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Douglass Residential College

2022 Senior Speaker- Kimberly Mohabeer DRC’22

The winner of the 2022 Edele Neilson Prize in Speech is Kimberly Mohabeer DRC’22! As the recipient of this honor, Mohabeer will deliver the Student Address at the 101st Spring Convocation on May 14, 2022.

“I am excited to celebrate the culmination of years of hard work with all of my Douglass peers!” said Mohabeer of her upcoming speech. “My peers, our Douglass staff and faculty, our families, and our friends have all worked tirelessly for this moment.”

Mohabeer is a political science and criminal justice major who has long made strides in the Douglass community. She has been involved in the Rutgers University Mock Trial Association as President, the Women's Pre-Law Society as Co-Founder and Vice President, and Pilot Me mentoring as Vice President. Through the Reilly Program at the BOLD Center at Douglass for Advancing Women’s Professional Development, Mohabeer externed at the New York County Supreme Court and Cornerstone Counseling. She also was a research intern at the Eagleton Institute of Politics through the Public Leadership Education Network at Douglass. Additionally, The College connected her with the law office of Barbara Ungar, where she has interned for two years. During her time at Rutgers, she worked at the Middlesex County Bar Association. After being on the Dean's List for several consecutive semesters, Mohabeer will be graduating as a member of the Criminal Justice Honor Society, Alpha Phi Sigma.

Mohabeer attributes much of her success to her advisors and peers at Douglass, who throughout challenges and obstacles, have been a steadfast source of empowerment and guidance.

“I switched from pre-med to pre-law, and that was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made. Yet, it was the care and support I have received from Douglass that helped me make the switch,” said Mohabeer. “My advisors and peers were the ones who eased my worries, supported me, and guided me when I was unsure of how to make the transition. And it didn't stop once I officially declared my majors. Once I made the switch, the incredible Douglass staff and students continued to empower me. I’ve even enjoyed the support of  Douglass alumnae like Vicky Perkins.”

After graduation, Kimberly will begin work at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office in the Special Victims Bureau as a Sex Crimes Unit Paralegal, after which, she plans to attend law school.

“I have a strong interest in human rights, international law, and women's equity, so I am hoping wherever I end up, it includes all of those things,” she said. “ I have always had a passion for advocacy and I cannot imagine doing anything else.”

In her upcoming speech, Mohabeer will speak to the unique college experience of the Class of 2022, a cohort of students who did much of their learning in a hybrid environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I cannot be prouder of the Class of 2022 for getting through all that we did. That is what has inspired my speech the most,” she said. “When the pandemic started, I thought back to Dean Litt’s echo of Adrienne Rich, an esteemed scholar and poet, who in a speech to Douglass women encouraged them to ‘claim their education.’ Despite all the unprecedented circumstances our class has faced, we have somehow still managed to get to this moment. We have claimed our educations, and I know we will all continue to do so whether it be through further schooling or in our careers. I am so in awe of our graduating class and I cannot wait to celebrate this moment with them!”

The 101st Douglass Spring Convocation will take place on May 14, 2022 on Antilles field. Bestselling Author and New York Times contributor Roxane Gay will be the keynote speaker.