Past Summer Interns

Maris Nyhart

2013 UUCSJ intern Maris NyhartMaris Nyhart grew up in Durham, Conn., and is now attending Tufts University. She is in the process of deciding her major and hopes to pursue a career that involves social justice in the future. With a love of photography and writing, Nyhart is interested in a minor in mass media studies and communications.

Nyhart interned with the UU Urban Ministry of Boston, an experience which she reflected upon here.

Michael Hassin

Michael Hassin is an economics student at the College of New Jersey. After high school, he began teaching debate at his high school and at a summer academy in California; he also tutors Educational Opportunity Fund grant students in mathematics at his university. In his experience educating, he’s learned that refining the ability to develop, express, and defend well-formed opinions is key in empowering youth. As someone who’s taught, befriended, and learned from people from a wide variety of backgrounds, he’s witnessed firsthand the tragic disparities in opportunity that face those who’d have otherwise unlimited potential.

Hassin interned with SimpleGifts Unitarian Centre for Social Action in London, an experience which he reflected upon here.

Nicholas Choquette

2013 UUCSJ intern Nicholas ChoquetteNicholas Choquette is a student at Worcester State University working toward a degree in sociology with a minor in psychology. He recently graduated with high honors from Quinsigamond Community College with an associate’s degree in liberal arts. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in nonprofit management. Choquette has volunteered for political campaigns, assisted at the Worcester Food Pantry with his youth group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester, and worked as a counselor in training at the Wachusett Meadow Wildlife Sanctuary. An active gymnast, he has competed in regional and state competitions and currently coaches aspiring gymnasts.

Choquette interned with UU Urban Ministry’s Roxbury Youth Program in Boston.

Jennifer Kelley

2013 UUCSJ intern Jennifer KelleyJennifer Kelley is a junior majoring in history at Tennessee Technological University. In addition to her work with the Tennessee Tech Gay Straight Alliance, she serves as a worship coordinator and small group ministry leader at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cookeville, Tenn. Kelley is passionate about the reconstruction work she has been involved with in New Orleans with the St. Bernard Project.

Kelley interned with UU Urban Ministry’s Bethany House for Women in Boston.

Abie Troen

2013 UUCSJ intern Abie TroenAbie Troen majors in film studies at Brandeis University and is a Brandeis Ethics Center’s Sorensen Fellow. Troen attended high school at the Israeli Academy for Sciences and Arts in Jerusalem and served as a combat paramedic in the Israel Defense Forces. After discharge, he attended the Sam Spiegel Film Academy in Jerusalem and from there transferred to Brandeis University. Troen worked as photographer and cinematographer for Eretz Acheret magazine, the Israeli Red Cross (MADA), and international production companies filming in Israel.

Troen served as a multimedia intern with the Kenya National Alliance of Street Vendors and Informal Traders (KENASVIT), an experience which he reflected upon in a blog post and video here.

Virginia Morgan

2013 UUCSJ intern Virginia MorganVirginia Morgan is a rising senior at Tulane University. She is majoring in public health with minors in gender studies and international development. Morgan spent six months living in India through the School for International Training’s Health and Human Rights program while working on her thesis about access to reproductive health care. At Tulane, she is involved with the Community Action Council of Tulane University Students as well as Students Organizing Against Racism, and she is a Community Service Scholar. She was born and raised in Phoenix, Ariz., but currently resides in New Orleans, La.

Morgan interned with Common Ground Community Health Clinic, a CELSJR partner, in New Orleans.

Joe Gayeski

2013 UUCSJ intern Joe GayeskiJoe Gayeski is an undergraduate student at the University of Edinburgh studying international relations. Originally from Connecticut, he was highly involved in the Unitarian Universalist Association and served in various youth ministry and youth empowerment positions. Gayeski’s academic focus lies in international peace-building efforts, and he volunteers with a youth homelessness advocacy group in Edinburgh. He works as a counselor at Rowe Camp and Conference Center in Massachusetts and plays ultimate frisbee and guitar in his free time.

Gayeski interned with UUCSJ in Cambridge, Mass., an experience which he reflected upon here.

Nicolaas Smith

2013 UUCSJ intern Nic SmithNicolaas Smith studies the politics and economics of global development at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario (Canada). He is a member of the university varsity fencing club and a photographer for the school newspaper. Raised Unitarian Universalist, Smith is a firm believer in using one’s talents to facilitate positive progressive changes in the world. Throughout high school, he frequently participated in the organization of youth conferences, on both the regional and national level, and he spent a gap year as an au pair in Germany.

Smith interned with SimpleGifts Unitarian Centre for Social Action in London.


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Heather Vickery is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with UU congregations, State Action Networks, past UU College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) program participants, and regional staff in order to expand engagement in UUSC and UUCSJ’s work. As the Coordinator for Congregational Activism, she manages the workshop offerings and group visits to the UUSC/UUCSJ office and assists with communications for the Activism and Justice Education Team. Heather is an active member of the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network and a dedicated dog-mom to her rescue puppy Nova.

Heather may be contacted at and 617-301-4303