2020 Truman Scholars

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Congratulations to the 2020 Truman Scholars! In 2020, we selected 62 outstanding college students from 55 institutions as Truman Scholars. Read more about them in our Press Release.  Biographies, provided by the Scholars, appear below.

The Foundation reviewed 773 files from 316 institutions. Students were nominated by their institution based on their records of leadership, public service, and academic achievement. Our Finalist Selection Committee selected 190 students from 136 institutions to interview with the Foundation’s Regional Review Panels between March 1 and April 6. The 2020 Truman Scholarship Finalists can be found here.


Chris Avila
Williams College
Chris studies chemistry and political economy. His background in hard science, interest in law and policy, and understanding of the justice implications of climate change have compelled him to focus on this issue and deliver environmental justice, along with the best of his generation. He intends to pursue a JD/MS in environmental science, natural resources, and forestry, in order to address the political and legal roadblocks to climate action. He is particularly interested in an expanded use of criminal law and the power of the American prosecutor to deter polluters and ensure environmental justice. Chris enjoys running competitively and building community by facilitating storytelling events.

Bessie Bauman
Bessie Bauman
Yale University

Bessie, daughter of Ivelis Bauman and sister of Mercedes Bauman, is originally from Olathe, Kansas. Currently, she is studying economics with a concentration in inequality. She is passionate about bettering United States tax policy and mitigating wealth inequality. She has a specific interest in creating state-level social policies that improve families’ economic stability and mobility. Bessie serves as co-president and site coordinator of one of the largest Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program sites in Connecticut, helping to return millions of dollars in refunds to low-income taxpayers each tax season. This year, she implemented voter registration at her local tax site in partnership with the Brookings Institution. Bessie previously worked as an intern at a Minneapolis-based nonprofit, MicroGrants, to help alleviate poverty through small grants to diverse people. Bessie also loves sharing and practicing her first language, American Sign Language, with others. Bessie is committed to making sure that the United States is a place where all people, regardless of their language or background, can prosper economically. To this end, she plans to pursue a JD with a focus on tax law.

Ashni Bhojwani
South Carolina
Clemson University
Ashni is of Belizean and Indian origins, and was born in Belize before immigrating to the United States as a child. Her determination to serve underrepresented groups stems from her experience as an immigrant and biracial woman living in South Carolina, and is her constant motivation to work and volunteer with vulnerable groups in her community. In the summer of 2019, she interned with the Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ), a nonprofit that tirelessly works to end the prosecution, sentencing, and incarceration of youth in the United States, and in doing so, found her career inspiration. Ashni is a criminal justice and psychology dual-degree student. Ashni has been heavily involved with the Clemson Undergraduate Student Government for six semesters and was the first woman and person of color appointed to serve as the Chief Justice on the Supreme Court. She is also a Title IX officer for cases of sexual assault, and a member of the Judicial Branch to hear cases of misconduct. Ashni plans on pursuing a JD with an emphasis on public interest law so that she can challenge institutionalized racism on a systemic level and continue her work with social justice issues and criminal justice reform.

Juan Bibiloni-Rivera
Iowa State University
Juan was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Growing up, his intense passion for leadership and service developed through his involvement with Boy Scouts (where he obtained Eagle Scout status) and his Jesuit education at Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola. In 2016, he was selected as a George Washington Carver Scholar to attend Iowa State University, where he is currently a junior studying mechanical engineering. At Iowa State, Juan is active on campus, having served in numerous student government roles, and eventually being elected as student body vice president in 2018. Juan’s passion for increasing transit accessibility led him to serve on the Ames Transit (CyRide) Board of Trustees where his leadership effected changes to improve the lives of Ames’ citizens on a daily basis. Juan hopes to pursue an MPA focused on public financial management and social policy, and a JD focused on public interest law. Ultimately, he aims to build a career in public service developing public transit and infrastructure policy that improves the quality of life for our country’s most marginalized groups.

Jackson Blackwell
Boise State University
Jackson is pursuing majors in economics and political science through the Honors Program. A lifelong Alaskan, he is passionate about his state and its people, having served in various state and local public service roles. He has been active in issues relating to energy and environmental policy, most recently completing a semester working for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where he focused on renewable energy and Arctic policy issues. Jackson has been active in student government, having served as the government relations officer for the Executive Board, representing more than 25,000 students. Additionally, he serves as strategic development director for an Alaska-based nonprofit, the Arctic Encounter Symposium. In this role, he has organized events and convenings in the United States, Iceland, and the United Kingdom. Following graduation, Jackson hopes to pursue a JD/MPP, focusing on energy and environmental law, with the intent to pursue public service roles in Alaska and Washington, D.C.

Adrienne Blakey
Oklahoma State University
Adrienne is pursuing dual degrees in plant and soil sciences and agricultural communications, with a minor in agricultural economics. She is originally from Stillwater, Oklahoma, where her family has been involved in cattle ranching for five generations. While at Oklahoma State, she worked as a researcher for the OSU Wheat Breeding Program and Nutritional Sciences Department. She has published multiple papers and co-developed a new wheat variety. Adrienne served as an Oklahoma FFA State Officer and represented the Ferguson College of Agriculture as a student council member and ambassador. Adrienne’s involvement in OSU Student Government Association included serving as its legislative director, a member of the Food Insecurity Committee, and chair of the Sustainability Committee. She also represents the Honors College and Office of Scholar Development and Undergraduate Research as an ambassador. Adrienne is a nationally-recognized Agronomy Society of America Greenfield Scholar, a National Association of Plant Breeders Borlaug Scholar, and a finalist for the Star in Agriscience award through the National FFA Organization, one of the top five national awards in the 500,000-member student organization. Adrienne’s involvement with these activities further developed her desire to increase food security and nutritional stability from the foundation of the food supply: agriculture. Adrienne plans to pursue an MPH with a concentration in food systems, and she plans to use agriculture as a means to stabilize communities and human nutrition both locally and abroad.

Aryemis Brown
United States Air Force Academy
Aryemis is a third-year student, majoring in legal studies and humanities with minors in religion studies and philosophy. Next year he will serve as the Cadet Wing Commander, the senior cadet responsible for the daily operations of the approximately 4,000-member Air Force Cadet Wing. His research interests include global space security and sustainability policy, as well as aesthetic philosophy, art, music, and literature. In his free time, Aryemis volunteers with the Children’s Literacy Center at Penrose Library. Aryemis loves his many other extracurricular activities, including editing the school’s literary magazine, helping at the student fitness center, and interning at his school’s legal office. Aryemis is grateful for the wonderful community of support, from the Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland, and at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that has helped propel his academic, military, athletic, and artistic scholarship. His mother and father, CAPT Claudia Brown and Maj. (ret.) Chris Brown (USAFA ’79), and his two brothers, Cadet Alex Brown (USAFA ’20) and Austin Brown (USAFA ’24), are his biggest fans and role models. Aryemis is excited and humbled to serve in the United States Air Force.

