2019-20 Research Fellows

Laleh Ahmad ’20: Collective Violence: Why do communities kill?

Laleh is a senior at CMC majoring in History with a sequence in Human Rights Studies. She was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. She spent a summer in Warsaw, Poland, working at the Polin Museum in their Education Department. She spent the summer helping them plan conferences, seminars and other educational events. This past summer, she worked at the Enough Project in Washington, DC, as an Investigative Research Intern. The Enough Project investigates the finances and money trail behind war crimes and human rights violations in East and Central Africa. She is excited to write her thesis on collective violence and to analyse the pattern between historical case studies to inform whether there is a larger “why” behind outbreaks of murder within communities. She is going to examine several case studies falling under the categories of racialised, ethnic, religious and gender violence, in addition to violence due to nationalism and after decolonisation. On campus, Laleh is the Senior Class President and Athenaeum Fellow, in addition to being a Mgrublian Research Fellow. She is excited to use the skills and experiences she’s gained through the Mgrublian Center’s continued support to pursue a career in human rights and climate change activism.

Anna Choi ’23: Human Rights Abuses in the Hong Kong Protests

Anna is a freshman at Pomona planning to double major in History and Mathematics. Born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in a local school, Diocesan Girls’ School, she identifies greatly with the local culture. Yet she was also exposed to an outsider’s’ perspective when she changed to an international school, Island School, and traveled around during her gap year to Greece, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines. Able to enjoy life in Claremont while her friends fight on the streets, Anna hopes that she may contribute, albeit a small amount, through a basic report on the prevalent human rights abuses that threaten to be ignored, dismissed or forgotten. International attention on the city’s situation provides much support for Hong Kongers, but outside of news articles on immediate events, few academic papers have been written vis-à-vis the demonstrations’ progression and the escalation of violence. Anna hopes this fellowship and the Mgrublian Center’s guidance may provide her with valuable knowledge, experience and academic sensibility to research and write on such solemn and sensitive subjects.

Simon Gilbert ’22: Jews in Communist Romania

Simon is a sophomore at CMC studying history, particularly the history of central and eastern Europe. After reading a few books on Romanian history over the summer, he became engrossed by the story of Romanian Jewish emigration after the Holocaust. His project intends to investigate how the ideology of the Gheorghiu-Dej and Ceasescu regimes as well as Romania’s long history of Antisemitism affected Jewish emigration. On campus, Simon writes and edits for the Claremont Radius, works on the podcast Free Food for Thought, and plays on the 5C men’s ultimate Frisbee team.

Nandeeni Patel ’21: Law and Justice: Gender-based Violence against Women in India

Nandeeni is a junior at CMC majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE), with an interest in South Asian politics. Besides serving as a Research Fellow at the Center, she is a Research Assistant at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government and currently a Research Intern in the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.. Nandeeni spent her last two summers in India, as an Appel Writing Fellow researching the effects of British colonialism on the Indian education system, and as a Program Management Intern at International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) India. In researching violence against women in India, Nandeeni hopes to investigate the social, cultural, and political norms that shape the lives of women both in the public and private sphere. In her free time she likes to eat the Athenaeum’s cheese cubes and watch Bollywood movies.

Renee Perper ’21: Confronting the Aftermath of the Yazidi Genocide: How Yazidi Rape Survivors Re-connect with their Communities

Renee is a junior at CMC majoring in Middle Eastern Studies. She recently transferred from Colgate University where she was double majoring in Religious Studies and Middle Eastern Islamic Studies. Renee grew up in San Francisco where she developed a passion for inter-sectional feminism with a focus on international issues. At Colgate, she was an intern at Haven, the counseling center for survivors of sexual violence and an event planner for the Network, an anti-sexual and domestic violence activist group. Inspired by her work this summer in Egypt where she created programs for refugee survivors of sexual violence, she is currently an event coordinator for Amnesty International. In addition to being a fellow at the Center, she is also a fellow at the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies. With her fellowships, she is focusing on the religious, sociological and international policy factors that led to the rape and sexual violence within the 2014 genocide of the Yazidi people of Northern Iraq. She hopes that her research will help illuminate a path forward for the Yazidi community to begin to heal.

Anita Shenoi ’20: The Influence of Sociocultural Factors and Mental Health Care on the Psychological Well-being of Syrian Refugees

Anita is a senior at CMC majoring in International Relations with a focus on Human Rights Law and Refugee Resettlement. Raised in Southern California, Anita has always been interested in immigration and integration efforts. On campus, she is involved with the 5C Refugee Advocacy Network as an English as a Second Language tutor, and Claremont Canopy, an organization that serves newly resettled families in the Inland Empire. During her junior year, Anita spent a semester in Freiburg, Germany, studying EU policies towards the refugee crisis. This past summer, she interned with The Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, studying the inner workings of relief projects. Through this research fellowship, Anita hopes to develop a further understanding of the influence of sociocultural factors and accessibility to mental health care on the psychological well-being of Syrian refugees globally.

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