Please access this spreadsheet for the entire list of NEWL 2021 students. Students are advised to edit any incorrect contact information.
Samantha Bohannon, College of Idaho
Hi, my name is Sami Bohannon. I’m a student at The College of Idaho majoring in Political Economy and History with a specialization in Pre-Law. I am also an Ambassador for the college and a member of Kappa Alpha Theta. I love being outdoors, hiking, swimming, hammocking, etc. I am super excited to meet everyone and have conversations about my favorite thing; politics.
Lindsay Campbell, Boise State
Hello! My name is Lindsay Campbell and I am a student at Boise State University seeking a Political Science major, Criminal Justice minor, and a Human Rights certificate. I have never had the opportunity to attend college, until the age of 38, due to choosing to raise children and build my own successful company. I had a change of life occur in the Summer of 2019 and decided that college was finally in the cards for me that fall. I am now fulfilling a lifelong dream! There truly is no limit to when we stop learning. I live on a farm with horses, chickens, dogs, cows and many more animals. I rehab ill or injured animals, mentor others in business and during challenging times in their lives and enjoy traveling in my free time. Although I consider my life extremely blessed and live my dream life, I seek additional fulfillment on a different level. College has afforded me that opportunity. I graduate in the Spring of 2022 to go onto attend law school. I am a mother, wife, entrepreneur, mentor, animal enthusiast/rescuer, student, friend, engaged community member, and future attorney.
Brighten Critchfield, Boise State
I was born and raised in Southern Idaho and moved to Boise in 2018 to attend Boise State University where I study Political Science with an emphasis in American Government and Public Policy. I work for the Registrar’s office as a student assistant, and I am also a member of the university’s student government body, ASBSU. I enjoy the great outdoors and all of the great recreational activities that go with it such as hiking, camping, and sightseeing. I hope to someday work in the intersection between law and public policy and a lifelong goal of mine is to contribute to creating a more equitable, robust, and accessible education institution in the United States.
Natalia Cruces, Boise State
My name is Natalia Cruces, I use she/her/hers pronouns. At a young age, I immigrated from Mexico to Idaho, I have been living here ever since. I am now a queer woman studying Political Science and Criminal Justice. With my education, I hope to attend law school afterward. My mission is to be able to provide legal representation to marginalized communities disproportionately affected by the legal system. Crime and limited access to essential resources are interlinked, because of this fact, I also want to work to create sources of community connection and material resources within these communities.
Cameron George, Boise State
My name is Cameron George and as of May 2021, I am a recent graduate of Boise State University with a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in Spanish. From the age of 13 years old, I knew I was going to study politics when I “grew up” and someday work in the field trying my best to leave a positive impact on communities I would get the privilege to work with. I am proud to say that I am halfway to reaching that goal now that I’ve graduated and I look forward to starting my career in government by moving back to my home state of Nevada and working directly in the communities that raised me.
Charlotte Hobson, College of Idaho
My name is Charlotte Hobson and I am so excited to be a part of this program. I am native to Idaho. I went to high school in Nampa and now attend the College of Idaho in Caldwell. I am a political economy major, hoping to go to law school at the end of my undergraduate program. Some things that I enjoy doing outside of school include: hiking, playing soccer, and traveling. I love meeting new people and making new connections. I am excited to learn from the people around me and grow as a person and a leader through this process.
Secilia Lopez, University of Idaho
Hello! My name is Secilia Lopez, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a sophomore studying Biology and Medical Sciences with an emphasis in Pre-Med. I am an ASUI Senator at my university whose mission is to represent the interest of all students. I am also a sister of Sigma Lambda Gamma National Soroity Inc. which is a multicultural sorority that aims to empower women. I also have held positions in the Association of Latinos Professional of America, Moviemento Activista Social, and the Multicultural Greek Council. I am an active volunteer with the ASB (alternative service break) and have worked with the Latah Recovery Center. Outside of my academics and organization I am very passionate about politics and activism and love staying informed on what is occurring locally, in the state, and federally. I am excited to be able to participate in such an amazing program!
Shyanne Massie, Boise State
My name is Shyanne, and I am a double major in economics and political science at Boise State University. I was born and raised in Wasilla, Alaska where I grew up playing in the mountains, fishing, and ice climbing glaciers. Community service has always been a large part of my life. For the past seven years I have worked closely with foster children as well as assisting in the fundraising process for a foster care kid camp. My goal is to align with local levels of government to advocate for displaced youth.
Josephine McDonald, College of Southern Idaho
I am Josephine McDonald. I am introvert turned extrovert from the Miss America Scholarship Program and FIRST Robotics. I have won Peoples’ Choice and Community Service Miracle Maker three years in a row. My team and I won third at the FIRST FTC Robotics Worlds Championship and first in the Western US Championship. I am currently a communications major at the College of Southern Idaho and captain of the Forensics Team. I live for community service and devote myself to speech and debate. I was fortunate to win third at interview for the Phi Kappa Delta National tournament and take home a win for my college. I have a wonderful twin brother who roped me into the world of STEM. Since then I have made new teams within my community to expand the opportunities of more young girls pursuing STEM careers. My life has become a great mix of technology, hairspray, and pursuit of knowledge.
Katie McInally, Boise State
I am non-traditional senior at Boise State University in Urban Studies and Community Development. I was recently admitted to the accelerated Master of Public Administration program at BSU. My areas of academic interest include policy, public lands, housing, urban food systems, and transportation. I was born and raised in Boise County, Idaho and moved to Boise in 2006 to attend Boise State University. Prior to re-applying to Boise State in 2019 I spent 10 years working in home healthcare, retail, and banking. In my non-academic life I am an artist who dabbles in several mediums including woodworking, painting, textiles, guitar, singing, creative writing, and fire dancing.
Katarina Teebken, Boise State
Hello! My name is Katarina Teebken and I am a Senior majoring in Political Science here at Boise State University. I am 22 years old and was born and raised in Temecula, CA before moving to Boise to pursue my bachelors degree. I have an amazing one year old daughter who keeps me motivated each day and she has given me even more reason to continue my education and continue working towards achieving better representation of women in political positions. My goal in life is to work for the government so that I can make a difference and help the people in my community. I fell in love with Idaho because of all that it has to offer and I thrive when I am able to get outside and enjoy nature.
Yasmine Tovar, University of Idaho
Hi, my name is Yasmine Tovar. I am majoring in International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish. I am a sophomore attending the University of Idaho. I am currently a sister of Kappa Delta Chi, the Director of Diversity for Associated Students of the University of Idaho, and lastly, I am currently a member of two clubs Kiva and Movimiento Activista Social. Within all my positions I strive to advocate for the minorities at our campus! I am a Latinx, first-generation woman and I am looking to represent all those who are minorities in all aspects of my work.
Kimberley VanMaren, Boise State
I am a Junior at Boise State University, obtaining my Bachelors degree in Political Science with an emphasis in American Government and Public Policy. In addition, I wanted to challenge myself further so I am also double minoring in Criminal Justice and Mathematics while staying in the Honors College. I have been able to have some experience at the Idaho Capitol as an intern for a House Representative, which has furthered my understanding of local politics. Politics and its systems are very interesting to me, and I hope to continue to be involved after I graduate from BSU.
Aryana Woodyard, Boise State
Hi there! My name is Ary (she/her) and I am entering my senior year at Boise State. I am studying Political Science and Narrative Arts, and after college, I plan on attending law school. I am also really passionate about storytelling and I hope I can continue to write stories/plays/films too. When I am not studying, I enjoy hiking, soaking in hot springs, and visiting weird roadside attractions (Idaho definitely has a few, I mean a potato museum and a bed and breakfast shaped like a dog!?) I am really excited to have a semi-normal summer again *fingers crossed*. I can’t wait to meet everyone!
Joselynn Ali, Millikin University
Jessica Amyette, University of Illinois at Chicago
I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2020 with a major in Political Science. Throughout my time at UIC, I was also a member of the swim team, SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee), and captain my senior year. After graduation, I started working full time at AT&T while also preparing for the LSAT and applying to law schools. I have decided to attend UIC Law School this coming fall. I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to participate in this program and to learn leadership skills from some of our nations very best.
Jessica Angel, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jessica Angel is from Chicago, Illinois, and is a graduating senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She majored in Political Science & Geographic Information Systems and minored in Business Administration. Studying abroad in Vienna gave her the chance to interact with foreign officials from the U.S. Mission to International Organizations, the OSCE, and the United Nations. This experience enriched her interest in exploring the intersection between human rights and security.
Prior to interning with the State Department, Jessica interned for the Cook County State’s Attorney and managed a team of 12 interns at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs tasked with ensuring that the VA’s podcast was accessible to those with hearing impairments. During her academic career, she has represented the University of Illinois at Amnesty International conferences and has been a competing delegate at Model United Nations competitions around the country. She is currently leading a nonprofit she founded called Summit United whose mission is to provide mentorship to students applying to college from underserved communities. Jessica hopes to dedicate a career to public service by becoming a government attorney and practicing national security law. Upon graduation, she will become a Master’s in Public Policy Candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Rachel Aranyi, Indiana University
Natalia Borowska, Northeastern Illinois University
Natalia Borowka is a Spring 2021 graduate of Northeastern Illinois University, where she double-majored in Justice Studies and Political Science. She has been very involved on campus at her undergraduate university, serving in organizations such as Student Government Association, Alternative Spring Break, Model Illinois Government, Pre-Law Society, and more.
In Summer 2020, she had the privilege of interning at the district office of United States Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi. She will be attending the University of Wisconsin—Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs this fall, working towards a Master in Public Affairs degree. Natalia hopes to eventually go to law school and work in the public administration and law sectors. She enjoys spending her free time hiking, visiting new places, and catching up on the news.
Elizabeth Callan, Governors State University
Elizabeth Callan is a GSU graduate with a degree in Political Science, and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. Her ultimate goal is to change intersectional feminism for the better, and hopes to accomplish this by working with nonprofit groups. When she’s not working to change the world, she can be found playing with her three dogs or crafting.
Brenda Cruz, Northeastern Illinois University
Shelby Davin, Western Illinois University
I am a recent graduate from Western Illinois University where I majored in English with minors in both Political Science and Spanish. I am currently residing in Glendale, Az awaiting the start of my MA program at Arizona State University in Social Justice and Human Rights Studies.
Jasmine Hawkins, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Jasmine Hawkins is from Naperville, Illinois. Jasmine is currently a senior graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in May of 2021 where she majored in Political Science with a concentration in Law and Power. Additionally, Jasmine has supplemented her Political Science degree with courses in Gender and Women’s studies in which she hopes to pursue a career in the legal profession advocating for women’s rights. During her time at the University of Illinois she has been involved in Student Government, Student Advocacy Coalition and Girl Up UIUC which serve as incredible organizations to lobby for and to educate the campus community on issues that relate to the student body. Following graduation, Jasmine plans to continue working for the non-profit organization she directs called Keep Chicago Livable while applying to law school to aid her goal of advocating for marginalized communities in ensuring that their voices are heard.
Taylor Holmes, University of Illinois
Taylor Holmes is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) having studied political science and public policy. After previously serving as Student Body President at UIC, Taylor served as President of the Chicago Chapter of the Student Advocacy Coalition. Taylor also worked on the policy team for former Kansas City Mayor Sly James, for the education team at the Kauffman Foundation, as a finance assistant on a Secretary of State campaign in Missouri, and as a field organizer for two congressional races in Kansas. She worked as a Student Fellow in the University of Illinois System Office of Governmental Relations for two years. She has just started a job in Washington, D.C. as a policy specialist.
Sydney Jones, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Born and raised on the West Side of Chicago, Sydney Jones is a recent UIUC graduate with a BA in Sociology. She now lives in Arlington, Texas working as a Data Quality Associate for Aunt Bertha, A Public Benefit Corporation. Passionate about creating a new queer reality outside of colonial paradigms, Sydney will start her MSW at the University of Chicago in the Fall.
Skylar Latham, Lewis University
Skylar Latham is a Political Science major with two minors: Philosophy and Literature and Language. Graduating from Lewis University in May of 2021, she will be attending the Bush School of Government and Public Service to obtain a Master’s in Public Service and Administration starting this August. With her degree, she hopes to pursue a career in public policy, specifically policy that affects at-risk youth. In her free time, she enjoys reading, being with friends/family, and loves to travel.
Jasmyne Lee, Illinois State University
Hello everyone! My name is Jasmyne Lee, and I’m so pleased to be a part of NEW Leadership. I’m from Chicago, currently pursuing my Masters in both Public Administration and Business Administration. I plan on pursuing my PhD next year in Urban Planning and Policy, and my goal is becoming a leader in Chicago and focusing my efforts on politics dealing with environmental injustice.
Annie Lemm, Governors State University
Alieah Moore, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
I am a senior majoring in kinesiology with a concentration in occupational therapy. I am from the south side of Chicago. I will be a first-generation graduate. I am a part of the Army National Guard and I am currently on state active duty helping assist with COVID vaccinations in Chicago. Outside of school and the Army, I am a registered behavior technician working with children with autism. I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, incorporated as the financial secretary. I enjoy bowling, traveling, and cooking. I plan on becoming an occupational therapist working with children with disabilities.
Mary O’Brien, Illinois State University
Folashade Olumola, University of Illinois Urbana
Marina Pascual, University of Illinois at Chicago
Hi everyone! My name is Marina Pascual (she/her/hers). I am a senior at UIC studying Public Policy, on the Pre-Law track. I am very interested in housing and criminal justice issues and policy. I’m from Aurora, Illinois. I have worked as an intern at both legal aid clinic and at the district office of a Congressman. In the future, I hope to attend law school. Outside of school, I enjoy hiking and playing tennis. I am looking forward to meeting everyone this summer!
Skylar Rolle, University of Illinois Urbana
Katherine Scotty, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Katherine graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020 with a BA in Political Science and a Certificate in Business. While in college, she worked on Senator Tammy Baldwin’s 2018 re-election campaign and with the Wisconsin Sierra Club, and frequently volunteered with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
Katherine is originally from La Grange, IL, and has returned to the Chicagoland area to work after graduation. She now works as the Program Director for Illinois Women’s Institute (IWIL) Training Academy, an organization that trains women from around the state of Illinois to run for public office. In her free time, Katherine loves exploring new, and particularly outdoor, places, listening to live music and cheering on the Badgers.
Amber Shupe, Western Illinois University
Aaliyah Tripp, Saint Xavier University
Naazneen Vhora, University of Illinois at Chicago
Madison Bartlett, University of Iowa
Madison Bartlett (she/they) is a third year student at the University of Iowa pursuing her BFA in Intermedia. Her passion for art and design began at a young age, when she was introduced to art classes geared towards economically disadvantaged children in her neighborhood. Growing up poor tends to limit access to the arts and quality education generally. Programs geared towards bridging these gaps are necessary to level the playing field, in her eyes. Her experience with these programs inspired her love for community arts programs and firm belief that art is by and for everyone. This passion for working with others in and out of the arts sphere is also informed by her role as a Resident Assistant. Synthesizing what she learns in this role with her personal experience and academic pursuits has built her interpersonal and artistic skills, forming her greatest strengths: creative problem solving, interpersonal mediation, and effective communication. In the long term, she hopes to utilize these skills as an art professor or teacher. She is currently working as a Teacher’s Aide for AmeriCorps to gain experience necessary for these positions. Outside of work and school, Madison enjoys being hiking, reading, and of course, working with others to make art. You can learn more about her and her work on her LinkedIn profile.
Maggie Bashore, University of Iowa
Maggie Bashore is a student, activist, and artist from Underwood, Iowa. As a third-year student at the University of Iowa, she studies political science, journalism and mass communications, and social justice. Bashore serves as the social media coordinator for the Committee to Elect Justyn Lewis for Des Moines City Council and Ignite UI- a local chapter of a national movement striving for gender equality in government representation. Previously, she served as the president of University Democrats, the engagement coordinator of Ignite UI, the recruitment and retention director of Hawkeyes for Warren, and a tutor in American foreign policy. Outside of school, Bashore works as a painter for the University of Iowa Theatre Department and a social media producer for the University of Iowa Division of Student Life. In the future, she hopes to continue her advocacy for historically marginalized communities in rural areas and research the urban-rural political divide.
Sarah Berkowitz, University of Iowa
Sarah Berkowitz is a Spring 2021 graduate from the University of Iowa, earning a BA in Social Justice and a minor in Rhetoric and Persuasion. Along with General Honors, graduating with honors in the major, she wrote her senior thesis paper on how higher education institutions and specifically members of the Big Ten have responded to the coronavirus pandemic. Using the University of Iowa as a case study provided insight into why institutions behave in the ways that they do, and why clusters of institutions often exhibit patterns in their behavior.
Sarah is passionate about creating a more equitable world for everyone and believes that great change starts with attacking the root of the problem, which often stems from larger institutional organizations and structures. In the future, she plans on attending graduate school with a goal to have a career around the law, public policy, and human rights. In her free time, Sarah loves reading and writing and was even published in The Illinois State Bar Association for co-authoring an article called “Recognizing and respecting the limitations of emergency medications.” When she’s not reading or writing, Sarah can be found playing with her dog and doing yoga.