Brianna Bull Shows
Montana State University-Bozeman
Ulinnnae Itcha Olubaash (Finds Good Road – English name Brianna Bull Shows) is an enrolled member of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe and a descendant of the Pikuni (Blackfeet) tribe. She is from Boahpuuo (Pryor, Montana) and was fortunate to grow up in a multigenerational home where she was taught Apsáalooke traditional cultural values, as well as the importance of formal education. She is dedicated to her community and improving the health of the Apsáalooke people. Her goal is to obtain an MPH degree and return to her reservation to create community-based programs that empower community members and improve their health.

Virginia Burton
University of Washington-Seattle
Virginia is majoring in political science and plans to pursue a JD in order to realize her dream of prison reform. She is also a first-generation nontraditional student and a single parent. She formerly supervised three programs with a social service agency and was greatly impacted by the disparities she experienced between the clients she served and the rest of society. It was then that she chose to return to school to earn the credentials necessary to open doors toward her calling. She volunteers mentoring prisoners recently released from prisons, teaches Sunday school to seven-year-olds, is a hiking support to people in recovery, and sponsors recovering women in a 12-step program. In her free time, Virginia likes to backpack in Washington State’s backcountry and climb mountains.

Kristen Busch
University of Chicago
Kristen is a joint BA/MA student with a background in disability, economic, and tech justice. She is currently majoring in economics and international relations, with a specialization in political economy. On campus, she is the co-president of a disability activism student group, a Stamps Scholar, deaf studies research assistant, and member of various advisory boards within student government and the Office of the Provost. She has worked at both the state and federal level in public policy, including internships for the Illinois House Majority Leader, Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Washington office, the United States Department of the Interior, State Department, Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign in Iowa, and Facebook’s public policy team. Her work experiences have motivated her to pursue a JD/MPP with a focus on disability policy. Currently, she approaches disability justice from an economic and tech framework through her special education and tech-focused nonprofit, which she co-founded with two other University of Chicago students. She plans to delve into the intersection of these fields in her career in public service.

Olúwátọ̀nà Campbell
Rhode Island
New York University
Olúwátọ̀nà is a proud first-generation Nigerian-American from Cumberland, Rhode Island. Olúwátọ̀nà studies politics and technology at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study. On campus, he writes for the NYU Journal of Politics and International Affairs, while also mentoring new transfer students. Olúwátọ̀nà’s concentration aims to study the impact of big data and emerging technologies on marginalized peoples. As an intern with the Rhode Island Department of Labor, he worked to implement policy addressing the impact of innovation and automation. Olúwátọ̀nà has spent the last three years organizing for progressive campaigns around the country, first with the Hillary Clinton campaign in New Hampshire, and then the Sheldon Whitehouse campaign in 2018. Last summer he moved to Iowa with Elizabeth Warren’s campaign, advocating for digital rights and economic justice. While studying abroad in the United Arab Emirates, Olúwátọ̀nà served as a research assistant examining the causes of stagnant economic growth. His experiences within the fields of policy and social advocacy inspire him to fight against algorithmic bias, data misuse, and surveillance. After graduation, he plans to pursue an MPP with a concentration in technology policy.

Annah Chollet
University of Pennsylvania
Annah is double majoring in gender, sexuality, and women’s studies, and biological basis of behavior, with a concentration in health and disability and a minor in chemistry. With a dual passion for health care and criminal justice reform, she has spent her college career advocating for the wellness of both the students at the University of Pennsylvania and the women at Riverside Correctional Facility, Philadelphia’s all-female jail. Planning to pursue a joint MD/MPP, Annah hopes to spend her career working at the intersection of policy and practice, increasing access to high-quality primary and preventative care, particularly in regard to the incarcerated population. When she isn’t busy as the president of Project LETS at Penn, an advocacy group dedicated to reducing the stigma around mental illness, or educating the incarcerated on reproductive health, Annah can be found playing electric guitar and singing as part of the Bloomers Band.

Audrey Cope
South Dakota
Augustana University
Audrey studies government, international affairs, and French at Augustana University. Her experiences with South Dakota’s political leaders include an internship in the Washington, D.C. office of Senate Majority Whip John Thune and selection for the campaign leadership team of Congressman and 1998 South Dakota Truman Scholar Dusty Johnson. Audrey has learned that South Dakota’s needs require active bipartisanship and honesty, especially when ensuring equitable access to higher education. Audrey successfully ran for vice president of the Augustana Student Association with a highly diverse, bipartisan administration in 2019-2020. She was instrumental in developing Augustana’s largest strategic plan in history, helping compose new measures for advancing equity in admissions and student resource allocation. These experiences with both university policy and public policy are the foundation for her passion for creating active partnerships between South Dakota’s state government and institutions of higher education. She will pursue a joint MHE/MPP toward equitable access to higher education. Audrey embodies her home state’s characteristic authenticity, work ethic, and enthusiasm.

Wyatt Deihl
Rollins College
Wyatt is a first-generation college student pursuing a degree in health, medicine, and society, and double minoring in global health and sociology. He serves as president of the Rollins Public Health Association, as well as the director of political affairs for the Rollins College Democrats. Wyatt is dedicated to correcting systems of inequality that lead to health disparities, specifically within the LGBTQ+ community. He is focused on mitigating health disparities in the Deep South, serving as an advocacy intern with Equality Florida. Wyatt’s research highlights racial and gender disparities in HIV-related arrest reporting in Florida. As a United Nations Millennium Fellow, Wyatt organized a panel of key stakeholders to promote decriminalization efforts. Wyatt intends to pursue a JD/MPH in order to serve as a public interest attorney with a focus on lessening health disparities. Wyatt’s fight for LGBTQ+ equality and health equity transcend his identity and embody his quest for social justice for all marginalized and disenfranchised communities.

Valerie Doze
North Dakota
College of Saint Benedict
Valerie is a double major in biochemistry and German. Committed to undergraduate research, she has conducted interviews with professionals on climate change and conflict at the UNFCCC (COP24), and with refugees and refugee workers while abroad in Austria. She has laboratory research experience in the biomedical sciences, and looks forward to pursuing neuroscience research at Johns Hopkins University this summer. On her campus, Valerie is a board member for Climate Action Club, works as a Writing Center peer tutor and chemistry TA, and was a participant in 2019 and 2020 Harvard National Model United Nations, representing delegations from the World Health Organization. She is passionate about climate and public health policy, especially as she has seen the impact of climate change on health in North Dakota and other areas of the United States. She plans to pursue an MHS in environmental health at Johns Hopkins University and hopes to work as a public health scientist and policymaker at the intersection of climate change and public health.

