Amanda Almeda | UT Austin
Amanda Almeda is a junior at The University of Texas at Austin where she is pursuing a dual major in Marketing and Government. Amanda was a Media Relations Intern for the City of Austin’s Communication and Public Information Office and was a Congressional Intern for U.S. Representative Pete Olson’s District Office in Sugar Land, Texas. At UT Austin, Amanda has been an active member of Students for Education Reform, and served as a Volunteer Instructor at Langford Elementary’s after-school STEM Program. Additionally, Amanda is active in the McCombs School of Business. She is in the McCombs Leadership Program and was Media Director and Marketing Team Member in the Asian Business Students Association. She will be interning at Lewis-Burke Associates LLC, a government relations firm that specializes in advocating for the public policy interests of institutes of higher education and other research organizations.
Celina Artusi | UT Austin
Celina Artusi is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin double-majoring in International Relations & Global Studies and Spanish, with minors in government and Latin American studies. While at UT Austin, she participated in various internships, and served as a research assistant for a History department professor researching Mexican immigration. She spent a summer interning in Barcelona, Spain, at the Barcelona Bar Association’s International Department, while also teaching English to Latin American immigrants. Celina’s semester abroad in Seville, Spain, helped solidify her interest in international affairs while also having a profound personal effect. Celina is looking forward to interning at the Washington Office on Latin America while in D.C. this spring.
Kelly Bahng | UT Austin
Kelly is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Public Health Policy and Management with a minor in Business. Her activities on and off campus have focused on raising diabetes awareness and other public health issues such as cancer prevention. Kelly served as the President of Hook the Cure, a student organization dedicated to promoting diabetes awareness through organizing an annual conference on campus, connecting students to research opportunities, and volunteering with a local non-profit endocrinology clinic committed to providing high quality care to under and uninsured diabetics in East Austin. In the summer of 2011, she cycled from Austin, TX to Anchorage, AK with Texas 4000, an organization that brings hope, knowledge, and charity to the fight against cancer and fundraised a dollar for each of the 4,500 miles of the ride. She hopes to work on reducing health inequalities within the US and abroad in her public health career.
Jacob Becker | UT Arlington
Jacob Becker is a senior at the University of Texas at Arlington where he studies Political Science and History. His intellectual passion is the study of international politics and international systems. During his time as an Archer Fellow he will be interning with C-SPAN with their program “Q&A”. While at UTA, Jacob has been an active member of campus. His positions as a Supplemental Instructor of Political Science, Peer Educator with UTA Relationship Violence and Sexual-Assault Prevention (RVSP), and president of the German Language Society each left a considerable mark on his development. Additionally, Jacob had the pleasure to work at the Office of Congressman Joe Barton throughout the year 2011. His latest honor was being sent as one of 2 representatives of UTA to the Washington Center RNC Academic Seminar Program.
Jihane Bergaoui | UT Austin
Jihane Bergaoui is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin where she is pursuing a degree in Government with a minor in French, along with an additional 19 hour-credit certificate on Ethics and Leadership. An avid human rights activist, Ms. Bergaoui has used her strong passion for human rights and women’s rights to make a positive difference in her community. She worked for Amnesty International as Student Area Coordinator for Texas while at the same time fulfilling her role as Vice-President of her university’s chapter, which was recognized as Amnesty’s 2nd best student chapter in the U.S. during her term. She also created and chaired the Women’s Rights Committee and organized UT’s first Stop Violence Against Women Week. Due to her increasing interest in international relations, Ms. Bergaoui spent the Fall 2012 semester studying abroad in Geneva, Switzerland, where she conducted field research to create an independent research project on Islamophobia in Europe, as well as one in French on Prostitution in Switzerland.
Megan Bishop | UT Dallas
Megan is a senior at The University of Texas at Dallas majoring in Art & Performance with a minor in Political Science. In her time at UT Dallas, Megan has served in leadership positions such as Student Ambassador, Student Government Senator, Mock Trial Team Captain, Homecoming Dance Chair, Alpha Gamma Delta Recruitment Chair, Homecoming Court, and Orientation Leader. Additionally, Megan has been awarded the Bryce Jordan Fine Arts Scholarship three years in a row in honor of her commitment to studying Art & Performance. Specifically concentrating in dance, she recently finished her senior honors thesis project, which included a full length recital of her own choreogaphy as well as a thorough research paper. Aside from Art & Performance, Megan has actively engaged in pre-law classes and activities, such as the UT Dallas Mock Trial team and the Collin County District Attorney Prosecutor's Academy. After graduation, she plans to attend law school in Fall 2013. She feels confident that her term as an Archer Fellow, as well as interning at the Public Defender Service for DC, will help prepare her for her future studies in law.