Yajaira Bolanos, University of Iowa
Yajaira Bolanos is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa with a BA in Health and Human Physiology with a concentration in Health Promotion. She will continue her education at Iowa to pursue her Master in Public Health. She currently lives in Iowa City with her younger sister Tiffany but was born and raised in Des Moines, IA with her two younger sisters Tiffany and Genevieve. Yajaira’s parents immigrated from El Salvador in the late 1990s. Growing up Yajaira has always had a passion for healthcare, especially for the wellbeing of others. She values family and acknowledges the importance of not just taking care of others but of ourselves as well. Since 2016 she has experience working as a CNA in different clinical settings directly assisting patients and their families. As a health promotion professional, Yajaira values providing reliable adequate services that are inclusive to keep communities healthy and the importance of building relationships with patients and their families. Her vision is to promote and carry healthy communities by initiative, integrity, and cultural competence, and to challenge and accomplish social, economic, and cultural goals as a public health demand. By reaching this vision, Yajaira is able to create meaningful relationships with various populations. Her interest in public health and nursing has guided her to achieve her goal of working directly with diverse communities and underrepresented populations. In her spare time, Yajaira enjoys reading, listening to music, spending time with her family, going to church, and taking spontaneous trips.
Hannah Capps, Morningside College
Hannah Capps, is a senior majoring in Political Science from Morningside University in Sioux City, Iowa. Hannah is a leader on campus, actively participating in the Morningside Civic Union, Morningside Student Government, and the Colonel Bud Day Center for Civic Engagement as a Student Research Fellow. She was integral in coordinating events such as the Poverty Simulation, Morningside Stand Against Sex Trafficking, voter registration, and voter engagement campaigns. Hannah’s passion for legal studies and social justice has guided her program of study, which she has intentionally crafted so as to prepare her for a career as an attorney, where she can continue to advocate for social justice and change in her community.
Jennifer Carrick, Northeast Iowa Community College
My name is Jenna Carrick. I am an active philanthropist and currently volunteer in 3 different organizations. I was able to help our local Phi Theta Kappa chapter by serving as an officer. As the President of the Lifting Students Higher Organization at my current school, I have been able to assist students in need, as well as, build a board of students and assist in their educational growth. I am in pursuit of my bachelors degree, majoring in psychology and neuroscience. I am in the process of founding a non-profit organization for families affected by traumatic brain injuries. My driving force is my family. As a mother and wife, I feel I have great purpose. My mindset allows me to help others with theirs.
Samantha Cary, University of Iowa
Hi there. My name is Samantha Cary and I am going into my Junior year at the University of Iowa. At Iowa I am a member of the NCAA women’s soccer team and on the teams leadership council. I am also an executive in our school Student Athlete Advisory Committee. I have worked with Iowa Sports Psych as well as University Counseling Services to provide opportunities for students to be more informed about mental health concerns. I am also a lifetime member of Girl Scouts and a soccer referee.
Abigail Crow, University of Iowa
Abby Crow is a rising Junior at the University of Iowa pursuing a B.S. in Human Physiology on a Pre-Physician Assistant track with a Minor in Biology and a Certificate in Leadership. A native of Tiffin, Iowa, Abby is the oldest of three siblings and has always been someone who loves helping and uplifting others. Abby graduated from Clear Creek Amana High School in 2019 as Class Valedictorian, and enjoyed being involved in activities including Student Council, National Honor Society, and the CCA softball team. During her first year at the University of Iowa, Abby joined Iowa’s Undergraduate Student Government, serving as a Senator and later Co-Chair of the Internal Affairs Committee, and also volunteered at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics where she earned a “Making a Difference” award. Whether it was taking a classmate’s suggestion in Rhetoric class to the USG Senate floor or comforting patients after they came out of surgery, Abby was filled with so much joy knowing the work she put in made those around her happy. Abby was a Resident Assistant in Slater Residence Hall for the 2020-2021 year and had the honor of being selected for the President’s Leadership Class in the Fall 2020 semester. She also works as a Nursing Assistant at the UIHC and is a member of the Pre-Physician Assistant Club, which has affirmed her dream of working in the healthcare field. Abby is a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority and has loved the sisterhood and “be the first” motto in ADPi. Abby is a diligent student, being a member of the UI Honors Program and working hard to maintain a 4.03 GPA and position on the Dean’s List. In May 2021, Abby was appointed to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, being only the 13th student in state history to have received this honor. Abby has a lot of experience and passion for student advocacy and takes great pride in being a representative voice for Iowa residents. In Abby’s free time, she loves being with friends and family, attending Hawkeye sporting events, driving while listening to music, and traveling (she has been to 32 states and 5 countries). In the future, Abby hopes to find a balance between her work and play and make the most of every life experience.
Heather Fleck, Coe College
My name is Heather Fleck and I’m a senior at Coe College double majoring in psychology and social and criminal justice. Upon graduation in May of 2022, I plan to attend nursing school to eventually go on to further education in nursing to attain a doctorate as a nurse practitioner. Currently I’m an Assistant Area Coordinator for residence life at Coe as well as the editor in chief for the colleges newspaper. When I’m not studying or working on the newspaper, I enjoy reading, photography, and spending time outdoors.
Marissa Good, University of Iowa
Marissa Good is a rising junior at the University of Iowa majoring in Political Science, Sociology, and Ethics & Public Policy with a certificate in Social Science Analytics. Marissa is passionate about social justice issues and addressing inequalities. She currently serves as president and co-founder of the student organization IGNITE UI, a group that aims to build the skills of politically involved women and address gendered inequalities in politics. Additionally, she works as a research fellow at the Iowa Policy and Opinion Lab at the University of Iowa where she analyzes Iowa public opinion on race and crime policy. Marissa plans to utilize her knowledge and experiences to conduct social justice related research within her career as a policy analyst.
Gisselle Herrera, University of Northern Iowa
Gisselle Herrera is a Guatemalan/Central American – American from Sioux City, Iowa and currently a student at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). She will be graduating in May 2022 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Social Work. Throughout her years at UNI, she has been involved in UNIdos, Black Student Union, Ethnic Student Promoters, Northern Iowa Student Government, The Racial and Ethnic Coalition and UNI Thrive Mentoring Program. In her past time she enjoys listening to podcasts, experimenting with makeup, fashion, playing basketball, and socializing with friends. After graduation, Gisselle plans to move out of state and work for a year, then pursue her Master’s degree.
Lilly Hester, University of Iowa
Lillian “Lily” Hester is from Olathe, Kansas (a suburb of Kansas City) and uses the pronouns She/Her/Hers. Lily is half Black and half white and is a part of the queer community. She is a third year at the University of Iowa, majoring in Anthropology and double minoring in African American studies and Spanish and pursuing a Museum Studies certificate. While attending the University of Iowa, Lily has been heavily involved on campus. She is a Student Lead at Hillcrest dining hall, a Center Programming Assistant at The African American Cultural Center and was a Project Co-Lead for the 2021 Women’s Summit. She also is involved with many student organizations, including Black Student Union, The Multi-Cultural Student Association, Iowa Student Action and involved with Multi-cultural and International Student Support (MISSE). Lily will always show up and show out for everyone in her communities because community care is something that she cares deeply about. Lily grew up in a white suburb. Holding many identities in a place where she was one of the few PoC pushed her in the direction of politics and attempting to be unapologetically herself, even if that meant pushing herself out of her comfort zone. She was set on majoring in politics and becoming a politician that way, but realized that going down that path would not give her the understanding of culture and people that she wanted. With all that she is involved in, she hopes to either work in the museum in Iowa City or become involved in Grassroots politics. Her end goal in life is to bring people together so that every person feels safe, loved and heard in their community. Lily has an array of interests, including photography (Photo published in the 2020 Lit Mag at the University of Iowa), doing nail art, taking care of her hair, trying new makeup looks, painting, poetry, politics and being a fashion icon. She uses these interests to spark joy and her creativity to express herself. She loves watching anime, watching awful dramas on Freeform, reading Webtoons and hanging out with the people that she cares about. Lily also practices her public speaking whenever she can because she is still practicing utilizing her voice. She may be soft-spoken, but when she walks into any room, she makes herself seen and heard.
Erin Loken, University of Iowa
Erin Loken is an honors student at the University of Iowa, studying biology with a concentration in genetics and biotechnology; additionally, she is pursuing a certificate of sustainability. Originally from Illinois, she is grateful for all of the opportunities she has found since moving to Iowa and is a proud Midwesterner. During her freshman year, she joined the Smolikove lab as an undergraduate researcher which affirmed her love for genetics. While being a scientist has been a lifelong goal of hers, it was the complexity of academic research that ignited her sincere passion for ensuring that science is accessible and meaningful. At this intersection of science and advocacy are many of her professional interests including environmentalism, bioethics, and public access to healthcare and education. She has found avenues to explore those interests through volunteering with hospitals and teaching science to all types of community audiences in both Iowa city and her hometown. One of the experiences that she treasures most is her virtual work as a crisis counselor during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being able to provide relief to strangers during moments of crisis, and witnessing the variety of issues facing Americans has been one of the primary motives for her leadership. It is important to Erin that no one gets left behind. In fact, she currently manages a food pantry at her university and works as a camp counselor for children with disabilities at a special recreation facility. She is honored to have these unique opportunities to interact with her community and is excited to learn how she can lead more effectively through the NEW program. In the meantime, you can find Erin at the local flea market, in a tent, or relaxing in front of a film screen.
Prakruti Pancholi, University of Iowa
Mia Qu, University of Iowa
What is it like to combine the job of a lawyer and an accountant? I am about to find out. I graduated from the University of Iowa in 2021 with majors in Economics, Marketing, and Linguistics holding the highest GPA in my College of Business graduating class. My plan for the summer following my senior year involves horse riding and doing taxes—I am visiting friends who own a small ranch in South Dakota while completing an online certificate program in professional accounting offered by the University of Washington. A little bit of the Midwest, a little bit of the East Coast. Perfect. Why the University of Washington, you might ask. My plan for this fall, perhaps predictably, involves more studying. I will be enrolled in the JD program at the University of Washington, inching my way towards a lawyer’s outfit. The field of international law has a natural draw because of my background—growing up in Asia and coming to the U.S. alone at the age of 16—but I have a more specific interest in international taxation. Yes, I will hopefully become a lawyer who can uncover magic in accounting that involves a different currency. Sounds enjoyable? I hope so. As an undergrad, I was the Chair of the International Student Advisory Board and a member of the President’s Charter Committee on Diversity, International Program Strategic Planning Committee, and Honors Diversity Advisory Board. I assisted in facilitating the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship Program, welcoming more than 20 young business entrepreneurs from the continent of Africa to campus. The world is only going to become more connected and societies more diverse. It’s thrilling yet unnerving to play a part in it. Thrilling for the possibilities, unnerving because of the possibilities. I hope to connect with you, and many more others, who see what could be done, know what will be done, and go for what should be done. By the way, I am a traveler, and my goal is to visit all fifty states. Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, California, Nevada, North Carolina, Virginia, and New York are under the belt, Washington, Colorado, and Alabama are about to happen. Maybe I will meet you where you are?
Julie Sands, University of Iowa
Julie is a recent graduate from the University of Iowa’s Master of Social Work program. She is excitedly awaiting the arrival of her LMSW license. She currently offers counseling via the Disaster Distress Helpline. Empowering others to help them feel more success is a joy in her life. This is done in part by actively listening to others and seeking to understand and value them. This empowerment has come in various forms over the years, as a counselor, a piano teacher, a water aerobics instructor, a university sociology teaching assistant, a resident assistant, and as a family member and friend. Julie looks forward to continuing to empower others and herself. Julie loves being outside—hiking, swimming, and exploring parks. She enjoys traveling the world with the help of the screen on her stationary bike. Dancing around the house and singing along to her favorite songs is also a fun pastime. Besides those activities, Julie enjoys reading, learning, writing, researching, and evaluating—she is eager to learn.
Olivia Williams, University of Iowa
Olivia Williams is a recent graduate of the University of Iowa with a major in Journalism and Mass Communication and a minor in Theatre Arts. She is a writer, a mentor for the School of Journalism, a podcaster, a lover of making social media content, a social justice advocate and an advocate for more recognition of women’s issues and mental health awareness. Throughout her college career, she has made it her mission to find ways to create content that challenges perspectives on social issues. In the future, she hopes to use her platform to create more in-depth conversation around trending issues going on in the media and the world. Her passions lay in using her writing and communication skills to make the world a better and more equitable place. When she isn’t working on media and content creation, she can be found practicing stand-up comedy and engaging in arts in culture around her neighborhood.
Madison Brydie, Xavier University Of Louisiana
Hello my name is Madison Brydie I am a mass communications major at the Xavier University of Louisiana with a minor in political science. I grew up in the metro Detroit area with 3 sisters and my mom and dad, Carmen and Reginald Brydie. I have always been a very curious and passionate young girl who has exposed me to different kinds of people and places since I was a toddler. My passion for life has been directed into many different extracurricular activities and subjects Government, History, and community were some of the things that I found myself most passionate for. This passion fuels my path in which I work to become an attorney at law to service underprivileged communities. One day I wish to own my own law firm. I am an active member on campus and in my community organizing and participating in volunteer and on campus activities. I am extremely excited to be a part of this program and look forward to meeting all the amazing leaders of my generation.
Tatum Comeaux, Louisiana State University
Hi everyone! My name is Tatum Comeaux and I go to Louisiana State University. I am a Political Communications Major with minors in Leadership Development, English, and Political Science. I intend to go to law school to become a family lawyer and work on adapting and changing the Adoption and Foster Care System in our state and country. Having grown up in Louisiana, I have first-hand seen how women in leadership positions are silenced or isolated from gaining a spot at the table. I want to be a tangible part in the women’s leadership movement fighting this narrative. I am so excited to meet you all and learn how you plan to use your femininity and the power in it to change the world!
Zuwena Easterling, University of Louisiana-Monroe
Zuwena is a native of Lafayette, LA who recently graduated summa cum laude from the University of Louisiana-Monroe with her Master of Arts in Criminal Justice. Additionally, she served as a member of the ULM Women’s Symposium Empower Board for this year’s conference and held the title of Miss UL-Monroe Collegiate America 2020. During her undergraduate studies at Louisiana State University, she was an active member of several organizations including the Minority Women’s Movement where she served as a public relations officer, the Tiger Prison Project, the NAACP, the pre-law chapter of the National Black Law Students Association where she served as secretary, and she was a member of the planning committee for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Week Celebration. One of her greatest accomplishments is having the opportunity to study abroad for a semester at the University of the Virgin Islands where she maintained high academic standards and served the local community through mentorship and environmental sustainability. Zuwena currently holds the title of Miss Louisiana Collegiate USA 2021 and will be competing for the national title in July. Her platform, EmpowHER: Helping Everyone Rise, encourages girls and women to not only be their best selves through scholarship, service and pageantry, but also advocates strongly for civic education and engagement. Zuwena hopes to one day use the skills that she has learned as a Sociology, African-American studies, and Criminal Justice major to promote social justice and advocate for the voiceless by working for a government agency.
Charlotte Ehlers, Tulane University
My name is Charlotte Ehlers, a rising senior at Tulane University majoring in International Relations, Marketing, and German. On campus, I work as a service-learning assistant, where I help students and professors coordinate with nonprofit organizations within New Orleans, matching what the students learn in class with the missions of the organizations. I also play for Tulane’s Women Rugby Club, where I was the Backs Captian and Equipment Manager.
This past year, I spent studying abroad at the University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria, where I took part in an intensive German language course (raising my fluency to C1, or almost native) and classes in German Literature. I also balanced two online internships, one with the Borgen Project, an advocacy group dedicated to eradicating world poverty by pressing Congress to divert more funding towards poverty-reduction initiatives abroad, and one with the Young African Leaders Initiative, a State Department-run organization focused on promoting upcoming entrepreneurs in Africa improve their home countries. For both organizations, I researched and wrote papers focusing on topics ranging from poverty to youth development.
In the future, I hope to work as a Foreign Service Officer, where I can put my love of learning about different cultures to use, helping all people I meet.
Calseion Freeman, Tulane University
My name is Calseion ( Kel-see-awn) or you can call me “Calse”. I am 19 years old and my birthday is August 23! I am from New Orleans, Louisiana and I am upcoming Junior at Tulane University. My major is political science, and I minor in psychology! I enjoy discussing politics and understanding different views.
Jessica Magee, Northshore Technical Community College
I am Jessica Nicole Magee a native of Franklinton, Louisiana but now a transplant resident of Alexandria, Louisiana. I am the mother of an eight month old baby girl, and a recent graduate of Northshore Technical Community College where I received my Associate’s Degree in General Studies with a concentration in Business. At this time I am currently pursuing my notary license and real estate license. I am honored to have the good fortune to work from home for Amerisource Bergen. As a Remote Patient Assistance Specialist I assist applicants with their payment assistance applications for their specified medication. It is a rewarding experience that I have had the pleasure of working for the last six months. My future aspirations are to complete my bachelors degree in Business and to eventually run for a political office in which I can serve my new community.
