Colloquium | Members

Yasir Abbas

Yasir Abbas is a senior majoring in international relations with a focus on international security. He came to the United States four years ago as a refugee from Iraq. He first settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where he attended Motlow State Community College for two years before transferring to Tufts University in 2012.  In Iraq, Yasir worked as an interpreter with the U.S. military from 2005 to the end of 2009, where he helped start and organize the Awakening Councils in Northwestern Baghdad.  Yasir’s academic interests include the dynamics of internal conflicts, mediation and conflict resolution, economics, and counterterrorism and counterinsurgency. He is currently working on writing his biography. His hobbies are swimming, desert camping, playing soccer, and running.

Sama Abdul-Aziz

Sama Abdul-Aziz is an Iraqi-American from Wayland, Massachusetts majoring in Biochemistry.  At Tufts, Sama has been involved with the Tufts University Refugee Assistance Program, TURAP, and is a member of the Arab Student Association, ASA, and Pre-Dental Society executive boards.  This summer, Sama worked alongside three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, where she researched internal conflicts and their implications on overall well-being and health.  In August, she traveled to Zambia with an NGO run through the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, Options for Children in Zambia, which has provided dental treatment to Zambian villages and orphanages for the past six years. There she studied the relationship between improved oral health and improved overall health and quality of life.  This year's EPIIC topic combines Sama's passions and experiences in a meaningful manner.  Sama is excited to apply the knowledge she learns from EPIIC beyond her undergraduate career, into dental school, where she hopes to bridge the gap between the public and private sectors in dentistry.

Kayley Abell-Hart

Kayley is a Tufts undergraduate (class of 2015) majoring in International Relations with a focus on global health.  She also studies Arabic and loves all languages, including English, in which she is an avid writer of fiction in any form.  She is most interested in addressing inequities in health and health as a human right.

Rebecca Allen

Rebecca is a senior from Roslyn, NY pursuing a major in Religion. On campus, she is President of both Challah for Hunger and CAFE, the interfaith initiative at Tufts. Additionally, Rebecca serves as the Cummings/ Hillel Holocaust and Genocide Education intern, bringing scholars and survivors to campus in order to further Holocaust and Genocide awareness. Previously, Rebecca has interned with United to End Genocide in the field of policy and government relations as well as Project Harmony, an English-language coexistence program for Arab and Jewish Israeli youth in Jerusalem. Rebecca is excited to be part of EPIIC as she hopes to pursue a career working towards the goals of creating a just and sustainable peace in the MENA region. In particular, she is interested in the role of religion as both a weapon of war and tool for peace and hopes to engage in women and youth empowerment efforts as a means by which to promote peace and reconciliation in this region.

Kira Ambrose

A Canadian based in Orlando, Kira played varsity and club volleyball throughout her high school career while publishing a periodical and performing occasional reporting services for the online volleyball hub, She came to Tufts for the International Relations program, and stayed for the dazzling adventures in Boston, a double major in Peace and Justice Studies, diverse, intellectual atmosphere, changing seasons and the vegetarian food in Dewick.  Kira loves to explore unfamiliar territory, be it Boston, a new restaurant or a new language. After school, she hopes to go into journalism, international law or business; so long as she can travel, meet interesting people and have an impact on the world she’ll be happy.

Erik Anderson

Erik is a senior at Tufts from San Francisco, California. He is studying French as well as International Relations, with a concentration in international economic development. At Tufts, Erik is a member of 180 Degrees Consulting, which offers pro bono consulting work to non-profit organizations. Most recently, he worked with a startup called Addis Ideas that was establishing itself in Addis Ababa with the goal of promoting local development through the crowdsourcing of information from Ethiopian nationals. His fascination with economic development, foreign affairs, and European culture make him particularly interested in studying both the economic predicament and the refugee crisis faced by Europe today. In addition to his life on campus, Erik has a passion for travel and cooking. 

Zoë Atlas

Zoë Atlas is from Berkeley, California. She is pre-med and majoring in International Relations with a focus in global health, nutrition, and the environment. Her primary hobby is music; she plays piano, violin, and guitar, and enjoys writing and playing with friends. She also spent several summers working at the Aspen Music Festival & School in Colorado.  Zoë is very interested in holistic health and nutrition as it relates to primary health, and worked with local organizations in the bay area to design an elementary school program to teach children about these issues. She is very excited about EPIIC as an opportunity to delve deeper into her chosen field and learn more about the areas in which she has less expertise.

Maalika Banerjee

Maalika Banerjee is a senior pre-med student, double majoring in Community Health and English. Born in San Francisco, she grew up in the Boston area, primarily in Newton, Mass. She fell upon the field of Public Health by accident - taking Community Health 1 her freshman year - and she has since become an enthusiast, passionately pursuing the field both domestically and abroad. Most recently, she spent a semester studying in Durban, South Africa, developing an independent project on community-based comprehensive HIV/AIDS care in a rural setting.  At Tufts, she enjoys working side by side with low-income clients as a LIFT advocate, engaging students in dialogue as a Writing Fellow, performing Indian classical dance as the captain of Pulse, and facilitating science education for middle school students in Jamaica Plain, Mass. In her free time, Maalika likes consuming frozen yogurt, reading the Sunday New York Times Magazine cover-to-cover, and playing Bananagrams.

Averi Becque

Averi Becque is a senior majoring in International Relations with a concentration on Latin America.  Growing up in a small town on the coast of Maine, she knew that she wanted to have lots of adventures and felt that Tufts would be a good place to do that.  She has thus far had the good luck to intern at a Mexico City NGO focused on public health, road trip across the U.S. on a Greyhound bus, participate in community development projects in Guatemala, volunteer as a health educator in Boston Public High Schools and spend a summer studying in Havana, Cuba.  In Cuba she conducted research on the relationship between family planning and gender equality on the island.  While there she also immersed herself in learning about U.S.-Cuba relations, the development of Cuba’s revolutionary social welfare programs, and the political and economic changes that the country has continued to experience since the fall of the Soviet Union.  Always seeking to better understand the complexities of the world, a program like EPIIC is something that Averi simply cannot resist.

Douglas Berger

Doug is a sophomore at Tufts University from Mamaroneck, New York. He is majoring in International Relations with a focus on security studies. He spent the summer taking classes at the Tufts European Center in Talloires, France, improving his French and studying the causes of revolution. At Tufts, Doug is involved in Model UN, which simulates diplomacy in competition with other schools, as well as CIVIC, a political discussion club. His interests include politics, geography, and hiking. In EPIIC, Doug hopes to explore the interconnected nature of world events within the broad themes of chaos and order, and to gain from the perspective of guest speakers and his fellow classmates.