Camilo Duran
University of Pennsylvania
Cam is a Latinx first-generation college student studying philosophy, politics, and economics, with a concentration in public policy and governance, and a minor in urban studies. Cam serves as a representative on Penn’s legislative branch of student government and is seated on the Equity and Inclusion Committee where he takes on projects to support the needs of marginalized students. He is part of the Cipactli Latinx Honor Society and is a co-chair for FGLIQ, Penn’s student organization dedicated to highlighting the intersectional experiences of queer first-generation, low-income students. Cam has interned with Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym, aiding in the passage of a bill package supporting and protecting transgender youth, and now interns with the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office (DAO) in the Conviction Integrity and Special Investigations Unit under the Krasner administration. Motivated by his experiences growing up with an incarcerated parent, Cam is broadly passionate about addressing criminal justice issues. His work at the DAO revolves primarily around wrongful convictions, but he is especially keen to highlight the resource gap for exonerees attempting to reenter society.

Zachary Eisner
Washington University
Zach developed a passion for global health and medical education after becoming licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B) through the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. He has since worked with emergency medical response teams in Missouri, Arizona, and California, and earned certifications in FEMA Incident Command and Management Systems, as well as EMS instruction through the National Association of EMS Educators. In 2018, Zach co-founded LFR International, a nonprofit organization that collaborates with low-resource communities around the world to train first responders and establish sustainable emergency medical services in regions that would not otherwise have care. Through his work with LFR, Zach has engaged in international public policy work, co-founding the First Responder Coalition of Sierra Leone, and working to draft the first Good Samaritan legislation on the African continent. Zach also works in preventative care by training undergraduate students to intervene in situations of interpersonal violence. As a biomedical engineering student, Zach has developed several devices designed to increase access to medical care, including a low-cost lower arm prosthetic and a cardiac assist pump for infants. Zach hopes to become a physician, focusing on global health and continuing to train medical professionals in underserved communities.

Leya Elias
Stanford University
A proud Bay Area native, Leya studies psychology with minors in political science and African and African American studies. Recently, she used design thinking to reimagine how housing courts could use tailored social services to address housing insecurity. Leya also worked with the Stanford Social Psychological Answers to Real-World Questions Lab to explore implicit racial bias in the criminal justice system. At Stanford, Leya served in student government as the chair of the Senate, where she advocated for the mental health, public safety, and accessibility needs of 7,000+ diverse undergraduate students. From her first internship at San Francisco City Hall, to her most recent with Public Rights Project in Oakland, Leya has always worked towards social and economic empowerment in law and policy. After a summer with the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, Leya received Special Congressional Recognition from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her commitment to social justice and her community. She currently serves as co-president of the Stanford Ethiopian and Eritrean Student Association and the Black Pre-Law Society. Leya hopes to pursue a JD to continue her commitment to creating a more just legal system.

Kerry Eller
Rhode Island
Northeastern University
Kerry is dedicated to fostering innovation in and development of medical technologies for low-resource countries. Kerry has conducted health research on meniscal tears, assays for visual impairment models in zebrafish, and the musculoskeletal effects of obesity. She has also worked at Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile, to track vector-borne illness and monitor pesticide exposure in agricultural workers. Kerry’s passion for research with social impact is also a distinguishing feature of her extensive extracurricular involvement in organizations dedicated to global health. Kerry aims to complete a PhD in bioengineering and to pursue a career working with communities around the world to develop culturally-appropriate technologies that expand access to health care.

Rodrigo Estrada
University of Chicago
Rodrigo is currently pursuing a joint BA/MA in economics and international relations, focusing on international political economy and development. Proudly claiming the US-Mexico border as home, Rodrigo is passionate about inclusive regional development. Growing up five miles from the Rio Grande in the poorest town in Texas, he witnessed firsthand the stranglehold of poverty and systemic underdevelopment suffocating his community. In response, Rodrigo joined the American Red Cross’ El Paso chapter as a high school sophomore. Five years later, he continues turning his compassion into action as a Lead Volunteer in International Services. He has mobilized the power of volunteers to reconnect asylum seekers recently released from detention centers with loved ones around the country. To date, he and his team have helped over 1,000 asylum seekers. He also serves on the American Red Cross’ National Youth Council, on which he represents youth volunteers and advises national leadership on policies and programs concerning youth engagement. His intergovernmental experiences include interning for the White House Domestic Policy Council, in Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Office, and most recently, in the El Paso County Judge’s Office, where he pushed for innovative changes focused on cooperative economic development. Rodrigo gives all the credit to anything he has accomplished to Jesus Christ. As a proud fronterizo (border resident), he aspires to be an advocate for underserved border communities.

Marysol Fernandez-Harvey
Puerto Rico
Brown University
Marysol is a student of comparative literature and economics. Having grown up in Puerto Rico, Marysol is dedicated to giving back to her island community through community-led public service work, with a particular interest in anti-colonial advocacy for a fairer system of governance. Marysol is a staff writer at the Brown Daily Herald, where she uses her voice to share stories of the Puerto Rican and larger Latin American experience. Her writing seeks to challenge traditional narratives that systematically erase Latinx agency. Marysol is passionate about helping others find their voice too, carrying out this work as a writing fellow at Brown. As a participant in the Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment Program, she has learned the importance of this work, particularly with traditionally disenfranchised voices. In her free time, Marysol participates in two dance companies by which she explores movement as a cathartic and empowering practice. In 2018, Marysol interned at the Brooklyn Community Foundation, where she gained experience with the nonprofit sector as well as with grassroots community organizing. She hopes to draw from these experiences as she sets off on her project to spark the movement for Constitutional Assemblies in Puerto Rico.

Kathryn Fleisher
University of Pittsburgh
Kathryn, a Jewish student at the University of Pittsburgh, studies politics and philosophy, and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies, with a minor in creative writing. She is also the executive director of Not My Generation, a nonprofit dedicated to localized, intersectional gun violence prevention organizing for young adults, which she founded following the Tree of Life shooting that took the lives of 11 members of her community. Kathryn is a former NFTY (Reform Jewish Youth Movement) North American president and current Religious Action Center Commission on Social Action (CSA) board member. Following her passion for and dedication to eradicating gun violence, Kathryn also served as a Giffords Courage Fellow and currently conducts community-based research on police violence mitigation in immigrant communities for Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s office. Kathryn previously worked as a Congressional intern for Senator Jacky Rosen. Kathryn, who draws her inspiration for justice work from her Jewish faith, is deeply involved in community organizing and is unapologetically passionate about building a more just and compassionate world.

