that it was not just seen as "kid art", but consumed as a unique and compelling piece of public art. Children have a very unique perspective on our existence that we rarely tap into in the public realm. Most of Emma’s previous work has been mainly commercial or residential, thus this mural presented an opportunity to advance her career into a more socially-engaged realm of public art. Testimonial: “The funds from the Tufts University Professional Development Fund helped me to take on a large public art project that would have been difficult without Tufts's support. It was a huge learning experience and a milestone in my career! The support from Tufts helped legitimize and validate the work I was doing and allowed me to source additional funding and support for my project from outside of Tufts. I am grateful to have had this experience and this project in my portfolio. I believe it will help me get more opportunities in the future and greatly increased my knowledge of the public art sector.”