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Fellowship Information


Fellowship Information

Chantal Paydar Foundation Fellowship

GENERAL ELIGIBILITY for Fellowship travel grants:

Active ENROLLMENT in a College or University as an undergraduate or graduate student.

International students are welcomed to apply.  

OPEN ENROLLMENT PERIOD begins every February 22, 2017 and ends on April 17, 2017 of each year* 


APRIL  17, 2017

Due to an error in updating the website, we have extended the application period by 3 weeks.  We apologize for any confusion.


*General terms and outline of the CPF Fellowship program: No application materials will be accepted before or after the open enrollment period.  Only completed applications will be reviewed. Fellowship grants are not guaranteed each year and are subject to availability.  Each applicant is allowed one application every four years (no repeat applications will be reviewed).

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Past Fellows

There is only one good, knowledge,

and one evil, ignorance.

~ Socrates

Past Fellows

There is only one good, knowledge,

and one evil, ignorance.

~ Socrates



Edith Yuh (University of California, Davis)

Edith Yuh is pursuing her bachelors degree at University of California Davis, in political science and music, with a minor in Chinese. In her 21 years, she has traveled to Taiwan, China, and various parts of Europe frequently, solidifying her love for diverse cultures, peoples, and delicious foods. Edith is excited to start her summer internship in China with CEO Global USA, a nonprofit organization that develops integrity and a passion to positively impact the world working with Chinese university students. This summer, she will be coordinating logistics for the organization’s international leadership and minority camps, translating between Mandarin and English, helping with small groups, and building life-long friendships. Through this internship, Edith hopes not only to positively influence the future leaders of China and to obtain personal growth, but to develop her career goals focused on international peace work.

Michael Gioia (Siena College, Loudonville NY)

Michael Gioia, who hopes to be a writer and educator, is pursuing an English degree at Siena College. He was born in Brooklyn, NY and lived there until moving to Branchburg, NJ where he attended Immaculata High School and first came into contact with social justice thinking and practices. He was active serving the local community through a campus ministry and volunteered at soup kitchens and clothing drives. Over the course of two summers, he worked with disadvantaged students attending an understaffed and underfunded summer WYMCA program in Trenton. Michael was accepted to the Siena College International Community Development Internship Program in April, during which time he was introduced to the Chantal Paydar Foundation through program director Gretchen Mielke. Michael writes, “My past experience with social justice aligned perfectly with the mission statement of the foundation, the interests of the board members, and most importantly, the vision of Chantal, which I ultimately wish to fulfill in my upcoming travels…Through constant reflection and discussion with the people and friends I will encounter, I hope to bring about a better understanding of our global family.”


Lindsey Doyle (Georgetown University, Washington DC)

Lindsey Doyle is a recent graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service as an International Culture and Politics major, with a focus on violent conflict and its peaceful resolution. Outside of the classroom, she has worked for two years on policy around stabilization and nonviolent conflict intervention with both government and non-governmental organizations. Though originally from Los Angeles, Lindsey has spent time in Nicaragua and Argentina for academic study and recreation. She is fluent in Spanish, a dancer, and is committed to an ethic of seeing the impoverished and the conflicted as her equal and her partner in improving livelihoods. Lindsey is a Princeton in Latin America (PiLA) Fellow for 2013-2014 and will spend the next year in Costa Rica working with the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress. Dedicated to creating a culture of peace and “promoting democracy, gender equality, disarmament and demilitarization,” the Arias Foundation has asked Lindsey to help design, fundraise for, and develop an interactive center for peace that will serve as a museum in which the public can learn about diplomacy and conflict resolution. Lindsey is very much looking forward to sharing her learning through the Chantal Paydar Foundation over the course of the year.

Emily Bazilian (University of Michigan, Ann Harbor MI)

Emily Bazilian is currently finishing her sophomore year at the University of Michigan. Born in New York but raised in Wilton Connecticut, Emily has a long history of involvement in community service projects ranging from creating Fashion for Fund$ to Books for Bridgeport and numerous Breast Cancer awareness campaigns. Emily’s was selected to participate this summer in the University of Michigan’s “The Kenyan Project” initiative. The Kenya Project is a program through the University of Michigan where seven students are selected to develop and implement a business plan along with a group of Kenyan students to boost the Kenyan economy. Leading up to the summer long internship in Kenya, Emily and her team have meet for 2-4 hours per week to brainstorm and share ideas with the faculty of the university as well as with their youth counterparts in Kenya via Skype teleconferencing. Emily will travel to the Kithoka region of Kenya to work with Kenyan students to execute a sustainable business plan that will be continued by the Kenyan students. The impact this will have on the Kenyan economy and especially the Kithoka region will be vital in supporting many young adults. In her interview, Emily said “I am eager to collaborate with these young adults especially to help people similar to me, but not afforded the luxuries that I commonly take for granted. This experience will provide someone with the possibility of affording higher education, a rarity in that part of Kenya. I hope to use my education, ambition, and creativity to help these students so that they may help themselves.”


