Building Robust & Inclusive Democracy

Tisch Fund Projects

Medical School Students pose in front of a wall with purple and gold balloons that spell out "AMA"

Learn more about the funded projects from this past academic year.

Tisch Fund Projects 2022-2023

In the Hands of the Bee Holder: The Benefits of Honey Bees on Communities, Environments, and Sustainability
Courtney Wallner V25
The honey bee plays a vital role in the health of our environment, and therefore the health of all of us! This project will teach high school students how they can contribute to the health of their local ecosystems, practice responsible environmental husbandry, and learn economics of a small business through beekeeping. Via the creation of online educational modules, we plan to make the art of beekeeping accessible to all students who wish to participate. From bee health, to pesticide management, to creating a pollinator garden, these modules will show how individual actions can positively impact the health of their communities. Ultimately, these learning modules emphasize the importance of sustainability in personal, environmental, and community health.

Somos Latinx Zine 
Emara Saez A25, Paola Ruiz-Manrique A25
In the entire history of Tufts University, there has never been a Latinx identity based and student-run publication. Our idea is to create a publication titled Somos (“we are” in Spanish) that would create space for the Latine creative community at Tufts in the form of a zine that publishes once each semester. Our zine is entirely student run and aims to involve a variety of Latinx creatives in writing pieces, editing submissions, creating art, designing the layout, and compiling submissions into a cohesive, creative project. The goal is to create space for Latinx students interested in this type of work considering that the history of art, design, and writing spaces at Tufts have been dominated by white students; this continues to be the case within the majority of Tufts’ student run publications and clubs. We want Latinx community members to submit prose, poetry, short stories, personal narratives, photography, art, and anything they feel like sharing with the world. This will enable us to rewrite the literary canon of Tufts to be more inclusive and emphasize our agency as creatives. This project is for the Latinx, by the Latinx.

Interviews with Chinese Americans living in Greater Boston regarding their social eating habits
Liya Xu A24, Angela Lin A24
Commensality, or the act of eating with others, is known to improve quality of life, nutritional intake, and overall well-being compared to eating alone. It is also an important aspect of various Asian cultures but is often overlooked in healthcare and community outreach settings – whether with healthy Chinese Americans or those battling cancer. Due to a lack of knowledge on this topic, there may be unmet support to help maintain a community member’s commensal practice. Our research group hopes to gain additional insight into the current situation and the attitudes of Chinese Americans toward commensality through 20semi-structured interviews of those with cancer and those without. We will utilize the qualitative data analysis method to find several broad themes regarding the participants' commensal status and their attitudes toward their commensality. This new-found information can then be disseminated to the Chinese American community and the medical community with the support of our research collaborators. Ultimately, we hope to raise awareness of social eating being an indispensable part of Chinese American patients’ life and to advocate for ways that commensality can be improved for those battling chronic illnesses.

Coming Together with Beautiful Stuff: Imagining Our Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive Eliot-Pearson Community
Mathew Gee AG25, Julia Bergman AG25
Imagining Our Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive E-P Community is an Eliot-Pearson (E-P) Department of Child Study and Human Development student-led community art project in collaboration with the E-P Children’s School, and Beautiful Stuff Project. The collaborative art project invites members of the E-P community to reimagine and transform our community using the power of art. Through design and art-making workshops, community members will reflect on and discuss what it means to be part of the E-P community, our values as a department, and our commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity, inclusion, belonging, and justice. Aiming to dismantle invisible boundaries, the project will engage community members across multiple age-groups, roles, and backgrounds within the department. They will work together to express their imaginations, reflections, and feelings through creative manipulation of reused materials. The final art piece will be installed in the E-P building and remind us on a daily basis of our community spirit, shared values, and commitment to building anti-racist, inclusive, and just community and world. Through this artistic process, participants will see how much ‘beautiful stuff’ we can make when we work together, hold each other accountable, and care for the spaces we inhabit.

