Campus & Community

Richardson Fellowships go to grads committed to public service

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Rachelle Gould ’03 and Krishnan Subrahmanian ’03 receive $25K

Rachelle Gould ’03, an environmental science concentrator working for The Nature Conservancy in Washington, D.C., and Chile, and Krishnan Subrahmanian ’03, a social studies concentrator developing programs for children with HIV/AIDS in South Africa, are this year’s recipients of the Elliot and Anne Richardson Fellowships in Public Service. The two recent graduates received the second round of the fellowships, which were established in 2002 and provide $25,000 in support of a formative year in public service.

Gould is spending half the year doing research at The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Washington-based headquarters and the second six months of her fellowship working with the Committee for the Defense of Flora and Fauna (CODEFF), TNC’s partner organization in Chile. Fluent in Spanish and “entirely dedicated to working on environmental issues,” Gould credits her work with Harvard’s Environmental Action Committee and Resource Efficiency Program as well as previous summer experiences in Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica with pointing her toward this year of public service.

For more information on the Richardson Fellowships, contact the Office of Career Services: (617) 495-2595 or visit the Web site.

Her inspiration to work with TNC came from “The Future of Life,” the most recent book by Pellegrino University Research Professor E.O. Wilson, which lauded the important role of nongovernmental organizations in global conservation efforts and that organization’s contributions specifically. Gould notes that without the Richardson Fellowship, her position with TNC would not exist. “This grant will thus be a donation to conservation, worldwide and domestically,” she said.

Inspired by his summer work at the Connecticut Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with chronic illnesses, Subrahmanian is in Durban, South Africa, helping to develop a similar camp program to serve children of the AIDS epidemic there. South Africa, where 20 percent of the population has HIV or AIDS, has more than 600,000 children who are orphans.

“An ocean away from South Africa I have witnessed the power that joy can have in the lives of children dealing with chronic illnesses,” says Subrahmanian of his two summers as a counselor at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Active in a wide range of public service leadership and political work during his time at Harvard, Subrahmanian says that his Richardson Fellowship will not only have an impact on children of AIDS in South Africa, it will help set him on his career path. “Most importantly, it will give me the chance to interact with some special children, whose inspiration is the greatest career guide one can imagine.”

The Richardson Fellowships are designed to encourage and enhance the pursuit of careers in public service, to emphasize Harvard’s commitment to the value of this service, and to pay tribute to Elliot and Anne Richardson, who as individuals and as a team exemplified the highest ideals of public service.

Elliot Richardson held three successive Cabinet posts during the Nixon administration, as well as an ambassadorship and a Cabinet post in the Ford administration. Anne Richardson joined the national efforts of Reading Is Fundamental during its infancy and served as its chair from 1981 to 1996. Both had long and diverse records of service at Harvard and are the only husband and wife to have served on Harvard’s Board of Overseers.