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In Fall 2021, the Tufts University Chaplaincy piloted a new Interfaith Ambassador Program for undergraduate students.  This team of Interfaith Ambassadors works together to understand and engage religious diversity on campus, in their own communities, and in the world.  Ambassadors actively foster interfaith community with curiosity about the lived experiences of people with diverse religious, spiritual, and philosophical identities and create spaces to facilitate learning, dialogue and action related to these kinds of questions: What does it mean to live democratically with religious diversity? How do we bring our own personal values and practices into the work for social justice? What is the role of interfaith communities in becoming an anti-racist campus community?  How do religious and non-religious communities and individuals work together for the common good?  Ambassadors have the opportunity to learn more about their own beliefs; to explore what interfaith engagement means to them; and to deepen their understandings of civic engagement, justice, and peace in a pluralistic world. Ambassadors have the opportunity to participate in leadership development across campus and at conferences throughout the year. 

The Ambassador team is supervised by University Chaplaincy Elyse Nelson Winger and receives guidance and support from the whole Chaplaincy team.  Ambassadors work 6-8 hours per week.  Hours include weekly team meetings as well as scheduled hours for study, program development, and program leadership.  Students join planning teams for key signature events including Pax et Lux and the MLK Day of Community Action and also work alongside staff and faculty in the development of the new religious diversity and civic life program sponsored by Tisch College for Civic Life, the Religion Department, and the University Chaplaincy.   


Fall 2023 Interfaith Ambassadors

Ananya Gita

Ananya Gita

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Class Year: 2025

Major: Political Science, Spanish

Hometown: Mumbai, IN + New York, NY (since 2017)

Interests/Extracurriculars: Animals and nature, kathak, ballet, Tufts SAPAC, Teach in CORES, mango sticky rice, progressive politics

Why are you excited to work with the Interfaith Ambassador team?:I am excited to collaborate with the other ambassadors for meaningful projects and ideas, I am also eager to learn about how we can bridge existing divides between communities using religion and the love and understanding it fosters. I want to help build common ground through interfaith organizing and also host events at Tufts.

Emily Thompson

Emily Thompson

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Class Year: 2024

Major: Political Science, Religion

Hometown: Denton, MD

Interests/Extracurriculars: Journalism, field organizing, Protestant Students Association co-president; playing piano, baking with friends, reading.

Why are you excited to work with the Interfaith Ambassador team?:The Interfaith Community at Tufts has provided me so much space to make connections with other students, build community, learn, and grow. It is a wonderful space to share our passions and experiences while working towards a more just society.

Eva Sheedy --Photo Coming Soon!

Eva Sheedy

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Class Year: 2025

Major: Sociology

Hometown: South Orange, NJ


Why are you excited to work with the Interfaith Ambassador team?: I'm excited to bring together my passions for social justice work and building communities with the chaplaincy team. This semester, I hope to learn from each ambassador's unique perspectives and share stories about our religious backgrounds and values.

Kyle Hammond

Kyle Hammond

Pronouns: he/him/his

Class Year: 2025

Major: Interdisciplinary Studies (Urban Studies, Econ, Entrepreneurship, and Sociology)

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Interests/Extracurriculars: Reading, making music, Tufts Football, asking questions, and exercising, Laidlaw Scholars, RA for the Tufts UEP School

Why are you excited to work with the Interfaith Ambassador team?: Faith inspires people, and to be a part of a team with passionate, willing individuals is something I am excited to experience. The bridges that can be built and love that can be shared is a privilege and being an Interfaith Ambassador will help me grow and community and an understanding of others.

Luna Doherty-Ryoke --Photo Coming Soon!

Luna Doherty-Ryoke

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Class Year: 2023

Major: Anthropology, Interdisciplinary Art

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Interests/Extracurriculars: Cooking, Bob Dylan, cybernetics, singing

Why are you excited to work with the Interfaith Ambassador team?: I am excited to find a community of religious thinkers and practiotioners, to better understand the ways that faith seeps into every facet of ones life. I hope to create a comfortable and approachable space for religious community here at Tufts.

Peri Barest

Peri Barest

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Class Year: 2024

Major: Community Health, Biology

Hometown: Newton, MA

Interests/Extracurriculars: Cooking and baking, exercising, part of the Tufts Daily and MARCH on campus

Why are you excited to work with the Interfaith Ambassador team?:The interfaith community at Tufts has been impactful for me during my time at Tufts so far. I'm looking forward to collaborating with peers, student groups on campus, and neighbors to build community, share meals, and work towards a pluralistic Tufts!

Shahadah Manzer --Photo Coming Soon!

Shahadah Manzer


Class Year: 2026

Major: Computer Science, Quantitative Economics

Hometown: Bedford, MA

Interests/Extracurriculars: MSA Eboard, Tufts WiT, Nature walks, eating at restaurants and cafes

Why are you excited to work with the Interfaith Ambassador team?:Faith and learning about my religion has been a big aspect of my life and is something I'm still working on till this day. Similarly everyone has their own religious, cultural, etc. identities that they hold dearly, so I would love to hear more and be able to share more on my experiences.

Wanci Nana --Photo Coming Soon!

Wanci Nana

Pronouns: he/him/his

Class Year: 2024

Major: Biopsychology

Hometown: Manassas, VA

Interests/Extracurriculars: Meditation, reading, quantum physics, Vice President of the Rho Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., TCU Senator, soccer, Tufts Black Men's Group

Why are you excited to work with the Interfaith Ambassador team?: I am passionate about creating meaningful dialogues and fostering a sense of community among people of all faith backgrounds. My own faith journey has empowered me to contribute positively to my communities, and serving as an Interfaith Ambassador has provided a wonderful avenue for that. Going into my second year as an IFA ambassador, I am thrilled to continue working with a team equally committed to building up our diverse community.