Volunteer Center Fellows ’15-’16

Arezou Akbarpour

Arezou is a fourth-year Biology major. This year, she is a second-year Resident Assistant in Saxon Suites and returning as the Residential Life Representative to the Volunteer Center Fellows for her final year of college. She is a Director for the Student Wellness Commission (SWC)’s committee, SEARCH. SEARCH, Students for Education and Research on Contemporary Health, is SWC’s newest committee dedicated to educating and relaying vital health information to the UCLA student body. Arezou currently works as an Events and Partnership Intern for Enrou, a socially conscious fashion company that connects consumers with artisans through storytelling. In addition, she is a campus ambassador for Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that serves members of the armed forces at home and overseas through care packages and letters. She has previously served as a  Project SPELL tutor and a Team Green Coordinator on the Hill. During Arezou’s free time, she enjoys finding new places to eat and travel, preferably at the same time.

Tiana Austel

Tiana is a third-year Psychology and Communication Studies double major and Residential Assistant for the Hedrick Summit Community. Passionate about nonprofit work, she is the co-president of UCLA’s Swipe Out Hunger and is the current Chief-of-Staff for the Community Service Commission (CSC). She also is an active member of Intervarsity Bruin Christian Fellowship and works in a Social Communications Lab under Professor Kerri Johnson. Outside of school, Tiana is a competitive figure skater who competed at the national level for eight years before achieving Team USA status and competing overseas in Germany, France, and Austria for the three years following. Trained in jazz, ballet, contemporary, and tap, she is currently learning a variety of different styles of ballroom dances such as swing, tango, and salsa and enjoys writing and performing spoken word.

Nikhilesh Bhatt

NichNikhilesh is a third-year Psychobiology major, with a minor in Biomedical Research. He is proud to be a Grant Writing Director for Special Olympics at UCLA, an organization that prides itself on cultivating values of inclusiveness and promoting personal growth for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Additionally, Nikhilesh performs research in the UCLA Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory where he investigates the development novel therapies to treat various forms of brain tumors. Nikhilesh is excited to serve as one of the chairs of Three Pillars, One University for the Volunteer Center Fellows this year, and to spread the spirit of volunteerism to the UCLA and Greater Los Angeles communities.

Zack Dameron

Zack is a third-year Economics and Political Science double major. He is the current Co-President of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at UCLA, which provides free tax services to low income communities within the Los Angeles area. Additionally, he serves as the Commissioner for the Community Service Commission (CSC), one of the fourteen undergraduate student government offices that currently stands as the largest student-run, student initiated service organization in the nation. Zack is also a Resident Assistant and is involved with the Executive Board of the Alumni Scholars Club. Outside of the chaotic world of school, Zack enjoys trying new places to eat in the local Los Angeles area and going on all-day hikes!

Mario Enriquez

Mario is a fourth-year Biology Major. This year, he is the Community Programs Office representative to the Volunteer Center Fellows. He is currently the External Chairperson of the Community Programs Office Student Association, an organization that oversees 31 community service projects that specialize in education, social justice, and health. He is also the Chairperson for the Student Risk Education Committee, which focuses on risk management and safety for student groups at UCLA. In the past, Mario was the Co-Programmer Director of the Latino Student Health Project, a student organization that provides free basic medical screenings and health education to underserved communities of Los Angeles and in Tecate, Mexico through quarterly health fairs and health clinics.

Savannah Gardner

Savannah is a second-year Environmental Science and Political Science double major with a Civic Engagement minor. This year, she is a Global Food Initiative Fellow under the UC Office of the President to fight food insecurity on UCLA’s campus. She also serves on the staff of the Community Service Commission as Marketing Director for Alternative Spring Breaks, through which she will be taking students on a road trip to Central California to fight hunger in March 2016. She is also on Swipe Out Hunger’s board, where she helps get fresh produce and non-perishable food to the Student Food Closet, and is on the student advisory board for the Center for Community Learning to ensure the student voice is heard. Along with her fellow Fellow, Arezou, she is a campus ambassador for Operation Gratitude, a nonprofit that serves members of the armed forces through care packages and letters. In her free time, Savannah loves going to the beach and watching fish at aquariums!

Taylor Henry

Taylor is a third-year Human Biology & Society and Psychology double major, with a minor in Public Affairs. As the External Programs Director for UCLA’s Community Service Commission, she plans quarterly advocacy campaigns that aim to raise awareness about various social issues. Taylor is also a member of Bruin Belles, a women’s philanthropy group, and the Regents Scholars Society. Her interests include food and environmental issues, public health, urban planning and public policy, and social justice.

Andrew Rosenstein

Andrew is a fourth-year Film major at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He has been active in the UCLA Bearing Witness Program since his freshman year. Throught the program, he has worked to document the stories of Holocaust survivors, creating three dimensional maps of their stories on the hypercities platform, a photography exhibit about the survivors’ interactions with students for the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, and most recently a documentary film about the survivors lives. He also co-founded the UCLA Volunteer Center’s Three Pillars, One University, which provides students with special needs the opportunity to attend a professor research symposium. He is looking forward to serving as one of the chairs for the program this year. He also volunteers at the UCLA Hospital with geriatrics patients. He additionally has experience in public service through interning in the office of Senator Dianne Feinstein. Andrew has worked with the Center since his freshman year to take photographs and video at various service events, including shadowing the Chancellor at UCLA Volunteer Day.

Anusha Sadda

Anusha is a second-year Psychobiology major. Her passion for public health is evident through her involvement in various student organizations. As Advocacy Director of All of Us: A Campaign to Rethink Mental Health, she actively strives to address student mental health issues on campus and hopes to make changes to policies at the UC, state, and national level. She is also a project head for Project Rural India Social and Health Improvement (RISHI), a student-led nonprofit organization that seeks to achieve sustainable development and growth in rural Indian villages through unique initiatives. Currently she is leading a committee to help the village elders alleviate their joint problems by partnering with a local hospital. Additionally she volunteers at Ronald Reagan Medical Center through the Measuring to Achieve Patient Safety (MAPS) program, whose objective is to improve patient safety through observations of clinical processes. When she is not attending meetings or planning events, Anusha enjoys hiking and watching Grey’s Anatomy!

Amanda Marie Tapia

Amanda is a fourth-year Political Science Major with minors in both Education and Public Policy. She serves as the Executive Director to one of the UCLA Community Service Commission (CSC)’s projects, Project Bruins Reforming Incarceration Through Education (BRITE), which works to break the school-to-prison-pipeline through education. As an intern for ASPIRE Centennial College Preparatory Academy, Amanda also works closely with academically/behaviorally at-risk youth. She also serves as the Quality Assurance Administrative Assistant at OPCC, the largest non-profit on the westside working to solve the problems of homelessness. In the past, Amanda has served as the Internal Programs Director for CSC, the largest student-run and student-led service organization in the country.

Joseph Tran

Joseph is a fourth-year Psychobiology major. He is the current Co-President and Co-Music Director of YOUTHphonics A Cappella, a service-oriented a cappella group that dedicates its efforts to teaching a weekly music class at Fairfax High School to fill in for their choir program lost to California budget cuts. YOUTHphonics is also involved in serving both the UCLA and Los Angeles community by singing and volunteering, pairing the two together for a unique, fun experience. In addition, Joseph has been on autism under Dr. Green in the Brain Mapping Center. For the next two years, he plans on doing research on autism at the Semel Institute. He is also a member of the Alumni Scholars Club, and has been both a participant and coordinator of the Center’s Volunteer Leadership Program.

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