Lauren Mearidy, Dillard University
I am Lauren M. Mearidy, now a graduating senior at Dillard University studying psychology! Hailing from Kentwood, LA, I aspire to be apart of the driving force toward a more progressive South starting right here in Louisiana. I plan to attend law school as well as obtain my Masters of Public Administration and organize, when needed, in the meantime.
As a long standing NAACP member and current chapter President, I have discovered my purpose and the necessity of being an advocate and change maker for those that have been perpetually marginalized.
Toinette Reeves, Delgado CC
My name is Toinette Reeves. I graduated from Delgado Community College Technical program in Culinary Management on May 22, 2021. I am currently attending Delgado Culinary/ Pastry Arts program. I am an inductee of the National Society of Leadership and Success. I want to start a non profit organization to help young women in my community.
Zihui (Helena) Wang, Tulane University
Hi! My name is Helena and I’m an international student from Beijing, China. I’m a rising junior at Tulane University. I currently major in Theatre, Communication with a minor in Tulane’s School of Liberal Arts Business program. Aside from wanting to establish a career in stage acting, I also aspire to become a more aware and responsible global citizen actively making changes both in my home country and in this endearing city of New Orleans that I fall in love with more and more each day. I love cooking, dancing, and meeting new people and I’m so beyond excited to hop onboard with the NEW Leadership team!
Na’kia Ware, Dillard University
Amanda Brown, University of Maine at Augusta
I am a senior at the University of Maine at Augusta pursuing a B.S. Degree in Secondary Education-English. I am a student representative on UMA’s President’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and a Co-President of the Student DEI Action Club at UMA. I also tutor writing and math at the University. Currently I am preparing for a fall Internship and a final semester of student teaching. I am looking forward to being in the classroom in the fall and take my DEI work with me to work towards inclusion and equitable classroom experiences for all my students.
Rachel Bruns, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine, Maine School of Law.
I have just graduated from Saint Joseph’s College of Maine with my Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and minors in Social Justice as well as Leadership and Community Engagement. At Saint Joseph’s, I was the president of the EcoReps Club on campus for two years, and a member of the Community and Sustainably Engaged Scholars. Through those, I worked with teams of students and staff to progress towards sustainable and environmentally conscience goals for the community. For this summer, I am working at Saint Joseph’s Center for Sustainable Communities continuing that work. In the fall, I am very excited to be attending the University of Maine School of Law.
Hana Davis, University of Maine Orono
I am a recent graduate from UMaine Orono with a double degree in Business Marketing and Communications. I am now currently pursuing my MBA at UMaine and will complete my degree next spring. I am a student athlete and am the Captain for the UMaine Field Hockey Team. Due to covid I am fortunate enough to receive an extra year of eligibility and will return to Orono next fall for my final year. I am 21 years old and from Tsawwassen British Columbia Canada, which is a small beach town 40 minutes outside downtown Vancouver. At UMaine I am very involved with student athlete groups. I am the President for the UMaine Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which is the athlete run organization which provides a voice for student athletes between the conference and NCAA. I am also the UMaine representative for the America East Student Athlete of Color Leadership group that focuses on providing equality and racial justice to student athletes of color and each AE school’s surrounding community. I hope with my degrees and involvement with these organizations to continue pursing social injustices in my future workplace and be an advocate for women in sports.
Teresa Gallanti, University of Maine at Machias
My name is Teresa Gallanti. I recently graduated from UMM with a B.A. in psychology and community studies with a minor in counseling and substance use rehabilitation as well as a mental health rehabilitation technician/community certificate. During my time at UMM I participated in many clubs and organizations; The 100% Society ; P.E.A.C.H.; Student Senate; and the fraternity Omicron Delta Pi. My first internship was with a local company (MAS) as a Case Manager for one summer, the second and third internships were within the Student Life office here on campus. I applied and selected to participate in UMaines 2021 Symposium with my senior project. This was research on how UMM can help students combat period poverty by providing free access to menstruations products in all bathrooms on campus. I worked at the Art Gallery on campus for two summers, and two summers as an Orientation Leader. As for tutoring, I worked 7 semesters for Dr. Lois-Ann Kuntz in the psychology department, 2 semesters for Dr. Lori Scheiders also in the psychology department, and 2 semesters within the Supplemental Instruction (SI) program, one for Algebra and one for Intro to Psychology. After graduation I would like to continue on to graduate school studying higher education. I would like to get a job on a college campus and work within Student Life to experience a variety of areas such as residential living, student activities and administration. I have found, through my experiences here at UMM, that I have a passion for assisting young adults in their transition from dependent living to independent living.
Hannah Gorham, University of Southern Maine
I am graduate of the University of Southern Maine class of 2021. I graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology with minors in Psychology and Honors. I am passionate about human rights issues and specifically how student athletes are affected. I served on the Student Athlete Diversity Equity and Inclusion committee at the University of Southern Maine as well as on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Over this past year I was a part of the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program where I conducted an independent research study along side my faculty advisor.
Damaris MacGregor, University of Maine at Farmington
I am currently a senior at the University of Maine at Farmington and I am perusing a B.A in Political Science with a minor in International and Global Studies (IGS). I have been in both a executive board position as Officer of Financial Affairs and as a regular member in student senate. Along with that I also was on executive board and the treasurer for Multi Cultural Club. I started school at the University of Maine at Machias and realized it was not for me so I transferred to UMF and that leads me to where I am now. I am interested in doing absolutely anything I can to advocate for people. I focused in more on my study of human trafficking in the last few years but I am also extremely passionate about racial injustice. I look forward to this program and diving even further into what I am most passionate about.
Meagan McKeon, University of Maine College of Engineering
I graduated in Spring of 2020 from the University of Maine’s College of Engineering with a BS in Civil and Environmental Engineering. During my time at the University of Maine I was involved in multiple groups including Engineers Without Borders, Saha Global, ASCE, and Chi Epsilon. I focused much of my energy on the UMaine’s Engineers Without Borders chapter. I participated in multiple teams within the UMaine chapter, first serving on our fundraising team, then travel team, and finally serving the group as the President. Currently, I am a project designer at a small Pennsylvania Land Development firm where I continue to try and make a positive impact on my community.
Melissa Meserve, University of Southern Maine
I am a student at the University of Southern Maine in the Adult and Higher Education Masters of Science program. I am focusing on my graduate studies to find a way to help, support, and encourage other stay-at-home parents to pursue higher education and a career that fulfills their passions. I developed a passion for adult learners through my undergraduate program at the University of Maine at Augusta, and I was one of two student commencement speakers for the 2021 virtual commencement ceremony in May. My studies at UMA was focused on Education and Leadership. I have been a peer writing tutor in UMA’s VAWLT program for over three years, an active volunteer in my community, and held leadership positions in community and within my church. I love working with other adult learners and helping them realize their dreams through both formal and informal education.
Emily Mott, University of Maine School of Law
I am a second-year student at Maine Law and will be graduating with my J.D. in 2023. I graduated from the University of New England in 2020 with a B.A. in Psychology, and minors in Women & Gender Studies, Political Science, and Mental Health Rehabilitation. This summer I am working to support survivors of domestic violence in protection orders, divorces, and parental rights actions at a local domestic violence resource agency. After graduating from Maine Law, I hope to continue my work in Family Law, specifically focusing on the role domestic violence can play in these issues. I am passionate about equality and equity for all, which for me, includes creating a resource in Maine that increases the accessibility of low-cost/free attorneys to litigants in Family Law. I understand that the law is built in a way that a decision as “small” as denying a protection order could change a person’s life forever. This is why ultimately, I aspire to become a Judge in Maine.
Clara Perka, University of Southern Maine
I am a graduate student studying leadership at the University of Southern Maine (USM), where I also work as a student coordinator for the Women and Gender Studies program. My research interests include feminist theory and leadership, the intersections of experiencing domestic violence and the United States criminal justice system, and public policy. I am currently in the development stage of my thesis, intending to study women’s leadership throughout the globe in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While not at school or work, I am a single parent to a 5th grader, an avid reader, and a classically trained pianist and singer/songwriter. We live in Kennebunk with our dog.
Alyson Reynolds, Eastern Maine Community College
I was a Chapter President of Phi Theta Kappa 2018-2020, a Vice President of our Senate Organization at Eastern Maine Community College, a Regional Officer of Phi Theta Kappa New England, while also being a Student Ambassador of the college. I recently just graduated with my Medical Office Technology Associate’s degree with a concentration of Coding. Soon I will being adding an addition to my family so once I am set to go back to school I plan to finish my Liberal studies degree and start the nursing degree and become an RN and then do an accelerated course to become a RN BSN shortly after.
Maddie Rock, Thomas College
I am a current junior at Thomas College, engaged in a psychology and political science double major with a minor in diversity. I am very active on my campus where I held two jobs this past year as a Student Ambassador and a Peer Tutor for classes in both of my majors. Starting in August, I will take on another position at my college as the intern for the President’s Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Social Justice. I am a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Student Senate, and the President of the Student Philanthropy Team. I am also a member of the Thomas Women’s Soccer and Softball teams. After I graduate from Thomas, I plan to attend law school in Maine or Washington DC; this depends on how much I love DC after finishing my internship there during my senior year. I am very interested in social and environmental justice and the way the government can promote those ideals, thus pushing me toward my dream of becoming a legislature at the national level of government.
Harley Rogers, University of Maine
In May of 2020, I graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maine with a B.A. in Political Science and minors in History and Leadership Studies. During my time at the University of Maine I interned for the Maine Senate Majority Office and served as an ENACT: Labor Policy fellow from 2019-2020. I wrote my Honors thesis titled, Female Political Campaigns: Just the Right Amount of Femininity, which examined the way female politicians develop their public identities to meet and reject gender stereotypes society holds of women through a case study of Margaret Chase Smith and her presidential campaign of 1964. The knowledge gained through this project has forever changed my understanding of gender and politics. I am currently pursuing a Master of Library and Information degree from Rutgers University with the intention of working in a public library one day. My hope is to combine my passion for public service with my knowledge of libraries to create policies better suited to ensure equal access to quality public education to Maine communities.
Olivia Antonson Nichols College – Dudley, MA
Olivia is a senior at Nichols College majoring in General Business. She tutors political science and general writing at her campus’s tutoring center, and she was a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to Political Science. Olivia also assisted in organizing a campus-wide voter registration drive. Recently, she completed an internship with Vote Smart. Currently, she is interning with the Massachusetts Center for Civic Education.
Sophie Carmody, Worcester State University
Sophie is a Worcester State University sophomore majoring in Communications and minoring in Political Science. She currently works as a technician at a pharmacy and participates in organizing and modeling for a teen-run local magazine. Sophie is very passionate about civil rights and is planning to go to law school after she graduates, in hopes of becoming an immigration lawyer.
Katelynn Dawson Lalvay, University of Connecticut
Katelynn is a transfer student at the University of Connecticut double majoring in Pharmacy and Environmental Science. Most recently she was a volunteer with MASSPIRG and the Berkshire Humane Society. She is a licensed pharmacy technician and a certified nursing assistant. Her career goal is to complete her Pharm.D and MBA in a dual degree program to make the pharmaceutical industry both environmentally and animal friendly.
Isabella Drago, Emmanuel College
Isabella is an Emmanuel College junior majoring in Political Science and Communications with a minor in photography. This fall Isabella will serve as the President of EC Votes and manage the public relations of the Youth In Government organization at her school. She is an active member of the Urban Food Project, the 1804 Society (a community service group), and Boston Votes. With the goal of becoming the mayor of Somerville, MA, Isabella serves as a board member of the Union Square Neighborhood council—an independent organization striving to mitigate displacement in Somerville and beyond. Her favorite things are watching movies with her family and being a camp counselor.
Avalon Hadley, University of Massachusetts Boston
Adrienne Harris-Fried, University of Massachusetts Boston
Adrienne is a UMass Boston senior majoring in Political Science and Sociology. She currently serves as the Managing Editor for the on-campus newspaper, where she also used to work as the head copyeditor. She is also currently working as the campaign manager for Abigail Dickson in her municipal, grassroots campaign for Medford, MA. City Council. After graduating, she hopes to work for a year in an AmeriCorps program before going to graduate school.
Watts Herideen-Woodruff, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Shakirah Ketant, Emmanuel College
Shakirah Ketant is a sophomore at Emmanuel College and is a political science major and psychology minor. She is an ROTC cadet through Northeastern University. She is also a part of the Emmanuel College Women’s basketball team. After graduation, she plans on going to law school and pursuing a career in the military.
Emma Krug, Emerson College Boston
Emma is a rising junior at Emerson College where she majors in Political Communications and minors in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. She is working on a concentration in electoral politics with the hope of managing grassroots campaigns, solidifying voting rights, and building a citizen legislature. She hopes to finish her last semester studying in DC! She is also the philanthropy and recruitment chair of one of Emerson College’s local sororities, Xi Gamma Nu. She leads volunteering and fundraising events aimed at bettering the Greater Boston community by partnering with organizations like the Greater Boston Food Bank, the East End House, and Cradles to Crayons.
Luz Mejia, Worcester State University
Sydney Moos, University of Massachusetts Boston
Sydney is a sophomore at UMass Boston majoring in International Relations with a double minor in Arabic and Human Rights. She hopes to continue her education in law school and hopes to pursue a career in human rights with a focus in the Middle East or generally international law. Sydney works with various hands-on advocacy programs including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, End Rape on Campus, RAINN, and more. She has become passionate of learning about intersectionality and international politics, including activism with pro-choice organizations, Black Lives Matter movements, climate/environmental justice, and works closely with friends and family to engage in LGBTQ+ movements and justice. Above all, Sydney believe that helping people is the most important goal and hopes to specifically center her career to advocating for survivors of sexual assault and over human rights abuses, especially giving a voice to those who didn’t have one alone.
Shelley Polanco, Brandeis University
Shelley is a Brandeis University sophomore majoring in Politics with a minor in Legal Studies. She currently serves on the executive board for the Brandeis LatinX Student Organization and currently interns for a tech startup in New York City. In the future, she hopes to aid in prison reform advocacy and put her law degree to great use!
Edith Rodriguez, Umass Boston
Edith Rodriguez is a junior at UMass Boston majoring in Political Science, with a minor in Philosophy and Law. She is a very active member in her local parish where she is a member of the parish financial council representing the Hispanic community, a Sunday school teacher, as well as the Hispanic Community faith formation coordinator. Edith’s future goal is to apply to law school and obtain a Juris Doctor degree to practice as an immigration lawyer upon graduating from UMass Boston.
Eden Sanders, Babson College
Samantha Schumacher, Emmanuel College
Sammi is a sophomore at Emmanuel College and is majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Data Analytics. She is an intern at the Institute for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at Emmanuel College and is the Vice President of Emmanuel College Votes.
Christina Tougias, Connecticut College
Christina graduated from Connecticut College in May and is excited to pursue a career in conflict resolution and political science. She double majored in International Relations and French, and plans to work as an Assistant English teacher in France for 7 months beginning later this year. She has been active in the Empowerment Initiative at school, which gives voice to monologues written by women and nonbinary individuals, and raises funds for a domestic violence shelter.
Jacey Woods, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Jacey Woods is a rising senior at UMass Amherst from Woburn, MA. She is double-majoring in Education Design and Social Thought and Political Economy, with a certificate in Public Policy & Administration. During the school year, she works as an Education and Training Coordinator at the Center for Education Policy and Advocacy, part of the Student Government Association. She is currently interning at Massachusetts Jobs with Justice as a Worker Justice Intern and was a Project Management Intern at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education last summer. She has also been a Communications Co-Chair on the Board of the Public Higher Education Network of Massachusetts for the past 2 years, and a fellow in the UMass Women into Leadership program this past spring. Passionate about education policy, specifically around curriculum design, she is interested in a career in a public school district or with a non-profit in the community.
Chioma Ajuonuma, Jackson State University
Maleah Briggs, Jackson State University
Maleah Dawn Briggs is a rising junior at THEE Jackson State University, located in the heart of Mississippi. She is majoring in Social Science with a concentration in Ethnic Studies. Maleah is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success and recent nominee of the Golden Key Honor Society, Mortar Board Honor Society, among others. She recently accepted the invitation to become a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. In addition to these honors she is actively involved in various organizations on campus.
Maleah is inclined to success and academic achievements. This exceptional and talented young lady previously attended Delta State University in Cleveland, MS by way of several scholarship offers based on her musical inventiveness and scholastic success. While at Delta State she served as a member of the Student Advisory Board, Union Program Council, Phi Beta Lambda, and performed with The Delta Music Institute University’s Recruitment Tour.
Ms. Briggs has a passion for finding ways to uplift her community and create opportunities to meet the very needs that are present. With an ear for music and heart for people, she hopes to establish a safe haven for the capital city’s youth through a non-profit where they can explore artistic expression, be mentored academically and supported through physical means and resources. This future leader is destined to be successful and blaze trails in all that she puts her mind to.
