Puksta Fellowship Program Launched
PHOTO: From left to right: Misty Saribal, Benjamin Swales, Internship Director Gordana Lazic, Amira Aletebi, Mouath Baesho, Lakeisha Ashley.
On Friday, August 23, the Department of Communication hosted a reception for its inaugural class of Puksta Fellows. Working in conjunction with the Puksta Foundation, a Denver-based organization committed to training students in the norms of civic action and social responsibility, the Department has established a three-semester program of community-based internships, directed thesis work in social justice, and a capstone senior experience merging scholarship and community engagement. The 2013/14 Puksta Fellows are Amira Aletebi (working on peace processes in the Middle East), Lakeisha Ashley (aiding at-risk children in Denver), Mouath Baesho (launching a new CU Denver chapter of Amnesty International), Misty Saribal (addressing prison education needs in Colorado), and Benjamin Swales (working on the Prison Justice Project). Puksta alumni have gone on to attend graduate programs across the nation, participate in the Clinton Global Initiative, start social ventures, serve in the Peace Corps, World Teach Program, and state government. Last year 44 Puksta scholars contributed more than 6,470 hours to their community social change projects. In addition, Puksta scholars partnered with more than 86 non-profits and community organizations though Colorado.