Food and Faith 
Julia Appel A25, Sam Chock A25, COFFEE Student Group
Former Tubs CAFE (Conversation, Action, Faith, and Engagement) Pre-Orientation leaders Julia Appel, Sam Chock, and Audrey McGlothlen realized how valuable it would have been for us to have exposure to diversity of religious perspectives when we were younger. Conversations about faith are often reserved for college students, so we want to expose students to the possibilities of interfaith connection from a younger age. We are excited to bring Food and Faith to local Dearborn STEM Academy students and their families. We aim to encourage students’ enthusiasm for learning about the diverse cultures and religions within their own communities through food-based conversation with each other. Students and families will discuss questions such as “What kinds of foods do you remember most from your family's holidays?” and “What stories or practices are there from your traditions and communities around making and sharing food?”. Dearborn students who are especially interested in encouraging the sharing of diverse faith perspectives will also be given the opportunity to moderate these conversations at the dinner. They will receive training from Tufts Student Leaders using a curriculum developed by Tufts student leaders in conjunction with The Dignity Project, an interfaith youth leadership program run by Hebrew College.

MyTERN Conversations Podcast
BR Rose A23
MyTERN Conversations is a podcast produced by formerly incarcerated students in conjunction with Medford-based undergraduates and faculty, spotlighting lived experiences of those impacted by the criminal-legal system during and after incarceration. This podcast is a product of the Tufts Education Reentry Network program, MyTERN, which serves as a pathway for people home from prison to continue higher education while also preparing for meaningful employment post-incarceration. Providing education and mentorship to – and by – those who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system, MyTERN combines Civic Studies courses in higher learning with community involvement through our broad network of partner organizations. MyTERN is a component of the Tufts University Prison Initiative of the Tisch College of Civic Life (TUPIT), which facilitates creative and collaborative responses to the problems of mass incarceration and racial injustice by offering educational opportunities to those currently and formerly incarcerated, as well as Tufts students and faculty.

Determining the Prevalence of Anthelmintic Resistance in New England Small Ruminants
Eleanor Kharasch V25 
Internal parasites are a major health concern in small ruminants (sheep and goats), with resistance becoming an apparent problem when it comes to treating with antimicrobials. Anthelmintic resistance is a pressing issue in agriculture, and is associated with persistent infections and ineffective treatment efficacy. The prevalence of anthelmintic resistance in New England has not been studied before, despite anecdotal evidence of animals suffering from infections even after being properly treated. Resistance affects animal health, but also has a significant community impact on New England farmers, increasing the cost burden and emotional burden for trying to treat their animals the best that they can. This project will help farmers analyze their parasite resistance at no cost and help them tailor a parasite strategy that will be specific to their farm.

Fletcher Political Risk Conference: The Great Transition: An Attempted Shift Towards Economic Autonomy
Patrick Fazari F24, Shara Madan F23
Recent years have been characterized by increasing geopolitical volatility, growing tensions between the USA and China, Russia’s war in Ukraine, and growing assertiveness of middle powers that have implied a transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world. Furthermore, governments face geo-strategic challenges posed by rising inflation, energy security, and climate change-which have no easy solutions. We see nations looking inwards to ameliorate their economic woes rather than relying on the forces of globalization to achieve the most efficient outcomes. Under such circumstances, the question arises whether the era of progress through liberalized global trade and ever-increasing globalization that seemed inexorable, ended? Or is it rather that countries’ approach to “globalization” (Globalization 2.0) has evolved to incorporate more parameters, such as economic self-sufficiency? Can corporations still distinguish geopolitical risks from economic risks in their decision-making? How is the rise in protectionist and nationalist policies redefining populism? Are our supply chains resilient enough to support an inward-looking world? And more importantly, what will the geopolitical power distribution look like in 2023? These questions have no concrete answers but a conversation on these issues is important as these changes in geopolitics and geoeconomics have significant consequences for businesses and global trade in general. Deciding the right strategy is of acute importance for both governments and corporations in order to ameliorate the risks associated with geopolitics in the coming years.

Exploring substance use disorder (OR The Opioid Epidemic) through three lenses: Medical, Dental and the Patient
Janki Bhagat D25
An interactive, interprofessional dinner conversation for Tufts medical, dental, MPH/PA students to learn about substance use disorder and deepen the understanding of how dentists and physicians can work together on SUDs and what that looks like together as a process. This event will allow students to gain insight on the personal experience of those who have been impacted by substance use abuse. And students will be able to expand their ‘toolkits’ as future clinicians of how to address and support people with SUDs and provide resources for their patients.