Briana Burton, University of Southern Mississippi
Amber Cornell, Millsaps College
“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be change until it is faced”. -James Baldwin. This is my mantra. Since the beginning, I knew I wanted to help people and make a great change in the world. As a student majoring in Neuroscience with a minor in Law at Millsaps College, I have been making decisive steps on shaping my life and future into the reality I envisioned for myself years ago. Throughout my school life I have been a member of very prominent clubs such Chick-Fil-A Leader Academy, Student Government Association, Future Business Leaders of America, Millsaps Young Democrat, and The Lighthouse-Black Girl Project. Furthermore those clubs helped shape me into the person I am today with exceptional attributes such as commitment, strategic thinking, humility, communication and most importantly fearlessness. My father once told me that no one is ever going to care more about your success than you. At that time, I did not understand, but as every year passed and I grew older, I began to understand exactly what he meant. I take that same saying my father told me and apply it to my life and community. I have realized I wanted to help people in any and every way possible that I can because I think the most beautiful thing a person can do in the life they are given is to educate, help, and inspire because change must truly start from within.
Tionnia Davis, Alcorn State University
I am currently enrolled at Alcorn State University majoring in political science. I am entering senior. My plan after graduating is to attend Law School studying Civil rights. I am currently in Mortar Board Honor Society and Pre-Law Society.
Alice Mclin, Jackson State University
Toya McQueen, Mississippi University for Women
Toya Sherresse’ Antoinette McQueen was born on July 14, 1995. She is the youngest child born to Mr. Selvain and Mrs. Terisa Moore-McQueen. She attends New Hope CME Church in Columbus, MS under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Cornelia Naylor. After graduating from New Hope High School, she matriculated to Mississippi University for Women (MUW). Where she graduated with a B.S. Degree in Legal Studies and a minor in Political Science. During her undergrad tenure, she served in multiple capacities on campus such as a resident advisor, president of Young Black Leadership Association (YBLA), Bench & Gavel Club and Coretta Social Club and a member of the Mock Trial Team. She also served as a Student Alumni Ambassador amongst other organizations. She is now a second year student in the M.A. of Women’s Leadership program at MUW. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (Pi Zeta Spring 2017). She is a member of the Nu Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and serves as the secretary for the 2021-2022 term. Toya is very active with the Women’s Missionary Society, serving as the Columbus-Meridian District and MS-South Region Phyllis H. Bedford Secretary. She also serves as the Young Adult President, Co-Chair of the CIT Ministry and College Ministry for the Columbus-Meridian District. She also serves as the MS-South Region Young Adult President as well. Toya also serves as the secretary for the Connectional Young Adult Ministry of the CME Church for the 2016-2021 Administration.
Kaitlin Myricks, Tougaloo College, Holmes Community College
Kaitlin Elise Myricks is a 2021 graduate of Holmes Community College with a A.A. Degree in Forensic Science, and a 2020 graduate of Germantown High School. This fall, she will attend Tougaloo College majoring in Mass Communications with a minor in Music, as well as be a member of the concert choir and show choir. Kaitlin’s overall career goal is becoming a criminal and political news reporter. Kaitlin attended Holmes on both HCC Presidential and Music scholarships. While at Holmes, she was involved with the marching, concert, jazz, and indoor percussion bands, as well as the Voices of Praise Gospel Choir and Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. At Germantown High School, she was a part of the marching, symphonic, and concerts bands, Cheval Women Choir, Mavericks Theater, and the Technology Student Association. During her senior year, Kaitlin was recognized as a 2020 Christian Leader of the Future and selected to be a member of the inaugural Mississippi Superintendent Student’s Advisory Council. Her community involvement is well-rounded; however, she is most proud of her regular volunteer service with the Mississippi Children’s Museum where she received the Outstanding Volunteer Service Award for two years. Still active with the museum, Kaitlin has 130+ hours assisting guests throughout the entire facility in various departments. An active member of New Hope Baptist Church, Kaitlin is a teacher’s assistant in the children church, scripture reader, and member of the choir. She is the daughter of Ken and Katrina B. Myricks and resides in Madison, MS.
Yuko Nogawa, Millsaps College
Hello! I’m a rising junior at Millsaps College, and I’m double majoring in Philosophy and Government & Politics. I was born in Japan and largely raised in Taiwan. I’m considering working in advocacy in the future, and I hope to learn more about the American political scene through this program. I’m also interested in law, and am a part of Millsaps’ Mock Trial team.
Mackenzie Pearce, Mississippi University for Women
My name is Mackenzie Pearce. I am a rising junior at Mississippi University for Women where I am a political science non-profit advocacy major with minors in marketing and non-profit management. I am the incoming Vice President of our Student Government Association at MUW. In addition, I am also an intern at the Wesley Foundation on campus. In my free time, I enjoy baking and playing with my dogs.
Caitlin Phillips, University of Southern Mississippi
Hello! My name is Caitlin and I will be a junior at the University of Southern Mississippi, where I am double majoring in Political Science and Public Health with a minor in Spanish. I hope to pursue a dual JD and Masters of Public Health to eventually work in healthcare policy. I currently work as a legal assistant focusing primarily on medical records for a law firm here in Hattiesburg. Outside of school and work, I spend most of my time with my cat, Delaney!
Ashley Shelby, Jackson State University
Taylor Smith, Millsaps College
Jasmine Spearman, Mississippi University for Women
My name is Jasmine and I’m a graduate of Mississippi University for Women. I graduated Fall 2020 with a Bachelor’s in Legal Studies. I’m currently studying for the LSAT so that I can be admitted into law school. My ultimate goal is to practice law for some years and become a judge.
Ryia Steps, Alcorn State University
I am an Alumna of Alcorn State University with a baccalaureate degree in psychology. I will be continuing my education in the Fall at Sam Houston State University to obtain a Masters degree in Clinical Mental Health. I originally am from Chicago, IL, but I currently live in Madison, WI. I am a people’s person with background experience in volunteerism, internships, ABA therapy, and career services. I aspire to become a Licensed Professional Counselor and seek an opportunity to grow and learn more to support people.
Beauty Cooper, University of Missouri-St.Louis
Beauty Cooper is an inspiring third-year student at The University of Missouri-St. Louis. She studies Psychology/Philosophy and minors in Neuroscience. She is currently serving as an Orientation Leader on campus with New Student Programs and is a member of multiple student organizations. She has been a consistent Dean’s List student and has earned several awards from the University. She is a transfer student from St. Louis Community College where she fulfilled her General Studies. Beauty previously attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied Political Science/Pre Law where she also became a member of Alpha Angels Sorority, Inc.
Beauty is passionate about assisting underserved communities with her knowledge base. Beauty has goals of city management and possibly local and state government. She is an enthusiastic learner and enjoys engaging with people and the political philosophy arena
Riley Fitzmorris, Missouri State University
My name is Riley Fitzmorris and I am going to be a senior at Missouri State University in the Fall. I am majoring in socio-political communication and minoring in mass media. I plan on continuing my academic career after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree to get a Master’s degree in either communication or public administration. Beyond that, I would love to do social media marketing for a non-profit organization or for a political campaign. I would love to work for an organization that focuses on women’s rights or that focuses on advocating for policies to better our public education system. I am a new member of the communication honor society Lambda Pi Eta on campus. I have two on-campus positions, one as a student manager at the library on campus and another as a marketing assistant for the student union on campus. In my free time, I am often found listening to music or reading.
Hannah Hook, University of Missouri-St.Louis
Georgeann McLemore, University of Missouri-St.Louis
Georgeann McLemore is a St. Louis native and an Info Systems major, who shows a lot of promise. She currently attends UMSL where she is a rising senior, with the hopes of working for a tech company once she graduates, besides that she is active in Beta Alpha Psi, Black Business Student Association, Student Government and more. Outside of school however, she is an artist whether it be paint, markers, or digital she can do it all. She prefers painting where she likes to express her style through her use of landscapes and portraits.
Amber Stanton, University of Missouri-St.Louis
Amber Stanton grew up in a small town in Southern Illinois. She was adopted at the age of three and struggled with mental health issues early on in her childhood. Amber raised three children as a single parent, sometimes working two jobs and going to school part-time. After many years of struggling with addiction and mental health issues, Amber was diagnosed in 2016 with borderline personality disorder and began CBT therapy. This was a turning point for Amber. In 2016, Amber received her Microsoft Office Specialist certificate at Kaskaskia College. Ms. Stanton later moved to St. Louis and started her job at the Circuit Attorney’s Office for the City of St. Louis where she initiated a positivity movement within the office, by sending positive and uplifting emails every morning to encourage and motivate her colleagues. Amber is an active and contributing member of the Employee Engagement Committee. Since becoming a college freshman in the fall of 2019 at the University of Missouri St. Louis, Amber has made the Dean’s list several times and became a member of The National Society of Leadership and Success in the spring of 2020. Due to her indomitable spirit and determination, she will receive her BS in Criminology and Minor in Psychology in May of 2022. She plans on becoming a voice in Washington, by advocating for educational reform as well as Criminal Justice reform. Due to her own experiences, she believes that she can play a key role in changing public policy to prevent crime and promote health and wellbeing throughout an individual’s life. Becoming a community leader and participating in the Sue Shear leadership is something Amber has spent the last ten years working towards. She is excited and eager to learn from each of you.
Tori Tappe, University of Missouri-St.Louis
Master of Social Work Candidate, Volunteer, USMC Veteran
Gineen Abuali, Saint Peter’s University
Gineen Abuali is a fourth-year Palestinian-American undergraduate student at Saint Peter’s University where she is studying history and political science with a minor in gender and sexuality studies. She is an active member of the Muslim Student Association, the Students for Peace and Justice Club, and the Student Government Association, where she represents the voices of Muslim women on campus. She is also the opinion editor for the newly renamed Saint Peter’s Tribune, the official student newspaper of Saint Peter’s University. Gineen is dedicated to the fight for human rights through her writing and work. She seeks to continue that fight through her future work as an attorney.
Tonanziht Aguas, Rutgers University-Newark
Tonanziht Aguas is a rising junior at Rutgers-Newark and is majoring in Economics and Political Science. She has been involved with student political groups, immigrant and worker rights’ organizations, and is currently an intern at the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.
Nathalia Allenza, Middlesex College
Nathalia Allenza (she/her) is a second-year student at Middlesex College. She studies Psychology and is interested in Public Policy and Public Health. Nathalia currently serves as the Secretary of the Student Government Association at her college. Allenza also holds a leadership position in Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society as Vice President Honors in Action and works as a Peer Mentor for Middlesex College. Nathalia is passionate about serving, as demonstrated by her involvement in volunteer programs.
Nathalia strives to inspire other women to become leaders in their communities and, through the NEW Leadership 2021 program, seeks to acquire new skills in fostering such development. The renowned speakers and program offered at NEW Leadership 2021 pair perfectly with Nathalia’s determination to learn from the qualities and experience of the featured female leaders. Allenza is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this program and is looking forward to meeting and sharing with others.
Sarah Arif, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
My name is Sarah and I’m currently a rising senior studying political science and environmental policy. Currently, I’m interning for clean water action as a canvasser working on a campaign to prevent fracking waste from PA polluting the Delaware River basin. I hope this program will teach me how to better navigate and control a room. Additionally, I love gardening and in my spare time I clean up trash around my neighborhood.
Hrishita Badu, Caldwell University
Hrishita Badu (she/her) is a rising senior majoring in Political Science and Government and minoring in Pre-Law and Communication and Media Studies at Caldwell University. She is an Honors Student currently working on drafting her research proposal for the Honors Research Project. Hrishita served as the Student Director of Peer Advisors in the Caldwell Advising Office for the academic year 2020/2021. Additionally, she works as the Help-Desk Attendant for the IT Office on campus. She is a member of the honors societies Pi Sigma Alpha and The National Society of Leadership and Success. For her outcome assessment thesis (Spring 2021), she wrote a research paper on the study of the Nepal-India border dispute by examining the Indian Foreign Policy. Hrishita also serves as the secretary of the Caldwell University Political Science Club.
In the past, Hrishita has worked as a Peer Tutor and assisted students in courses related to Political Science and Mathematics. She has interned at the Law Office of Jude Jean-Louis and Associates and gained legal writing and administrative experience. She is also a participant in the Prelaw Undergraduate Scholars (PLUS) program at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Phoebe Chong, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Phoebe Chong was born in South Korea and raised in Central New Jersey. She is an upcoming senior with majors in Political Science and Comparative Literature and minors in History and Philosophy. Through her personal and professional experiences, she has developed her passions in public policy and law. Since entering Rutgers, she has engaged in many different immigrant rights activisms and participated in programs such as the Rutgers Advocacy Corps to advocate for undocumented students and their rights. She is also active in campus ministry and served as worship coordinator and executive board member for the Rutgers InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Christian Fellowship for 3 years.
Outside of school, she has worked in various law firms with practice areas in personal injury, immigration, business, and commercial litigation law to familiarize herself in the legal industry. Through these engagements as well as her personal experiences as a DACA recipient, she hopes to pursue a career in law and public policy as a means to advocate for immigrants and historically marginalized communities. When she is not at work or studying for exams, Phoebe is usually on her guitar writing songs and singing covers, cuddling with her dog, or watching reruns of The Office.
Grey Cubano, Atlantic Cape Community College
Grey Cubano (they/he) was a sophomore at Atlantic Cape Community College. They received an Associates of Science- Human Services. Grey has previously served as the first Non-binary Atlantic Cape Pride Club President, Atlantic Cape Review Editor in Chief, and Rewrites Literary Magazine Secretary. Within the last year, he served as the Student Government Association Club Coordinator as well as interning at Middle Township Middle School Child Study Team.
While at Atlantic Cape in 2019, Grey had the opportunity to meet the former NJ Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Zakiya Smith Ellis and Executive Director David Socolow to discuss the state plan and issues in college affordability including the NJ Community College Opportunity Grant which was recently put into law in March 2021 (Bill A-4410).
Grey’s goals are to get their Master’s Degree in Social Work with a minor in Women and Gender Studies where they can work with underprivileged youth in the LGBTQ+ community in the South Jersey area. Grey is currently volunteering as a Peer Leader with PRISM South Jersey which is a community club for South Jersey LGBTQ+ teens and their friends, families, and supporters, located in the downtown Bridgeton area. Meetings include fun activities, music, discussions, and snacks.
Mimi B. Firestone, Middlesex College
Mimi Firestone is an incoming junior transfer student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick joining the class of 2023. She recently received her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts Psychology from Middlesex College and will continue her studies in Human Development and Social Work at Rutgers School of Social Work. In 2019, during her first year in the United States, she had the opportunity to work as a Social Science and English writing tutor at Middlesex College to support her fellow non-traditional students. Mimi also served as President of a mental health club called Healthy Active Minds. She is a member of the honors societies Phi Theta Kappa and Psi Beta Kappa. In her home country, Mimi worked with Ghana’s current ruling party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to help fundraise for their campaign while educating communities about voting.
Mimi is passionate about improving parent-child relationships while educating the youth about political inequality and participation. She aspires to use her voice, experiences, and skillsets to create new social justice policies that advocate for women’s educational access in Ghana.
Garima KC, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Garima KC is a rising junior in the School of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is pursuing a major in political science and minors in economics & women’s and gender studies. She is currently an aide to County Commissioner Yraida Aponte-Lipski (D-4, Hudson County, NJ). Garima has been involved in several political campaigns, championing voting rights for people of color and first-time voters.
Recently, she interned at IGNITE National as a communications intern, where she contributed to research, writing, and editing articles, advocating for Generation Z women to step into political power. Emboldened by her internship experience, Garima and her friends founded an IGNITE National chapter on campus for the 2021-22 academic year. For the upcoming academic year, she will be a research assistant at the Aresty Research Center, working on The Young Elected Leaders Project, led by Professor Elizabeth Matto. Garima is passionate about continuing to make difference at the intersection of gender, law, and policy. She plans to attend law school after graduating and hopes to work for the Department of Justice in the future. Garima is an avid soccer fan and supports FC Barcelona.
Kathryn Leighton, Miami University
Kathryn Leighton is a rising senior at Miami University. She studies Criminal Justice and Psychological Science in the College of Science. Kathryn is involved in many organizations on campus and holds multiple leadership positions. Kathryn is involved in Active Minds, a mental health committee, the American Cancer Society, and Amicus Curiae Pre-Law Society. Kathryn is Vice President of UNICEF at Miami University and is President of Miami Body Project. Kathryn will be active in her organizations this upcoming semester as well as preparing to take her LSATS next year.
Kathryn also has a background in Criminal Law as she previously interned with Union County Courthouse and is working towards a Criminal Justice bachelor’s degree.
With her experience in Psychology by working with the student health services through the Active Minds organization at Miami University, Kathryn has developed interpersonal skills that will assist her in determining her the specifics of her future career as a lawyer.
Emily McGrath, Rowan University
Emily just finished her Junior year at Rowan University and serves as the Vice President to the College Democrats of New Jersey. Her work with Democrats is thorough though as she is a County Committee Member in her hometown, the Vice President for Rowan Democrats, and has volunteered on many campaigns. Her latest work was on Dr. Brigid Callahan-Harrison’s congressional campaign in NJCD2 and previous to that was interning in the Senate Majority Office in Trenton. When she isn’t politicking you can find her at the world’s largest elephant, Lucy, where she is a tour guide or at Bonefish Grill.
