Erin Brau, A10, AG17

For the past decade, Erin’s professional trajectory has centered around multilingual education, intercultural exchange, and teacher preparation. She has worked at Harvard, NYU, taught in Belgium as a Fulbright Scholar, and most recently worked for a nonprofit organization that helped teachers nationwide obtain certification. These experiences have satisfied her hunger for mission-driven work. Business school was never on her career radar; rather, it was a seed that was planted early on at her current workplace, Relay Graduate School of Education. Erin requested funds to pay for a GMAT prep course to help her prepare for an MBA. “At my current workplace, I am surrounded by women who hold MBAs from institutions around the nation. I have witnessed how their leadership and sharp eye for efficiency have transformed our operations. Hoping to continue in the education space, my long-term career goal is to transition into EdTech.”

Laurel Felt, S02, AG06, PhD14

Laurel Felt has conducted research supported by the Melinda Gates-funded Technology and Adolescent Mental Wellness program, advised FUTURES Without Violence, founded a company called Our Powerful Play, which delivers family co-play tips, completed the California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ)'s 40-hour training in Restorative Justice and engaged with 3-5 cases per year as a volunteer facilitator. With these funds, Laurel enrolled in an intensive program (100+ hours) that conferred a Foundational Certificate in Neurorelational Child-Centered Play Therapy, an evidence-based, developmentally responsive, play-based mental health intervention for children experiencing relational and behavioral stress. This funding also helped Laurel to design a more robust curriculum that leverages guided play and offers therapeutic, hands-on assistance to parents and school systems whose youth need support.

Heresa Laforce, A20

Heresa Laforce is a Tisch Scholar alum interested in civic engagement– dedication to addressing the social determinants of health. Heresa submitted a report assessing the Massachusetts opioid epidemic for review at the Tufts School of Medicine, joined their municipality’s cultural council, and served as a Dana-Farber Cancer Center researcher for a quality improvement project. Their line of work is a testament to their lifelong commitment to Public Health. Heresa used this funding to continue their journey to become a healthcare leader by preparing and applying to four, full-time MPH/MHA graduate programs in Health Leadership.  

Emily Nink, S13, SG16

Emily Nink has worked in public health since the completion of her master’s degree in 2016 and learned many public health skills at her current position at the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law. Emily has also completed a Coursera course offered by Johns Hopkins University titled “Reducing Gun Violence in America: Evidence for Policy Change” and an 8-module learning series on the emerging field of legal epidemiology at Temple University. Emily used these funds to cover the fee for the Certified in Public Health (CPH) exam offered by the National Board of Public Health Examiners. The CPH exam assesses competency in public health sciences and practice and demonstrates both knowledge of key public health issues and completion of continuing education in the field. CPH is the only national professional standard of its kind and represents a standardized recognition of public health professionals. Obtaining the CPH helped Emily demonstrate to future employers her commitment to continuing education in the field of public health and put her on par with MPH+CPH candidates when applying for future positions.

John Osbourne, S96, SG98

John Osbourne is a self-employed software engineer and entrepreneur. In 2017 John left his full-time job at Harvard Medical School to pursue his dream of launching his own company, MediCollector LLC ( MediCollector LLC has 100+ installations in over 20 countries around the world and is used by researchers to gather data for clinical studies which have led to numerous peer-reviewed publications. John intended to use these funds to renew his  “Software Service Program” (SSP) with National Instruments.  The (SSP) is a collection of products and services that include: the latest software, technical support, and access to their entire library of online training materials. This allowed John to expand his customer base beyond the research field as well as modify their products to apply to other healthcare-related fields beyond research.

Jack Palis, S78, SG81

Jack Palis was a licensed professional engineer who has worked on the front lines providing clean drinking water, reducing hazardous wastes, and cleaning up contaminated properties. Jack has decided to pursue a path of purpose that aligns his engineering training and career with re-imagining a society that provides essential well-being for everyone while stewarding the well-being of the planet. He demonstrated his commitment to sustainability by co-authoring a report on sustainability in the agriculture sector, providing input into draft regulations on sustainability best practices, and producing and hosting his own TEDx event on climate change and sustainability. He has gained considerable business knowledge with the engineering training first received at Tufts and the subsequent opportunities that it has enabled. Jack intended to use the funding to complete the ISSP-SA/CSP and the GRI certifications. This funding was critical to accelerating credentials needed in a rapidly growing field, with complex interactions and interconnections with various professionals in wide-ranging disciplines.

Kimberly Situ, A13, MEd19

Kimberly Situ earned her M.Ed while student-teaching full-time and has worked with high school youth in the Boston Chinatown community for several years. In 2012, Kimberly was inspired after visiting a bilingual Chinese-English preschool for a research project where she saw her home language and culture valued as an essential part of a classroom for the first time. Since then, she had a dream of becoming a bilingual preschool teacher. She was looking to increase her bilingual capacity to eventually return to serve the community she grew up in as a well-trained bilingual instructor. She was committed to staying in New York City and working in the public school system. Kimberly used the funds to obtain a New York State Teaching Certificate. With funding to complete the requirements for NYS certification, she would be able to access a much larger pool of job opportunities including those in public schools. As an alum of New York City public schools, she hoped to build her teaching career in the system that shaped her educational experience before attending Tufts. Funding to complete the NYS certification requirements allowed her to work toward her goal of teaching students from the communities she grew up in.

Karen Weng, S20

Karen has worked in the medical field as an assistant to an ophthalmologist, volunteer, and translator. While volunteering for the Sharewood Project “seeing the difference in comfort level between a patient who was able to communicate directly with the medical student as opposed to communicating via the telephone interpreter had a tremendous impact on me.” Similarly while volunteering at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, she noticed “once I spoke Chinese to the patients, their body language immediately became less rigid, and we were able to converse more comfortably. Working in different healthcare settings allowed me to realize that fluency in foreign languages was paramount. " Karen used the funds to take medical Spanish and intermediate/advanced Mandarin Chinese courses to increase proficiency in order to more effectively serve patients in the medical field, including immigrants. This funding allowed her to become a more versatile healthcare worker who also appreciated the language’s respective history and culture. She hoped to become a physician that is more empathetic and sensitive to the cultural differences between patients.