Founders and Current Fellows
Rhondale-Marie (Rhon) Barras is a co-founder of the Patrick Healy Fellowship. She currently works as an Early Childhood Educator (Pre-Kindergarten) in Houston. Ms. Barras graduated from Georgetown’s College of Arts & Sciences (COL) in December 1996. While at Georgetown she was very involved in several CMEA—the Center for Multicultural Equity & Access (then Center for Minority Student Affairs; CMSA) programs and worked at Peace Corps. She was also active in the NAACP, served on the Women’s Studies Advisory Board, worked as House Advocate at a local shelter for survivors of Domestic Violence, and volunteered as a tutor at Sursum Corda. Before moving back to Houston, Texas she worked overseas on several International Development projects, as well as several culture and music production events. Rhon holds a Master’s Degree in Education and she also teaches Yoga and is working on her certification in Yoga Therapy and mentors teachers in training. When Ms. Barras is not hanging out with her students or doing Yoga, she is traveling, learning new languages, dancing, and/or listening to international music.
Christopher Burke is a co-founder of the Patrick Healy Fellowship and a PHF Board Member. He currently serves as a United States Magistrate Judge on the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and has served in that position since August 2011. From 2005 to 2011, Mr. Burke was an Assistant United States Attorney at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. From 2001 to 2005, he was an associate at the Washington, D.C. office of the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP. Prior to that, he served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Kenneth Ripple of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Mr. Burke is a 2000 graduate of the University of Michigan Law and a 1997 graduate of Georgetown University.
Damien Dwin is a managing partner of Brightwood Capital, an alternative investments firm based in New York. Prior to Brightwood, Mr. Dwin was co-founder and head of North American Special Opportunities at Credit Suisse. Mr. Dwin is a 1997 graduate of Georgetown University.
Caleb Pitters is a co-founder of the Patrick Healy Fellowship. He is an executive vice president and head of the Non Profit and Single Family Office Practice at Pacific Investment Management Company LLC (PIMCO), a global investment management firm with $1.6 trillion in assets under management. Since joining PIMCO in 2011, he has advised non-profit investors while delivering customized investment solutions. His previous management responsibilities included serving as the head of the institutional internal sales desk for existing clients and prospects, a business that he pioneered at the firm.
Prior to joining PIMCO in 2011, Caleb was a director at Credit Suisse, where he held various portfolio management positions in fixed income and gained experience across the credit markets, working directly with institutional clients. He previously worked in global fixed income derivatives at UBS and held associate positions at JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs. He has 16 years of investment experience and holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He received his undergraduate degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Ericka Sóuter Pitters is a co-founder of the Patrick Healy Fellowship. She is a contributing editor at Mom.me, one of the most popular destinations for lifestyle and parenting articles on the Internet. She frequently appears on Good Morning America, Nightline and other national broadcasts to discuss the news and controversies most affecting parents and kids.
Previously, she was a news and entertainment editor at CaféMedia’s high traffic mom site, TheStir.com. Prior to focusing on parenting news, she was on staff at Us Weekly. As a features writer there, she worked on numerous cover stories about film, music and television stars. She began her journalism career at People magazine writing music reviews, celebrity profiles and human-interest stories. Later, she moved to the special issues department where she focused on popular franchise issues like Sexiest Man Alive, Hottest Bachelors and The World’s Most Beautiful People. Her work can also be found on the pages of Cosmopolitan, Essence and Self. Before becoming a magazine writer, Ms. Sóuter took a short detour into the world of advertising, accepting a post at the Chicago based agency Leo Burnett as an account executive on Kellogg’s Cornflakes, Frosted Mini-Wheats and Rice Krispies Treats. Ms. Sóuter received her B.A. from Georgetown University and a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Class of 2020
Bianca Corgan is a senior in the Walsh School for Foreign Service majoring in Regional and Comparative Studies between the U.S. and Africa, with a concentration on democracy, governance, and civil rights policy and minoring in French. Although she was born in New York City, she currently is a proud Haitian-American who calls Miami, Florida home. At Georgetown, Bianca participates in the S.F.S. Scholars Program, is a Research Assistant for Professor Michelle Swers who analyzes the role of women in congressional politics, is a First-Year Peer advisor for the S.F.S., was a founder of MOSAIC: the Multi-Racial and Multi-Ethnic Student Group and is the Communications Chair for the S.F.S. Academic Council. Additionally, she has served as the Design Editor of Georgetown’s first zine Bossier, an intersectional feminist magazine committed to promoting the work of women and women-aligned authors and artists. Bianca has held internships at the Embassy of France and the United States Department of State in the Bureau of African Affairs, through which she has learned about the importance of the media to the success of foreign policy. Bianca believes in the power of an individual’s voice in promoting positive change and thus would like to pursue a career that focuses on the amplification of marginalized voices through the law, media advocacy and civil rights policy reform.