Jose Camacho | UT San Antonio
Jose Camacho is a junior at the University of Texas at San Antonio majoring in Economics. He plans to graduate from UTSA with Highest Honors, Business Honors, Leadership Honors, and International Distinction. Due to his interest in worldwide affairs, he received a scholarship from the College of Business to study abroad in China in the summer of 2012. With his busy schedule, Jose held numerous leadership roles in the field of economics; he co-founded and served as President of the National Association for Business Economics, facilitated collaborative study groups as a Supplemental Instructor for Introductory Macroeconomics, and is a member of the American Economic Association and Econometric Society. Jose has been a UTSA Alumni Association Scholar since 2011 and was recently awarded the USAA Foundation Scholarship. While in Washington, D.C., Jose will be interning with the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean.
Daniel Crotty | UT San Antonio
Daniel Crotty is a junior American studies and English major with minors in law and queer theory at The University of Texas at San Antonio. As a sophomore at UTSA, Daniel co-founded a student chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and conducted meetings about the intersections of sexuality, gender, race, class, and able-bodiedness in relation to constitutional rights. In addition, he has worked with Unite Here! San Antonio to campaign for hotel workers' rights. While in school, Daniel has also worked as a teaching assistant in the UTSA Department of English. Upon graduating, he plans to pursue a joint degree in law and public policy. This spring, Daniel is interning with Senator Tom Harkin in the labor office of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
Robert Diaz | UT El Paso
Robert Diaz is a senior at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) double majoring in Political Science and History. An El Paso native, Robert spends much of his time engaged in activities around the community, allowing him to attain a better understanding of the law and its effects on ordinary citizens. Last summer, he was selected to participate in the Law School Preparation Institute—the pre-law program at UTEP, where he was later hired as a tutor to those preparing for the LSAT. He also assists first-time juvenile offenders diagnosed with mental illnesses become active and productive members of society as an intern for the EMPOWER program at the Juvenile Probation Department in El Paso. He will be interning at the Mental Health Division of the Public Defender Service for D.C. during his time as an Archer Fellow.
Jessica D'Souza | UT Dallas
Jessica D’Souza is a pre-medicine junior studying sociology and minoring in political science at The University of Texas at Dallas. She is honored to be studying as a Eugene McDermott Scholar. At UTD, Jessica has been involved with Student Government, where she served as the Communications Chair and on the I Heart UT Dallas (Health Awareness Fair) Committee and was selected as Freshman Senator of the Year. In her sophomore year she developed a campus wide study of mental health perceptions and counseling services. After an enriching semester at the University of Navarra, Jessica is spending spring 2013 interning with the American Public Health Association in the Government Relations Department. She plans to pursue a career in public health, focusing on health policy and advocacy especially relating to malnutrition and the obesity epidemic. A loyal native of St. Louis, MO, Jessica has also grown to cherish the Dallas community and volunteers with Rainbow Days Kids’ Organization.
Sanjana Dubey | UT Austin
Sanjana Dubey is a third-year student at The University of Texas at Austin majoring in Business Honors, Finance and Government and minoring in Spanish. She is particularly interested in the role of investment in international development, the changing face of lobbying and political advocacy for women. As a freshman, she was a Junior Analyst and an administrative intern at an expanding sports rehabilitation firm, which treats Olympic athletes and the Dallas Cowboys, where she focused on banking integration and raising capital from new investors. While at school, Sanjana serves as a junior class representative on the Business Honors Steering Committee, focusing on peer feedback and curriculum changes and as the viral marketing coordinator of the Business Honors Student Ethics Board. She is a member of the co-educational honors fraternity Phi Sigma Pi, a member of the BBA Women’s Council at McCombs and coaches extemporaneous speaking at her alma mater high school remotely.
Brittany Ellenberg | UT Dallas
Brittany Ellenberg is a senior at the University of Texas at Dallas studying political science in the Collegium V Honors Program. Her passion is advocating for marginalized populations, which just last year, landed her in Costa Rica working with the United Nations and indigenous tribes; in Jamaica serving on the world's largest humanitarian dental project; and in Thailand teaching a class of Burmese refugees a human rights activism curriculum. Active in her campus community, Brittany worked for the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, served as President of the UTD College Democrats, an organization she founded two years ago and was the political liaison for PRIDE. Brittany is the Vice-Chair of the LGBT Caucus for the national organization College Democrats of America. Through the John Marshall Pre-Law Society, she has competed in Mock Trial, Moot Court and interned for the Innocence Project and the Collin County District Attorney's Office. She will intern at the U.S. Department of State in the Office of the Secretary as an Archer Fellow.
