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2017 Napier Fellows


Andikan has founded Bold Exchanges at Pomona College to create spaces to share personal stories around dealing with stigmatized experiences, to swap practical and helpful information on community resources, and to exchange effective community-building skills and practices.  Events have focused on First Gen college students, immigrants, and incarceration.  Now he would like to expand the program into the city of Pomona in partnership with the dA Center for the Arts and into Los Angeles.

ANOUSH BAGHDASSARIAN - Claremont McKenna College

Long engaged with the injustices surrounding genocide and crimes against humanity, Anoush proposes to collect narratives from Syrian-Armenian refugees now settled in Armenia whose communities and institutions are in danger of being lost to history because of repeated displacements.  She also hopes to collect the narratives of the Yazidi community there to help strengthen their possible case at the International Criminal Court charging genocide committed against them.  She not only wants to provide a record, but also by analyzing and publishing these testimonies, to inspire international aid and justice.  She would partner with American University of Armenia, UNHCR, and aid groups there.

JESSICA BASS - Claremont McKenna College

Concern for the lack of infrastructure and awareness of the need for safe waste disposal in Zambia leads Jessica to propose working with the Lusaka City Council.  She would research waste-management policy measures, attitudes toward them, and their potential structure and impacts.  She would also lead community education and engagement initiatives through local nonprofit organizations to help empower action to support community responsibility for safe waste management.

ELI ERLICK - Pitzer College

Eli is co-founder of Trans Student Educational Resources.  She proposes using the award to support that organization's second Trans Youth Leadership Summit, a unique and innovative Los Angeles-based fellowship program  designed to develop the activism and organizing skills of young transgender leaders across the country.  The Summit would bring 30 youth to LA in July 2017 for work together on critical issues the transgender community faces and preparation to share their learnings with others.


Jivika will organize Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamps for around 250 students from grades 9-12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Pune, India.  Students will learn principles of social entrepreneurship and design thinking and form teams to develop projects that could have positive impacts in their communities.  Jivika will then mentor up to ten student teams to ensure the realization of these projects.  She will partner with a network of international schools in Dubai and Teach for India in Pune. 

LEE JOON KIM - Harvey Mudd College

Lee Joon proposes to create STEAMers, a program where local college student volunteers will deliver science, technology, engineering, art, and math lessons and demonstrations to elementary-school children in CLASP in ways that are fun.  The goal is to engage at-risk children in these subjects to decrease the difference in achievement by students of different social backgrounds.  She hopes to enhance resilience in children at risk and support their education, enhancing their life options.


Nick would like to create a hands-on interactive program that allows youth from Ontario and Pomona to work with tools to help build community structures so they can learn how to use their hands and minds to beautify their communities.  His plan is to hold Saturday-morning workshops at the community garden, Huerta Del Valle, in Ontario and Cesar Chavez Park in Pomona.  The goal is to teach skills, create community, build self-esteem, and provide guidance toward their educational goals.


Tiffany will work with the Tia'amin First Nations tribe in British Columbia to create and implement a water-quality testing/education program, an ongoing data base for analysis, as well as film documentation of her time there.  Her intent is to build a foundation to empower local tribe members and others to collect and log information that can be utilized in building legitimate cases addressing pollution, international development, and environmental injustice.

MARIA ROSE PETTIS - Pomona College

Maria Rose has been working with the University of Cape Coast in Ghana to research using crude plant extracts as botanical pesticides to kill the larvae of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, a new, cheaper and safer approach.  She proposes to return to Ghana to assist researchers there in completing promising studies of the use of aqueous extracts of the leaves of the neem plant and conducting full field trials. She will also engage the local community in learning to produce and use these extracts.

NICOLE SOUTHARD - Claremont McKenna College

The village of Gairi Bisouna Deupur in Nepal has always suffered from excessive levels of unemployment and poverty, and after the most recent earthquake in Kathmandu, the citizens of this isolated rural area have faced extreme hardships.  Nicole proposes helping a group of families develop  a candle-making business.  This project would help provide a livelihood and also support efforts for women's empowerment. She would partner with Be the Change: Business Leaders on the Front Line.

MERIL TOMY - Scripps College

Meril has worked with Lestonnac Free Clinic, a provider of primary medical and dental health programs for underserved people in Southern California, as it has expanded its services to offer access to mental health professionals and resources.  She would like to continue working with the Clinic, helping to organize expansion of the mental-health program to more clinic locations, doing outreach, and creating a written resource guide for uninsured and low-income individuals in Orange County.

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