Alexon Grochowski (Cornell University, Ithica NY)

Alexon Grochowsku is a senior at Cornell University studying Policy Analysis and Management with a concentration in Healthcare Policy. Being half Polish and half Filipino, culture has always played a very important role in her life, cultivating her love for traveling. During March 2013, her travels brought her to Petit Goave, Haiti where she connected with a local, Fredo Ignace, who informed her of the tremendous need for resources for people living with disabilities in Petit Goave, a city 42 miles west of Port-Au-Prince. Fredo believed the answer was through education, so he purchased about 0.5 acres of land in an effort to build an inclusive school and address this issue. However, he didn’t have the necessary means to move forward with the project, so Alexon garnered resources at Cornell to help facilitate this process, founding Centre d’éducation Inclusif (CEI.) She feels very strongly about CEI not only because it is a perfect fusion of all her passions, including global health, disability-related issues, education, and sustainable design, but mostly because it is a community-driven effort that aims to build the local capacity of Petit Goave.

Ming Tanigawa-Lau (Tufts University, Boston MA)

As a recent graduate of Tufts University, Ming Tanigawa-Lau majored in Peace and Justice Studies and Music, with a Latin American Studies minor. Her passion for each comes from various parts of her life: when she first started taking violin lessons as a four-year-old in my hometown of Honolulu, Hawaii; during the transformative year she spent abroad in Santiago, Chile; and the innate desire she has always had to be able to bring people together and promote equality and justice on a community and global scale. Ming will be doing her summer internship with Arpegio Peru. Using a bottom-up approach, Arpegio Peru seeks to turn art and music into a fundamental part of children’s lives, by providing music lessons and orchestra classes to students of all backgrounds. The organization’s ultimate goal is to provide an alternative life for its students, particularly those of lower-income backgrounds, and to instill an appreciation for their experiences at Arpegio that they can pass on later in life. Ming will be working, in particular, with the local community to expand Arpegio’s impact in a positive, grassroots manner. She will also be able to share her musician skills by teaching lessons and coaching chamber groups.

William Adams Twayigize (Brandeis University, Boston MA)

William’s receipt of the CPF travel grant is especially poignant, because he and Chantal met during her work in Uganda. William was born in the small Central African country of Rwanda. He grew up in Kenya and until recently, resided in the USA. He received a B.A. degree in Communications and Community Development from Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in International Business from Southern New Hampshire University in NH and M.A in International Community Development and Conflict Resolution from Brandeis University in Boston, MA, both in USA.

From 2006-2009 William served for the Government of Kenya, in the Office of the President as Communication Development Policy Officer. In addition, in 2011, William was a Program On Negotiations (PON) Fellow at the Harvard School of Law. In 2012, he joined Harvard Medical School, in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicines as a Research Assistant. In 2013 He served as an African Leadership Policy Researcher and President In-Resident Attaché for the African Presidential Center at Boston University. In 2014 William worked as a Mental Health Lead Supervisor dealing with mental health issues among refugees in US, focusing on Texas refugees.

In addition, William is the founder and director for both the African Youth Voice for Peace (AYOVOP-AFRIQUE) and the African Natural Resources Effective Management Institute (ANREMI). These organizations promote Community-Based Effective Management of Africa’s Natural Resources to prevent future natural resources-based conflicts in Africa and beyond. ANREMI organization encourages community members, especially women and youth to take up responsibilities to manage and make decisions on how resources are used to improve community living conditions. Furthermore, ANREMI advocates for fair natural resources management policies through academic research and publications to facilitate development partners to make informed development decisions (

William’s current research interests include natural resources and conflict in Africa, policy and governance in Africa, women empowerment and natural resources in East and Central Africa, democracy and pluralism in Africa, public health, mental health and HIV/AIDS in Africa. He will be using the grant for travel to his new PhD program at the University of New England (UNE) in Australia. His academic work focuses on natural resources management policy and social justice in Africa.


