Community Advocates

The Community Advocates are grounded in civility and respect for human beings. When students become Community Advocates, they declare their opposition to discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, national origin, citizenship status, disability, military status, veteran status, or any other basis prohibited by law. They pledge to do all within their power to prevent harassment of any person or group of people and support any individual or group which seeks to heal wounds inflicted by unjust discrimination. They strive to create at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute an environment in which all people may find acceptance and the freedom to grow and learn.

Community Advocates are students who have the shared goal to prepare Rensselaer students for global citizenship by promoting an understanding and appreciation for diversity and inclusivity.

They include:

  • Rising sophomores
  • Juniors
  • Seniors
  • Graduate Student Leaders

Their goal is accomplished by:

  • Providing information and promoting healthy discussion about the issues of understanding and accepting diversity
  • Exploring myths and misperceptions that may have shaped our thoughts and attitudes about persons different than ourselves
  • Opening our personal/professional doorways to learning more about our diverse culture
  • Creating an environment that is safe and encourages openness, honesty, and individual values
  • Collaborating with campus, local, national and international resources to carry out their mission


    As a Community Advocate, students encourage understanding and acceptance of diversity on campus and in the world and strive to create open forums to allow participants to voice their views in a safe environment. Since 2002, the Community Advocates have planned major campus-wide events, including these past events:

    Current projects include:


    Community Resources

    The Community Advocates seek to collaborate with campus, local, national and international resources to carry out their mission. We value and welcome opportunities to work with dedicated organizations in the development and implementation of programs that will promote an environment in which all people may find acceptance and the freedom to grow and learn.


    The Commission on Economic Opportunity
    To preserve and advance the self-sufficiency, well-being, and growth of individuals and families through education, guidance, and resources

    Joseph's House & Shelter

    Joseph’s House & Shelter’s mission is to provide non-judgmental services to end homelessness.

    The Troy Area United Ministries
    In response to Micah's call to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God, seeks the social and spiritual well being of people in the Troy area, especially the urban and rural poor, the oppressed, the sick, and all people who seek after God

    Troy Public Library
    Committed to serving the diverse needs of the City of Troy with an electronic library catalog, reference services, interlibrary loan, electronic resources, and many other resources

    Unity House
    Dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people living in poverty, adults with mental illness, victims of domestic violence, children with developmental delays and their families, people living with HIV/AIDS, and others whose needs can effectively be met by Unity House services and philosophy

    National/International Resources

    American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee
    Grassroots civil rights organization which welcomes people of all faiths and ethnicities

    American Civil Liberties Union
    Aims to defend civil liberties in the courts and communities

    Amnesty International USA
    Organizational vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards

    Anti-Defamation League
    Aims to secure justice and fair treatment to all citizens and to put an end to unjust and unfair discrimination

    Boys & Girls Clubs of America
    Positive role models provide guidance, learning, and recreation for kids aged six to seventeen

    Equal Justice Initiative
    The EJI confronts racial injustice, advocates for equality, and creates hope for marginalized communities.

    Greenlining Institute
    Dedicated to improving the quality of life for low-income and minority communities

    Habitat for Humanity International
    Seeks to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world

    Japanese American Citizens League
    Nation's oldest Asian American civil rights organization

    The King Center
    Established in 1968 by Coretta Scott King, The King Center is the official, living memorial dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., leader of America’s greatest nonviolent movement for justice, equality, and peace

    League of Women Voters of the United States
    Promotes the voice of women by encouraging all women to vote

    Literacy Volunteers of America
    National network of regional providers that give adults and their families the opportunities to be more effective members of their community

    Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund
    Advocacy and educational outreach organization

    National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
    Ensures the political, educational, social, and economic equality of minority groups and citizens

    National Congress of American Indians
    Forum for consensus-based policy development among its members

    National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute
    Progressive organization working for the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people

    National Organization for Women
    Largest national organization of feminist activists

    The One Campaign
    The One Campaign is the campaign to make poverty history.

    Organization of Chinese Americans
    National non-partisan advocacy organization of concerned Chinese Americans

    Peace Day
    An organization dedicated to a global ceasefire and non-violence on September 21st - Peace Day

    Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs
    Developed to bring scientific insight and reason to bear on threats to human security arising from science and technology in general, and above all from the catastrophic threat posed to humanity by nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction

    Salvation Army
    Founded to bring community relief through volunteer services

    Southern Poverty Law Center
    Founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm, the SPLC is internationally known today for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups

    A student anti-genocide coalition

    Stand Against Poverty
    United Nation's initiative engaging millions worldwide to Stand Up and Take Action against Poverty, and in support of the Millennium Development Goals

    The United Nations
    Organization of nation states central to global efforts to solve problems that challenge humanity

    The United States Bill of Rights
    Amendments 1-10 of the US Constitution, spelling out the immunities of individual citizens preventing tyranny by the central government


    Apply Now

    Selection Process

    Terms of Participation

    • Attend the annual training program before the start of the fall semester.
    • Attend all Community Advocate meetings.
    • Attend all events sponsored by the Community Advocates.
    • Work with fellow Community Advocates to plan and execute campus events.
    • Participate in discussion.
    • Welcome ALL students to events.
    • Respond to needs and concerns as they arise.


