Posted on June 17, 2021 · Posted in P-cubed News

The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College celebrates our talented Public Policy and JFEW students. Each year our students dedicate a piece of their academic careers to learn how public policies responding to urgent issues are created, how communities – across race, class, gender, sexuality, immigration status, among other differences – come together to demand change leading to greater equity and justice, and the ways in which the impact of laws can be assessed.

Hafsah Ansar ’22 is a junior JFEW Scholar who is studying psychology with a minor in sociology. Hafsah was recently selected for the APIA Scholars AANAPISI Scholarship and the Mellon Public Humanities Scholars Program, which will give her the opportunity to conduct original research to address public issues. She says, “Being a JFEW Scholar has deepened my interest in advocating for the rights of vulnerable communities and raising awareness for sociopolitical issues. I hope to continue down this path as a Hunter Mellon Scholar by creating a meaningful project that unravels the nuances of the Asian American experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

During her time at Hunter College, Hafsah volunteered at CPC Hong Ning Housing for the Elderly, where she promoted well-being for residents as she developed arts and crafts sessions, raised awareness for mental health, and supervised group activities. She will complete an internship at MDRC this summer. Through her professional and volunteer experiences, Hafsah has developed an interest in studying the policies that affect individuals in their everyday lives and enhancing programs to better serve the needs of low-income communities.

In the future, Hafsah hopes to work at a non-profit organization and get a master’s degree in school counseling. By doing so, she hopes to provide individuals with the support they need to cope with their difficulties, overcome challenges, and maintain their well-being.


Gustavo Moran ’21, a proud Mexican-born Brooklynite, is a junior majoring in Urban Studies, double minoring in Sociology and Political Science, and pursuing a certificate in Public Policy from the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. Since his sophomore year, Gustavo has interned for the Council Speaker and Manhattan Borough President and worked on various legislative and policy initiatives to promote community outreach, equitable access to food, and analyzing transportation alternatives. Currently, he is participating in a discussion surrounding the current development of New York City and the implications of housing demand, equitable job growth, and affordability, in collaboration with the Eva Kastan Grove Fellows. He plans to earn a Masters in Urban Planning and Public Policy and continue working to make NYC equitable for all New Yorkers. After his graduation in May 2021, Gustavo will join the New York City Urban Fellows Program as he embarks on his career in public service and public policy.


Nastasia Radulov ’22 is a sophomore JFEW Scholar at Hunter College, where she is earning a degree in political science and certificate in public policy, with a substantive policy specialization of foreign policy. She says, “Roosevelt House has given me the opportunity to be a part of two amazing cohorts, both the JFEW program and the Roosevelt Scholars Program. This background has helped me achieve a youth ambassador position with the Western Balkan humanitarian organization 28. Jun, along with being their New York UN-NGO representative. Also, through JFEW, I have been honored with the opportunity to intern for the Social Science Research Council’s Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum in the Summer of 2021. I am certain that these experiences and the support of JFEW will put me on a path to success and more work in the field of foreign policy in Serbia and the Balkan region.”

Nastasia is of Serbian heritage and holds the New York State Seal of Biliteracy for the Serbian Language, in addition to being proficient in Spanish. She visits her family’s home country every summer, which has sparked her interest in international relations and travel. In her first year at Hunter, Nastasia was employed as a college assistant in the President’s Office and had the opportunity to visit Jackson, Mississippi as a Grove Fellow. There, she interned as a legal assistant, translating Spanish and aiding victims of the 2019 Mississippi ICE raids, which impacted hundreds of families. Due to her background, Nastasia is very interested in a career in foreign relations. She hopes to one day work for an international organization, such as the UN or a U.S. embassy abroad, with a particular interest in the Balkan region.