Sarah Kincaid, Honorary Kayla Mueller-Chantal Paydar Foundation Fellow (George Mason University, Fairfax VA) 

As the 2015 Kayla Mueller Chantal Paydar Foundation Fellow, I went to Tunis to interview young Tunisian leaders to better understand their role in creating continued social change, beyond the 2011 revolution.  At the same time, I participated in the Sixth Tunis Exchange and through their program I met with political, religious, and civic leaders. In Tunisia there is a huge divide between youth and the country’s leaders, even though youth represent 40 percent of the population. By day, I met with Tunisia’s elite through the Exchange in fancy conference rooms, suited in business formal. By night, I met grassroots leaders in T-shirts at cafes. I held interviews with theater activists, debate organizers, diverse youth coalitions, and youth who are excelling in both their studies and work. Through my research I identified how youth are collaborating across social differences including differences from religion, region, class, and conservative vs. liberal values. I found that youth are attempting to create unified and inclusive organizations by intentionally recruiting leaders who have a diverse backgrounds; by holding social events that will attract a wide variety of people; and by focusing on issues instead of positions. While the Western news seems to depict that Tunisians are widely divided on the issue of conservative vs. liberal Islam, I found something quite different. I found that the conservative/liberal debate is really a narrative of the older generation. Youth, by in large, are unified on the issues of democracy, corruption, and unemployment. Moreover, many youth believe that the conservative/liberal debate is a tactic being used by elites to consolidate power and distract Tunisians from more substantial issues such as corruption and the economy. 

Trishna Kirpalani (Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Geneva SUI)

The Conflict Transformation Across Borders program that I attended served as a platform to share knowledge by and amongst people from varied backgrounds as well as develop future networks for work and personal ties. The sessions in the classroom were interactive and inclusive rather than the traditional lecture-giving mechanism. Another aspect that really stood out for me was getting to know the other people in the course. It was wonderful learning about their experiences, backgrounds and goals. I think this added on greatly to the quality of the course. Other than the formal sessions in class we had the opportunity to contact people outside of class. For my project proposal, the Professor incharge of the session on proposal writing, was helpful in introducing me to people who are researching on areas connected to my project.

The field visits to Baeza and Tulcan and the meetings with various organizations working in Ecuador painted a vivid picture of the work being carried out in the country. It etched the image of the problems and possible solutions that are being pursued. Further, there was much to learn from the speakers’ practical experiences and the stories from real life events supplemented the theoretical concepts very well. On a side note, I also saw similarities between Ecuador India. It made me wonder how countries being so far apart could also be similar. For example, even the way the houses are constructed are similar to Shimla or Ooty in India. Similar terrains cause for similar forms of building with obvious differences in material used to construct in order to withstand the weather differences. These similarities gave me hope that I will be able to learn techniques that have been tried in this region and the possibility of applying it to the Asian context.


Lisa Taieb, Honorary Christophe Foultier-Chantal Paydar Foundation Fellow  (Université de Poitiers, Poitiers FR)

Lisa follow her passion for gender equality by interning for six months with the Women’s Economic Empowerment Programme (UN Women) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  During this internship, Lisa had the opportunity to learn about and participate in UN field activities focused on empowering girls and women and promoting their rights. Lisa participated in many projects over the 6-month period, but her experience monitoring the implementation of a project promoting the access to psycho-social services for domestic workers (a non-recognized worker group) in Cambodia particularly resonated for her. Her work culminated in a free 24-hour/day service providing domestic workers with information about their rights and available services. At the end of her internship, Lisa told us “Interning with UN Women for 6 months in Cambodia was a beautiful life experience to me. I now know more than ever that working to promote gender equality and women’s rights is exactly what I want to do with my life.” 

Roman Chen, Honorary Kayla Mueller-Chantal Paydar Foundation Fellow (New York University, New York NY) 

Roman spent the summer of 2016 teaching and helping administrate a Summer Enrichment Program held in rural Tibet by Machik, a nonprofit organization working to develop and promote education, capacity-building, and innovation on the Tibetan plateau. Roman taught courses in Advanced English/Creative Writing, Drama, and Computers, co-coordinated the Model United Nations (MUN) conference and led confidence-building exercises to encourage increased self-esteem and comfort levels in public speaking and communication. Throughout the program, Roman worked hard to create a comfort zone where students could discuss challenging but important issues, such as gender equality, sexual orientation, and ethnic identity. Although he completed the summer program, Roman has continued maintaining relationships with the students he worked with through web-chat groups and plans to return to Tibet soon to continue these activities.