Hakeem grew up in Kingston, Jamaica before coming to America to finish high school and go to college. He is a prospective concentrator in Neurobiology, and is pursuing a secondary in African American Studies. He is now devoted to promoting critical, helpful, and respectful dialogue within diverse communities like Harvard College.
Cengiz is devoted to the advancement of the field of social engineering to find innovative ways of enhancing the everyday human experience. Being born in Azerbaijan, raised in Turkey, and living in Hong Kong; cross cultural contact zones has always fascinated him. Through Foundation, he is looking forward to find new ways of using the present intercultural dialogue at Harvard to generate an omnipresent celebration and comprehension of diversity.
Jasmine is from Bangkok, Thailand and is a prospective concentrator in Government and Economics. Her passion for diversity inclusion stems from her belief in the importance of interracial cooperation in increasing social capital to generate economic and human development. The awareness of issues of social justice is imperative in addressing humanitarian concerns that transcend cultural borders, and she hopes to find ways to redefine the "common good" of Western conception to be one that accommodates all races, genders and cultures in a 21st century that demands social change.
Director, Harvard Foundation Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School Administrator, Harvard University
The director's primary responsibilities include working with students and faculty to improve intercultural, interracial, and inter-religious relations on Harvard campus. He also conducts programs recommended by students and faculty for advancing the Harvard Foundation's diversity and intercultural mission.
Students should reach out to Dr. Counter for assistance with their intercultural and race relations initiatives, including perspective speakers, panel discussions, visiting artists, visiting scientists, and other distinguished guests, as well as concerns regarding incidents of ethnic, racial or religious nature. Dr. Counter is also available for advice regarding careers in the neurosciences.
Dr. Counter is originally from South Florida, and has lived in Cambridge for the past 39 years. After post-doctoral studies at Harvard, he received the doctor of medical science degree from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Counter was appointed founding director of the Harvard Foundation by the then President Derek Bok, Dean Rosovsky, and Reverend Peter Gomes in 1981. On his personal time, he enjoys exploration in the Amazon, the Andes, and the Arctic.
Dylan de Waart strives to facilitate dialogue between people of disparate backgrounds and beliefs to further cooperation in our increasingly global community. He has pursued his passion by founding Global Buddy, an NGO connecting schools internationally to promote cultural understanding and global friendship through peer-to-peer interaction. He is inspired by his own multicultural upbringing, comprised of Dutch, South Asian, and Surinamese influences from his parents, that has taught him to look for the underlying reasons between conflicting opinions and bridge the gap between them. He’s excited to apply that philosophy to his intercultural and race relations work at the Foundation.
Olutoyin grew up in the suburbs of Southern Virginia, where topics like diversity were rarely discussed. Only when she arrived in her later years of high school did she begin to passionately advocate for cultural acknowledgement and social justice. As a woman of color, she wishes to bring light to the issue of racialized misogyny and how the many systems of oppression affect the daily lives of her peers. She seeks to use the Foundation as a platform to utilize Harvard's diversity, so that every individual in the Harvard community has the chance to understand both themselves and others more deeply.
Jess is biracial and grew up in South Dakota, where there were few diverse communities. Now at Harvard, she is excited to be able to connect with other people who share her commitment to social justice. She is passionate about the importance of diversity and looks forward to making an impact in related issues at the Harvard Foundation. When she’s not at the Foundation, she spends some of her free time writing, volunteering, and talking about dogs.
Devontae was brought to equity and inclusivity work in high school through the exploration of his identity at the nexus of African American, queer, and middle-class communities in the Northeast. His specific interests lie in the ways in which social movements and student activism elicit progress through public policy changes. Having presented at several diversity conferences before coming to Harvard, he hopes to be able to plan programming at the Foundation that will encourage members of the greater community to confront intersectional systems through their academic study and through community dialogue and action efforts.
Devontae hails from the Great State of New Jersey and in his free time enjoys a freshly brewed café con leche and a plate of Garden State tiramisu.
Kacey Gill was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a freshman at Harvard College concentrating in Social Studies with a focus on race relations internationally and domestically. Her goal at Harvard is to make sure that minorities feel like their voices are being heard, and they have a space on campus.
Harvard Foundation Intern Class of 2017, Dunster House
For almost a decade, Doni has been an active participant in Nashville race relations. After working with Time to Rise, Inc. and Community Nashville Building Bridges' Camp AnyTown, Doni has become increasingly devoted to social responsibility and being a white ally. Concentrating in Economics, with a secondary in Ethnicity, Migration, Rights, she is especially interested in the intersection of business and politics, and how both can be leveraged for the betterment of society. Doni is immensely proud and excited to be a part of the Foundation where she can promote understanding and positively impact the Harvard community.
Brenda is a freshmen intern from Omaha, Nebraska. She plans to pursue a concentration in Psychology with the Education Extension. She has goals of becoming an International Educator, and is very passionate about education inequality. Attending Harvard has created an incredible opportunity to understand and study both the education system and the concept of diversity in this community. She is passionate about creating an impact in the community through dialogue that challenges for the purpose of growth and social justice.
Avni grew up in Vermont, the daughter of immigrants from India. From a young age, she was aware of ways in which she and her family stood out in her small, largely homogenous town. Coming to Harvard, she was interested in working to better understand these differences as well as the commonalities people of different backgrounds still share through working at the Harvard Foundation. As a senior intern, she has spent the past three years working to promote and advance the interests of students of color on Harvard's campus. Outside of the office, Avni studies Sociology and Government, where she focuses on issues of social inequality.