Alejandra Rivera ’21 is a JFEW Scholar who graduated Hunter with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Public Health. Next year, she will matriculate into Cornell University’s dual Master’s program in Health Administration and Public Administration. With her educational background, she hopes to help develop policies that eliminate healthcare disparities and make adequate healthcare a right, not a luxury. Alejandra says, “Being a member of Roosevelt House and the JFEW Scholars program taught me that no matter how big or small a problem seems, if you want to be a part of the solution you can be. Roosevelt House inspired me to focalize my future studies on social policy, and made me feel prepared and excited to work with policy experts in the future. “

Alejandra’s interest in public health was sparked when she worked as a peer instructor in the iDecide program at Washingtonville High School. Through the program, she taught elementary school children the risks and dangers of drugs and alcohol use and presented them with skills to refuse these substances. Since then, Alejandra has volunteered at her local food pantry, served as a peer tutor, and participated in a Science and Technology Entry Program. As a volunteer with the CUNY Service Corps Puerto Rico Relief Initiative, she worked alongside the nonprofit Nechama to help rebuild San Juan and gained a richer insight into the relationship between policy, community and health. Her work in Puerto Rico further enhanced her connection to her Latino roots and fostered an interest in the Latino community in the United States. She brought her newly gained interest and knowledge to work at Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez’s office to serve the minority community in Harlem, New York, and interned with the Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She hopes to incorporate each experience into her future work.


Andrew Shkreli ’21 is a graduating senior pursuing a major in English Literature, Certificate in Human Rights, and Minor in Public Policy. He deeply appreciates the continued support of Roosevelt House in his professional endeavors and personal development. After his graduation in May 2021, he will join the New York City Urban Fellows Program to explore public service and public policy in the City that he calls home.

Andrew’s internship experiences have largely focused on the law’s generative potential in rectifying societal inequities. Although law school is likely in his future, he is excited to refine his ability to engage with public policy because of his desire to work at the intersection of law and policy. His identity as an Albanian-American and native Bronxite is very important to him and he feels compelled to inform people of this as soon as he meets them.


Tasneem Sultana ’22 is a junior PPP and JFEW Scholar, has been chosen for the Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Junior Summer Institute Fellowship at the Goldman School of Public Policy at University of Berkeley, where she will study Public Policy and Law. Tasneem says, “I came into Hunter as an undecided student, but Roosevelt House had sparked my interest in public policy. With the PPIA fellowship this summer, I would like to explore my mutual interests in public policy and law. Getting a glimpse of actual graduate school will also help me better prepare for life after Hunter.” 

Tasneem is double majoring in political science and economics with a certification in public policy and a concentration in English. She is a member of the Thomas Hunter Honors Program and the Pre-Law Society. She also serves as a student ambassador and a member of the University Senate at Hunter College. Upon graduation, she aspires to attend law school and become a public defender to be a voice for the voiceless.

Tasneem has previously worked at Queens Supreme Court, NYC Department of Social Services, CUNY Census Corps, Asian American Federation, and Queens Public Library. She is also a former Eva Kastan Grove Fellow and American Needs You Fellow. She currently works as an outreach member at Queens Chamber of Commerce, where she works with minority-owned small businesses to help them grow and thrive. She is passionate about helping the marginalized members of the community and would like to work with non-profit organizations in the future.   


Elise Wang ’21 is a Macaulay Honors scholar majoring in Biology with a Behavioral Neurobiology Concentration and minoring in Public Policy. She was previously a policy intern at the Asian American Federation (AAF) working on issues that affect the pan-Asian community. At AAF, she focused on issues revolving around immigration, language access, and the early impact of COVID-19 in NYC. Elise also has a strong interest in health policy and plans to attend the University of Rochester Medical School next fall. Elise recently received the Jonas E. Salk award for her research paper on medical imaging. She hopes to continue being involved in research and health policy work after graduating.


Ashley Dennis ’16 has been named a 2021 Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow. She is one of 72 scholars this year that will receive $43,000 to support the final year of dissertation research and writing. Currently a Ph.D. Candidate in African American Studies at Northwestern University, her dissertation examines how and why Black women teachers, librarians, and children’s book authors promoted Black history and culture to children during the mid-twentieth century. Ashley’s research has also been generously supported by The Buffett Insitute for Global Affairs, the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, and The Graduate School at Northwestern University. She has published in the Washington Post, Black Perspectives, and Historical Studies in Education. While at Hunter, Ashley was a JFEW Eleanor Roosevelt Scholar (2014-2016), a Ronald McNair Scholar, and a Roosevelt House Tour Guide. She received her B.A. in History and a certificate in Human Rights.