    • Selection for Community Advocates generally occurs in the spring for the next academic year; however, the Community Advocates may review applications submitted throughout the year and offer membership to appropriate candidates.
    • Currently enrolled and matriculating sophomores, juniors, seniors and graduate students at Rensselaer may file an application for a Community Advocate position. Frehmen may apply in their second semester at Rensselaer.
    • Candidates must be in good academic and judicial standing.

    The Selection Process

    The Community Advocate selection process will consist of a thorough committee review of materials (application and recommendations) presented by each applicant as well as the applicant interview.

    • The Community Advocates will hold informational meetings in the spring prior to the annual application deadline.
    • Applicants must return completed applications in a sealed envelope addressed to the Community Advocates to the Dean of Students Office by the stated deadline.
    • Applicants will sign up for an interview upon submitting their application.
    • All applicants will be notified of their final status by letter, which may be picked up in the Dean of Students Office, 4629 Academy Hall.


    The Community Advocates are rising sophomores, juniors, seniors, and graduate students who are selected for their leadership and demonstrated commitment to global citizenship. They are trained in mentoring, and through the facilitations of programs, will enhance Rensselaer community members' commitment toward inclusivity.

    Members 2002-18



    1. Beatrice Capone
    2. megan Gutzmer
    3. Kara Jimcosky
    4. Maria Kozdroy
    5. Tristan Leinbach


    1. Beatrice Capone
    2. Megan Gutzmer
    3. Kara Jimcosky
    4. Maria Kozdroy
    5. Tristan Leinbach
    6. Ray Parker


    1. Elise Baik
    2. Megan Gutzmer
    3. John Yannou
    4. Kara Jimcosky
    5. Kyle Meumann
    6. Maria Kozdroy
    7. Ray Parker


    1. Melysa Acevedo
    2. Michael Gardner
    3. Dannah Laguitan
    4. Kyle Neumann
    5. Ray Parker
    6. John Yannou


    1. Kaori Bigler
    2. Tyler Cassetta-Frey
    3. Sarah Djebli
    4. Katie Grabowski
    5. Dannah Laguitan
    6. David McDevitte-Pembley
    7. Kyle Neumann
    8. Ray Parker
    9. John Yannou


    1. Kaori Bigler
    2. Sarah Djebli
    3. Katie Grabowski
    4. David McDevitte-Pembley
    5. Kyle Monahan
    6. Tyler Cassetta-Frey


    1. Kaori Bigler
    2. Sarah Djebli
    3. Kyle Mattson
    4. Kyle Monahan
    5. Bree Mobley
    6. Lilly Pu


    1. Amelia Dosio
    2. Ashlee Giacalone
    3. Kyle Mattson
    4. Lilly Pu
    5. Delroy Waugh


    1. Graham Cabrey
    2. Amelia Dosio
    3. Steve Egwele
    4. Ashlee Giacalone
    5. Kyle Mattson
    6. Lilly Pu
    7. Delroy Waugh


    1. Ella Braco
    2. Graham Cabrey
    3. Radha Gomez
    4. Farihah Hossain
    5. Liliana Martinez
    6. Denisha McPherson
    7. Jasmine Patel
    8. Erika Sadeghi


    1. Abder Benghanem
    2. Ella Braco
    3. Graham Cabrey
    4. Alan Chen
    5. Radha Gomez
    6. Iris Grant
    7. Farihah Hossain
    8. Denisha McPherson
    9. Jasmine Patel
    10. Joseph Said
    11. Erika Sadeghi


    1. Sadra Azizi
    2. Abder Benghanem
    3. Rhani Elrhaman
    4. Natasha Kulkarni
    5. Jacinda Moore
    6. Hamnah Siddiqui
    7. Candace Whittington


    1. Jeremy Altschuler
    2. Ghofrane Benghanem
    3. Mahwish Hamlani
    4. Natasha Kulkarni
    5. Kevin Ly
    6. Jacinda Moore
    7. Ferheen Schaik
    8. Lot Serebour
    9. Candace Whittington


    1. Ghofrane Benghanem
    2. Dennis Donald
    3. Jose Feliz
    4. Valerie Guilbeault
    5. Natasha Kulkarni
    6. Kevin Ly
    7. Jacinda Moore
    8. Lot Serebour
    9. Candace Whittington


    1. Ghofrane Benghanem
    2. Nassiba Benghanem
    3. Neha Mehta
    4. Dennis Donald
    5. Alex Grant
    6. Mahwish Hamlani
    7. Lot Serebour
    8. Binod Sundararajan


    1. Khaoula Benghanem
    2. Nassiba Benghanem
    3. Soumeya Benghanem
    4. Corinne Ivanca
    5. Rita Jiang
    6. Neha Mehta
    7. Tony Moore
    8. Alex Grant
    9. Katie Speanburg
    10. Kimberly Yates