Cristina Flores | UT Austin
Cristina Flores is a graduating senior at the University of Texas at Austin. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree with Special Honors in Sociology, minors in Spanish, Latin American Studies, and Government, a Business Foundations Certificate, and a Bridging Disciplines Certificate in Human Rights and Social Justice. During her time on campus, Cristina has been involved as a member of the executive board with the Hispanic Student Association, an organization focused to preserve, promote, and produce awareness and understanding of Hispanic culture and customs for all University students through community service. She had the opportunity to study abroad in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the summer of 2012 where she interned with Criola, an NGO, and completed independent research in human rights, public health, and international policy. During the fall of 2012, she interned at the Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at the University of Texas Law School and served as the liaison for the Human Rights Student Advisory Council. This spring she will be interning at the Social Office in the White House under the direction of Michelle Obama.
Josh Fuller | UT Austin
Josh Fuller is a third-year student at the University of Texas at Austin from Dallas, Texas. He is pursuing Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Philosophy. After graduation, Josh plans on attending law school. While at U.T. Austin Josh has been involved in many organizations and has held multiple leadership positions. His favorite has been Student Government, where he was elected by his peers to represent students in the College of Liberal Arts. The Archer Fellowship Program will be his second academic study experience outside Austin, having traveled to Europe as part of the Normandy Scholar Program. Josh is extremely excited to be spending a semester in Washington, D.C.—it will be his first time to ever visit the nation’s capital. This spring Josh will be interning at the Financial Services Roundtable in their Government Relations office.
Prisha Gaddam | UT Dallas
Prisha Gaddam is a junior at The University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a double major in Economics and Political Science. At her campus, Prisha has served as the Co-President of the organization Ladies of Vision and Excellence, as a member of the Legislative Affairs Committee in Student Government, as a member of the Traditions Committee for Student Ambassadors and as a Student Representative on the Advisory Board for the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences. Along with her campus involvement, Prisha has been active in the Dallas community as a volunteer with the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the Salvation Army, the Frisco Independent School District and the India Association of North Texas. Prior to her Archer semester, Prisha spent a semester in New Delhi, India interning at the political office of the Indian Member of Parliament, Mr. Naveen Jindal. During her semester in D.C., Prisha is looking forward to intern at the United Nations Information Center.
Kyler Geoffroy | UT Austin
Kyler Geoffroy is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin currently pursing a double major in Government and Political Communications. For much of his undergraduate career, Kyler has been politically active both on and off campus. Since February 2011, he has served as a Legislative Aide for Representative Joe Deshotel in the Texas House of Representatives. He has also previously interned at GNI Strategies, a political consultant firm where he worked towards electing candidates on the city, district, and state levels. In the spring, Kyler served as Chair of the Social Justice Committee for the University Democrats and also interned with the Texas Gay Straight Alliance Network where he developed strategies and toolkits to help combat anti-LGBT bullying in public schools across the state. This past summer, Kyler also studied abroad in London, where he learned the foundations and applications of public policy as it relates to social and economic justice. While in D.C., Kyler will intern with People For the American Way (PFAW) in the Political Department.
Dustin Haley | UT Austin
Dustin Haley is a senior at The University of Texas at Austin majoring in Exercise Science, with minors in Biology and Government while also completing his Business Foundations Certificate. In the spring, he will be interning at the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. With this, he will further his work as a volunteer and advocate for foster children across the country. He currently volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate in Austin, working with kids in the foster care system and helping express the best interest of children in court. On campus he was involved in Horns Helping Horns and the Physical Therapy Organization. Outside of campus, Dustin has also interned at several clinics and hospitals in the Austin area, including Dell Children’s Hospital. This past summer, Dustin traveled to Nepal where he volunteered in a pediatric orthopedic hospital. After the spring, Dustin will be continuing his studies as he pursues his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Alaina Heine | UT Austin
Alaina Heine is a junior at The University of Texas at Austin pursuing a BA in International Relations and Global Studies in the Science, Technology, and the Environment tract, and with a minor in Latin American Studies. Throughout her sophomore year and in the fall of her junior year, Alaina worked as a research assistant for the Energy Systems Transformation Group housed by the LBJ School of Public Affairs, focusing on residential solar energy. Through her research, Alaina competed, and placed second, in the ASU Policy Challenge Competition, where she presented her research project in Washington, D.C., in the Spring of 2012. Alaina is an active member of the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority and Order of Omega Greek Leadership Honor Society. During the summer of 2012, Alaina studied abroad in Ecuador, where she improved her Spanish fluency and studied ecology and environmental conservation. This spring, Alaina will intern at the U.S. Department of State in the Bureau of International Organizational Affairs.
