Meet the Allbritton Fellows

Each year, a handful of students from the incoming freshman class are selected to be Allbritton Fellows. These students are recognized for their exemplary civic engagement or social impact work prior to coming to Wesleyan. They are matched with a faculty mentor from the Allbritton Center, and are invited to community-building events for Allbritton Fellows and other student leaders.

This Fall we welcomed 3 new Fellows, Max Chong Lee Shin ’21, Isabella Morais ’21, and Leo Holland ’21


Momi Afelin

Class Year: 2019
Hometown: ‘Ualapu’e, Hawai’i
Major(s): Neuroscience and Behavior & Biology
Extracurricular activities: Women of Color Collective, Rural Access (health access and education in general)



My fellowship experience thus far has predominantly consisted of building the foundation for my future. This has included building relationships, learning about the Middletown community, and engaging with other aspects of Allbritton Hall to expand my knowledge of civic engagement and how it relates to entrepreneurship. Initially I wanted to utilize my fellowship to work at home addressing mental health and Hawai’i’s high suicide rates. However, due to the fact that I rarely am in Hawai’i anymore I realized this was impractical.
I plan to now use some of my funds to contribute to the work of Rural Access. Rural Access is a grassroots organization that focuses on expanding health access and education in rural areas of the world. I also plan to dedicate a portion of this Fellowship to building relations with the Middletown community through my position as a Residential Advisor in 200 Church residence. 200 Church is a mission based house dedicated to social justice.
After Wesleyan I plan to attend medical school.


Ahmed Badr

Class Year: 2020
Hometown: Baghdad, Iraq
Major(s): Anthropology
Extracurricular activities: WeSlam, Middle Eastern Student Union, Muslim Students Association, Writing, Photography, Poetry


While I have not used my grant money just yet, I have already begun deeply engaging with the Allbritton Center and its wide range of resources. This year, I was a Patricelli Center fellow, where I was able to grow my venture, Narratio, under the supervision and support of the Center director, Makaela Kingsley.
I learned about root cause analysis, systems thinking, and a slew of other technical skills that have enriched my work in more ways than one. In addition, I was paired with an alumni mentor, who has proven invaluable in the navigation of the social entrepreneurship sphere. Most importantly, the Allbritton community is incredibly diverse, and there is a huge emphasis on student collaboration, which is something that I deeply appreciate.
I am in the process of planning a travel-intensive project that seeks to collect the stories of migrants and refugees across the United States.
After graduating (which seems like a lifetime away!) I plan to continue working on my venture, Narratio, and enter the world of journalism and storytelling.


Maximilien Chong Lee Shin

Class Year: 2021
Intended Majors: Urban Studies or Government, with IDEAS Minor
Extra-curricular activities/hobbies/interests: Wesleyan Student Assembly, African Students Association, Fencing, Orientation Intern.

I have learned from, and been inspired by many student entrepreneurs in the Allbritton Center who are working on their own start-ups. Before coming to Wesleyan, I had created the Youth Symposium for Mauritius, a dialogue platform and think tank, for and by teenagers, to address local challenges. This far, the project has been brought to a pause, and my experience here has been about learning new skills and strategies that would improve the way that I handle the venture. I am taking a social entrepreneurship class, and intend to serve as a Resident of the Jewett Center for Community Partnership’s Nonprofit Board Residency program.
I might use my Allbritton grant for conducting research either on civil society in developing countries, or on urban development in post-colonial coastal Africa. If not, I would invest it in a summer internship or study abroad in sustainable design and architecture.
After college, I would like to go to grad school to study Architecture, or Urban Planning, or International Affairs.


Leo Holland

Class Year: 2021 
Intended Majors: Economics Major and Art History Minor
Extracurricular Activities: Wesleyan Club Hockey player, Alpha Psi Alpha Fraternity, Stand up comedy writing
Civic engagement, which is the aim of the Allbritton Fellowship depends on you and your relationship with your surroundings. My fellowship experience so far has been characterized by learning more about Wesleyan and Middletown as communities. I have been spending my time making in roads with persons of interest and learning from the other Allbritton Fellows. I am very passionate about finding ways for enterprise to affect the community in a positive and caring manner. Social Entrepreneurship is a wave that, especially on the local level, can have massive impact in the daily lives of community members.
I have not decided on how to spend my grant money, but I have been tossing around several ideas in my head. I have reflected and thought about all the people in my life that have propelled me to where I am today. One of my thoughts is to start an initiative where a willing Wesleyan student can be reasonably helped to find someone willing to mentor them in their extracurricular and life projects. 
I am open to all possibilities, but I am particularly interested in exploring the intersection between business and the humanities. Working with a museum, a publishing house, or an auction house would be quite exciting. 


Justin Kim

Class Year: 2019
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Major(s): Film, American Studies, Science in Society
Extracurricular Activities: Lucid Color Collective, water polo, film projectionist, book preservationist, rn I’m really into 90’s Hal Hartley movies and making small notebooks for friends. I also started watching K-dramas for the first time in a looong time.

I have been starting to spend more time with the other Allbritton Fellows and talking about our different experiences at Wesleyan and our plans for the fellowship. I spent more time my freshman year at the PCSE as I was leading Wes^2, Wesleyan’s entrepreneurship society, and taking Makaela’s social entrepreneurship class. It was then that I learned how to apply practices such as the lean startup mentality to social entrepreneurship. I had a chance to become more familiar with the resources on campus by chairing the Student Budget Committee and used what I learned from the PCSE to found and fund Wesleyan’s student of color film collective–Lucid Color Collective–my sophomore year.
I am cycling through many different ideas on how to use my grant money to have both a deep impact and broad scope every week and Makaela has been pivotal in helping me shoot down the bad ones. Right now I am collaborating with another fellow and looking at evolving visual methods of information and searching for stories to tell through documentary filmmaking.
I’m not sure what I will be doing after Wesleyan.