Mike Floyd
University of Houston
Mike is a political science major with a minor in phronêsis, focusing on the political thought of the early American Republic. In 2017, he was elected to serve as a trustee for the Pearland Independent School District and currently represents over 160,000 constituents. As a trustee, Mike has created district townhalls, raised salaries for 2,500 staff members, balanced deficit budgets, and implemented a comprehensive restorative justice policy, all while managing a $220 million bond project. In his three years as a school board member, he has overseen more than $1 billion of public funds. In 2018, he was elected to a four-year term as treasurer of the Texas Democratic Party, making him the youngest state party official in history. Mike founded a political action committee dedicated to increasing youth turnout in local elections in the Greater Houston area, and he serves on the advisory board of Next Generation Politics, a nonpartisan nonprofit that seeks to develop young people into politically-engaged and civically-aware citizens. Mike also serves as a Supreme Court Justice of the University of Houston’s student government. For his dedication to public service, Mike has received recognition from several notable organizations, including the National Education Association, Children at Risk, the NAACP, and the Houston Chronicle. Mike hopes to pursue a JD and continue his efforts in increasing the vibrancy of American civic culture.

Braeden Foldenauer
Harvard University
Braeden is a first-generation college student studying government and education. From Southaven, Mississippi, Braeden has a passion for education policy and school leadership. He aspires to earn his doctorate in education before returning to his home state to pursue education reform. Braeden maintains a commitment to serving disadvantaged students and has a passion for mentorship. At Harvard, he serves as the vice president of Primus (the College’s first-generation, low-income student union), as a voting member and steering committee member for the Harvard College Honor Council (a student-faculty committee for academic integrity), and as senior student ambassador for the Advanced Leadership Initiative. Along with two Mississippi peers, he co-founded and directs a nonprofit based out of Holmes County, Mississippi, through which he helps facilitate the discreet distribution of weekend meals to chronically food-insecure elementary schoolers. In his spare time, Braeden enjoys weightlifting, gushing about Mississippi, and binge-watching sketch comedy.

Willow Fortunoff
Macalester College
Willow studies political science and international studies with a concentration in human rights and humanitarianism. She has a background in community organizing: founding a regional network of students in the 2016 presidential election, leading a team of interns in Minnesota’s 2018 election cycle, and mobilizing her peers on the asylum process taking place in the Twin Cities. As a Chuck Green Fellow, she partnered with the Minnesota Office of Attorney General as their first undergraduate staffer, working alongside the executive team to increase community engagement. She is a Vermont Presidential Scholar, and holds Wilderness First Aid certification from NOLS. Her work in proposing climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies at the National Model United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change won an individual award, and she earned a research grant for the summer of 2020 with a proposal to examine the relationship between national identity and immigration policies in Argentina. She hopes to be part of the next generation of foreign policymakers in Latin America, working with communities in solidarity across borders.

Sara Gammon
Kansas State University
Sara is a first-generation college student pursuing a degree in agricultural economics, a secondary major in global food systems leadership, and a minor in statistics. As a World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Intern, she conducted independent research on dairy cooperatives and women’s socioeconomic empowerment at the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai, India. As a part of Kansas State University’s International Service Teams, Sara spent a summer volunteering in Nyeri, Kenya, where she researched silage production, taught leadership classes, and established a microeconomy at the Children and Youth Empowerment Centre. She currently serves as the director of food insecurity for K-State’s Student Governing Association, president of K-State’s Collegiate Farm Bureau, and a teaching assistant for Dr. Barry Flinchbaugh. In addition, she facilitates classes on gender inequity and agricultural policy, and serves as a mentor to students. After graduation, she will pursue an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge with a focus on development economics and women’s empowerment.

Sarah Greichen
Colorado State University
Sarah is the founder, board chair, and CEO of Score A Friend. The Denver native founded the organization to help her twin brother, who has an autism spectrum disorder, find a friend. She was awarded the National Young Woman of Distinction Award by Girl Scouts of the USA and the 2016 Outstanding Youth Award for National Philanthropy Day in Colorado. She was a speaker at both the 2019 PEAK Parent Center National Conference on Inclusive Education and the 2018 Colorado Social and Emotional Learning Forum. Alongside rock band NEEDTOBREATHE, Sarah is featured in the Pass It On campaign, highlighting the value of inclusion. She majors in corporate finance, investment analysis, and marketing, with a minor in entrepreneurship. She serves on the CSU College of Business Dean’s Student Leadership Council, as an ambassador for the Entrepreneurship Institute, and is an honors student. She earned first place in both the national Startup Summer Pitch Competition and the OtterBox Ethics Challenge. Sarah is an aspiring public policy attorney and social entrepreneur with a lifelong passion for making the world a more inclusive place for people of all abilities.

Henry Hicks
Oberlin College
Henry is studying comparative American studies and creative writing with a concentration in identity and diversity. He is particularly passionate about addressing racial inequities and voter suppression. His experience in legislative spaces informs this passion, previously working in both internship and staff positions in the United States House of Representatives and Senate. His community organizing experience as a field organizer for the Kamala Harris For the People campaign in Waterloo, Iowa, has given him insight into how to combine public policy with grassroots organizing around racial justice and voting rights. On campus, Henry is active with Student Senate, Oberlin’s Equity and Diversity Committee, the Oberlin College Democrats, and several student publications. After graduating, he intends to pursue a JD/MPA to fight for equity in the democratic process.

Malka Himelhoch
Princeton University
From Lexington, Kentucky, Malka is studying religion and pursuing a certificate in values and public life. Growing up in an Orthodox Jewish community, she has long grappled with the tension between her religious identity and her feminist values. This struggle has informed her devotion to the rights of survivors of interpersonal violence, specifically within religious communities. At Princeton she is the co-president of SpeakOut! (an organization that promotes safe, consensual, and respectful sexual practices on campus and beyond), serves as a peer resource for survivors of interpersonal violence, and has held various leadership roles within the Jewish community. She was also active in the Princeton IX Now protest movement, and she founded the only support group at Princeton for survivors of interpersonal violence. These efforts culminated in her ongoing work with Mavoi Satum, a religious Israeli nonprofit that provides legal and psychological support to women whose husbands refuse to grant them divorces. She plans to pursue a JD in order to represent survivors of interpersonal violence and eventually run an organization focused on helping survivors within religious communities get the justice they deserve.

