SHAPE Students Heightening Actionable Political Engagement

SHAPE logo

The institutions of our democracy and the ideas that underpin them are being challenged across our society. Now more than ever, our world needs people with the skills, habits, and inclinations to strengthen inclusive democracy and contribute to solving the most important problems in their communities together. Shape is an opportunity to step into your role as a civically engaged person and to learn and practice these essential skills. You will be part of a real world ‘think tank’ working with local government and our neighbors to shape policy and grassroots program implementation in our host community on a real problem the community faces. We invite all civically minded, politically curious, and creative incoming students to this truly unique experience, where you will interact with elected officials, neighbors, and Tufts alumni doing related work.

SHAPE was an amazing experience to start my journey at Tufts. I was able to meet an incredible group of people that are now my closest friends. SHAPE also taught me a lot about campus and about civic engagement, that has allowed me to be more involved on campus both professionally and personally.

Bela Silvares, Class of 2027

SHAPE helped me find friends I continue to have today and learn about the communities that host our university. SHAPE allowed me to jump head-first into community service and activism in Medford/Somerville while also helping smooth the transition between home and college.

Isaac Ulloa Antonio, Class of 2027

SHAPE impacted my first year at Tufts by introducing to a variety of students that were as civically passionate as I was. Through camp-like games, rewarding activities, and mealtime discussions, my SHAPE peers quickly became my SHAPE friends. 

Manu Narasimhan, Class of 2027

A Typical Day of SHAPE

What we might do on any given day.

8:00 AM - 8:45 AM Breakfast (Dewick MacPhie Dining Hall)

8:45 AM - 9:30 AM  Voter Education with Equiballot (Dowling Hall)

9:30 AM - 11:00 AM Discussion on Voting with the Center for State Policy Analysis (cSPA) of Tisch College & MASSPIRG  (Dowling Hall)

Evan Horowitz (cSPA) will talk about his work on state policies and how to find more nonpartisan information on the latest policies being voted on at the state level. Sean Simonini & Gent Haviari (MASSPIRG) will be presenting slides on the importance of voting and its relation to other parts of the SHAPE program. There will also be time for students to register to vote if they are eligible and would like to register.

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM Project Time

1:00 PM - 2:15 PM Lunch & On-Campus Student Leadership Event (Dowling Hall)

Ashley from ACTION, Sarah from SHARE, Joel from TCU, leaders who volunteered

Guests/leaders at each table with questions and time for students to learn about each organization

2:30 PM - 3:00 PM Travel on Bus

The bus picks up on the Campus Center's lower level to 212 Congress Ave in Chelsea.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM Community-Based Climate Action with C-Heat and Greenroots (212 Congress Ave, Chelsea, MA)

4:00 PM - 4:30 PM Travel on Bus

4:30 PM - 5:00 PM Ice cream time

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Community Work and Social Justice or Civic Stories (Dowling Hall)

6:00 PM - 7:15 PM Dinner with Tufts Interfaith Center

7:15 PM - 8:15 PM Mental Health, Wellness, and Civic Engagement in College (Dowling Hall)

8:15 PM - 9:20 PM Group Discussion and Activity on Housing (Dowling Hall)

9:20 PM - 10:00 PM Inside Scoop with the Peer Leaders (Dowling Hall)

SHAPE group photo
SHAPE group activity
SHAPE and CAFE activity

2024 Student Coordinators

Naheim Washington

Naheim Washington, 2025

Naheim is a Junior at Tufts University, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Psychology with a minor in Education. Originally from Milford, CT, Naheim is a dedicated student-athlete, having achieved multiple awards and honors. Naheim continues to pursue his passion for athletics as an Athlete/Coach with the New Haven Age Group Track Club. He is also committed to making a positive impact on his community and has been a Youth Development Leader at the Boys & Girls Club in Milford, CT for several years.

Carly Headshot

Carly Rothschild, 2026

Carly is a Sophomore from Bethesda, Maryland, majoring in community health with a minor in Spanish. On campus, she is a member of the Ex-college Board, club water polo, and a Tufts University Social Collective coordinator. In her free time, Carly enjoys live music, traveling, anything outdoors, and spending time with friends and family. She participated in SHAPE as a peer leader last year and is so excited to return as a coordinator to welcome students to the Tufts community!

Program Advisors

pete ciccarone

Peter Ciccarone

Assistant Director, Student Life & Orientation

Peter Ciccarone is an Assistant Director of Student Life for Orientation and First Year Experience at Tufts University. As a student affairs professional, Pete has spent his years in the field working with student leaders to leave their campuses better than they were when they arrived, through innovative programming, and intentional leadership. Pete received his bachelor's degrees in English Literature and Religious Studies at Stonehill College, before going onto study Higher Education, with a concentration in Spirituality, at Boston College. Peter could not be more excited to be a part of the Tufts’ community, as well as be an advisor to the SHAPE Pre-Orientation Program.

Kevin Kraft

Kevin Kraft

Associate Dean of Students

Kevin Kraft is Associate Dean of Students. As a Student Life senior leader, Kevin is responsible for supervising departments and leading programs and initiatives designed to help students develop into engaged, ethical, and community-oriented leaders. From his 15 years’ experience working with students at all points in their personal development journey, Kevin has developed a philosophy of holistic student development and an appreciation for the transformative role that mentorship can have in someone’s life. Kevin has researched college student civic engagement and college student activism. Kevin co-authored a book chapter on the application of free speech to the college environment and has presented at national meetings on related topics. Kevin is thrilled to be advising SHAPE and looking forward to welcoming incoming students!

Contact Us

SHAPE

shape@tufts.edu | 617-627-3158