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Current Fellows

Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program

'22 Fellows

Tristan

Tristan Alston '22

Advisor: Peter Schmidt

Tristan Alston is a senior from Housatonic, MA, majoring in Peace & Conflict Studies (Honors) and minoring in both Black (Honors) and Environmental Studies. His research interests include traditions of Black resistance, the reciprocal relationship between race and space, and the broader intersections of Peace & Conflict and Black Studies. This past summer, he explored the historical roles of Black veterans as social and political catalysts within the Black Freedom Movement. He is currently conducting a thesis project that seeks to address the transformative limitations of strategic nonviolent action through an Afrocentric examination of armed self-defense within Black communities. Outside of academics, Tristan is a Writing Associate, a member of the Track and Field team, and a Lang Scholar, among other things. After graduating from Swarthmore, he hopes to pursue a JD/PhD joint degree graduate program.

 

Samantha Barnes '22

Samantha Barnes '22

Advisor: Micheline Rice-Maximin

Samantha Barnes, a senior double majoring in Peace & Conflict Studies and Political Science, studies ethnology, latinidad, and africana studies. During the summer of 2020, she researched a core group of Black feminist women who birthed the Négritude Movement, a French literary and social movement developed in the 1930s. She will continue to expand this research to explore how this movement is comparable to the Harlem Renaissance in the U.S and Negrísmo in Latin America as well as how multiculturalism and colonialism influence the Black female identity around the world. Outside of academics, Samantha has studied French and Spanish, is on the Swarthmore women’s soccer team, and volunteers with Design FC, an afterschool program at Stetser Elementary in Chester, Pa. that encourages creative design thinking and self expression for 5th and 6th graders.

Eduardo Burgos '22

Eduardo Burgos '22

Advisor: Christine Schuetze

Eduardo Burgos Quezada (he/him/his) is a senior from Emblem, Wyoming majoring in Medical Anthropology with a minor in Spanish. His research interests include the embodiment of structural violence, community building and visibility as a form of resistance, and migrant workers' access to equitable healthcare. Last summer, he conducted ethnographic research as he worked alongside Wyoming Latinx migrant workers weeding fields, collected life histories and illness narratives, interacted with patients at the migrant clinic, and carried out an arts-based community project aimed at improving migrant worker mental health. This academic year he will write a thesis that documents these life histories and interprets art as a tool for building community, creating visibility, and as a form of resistance. Eduardo is also a Writing Associate, a Lang Opportunity Scholar, and a QuestBridge Scholar. After Swarthmore, he plans to enter a PhD program in Anthropology focusing on migrant worker health. He is mentored by Christine Schuetze. 

 

Anuk DeSilva '22

Anuk DeSilva '22

Advisor: Farha Ghannam

Anuk DeSilva is a senior double majoring in Diaspora Studies and Anthropology and  Peace & Conflict Studies. With academic and research interests relating to South Asia, “third gender” studies, and diasporic gender and sexuality, this summer, Anuk built on knowledge of the interplays in South Asian studies, anthropology, diaspora studies, and gender and sexuality studies; this culminated in the creation of an annotated bibliography of sources discussing trans, nonbinary, and “third gender” South Asian and South Asian diasporic experiences, histories, and identities. In the upcoming year, Anuk will be preparing to conduct summer field research by designing methods to interrogate how trans and nonbinary South Asian American youth relate their understandings of personal and communal identity to those of South Asian “third gender” communities. Anuk hopes to attend a PhD program in anthropology, specializing within South Asia and South Asian diasporas.

Atinuke Lardner '22

Atinuke Lardner '22

Advisor: Krista Thomason

Atinuke Lardner (she/her) is a senior from South Orange, New Jersey. She is pursuing a major in Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics with a minor in Spanish. She is currently being advised by Krista Thomason of the Philosophy Department. Atinuke is interested in the role of disinformation in political life, and spent this summer researching the application of political and legal theoretical frameworks, such as mens rea onto vaccine refusal, one of the most pressing issues facing our world today. Outside of academics, Atinuke is an avid home cook and is a tutor with Petey Greene, an organization that facilitates the tutoring of incarcerated students.