Joshua Kaplan
Emory University
Josh is a Robert W. Woodruff Scholar at Emory University, where he studies economics and Portuguese. After researching foreign policy at the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute and studying at the University of São Paulo and the London School of Economics, his academic interests have centered on economic development in Brazil. At Emory, Josh leads Consult Your Community, a student organization that provides free consulting services to minority-owned small businesses in Atlanta. He also serves on the Global Youth Advisory Panel for Plan International, a development organization dedicated to advancing children’s rights and gender equality, and is the founder of GOALS, a nonprofit soccer program for youth with intellectual disabilities. Josh plans to pursue an MA in international economics and Latin American studies before pursuing a career in economic policy with the United States Department of State.

Max Klapow
Washington University
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Max is a William H. Danforth Scholar studying psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy with minors in political science and writing. He is dedicated to bringing together science, policy, and practice to address systemic issues in mass incarceration, particularly in addressing the gap between psychological well-being and recidivism. As a Stern Family Civic Scholar, Max has partnered with the Washington University Prison Education Project to develop a well-being and resiliency program for incarcerated individuals, offering them the opportunity to cultivate skills to thrive upon release. He serves as a Greek life interpersonal violence facilitator, developing chapter policy and curricula for educating men in Greek life, and also chaired Washington University’s Title IX Process Improvement Committee. Max co-founded Human At Work, which trains facilitators in an evidence-based psychological curriculum to help individuals and organizations flourish and serves as a Strategy Fellow at Bear Studios. He has given a TEDx talk on radical empathy, written on social justice and innovation, and has been featured on the “One Last Thought” podcast. Max plans to pursue a PhD in clinical psychology to advocate for population-level preventative psychological interventions at the state and federal level, working to bring cutting-edge research and best practices to underserved communities.

Zeba Kokan
Purdue University
Zeba is a double major in brain and behavioral sciences and global studies. She served as an ambassador to Purdue’s Division of Diversity and Inclusion, and founded the “Activating Inclusion: Cultural Hackathon.” As Purdue Student Government director of diversity and inclusion, she wrote the Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan that was passed in the Student and University Senate. Zeba is committed to youth empowerment through her involvement in Muslim Youth of North America, where she served as the national program and speaker chair, overseeing the development of 15+ regional youth programs. She plans to become a public service psychiatrist, specializing in Muslim American communities to alleviate the rising public mental health crisis related to increased hate crimes and systemic discrimination. Zeba will advocate for policies that prevent hate crimes and support equity in public health.

Abrita Kuthumi
New Hampshire
University of New Hampshire
Abrita is a Nepalese-born American who hopes to uplift individuals and communities in developing nations by focusing on education. During her time in college, she has sought out different opportunities: she is a two-time recipient of the State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship for Korean, and interned at the Global Educational Program office within the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. On campus, Abrita has been involved with the Global Education Center, participating in their Global Leadership Camp, serving as an Office of International Students and Scholars orientation leader, and currently, working at the office as an assistant. She conducted research addressing the disconnect between international and American students, presenting that work at the 2019 Undergraduate Research Conference, winning the Award of Excellence. Currently, she is studying political science and international affairs, and seeks to pursue graduate work in international development or international education. A fan of political comedy shows, foreign movies, cooking, and writing, Abrita also enjoys spending quality time with her family, friends, and loved ones.

Stephanie Kuzmack
New Mexico
Texas Tech University
Stephanie is a sociology major, minoring in Spanish. During her time at Texas Tech University and as a member of the Honors College, she has served as a senator in student government, held leadership positions within Resident Hall Association, and is the founder and president of G.R.A.C.E., a student organization focused on serving Grace Campus, a homeless campus in Lubbock. While studying abroad in Spain, she volunteered at a local elementary school teaching English to students. She has interned for United States Congressman Al Green and was a staffer for Los Alamos County Council member Antonio Maggorie. As a Hispanic native of rural New Mexico, Stephanie would like to pursue a JD/MPA so she can work with the district attorney to combat the high crime rates that currently plague her hometown. Her eventual goal is to represent New Mexico in Congress, allowing her to advocate for her fellow New Mexicans.

Anna Landre
New Jersey
Georgetown University
Anna is majoring in regional and comparative studies, with a focus on development in Latin America and Africa. She serves the Washington, D.C. government as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for district 2E, and is also a disability activist focusing on the social and legal barriers faced by disabled people in the United States and abroad. She is the co-chair of the Democratic National Committee’s Youth Disability Council and a founding member of the Georgetown Disability Alliance. Her advocacy efforts have been featured in outlets including the Washington Post, Forbes, and others.

Brianne Lauro
Colorado State University
Brianne is a first-generation college student majoring in the human dimensions of natural resources. Brianne is originally from the Island of Hawai’i, where she learned how to hunt, fish, and spear dive from her father, and credits these experiences as being most influential to her life. After graduate school, Brianne plans to return home, where she is eager to address the lack of Native and local representation in leadership within the State of Hawai’i, specifically in land and natural resource management. She believes that it is her duty to ensure that the culture, livelihood, and well-being of the Hawai’ian people are preserved. Currently, Brianne works as a research assistant for Dr. Dominique David-Chavez on a National Science Foundation study to develop a code of ethics for federally-funded environmental research projects that enter in or work with indigenous communities. Brianne is also working as a Congressional Intern for the District Office of United States Representative Joe Neguse.

Mitchell Lenneville
American University
Mitchell is a community college alumnus and current Politics, Policy and Law Scholar, pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in communications, legal institutions, economics, and government. He currently works for the ranking member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Congressman Greg Walden, and previously gained experience as a speechwriter for Attorney General William Barr. At American, Mitchell helped develop the groundbreaking Model G20 Summit, competed as a member of one of North America’s top Model United Nations teams, mentored other students as a resident assistant, and organized his classmates to speak out about the rising cost of college as the director of financial aid and affordability for AU’s student government. Prior to coming to Washington, Mitchell was deeply involved in Oregon electoral politics, staffing a total of five campaigns, including managing candidates during two highly competitive state senate races in 2016 and 2018. He plans to pursue a career in local politics, helping Oregon become a more prosperous and inclusive state.

