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2011 Gallatin Global Fellows

Rebecca Asch headshot

Rebecca Asch
Fellowship Location: Nakuru, Kenya
Kenya Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders

Becky is an undergraduate junior at Gallatin studying the Politics of Human Rights and Development in Africa. She is particularly interested in how Africa factors into the histories, ideologies and interests that have shaped these institutions and discourses, as well as their impact throughout the continent. Her relevant experience outside of the classroom includes interning at the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law, studying post-conflict transformation in Uganda and Rwanda, and conducting qualitative research on transitional justice for Acholi women in northern Uganda.


Thomas Castañeda headshot

Thomas “Drew” Castañeda
Fellowship Location: Berlin, Germany
Ballhaus Naunynstrasse

Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Drew is a junior in Gallatin studying the critical intersections of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality vis-à-vis immigration, diaspora, and globalization. To complement his specific interest in queer of color/queer diaspora studies, Drew is also pursuing a minor in performance studies at TSOA. This summer Drew will be interning at Ballhaus Naunynstrasse, a Berlin-based “postmigrant” theater company specializing in experimental documentary, multimedia performance. At the theater he will be responsible for helping to adapt a contemporary version of Emine Sevgi Özdamar’s play Keloglan in Alemania (1991), which combines elements of Anatolian folklore, Brechtian epic theater, and opera to tell the story of one boy’s quest for German naturalization.Drew’s summer research will focus both on the emancipatory and alternative representational possibilities evident in minority cultural production and queer world-making in the Turkish diaspora.


Mari Haraldsson headshot

Mari Haraldsson
Fellowship Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Strey Khmer

Mari is a junior in Gallatin pursuing a BA-MPA in Social Justice and International Public Policy. The circumstances of her upbringing and education have encouraged her to develop a sense of deep care for the people in her local and international community. As a Gallatin International Human Rights Fellow, Mari hopes to deepen her understanding of how inter- and intra-sector solidarity and synergy can affect women’s rights, both through written policy and its manifestation in every-day practice. She will be going to Cambodia for 3 months to intern for Strey Khmer, a non-profit organization that works to empower women through political leadership programs, job training, healthcare provision, microbusiness opportunities, and safehousing. In addition, she will be joining Parliament Member Mu Sochua, the founder of Strey Khmer, in various campaign endeavors, and plans to volunteer occasionally with a separate local organization called Daughters.


Alexandra Kamler headshot

Alexandra Kamler
Fellowship Location: Antigua, Guatemala
Oris Café

Alexandra is a new transfer student to Gallatin this year.  Kamler previously attended Scripps college in Claremont, California before taking a year off from school.  During the first half of her year off Ms. Kamler studied abroad in Chile, learning about public health and community empowerment through an SIT program and conducted research examining how young female adolescents living on the streets of Valparaíso view their sexuality, their role in Chilean society, and how that translates to the ways in which they care for themselves sexually. For the second half of her year off, Kamler worked for the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement in Washington, D.C.  In New York, Ms. Kamler spent time working in the abortion clinics of Planned Parenthood, and is currently teaching formerly incarcerated persons math at the Fortune Society in Queens. Her project this summer in Antigua, Guatemala will focus on joining with Oris, a local organization, to work with the community in creating and implementing a sustainable sexual and reproductive health workshop.


Yuliya Lynch headshot

Yuliya Lynch
Fellowship Location: Perm, Russia
Perm Regional Assistance Center

Yuliya is currently pursuing her Master's Degree at Gallatin, focusing on International Business and Development and expects to graduate in May 2012. She holds Bachelor's degrees in International Economics and Business Management from East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Economics Theory from Perm State University in Russia. She is a highly ambitious individual who looks forward to a career that utilizes her love of learning. In her spare time she likes to participate in various volunteer activities and enjoys travel, reading and relaxing with her husband. During her internship this summer, Yuliya will help residents of the city of Perm navigate the city's bureaucracy as they seek to access various government services.



Arielle Milkman headshot

Arielle Milkman
Fellowship Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Voluntarios Sin Fronteras

Arielle is a rising senior studying the politics of mass media in Latin America. She first traveled to Buenos Aires in the spring of 2009 with NYU’s Argentina study abroad program, but after realizing that four months wasn’t nearly enough time to come to know and study such a complex city, she decided to stay for an entire year. Through coursework and fieldwork with the non-profit organization Voluntarios Sin Fronteras, Arielle became interested in popular and community radio stations and magazines, many of which are produced in the highly complex atmosphere of the city’s villas, or shantytowns. This summer, Arielle will volunteer assisting in the production of a community magazine designed and written by at-risk adolescents in Buenos Aires. She will also conduct her own independent research of cooperative and community media, hoping to answer questions about ways in which mass media can both promote and limit social inclusion and human rights in Buenos Aires.


Malaika Neri headshot

Malaika Neri
Fellowship Location: Ambatondrazaka, Madagascar
OTIV Alaotra Mangoro

Malaika is a junior at Gallatin concentrating in globalization and economic development. She is also pursuing a Master's in Public Administration at NYU's Wagner School, with a specialization in International Policy and Management. Her interest in human rights grew out of Gallatin seminars which explored the link between human rights and economic development. This summer, she will intern at  Ombona Tahiry Ifampisamborana Vola (OTIV) Alaotra Mangoro, a microfinance organization in Madagascar, and study how microfinance can be used to fulfill social and economic rights.

Emily Pederson headshot

Emily Pederson
Fellowship Location: Chiapas, Mexico
Skolta'el Yu'un Jlumaltic, A.C.

Emily studies photography and social justice at NYU. This summer she will be going to Mexico to do a documentary photography project on an NGO that works in favor of indigenous rights in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas.





Maria Schirmer headshot

Maria Schirmer
Fellowship Location: Kolkata, India
Jana Sanskriti Centre for Theatre of the Oppressed

Maria moved to NYC form the cornfields of Iowa at to study theatre and performance at Marymount Manhattan Collage, from which she graduated with honors. Following her studies she became actively involved in creative and administrative duties with the political theatre company Stone Soup, performing in seven shows, co-authoring two and assisting with development, outreach and educational programming, while also working in the non-profit sector at organizations such as Global Alliance for Women’s Health and Orphan Support Africa. Currently Maria is a Master’s student at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where her research investigates the intersection of performance and politics and how theatre can be used as a tool for social change. She works as a project assistant at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics, is a member of the Lark Play Development Center and is participating in the Community Word Project's Teaching Artist Training and Internship Program which includes a poetry and performance residency with Bronx 5th graders. She was recently awarded an ISM grant from NYU’s Center for Multicultural Education and Programs to explore Ableism as related to Multiple Sclerosis in a multi-media theatre piece, as well as a Gallatin Global Human Rights Fellowship, which will culminate in an eight-week internship with the Jana Sanskriti Center for Theatre of the Oppressed in Calcutta India.

Kai Zhang headshot

Kai Zhang
Fellowship Location: New York City
Streetwise and Safe

Kai is a student at Gallatin studying social theory and human rights, the conflicting emancipatory vocabularies that came out of Marxism in different historical and geographical contexts, and the extent to which contemporary institutions of human rights fulfills or compromises demands that came out of other movements for social justice. This summer, she is working on a theater project with Streetwise and Safe, a group of LGBTQ youth of color who are engaged in street-based economies, to explore (in)justice in NYC, the shelter system, the criminal justice system, and their discriminatory attitudes towards sexually non-conforming youth of color.