Hashwinder (Hash) Singh
Hashwinder is from Tacoma, WA and is pursuing a major in government with a minor in history. On campus, Hashwinder works on a variety of racial and social justice oriented projects, such as writing opinion columns about the experience of marginalized identities on campus and mentoring those at the New Beginnings Juvenile Detention Center. Furthermore, Hashwinder is a Patrick Healy Fellow. Hashwinder spent the summer of 2018 working as an intern at the DC Public Defenders Services, has spent the last year working for Professor Marc Howard’s Prisons and Justice Initiative and is currently interning at the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Moving forward, Hashwinder is particularly interested in both working to combat issues that relate to urban poverty and criminal justice reform. In his free time, Hashwinder enjoys watching and rewatching Master of None.
William (Hock) Hockaday
William Hockaday (you can call him “Hock”) is a mixed kid from Austin, Texas. Hock is a senior in the College double majoring in African American Studies and English. As someone from a multicultural and nuanced background, Hock values the power of a story, and his work on campus reflects his passion for providing platforms for obscured narratives. Hock is a founder and co-president of MOSAIC, a multiracial and multiethnic club, and has worked to start the conversation on mixed experiences at Georgetown and establish a new community. As a low-income, independent student, he also knows the difficulty of controlling your own story. Without the Georgetown Scholars Program, Hock would not be able to still call himself a Hoya after encountering homelessness and food insecurity. Hock works as a Student Ambassador for the Georgetown Scholars Program and is the convener for the Men’s STAND House, a townhouse focused on socioeconomic identity and inclusivity on campus. During summers, Hock instructs Humanities courses for low-income students in San Francisco as a teaching fellow with Breakthrough Collaborative. After graduation, Hock will attend Georgetown for one more year to receive an M.A. in English through the dual bachelors/masters program. Hock hopes to eventually become a professor of English and ethnic studies. This mixed kid will always remember his story, and Hock hopes that his work will help others to see their narratives flourish.
Menatalla (Mena) Mohamed
Mena is an Egyptian-American student from Alexandria, Virginia. She is pursuing a bachelor’s in foreign service with a major in science, technology, and international affairs and a certificate in Arab studies at Georgetown University. She is focused on studying the intersections of displacement, urbanization, and international development in the Arab world. On campus, she researches youth development and education at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and works at the President’s Office. She is also a research lead at the Georgetown Social Enterprise Initiative, a Carroll Fellow, a Patrick Healy Fellow, and a Paul Pelosi Scholar. Mena has assisted with research at the Library of Congress, led advocacy projects at Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, and volunteered with refugee students in Virginia. Driven by a passion for refugee and immigration advocacy, she hopes to combine her interests in migration and urbanization to improve the municipal response to displacement in the U.S. and abroad.
Taurjhai Purdie is a proud Gates Millennium Scholar from Baltimore, Maryland. She is a rising senior double majoring in Government and African-American Studies with a minor in Spanish. This upcoming year, Taurjhai will serve as the President of Georgetown University Women of Color and will continue her role as a Research Assistant to Dr. Soyica Colbert of the African-American Studies Department. Off-campus, Taurjhai’s passion for the law, juvenile justice, and the protection of civil rights shine through. Previously, Taurjhai has interned with the Administrative Judge of the Baltimore County Circuit Court, Judge Kathleen Cox, with the General Counsel of Miles & Stockbridge, P.C., and with the Press and Communications Team at the Personal Office of Barack and Michelle Obama. This summer, she will be interning at the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs which focuses primarily on prison reform, fair housing rights, and employment discrimination. In the future, Taurjhai plans to attend law school in hopes of becoming a civil rights attorney.
