Tilyn Bell is a 1L Rubin-Presser Fellow interested in juvenile justice. Tilyn graduated in 2016 with a B.A. in Criminology from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating, she interned with Young in Prison, a non-profit in Cape Town, South Africa that facilitates in-prison programs for incarcerated juveniles and helps them adjust during reentry. For the last two years, Tilyn worked at the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office as a Program Coordinator for Youth Aid Panel, a community-based diversion program for first-time juvenile offenders. In that role, she worked directly with juveniles and families as a case manager, trained and oversaw community volunteers, trained Philadelphia police officers, and expunged juveniles’ records upon program completion. Since leaving the DA’s Office to attend Temple Law, she has stayed involved in the program as a community volunteer.
Celia Givens graduated from NYU in 2014 with a B.A. in Political Science and two minors in Middle Eastern Studies and Social & Public Policy from the Wagner School of Public Service. After graduating, Celia was hired as the paralegal for the Legal Aid Society of New York’s DNA Unit, where she worked on criminal cases and strategic litigation involving DNA and forensic evidence, as well as the Society’s Criminal Training Unit, where she helped train new attorneys, paralegals, investigators and social workers. She has presented on topics including reverse-engineering the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s forensic DNA software and the use of visual displays of evidence in the courtroom, and she was the founder/writer of the Legal Aid Society’s DNA Newsletter, a weekly publication used by the criminal defense community to promote genetic privacy and forensic science reform. For the past three years, Celia served as Director of National Public Defense Campaign Graphics for the National Association For Public Defense after designing and implementing the national media campaign for the first Public Defense Day in March 2016. She is interested in the role of media in policy advocacy, and has designed and produced campaigns for policy issues including efforts to register eligible incarcerated voters at Riker’s Island and ending the NYPD’s gang database.
Kat Killian is a 1L Rubin-Presser Fellow interested in multiple social justice issues including decriminalization of addiction and sex work. She believes that addressing these issues from a public health perspective would decrease recidivism and promote a more holistic approach to criminal justice. Kat earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology at the University of Florida and a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Suffolk University in Boston, MA. She then went on to work as a methadone clinician for two and a half years. It was through this position that she developed an interest in criminal defense and public health issues. She served a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana from 2016-2018 as a community health advocate.
Reena Naik hails from Birmingham, Alabama. Growing up abroad for most of her childhood, she was exposed to disparities among minority communities and the effects of state-instituted discrimination. She later went on to study at the University of Pittsburgh with concentrations in Political Science and Global Studies. In Pittsburgh, she worked closely with Nepali-Bhutanese refugees fleeing ethnic persecution. Following graduation, Reena interned at the U.S. Senate in Senator Chris Murphy’s Office (D-CT) through the Hindu American Foundation. She went on to serve as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership in Pittsburgh. As a Coro Fellow, she worked for the McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation where she assisted projects relating to youth empowerment and more generally economic development. Reena has varied experiences working abroad as well. Most recently, she spent time in rural India working with battered women escaping abusive marriages. Reena is passionate about immigration reform and refugee advocacy based on both lived experience as well as previous clinical opportunities. She sees herself as a practicing immigration/asylum attorney in Pennsylvania dedicated to improving the welfare of immigrants and refugees.
Julia Sheppard is originally from Chicago, IL and is interested in juvenile advocacy and criminal justice reform. After graduating from Oberlin College with a double major in law and dance, Julia worked as an ombudsman for residents of long-term care facilities, continuing her previous experience as a mediator. She then worked as a legal assistant at Northwestern Law School’s Bluhm Legal Clinic. While there, she supported several clinics including the Juvenile Criminal Justice Clinic, the Environmental Law Center, and the Center for International Human Rights.