Student Leaders and Members

Athiri Derick (’23)

Empower Fellow 2021

Athiri Derick is the founder, and manager at Cornerstone Education Centre. He is a rising Junior in the school of arts and sciences, interested in macroeconomic psychology. He strongly believes in the power of education to transform lives, especially during a child’s formative years. He believes that our education system should prepare children for the future and that it behooves our generation to lay the groundwork for a new education system. A system that prepares young children to design instead of waiting for the future. The preparation for which begins in the earliest stage of formal education, early childhood.

He knows that no single approach is perfect for everyone, which is why he founded Cornerstone Education Centre, a school program centered around the pupil, not the curriculum. They hope to use learning algorithms using the athedu platform, a tool co-engineered by Cornerstone Education Centre, to produce the best pupils in any academic sphere. A partnership with the empower program brings them a step closer to making this dream come true. Aside from working on Cornerstone and Athedu, he loves playing chess and walking nature trails. He is also a big fan of picnics and studying outdoors, especially the spot behind miner hall, where sunny days always find him.

Elisabeth Di Domenico (’24)

Empower Fellow 2021

Elisabeth isa sophomore with the intended double majorin International Relations and Economics from New York City. This summer she is working as a Business Development Intern fortech-finance startupPezesha, in Nairobi Kenya.Pezesha’sworks to connectsmall and medium enterprises the tools to grow their business through financial education and connecting business owners to loans and capital holders.Through this experience, she hopes to take away a greater understanding of East Africa’s endeavors in social impactentrepreneurship.At Tufts, she is involved inTEDxTufts, 180 Degrees Consulting and the Tufts Investment Banking Club.

Ming Dongfang (’21)

Empower Fellow 2021

Ming is Chinese and joined Fletcher straight from her undergrad majoring in Economics. Prior to Fletcher she worked as a financial services consultant at Oliver Wyman and had experience in designing sovereign bonds earmarked for vaccine R&D during her work with GAVI, the vaccine alliance. In the past two years, she developed strong interest in ESG investing. She became the co-president of Fletcher Social Investment Group leading advisory projects for social enterprises, NGOs and impact investors. Mostly notably, she supported the rollout of the impact fund under Arab region's first venture philanthropy foundation. During the pandemic, she conducted equity research with Fidelity Investment based on companies' inherent resilience from their key business models and ESG integration; she also served as a research fellow under Responsible Asset Allocator Initiatives at New America, rating and ranking the ESG practices of 200+ SWFs and PPFs. Now she is exploring entrepreneurship opportunities in sustainable apparel.

Laura Harvey (’23)

Empower Fellow 2021

Laura Harvey is a junior in the combined degree program, studying a self-designed major in Colonial and Environmental History, and a BFA in Studio Art. Prior to beginning her studies at Tufts, she participated in Tisch College's 1+4 Bridge Year program, in which she was an environmental education apprentice for the City Council of Florianopolis, Brazil. At Tufts, she has serves as a Peer Advisor at the International Center, and has promoted environmental action as a part of the SMFA Sustainability Committee. Laura contributes to audio journalism efforts on campus as an audio editor for the Tufts Daily's podcasts and has also exhibited in many SMFA art exhibitions. This summer, Laura is working with the NGO Cultural Survival to develop radio programs with indigenous radio stations.

Kimberly Martin (’21)

Empower Fellow 2021

Kimberly Martin is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Tanzania for three years, she has decided to attend the Fletcher school because of that same Peace Corps spirit of community. During her first two years of service in the village of Mwena, the majority of the projects focused on life skills and girl’s empowerment, which lead to her to extending a third year with a girl's empowerment organization called AfricAid in Tanzania. After her Peace Corps service, she wanted to continue working on gender equality and equity and was one of the main reasons she chose to study at Fletcher and to focus her field of studies on Gender and Intersectional Analysis and Business for Social Impact.

Now, as a full-time graduate student and a full-time special education paraprofessional, she believes and has seen how important representation is firsthand. Students need to be seen and heard, especially at a young age. As an Empower Fellow, she can focus on what she is passionate about by creating and designing a S.T.E.A.M-focused program for students that incorporate expressive art through marketing and design. The program seeks to provide a positive experience for students impacted by bullying with a curriculum is designed to focus on identity, advocacy, and entrepreneurship.

Alyssa Pak (’23)

Empower Fellow 2021

Alyssa is currently a junior at the School of Arts and Sciences, studying Economics and International Relations, with a minor in History. On campus, she is the one of the presidents of Women in International Relations and serves as one of the events chairs for JumboVote, Tufts’ nonpartisan civic engagement initiative. She also works as a research assistant for Digital Planet of the Institute for Business in the Global Context (IBGC) at the Fletcher School, focusing on the digital economy, as well as Tufts Labor Lab, which focuses on understanding and improving working conditions in factories across the globe. In her spare time, Alyssa loves doing the New York Times’ crossword puzzles, finding new restaurants, and playing the piano or viola. This summer, Alyssa is working for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Sustainable Wastewater Infrastructure of the Future (SWIFt) initiative, where she is looking forward to deepening her knowledge of renewable energy and the environment. SWIFt aids water and wastewater utilities in improving energy efficiency and implementing advanced energy technologies.

Jacob Rubel (’21)

Undergraduate Empower Coordinator

Jacob is a senior studying Political Science at Tufts University from Brooklyn, New York. In his academic work, Jacob has been a Mathew Howard Shea Scholar in the Department of Political Science and is currently a Laidlaw Scholar. While studying at the University of Oxford, he began leading an ongoing study with two PhD students examining the role of federalism on the outcomes of grassroots social movements. In 2018, he won the Peter Belfer Award for best paper in the Tufts political science department for his independent research on the role of sentimentality and emotion in the political thought of Baron de Montesquieu. Outside of his academic work, Jacob has rigorously engaged with roles that materialize his concern for community and bottom-up changemaking. As an MIT D-Lab Impact Fellow, Jacob engaged in participatory design research to create reports that evaluated the effect of the D-Lab’s international development projects around the world. He has also served as a team leader of Tufts International Development, where he led a project that brings E-Library centers to remote regions of Ecuador that had been affected by the 2016 earthquake. He has worked for the NYC Administration for Children’s Services and plans on returning to work in his city as soon as he can. He also loves volunteering for social causes in NYC, exploring different parks in NYC, and cooking.