Contact Us
Judy Balthazar Interim Dean of the Undergraduate College
MMUF Advisor
(610) 526-5375

Vanessa Christman Assistant Dean
Director of Leadership and Community Development
MMUF Administrative Coordinator
The Pensby Center
(610) 526-6594

Leslie Jones
University of Pennsylvania Doctoral Student
MMUF Graduate Coordinator

Gary McDonogh Helen Herrmann Chair and Professor, Growth and Structure of Cities
Acting Chair, Growth and Structure of Cities
MMUF Faculty Coordinator
(610) 526-5051

Class of 2011 Fellows Cohort 20:


Azsherae Gary ‘11 is a Sociology major with a concentration in African American Studies. Her mentor is Mary Osirim. Azsherae is interested in learning about different and effective approaches for reaching African American boys. More specifically she is interested in how young black boys understand their worlds.  By focusing on strategies (academic and social) that work within a particular organization, she hopes to use her research on a mentoring organization in Philadelphia as a template that better understands the success of young black men and how we can better help them. Her project currently seeks to answer the following question what social practices and components within a local community organization influence high school graduation rates for black boys? This summer Azsherae participated in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Research Training Program at the University of Chicago.

Felicia Meekins Felicia Meekins '11 is a Growth and Structure of Cities major.  Her summer project focused on city planning and low income families.  She is interested in the socioeconomic conditions of low-income families; primarily, how neighborhood initiatives create stability for families and rebuild strong communities. This past summer, Felicia had an internship at a non-profit organization in Philadelphia, achieveAbility, whose mission is to permanently break the cycle of poverty for single parent, low-income families, many formerly homeless, by providing a range of support services including: education, job readiness, and housing assistance. Working with the staff, Felicia helped achieveAbility to establish a comprehensive financial literacy program for their clients.  In addition to following the progress of the financial literacy program,  she explored the problems with financial literacy and homeownership for families in poverty and its relationship to the economic growth of the city.  Her research will also include how different cities reach a successful intersection of grassroots organization and top-down planning.   Her mentor is Gary McDonogh.


Jennifer Pierre Jennifer Pierre ’11 is a Political Science Major at Bryn Mawr College. Her two mentors, Professor Michael Allen and Professor Kalala Ngalamulume, will assist her in analyzing as well as dissecting the role of the United Nations in post conflict societies. More specifically, she hopes to identify the UN’s role as being either advantageous or detrimental to these countries, and predict the UN’s role in future or current conflicts such as those taking place in Darfur or the DRC. Since she is a new Mellon, she has not yet narrowed down her broad subject to particular case studies. This summer, during her internship with the United States Mission to the United Nations, she hopes to accomplish this task while also acquiring foundational information about the UN and its peacekeeping missions. In future summers, Jennifer hopes to participate in research programs that would allow her to focus exclusively on her research topic alongside professors in her field.

Katherine Sepulveda, '11
As philosophy major, I am excited to participate a search for knowledge through asking and seeking to find answers to questions about humanity and its place in the world. I am interested in the interaction of the self in the world and hope to pursue (and to narrow!) my interest through studying Heidegger, a 20th century continental philosopher. Heidegger portrayed Being as an action rather than as a static entity and used his background in the history of philosophy and thought from his primary teacher, Husserl, to promote a new understanding of Being and its place in time. In my project, I will explore the potential Heidegger's thought offers to develop a historically influenced understanding of the self's place in the world, an understanding which also remains adaptable to the changes which will shape our development and pursuit of knowledge both today and in the future. This past summer, I focused on background reading--Augustine, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche--and in the fall, I look forward to directly concentrating on Heidegger with my mentor, Professor Robert Dostal. I also delight in listening to other ideas and in hearing about other disciplines. If you, the reader of this little blurb, would ever like to find out more about my project or to share a thought, feel free to drop me a line at: .

Rodline Louijeune '11