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Centennial Scholars Named in Honor of the Maxwell School’s 100th Anniversary

April 2, 2024

In addition to receiving a stipend to support their studies, the six students have been invited to attend an anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C.

While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and international relations at the Maxwell School, Anna Terzaghi says she has come to care greatly about people —"the lives they live, the culture they are surrounded by, the stories they tell.”

“I am deeply invested in humanitarian issues and in pursuing justice for international war crimes,” adds Terzaghi, who is from Australia and hopes to pursue a law degree after completing her undergraduate studies. “I hope that my career in human rights law will allow me to contribute to the Maxwell legacy of citizenship and public service, and I am grateful for the experiences I have had not just at Maxwell, but in my time in the United States also.”

Terzaghi is one of six recipients of a new award created with an alumnus’ generous gift in celebration of the Maxwell School’s centennial year. Three undergraduates and three graduate students were selected from a pool of over 100 applicants this past fall. Each was required to submit a statement describing how their aspirations align with the Maxwell School’s ideals of engaged citizenship and public service.

In addition to being named Centennial Scholars, the honorees have received a stipend to support their studies and an invitation to the Maxwell centennial celebration planned for May 31, in Washington, D.C.

The Centennial Scholars are listed below.

Anna Terzaghi
Anna Terzaghi

Terzaghi is a senior whose research interests include humanitarian issues, war crimes and national identity. A member of the Reneé Crown Honors Program, she is studying three languages—Russian, Korean and Chinese—and volunteers with the Center for International Services, a resource for international students, scholars and their dependents. For more than two years she has also worked for the University as a facilitator for the English Conversation Group. As a student fellow with the Lender Center for Social Justice, she is working with Mona Bhan, professor of anthropology and the Ford-Maxwell Professor of South Asian Studies, to investigate how technology influences war and, separately, the use of surveillance in the City of Syracuse.

Devon Behrer
Devon Behrer

Devon Behrer of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is pursuing a master of public administration (M.P.A.) and a certificate of advanced studies in post-conflict reconstruction. Behrer earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Boston College and served six years with the Peace Corps before joining Maxwell. Her work with the Peace Corps included help with the establishment of a community-based education program for Afghan children who were awaiting resettlement. In addition, as a volunteer in Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia, she taught English reading and writing to elementary students. Behrer is a graduate assistant for Maxwell’s Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration and serves as the president of the Public Administration and International Relations Association. She hopes to pursue a career in the U.S. State Department or within the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Forrest Gatrell
Forrest Gatrell

Forrest Gatrell of Terre Haute, Indiana, is pursuing a dual master’s degree in public administration and international relations. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from Indiana University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2020. As an undergraduate, Gatrell served as an intern with the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute and volunteered with AmeriCorps. He also serves with an interfaith food bank supported by his Jewish temple community. At Maxwell, he has been recognized as a Robertson Foundation for Government Fellow, an honor that requires recipients to work for the federal government for three of the first seven years following graduation. Gatrell aspires to work for the U.S. State Department. He plans to spend the 2024-25 academic year interning with federal agencies or international NGOs through Maxwell-in-Washington.

Erykah Pasha
Erykah Pasha

Erykah Pasha is a senior from Syracuse majoring in political science and sociology. They are working on an undergraduate research project titled “To Be Black, Queer and Political in Upstate New York” focusing on political activity and attitudes of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals. Pasha has served as a leader with the University’s Intercultural Collective and its LGBTQ Resource Center and has served on the Kessler Student Advisory Board as well as the fiscal agent for a relatively new student organization, Planned Parenthood Generation. They have also mentored first-year women of color on campus and worked as a research assistant for the Syracuse Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Engagement (SOURCE). For their academic excellence, they have been named a Kessler Scholar and McNair Scholar.

Jenna Poma
Jenna Poma

Jenna Poma of New York City is a third-year student majoring in policy studies and citizenship and civic engagement (CCE). She is a member of the Reneé Crown Honors Program and the Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence, a highly competitive program funded by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which partners with Syracuse and other universities to increase diversity of the U.S. intelligence workforce. Poma is involved in multiple student organizations, including Slice Consulting, a student-run pro bono consulting firm that helps nonprofits, businesses and other organizations with marketing, research, financial and analytical services. She is vice president of philanthropy for the sorority Alpha Xi Delta. Poma plans to pursue a law degree following her undergraduate studies.

Shaneya Simmelkjaer
Shaneya Nyasia Simmelkjaer

Shaneya Nyasia Simmelkjaer is pursuing a Ph.D. in sociology. From the Bronx, she received a bachelor’s degree in criminology, political science and African American studies from the State University of New York at Cortland in 2021. Simmelkjaer’s research includes race and ethnicity, mass incarceration, punishment, criminology, and black feminist theory. Her work examines how formerly incarcerated individuals from marginalized backgrounds endure “exclusionary and carceral forms of citizenship through surveillance from the institution of parole.” She is collaborating on a research project with a prison-abolition organization probing how New York parole reform legislation mitigates “hyper-surveillance” and reincarceration for low-income Black men and women in Onondaga County. Simmelkjaer looks to “enhance the voices of communities who experience perpetual marginalization and second-class citizenship from the carceral system.”

By Steve Buchiere

Communications and Media Relations Office
200 Eggers Hall