Alumni Spotlights

We are always proud of the amazing work of the Shady Hill alumni community. During the spring of 2020 we launched an alumni spotlight series on social media that highlights the work of alumni who are contributing their expertise to pressing issues. If you would like to nominate a Shady Hill graduate please click here. Thank you!  #changemakers

List of 14 news stories.

  • Naseem Makiya '99 makes grassroots-style campaigning more personal with the launch of an app

    Naseem Makiya '99 is the founder of Outvote, an app that makes campaigning and organizing more personal by enabling people to message friends and family with reminders to register, vote, sign a petition, donate to a campaign, etc. Outvote’s aim is to promote voter participation within progressive campaigns, and its larger mission is to build a community of organizers that remain active even between election cycles. Since its launch in 2017, Outvote has partnered with nonprofits like Planned Parenthood, Greenpeace, Community Change Action, and the ACLU, as well as with specific progressive candidates’ campaigns. 
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  • Tess Wheelwright '97 helps launch new initiative to distribute a curated 500-book collection across prisons in every state

    Tess Wheelwright '97 is helping launch an ambitious social justice endeavor designed to bring books – and dignity and hope – to incarcerated individuals across the United States. The initiative, called the Million Book Project, is the brainchild of Reginald Dwayne Betts, whose celebrated memoir, "A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison" chronicles his own discovery of the transformative power of books, while serving a nine-year sentence for carjacking.
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  • Pratt Wiley '91 connects professionals of color with leadership programs and supports expansion of voting rights

    Pratt Wiley '91 is CEO of The Partnership, Inc., a Boston-based organization providing leadership development for multicultural talent, in order to enhance the economic competitiveness of the New England region and beyond, and provide professionals of color with a path towards prosperity and a sense of belonging.
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  • Equal Justice Initiative Attorney Sia Sanneh '94 works to end racism's lasting effects

    Equal Justice Initiative Attorney Sia Sanneh '94 helps Americans understand racism's lasting effects. As a Senior Attorney at the Equal Justice Initiative (made famous in last year’s film Just Mercy), Sia Sanneh '94 works to overturn wrongful convictions, freeing innocent people from death row. Her current focus includes teenaged prisoners — as young as 13 or 14 years old — who have been tried as adults and sentenced to die in prison. In a further layer of appalling injustice, many of these young clients have been abused while in the adult prison system.
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  • Rishi Sethi Khanna '16 helps highlight mental health issues in communities of color

    Rishi Sethi Khanna '16 is a freshman at Princeton University. Wanting to participate in this summers' protests for racial justice, but unable to do so in person due to the pandemic, Rishi came up with his own way to contribute to the fight. “With an increased societal focus on uplifting people of color, I decided to hold a fundraiser for a charity primarily catering to Black communities. I did some research and ended up choosing the Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM), which promotes mental health awareness.”
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  • Doctor Jay Miller '01 treats Boston’s vulnerable populations during the pandemic

    Jay Miller '01 is a doctor on the front lines of COVID-19, treating some of those most vulnerable: Boston's homeless population. Through his position as a Global Medicine fellow at Mass General Hospital, Jay provides clinical care at Boston Healthcare for the Homeless. These days, Jay cares for patients with COVID at a variety of sites, including Boston Hope, the temporary field hospital erected at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.
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  • ICU doctor Katie Miller '05 cares for crucially ill COVID-19 patients

    Katie Miller '05, a second-year internal medicine resident, puts in long hours in one of Mass General Hospital's COVID-19 Intensive Care Units. 
    "Our ICU patients are mostly those who are unable to social distance, including essential workers: grocers, mail carriers, those who are working to keep society functioning,” Katie commented. She went on, "It has been incredible to see the hospital band together. The janitorial staff, respiratory therapists, those who work in the labs. We are all trying to do our best for our patients.”
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  • Jessica Aguilera-Steinert '80 leads task force on food security for Boston's low-income residents

    Jessica Aguilera-Steinert oversees family planning and reproductive health programming at Action for Boston Community Development (ABCD), a multi-service agency that assists over 100,000 low-income residents of Greater Boston "transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success" (to quote the nearly 60-year-old nonprofit's tagline). When the pandemic struck, ABCD asked Jessica to lead a cross-department task force on food security. In this role, she coordinated ABCD's successful bid for federal CARES Fund monies to expand food delivery services to low-income households all over greater Boston, including to residents of the many local motels that serve as long-term homeless shelters.
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  • Palliative care doctor Alice Beal '65 helps COVID-19 patients and their families find comfort

    Dr. Alice Beal is a Palliative Care Physician currently working in a COVID-19 ICU unit in the Brooklyn VA Hospital. This May, PBS featured Alice in the NOVA I PBS series' episode “Decoding COVID-19", highlighting one example of the compassionate care she provides her patients and their families. Thank you Alice for your tremendous work and sacrifice. #changemaker 
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  • Professor and dean Lisa M. Brown, PH.D. '81 steers her college's response to COVID-19, to protect most vulnerable students

    Lisa M. Brown '81 is a professor of psychology and dean of social sciences at Austin College, the oldest institution of higher education in Texas, and one that prides itself on being "majority minority." COVID-19 has sent most students home but like educators everywhere, Lisa continues teaching, supporting students, and helping lead her institution -- though remotely, and with some new challenges.
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  • Professor Peter Rabinowitz '70 studies how animal diseases like Coronavirus infect humans

    Dr. Peter Rabinowitz '70 is a physician and researcher at the University of Washington in Seattle, and leads the University's MetaCenter for Pandemic Disease Preparedness. An expert in zoonotic disease (i.e. those transmitted from animals to people), Peter outlined in a Seattle Times op-ed earlier this month the key COVID-19 questions researchers in his field are focused on. 
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  • Public school teacher Zakia Jarrett '95 courageously tackles the discomfort of her suburban school district around teaching anti-racism

    Zakia Jarrett '95, a sixth grade English teacher in the Milton Public Schools district, has garnered headlines in Boston and beyond as she is calling for schools to implement an anti-racist curriculum. Zakia’s school district placed her on leave after a comment she made during a class discussion about police brutality and racism was recorded and shared widely without her permission.
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  • Think tank researcher Molly Simmons '97 crafts protections for vulnerable populations during the pandemic

    Molly Simmons '97 is a health services researcher with expertise in rapidly housing vulnerable populations. This is proving immensely valuable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, she is working to secure funds for projects that will house and isolate the homeless and incarcerated in ways that both protect these populations and help stop the spread of the virus.
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  • Artist Jeremiah Day '89 highlights social justice through art

    Jeremiah Day '89 is a Berlin-based artist dealing with memory, politics and sense of place. Day has an ongoing project reflecting on the Lowndes County Freedom Organization in Alabama and has worked with Earl Mills, the Chief of the Mashpee Wampanoags in New England, among others, gathering individuals' memories of political struggles and honoring them in the form of multimedia art installations and performance.  The Lowndes County Freedom Organization was founded in 1965 by Stokely Carmichael, The Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and Local Farmers and Teachers after the Selma TO Montgomery March to protect and organize Black voter registration in the face of Political Repression so great that in Lowndes County Alabama 80% of the population was Black but no Black citizens were registered to vote.  Several activists, white and black, were killed in this struggle, but in a short time this new political party - whose logo was a black panther, the inspiration for the later more famous panthers - had changed all this and there were black elected officials.  Jeremiah's ongoing project aims to understand and commemorate the LCFO.
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