Dina Malual
Emmanuel College
Egyptian-born and Maine-raised, Dina studies international relations with a focus on sustainability and social justice. Dina’s past as a Sudanese refugee drives her passion for effecting systemic change for immigrants and refugees. While in high school, she founded Sudo, a community outreach organization to uplift the voices of South Sudanese women in Maine, which Dina seeks to incorporate as a nonprofit organization. As a resident assistant, she seeks to diversify Emmanuel’s Office of Residence Life. Dina also serves on the executive board of the Black Student Union, advocating for the inclusion and hiring of more faculty of color on campus. Through the recently released “We the Students: A Call to Action” document, Dina was able to sit down with the president of her college to address the racial gap of success between Black and Brown students at Emmanuel. She seeks to continue her advocacy via constructive dialogue and pursuing an MPP with a focus on public and nonprofit management.

Nik Marda
Stanford University
Nik studies how governments can harness and regulate emerging technologies. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in computer science, Nik has published a paper on human-computer interaction, researched threats posed by artificial intelligence, and presented a proposal for supporting civic technologists to the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. On campus, he has led technical projects for Stanford in Government, edited articles for the Stanford Technology Law Review, and co-founded the Stanford Open Data Project. Last summer, Nik served as a Product Management Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where he built tools and pipelines for one of the most visited federal websites. This winter, he interned for Senator Amy Klobuchar, where he worked on consumer protection and technology policy. After graduation, Nik plans to pursue further graduate study in law and public policy.

Tina Marshalek
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Tina is a first-generation and low-income student, double majoring in community and nonprofit leadership and political science, with a certificate in educational policy studies. Homeschooled from kindergarten through 12th grade, Tina is passionate about advancing equitable educational opportunities for homeschoolers. She currently serves as the UW South Madison Partnership intern, mentorship program recruitment leader with the Wisconsin Women’s Network, and Associated Students of Madison representative for the Campus Planning Committee and Student Misconduct Panel. A transfer student from Madison College, Tina served as the Student Senate president 2017-18 and campaign manager in fall 2018 of Vote Yes! For Textbook Affordability, spearheading the college’s student hunger survey and implementation of its full-rental textbook program. She has been awarded the Terry S. Webb Shared Governance Leadership Award, Karen Roberts Student Life Leadership Award, President's Volunteer Service Award, Madison College TRiO Humanitarian Award, National Society of Leadership and Success Honorary Membership Award, and the Madison College Student Life Legacy Award.

Esther Martin
Bates College
Essie grew up in coastal Maine and has been exploring relationships between natural and human communities for as long as she can remember. She has observed firsthand the impacts of warming oceans and rising sea levels on traditional fisheries and local economies. In response, she has made a point of working to build bridges between fishermen, scientists, and policymakers to develop sustainable long-term solutions. A geology major with a focus on biogeochemistry, Essie is conducting research on aquaculture and its potential to bolster endangered economies and mitigate climate change. She believes that aquaculture holds potential as a sustainable food system and economic backbone for fisheries adversely affected by natural and economic change. Hours spent working on the waterfront have also enabled her to master the ability to tie a bowline with her feet. Essie is an active member of Bates’ student sustainability team, and in her spare time, she founded Bee-Bop Prints (a sustainable t-shirt business) and plays banjo in the Bates String Band.

Patrick McCabe
University of Notre Dame
Patrick is a student passionate about diplomacy and global migration and displacement. As a Boren Scholar, he is studying Arabic while living in Amman, Jordan, for eight months. In 2018, he spent ten weeks in Jerusalem and the West Bank, interning with American Near East Refugee Aid, traveling to project sites to cover stories on the impacts of infrastructure development initiatives, as well as volunteering at the Alrowwad Cultural and Arts Center in the Aida Refugee Camp. Patrick also conducted independent research on the effective implementation of Moroccan migration policies, interviewing young people migrating from sub-Saharan countries, civil society leaders, academics, and the Moroccan government’s director for migration affairs, later presenting his findings at peacebuilding and public policy conferences. Before attending college, Patrick also lived in Morocco for a year while studying Arabic and volunteering with a local migrant organization through the State Department’s National Security Language Initiative for Youth. He is majoring in political science and Arabic, and minoring in peace studies.

Katie McGarry
Smith College
Katie is an Ada Comstock Scholar majoring in government with a concentration in political theory, and minoring in the study of women and gender. Her experiences attending a wide array of schools fuel her passion for guaranteeing every student equitable access to educational resources. At Smith, this has taken the form of advocating to eliminate food and housing insecurity for her fellow nontraditional and low-income students. Katie sits on a number of administrative committees and has led several equity projects. Recently, she won the College’s innovation challenge and will create a consortium for nontraditional programs at colleges and universities across the country. In her beloved adopted home state of Massachusetts, she has interned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Education, and served as an urban education fellow at Curtis Guild Elementary in East Boston. Prior to Smith, she worked for the nonprofit K-12 consulting firm Education Resource Strategies in Watertown. Katie firmly believes that a well-functioning democracy is predicated on a well-functioning school system. To this end, she will devote her career to challenging education resource inequities through the legal system and plans to pursue a joint JD/MA in education policy.

Cordy McJunkins
Rice University
Stemming from his experience living with deaf and mute parents and being in foster care for nearly a year, Cordy has developed a passion for helping improve the lives of foster children through the lens of educational reform. He is currently triple majoring in psychology, economics, and social policy analysis. As a first-generation, low-income student, Cordy collaborated with university administration and staff to create a campus-wide program called LIFE (Low-Income First-Generation Experience), by which students can come together to learn about resources offered on campus. After graduation, he intends to earn a JD/MPP at Harvard University and pursue a fulfilling career as a politician working on educational policies that affect students from various backgrounds, especially those who are low-income or have been through the foster care system.

Whitman Miller
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Born and raised in Enterprise, Alabama, Whit is pursuing a major in political science with minors in history and economics. He has shown a commitment to political organizing on campus as both the president of the UAB College Democrats and as the student organizer for the Doug Jones for Senate Campaign. During the 2018 midterm elections, he interned with Let America Vote in Atlanta, Georgia, where he campaigned for candidates up and down the ballot. At his university, he has served both on the Undergraduate Student Government Senate and Cabinet, where he advocated for a more open, accepting, and equitable campus. He has also been a contributing reporter at The Kaleidoscope, UAB's student-led newspaper, where he wrote on state and local politics. He has worked with the City of Birmingham as an intern in the Department of Innovation of Economic Opportunity, where he researched and drafted memoranda on local policy and helped the department in its efforts to promote small business growth. Whit hopes to pursue graduate work in political management with a focus on state and local campaigns.