Environmental Justice Education and Community Engagement for Medical Students
Kali Sullivan M24, Erin Mooz M25, Tim Mikulski M25 
Climate change, racism, and health are inherently connected as disparities exist in the impact of climate change and in health based on effects of structural racism. This project is a pilot group of students to attend a tour with Alternatives for the Community and Environment, an environmental justice organization in Roxbury, who hosts “Toxic Tours” of Nubian Square. This is an opportunity for students to learn about the history of environmental justice, connect with a community organization in Boston, and gain perspective on how this relates to the health of our future patients.

Tufts Energy Conference 
Kate Gutilla A23
The 2023 Tufts Energy Conference will convene a diverse and international group of leaders to explore how equity can be incorporated in innovation systems and infrastructure investments to bring about a just and affordable energy transition for all. The world currently faces a critical turning point in the fight against climate change and the transition to a clean energy future. We have much more work to do to rapidly scale up renewable energy deployment worldwide, but innovations in the energy industry are making this transformation feasible by bringing down prices and increasing the efficiency of renewable energy technologies. Massive infrastructure upgrades are needed to support the clean energy transition, but the United States is starting to meet the challenge as it deploys unprecedented amounts of funding for energy infrastructure. At the same time, disadvantaged communities around the world have long borne the burden of pollution from the fossil fuel-powered energy system and have been disenfranchised from energy planning decisions. As we work to address the climate crisis, it’s crucial that all communities have the opportunities to have their voices heard, and to reap the benefits of the clean energy opportunity. Panels of experts will discuss these challenges and opportunities, covering a wide range of issues like how to increase equitable access to funding for energy projects, sustainable and equitable infrastructure design, the energy infrastructure needs of small island states, and use of energy in climate-smart agriculture. The Tufts Energy Conference has an 18-year legacy of bringing together students, academics, public officials, and energy industry professionals for thought-provoking discussions on some of the most critical energy issues of our time.

Tufts Stop the Bleed 
Jacob Zhang M26
Stop the Bleed® is a national curriculum led by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma to train the general public in basic trauma skills. Hemorrhage is one of the leading causes of preventable death, and data show that early bleeding control at the bystander level
consistently contributes to greater patient outcomes. Since 2014, the program has taught non-
medically trained bystanders how to control bleeding from penetrating injuries such as gunshot wounds. The mission of the Tufts Stop the Bleed program is to provide local institutions with public access bleeding control kits at no cost, as well as the training and certification on how to use them. Community members will gain competency in bleeding control skills such as applying tourniquets, holding direct pressure, and packing wounds to stop major hemorrhage.

Resistance: A POC Affinity Fashion Show
Malvika Wadhawan A23
Resistance is a POC-Affinity Fashion Show hosted by the South Asian Political Action Committee (SAPAC) in collaboration with numerous other cultural student organizations representing their own traditions, attire, and history to spotlight and celebrate our communities. Groups will have the opportunity to creatively showcase aspects of their cultural identities, while reexamining our understanding of the larger community at Tufts. Resistance in fashion has many interpretations and encompasses colors utilized in political protest, fabrics worn by underrepresented communities, styles and symbols of marginalized gender identities, or traditional dance attire historically stigmatized. In the face of oppression, visibility and expression is an act of resistance. The ultimate goal is to build community and solidarity through sharing how our apparel carries history and identity.

Conference on Gender and International Affairs
Aubrey Hartnett F23 
The Conference on Gender and International Affairs is the Fletcher School's largest student-led conference. For our 8thyear, we have focused on the theme of Challenging for Change: Amplifying Voices into Action. Through panels, workshops, and plenary speaker opportunities, CGIA aims to provide attendees with opportunities to learn from activists, practitioners, academics, and peers; network and understand urgency and opportunity for professional activities; and focus on issues of care, race, culture wars, and joy as resistance.

Welcome Alliance Food Drive
Jeffrey Gu M25
Dr. Wayne Altman started the Welcome Alliance Clinic to provide school physicals for immigrant and refugee children in the Woburn/Burlington community. These children cannot attend school until they complete their school physicals, and many of them are uninsured or unable to access healthcare. Students are trained by family medicine physicians, perform
school physicals, and counsel patients on topics such as career advancement, sleep, and nutrition. Beyond the clinic, students organize community events to promote career and personal advancement for the children, such as mentorship programs, book/school supply drives, and field trips. In collaboration with the Tisch Fund, we plan to incorporate a food drive into our monthly clinics to help the families we serve with food insecurity through fresh groceries and SNAP enrollment. Our mission is to increase healthcare access to the immigrant and refugee population while supporting their social and academic transition into their new communities.

