Eli J. & Phyllis N. Segal Citizen Leadership Program

2020 Segal Fellow Summer Internships

Our six 2020 Brandeis Fellows brought varied passions, backgrounds, interests, and skills to their mission-based summer internships. The Segal Program works with our Network to find tailored opportunities for each Fellow that will help them grow and have an impact over the summer. Our sincere thanks to our host site partners for welcoming Fellows into their teams and helping with their growth as citizen leaders so that they could support their work around: technology accessibility in Gateway cities, educational equity, fighting against sexual harassment, public health, housing policy, and Latinx political engagement. See below for more details.

The Fellows presented on their Segal Summer Internships and ongoing citizen leadership on 10/26/2020. Please enjoy this video from their group panel discussion. Individual videos from each Fellow about their internship experience follow that below.


Zayna Basma

2020 Heller MPP Segal Fellow Zayna Basma interned with MassInc in Boston, MA. Her internship centered around the digital divide in Massachusetts’ Gateway Cities. She also worked to report about and publicize educational inequity in the Commonwealth, culminating in policy briefings at the end of the summer.



Lydia Casmier-Derfler

2020 Heller MPP Segal Fellow Lydia Casmier Derfler interned with The United Negro College Fund's Advocacy Division. She supported research for UNCF's African American Parents and Caregivers study. She also helped to develop a new Building Better Narratives in Black Education campaign, as well as a toolkit to provide resources on historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to educators, counselors, parents, and students. 

This video is private to the Segal Network. Please contact segalnetwork@brandeis.edu to access.


Mary O'Leary

2020 Heller MPP Segal Fellow Mary O'Leary interned with TIME'S UP's DC-based team. She supported their mission to create safe work spaces, level the power imbalances that affect women, and disrupt the status quo that causes unsafe conditions.



John Rodrigues

2020 Brandeis Segal Fellow John Rodrigues interned with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Division of Violence & Injury Prevention. His internship focused on building a Standard of Practice for a regional youth violence coalition, creating a toolkit for individualized Youth At Risk Grant providers, and supporting at-risk and youth in social media campaigns.



Alejandra Tinoco-Bonilla

2020 Brandeis Segal Fellow Alejandra Tinoco-Bonilla interned with the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition in CA. She drafted letters of support or opposition to legislatures on housing issues, wrote op-eds about affordable housing, and created projects for select affordable housing locations.


Irma Zamarripa

2020 Brandeis Segal Fellow Irma Zamarripa interned with NALEO Educational Fund’s Texas office and supported their mission to ensure full participation of Latino communities in our democracy. She did this through her work on electoral engagement, elections research, and assisting efforts towards a fair, safe and accessible vote. Irma also supported NALEO's Hagase Contar! census campaign in Texas and worked with partners across the state to ensure a fair and accurate count of Latino communities.