Taïphane Orange, Brookdale Community College
Taïphane Orange (She/her) is going on her second year at Brookdale Community College where she is studying Political science. Being an honor student in the honor program she is also a member of the honor association. Taïphane was the vice president of the Black Student Union, the public relations associate officer for EOF at Brookdale where she starts to learn her leadership skills. She is also a member of the honor society Phi Theta Kappa and The National Society of Leadership and Success.
During her second semester at Brookdale, through her political science class she did a presentation at the New Jersey civic engagement and empowerment conference via Democracy Conversation Project organized by the NJ council for the humanity. She also received a GCP Global citizenship project Awards certificate for a global read.
Though her little accomplishment Taïphane is always looking to learn more about politics and finding new ways to help others thus her interest in the Center for American Women and Politic (CAWP) program where she will be able to learn and share her knowledge.
Samantha Quan, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Samantha Quan, School of Arts and Sciences/Douglass Residential College 23’, is a political science major. She was a junior intern at the Rutgers Asian American Cultural Center where she participated in and coordinated events geared toward building a community for the APIDA diaspora at Rutgers. She was a part of the Institute for Research on Women’s Learning Community: “Knowing Bodies: Science, Sex and Gender” and interned at the Plangere Writing Center through the “Decolonizing the Writing Center” program. Currently, she is working with Rutgers Mutual Aid to help Rutgers students and the New Brunswick community. She also is a part of the Rutgers Advocacy Corps. Samantha is passionate about social justice, urban planning, and intersectional environmentalism. She hopes to engage more in her community at Rutgers and travel abroad before graduation.
Mahiyah C. Sampson, Kean University
Mahiyah Sampson (she/her) is a rising sophomore at Kean University. She is studying Political science with a minor in Womens and Gender studies. In her Freshman year she was a member her school’s collegiate field hockey team, a bronzer leader with the leadership institute and a member of the United Nations Association. She was invited to join Pi Sigma Alpha, an honors society for Political Science students as she made the Deans list both semesters. Outside of school she volunteers as a Girl Scout leaders and with several organizations and does copious amounts of community service.
Going into college Mahiyah already had a background in American politics as she previously worked on Hillary for President New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren for President and Joe Biden’s 2020 election campaign. In the Summer and Fall of 2020 Mahiyah interned for Tom Malinowski’s Congressional campaign and continued to work for his finance team after the completion of the campaign. This summer she will be interning for her Assemblymen and helping prepare for the upcoming elections throughout New Jersey and other states.
Mahiyah is extremely passionate about helping her community. She is very excited about starting the NEW Leadership program and cannot wait for this next chapter of her life.
Rachel Schmidt, Ramapo College of New Jersey
Rachel Schmidt (she/her) is a rising third-year student at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She is studying Political Science and Sociology. She is also a member of her school’s Honors College. She also participates in various clubs at her school including Democracy Matters and the College Progressives.
Rachel has worked with her home county on various elections. She also has experience volunteering with numerous local organizations in her hometown of Haddon Heights, New Jersey. She currently works with a local swim and as a camp counselor. She isn’t exactly sure what she wants to do in the future, all she knows is that she wants to make a difference.
Within politics, Rachel is focused on social movements and protests, voting rights, and the role of gender, class, and race in government. Outside of politics, her interests include walking through the park listening to music, playing sports, spending time with family and friends, and cooking/bread-making.
Rae Sharma, Caldwell University
Paresha Sharma (she/her) is a senior in Caldwell University. She is studying Political Science and Psychology and is a part of the college’s Honors Program. She served as a teacher’s assistant for one of her professors in the mathematics department. Paresha is an international student and used to debate in high school. In her freshman year, she started a debate club and was the vice president of the club. For her outcome assessment for the Political Science department, she wrote on the influence of the church in Poland. Her honors project will research on how women’s body image is affected by the portrayal of women in social media. Paresha is a feminist and is looking forward to meeting other powerful women who are zealous about women’s leadership in the political arena.
Ashna Siddiqui, Rutgers University-New Brunswick
Ashna Siddiqui (she/her) is a rising fourth-year student at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. She is double majoring in Political Science and Criminal Justice, with a minor in Human Resources Management. She has previously served as the Rutgers University Dance Marathon Chair and Public Relations Officer for the Rutgers UNICEF Club. She is a member of the honor society, Alpha Phi Sigma. Also, Ashna is a member of Phi Mu Fraternity and currently serves as the Honor Committee Chairwoman. This year, she will be serving as the Director of Administration for the Rutgers Greek Programming Board and Vice President of Rutgers UNICEF.
This past semester, Ashna interned as Policy and Research Intern for Jersey 1st, a rising political action committee serving New Jersey’s economic and social policy needs. She also is continuing to work for Kaplan as a Student Brand Ambassador at Rutgers.
After graduation, Ashna is planning to pursue a career in law. She is looking forward to the NEW Leadership program and learning about the significance politics play in women’s lives and connecting with others that are interested in politics.
Julie Spiniello, Saint Peter’s University
Julie Spiniello is a recent graduate of Saint Peter’s University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish. She will continue her studies at Saint Peter’s University and pursue a Master in Public Administration. She is passionate about immigrant rights, women’s rights, and advocating for survivors of abuse. This year, Julie created a virtual two-day event at Saint Peter’s University to stand in solidarity with survivors of abuse in which she created a website for people to anonymously share their stories and a panel with domestic violence victim advocates to promote awareness and resources. In her free time, Julie enjoys reading, going to baseball games, and hiking with her dog, Lucy.
Nazli Tiyaloglu, Ramapo College of New Jersey
Naz Tiyaloglu is a current Political Science major at Ramapo College of New Jersey. She is a leader on campus serving as the president of Alpha Sigma Alpha, vice president of Phi Alpha Delta, alternate student governor, resident assistant, violence intervention peer, and more. She has previously interned for Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Her dream is to become an attorney and a member of Congress.
Liss Vasquez, Saint Peter’s University
Lissette Vasquez (she/her/hers) is a rising fourth-year student in Saint Peter’s University (SPU). She studies Criminal Justice, Business Law and French in the School of Arts and the School of Business. She is a member of the Honors Societies Alpha Phi Sigma and National Society of Leadership and Success. Lissette has served as an Student Ambassador and an Assistant Marketing Analyst for SPU’s Office of Admissions. She is very passionate about the law and how individuals abide by it. Therefore, as a senior she will be writing an Honors Thesis on how differently freedom of speech applies to the virtual world as opposed to how it does in the physical one.
Lissette has shown an interest in international law and human rights which is why she is part of the Model United Nations in her current school. She encourages social change, reform of the criminal justice system, and a healthy growing environment for youngsters which has led her to hold internships in places such as the New Jersey Reentry Corporation, the Town of West New York and the New Jersey Superior Court (Chancery Division).
Lissette could not be any more thrilled to have the opportunity of being in the New Leadership 2021 and engaging with individuals with similar goals to hers.
Folake Aina, University at Albany, SUNY
Recent graduate at the University of Albany with a dual degree in Urban planning and globalization. I am currently a high school tutor who will be turning into an elementary teacher this fall. I love learning and experiencing culture, I am working on my hobbies in creative content, and I am the chapter President of my sorority Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc.
Brittney Beetcher, University at Buffalo, SUNY
Vi Belt, University at Albany, SUNY
My name is Vi Belt, and I am a rising junior at the State University of New York-University at Albany. I am a Criminal Justice major, with minors in French, History, and Theater. I was born and raised in Kansas and got to experience firsthand what poverty, mental illness, and generational trauma does on the individual level. I’m passionate about activism and social justice, and my ultimate career goal is to be a community organizer.
Gianella Brignoni, Mercy College
Graduating Mercy College as a Global Honors student and summa cum laude in Legal Studies: Political Science, Gianella Brignoni is a current MBA candidate at Mercy College on a full-ride scholarship. During her undergraduate career, Gianella re-founded and had a three-year term as president of the Rotaract Club of Mercy College, a community service and business orientated club, and had the opportunity to serve as vice president of the Association of Latino Professionals For America. On top of her extracurriculars, Gianella performed as a student worker for Mercy College’s Career and Professional Development and as a Paralegal Intern for the Sauer Law Firm LLC. Overall, with these many responsibilities, Gianella focused her attention on advocacy and public policy by strongly integrating herself as a volunteer for the passing of the Shepherd Patterson Law. Gianella passionately aims to continue her work in advocacy and government.
Juliette Carr, Union College
Juliette Carr is finishing her third year at Union College where she is majoring in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a concentration in medicine. She is interested in both LGBTQ+ and women’s healthcare, and ultimately aims to run a low-cost, accessible clinic for underprivileged populations. Her academic work has included topics such as social determinants of health, access to medical care in the United States, men and masculinities, and treatment disparities amongst diverse populations. This summer, Juliette was granted funding by Union College in order to pursue an unpaid volunteer position at Women’s Health Services in Brookline, MA. In this role, she will be able to shadow physicians through preventative testing, abortion care, mental health counseling, and many more clinical services. Additionally, she will have a part-time job with The Vinfen Corporation as a Digital Literacy Provider, which will afford her insight into a different side of the healthcare field. Her work at Vinfen will include running workshops and one-on-one “office hours” for adults who live with mental illness and/or mental disabilities. Juliette will help these individuals with any technology-related question they may have, no matter how simple or complicated, in attempts to make their daily lives more manageable. Ultimately, this summer and beyond, Juliette is excited to see what kind of positive change she can bring to the world of LGBTQ+ and women’s healthcare. She comes into this program knowing that building strong leadership, communication, and networking skills is the best way to start.
Allyssa Dallacqua, University at Albany, SUNY
Hi! My name is Allyssa Dallacqua, and I am joining from Albany, New York where I live and go to SUNY Albany. I am originally from Detroit, MI, but since moving here I’ve found that New York and the East Coast have more opportunities for meeting interesting and lovely people, as well as hiking which I enjoy doing in my free time. I’m excited for this program; I feel that in politics the diversity and complexities of women’s issues are often lost and written off, so any chance I have to both learn and strengthen my knowledge of these topics, especially centering reproductive rights, is taken gladly.
Ginna Hensel, University of Pittsburg, Bradford
Emma Hulbert, Skidmore College
Julie Jasewicz, University at Albany, SUNY
My name is Julie Jasewicz & I am a rising Senior Honors Psychology major with minors in Leadership & International Studies at the University at Albany, State University of New York. I am currently working on my Honors Thesis which focuses on building psychological resilience through training. I am originally from Upstate NY near the Adirondacks. On-campus I am active in a variety of activities: Honors College Student Assistant, Honors College Event Planning Committee Chair, President of the Newman Association, Research Assistant in Professor Randall’s I/O Psych lab, Studied Abroad in Copenhagen Denmark, CURCE Ambassador, Peer Career Advisor & Member of the Career Services Advisory Board (among others). I am humbled & honored to be a part of this amazing program!
Azania Maitland, SUNY Empire State College
Jennifer Martinez, Baruch College
My name is Jennifer Martinez and I’m a 2021 Baruch College graduate. I’m a first-generation college student and have a passion for public policy, graphic design and writing.
Hannah Mathias, Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
Mia Mielenhausen, University at Albany, SUNY
I am a criminal justice and sociology double major in the 3+3 Law Program at the University at Albany. I am graduating in May of 2023. I am originally from Long Island New York.
Fatemeh Moradi, Tompkins Cortland Community College
Nana Adoma Owusu Ofori, Russell Sage College
Miala Outcalt, Hudson Valley Community College
Si Po Ra, Onondaga Community College
My name is Si Po Ra and I was born in refugee camp of Thailand. In 2010, my family and I had a great opportunity to settle in United State. I graduated high school in 2019. I recently graduated from SUNY Onondaga Community College with an associate degree of Liberal Art: Humanities and social sciences. I will continue pursuing higher education in the coming fall.
Kaya Rifenberg-Stempel, University at Albany, SUNY
Kaya is a SUNY Albany graduate with an interdisciplinary degree in French and Political Science. She enjoys studying foreign languages and foreign policy. She would like to get involved in international relations, but local political involvement is really important to her too. She is the 2020 Albany Tulip Queen: she does volunteer work with her court members throughout Albany, where they focus on a literacy program.
Ashlyn Rosario, University at Albany, SUNY
Hello! My name is Ashlyn Rosario and I graduated the University at Albany this past May with a double major in Business Administration and English Literature. I am an outgoing individual with a passion for mentorship, community service, and education. During my time at the University at Albany, I was involved in several organizations and took on leadership roles as a Housing Manager and Staff Captain for University Apartments, Peer Mentor for TRiO Student Support Services, and Student Assistant for the Office of the State Comptroller. These experiences have allowed me to expand my leadership, communication and problem solving skills; while also providing me with the invaluable experience of building a community with peers on campus and in the capital region. I believe that every individual has unique knowledge and there is something to be learned from every experience. I am truly looking forward to participating in this years NEW Leadership program and meeting like-minded individuals and leaders from around the country.
Allyson Wieser, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Hi, My name is Allyson (Ally) Wieser. I am going into my sophomore year at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. I am currently studying Public Health, and I am on the Pre Law track. I am very excited about the opportunities I will get from this program!
Sophia Buskirk, The Ohio State University
Hello friends! My name is Sophia Buskirk and I am a junior studying Neuroscience with minors in Political Science and Critical and Cultural Theory at The Ohio State University. My intention is to study the interconnectedness between the politics and biology of human behavior. Since human actions, on the individual and collective scale, are an extension of our thoughts and environments I believe studying divergent fields will produce empathetic solutions to systemic issues. In my free time, I enjoy yoga, coffee shop hopping in new cities, trying new food, and exploring art museums.
Iman Garba-Zakary, Capital University
Hello my name is Iman, I am a current junior at Capital University. I aspire to work in the legal field either as a lawyer or being part of a law firm. I have three younger brothers, 2 of them twins and the other an autistic child. My goals in life are to advocate for the voiceless and represent those who have been underserved in society.
Malana Johnson, University of Dayton
Hi! My name is Malana Johnson and I graduated from the University of Dayton in May of 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Pre Law. I recently completed my 14 year long career in track and field at the University of Dayton. I was the President of a Student Advocacy & Education group on my campus. I am also an identical twin that attended the same University as an Accounting major. I have seen so many different routes that I could take my career. I would be interested in working on the Communications/ Public Relations side of politics. But at the same time I am interested in law. I have no clear dream or aspiration because everything seems very interesting.
Haley Johnston, Columbus State Community College
Haley Albright Johnston is a writer, musician, and photographer based in Columbus, Ohio. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. In January 2021, Haley co-founded Worthington Resource Rescue with her cousin. Over the past few months, the WRR team has worked with local bakeries, restaurants, and retail shops to salvage fresh food, clothing, and office supplies that would have otherwise been discarded. From there, they deliver the goods to various local food pantries and homeless shelters, including Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Worthington Resource Pantry, and the YMCA Family Center. Haley hopes that the training provided by NEW Leadership Ohio will help her maximize Worthington Resource Rescue’s impact. Over the years, Haley has also worked closely with Project HEAL, a nonprofit organization focused on providing treatment access for eating disorder sufferers who cannot afford to seek professional help. A Project HEAL grant recipient herself, Haley is dedicated to continuing the dialogue surrounding eating disorders and mental health. She hopes that creating a broader understanding will reduce the stigma surrounding those issues. Haley is excited to bring her creativity, resourcefulness, and passion for political change to NEW Leadership Ohio this summer!
Margie Miller, Brigham Young University – Idaho
I serve as the Board President for the Central Ohio Chapter of National Hemophilia Foundation, attend BYU Pathway program and will be completing my degree in Social Media Marketing from BYU Idaho. I work as a leasing agent for Oakwood Management Company and active in my community.
Stephanie Ogonuwe, The Ohio State University
Stephanie is a rising third-year from Hilliard, Ohio. She is studying Public Health with a specialization in Environmental Health and a minor in Women, Gender, and Public Policy at The Ohio State University. After graduating, Stephanie will attend medical school and obtain a master’s degree in Public Policy. Stephanie currently serves as Senator of the Undergraduate Student Government’s 54th General Assembly and a member of Mount Leadership Society’s Post Mount Board. She also volunteers at the Columbus Dream Center, the Columbus Free Clinic, and her church. Stephanie enjoys music (both listening and singing), photography, and traveling.
Morgan Spry, The Ohio State University
My name is Morgan Spry and I am a Sophomore at The Ohio State University. I am double majoring in Public Management, Leadership, and Policy, and Political Science with a specialization in Political Allegiances and Identities, as well as a minor in Spanish. I hope to one day pursue a career in the non-profit sector, or campaign management and am very grateful for the opportunity to learn from all of these amazing women through the NEW Leadership program.
Morgan Taradash, The Ohio State University
I am an experienced political organization and legal intern, skilled in management, networking, business operations, elections, canvassing, and election analytics/research. I am entering my final undergraduate year at Ohio State in Fall 2021 as a strong education professional working on a Bachelor of Arts – BA consisting of a Double Major in World Politics (declared specialization in Foreign Policy and Security) and French & Francophone Studies, with a Minor in History (declared specialization in Civil Rights and African American History) from The Ohio State University. I am originally from the Bay Area in California.