Sarah Procopio
Louisiana State University
Sarah is pursuing a degree in mass communication with a concentration in political communication, and minors in history and political science. Dedicated to integrating the voices of young adults into public decision making, she founded and now directs LA Youth Platform (LAYP). LAYP is a nonpartisan advocacy group that brings together elected officials and young adults in Louisiana to create policies that improve the state in the areas of economic development, education, criminal justice, and the environment. Sarah is also a 2019 Governor’s Fellow in Louisiana Government and worked with the  Department of Health to implement a statewide policy to install anti-opiate substances in every college residential facility in Louisiana. In the summer between her freshman and sophomore year, she interned in Washington for Congressman Garret Graves and wrote a successfully-passed amendment to the 2018 Water Resources Development Act. Sarah hopes to pursue an MPP to continue her commitment to enacting systematic change through policy work.

Asma Rahimyar
Southern Connecticut State University
As the daughter of Afghan immigrants, Asma is attuned to the corrosive effects of impunity—her aspirations, therefore, revolve around the imperative of prioritizing human rights within transitional justice initiatives. Asma is currently double majoring in political science and philosophy, with a minor in English literature. She is president of both the Muslim Student Association and the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society. She is also a representative-at-large for the Student Government Association; a member of the Multicultural Leadership Council, the Curricular Taskforce for Social Justice, and the Interfaith Council; a writing and first-year research tutor at the Academic Success Center; and an associate editor for Society, Justice, and the Law, the Pre-Law Society’s student journal. Asma is committed to fostering inclusion through her leadership; as such, she has advocated for increased bilingual literacy support, facilitated interfaith dialogue, and organized SCSU’s first Refugee Thanksgiving in conjunction with Elena’s Light, a local nonprofit that provides at-home tutoring to refugee women. Asma intends to pursue a joint JD/PhD with the goal of practicing international human rights law and fortifying the rule of law in Afghanistan by improving the country’s system of legal education.

Carla Ramazan
University of Texas-Dallas
Carla is a Eugene McDermott Scholar, studying political science and Spanish. As student government vice president, she spearheaded a campus-wide initiative to address sexual violence by integrating more consent-focused education into orientation programs. During her sophomore year, she also served as the youngest chairperson of the University of Texas System Advisory Council. In this role, she led a team of undergraduate and graduate students to create recommendations on free speech and emergency assistance funds to present to the Board of Regents, overseeing 235,000 people. Carla has also interned for NARAL Pro-Choice America, where she conducted outreach to college students across the nation to encourage them to host campus events about reproductive freedom. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a JD and work as a trial litigator to protect and expand access to reproductive health care.

Hayden Richardson
Northwestern University
Hayden is a true Nebraskan, with all of the “y’alls” and “ma’ams” to prove it. Her honors thesis, “The Institutionalization of Rape Culture in the United States,” is an interdisciplinary nominee in her political science and legal studies majors. She is the founder of “Shared Hope: Ending Modern Slavery,” a social impact initiative that works to change rape culture by educating women on their reproductive rights, regulating sex education, and eliminating objectifying language from Nebraska households. As a Miss Nebraska candidate, she has been able to reach girls across the state via speaking engagements on “What it Means to be a Girl,” her work with the Nebraska Children’s Hospital, and as a keynote speaker and volunteer camp leader at a FitGirl, where she built unsuccessful camp fires and had deep talks about body image. Her legislation will be brought to the floor this year in the Nebraska Unicameral to source funding for the backlog of rape kits and to provide survivors of sexual assault with the resources necessary to support the recovery process. After graduation, Hayden intends to pursue a JD and advocate for Nebraskan women first as a prosecutor, and then as the first female member of the United States House of Representatives from District 1.

Elise Scott
University of Utah
Elise is a political science and communication double major. In addition to her studies, she is also the opinion editor of the Daily Utah Chronicle and has served on advisory boards for the Associated Students of the University of Utah. In the past, she worked under the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism to advise nonprofits on their creation of effective leadership strategies and to provide resources to help those in need succeed in their new lives. Elise completed a Hinckley internship during the 2019 Legislative Session and currently works as campaign and fundraising staff for the State House Democratic Caucus. She has extensive campaign experience after volunteering for Utah House and United States Congressional candidates across the Wasatch Front. After graduation, she will pursue a JD and intends to work in the criminal justice system.

Dylan Serrentino-Mullins
New Jersey
Rutgers University
Dylan is a political science student at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. From June of 2017, Dylan spent two years serving as the national president of Students Against Destructive Decisions, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the interests of youth health and safety. During this time, he traveled the country to speak on behalf of the organization and lead a federal lobbying effort to include traffic safety programming in transportation legislation. After concluding his tenure in 2019, Dylan accepted a seat on SADD’s National Board of Directors, where he is currently working to rewrite SADD’s national policies based on contemporary research. In his free time, Dylan volunteers as an Emergency Medical Technician with the Marlboro First Aid and Rescue Squad – something that he has done since he was a junior in high school. Dylan also greatly enjoys roller coasters, which nicely complements his current position as Supervisor of Emergency Medical Services, Safety, and Risk Management at Six Flags Great Adventure.

David Shin
Boise State University
David studies economics and physics with a focus on public policy and criminal justice. He is passionate about reforming the current prison system in an economically rational way so that all sincere ex-prisoners can join the workforce without risk of re-entry. He launched a soon-to-be nonprofit organization that recruits qualified volunteers from local colleges and medical schools to teach hirable skills, as well as financial and health literacy, in correctional facilities. David is also a resource for the recently released population, pointing them towards job opportunities and legal assistance. He has also been a part of the Sound Money Project, a research program typically intended for graduate students at the American Institute for Economic Research. This involved discussing the domestic effects of monetary and fiscal policies with scholars, such as a current member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He intends to pursue his goal of co-writing legislative reforms and reducing recidivism rates by pursuing a JD and a graduate degree in economics.

Rickia Stafford
University of West Georgia
Rickia is a political science major with goals to reform policy surrounding juvenile delinquency and to create preventive programs for at-risk youth. Driven by the experiences of close family members, she is passionate about creating tangible, positive change within the juvenile justice system in the South. She is interested in analyzing and approaching policy reform holistically through the lenses of education, health, and the law. Rickia is the campus student representative for the American Democracy Project, and she founded her university’s Student Civic Advisory Committee. She serves as a Campus Engagement Election Fellow, a campus manager for Fair Fight U, and the national communications director for the Residence Hall Association. She has also worked as an organizer with the Democratic National Committee’s Organizing Corps. Rickia plans to pursue a joint JD/MSW.

Savanna Toure
District of Columbia
Lafayette College
Savanna is an aspiring health disparities researcher, seeking to promote health equity through intersecting research and policy reforms that impact the social and biological factors in underserved communities. She is currently studying neuroscience and engaging in oncology and gynecologic disparities research. On campus, she is an active mentor and student leader through her involvement as a resident advisor, sexual assault peer educator, and a Kaleidoscope social justice advocator. She is currently volunteering with SHAWCO International in Cape Town, South Africa, providing medical assistance to disadvantaged communities. Savanna’s work at the community, national, and international levels has helped her cultivate her interest in public health and health care policies.

