Skip to page content
Skip to page level navigation
How 7 student activists make Rochester ever better
Meet seven students who are actively working to ensure Rochester maintains a climate of respect where everyone is free to learn, teach, and work. With support from their faculty and staff advisors, these students are striving to make the University ever better.
Samantha Andrew ’17E, ’18
Violinist Samantha Andrew ’17E, ’18 is getting a dual degree—in violin performance at the Eastman School of Music and molecular genetics in Arts, Sciences & Engineering. She also serves as the president of the Eastman Programming and Involvement Council (EPIC), which organizes most undergraduate events at the school. “Promoting inclusivity benefits everyone here, not just students—staff and faculty as well,” says Andrew. What drives Andrew? “Seeing students happy because of the events that we put on makes the hard work worth it. At the end of the day, helping to make a difference in some small way motivates me.”
Joshua Hill ’18
Joshua Hill ’18 is the executive director for student life for the Students’ Association Government and a member of the Students’ Association Task Force to Review Sexual Misconduct Policy. The task force recently published its recommendations, which include the creation of a concise flow chart to provide a more user-friendly guide through the Title IX complaint process and updated student bystander training. Hill says, “The goal was to help guarantee undergraduate students have a voice in changing policies as they relate to Title IX and sexual misconduct on campus.”
Delvin Moody ’18
Delvin Moody ’18, a political science and religion double major, has been at the forefront of organizing black student leadership, including the first two Joint Collegiate Black Student Summits. Moody says the summits grew out of a desire to build a greater community among those who are passionate about social justice and collegiate accountability toward black students and want unity within the black community. “I felt these summits gave leaders the inspiration to know that they were not alone and that there was help for them. All of my work is centered around my faith and a belief that being Christian charges me with the responsibility of helping others.”
Peter Murphy (pictured here with the CARE Network’s Niki Pizzutelli) is a graduate student in visual and cultural studies and a member of the Graduate Student Association, which organizes a recurring workshop for graduate students in conjunction with the University’s CARE Network. Murphy, who has been leading the workshop on how to negotiate relationships with professors, mentors, and fellow students says, “It’s meant to give graduate students in all disciplines a way to think about how they distinguish between their personal and professional relationships.”
Samekh Harris Reed ’18 & Miles Perry '20
Samekh Harris Reed ’18 (right), a psychology major, is the student coordinator for Queer Students of Color, which seeks to promote inclusion, provide a safe space, and offer support to students of color who identify as queer. The group holds biweekly meetings to engage in conversations and raise awareness for intersectionality in the LGBT+ community. “Intersectionality is an important aspect to consider when concerns arise in the LGBT+ community because not everyone identifies the same way,” says Harris Reed. Fellow Queer Students of Color member Miles Perry ’20, an international relations and public health double major, serves as the president of the University’s PRIDE Network. Perry says the Queer Students of Color group addresses issues around racism that don’t necessarily apply to white queer students.
Amber Williams ’19
Amber Williams ’19 (center), an English major from Weatherford, Texas, is deeply involved with the University’s chapter of It’s On Us and its mission to stop sexual assault. Having experienced an abusive relationship while in high school, Williams relates on a personal level with the cause. Joining Williams is Maggie Bentley ’19 (left) to sort toiletries and feminine hygiene products for a donation drive organized by the Susan B. Anthony Center to benefit victims of human trafficking. All three students are members of the University’s College Feminists.
Read more about two notable examples of staff and faculty members who mentor and advise these students on a mission.
Psychiatry professor Catherine Cerulli, who is the director of the University’s Susan B. Anthony Center and of the Medical Center’s Laboratory of Interpersonal Violence and Victimization, serves as cochair of the students’ task force. She and her team regularly interact with students committed to strengthening a culture of respect for the University community. “I continue to be impressed with these students who often engage in these activities during their free time while carrying full course loads and many [while] working part-time jobs. They bring a unique insight to their work that is fueled by a passion for helping others.”
Staff member Niki Pizzutelli is the interim associate director of the University’s CARE Network, which is designed to identify and support students in, or heading toward, distress. She has worked with graduate student Peter Murphy on the private/professional relationships workshop. “Without student involvement in doing workshops like these, there is no true pulse in the lifeblood of doing the good work,” says Pizzutelli, who calls Murphy an “advocate for social change.”