Fellows and Interns

Previous Interns


Michael Grant Bio Pic

Michael Grant holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from Rowan University. He wrote his Final Essay for his Senior Seminar in International Studies course on global problems affecting the social welfare of Syrian refugees. Michael is currently enrolled at George Washington University's Graduate Certificate in Gateway to Computer Science program. In the future, Michael wants to write a book based on insights from personal experience, histories, and theories of critical race and queer studies. 


Headshot: Amy Iafrate

Amy Iafrate is a second year student in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at CUNY. Her background is in linguistics and anthropology, and she is interested in the intersections of language, gender, and space. She has previously worked as an editorial assistant at the academic journal, Women’s Studies Quarterly, and is invested in the preservation and transmission of queer literary history.

Ariel Mekler is a development and strategic planning intern for CLAGS.

Ariel G. Mekler is completing her doctorate in political science and women and gender studies. Her research interests include queer transnational scholarship, LGBTIQ rights, and international institutions. Before pursuing her PhD, Ariel worked as a graduate researcher with the inaugural LGBT policy unit at USAID. Since joining The Graduate Center, she has worked as an editorial assistant for philoSOPHIA: A journal of transContinental feminism and presented her research at the New York State Political Science Association and International Studies Association. Her most recent publication is in the Routledge Handbook of Queer Development Studies.

Patrick Buzzell educational and training intern at CLAGS.

Patrick Buzzell is a graduate from LIU Brooklyn with a Masters in Education, concentration in adolescent special education.  Patrick is currently a PhD student in the Urban Education Program at CUNY Graduate Center, with a focus on policy and leadership.  His previous experiences have included work as a NYC public high school special educator, Gay/Straight Alliance facilitator, and volunteer work with LGBTQIA+ nonprofits.  He is looking forward to teaching at a CUNY institute and having the opportunity to advocate for LGBTQIA+ youth as part of his research and field work.

Previous Fellows

Bio Pic of Rachel Atherley

Rachael Atherley is currently a Doctoral student in the Sociology program at the Graduate Center. Rachael is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who earned their M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Drexel University. Currently, they work as a Lead Behavior Analyst with individuals on the autism spectrum at a prominent child welfare agency in New York City. In their work, they attempt to dismantle systems of oppression that keep many of the children that they work with from receiving the treatment that is needed. They also work from an intersectional and anti-racist framework. They encourage others to understand that race, gender, disability, and other identities impact each person differently and need to be considered before assessment and treatment. Rachael is interested in exploring implicit bias in the diagnosis and treatment of autism, specifically from a Black feminist lens. They are also interested in exploring the impacts of systems on those who are living with disabilities in metropolitan and rural locales. Rachael is a member of the New York State Association for ABA and serves as the chairperson of their DEIA committee.

Headshot: Pranabes Probeshika Dutta-Pro

Pranabes Probeshika Dutta- Pro (they/them) is a graduate student of Economics at the Graduate Center, CUNY and is in the race to become the first trans-identifying economist from India. They have grown up in Calcutta and Delhi in India where they have worked closely with deprived transgenders and trans sex workers. They have also been an active member of queer groups of Indian universities they have studied and worked in where they have been involved with outreach and counseling activities.

woman with short hair and a scarf around her neck

Carla Silva is a PhD Social Welfare student at the Graduate Center of City University of New York. Carla is a multi-level social worker with extensive experience developing social service infrastructure within marginalized and materially disadvantaged communities she is a member of and an ally to. Her practice experience focuses on the praxis of change work, social justice, and equity with issues impacting sexual orientation, gender identity, race, and class. As a social welfare doctoral student, Carla aspires to research the intersections of food justice (food apartheid and food sovereignty) and identity, as it relates to mutual aid; its merger of direct practice and social action; race/ethnic identity development and preservation; and the advancement of equitable social policy and reform.

Bio Pic of Fernando Vieira

Fernando Vieira is an M.A. in Liberal Studies student at the CUNY Graduate Center. His main concentration is Film Studies with a particular focus on queer aesthetics. As a multidisciplinary artist, Fernando is a writer, director, and performer. Recent works include two stage plays that explore queerness, violence, and the quest for freedom: “Goodbye, Little George'' (2020) and “Anormales” (2020). In 2021, Vieira released the documentary “Unlabeled” and the digitally released short play collection “Dos piezas teatrales de Fernando Vieira”. That same year, Vieira created the ¡Bótate! Latinx Performance Festival in East Harlem. Fernando has been a selected artist at NYFA’s IAP (2018), Creative Capital (2018-2019), and the Leslie-Lohman Museum Artist Fellowship (2019-2020).

Bio Pic of Olivia Wood

Olivia Wood (she/her) is a lecturer in English at the City College of New York and a PhD candidate specializing in queer rhetorics, specifically bisexuality, at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her work has appeared in the Routledge Handbook of Queer Rhetorics, the Journal of Bisexuality, and LGBTQ+ Studies: An Open Textbook, among other places. Olivia is also a proud union member and a writer and editor for Left Voice.

Image of Theadora Williams

Theadora Williams is a software developer with Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Computer Science from CUNY's Hunter College. She focuses on utilizing technology to aid education and archival research. She has done work in the language-learning software sector for Yabla. She created and maintains scwnyc.stuy.edu - a searchable database of student-researched biographies of volunteers who served in the Spanish Civil War - in collaboration with the History and C.S. departments at her alma mater Stuyvesant High School. She has moderated panels for the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, researched trans healthcare for CUNYHART, and recently joined CLAGS as a web fellow. She has an academic focus on the rise of the anti-trans movement and its partnerships with fascism and the organized far-right. In her spare time, she plays guitar and writes poetry and music.