Cheyenne Van Gundy, Muskingum University
Hello, I attend Muskingum University where I am a History major with minors in English and Pre-law. I am going into my senior year, and plan to go off to law school after graduation. My area of interest is family law, which stems from being raised by my maternal grandparents since I was a baby.
I am the Vice President of my University’s Student Senate, I helped found the Women in Politics club on my campus. I also am involved, and hold executive board positions, in several academic honoraries and am in the inaugural class of the John and Annie Glenn Fellowship program at school. I have three on campus jobs that have helped to acclimate me into campus life. I implemented the “Woman of the Week” on campus during Women’s History Month, where a female student and faculty/staff member was recognized each week throughout the month of March. This summer I have an internship through my county’s Historical and Genealogical society library which has been rewarding.
When I am not at school, or at work, I am home with my two dogs. They are 11 years old Shih Tzu’s who have loved being inside and staying cuddled up during the pandemic. I can not wait to meet everyone and enjoy such an enriching experience.
Anna Antuono, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Anna Antuono is a Junior Special Education major from Ardmore, Oklahoma. She attends Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Anna has dedicated much of her college career to leadership, serving as her Student Body President and her sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, President. She has also served as leadership in Cardinal Key, Savage Storm Leaders, True Blue Ambassadors, Alumni Legacy Leaders, Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature, Baptist Collegiate Ministries, and President’s Leadership Class. Working for SOSU Housing and Residence Life, Anna has moved from her role as a Senior Resident Assistant to Assistant Hall Director. She plans to graduate in May of 2022 and pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education.
Shea Brandt, Rogers State University
I am a Junior at Rogers State University working to receive a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in studio art. I was born in Tulsa Oklahoma and graduated from Jenks Highschool in 2018. I am president of the Student Theatre Organization at my University and have been a representative in student government for the last two years. I also currently maintain the position of graphic design representative for the Student Writing Organization. Through my experience working with and representing fellow students and community members through University activities, I unearthed a passion for working on projects with people to reach common goals and helping to make people’s voices heard. I am excited to pursue leadership roles in my life beyond college, and hope to become an effective leader in the future.
Destiny Bridgeman, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M
Hello everyone! My name is Destiny Bridgeman and I use the pronouns they and she. During the summer I will be finishing my last credits for my Associate of Arts in General Studies at NEO A&M College. In the fall I plan to continue my education at the University of Central Oklahoma. My first politically related memory dates back to early elementary while we still lived in Galveston, Texas. My mother pulled me from school early so I could go with her to the caucuses in support of Hillary Clinton. I have many fond memories of her taking me to vote with her, always stopping to explain everything. In the last few years I have started a mobile voter registration booth that serves Northeast Oklahoma, volunteered on Danyell Lanier’s congressional campaign, and co-organized multiple Black Lives Matter rallies. On my college campus I am the Secretary of the Student Body Government and Acting President of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Through both of my positions, I was able to collaborate with both groups and found the first campus support group. There is no doubt in my mind that my future is in activism, leaving a better world for future generations.
Jaycie Brown, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
My name is Jaycie Brown and I am from Chickasha, Oklahoma. I will be graduating from Southwestern Oklahoma State University this May with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. I have served as the Civic Engagement chair for our Student Government Association for two years. Through this role, I have grown my passions for political activism. In the fall, I will be attending Oklahoma City University School of Law. I am very excited to continue my pursuit in a life dedicated to public service.
Christa Conway, University of Oklahoma- Tulsa
My name is Christa Conway and I am currently completing my junior year with the University of Oklahoma’s bachelor of social work program. My passion for social work began when I had the opportunity to manage Yale Avenue Apartments for the Mental Health Association Oklahoma. After spending three years on the front lines working with some of the most vulnerable people in Tulsa, I decided to return to school to continue my education so I may better serve vulnerable individuals in my community. I am passionate about political education, civic engagement, and social justice and plan on getting involved with large-scale change efforts within my community. In addition, I am also passionate about the mind-body connection, nutrition, and exercise such as yoga as related to both physical and mental health. I hope to help bridge the gap and create access to nutrition and a healthier lifestyle for underprivileged and oppressed groups of people.
Maria DeLoera, Oklahoma City University
My name is Maria DeLoera, and I just completed my junior year at Oklahoma City University. I’ve always grown up around OKC and been interested in community building. I have been a part of the Oklahoma Alliance Française where I was able to study abroad and work on a project on environmentalism, an area where I have a lot of interest. From then on, I continued to build on my love for international affairs and social issues. As a college student, I have been able to be involved in leadership building, learn more about my global interests, and establish Stars on Earth, a small club aiming to promote environmental awareness on campus. I also find it important to be engaged in local politics, and I have volunteered for the Kendra Horn for Congress Campaign. I hope to continue my involvement in local civic engagement while maintaining my outlook on international affairs in my future endeavors.
Alexandria Doyle, University of Tulsa
Hi! My name is Alley Doyle and I’m from Tulsa! I am a junior at the University of Tulsa studying Political Science and Finance. At TU I’m involved in my Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, TU Panhellenic, the honors college, global scholars, and peer mentors! In my free time, I like to hangout with family and friends, listen to crime podcasts, and read books. A fun fact about me is that I learned how to swim this past year.
Tavana Farzaneh, University of Oklahoma
My name is Tavana Farzaneh (she/her) and I am entering my fourth year at the University of Oklahoma. I’m pursuing a Business Administration degree in Management and a double minor in Spanish & Social Justice. On campus, I currently serve as the President of the Student Government Association. This role has highlighted the importance of being a woman in leadership, especially in terms of representation, but also the challenges that come with this position. However, through this experience, I have found a passion for advocating for change and fighting for gender equity! I hope to attend law school following graduation to cultivate the skills that I will need for a career in advocacy and public service.
Emily Grim, University of Central Oklahoma
Emily Grim is a senior Mass Communications and Political Science major at the University of Central Oklahoma. She has served UCO through leadership positions and organizations, including the President’s Leadership Council, the UCO Student Association, as her sorority, Alpha Delta Pi’s, Chapter President, and as the Student Body President over the last four years. She credits UCO with giving her the community and support that has helped her to grow so much over the last four years, and the faculty, staff, and administration at UCO for helping to build true leaders, scholars, and friends in every Broncho. She hopes to continue her education after graduating from UCO and to continue working with student engagement and a new generation of student leaders.
Nakisha Horne, Cameron University
My name is Nakisha Horne and I was born and raised in Lawton, Oklahoma. I am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism and Mass Media Production and a minor in Marketing at Cameron University. I have been active in civic and nonprofit organizations since my senior year in high school. With participation in each organization I feel as though it has helped with developing my leadership skills. I have an interest in pursuing a role in politics for quite some time now, but wanting to further my education and knowledge in campaign organization, funding, and strategy.
Sara Houchin, Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Hello, I am Sara Houchin, a recent graduate from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. I obtained a Bachelor of Social Work with a minor in Psychology. While in college, I served at The Wesley House as an intern and was recently appointed to the Board of Directors. To finish my degree, I completed a practicum/internship at Circle of Care. While working for this organization I got a peek into the world of policy, and I am very excited to learn more. My passion and future goals are to work with families and promote family unity and I believe that this starts with advocating for programs that will support the family system.
Maria (Angel) Jacquez, Southern Nazarene University
My name is María Jácquez, I go by Ángel. I was born and raised in Zacatecas, México. I’ve been living in the United States for about 5 years now. I am a Politics and Law major with a minor in Psychology going into my junior year at Southern Nazarene University. I also play soccer at Southern Nazarene and I am part of the McNair Program. Although I haven’t been involved in a lot of political-law projects/activities, I have always been interested in this environment, especially in the law field. I would like to go to Law School and become an Immigration lawyer to help all the people who are going through a legal process to become permanent residents or US citizens.
Deborah Laker, Oral Roberts University
Born and raised in Kampala, Uganda, Deborah Laker relocated to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2018. She is a senior pursuing a dual-degree in Convergence Journalism and Political Science at Oral Roberts University. Outside of the classroom, she participates in student media by writing articles and photographing campus events. Laker also serves as the delegation chair for ORU’s Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature chapter.
Kassandra Le-Huynh, The University of Tulsa
I was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas and am currently a rising senior at the University of Tulsa double majoring in Economics and French with minors in Biology and Political Science. I have a passion for criminal justice and academic research into racial disparities, which are passions I have been able to foster through my internship with the Tulsa County Public Defender. Upon graduation, I plan to pursue a dual JD/MPP to prepare me for a career into public service, focusing on policy and reform.
Emilee Lemon, Oklahoma State University
Hi, my name is Emilee Lemon. I am a Sophomore at Oklahoma State University where I am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. My hometown is Seminole Oklahoma and I graduated from Byng High School. My interest in politics began when I Paged for the Oklahoma State House of Representatives during my Junior and Senior year of high school. From that experience I realized that I enjoy reading/studying Bills and learning about the procedures that occur during the legislative process. In the future I plan to attend law school and seek out a role in public service in some capacity. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my dog, reading, and attending campus events.
Lacey Lewis, University Of Oklahoma
My name is Lacey Lewis, and I am from San Antonio, Texas. I currently attend The University of Oklahoma and am pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. I have been passionate about public service and politics for as long as I remember. This past summer, I worked as the Volunteer Coordinator for U.S Representative Tony Gonzales and enjoyed every minute of my time on the campaign. I am currently the Vice-Chair for the External Affairs Committee for the Undergraduate Student Congress and love serving my fellow peers on campus. I am a part of The Oklahoma Group and am the Programming Chair for Oklahoma Votes. I also want to attend law school one day and am the Treasurer of the Pre-Law Society. Over the summer, I plan to intern for a political consulting firm and develop more valuable communication skills.
Sidney May, University of Oklahoma
My name is Sidney May and I’m from Edmond, Oklahoma! I am a rising junior at the University of Oklahoma studying Economics on a Pre-Law track with minors in Political Science and Spanish. At the university, I serve as the Student Congress Vice chair, the Director of Public Relations for Pre-Law Society, and the Coalition Outreach Chair for Oklahoma Votes. My interest in politics began with the Oklahoma Teacher Strike in 2018, and since then I have founded a grassroots student political activism organization, served as the Vice President of Grassroots Advocacy for a political consulting firm, worked as a campaign intern, and connected with Indigenous Nations about their unique political issues to bring transparency to the OU student body.
Calli McIntyre, Southeastern Oklahoma State University
My name is Calli McIntyre and I am from Boswell, Oklahoma. I attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University participating on the linguistics forensic team (Speech and Debate). Soon to graduate with a Bachelors of Business Administration. I have been involved with Politics since the past three years. I currently work as the Commissioner Assistant for Choctaw County Commissioners District 1. This is where I have discovered my passion for politics and I hope to one day help in the advancement of women in Oklahoma Politics. I will start my Master of Legal Studies in September 2021.
Natalie Miranda, University of Oklahoma
Hello. My name is Natalie Miranda, and I am from San Antonio, Texas. I have just completed my junior year at the University of Oklahoma, majoring in Human Relations and Pre-Physician Assistant with a minor in Finance. This May will be my ninth year of service in the Oklahoma Army National Guard. At an early age, I enjoyed helping people, becoming involved, and gaining knowledge about helping the community with social issues. This year I have received membership into The National Society of Academic Excellence (NSOAE) and was recognized for my hard work as a pharmaceutical technician by my manager on the company website. My passion in life is to make a difference in systematic racism in health care as a physician assistant. I have had to overcome a lot of adversity and change the trajectory of my future goals. I have found my passion in life through some mistakes along the way, and I want to seize every opportunity to make it a reality.
Margaret Nesvold, Connors State College
My name is Margaret Nesvold I am from Muskogee, Oklahoma. I completed my associates in Business Administration and General Studies this year at Connors State College. I have been Business Club President at Connors State two years running and involved with Student Government Association. I begin pursuing my Bachler’s degree in Criminal Justice through Northeastern State University beginning in the Fall. I plan to attend Law school after graduation. I am also an active Board member and Muskogee Manager for CAARE, INC a nonprofit with a focus on helping low-income families keep their pets during financial hardships.
Reagan Page, Oklahoma State University
My name is Reagan Page and I am originally from Lake Ozark, Missouri. I am finishing up my junior year at Oklahoma State University and am majoring in Political Science and Global Studies. I also am minoring in Anthropology and Russian. I am the region president of Silver Wings and am president of Pi Sigma Alpha, and was a Truman Institutional Nominee. I work as a research assistant for the OSU Department of Political Science and volunteer at Our Daily Bread Food and Resource Center. After graduation, I am planning to obtain my Master’s in International Affairs and want to work as a Foreign Service Officer.
Elizabeth Shadid, University of Central Oklahoma
My name is Elizabeth Shadid, I’m a Junior at the University of Central Oklahoma, working on a degree in History Education, with a minor in Psychology. I’m a proud member of the Oklahoma Aspiring Educators Association and am just finishing up a term as their state president. The 2 years prior, I served as their legislative representative and was at the capital constantly. My main issues of focus are LGBT rights, Diversity and Inclusion, and Public Education. my long term goals are to enter the teaching profession, and to one day run for office in our state.
Randa Shelton, University of Oklahoma
Hello all, my name is Randa Shelton, and I am from Ada, Oklahoma. Currently, I am a junior at the University of Oklahoma. My major is Criminal Justice, with a focus in Criminal Investigations and Intelligence. I have many interests and obligations that often keep me busy. Professionally, I am a school nurse for first and second grade students. Additionally, I volunteer as a court advocate for the 22nd Judicial District CASA; this consists of advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children, within the foster care system. Personally, I am a mother to four children ages three to twelve. When I have spare time I enjoy outdoor activities, football, and visiting new places.
Michaella Stewart, Northeastern State University
I am a senior at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, double majoring in Political Science and Sociology with a minor in Media Studies. I graduated from Roland High School in 2017 and was the first person in my family to walk at my high school graduation, moreover, I was also the first in my family to go to college. Once I finish my undergrad, I plan on studying civil law so that I can help women in need.
Kylie Tweed, University of Oklahoma
My name is Kylie Tweed and I am from Plano, Texas! I just graduated in December with a bachelor’s degree in political science with a secondary major in sociology. I am looking forward to attending graduate school at the University of a Texas at Austin this coming fall to pursue my master’s in public affairs. I was able to serve as a fellow for Kendra Horn’s 2018 congressional campaign and as an intern for representative Cyndi Munson during the 2020 legislative session at the Oklahoma House of Representatives. During these experiences, I learned the importance of public service and felt a call to action. I am incredibly inspired by the strong, ambitious women that I was able to work with and I hope to run for office one day and advocate for change in the areas that interest me such as racial and gender equality, welfare reform, and environmental policy.
Emma Wilson, University of Oklahoma
My name is Emma Wilson, and I attend the University of Oklahoma. I major in Political Science and English Literature with a minor in Pre Law. I have interned for state representative Jacob Rosecrants and former United States Congresswoman Kendra Horn, while being a volunteer for former Oklahoma Governor candidate Drew Edmondson. I have gained political experience through the Student Government Association Student Congress, and Department of External Affairs. I also have gained experience through the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature.
Alexandra Angelopoulos, Susquehanna University
Victoria Balboa, Allegheny College
Hello! My name is Victoria Balboa and I’m from South Texas. I am a rising junior at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. I am majoring in History as well as Environmental Science, concentrating in environmental policy. I am also on the Executive Board of my sorority Alpha Delta Pi. A fun fact about me is that I have five cats and two dogs!
Tyla Belton, Thiel College
My name is Tyla Belton, and I am a recent Political Science graduate from Thiel College. Following graduation, I will be returning to my alma mater to pursue my Masters in Communication and Leadership; With this skill set, I hope to enter the campaign environment and work with like-minded individuals to assist others in running a campaign. One day I may even run for office myself. Outside of the classroom, I enjoy staying active, taking care of my garden, and I love spending my Sundays with a good book. I am very excited to attend the NEW Leadership Program and learn from women across the nation about the key skills needed to become a great leader.
Savanna Berry, Cedar Crest College
Zaria Berry is an incoming Junior at Cedar Crest College with a major in Criminal Justice and intends on graduating in 2023. She has recently been accepted into the Crime Science Masters Program where she will receive her masters, in addition to that she intends to pursue a law degree.
Kayla Bills, Cedar Crest College
Kayla Bills is a senior at Cedar Crest College. She was raised in the Lehigh Valley. Kayla is pursuing both a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Art in Media Studies. She is also studying Pre-Law in the hopes of going to law school after graduation. Her ideal career would be in either Corporate Law or Intellectual Property and Technology Law. In her free time she enjoys writing, volunteering, and traveling. Kayla’s writing has been published in both her college’s newspaper and literary journal. Alongside law, she hopes to publish her written works through novels.
Elena Bresnan, Muhlenberg College
Elena Bresnan is a rising senior at Muhlenberg College and is a Political Science major and Sociology minor on the pre-law track. Her main interests within the field of political science are public policy and the intersection between gender and politics. On campus, she is secretary of the College Democrats, a member of the Zeta Chi chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, and is involved in the Muhlenberg Theater Association. Outside of the classroom she spends her time baking, reading, and spending time with her friends! She looks forward to meeting and learning with you all!
