Steinbrecher Fellows embark on summer creative projects

Seven Clark undergraduate students were recently named Steinbrecher Fellows; all will undertake projects this summer and during the 2010-2011 academic year.  The Steinbrecher Fellowship Program was established in 2006 to encourage and support Clark undergraduates’ pursuit of original ideas, creative research, and community service projects. The new Steinbrecher Fellows and their projects are:

Students will volunteer with international aid organizations, work with orphans, and educate low-income mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding

Jenni Adams, a sophomore from Englewood, Colorado, will travel to Quito, Ecuador, where she will work as a volunteer with a non-profit organization, Manna.  She will help set up a health clinic and teach women about preventive health activities.  Adams plans to become a physician and pursue a career in global health.  Adams majors in biochemistry and molecular biology.

Hannah Berry, a sophomore from Dresher, Pennsylvania, will work with the Greater Philadelphia Health Action organization, helping to develop a new educational program to promote breast-feeding among low-income mothers.  Berry will partner with certified nurse midwives to provide a support network for pregnant women, many of whom are single and lack health insurance. Berry is majoring in sociology and women’s and gender studies.

Tanya D’Lima, a junior from India, will do research with a non-profit organization in the Gijorat region of India.  Her research will focus on the gendered dimensions of development induced displacement caused by the building of the Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river. She will work closely with Bhil tribal women in Gujarat.  D’Lima is pursuing a double major in political science and international development and social change.

Yonatan Melamed, a junior, will return to his native Israel to conduct research on efforts to secure equal rights and representation for Arab Israelis.  Melamed will work closely with the director of the Disrat Center for Law and Justice, who is also a Haifa University Professor of Law and the Rights of the Arab-Palestinian Minority in Israel.  He plans to interview leading scholars and government officials, including the director of the Office for Local Development in Israel’s Ministry of the Interior in Jerusalem.  Melamed majors in international development and social change and minors in political science.

Jessica Richland, a junior from Colchester, Vermont, will spend part of the summer in India, volunteering with the Children’s Art Village.  Jessica will teach art to children at the Sevalaya Orphanage and will take photographs to help the children “tell their stories.”  Richland is pursuing a double major in psychology and studio art.

Kate Saccone, a junior from Pownal, Maine, will research Hollywood film musicals from the early 1930’s through the present, exploring how males and females have been portrayed in the dance numbers.  Saccone will spend part of her time in New York City, using the archives at NYU’s Film Library and the film collection at the Museum of Modern Art.  Saccone majors in screen studies and minors in communication and culture.

Haanee Tyebally, a sophomore from Myanmar, will do volunteer work near the Thai-Burma border with the Adolescent Health Network, a non-profit organization.  Tyebally will help provide education on reproductive health for girls displaced by the internal conflicts in that region of her native Burma.  She will also work at Safe Haven, an orphanage in that area.  Tyebally is majoring in international development and social change.

The Steinbrecher Fellowship Program was established in memory of David C. Steinbrecher, class of ’81, by his parents, Phyllis and Stephen Steinbrecher, class of ’55, and is funded by generous gifts from the Steinbrecher family and friends of David.  The program is directed by Professor Sharon Krefetz, former Dean of the College and Chair of Clark’s Department of Political Science.

Professor Krefetz said that the members of the Selection Committee for the Steinbrecher Fellowships were impressed by the many very strong applications they received.

“The proposals from each of the eight students we chose as the new Fellows really stood out because they conveyed the genuine passion and excitement these students have for undertaking their research and community service projects,” she said.  “They struck all of us as truly exemplifying Clark’s motto, ‘Challenge Convention, Change our World,’ and fulfilling the donors’ vision for this incredible fellowship program.”

Krefetz, who had David Steinbrecher as a student when he was an undergraduate at Clark, said that she can’t imagine a more fitting way for his family and friends to honor his memory.

“David was a wonderfully bright, creative, and independent student, who also had a passion for making the world a better place,” said Krefetz.

Stephen Steinbrecher '55 (center) and his daughter Marcy Puklin, pose with 2010-11 Steinbrecher Fellows Jessica Richland '11, Jenni Adams '12, Hannah Berry '12, Kate Saccone '11, Corinne Cahill '12, Haanee Tyebally '12, and Tanya D'Lima '11. Missing is Yonatan Melamed '11.