Levi Herrera | UT Tyler
Levi Herrera is a senior at the University of Texas at Tyler. He will graduate in May of 2013 with a degree in English, and intends to continue his education, studying medieval and Renaissance literature. This spring, Levi will intern in the office of Congressman Ted Poe. Levi is an inaugural member of UT Tyler’s Honors Program. He attended the 2012 National Collegiate Honors Conference in Boston to present research about J. M. Synge and the apocalypse. Levi is a former employee of the Robert R. Muntz Library on campus, and a former one-star server at the great dining establishment, Cracker Barrel Restaurant and Old Country Store. Levi is an Eagle Scout, and enjoys reading, hiking, cycling and watching movies in his spare time.
Jessica Higgins | UT Dallas
Jessica Higgins is a junior at The University of Texas at Dallas majoring in Psychology and minoring in Political Science. She is a recipient of the Eugene McDermott Scholarship and a member of the Collegium V honors program. Jessica worked as News Director for UTD-TV, the campus television station, honing her skills filming and editing footage. She volunteers regularly with the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center and VITAS Hospice Care. Jessica has studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Orléans, France and is working on perfecting her French. In her free time, she enjoys dancing and cooking dishes from her native New Orleans. Jessica will be an intern in the political department of the Human Rights Campaign.
Jamie Johnson | UT San Antonio
Jamie Johnson is a junior at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He is majoring in Geography with minors in International Studies and Global Analysis. Jamie has always had a passion for military history, foreign affairs and international relations. As a student at UTSA, Jamie spent a semester working for the athletics department as an academic tutor for struggling athletes in American history, physical geography, and persuasive writing. Jamie aspires to one day serve his country through a career in national security and intelligence, primarily in the counter-terrorism field. As an Archer Fellow, he will be interning for U.S. Congressman Pete Olson of Texas' 22nd District.
Saige Lee | UT Permian Basin
Saige Lee is a senior at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin pursuing a dual major in Political Science and Leadership Studies. She is a member of the Honors Program at UT Permian Basin and has made the President's List every semester. During the school year, Saige is involved with various clubs on campus and is a student worker at the John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute. She devotes her summers to working with teens as a camp counselor at YMCA Camp Grady Spruce. She enjoys getting to know people, adventures with friends, and watching her sister rodeo. After graduation, she plans to attend law school. Saige is interning this spring with the Office of the Curator at the Supreme Court of the United States.
Dani Litovsky | UT Dallas
Dana “Dani” Litovsky is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in International Political Economy with a regional concentration in Latin America. During her three years at UT Dallas, Dani has been President of the UTD Amnesty International Chapter, member of the UTD Model UN Team, and has been involved with other student organizations, including the UTD Terry Scholars, who are selected for their community service and academic achievements. She has helped with a project regarding the use of urban planning projects to improve socioeconomic conditions in Colombia and a project about US asylum decisions. Dani was a Spanish translator and interpreter for Schwamkrug, Freshwater & Lopez, PLLC, and an investigative journalist assistant for IDL-Reporteros in Lima, Peru. Currently, she works as news stories translator for Comunicaciones Aliadas, based in Lima, Peru. As an Archer Fellow, Dani will be working as a Research Assistant at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Stephanie Lopez | UT El Paso
Stephanie Lopez was born and raised along the US/Mexico border and is currently is a junior at the University of Texas at El Paso majoring in Political Science with a minor in Spanish. Stephanie has always had a strong commitment to public service and at a very early age she discovered a passion for helping the less fortunate. In particular, she fights for the rights of children and immigrants. As a Court Appointed Special Advocate, Stephanie has represented children who have been abused or neglected and now find themselves caught in the middle of intimidating court proceedings. She also volunteers with the El Paso Bar Association by assisting attorneys during legal clinics for United States Veterans. Stephanie is also a volunteer with the El Paso Child Crisis Center and the Salvation Army and she is a member of Alpha Xi Delta Women’s sorority where she takes part in various philanthropy events benefiting Autism Speaks, the world’s largest autism advocacy organization. She has also participated in the Law School Preparation Institute at UTEP. Upon graduation, Stephanie plans on pursuing a law degree and becoming an immigration attorney.