Kristina Cagle, Cedar Crest College
I attend Cedar Crest College in Allentown PA, where I am currently majoring in Secondary Education, with a concentration in Social Studies and a minor in Pre-Law. After getting my bachelor’s degree, I want to attend law school. My end goal is to get into civil rights law regarding special education and education reform. I am in the class of 2024 and I am a part of my school’s honors program. I also play softball for the Falcons.
Liz Catalano, Saint Francis University
Liz graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Saint Francis University in May of 2021. She was an active member of her school’s Social Work Club, Environmental Action Society, Residence Life, and Student Government Association. She studied abroad in southern France in the spring of 2019 and completed multiple community-level internships during her college career. Since July of 2020, Liz has served as the BSW Student Representative for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. She is also a trained landlord/tenant mediator. Her career interests include housing justice, LGBTQ+ issues, community organization, and social policy. Liz currently works as a freelance journalist and news editor. While she plans to start her career in macro-level social work, Liz hopes to one day attend law school and hold public office. In her free time, Liz enjoys reading, making fancy coffees, and watching obscure television shows.
Haley Chiusano, Carlow University
My name is Haley Chiusano and I am going into my senior year at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I am a Communications and Mass Media major with a minor in Creative Writing. After graduation next spring, I hope to pursue a career in sports media with the NFL or NHL. At Carlow I am a part of the women’s volleyball team which I have been the captain of for the past two years.
Ashleigh Correll, Muhlenberg College
Hi all! My name is Ashleigh, and I am a rising senior at Muhlenberg College (PA), double majoring in Political Science and American Studies. At school, I am the president of Habitat for Humanity, part of the honor committee in my sorority, Phi Mu, and part of Muhlenberg’s cheer team. While at home, I’m kept busy by working two jobs, while also enjoying hikes on the beautiful trails of northeastern PA, finding new restaurants/cafes to try, and re-watching classic movies! After graduation, I’m not sure if I want to pursue law school or immediately enter the workforce. Either way, it would be a dream to end up in Pigeon Forge, TN or Washington D.C, both of them being my favorite places in the U.S! I look forward to connecting with you all in the next few weeks!
Tara Czekner, Shippensburg University
Tara Czekner is a sophomore at Shippensburg University and is currently pursuing a B.A. in political science. In the future, Tara aspires to practice law, and her career interests include international commercial arbitration, aerospace and aviation law, and constitutional law, especially the area of women’s rights. Tara is a proud member of Wood Honors College at Ship, and she enjoys membership of the University’s Political Science Club, of which she is Vice President. She is also a member of the Green League and Women in Business Club. Her hobbies include reading all different genres, doing logic puzzles, and studying other languages, and she is always looking to expand her knowledge.
Madeline DeMarco, Saint Joseph’s University
I am a senior Political Science Major at Saint Joseph’s University with minors in Autism Studies and Public Policy. At SJU, I am the co-president for Women’s Leadership Initiative, a student-based organization which leads community meetings about topics of social justice as well as professional development workshops. One of my most prideful accomplishments at SJU is my involvement in the founding of HawkHUB, SJU’s food and basic need resource center. As the founder and president, I am responsible for delegating small tasks to volunteers, coordinating community outreach as well as analyzing peer institution data to ensure that our “take what you need, leave what you can” model is the most effective in combatting food insecurity on campus. In addition to these leadership roles, I am also the student liaison for our Women’s Center on campus, where I facilitate gender-inclusive programming. As a Kinney Center SCHOLAR, I work with individuals on the Autism spectrum and apply/implement ABA therapy as a part of my on-campus job.
Hopes for my immediate future include my plans to obtain a MS in Public Policy within the 4+1 Program that recently launched at SJU. In terms of post-grad life, I plan to immerse myself in a field that will create little ripples of change within broken systems. My most recent field of interest includes the realm of advocacy.
Elizabeth Elliot, Ursinus College
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Elliott is a junior at Ursinus College majoring in history and international relations, with a minor in educational studies and is pursuing her Pennsylvania social studies teaching certificate. Lizzie is a certified peer educator through UCREW, Ursinus Students Cultivating Respect Education and Wellness, is a Model United Nations (MUN) delegate, is an alto in Ursinus Voices, and is the treasurer for Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honors society. On the politics side, Lizzie is interested in campaigns, international politics, and foreign service. She is also considering a career as a social studies teacher. In her free time, Lizzie enjoys baking everything from breads to cookies, as well as reading and hanging out with her cats and rabbit. Lizzie just finished reading an intriguing book contextualizing the life of Betsy Ross and analyzing the myths surrounding her.
Bintou Fofana, Allegheny College
Bintou Fofana is a rising sophomore at Allegheny College, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Where she is pursuing a degree in International Studies with an area focus of West Africa (BA) along with a minor in Middle Eastern and North African Studies, a minor in French Studies and a concentration in Law and Policy. Bintou’s passion and attentiveness in social justice and political science has allowed her to become a participant in Allegheny’s ‘Vote Everywhere Ambassador’ program, a participant in Allegheny’s ‘Global Citizens Scholar Porgram ‘ and a recipient of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives awards (for her work in anti-gun violence in the city of Philadelphia). All of which has led to her interest in poetry and photography. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, she intends to continue to use poetry and photography to raise awareness about current issues. Bintou also intends to apply to law school, to further her knowledge of political science and to progress toward a career in law. Bintou looks forward to attending the NEW Leadership (CAWP), she is excited to meet and learn from other powerful women.
Hope Gomez, Allegheny College
I attend Allegheny College. I am graduating in the spring of 2023. My major is in Political Science. My minor is in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. I am a member of Allegheny’s Women’s Track and Field Team. My potential academic interest is to pursue a Ph.D. in Political Science. The areas of specialization I am interested in are American politics and political theory. My first potential career interest is to work as a political consultant. My second potential career interest is to be a Political Science professor.
Kathleen Graham, Cedar Crest College
Kathleen Graham is a junior at Cedar Crest College majoring in New Media with a minor in Film Studies. She is an active member of the Communications Department and a member of Cedar Crest College’s chapter, Tau Beta, of Lambda Pi Eta, the official Communication Studies Honor Society of the National Communication Association (NCA). She is also very active in the performing arts department as the secretary of Terpsichore Dance Society.
Previous Cedar Crest credits include Fame as Miss Sherman, Into the Woods as Rapunzel, Dance Works 2019 and 2020 as a dancer, Spring Dances 2021 in the hip hop ensemble as well as being an upcoming choreographer for the Dance Works 2021 show. She works to combine her interests in various projects and pieces including a production that was done in collaboration with the performing arts and communications departments as a performer and collaborator on Factor, an original production told by, and through, the voices of current CCC students, alumni, and community members. Kathleen worked on Factor as an actor, choreographer, and interviewer/editor, to share the experiences of Black Women at the institution.
She is passionate about representation in media and strives to create content that will have a positive impact.
Shemariel Gray, Allegheny College
I am a recent undergraduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Communication. Skilled in research, coordinating, and leadership. I am interested in law, policy, community justice, community organizing, human rights, and non-profit work. I am currently studying for my LSATS while seeking opportunities that will sharpen my skills, expand my perspective on life and give back to the community.
Reilly Hageman, Lycoming College
Hi my name is Reilly and I am from Doylestown PA. I currently am enrolled at Lycoming College and am a Quantitative Economics major with a Business Administration minor.
Courtney Hathaway, Cabrini University
Courtney Hathaway is native of Norristown, Pennsylvania. She is a 2021 graduate of Cabrini University majoring in Criminology and Black studies, with a minor in Sociology. She was also the recipient of the 2021 Academic Excellence/Discipline Award in Black Studies. Courtney has worked with the Montgomery County Juvenile Probation Department since 2019. She wants to give back to her community and hopes to further her career by working in victim advocacy for women and juveniles. Courtney’s interests outside of school and work include arts & crafts, spending time with family, and traveling.
Christina Ibarra, Saint Joseph’s University
Hello, my name is Cristina Ibarra and I am an International Relations major with a double minor in French and Latin American studies at Saint Joseph’s University. I am a rising senior with hopes of going to law school once I graduate to pursue international law. At school, I volunteer at the Hispanic health promoter in which I work as a translator for families receiving free medical checkups. In my free time, I enjoy running as well as fostering cats with my roommates.
Adriana Jurado, Chatham University
Adriana is a recent Chatham University Political Science alum who will begin their MSW with a focus on Community, Organization, and Social Action. She worked at the Pennsylvania Center for Women and Politics in various positions for 3 years during her time at Chatham and was the President of the College Democrats.
Ivana Karataseva, East Stroudsburg University
My name is Ivana Karataseva, and I am a rising sophomore at East Stroudsburg University. I was born in Skopje, Macedonia, and moved – at the age of five – to New York City after my family won the green card lottery. Currently, I am studying Political Science with a concentration in international relations and comparative; and minoring in Sociology. My plan with this degree is to go into the nonprofit sector and work, one day, in the United Nations. I hope to use my knowledge and experience to make an equitable and stainable impact in the world. While I am still unsure of which sector to focus on, I am highly passionate about human rights, education, healthcare, and climate change. This past year has taught me a lot of valuable things. I was fortunate to attend a gap semester program in the fall called Global Citizen Year Academy. It connected me with dozens of change-driven students my age from all around the world. We learned about sustainable community building, complex systems theory, and what it means to be a leader. After this program, I learned so much about myself and realized that change comes in all shapes and sizes. So, I hope to continue my leadership journey through this program and connect with more inspirational future leaders.
Malachiah Koehler, Slippery Rock University
Malachiah/Kai Koehler a passionate justice advocate living in Pittsburgh, PA. She graduated from Slippery Rock University in May 2020 with a BA in Criminology/Criminal Justice and minors in Political Science, Professional Spanish, and Psychology. Now, she works to build capacity in local nonprofit organizations and hopes to go to grad school for a Masters of Public Administration in 2022. Interests: criminal justice reform, racial equity, DEI, wellness spaces, trauma & healing, human rights, empowerment, sustainability, etc.
Deva Leach, Cedar Crest College
My name is Deva Leach. I attend Cedar Crest College and I’m a psychology major. I’m studying to be a forensic psychologist and I’m active in several diversity organizations on campus. I’m an inclusion advocate for our Center of Diversity and Inclusion, and am the secretary of OutThere (our LGBTQ+ Club). I look forward to getting to know all of you more and can’t wait to spend this conference together!
Madelynn Lederer, University of Pittsburgh
Madelynn Lederer is a Stamps Scholar in the University of Pittsburgh Class of 2024. She is seeking a dual degree in Political Science and Public and Professional Writing and a Certificate in Leadership. Outside the classroom, Madelynn is an active member of the Pitt community, serving as a Blue and Gold Society Ambassador and member of the Pitt Alumni Student Network. She is also the Entertainment Chair of Pitt Dance Marathon, a member of the 2021-2022 Academic Affairs Committee for the Student Government Board, a brother of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, a graduate of the Panther Leadership Academy, and a regular volunteer tutor at the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh. Madelynn was a campaign staffer for Caroline Turner’s campaign for Judge in Philadelphia, managing the candidates social media presence while also contributing to written materials distributed by the campaign. She hopes to continue gaining experience working in politics throughout her undergraduate career. After graduation, Madelynn plans to attend law school. She credits her happiness and success to her family, mother Gina, father Matthew, brother Gregory, and rescue dog Maybelle.
Emily Mensing, University of Pittsburgh
I am a rising senior at the University of Pittsburgh majoring in History and Political Science and minoring in Legal Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies with an Honors Distinction. At school, I have been involved as a Peer Advisor for the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Academic Advising Department, a Resident Assistant for first-year students, a member and parliamentarian of Gamma Sigma Sigma Service Sorority, a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Fraternity, and an undergraduate teaching assistant and research assistant for a professor in the Political Science department. I am also currently completing an undergraduate internship with Women’s Law Project, an organization based in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to legally advocate on the rights of women, girls, and LGBTQ+ people.
This year I will be applying to law schools to begin in the Fall 2022 term. I am interested in pursuing the areas of public interest and/or public service. Within public interest, I would like to be focused on the areas of gender equity, bias, and discrimination. As I have already seen in my internship, this area has great overlap with politics as it involves analyzing and promoting legislation to be brought on the local, state, and national levels, as well as promoting the continued education of elected officials on these matters. Through engaging in the NEW Leadership program, I am hoping to further my skills of being an effective leader in the political arena in order to benefit my personal and professional interests.
Anika Moralis, Dickinson College
I am a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major and a Spanish minor at Dickinson College, and an incoming junior, graduating in 2023. I am passionate about law, politics, and social justice and would like to develop a career that connects these areas of interest. AOC is someone I greatly admire and I am constantly inspired by her and fellow women in leadership positions. I love to travel and, COVID-19 allowing, will be studying abroad in Norwich, England at the University of East Anglia for the upcoming academic year. I am specifically interested in issues of racial and gender justice, justice for those wrongfully convicted, and the reformation of the prison system. Aside from school and politics, I enjoy finding new movies and TV shows to watch, with my current favorites being Almost Famous and High Fidelity.
Manuella Mwihemuka, Allegheny College
I attended Allegheny College in Meadville PA and got my major in French, with minors in Political Science and Spanish. I was born and raised in Africa and currently live in New York State. Including English, I speak my native tongue (Kinyarwanda), French, and some Spanish. During my time at Allegheny, I was involved with Student Government as well as different cultural clubs such as the International Club, Gator Activity Programming (GAP), and French Club. I enjoy traveling and learning about new cultures, and I hope in the next few years to go to Asia, specifically Japan. It has always been a goal of mine to spend time there immersing myself in the culture and learning more about the history, and balance between the modern world and traditional Japanese life. For the moment however, I work for an insurance company, while simultaneously working towards my MPA with a focus on Healthcare Administration. I am interested in learning about the challenges refugees face when it comes to mental health. I hope to be able to contribute to the finding of resources and solutions, that will help deal with the effects of trauma experienced prior to resettlement in a new country. Mental health is a challenging topic to discuss, however it seems to have become more prevalent lately, and I hope that this emerging change will translate through to different communities, including refugees and immigrants. It is a pleasure to be here with everyone and look forward to a very educational conference.
Madison Nareski, Juniata College
Madison graduated from Juniata College in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in International Politics and minors in Economics and Spanish. Currently, she is working as an AmeriCorps VISTA and is placed at a small nonprofit that supports children and families in Duluth, Minnesota. In the future, she wants to earn her Master’s degree in Public Policy and work in Foreign Policy. In her free time, Madison enjoys cooking, knitting, and reading a good book.
Olivia Negro, Ursinus College
Olivia Negro is a third-year student at Ursinus College majoring in politics and educational studies with a teaching certificate in social studies. At Ursinus, Olivia is a member of a national service-learning program named the Bonner Leaders. Bonners complete 300 hours of community service and training and focus on social justice and community building. Through the Bonner program, Olivia works closely with several local community service organizations that range in focus from disability empowerment to disadvantaged youth academic tutoring. As a Melrose Fellow at Ursinus, Olivia studies international relations and global issues. Olivia also advocates for voting and has participated in PA Democratic get-out-the-vote campaigns since she was old enough to vote. Olivia developed a deep interest in local and state politics while she interned for State Senator Maria Collett in May 2019. Additionally, Olivia loves participating in Model UN and has been a passionate “MUNer” for five years. She has been awarded the honor to serve as head delegate to the 2021-2022 Ursinus delegation to the National Model UN Conference in New York City. Olivia’s political interests are far and wide, though she likes to focus on environmental justice, climate change policy, and voting rights. This summer, Olivia is preparing for the Washington Internship Institute in D.C. during the summer of 2022. Olivia is looking forward to meeting the NEW Leadership cohort and making lifelong friends while learning how she can be more involved in politics and advocate for positive change.
Kali Pupo, Juniata College
Claire Raines, Chatham University
I am entering my senior year at Chatham University, where I am studying to earn a Bachelors degree in Social Work, a minor in Food Studies, and Women’s Leadership Certificate. I have currently been working on and off my campus to address and alleviate food insecurity. I hope to continue to pursue food justice and food sovereignty in my future career in policy or another related field.
Allison Rose, Allegheny College
Hello! My name is Allison Rose, and I prefer to be called Allison, not Allie, please! My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am an upcoming junior at Allegheny College in Meadville PA, class of 2023. I originally entered college playing softball for my school, however, decided to retire my sophomore year. I am currently studying mathematics with a double minor in German and WGSS, Women’s Gender & Sexuality Studies. I am not quite sure what I want to do career-wise, however, all I know is I want to be able to find a way to help children and women who are in bad situations and help them find a way out or turn their life around.
Alex Sanna, Juniata College
Hi! I’m Alex Sanna, a rising sophomore studying Environmental Policy and Law at Juniata College in Western PA. I hope to become an environmental lawyer or Congressional staffer in the future, and love reading, writing, and meeting new people!
Rylee Shafer, Juniata College
I am a Junior studying at Juniata College in Huntingdon PA. I am majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus on Politics and, Peace/Conflict studies. I am minoring in studio art with a focus on the environment. I am unsure of where I want to take my degree, but I would like to work in activism. After I graduate, I hope to join the peace corps and help the underprivileged. Hello fellow leaders!