Exploring Tunney Lee’s Archives and Our Own
Leanne Lo M23
"Endurance Streets 堅韌的街道: Resilience and Response in Boston’s Chinese Community” is a collaboration between the Chinese Historical Society of New England and Tisch College’s Program for Public Humanities at Tufts`s University, created as a response to the economic distress and racially-motivated attacks that have impacted Boston’s Chinese-speaking neighborhood during the pandemic. To celebrate the exhibition and bring together students and Chinatown residents, the “Endurance Streets” team are holding an interactive event called “Community Day: Exploring Tunney Lee’s Archives and Our Own.” During this gathering, participants will be learning about the histories and present moments behind “Endurance Streets,” such as Chinatown’s laundries, restaurants, streets, and people while critically thinking about their own personal, visual archives and curating their own physical, photographic pairings—modeled in the style of exhibition panels—that speak to change and resilience. 

Medical Student Advocacy Fair
Senila Yasmin M25, Zoë Gilbard M25, Aneesh Bahadur M25, Tufts University School of Medicine American Medical Association/Mass Medical Society

In honor of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) National Medical Student Advocacy Week, the Tufts University School of Medicine (TUSM) AMA Chapter will provide students with advocacy tools through our two-part Advocacy Series.

Part I: On October 20 from 6-7 PM, join us for a Medical Student Advocacy Fair: an open-house event spotlighting physicians across specialties who integrate advocacy into clinical practice. The fair will also include booths where students can check their voter registration status through Vot-ER, learn about Massachusetts ballot questions and upcoming midterm elections, and directly participate in advocacy by contacting their legislators through action alerts. Attendees will receive an “Advocacy Passport” that will best amped as they visit each table. Students can show completed passports to be entered to win various prizes. 

Part II: On December 6 from 12-1 PM, we are excited to provide an Advocacy Workshop run by Dr. Megan Evans, MD, MPH, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Tufts Medical Center. This training will include an overview of the MA Legislature, how a bill becomes a law, and how social media can be used for advocacy.

Tufts Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebration 
Hannah Norton E24, Violet Johnson A24, Tylee Nez E24
The Indigenous Students’ Organization at Tufts (ISOT) invites you to our seventh annual Indigenous Peoples' Day Celebration, which focuses on celebrating Indigenous and Native American people at Tufts and in our individual communities. Our council of Indigenous students have worked very hard at the beginning of the semester in order to celebrate each other, honor the land of the peoples’ that we reside on, and continue engagement with the surrounding Indigenous organizations and communities. We hope that this celebration continues to give attention to the needs of Indigenous students at Tufts and celebrates all of our victories. The celebration will be held on October 10th from 1pm-5pm on the residential quad next to Olin patio, with a program packed full of Indigenous speakers, performances, and food. We hope to see you there!

Justice For the Homeless (JFH) Month
Eliot Zaeder M25, Leah Benrubi M25, Olivia Hofheinz M25
Justice For the Homeless (JFH) Month is an annual series of panels, workshops, and presentations organized by Healthcare Alliance for the Homeless, a student-led organization at Tufts University’s School of Medicine and funded by Tisch College of Civic Life. Given that the School of Medicine operates in a large, urban setting with a significant population of people experiencing homelessness, the Healthcare Alliance for the Homeless believes that it is essential that Tufts medical students have a strong understanding of homelessness, practice and learn with cultural humility, and are ethically and effectively engaged in efforts to address homelessness. Justice for the Homeless Month improves students’ understanding of the lived experience of homelessness, how homelessness affects health, and ways to optimize healthcare for people experiencing homelessness. Understanding that multiple factors contribute to the health of people experiencing homelessness, Justice for the Homeless Month is organized in collaboration with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Project, the Boston Public Health Commission, Tufts’ Psychiatry Interest Group, Addiction Medicine Interest Group, Biomedical Queer Alliance, Tufts Dental School, and the Tufts’ Tisch Scholars