Braeden Mayer | UT Dallas
Braeden Mayer is a senior at the University of Texas at Dallas majoring in International Political Economy with a focus in Latin America. He is a recipient of the Eugene McDermott Scholarship, a member of the Collegium V Honors Program, and the Phi Kappa Phi Collegiate Honor Society. As an Archer Fellow, Braeden will be interning with the Marathon Oil Office of Federal Relations. He just finished a fall semester study abroad experience in Nicaragua where he wrote his thesis on the political history of Nicaraguan baseball. On campus, Braeden is involved in a variety of organizations and has held several leadership positions including Secretary of Student Government, Recruitment Chair for the Student Ambassadors, and Pledge Class Vice President for his fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon. With a passion for the intersection of the public and private sector, Braeden has worked with the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce as their Public Policy Intern and interned twice with Southwest Airlines on their Community Affairs and Grassroots team.
Emily Nasir | UT San Antonio
Emily Nasir is a senior in the Honors College at The University of Texas at San Antonio where she is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies. While at UT San Antonio, Emily participated in several organizations that demonstrated her commitment to service, leadership, and integrity such as the Ambassadors of UTSA, Be A Responsible Roadrunner, and the university newspaper “The Paisano”. As Public Relations officer of the Health Ambassadors, Emily provided San Antonio residents and disabled young adults with free medical screenings through the American Diabetes Association and the Methodist Mission Home. To assist her goal of becoming a lawyer, Emily participated in the UTSA Summer Law School Preparation Academy where she earned a Certificate of Legal Reasoning and was awarded the Ray Coleman Jr. Scholarship for Top First Year Student. Emily credits her passion for international relations and human rights advocacy to her time studying abroad in Australia and her Palestinian background. As an Archer fellow this spring, Emily looks forward to interning with the United Nations Information Center.
Lisa Newman | UT Austin
Lisa Newman is a junior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is majoring in Government with a minor in Philosophy and will receive a certificate in Core Texts and Ideas. During her time at UT Austin, she has served as executive editor of the newly founded Texas Undergraduate Law Review, an organization designed to encourage undergraduate students to pursue their passion through scholarly and academic research. She also worked to foster better student-faculty relationships during her time as the Faculty Affairs Committee Chair in Senate of College Councils. She is an active member of her sorority, Delta Gamma, where she passionately works with the students at Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. In addition to her on-campus involvement, she was a legislative intern for Senator Mike Jackson. She is currently working for the Segura Criminal Defense Firm after her involvement with the University of Texas School of Law, Criminal Defense Clinic. She is excited to intern at the Department of Justice, Federal Programs Branch in the spring.
Ha-Vi Nguyen | UT Austin
Ha-Vi Nguyen is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin majoring in Economics and Government. She is a fellow of the Texas Interdisciplinary Plan and served as a student panelist her junior year. She has a special interest in comparative government and has finished writing her senior capstone on Chinese business ventures into Africa. Ha-Vi has worked as a governmental affairs intern at TRPSA Strategy Partners where she first became acquainted with Texas legislation. She also served as a law firm intern at Tuggey Fernandez LLP that helped her make a decision in attending law school. Ha-Vi has also completed an internship as a public policy intern at the Texas Council of Developmental Disabilities this fall. She also tutored at Reagan High School- a local high school in Austin- to help students pass state standardized tests in math and science. As an Archer Fellow, she will be a Geoeconomics intern at the Council of Foreign Relations. She hopes to attend law school after graduation specializing in international and comparative law.
Jackie Odum | UT Pan American
Jacqueline Odum is currently a senior at the University of Texas-Pan American pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies. As a prospective law student she has made Public Interest law the main focus of her legal career. Her path towards law school began in the summer of 2011 when she participated in the Council on Legal Education Opportunity’s (CLEO) Sophomore Summer Institute, a four week pre-law institute sponsored by the American Bar Association. Since then she has served as Historian and Vice President of the Pre-Law Society, Treasurer of Pi Sigma Alpha Honors Society, Reporter of the Political Science Association, campus ambassador for the CLEO Ambassadors Program and as a member of the UTPA Mock Trial Team. During the summer of 2012 she was selected to participate in UTPA’s prestigious Law School Preparation Institute where she was trained in legal research and writing. She also has experience as an intern for Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, the Hidalgo County Bar Association and with the Chief Legal Officer in the Office of the President at UTPA. Jacqueline looks forward to interning with the Legal Progress Department at the Center for American Progress during her Archer Fellowship.
