The Lurie Institute for Disability Policy

The Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University

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2015 Ruderman Scholars

2015 Scholars

BrombergJennifer Bromberg '15 was a double major in International and Global Studies and HSSP.  For her Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars' summer internship, Jennie worked at the Arc of Massachusetts in Waltham, MA.  She assisted with the coordination of health screenings for adults with developmental disabilities through HealthMeet, which is a project to improve health care for people with developmental disabilities. Following her graduation, she traveled to Somaliland, where she is teaching middle school general science at Abaarso School of Science and Technology.

Elizabeth ChalfinElizabeth Chalfin '15 was a HSSP and Psychology double major with a minor in Legal Studies. For her Ruderman Social Justice in Disability Scholars' summer internship,  Lizzy worked with the Greater Waltham Arc where she interacted closely with adults and children with developmental disabilities. As an intern she completed the annual Satisfaction Survey with program participants and served as an individual counselor for youth in summer camp programs. Thanks to the Ruderman Scholars program, Lizzy also had the opportunity to be involved in a few different disability focused research projects. The first analyzed the effectiveness of a youth program on helping individual's transition into adulthood. The second used qualitative data to investigate the issues that immigrants with disabilities face in the health care system.  She says that these experiences taught her about many of the difficulties that those who are underrepresented in society face on a daily basis.  Next year, she will be serving on AmeriCorps NCCC in Colorado. She is currently attending Boston University for a dual Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degree. In the future. she would like to use these experiences to help  children and families in the public health realm.

Jennifer LeeJennifer Lee '15 double majored in HSSP and American Studies.  She is also a Myra Kraft Transitional Year Program alum.  Jennifer has worked to assist young people with disabilities in their transition into adulthood at the Stavros Center for Independent Living in Amherst MA.  There, she focused on increasing levels of communication,  understanding and competency between young people with disabilities and their employers.  Her passion for disability awareness was solidified last summer when she worked as an intern for the American Association for People with disabilities (AAPD) and with Easter Seals National Headquarters in Washington DC.,where she advocated for rights of people with disabilities. Following graduation, she has returned to the Stavros Center for Independent Living.  At Stavros, she serves as the Systems Advocate for Change. Her responsibilities include advocating for state and local policy implementations that will positively impact the lives of people with disabilities. She also serves as an liaison for the organizations in regards to state and local elected officials and other disability centered organizations. Overall, she feels that her time as a Ruderman Fellow and her educational experience at Brandeis has largely impacted her ability to effectively serve people with disabilities within the realm of policy.

Deanna MarionDeanna Marion '15  majored in HSSP and Anthropology and minored in Social Justice and Social Policy (SJSP).  During the summer of 2014, she worked in Washington DC as a National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) intern at the Long Term Quality Alliance. As an Academy intern, she learned about current issues in Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, as well as how these issues affect certain groups receiving long-term care—such as the elderly or people with disabilities. She has also worked at LifeLinks, Inc. as an Urban Youth Program Intern in their Day Habilitation Program. Currently. she is continuing to work at LifeLinks, Inc. as a Residential Clinical Specialist, working with individuals in their group home and individualized support system. In the long term, she would like to return to Washington, DC and become involved in disability policy.  Deanna reports that the Ruderman Scholars in Disability Policy program "allowed me to forge lifelong connections with my fellow scholars and professors. It was my first opportunity for hands-on research, collecting data myself instead of just learning in a classroom setting. Now, I can go into new research opportunities with strong background knowledge of research methods. Working with Susan Parish, both as a professor and as a mentor, was an invaluable experience that greatly influenced my final year at Brandeis."

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