Leah Trotman
Virgin Islands
Agnes Scott College
Born and raised in the United States Virgin Islands, Leah studies international relations and public health. On campus, she serves as a writing and speaking tutor, peer mentor, and a student government at-large senator. In these roles, she addresses the many needs of the Agnes Scott student body through service and policy, and hopes to do the same in her future career. Through an internship at the Center for Preparedness and Response within the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Leah learned about the detrimental effects of exclusive emergency preparedness and response planning. Upon graduation, she seeks to pursue an MPH in humanitarian health in disaster relief in order to gain the skills to develop comprehensive community health interventions and policies throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.

Julia Udell
New York
Columbia University
Julia studies history at Columbia University, where she serves as a Student Advisory Board Member for The Eric H. Holder Jr. Initiative for Civil and Political Rights, an undergraduate fellow for A Jailhouse Lawyer’s Manual (the Columbia Law School publication offering legal information to those incarcerated), and an editor for the Columbia Undergraduate Law Review. Julia’s commitment to justice has led her to volunteer as a tutor on Rikers Island with the Justice-in-Education Initiative and intern at organizations such as The Bronx Defenders and the Brennan Center for Justice. This past year, Julia conducted a study on the outcomes of federal habeas corpus appeals, producing findings cited in a petition for certiorari currently pending before the United States Supreme Court. Julia is committed to a career in public service and dedicated to combating inequality by expanding access to justice.

Henry Walther
Tulane University
Henry is double majoring in political science and social policy and practice, with a minor in urban studies. He is interested in how political institutions function and how to shift power within them equitably. After taking a class with renowned author Walter Isaacson, Henry turned a term paper into the pursuit of a full-length, authorized biography of the former Mayor of New Orleans and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Moon Landrieu,. Henry is a leader within the Democratic Party, serving as the two-term President of the College Democrats of Louisiana, as well as the Southeastern Field Director for the College Democrats of America. During the 2019 Louisiana elections, the College Democrats of Louisiana secured a grant to fund a statewide field program, contacting over 60,000 voters, greater than the margin of victory in the gubernatorial campaign. Henry believes in building movements close to home. That is why after fighting for student representation in educational policy in high school, he managed the campaign of a 19-year-old school board candidate outside of New Orleans, ultimately missing a runoff election by only four votes. Recently, he joined the American Federation of Teachers and began to organize his fellow student workers to demand fair wages. Outside of politics and school, Henry is an avid fan of Kentucky and New Orleans sports, spends too much time listening to podcasts, and is unsuccessfully attempting to learn how to play his grandmother’s old Appalachian dulcimer.

James Ward
University of Hawai'i
James Ward is majoring in political science and minoring in anthropology at the University of Hawai'i – West O'ahu (UHWO), while serving as an active-duty United States Navy Diver. During overseas deployments in 2018, 2019, and 2020, James integrated life experience and classroom-driven learning to focus his passion for social justice, leading nine international relations building exercises on the Navy’s behalf, as well as applying his anthropological training in the repatriation of lost World War II service members. A member of the UHWO chapter of the National Leadership Society and Dean's List, he mentors fellow students in both leadership and academic endeavors, and is a contributing author to UHWO’s The Hoot student press. James plans to pursue a joint degree in political science and law at the Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai’i – Mānoa, and ultimately join the Navy JAG Corps. He is the recipient of multiple citations, including four Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and the Navy Outstanding Volunteer Service Award.

Anna Williams
West Virginia
Marshall University
Anna is a double major, studying public communication and English. She serves as student body vice president for her university. In this role, Anna helped develop an on-campus food pantry, meal sharing program, and scholarship database to address issues of hunger and affordability for college students. Anna is most passionate about studying community development and the complexities of urban and rural poverty. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a joint JD/MPP to further her interests in social welfare advocacy and nonprofit work.

Mina Yakubu
North Carolina
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Mina is a Morehead-Cain and Jack Kent Cooke Scholar with double majors in political science and African, African American, and Diaspora studies. A proud Ghanaian immigrant, she is passionate about addressing the legal needs of her community. At the core of Mina’s actions is her deep belief in the power of the legal system to address societal equity and advance reform movements. She has worked with various legal advocacy organizations globally, including the Legal Aid Scheme in Accra, Ghana, where she provided services to low-income populations; the Tahirih Justice Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where she conducted demographic research about immigrant populations; and The Innocence Project in London, England, where she managed communication with applicants and conducted research on wrongful convictions. At UNC, Mina leads Ujamaa, the service committee of the Organization of African Students’ Interests and Solidarity. Volunteering with Orange Literacy to support immigrants studying for their citizenship exam, Mina has worked to increase the visibility of African immigrants to the United States. She will pursue a JD to become an international human rights attorney. 

Max Yates
Montana State University-Bozeman
Max is pursuing a degree in biochemistry with minors in economics, global health, and Hispanic studies. Working in a theoretical biochemistry lab performing simulations on proteins to better understand the mechanisms of enzyme catalysis, he hopes to obtain an MD/MPH and harness simulations to better inform public health policy decisions. Max worked with Montana State’s American Indian Center to start a free tutoring program and facilitated a partnership with the university’s Honors College to increase resources for students. He works as a student advocate and peer educator at his school’s office for survivors of interpersonal violence. Also heavily involved with Special Olympics Montana and his local adaptive recreation program, Eagle Mount, Max is passionate about increasing the accessibility of the outdoors for those with disabilities in Montana. In his free time, he loves to backcountry ski, fly fish, and mountain bike, and is a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

Sam Zilli
Berklee College of Music
Sam is a first-generation student majoring in professional music with concentrations in artistry and creative music industry studies, as well as music production and engineering. As a transgender student studying voice while also hormonally transitioning, Sam collaborated with Berklee College of Music to improve supports for future trans* students and increase awareness of how hormones change professionally-trained voices. They are a veteran of the United States Navy where they served as a helicopter mechanic while working to improve reporting, response, and support for survivors of sexual violence in the military. Sam is an award-winning spoken word poet, a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, and the recipient of the Walter W. Harp Liberal Arts Music and Society Scholarship. They will pursue a JD and dedicate their career to improving government support for survivors of sexual and domestic violence with a focus on immigrant justice. You can find Sam working in a crisis center, educating folx on LGBT+ issues, and in constant pursuit of liberation.