Join us in welcoming our 2019-2021 Indonesia Fellows

Please join us in welcoming our new Indonesia Fellows Nikaio (Niko) Thomashow ’19 (December) who started their fellowship this February at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Sydney Allen ’19 who will be going to Gadjah Mada this summer, and Emily Peterson ’19 who will be going to Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh this summer.

Nikaio (Niko) Thomashow graduated from Oberlin in December 2018 with a degree in Dance with a focus in Performance of Identity. Throughout their time there, Nikaio was involved in and a leader for many student groups, including the Filipinx American Student Association, Koreo, and Kinetik. In their second year, they founded Queer and Formal Reasoning (QFR), Oberlin’s first organization for LGBTQ+ students in the sciences. They helped to make QFR an official chapter of Out In STEM (oSTEM) and fundraised for seven students to attend the oSTEM conference in 2017. There, Nikaio presented on their experience as a minority in the sciences and was recruited by NASA JPL for an Astrophysics research internship the following summer. Nikaio has also participated in research at Oberlin under the instruction of Prof. Robert Owen and at the Maria Mitchell Observatory under a grant from the National Science Foundation. In their penultimate semester at Oberlin, they completed their senior project for dance, Inahan Sa Perlas. Inahan Sa Perlas was a multimedia concert that served as an open letter to their mother, while prompting discussions surrounding deracination and intersectional identities. The proceeds were donated to the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. As a Shansi Fellow, Nikaio will be teaching at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. There, they plan to spend time learning about traditional Javanese dance and martial arts, with a specific focus on studying how they are preserved. Nikaio would like to thank the Shansi team for their guidance and generosity and wishes the other fellows the best with their journeys!

Sydney Allen, OC ’19, is an English major with a Rhetoric and History minor. She has a passion for writing and communication and worked at the The Oberlin Review throughout her time at Oberlin, serving as Editor-in-Chief her senior year. She also worked as a Course Writing Associate for a number of political and journalism courses and was a Wilder Voice Senior Associate Editor. In addition to her journalistic interests, Sydney had a commitment to peer support and mentorship and volunteered as a Peer Advising Leader, Peer Listener in the Peer Support Center, and Sophomore Opportunities and Resources Program Facilitator. She has held internships with Indianapolis Monthly, The Chronicle Telegram, and her hometown Congressional representative in Washington D.C. When she’s not practicing on Heisman Field with the varsity women’s lacrosse team, Sydney loves hanging out in the Review office in Burton basement. She was selected as a 2019 Shansi Fellow and will be traveling to Yogyakarta, Indonesia to teach English and pursue journalism after graduation.

Emily Peterson ’19, an English and Environmental Studies double major, is the 2019-2021 Fellow to Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh, Indonesia. She has considerable teaching and tutoring experience through working in the Oberlin Writing Associates Program as a Speaking and Writing Associate. She has also worked with the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program and with students wishing to practice conversational English at the Global Englishes Table. Emily has studied Oberlin-specific climate change issues through her Environmental Studies major, and hopes to continue learning about resilient communities in Banda Aceh. Her other interests include cooking and playing Ultimate Frisbee, both activities she hopes to continue abroad.

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