Class of 2021:
Angel Reed is a junior in the College with a double major in African American Studies and Sociology. She was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from high school in Winslow, New Jersey; both places which she considers home. On campus, Angel is the Vice President of Operations for Black Student Alliance and serves on the executive boards of Minority Pre-Law Association and GU American Civil Liberties Union. This past summer, Angel worked as a lead mentor and Center Operations Intern at the Center for Social Justice. After graduation, Angel plans to attend law school and pursue a career in racial justice.
Arisaid Gonzalez Porras
Arisaid Gonzalez is a junior in the College majoring in American Studies. As an undocumented student, she advocates for the undocumented youth on and off campus. She is President of Hoyas for Immigrant Rights which creates spaces for affected students and allies to have dialogues, share stories, and attend actions. This summer she is interning at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-run non-profit organization dedicated to activism and immigration policy. Her main goal is to amplify the stories of those who have been silenced. Apart from her activism, she is also part of the Baker Scholars Program which aims at creating business leaders who are both intellectually inspired and socially conscious. In addition, she is a Women Advancing Gender Equity Fellow and a proud Georgetown Scholars Program mentor. Her background as first-generation and low-income pushes her to aid others with the resources and tools she has obtained. After Georgetown she is planning on attending law school but not after gaining experience as a local immigrant organizer in D.C. Her ultimate goal is to create a business aimed at deconstructing misconceptions about immigrants and creating a scholarship fund for aspiring college students regardless of immigration status.
Briana Thomas is a rising junior in the College from Brooklyn, NY studying Sociology and Economics. On campus, she serves as the District Coordinator for the Georgetown Minority Pre Law Association, the Vice President of Georgetown University Women of Color, tutors for CSJ’s After School Kids Program, and currently works at the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access. Last spring, she was also on the Speakers Committee for the 2019 B.R.A.V.E. Summit Board. She is currently interning at the Office of Barack and Michelle Obama. Her interests include law, economic justice, and youth empowerment & education. In her free time, she loves to eat, dance, and socialize!
Janeth Preciado Vargas
Janeth Preciado Vargas is a Junior in the College proudly representing South Central Los Angeles. She is majoring in Justice and Peace Studies with minors in Government and Women & Gender Studies. Since Fall 2017 she has been involved with the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor as an organizing intern for social justice organizations in Washington D.C. She also serves as the Dialogues Coordinator and Latinx Leadership Forum (LLF) representative for Georgetown University Women of Color (GUWoC) as well as a member of the LLF Constitutional Revision Cabinet. She has created an inclusive space for Latinx women on campus by organizing and facilitating the event series, “Cafecito Con Latinas,” which looks to provide a safe, welcoming, and supportive space for dialogue about issues that affect Latinx women inside and outside the institution. Janeth is passionate about advocating for the needs of her vibrant and resilient community and hopes to pursue a Masters in Public Administration and a career in local government.
Leslie Telleria is a junior in the College from Northern Virginia studying Spanish with English and Portuguese minors. She is interested in bridging the gap between the humanities and social change with the hope of demonstrating how the study of language, literature, and culture can shed insight on society and the injustices which marginalized groups face. She is also very interested in exploring different forms of sexual health/reproductive advocacy. On campus, Leslie serves as the Co-President of the Period Empowerment Project, a service and advocacy-based menstrual equity group, as well as the Director of Communications and Outreach for the Central American United Students Association. She is also a Project Associate at the Designing the Future(s) Initiative under the Vice Provost of Education which engages in innovative curricular design. Leslie hopes to spend the rest of her years at Georgetown forming genuine connections with the people in her community and learning about herself. In addition, she hopes to explore what the years which follow graduation could look like for her, knowing that creating an impact in the lives of minority communities is what she’s always been meant to do.