Fellowship Program

TajRupt has launched its inaugural summer fellowship program for foreign students to intern at our ERC in Khujand. Over the course of summer 2018, three fellows from the United States - two undergraduate students from the University of Chicago and a graduate student from University of Washington - worked at the ERC. They served as activism course and study group instructors, as well as cohort leaders during the ERC Session IV from June until August.


grace penta - university of chicago

Grace Penta is an undergraduate student studying public policy and linguistics at the University of Chicago. While she has lived in many places, her family now lives in southern Spain. She completed high school in Florida where she worked on anti-human trafficking efforts through her own project - "A Sister’s Embrace" - as well as with local law enforcement and legislators. Isabelle loves traveling and learning languages. She has studied Spanish, French, and Persian (now in school and in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 2015). In her free time, she enjoys going to speaker events at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics and sailing. 

In the ERC Session IV, Grace led State of Affairs activism course, and conducted a study group on Literature & Linguistics.

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kevin behr - university of washington

Kevin Behr is a graduate student at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington pursuing a Master's in Public Administration degree with a focus on international development, as well as leadership and decision-making. His goal is to work on improving government performance, addressing socioeconomic issues, and promoting civic engagement both in the United States and abroad. He previously worked on assessing the impact of state-level fiscal policy changes on local municipalities in Ohio. As a member of the Partnership for Community & Diversity (PCD), he is working to promote inclusion and collaboration for community members across a variety of policy topics. He is a certified AED/CPR and EMR instructor, and loves to surf.

In the ERC Session IV, Kevin led Globalization activism course, and conducted a study group on Economics & Statistics.

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bettina hammer - university of chicago

Bettina Hammer is an undergraduate student at the University of Chicago majoring in sociology and minoring in Arabic. She is originally from a small town on the border between Vermont and New Hampshire, where she grew up with her four siblings. On campus, she works as a research assistant at the Chicago Project for Security and Threats (CPOST), is a contributing editor and social media chair at the student-run Arabic-language magazine UChicago Majalla, and volunteers with local community organization Sirat teaching ESL to refugees in Hyde Park. She loves running, hiking, learning languages, reading, and traveling.

In the ERC Session IV, Bettina led HerStory and Model United Nations activism courses, and conducted a study group on Culture & Society.