5 Ignite Talks Highlighted among more than 50 Students Sharing Summer CPGC Experiences
CPGC Fellows had the opportunity to share their research and summer experiences with the Haverford community through the poster fair and ignite talks.
On October 28th, students and faculty were invited to Lutnick’s Digital Commons to learn more about CPGC Fellows’ Summer internships through a poster gallery and selected student speakers. CPGC Summer Fellowships provide Haverford students with a financial stipend and skill-building workshops to support their career journey and its intersection with applied, ethical work. The CPGC offers fellowships through a breadth of international and domestic partnerships while supporting students with the freedom and flexibility to create self-designed fellowships.
Each fall, the CPGC Ignite Talks and Poster Fair are an annual tradition for fellowship students to bring their summer work back to campus. This is a part of the bigger goal of continuing reflections and work on fellowships after it’s over. Alongside this, fellowship students identify a fall course where they continue to explore the issues they investigated during the summer.
Students and faculty were invited first to attend the poster gallery, where fellows were given 40 minutes, split between two groups, to present their research and experience. Afterwards, everyone was invited to listen to the five selected ignite speakers, who were each asked to present a 5-minute summary and reflection on their fellowship. This year, Ahlam Houssein ’24, Maya Johnson-Fraidin ’24, Catherine Tomson ’23, James Wayman ’25, and Jean Wriggins ’24 were selected by their peers to be the 2022 Ignite Presenters.
Ahlam Houssein ’24 presented her summer work with the African Family Health Organization (AFAHO). AFAHO is a community-based organization that provides health, human, and education services to African and Caribbean immigrants and refugees (ACIR) in the greater Philadelphia area to serve as a cultural and linguistic bridge between the ACIR and the Philadelphia communities. Houssein worked with the African Youth Empowerment Program (AYEP), where she helped draft a STEM curriculum, facilitated activities and field trips, and curated and ran educational workshops on various educational topics. Apart from her work with AYEP, she produced flyers for AFAHO events and public health updates and helped analyze data to evaluate the effectiveness of AFAHO workshops. Houssein reflected on her takeaways from the internship, such as learning about the various struggles and barriers presented to immigrants, the lack of access to resources, and how diverse the African and Caribbean communities are. Houssein will continue to work with the AYEP program throughout the academic year.
Maya Johnson-Fraidin ’24 discussed her research on the Marshallese weaving practices as nuclear justice work. She collaborated with The Burke Museum and the Republic of the Marshall Islands National Nuclear Commission (NNC). Johnson-Fraidin supported the Burke Museum’s mission by supporting research on the Marshallese weaving practices and raising awareness surrounding the Marshallese nuclear justice efforts. Her goal was to “work with community members and Marshallese people to help in any way that they needed [her]’. Johnson-Fraidin supported efforts for nuclear justice by developing a virtual exhibit made in collaboration with two Marshallese students. Johnson-Fraidin’s goals for her internship were to research Marshallese weaving in the context of nuclear justice work, build relationships with people within the NNC and the Marshallese leaders, support Marshallese activists, and bring these findings back to Haverford. Johnson-Fraidin plans to do this in the form of an exhibit and speaker series. The exhibit will bring a Kili bag in a public space on the Bi-Co, and the speaker series will consist of Marshallese master weavers.
Catherine Tomson ’23 worked with the Caribbean Community in Philadelphia (CCP). The CCP is an organization dedicated to building a positive image of people in the Caribbean Diaspora, as well as cultivating a community with programming and providing real-life solutions. CCP works to advocate through education. Tomson led an education workshop over her summer internship on the role of the Caribbean Sea in resisting climate change; she also focused on reproductive rights and injustices in the Philadelphia region. During the CCP’s COVID-19 parent focus group and survey, Tomson had the opportunity to walk through neighborhoods CCP serves, connecting with parents to discuss their views on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on kids. The survey showed that these communities were more hesitant to administer the vaccine to children than was the general Philadelphia population. People were uncomfortable with vaccines due to a lack of knowledge, understanding, and a great deal of mistrust in the medical institution in America as people of color and immigrants. Data like this helps CCP continue to advance its mission in a targeted way, connecting health communications with community concerns. Tomson also supported the CCP’s Caribbean Heritage day, where the organization celebrated Caribbean culture through music, food, film, dance and experiences.
James Wayman ’25, worked with Lives Beyond Borders (LBB), an organization created by Haverford professors Anita Isaacs and Anne Preston in 2018. The organization’s oral history work centers on the migrant experience in the US and in Mexico, including individuals deported to Mexico. Over the summer, Wayman participated in fieldwork in Mexico City, conducting interviews and re-establishing contact with interviewees from the past. Wayman and the organization conducted over 60 interviews and 80 surveys of people living in Mexico City and in surrounding towns. In the virtual aspect of his internship, Wayman was tasked with indexing roughly 400 interviews collected over the course of LBB research, creating five ‘chapters’ of the migrant experience. One of the team’s key goals was ensuring that this was a functional archive, ensuring the process of using these interviews was as easy as possible, and allowing others in this internship to continue the progress as seamlessly as possible. Wayman reflected on the two different experiences he gained from taking part in one project: partaking in field work in Mexico City and continuing the collaboration remotely. LBB saw impacts through the creation of over 100 new connections, the development of social media as a tool for outreach, and continuing their work to amplify migrant narratives.
Jean Wriggins ’24 concluded the ignite presentations by discussing her work with Grupo de Apoyo Mutuo (GAM). GAM is a human rights organization in Guatemala founded by women searching for loved ones who were disappeared by the military and state security forces during the armed conflict. Wriggins summer projects were to research cases of disappearance and translate documents for court cases. The documents she found and translated are reviewed and utilized by GAM’s legal team for use in court cases. When researching cases, Wriggins went through US and Guatemalan archives to see if she could find a reference to the missing person or other information that would provide some context to the cases. Wriggins spent the majority of her time translating over 60 documents from English to Spanish for court cases. Through the internship experience, Wriggins gained a deeper understanding of Guatemala and its complex history of armed conflict, as well as practicing important skills such as digital scholarship methods, research skills, and collaboration with others in a remote environment. Wriggins learnt that the stories she was working with were very emotional and important stories that were not hers, which meant that her job was not to speak but make sure stories were heard. Wriggins also explored justice after state violence, which raised many unanswered questions surrounding the best way to help a country move past State Violence. In her closing reflections, she considered how her summer work connected with the UN Sustainable Development Goals she was studying in her CPGC reentry class, particularly goal 16: peace, justice, and strong institutions.
The CPGC is currently accepting applications until February 12th. For more information, visit the fellowships page on the CPGC website and sign-up for the newsletter for updates on information sessions and advising.