Sonia Linares '22

Sonia Linares '22

Advisor: Diego Armus

Sonia Linares is a senior double majoring in History and Peace & Conflict Studies. Her research interests include analyzing how United States intervention in the Cold War Era has affected the development of Latin American countries, specifically El Salvador. Through her research this summer, she placed actions by the US government—such as deportations—in dialogue with the current crisis in El Salvador. She also researched alternatives to punitive punishment in El Salvador—a country whose government has often sought to decrease gang violence through increases in punishment by incarceration and policing. She intends for her research to inform a thesis project that maps the history of U.S. intervention, while simultaneously addressing the ways Salvadorans are finding justice through their own means. After Swarthmore, Sonia plans to pursue doctoral studies in an interdisciplinary field.

Destiny Samuel '22

Destiny Samuel '22

Advisor: Joseph Nelson

Destiny Samuel is a senior from Philadelphia, PA, majoring in Black Studies and minoring in Educational Studies. Her research interests lie in exploring the production of social representations of Black people in America through Black autobiographical works. Over the summer she conducted a literary analysis of seminal Black memoirs, including Bone Black (Hooks, 1969) and Black Boy (Wright, 1945), as a window to explore representations of Black children's literacies in the United States. This year, she will continue using autobiographies as a lens to explore Black social representation with a shifted focus on the era of Black Lives Matter for her senior thesis. Outside of academics, Destiny is a Lead Writing Associate Fellow for the Writing Center and a Research and Information Associate for the Swarthmore Libraries. After graduating from Swarthmore, she hopes to pursue a PhD degree graduate program.

Murtaza F. Ukani '22

Murtaza F. Ukani '22

Advisor: Ahmad Shokr

Murtaza Ukani is a senior from Skokie, Illinois who is double majoring in Anthropology and Sociology and Peace & Conflict Studies. His research interests trace transoceanic commercial, economic, and cultural exchanges in the Indian Ocean basin between the Swahili Coast, Arabian Peninsula, and western India. In the summer of 2020, he sharpened his ethnographic skills in economic anthropology and immersed himself in the foundational works of the emerging field of Indian Ocean basin studies. During the academic year, he will continue his involvement with Swarthmore’s Student Government Organization—serving as student body president—and will enjoy spending his weekends with Swarthmore’s archery club. He intends on entering a graduate program with an economic anthropology emphasis after Swarthmore.

'23 Fellows

Major Eason '23

Major Eason '23

Advisor: Giovanna Di Chiro

Major is a junior from Madison, Wisconsin double majoring in Sociology and Economics, with an honors major in Sociology and honors minor in Economics. Aided by the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Giovanna Di Chiro, his research focuses on environmental justice activism. Currently he is studying resident’s response to a landfill built in a Northeast Houston neighborhood, along with the reasoning for the landfill placement. This summer, Major attended community activist meetings, partook in archival work, and analyzed historic census tract data to answer these questions. Moving forward, he plans on conducting interviews with activists and neighborhood residents. Major also plays on the Swarthmore Men’s Basketball teams and is a part of C4 (Campus Coalition Concerning Chester). 

 

Megan Wu '23

Megan Wu '23

Advisor: Alan Baker

Megan Wu is a junior from Seattle, WA majoring in Philosophy (honors) and Mathematics (course major, honors minor). Her research interests lie in ethics, political philosophy, ancient philosophy, and diversifying the philosophical canon. In Summer 2021, she wrote a research paper defending why we should have compassion for wrongdoers and exploring the implications of this view for theories of punishment, and she learned Ancient Greek. Aside from academics, she is involved with Swarthmore’s Amos J. Peaslee Debate Society and the Chinese dance club.