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Fellow Spotlight

2017 Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Fellows

Bernice Appiah, 2017 Brandeis Undergraduate Segal Fellow

Bernice Appiah

Bernice Appiah is a junior at Brandeis University double majoring in African and Afro-American Studies and Politics with a minor in Legal Studies. She was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa until the age of six. She is the president of the Brandeis African Students Organization, an Admissions Ambassador and a member of African and diaspora dance groups.  Before Brandeis, Bernice worked as administrative clerk at a private consulting firm for four years while attending high school and college. Bernice’s experience in government, healthcare and cross cultural understanding have become a great asset to her desire in working for an organization that focus on government interventions and access to healthcare as well as rights in underrepresented communities or legal based organizations that work to consult members of that community. Currently, Bernice plans to graduate in May 2018 and continue working to be a productive community leader. This summer, Bernice is supporting the Government Relations Team of SAP in Washington, DC. 

Marcelo Brociner, 2017 Brandeis Undergraduate Segal Fellow

Marcelo Brociner

Marcelo Brociner is an activist/artist who was born and raised in Somerville, Massachusetts. He proudly calls himself a “Juban,” as he is of both Jewish and Cuban descent. He is a junior at Brandeis with a double major in Anthropology and International and Global Studies and a minor in Creativity, the Arts, and Social Transformation (CAST). Marcelo has worked as a student advisor at the Hiatt Career Center since his freshman year, and is also a peer advocate at the Rape Crisis Center, a member of the Brandeis Undergraduate Library Council, the Festival of the Arts Committee, as well as a member of the Men of Color Alliance. Last summer, as a 2016 Sorensen Fellow, Marcelo worked at an art studio in Hanoi helping to empower contemporary Vietnamese artists. He will be returning to Hanoi this summer to organize and host an exhibition of his grandfather, Rene Mederos’, anti-war posters which are based on what he witnessed while traveling throughout Vietnam (often under U.S. bombing) during the late Sixties and early Seventies. As an avid rapper, photographer, illustrator, and event producer/promoter, Marcelo deeply believes in the power of the arts to create positive change in the world. This summer, Marcelo will support the Engagement and Community Center at Larkin Street Youth Services. There he will facilitate a hip-hop group once a week and work with other homeless youth seeking drop-in support in San Francisco.

Olivia McNulty, 2017 City Year Segal Fellow

OliviaOlivia McNulty just completed her year as an AmeriCorps Member serving with City Year Chicago. While serving, Olivia worked with 9th graders with the highest need for additional supports at Collins Academy High School in the North Lawndale community of Chicago, IL. She is deeply committed to public education because she believes every student should have the opportunity for a quality education regardless of their socioeconomic status. She will continue at Collins as a full-time teacher this coming school year.

Olivia was named the 2017 City Year AmeriCorps Member of the Year because of her deep dedication to the City Year value of "Students First, Collaboration Always." She strives to create safe spaces for students to express themselves and serves to empower young people to hold true to the values of knowledge, love, and human connection. Originally from New Orleans, LA, Olivia moved to Chicago pursue a career in public education. She received her B.S. from Spring Hill College in Secondary Education and Social Science. During her time in undergrad, she supported the local high school and volunteered in the University of Alabama Children’s and Women’s’ Hospital for four years.

Khadijah Sawyer, 2017 Brandeis Undergraduate Segal Fellow

Khadijah Sawyer

Khadijah Sawyer is from Brooklyn, NYC pursuing a dual degree in Computer Science and African & Afro-American Studies. She is currently engaging in research that centers the relationships between STEM/technology, activism and Black feminist futurity by complicating historical legacies of resistance via media. In 2016, she was awarded funding to integrate underrepresented people of color into nationwide conferences such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and recognized for designing an application prototype that helped foster environmental consciousness. As a Segal Fellow, Khadijah hopes to continue to mobilize digital activism and Afro-futurism as a lens to think about coalition building and citizen leadership. This summer, Khadijah joins the Roxbury Innovation Center team to explore their community partnerships and summer programming within the Boston neighborhood.

Kayla Scire, 2017 Brandeis MPP Segal Fellow

Kayla Scire

Kayla Scire is a dual MPP and MBA candidate at The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, concentrating in Health Policy. Kayla is an Altman Fellow for Health Policy and Management and is interested in combating health disparities. Before coming to Heller, Kayla served as U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey’s (D-MA) Senior Aide for health and environmental issues in Boston. Over the span of four years, Kayla advised Senator Markey on issues related to health, the environment and energy in the state of Massachusetts. Kayla graduated cum laude from Wellesley College in 2012. She majored in Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies and received the Wellesley College Department of Political Science Woodrow Wilson Award for Best Paper in American Politics, Political Theory or Law for her work applying lessons from Massachusetts health care reform to the Affordable Care Act. Kayla is originally from Medford, Massachusetts and is a proud alumna of Medford High School. This summer, Kayla supports MA Representative Jeffrey Sanchez as he chairs the Joint Committee for Health Care Financing. 

LaShawn Simmons, 2017 Brandeis Undergraduate Segal Fellow

LaShawn Simmons

LaShawn Simmons is a junior at Brandeis majoring in African and Afro-American Studies with minors in Anthropology, Art History and Creativity, the Arts and Social Transformation (CAST). LaShawn has developed skills in arts programming, cultural work, and curating in order to deepen community understanding of diverse social issues. At Brandeis, she initially incorporated this passion by founding and publishing an anthology of poetry entitled “Ebony Axis” that centers the complexities of Black womanhood. She currently serves as Brandeis University’s Intercultural Center’s (ICC) curator. As the ICC curator, she creates spaces where young artists at Brandeis are empowered to use their selected pieces as a way to provoke dialogue about social issues they deem significant. In fall 2016, LaShawn collaborated with both the Rose Art Museum and CAST program in order to design art salons with artist in residence Jane Sapp that incorporate artistic expression as a form of social change. This summer, LaShawn will support local Boston youth in expressing themselves artistically with the Transformative Culture Project.

Sylvia Stewart, 2017 Brandeis MPP Segal Fellow
Sylvia Stewart

Sylvia Stewart is a Master in Public Policy candidate at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, concentrating in Poverty Alleviation. Before starting at Heller, Sylvia served two years with the North Mississippi VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) Project. In her first year, she worked to expand United Way of Oxford & Lafayette County's outreach strategy, developing a communications plan, creating promotional materials, and training community partners how to best utilize new media to mobilize donors and volunteers. In her second year, Sylvia served as the project's VISTA Leader, focusing on building resources for the members she led and building a community of support and collaboration. Sylvia also served two terms as a VISTA Summer Associate while pursuing her bachelor's degree in International Studies with a focus in International Governance and Politics at the University of Mississippi's Croft Institute. Through her years living, serving and studying in Mississippi, she gained a passion for rural development and poverty alleviation, especially as it relates to communities of color across the American South. She hopes to foster a better, more prosperous future for Southerners of all races, sexualities, genders, creeds and ethnicities though cross-sector collaboration, coalition building, and community empowerment. This summer, Sylvia joins the Farm Aid team based on Cambridge, MA on an exciting project to support black farmers across the U.S. 

Check out our other 85 Fellows in the Fellows bio page!

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