Isabella Morais
Class year: 2021
Hometown: Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard, MA
Intended Majors: Anthropology & American Studies Double Major
Extracurricular Activities: Mock Trial, Harry Potter Re-Reads, Changing Education Policies and Swimming wherever I can
With my Allbritton Fellowship, I have begun to create a project that will match underrepresented students in over populated, underfunded high schools to college students with similar backgrounds and interests. This will create mentor/mentee relationships and help high school students with the college application and identification process and push for more inclusive and diverse populations across college campuses.
I plan to use this money to build a website for the program, travel to talk to schools, and hopefully bring students from high schools to Wes and talk to college students in a smaller groups and cohorts. 
I would like to go to Law School after Wes and pursue Civil Rights and/or Prosecution Law.


Kriti Narayanan

Hometown: Dallas, TX
Class Year: 2020
Major(s): English
Extracurricular Activities: filmmaking, writing, Alpha Delta Phi, Shakti



Meeting the other Allbritton Fellows and all the advisors has been great. I have been able to make strong personal connections with many of them, and I look forward to sharing my ideas with them and exchanging help and advice for our projects. Having this fellowship has really led me to think about what kind of impact I want to make both at Wesleyan and in the world. I am very passionate about advocating for people struggling with mental illness (especially people of color) because of my own experiences with it, and having this opportunity has been a gateway into making something out of that passion. I’ve been planning out how I can make my ideas for the world a reality and making connections across campus to help facilitate that.
I haven’t completely figured out how I’m going to use the grant money, but I definitely want to focus on channeling it towards some sort of programs/resources for teens struggling with mental illness. Whether this means using it to do research, fund events, pay helpers, or to do something else, I’m not sure yet.
Although I am not majoring in film, I want to be a filmmaker. I also want to pursue my love of writing whether that be in the fields of screenwriting, poetry, or book writing. In addition, I want to continue to share my story of living with mental illness to destigmatize and spread awareness about these issues.


Anthony Price

Class Year: 2020
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Major(s): Government and American Studies
Extracurriculars: Wesleyan Student Assembly, Ujamaa, Invisible Men, Admissions Tour Guide, Tutor at Connecticut Juvenile Training School



I’ve  had the opportunity  to serve as a Patricelli Fellow of the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, where I focused on building my small startup, Be The Change Venture, a company that seeks to connect and empower young people to be leaders in their community. Next semester, I will serve as a resident of the Jewett Center for Community Partnership’s Nonprofit Board Residency program where I will serve as a board member and learn ways I can establishing my own along with its board. Already, I’ve  enhanced my leadership, adaptability, and communication skills which I think would best serve me in the coming years as a Allbritton Fellow. This fellowship has open doors of opportunity which will help me in the coming years here at Wesleyan.
This summer, I will utilize part of my grant assisting with the launch of Be The Change Venture’s networking event along with our instructional videos where high school students will be able to build their network, develop networking skills, and make valuable connections with their peers and professionals.
It’s my hope to attend law school and one day become a lawyer.

Also, if folks want to learn more about Be The Change Venture, they’re more than happy to visit our homepage


Serena Rusk

Class Year: 2020
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Major(s): Science and Society Program and Biology
Extracurriculars: Tutor for Traverse Square Tutoring Center; Translator for WesInterpreters; interested in Spanish, dance, community-based research



I have really enjoyed getting to know the other Allbritton fellows, hearing their stories, and gaining inspiration from them. I have learned that there are many successful, exciting, and unique ways to engage in social justice, and I look forward to growing and learning alongside them.
I am thinking about using my grant money to fund a summer internship experience abroad. I am super interested in community-based projects and research, and would love to work with a nonprofit or other group exploring topics of social and environmental justice, medicine and health, and community organizing.
After graduation, I am interested in continuing my education, with the possibility of going to med school, and looking for a job that bridges the gap between my interests in science and medicine, and social justice.


Madeleine Sargent

Class Year: 2019
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Major(s): Studio Art (Photography) and Government (Theory)
Extracurriculars: Captain of the Cheer Team, Teaching Artist at Oddfellows Playhouse, Resident Advisor



I have been working this year to create a summer project to teach photography to youth in order to provide an avenue of expression and revelation. After contacting many organizations I will be working at Fire Mountain Programs in Estes Park Colorado with troubled youth. I will be teaching the history of photography as well as tools and shooting methods. By the end of my employment, I will organize a gallery show of the work as a way to see growth and accomplishment. The focus will be on blending traditional therapies with innovative educational modalities for troubled youth and a focus on personal growth.
I will be using my grant money to purchase supplies for the students such as cameras for them to use and matting supplies to display their work.
When I graduate I think I am going to try and apply to MFA programs in photography with the hope to one day become a photography professor and artist.


Bella Wiener

Class Year: 2019
Hometown: Bend, OR
Major(s): Biology
Extracurriculars: Varsity Swim team, tour guide




This opportunity has provided me with a tight knit community of incredible people. My fellow fellows (ha) are all brilliant, innovative, passionate, and driven individuals. Thus far, I have mostly spent time with Justin Kim outside of the official meetings discussing what this fellowship means to us and was we can capitalize on this opportunity and create something incredible. I am excited to see what the next few years have to offer.
Currently, Justin and I have been playing with the idea of creating a short documentary style film or a few short documentaries to form a series on a variety of pressing social problems/issues we are currently facing.
I plan on taking a year off before heading to medical school where I hope to study to become an OBGYN.