Alexia Smith, Misericordia University
My name is Alexia Smith and I am a senior at Misericordia University. I major in Government, Law, and National Security with a minor in Psychology. I plan on attending law school after graduation, as my dream job is to be appointed District Attorney. As a woman of color, I take particular interest in racial and social justice. I realized at a young age that this country did not want women to succeed. A program like this is proving this stigma wrong, and doing so with absolute grace. I am honored to learn from and network with future female leaders of America.
Lilly Tiska, Shippensburg University
Lilly Tiska is a rising Sophomore in the Wood Honors College at Shippensburg University, double majoring in Political Science and Economics with a Data Science concentration and minoring in Public Service. She currently lives in south-central PA in Waynesboro and is working as a part of a local voter’s initiative in Franklin County to educate people in her community on local elections and to increase voter registration in the area. As of now, Lilly would love to attend either graduate school or law school in PA or in the DC area to further her education in the field. Some topics she is passionate about include voting rights, prison reform, women’s rights, and climate change. After completing school, she plans on diving into the world of non-profits. Lilly currently works as a barista at a local coffeeshop, and, in her free time, loves playing music, going to concerts, and reading with her dog, Jack.
Lyvia Toth, Juniata College
My name is Lyvia Toth and I am a 2021 graduate from Juniata College with a degree in International Politics with Analytics and a minor in Spanish. I studied abroad twice with a short-term summer trip to the Gambia in 2019 and a partial semester abroad in Sevilla, Spain in 2020. My time abroad fueled my love of travel and adventure, which I hope to continue even more after the pandemic. During my senior year, I worked as the Politics Department assistant and as a Writing Associate for a politics first-year writing class, where I learned a lot from the professors and students that I worked with. After four years of politics classes, I’m not quite sure if I want to pursue a political career or head to grad school just yet, but both are options that I am considering for the future. I want to further my data science skills and my understanding of the world as I search for potential research, campaign, and analytical jobs. I taught myself to crochet (currently working on blanket #3!) and I am constantly widening my plant collection. I’m always open to a book recommendation or a good conversation!
Lalah C. Williams, Chatham University
Lalah C. Williams (she/hers) is a senior at Chatham University majoring in Policy Studies and pursuing the Women’s Leadership Certificate. Lalah is passionate about engaging youth & young adults in the political process, combating voter suppression, state and local politics, and Black maternal health care policy.
Dedicated to community service through leadership, Lalah serves as the Vice President for Student Diversity & Inclusion of Chatham Undergraduate Student Government, serves on the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, and is an active member of the Chatham Democrats. Lalah works part-time with an organization providing women with educational and training opportunities in politics and public policy.
Lalah is a proud lifetime Girl Scout and Girl Scout Gold Award recipient. Lalah served as a member of the Girl Scout Council Nation’s Capital (GSCNC) Board of Directors (2017 – 2018), was selected as a Student Page for Maryland’s 438th General Assembly (2018), and participated in GSCNC’s Congressional Aide Program in the office of U. S. Representative Billy Long (R-MO). For her Gold Award project, Lalah coordinated and hosted a free leadership luncheon and panel discussion designed to help 50 middle school girls visualize themselves in elected leadership by meeting and speaking with local women in elected office.
Regina Yeung, Shippensburg University
Regina Yeung is a rising sophomore attending Shippensburg University. She is majoring in Political Science with an International concentration with hopes of becoming a civil rights attorney. She loves to read, hike, run and spend time with her family and friends in her free time. In her first year at Shippensburg, she was involved with various extracurriculars such as Mock Trial, the Political Science Club, First Generation Students, Colleges Against Cancer and joined Phi Sigma Pi, an Honors Fraternity. She is also a member of the Wood Honors College at Shippensburg University. Regina is very excited to meet the rest of the participants and the organizers who have similar interests in politics as her and have fun with this amazing opportunity!
Diana Arriaga, University of Texas at Austin
Diana is a rising sophomore at the University of Texas at Austin. She is double-majoring in Plan II Honors and International Relations and Global Studies. She uses she/her/hers pronouns; although she is from Mexico, she has attended school in the United States since elementary. She is a bilingual individual who hopes to learn a third language, specifically French. Some of her interests include social justice, languages, community service, and climate change. A recent essay of hers connected the usage of the word “nice” to negative effects on women’s identities and positions of power, also detailing how women break stereotypes by turning the same word against oppressors, regaining control of their image. She will pursue an internship with the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies this upcoming Fall semester, combating linguistic discrimination. She enjoys iced coffee, reading, swimming, volleyball, and playing with her dog!
Forough Askarirad, University of Texas at San Antonio
Forough is a rising Senior and Terry Scholar at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Majoring in Psychology and minoring in Global Affairs, she plans to attend law school in pursuit of becoming an immigration lawyer. Forough will graduate next Spring with a Bachelor of Arts degree and from the Honors College with Distinction. While at UTSA, Forough has led on campus and created a mental health and awareness initiative on campus called Mental Health Day at UTSA through her Mental Health Team Student Organization. She has studied abroad in Italy and was awarded numerous accolades for her achievements. Forough is involved with the community of San Antonio and has interned with the office of Congressman Lloyd Doggett and the City’s Immigration Liaison, whom she will work with again this summer. Next Spring, Forough will study and intern in Washington, D.C., as an Archer Fellow.
Mary Beltran, Southwestern University
Mary is a student at Southwestern University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. On campus, she is involved in Mock Trial, Alpha Delta Pi sorority, the History Union, and Residence Life. Balancing extracurriculars with school has allowed her to learn time management skills that have transferred into the workplace.
Beltran worked in aquatics for five years as a lifeguard, swim instructor, and pool supervisor. For each of these positions, she worked to get the correct certification and keep them up to date. The past two years, she has also been a Resident Assistant on campus. Through work and extracurricular activities, Beltran has had the opportunity to develop skills in teamwork and communication which have allowed for productive work environments. In her free time, Beltran likes to paint or bake. In addition, she enjoys watching movies or going to new places with friends.
LeeAnn Bowman, Texas Tech University
LeeAnn is an undergraduate student at Texas Tech University, majoring in Human Sciences and minoring in Woman and Gender Studies. She is a 2 time recipient of the Gwen Sorrell Scholarship endowment, which is offered to students that began their education after age 25. She has been a Teaching Assistant for an Introduction course in Women and Gender Studies that focuses on sexuality and Queer Feminism for 3 semesters. She is a mother of 2 boys and grandmother of 5 grandchildren. She retired at an early age from a long career in retail management. She is following her dreams to be an advocate and activist against social injustices and fights for gender equality and LGBTQIA inclusion. Her goal for the future is to complete a master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Her interests include spending time with her family, gardening and social justice work. LeeAnn is a critical thinker and uses her life experiences to enhance her education. Her motto is “she believed she could, so she did.”
Tanya Brooks, University of Houston
Tanya is a 38-year-old single mom to a 15-year-old young man. She has been striving for excellence since the day her parents planted the seed in her mind to do great things. Tanya still believes she can do great things in this world and teach her son to do the same. She grew up in a small town named Charenton, Louisiana and believes that small town and its diversity helped shape her at a young age to become the woman she is today. They didn’t have much but she never knew or understood this until she was older. Tanya’s family moved to Texas when she was 8 years old and ever since then she has been on a mission to do her best in life and succeed in everything she does. Tanya was very nervous to sign up for this conference and it is mainly because she knew she would be surrounded by successful women (in their own right), and she is still a student trying to reach a goal. But she put those fears to the side and decided she is also successful, in her own right, and she too may have something to offer.
Faith Brough, University of the Incarnate Word
Faith is a senior at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. She is majoring in rehabilitative sciences with a focus in pre-physical therapy and received the Rehabilitative Sciences Academic Award. Faith has been accepted for direct admission to Incarnate Word’s School of Physical Therapy, where she also works as a lab assistant. She is active in student life and serves as social media manager for her school’s Special Olympics Club, which recently won Best New Organization at UIW. She is a previous level ten gymnast and currently coaches competitive and recreational gymnastics at Endurance Elite Gymnastics and Dance. In her free time, Faith volunteers for Kinetic Kids, a local organization that helps kids with special needs play sports. In the future, she looks forward to pursuing a career serving others around the world.
Aspen Coriz-Romero, Southwestern University
Aspen is a 19-year-old Chicana woman who is a rising sophomore at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. She is a recipient of the New Mexico Davis Scholarship and an Anthropology and Feminist Studies double major with a minor in Race and Ethnicity Studies. She is currently an active member of the Alpha Tau chapter of Kappa Delta Chi as well the Coalition for Diversity and Social Justice. After completing her undergraduate degree she intends on earning a Ph.D. in American Studies and becoming a faculty at a university.
Serenity De Leon, Texas State University
Serenity is a junior at Texas State University majoring in Political Science with a minor in Business. Serenity currently serves as a Student Government Senator and the Honor Code Council. Serenity is the Vice president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Supporting Women in Political Science, League of United Latin American Citizens, Student Support Services and member of Emerging Leaders Program. In Fall 2021, Serenity will be a representative of the inaugural Stelos Scholars program at Texas State University. After obtaining her undergraduate degree, Serenity’s dream is to attend law school, become an attorney, and serve in political office. When Serenity isn’t doing schoolwork, she loves to debate with friends on politics, perform in musical theatre shows, and volunteer for community service. Serenity is thrilled for New Leadership Texas and the opportunity to meet diverse women leaders and learn skills to influence positive change throughout her lifetime.
Ana Guerrero, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Ana was born and raised in Reynosa, which is a small Mexican city characterized by its spicy cuisine and patriotic festivals. Naturally, the societal injustices present in her hometown evoked in Ana a genuine passion for legal advocacy and international politics. Currently, she is a junior at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, majoring in political science and minoring in psychology and communication studies. As a Hispanic student committed with her community, Ana has participated as a mentor in the University Interscholastic League through which she encouraged elementary students to honor their culture through poetry and public speaking competitions. In addition, she has also participated in humanitarian projects such as Voice for Survivors, which is a nonprofit organization that advocates for sexual assault victims. In the future, Ana aspires to be an international lawyer with the objective of globally promoting inclusiveness as the principal component of collective progress.
Jules Kasper, Southwestern University
Jules was born and raised in the Austin area and currently lives in Cedar Park. Jules is a student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. She is a senior working towards a degree in philosophy with a minor in race and ethnicity studies. Topics of particular interest to her include feminist philosophy and affect theory which she will be focusing on in her capstone. She currently works at her university’s writing center as a writing consultant and in her university’s library at the infodesk. This summer she will spend her time interning at a local museum. After graduating, Jules hopes to attend graduate school to become an academic librarian. She is passionate about environmental justice, reproductive rights, and learning about ways she can empower herself and other women. In her free time, you will find Jules listening to podcasts, playing animal crossing, and reading.
Maricruz Lopez Estrada, Brookhaven Collge
Maricruz is Mexican and 24 years old. She came here to the United States in 2014. When she arrived, she was returned for 3 years in her studies. She is working toward an Associate of Arts in Teaching degree, specializing in her dreams. She has a big family and lovely parents and works hard every day to make her parents proud of her, because she is the only one in her family who is studying. She likes to have experiences in her life, meeting new people from all over the world with different language, culture, and tradition, also people who help her to be successful in her life.
Gbemisola Raji, University of North Texas
Gbemisola is a student at the University of North Texas studying political science with a minor in Communication Studies. She is interested in legal advocacy and in her free time, she enjoys creative writing especially poetry and short stories. Not only is she a mentor to low-income students at her university, but she also holds leadership positions in many organizations.
Sierra Rodriguez, American University
Sierra is a Political Science Major at American University with extensive Campaign experience and stellar leadership skills. Sierra is enrolled in three certificate programs at American University: Community-Based Research Scholars, Advanced Leadership Studies, and Women, Policy, and Political Leadership. Sierra is currently interning at New Way Forward Strategies, a political organization that supports candidates to help ensure victory within their campaigns. Sierra has previously worked alongside many Texas political figures, such as Beto O’Rourke in his Senate and Presidential Campaigns, Lulu Seikaly in her Congressional Campaign, and Congressman Van Taylor on his Congressional Youth Advisory Council. When returning to Dallas this summer, Sierra plans on working with Beto’s Powered by People campaign to register voters and recruit ambassadors on college campuses to set up voter registration drives for the fall. Overall, Sierra has a passion for American politics and is excited to see where the future will take her!
Maissa Salibi, Lamar University
Maissa is a junior political science major, legal studies minor at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. She is involved as a leader in many organizations around campus such as Pre-Law Society, Moot Court, Pi Sigma Alpha, Student Government Association, Student Government Election Commission, the ePortfolio Advisory Committee, and Honors Student Association. Maissa has presented research she has done for her political science classes at conferences hosted by the university, where she has won numerous awards. She also has the honor of serving as a Lamar University Ambassador and a staff writer for the campus newspaper, University Press. Maissa is incredibly interested in politics and is active in her community when it comes to civic engagement. She has volunteered for campaigns, helped educate voters and promote voter mobilization and participation. After she graduates, Maissa plans on attending law school and earning her J.D., in hopes of practicing public interest law.
Luz Sandoval, University of North Texas
Luz comes from McAllen, Tx. and graduated from Midlothian High School as a four-time national qualifier and Arthur N. Rupe Scholar. At Midlothian, Luz was the Captain of the debate team and had the opportunity to shadow Robin McCarty’s Law Office, while earning several awards in regional, state, and national competitions. Currently, Luz is a junior at the University of North Texas and is taking up a B.A in Political Science, a minor in criminal justice, and her certification in legal studies. She is a current member and former president of the UNT Speech and Debate team. Luz works as a volunteer judge for high school and college competitions and is active in the Mean Green Comet Debate Institute. Luz enjoys art, jewelry making, and playing guitar in her spare time. After graduation, Luz will intern as a paralegal, while studying to take the LSAT in the fall.
Kathryn Schilling-Ramirez, St. Edward’s University
Kathryn is a sophomore at St. Edward’s University majoring in History and minoring in Political Science. A native Texan originally from San Antonio, Kathryn has been an active leader in her community from a young age. She has interned with the Texas House of Representatives as well as the Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas. At the current moment, she is the Program’s Chair of IGNITE at SEU; a student led non-partisan organization that works to change the landscape of future politics by creating a diverse network of student leaders who work to promote political representation and fight gender discrimination. She is also an Orientation Leader on campus as well as a student worker with Academic Support Services. After graduating, she hopes to study Public Policy abroad and receive her master’s degree. She hopes to bring awareness and tangible change in the way mental health is portrayed in the public’s viewpoint.
Sheryl Sellers, University of Houston-Downtown
Sheryl is a spring 2021 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Houston-Downtown with a major in Interdisciplinary Studies and minors in Marketing and in Communication Studies. She achieved placement on the Dean’s List each semester as a full-time student. She served as co-vice president for community service as a member the university’s National Society of Collegiate Scholars and is a member of its National Society of Leadership and Success. During the past year, she held the positions of business manager and writer for The Dateline, UHD’s student-run newspaper. Her journalistic writing includes political opinion pieces and coverage of the university’s faculty senate meetings. She received honorable mention for her essay “The Contributions of a Nineteenth-Century Settlement House to the Life of One Russian Immigrant Girl” at the 2020 History, Humanities and Languages Student Research Conference. Sheryl is a frequent volunteer at Montrose Grace Place advocating for Houston’s homeless youth, the Houston Food Bank, and her church. Sheryl is mother to three children and four grandchildren.
Dylan Tompkins, Trinity University
Dylan (she/her) is a recent graduate of Trinity University with a B.A. in Economics and a concentration in public policy. Originally from Madison, Mississippi, she used her time at Trinity to explore her art, writing, and climate activism interests. In 2019 and 2021, she became a member of the Omicron Delta Epsilon and Pi Sigma Alpha, respectively. She now lives with her significant other in Huntsville, AL where she currently holds a remote research assistant position through Trinity’s Economics Department. In the coming years, she hopes to get her Master’s in Public Policy with a concentration in energy policy. In her free time, she enjoys running, building Star Wars Legos, and watching Hulu with her cat.
Chanel VanHook, Texas Woman’s University
Chanel is a Navy Veteran, 2020 Texas Civic Ambassador, and political science major, specializing in legal studies and Spanish at Texas Woman’s University. She currently works as a student social media strategist for the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at Texas Woman’s University and co-founded Black the Vote Texas, an organization created to galvanize civic and political engagement in young Black Texans. Passionate about voting rights and elections, she served as both a deputy voter registrar and election judge for Denton County during the 2020 general election cycle. Chanel was an equal opportunity compliance manager and uniformed victim advocate while in the Navy and hopes to attend Texas Law or Howard Law to continue that work as an attorney.
Katie Yorker, Dallas College-Brookhaven
Katie is a returning college student, pursuing a second career in the medical field. She has been a restaurant manager in the Dallas area for the past 9 years and was laid off when her restaurant closed due to the pandemic. She has spent the past year completing coursework towards a Bachelor of Science degree and is looking to medical school to become a Radiologist. After the loss of her mother in 2012 due to cancer, she has been interested in cancer treatments and prevention, and the time off work was just the push needed to go back to school. She is highly motivated, loves to read, and believes that her experience in customer service will easily translate into the medical field.