Jessica Peña | UT Pan American
Jessica Lizette Peña Torres is a senior at the University of Texas Pan – American in Edinburg, TX, where she pursues a B.A. in Theatre Performance and Dance Performance and a minor in Spanish. She is also a student of the Guerra Honors Program and the Activities Coordinator of the Latino Theatre Initiatives. With the LTI, she has performed in several international theatre festivals such as the 2011 New York International Fringe Festival, the Houston Fringe Festival, and LUMINARIA in San Antonio, TX. She also performs with the UTPA Dance Ensemble, with a main focus in Modern Dance. Because of her interest in advancing her Latino community, Jessica was selected to participate in the 2011 Harvard Latino Leadership Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School. With this experience, she and a group of students from UTPA developed a student organization that would potentially raise voter turnout in the Rio Grande Valley for local, state, and national elections. This spring she will be interning at the International Activities Department of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Neeraj Sirdeshmukh | UT Dallas
Neeraj Sirdeshmukh is a junior at UT Dallas where he is studying geospatial information sciences (GIS). His passion is geography and GIS. He has won national and international recognition in several geography competitions, including the National Geographic Society’s annual National Geographic Bee, where he placed second in the country, and the National Geographic World Championship, where his team placed second in the world. He is also actively involved with the Indian Students Association, was the site leader for an Alternative Spring Break trip, and was the president and founder of the Global Awareness Forum, a geography and current events discussion organization at UT Dallas. Neeraj has conducted two GIS/mapping internships at Hunt Oil Company and conducted GIS research with a UTD faculty member- he hopes to publish his findings in a top academic research journal. His other academic and personal interests include global economics, international affairs, and mathematics. He is looking forward to working this spring in his dream internship with the National Geographic Society.
Matt Smith | UT Austin
Matt Smith is a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is pursuing a major in Government and a minor in Arabic. Matt’s focus is on global policy and the effects of humanitarian intervention, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa. Last spring, while working as a research assistant for Dr. Alan J. Kuperman of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, Matt completed a research project that analyzed the effectiveness of the NATO intervention in Libya. Matt is currently building upon this research experience as a Robert S. Strauss Next Generation Scholar. As a Bill Archer Fellow, Matt hopes to improve his analytical skills and research capabilities while working as an intern at the Department of State’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. After graduation, Matt hopes to obtain work that will enable him to acquire policy relevant experience in either D.C. or the Middle East before he returns to pursue his Master’s degree in International Relations.
Leslie Tisdale | UT Austin
Leslie is a Junior at the University of Texas at Austin, pursuing a degree in Political Communications with a minor in Government. Recently, Leslie has enjoyed working in the Texas Legislature and serving as president of the University Democrats during the US Presidential election season. Her focus at UT Austin has been ensuring student civic participation through her organization of the non-partisan Politipalooza, and the Big XII on the Hill lobbying trip with Student Government. Her more fond memories include being a Congressional Page during the 111th Congress and attending the 2012 Democratic National Convention as a Texas delegate. Currently, Leslie works for the United States Attorney in Austin and is looking forward to her return to Washington, D.C.
Hilary Turner | UT Austin
Hilary Turner is a senior at the University of Texas as Austin pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies with a concentration in Political Communication and a minor in Government. For the past seven months, Hilary has interned in the Texas House of Representatives Natural Resource Committee where she co-authored a charge on the Interim Report to the 83rd Legislature. She has also worked as Data Curator for Zonabiliy, an Austin start-up. During her time at UT, Hilary served as an Executive Editor for the Texas Undergraduate Law Review, and was involved in the Phi Alpha Delta Retreat Committee. Hilary is currently a J.J. Pickle Congressional Research Assistant, where she has conducted her own research on Interest Groups and Legislative Output. Hilary is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and has served as Collegiate Alumni Relations Chair and Activities Director. In the spring, Hilary will be interning at Patton Boggs as a public policy intern.
Cody Willming | UT Dallas
Cody Willming is a junior pursuing a degree in Political Science at The University of Texas at Dallas. Cody’s interest in politics began while serving as a Congressional Page for the U.S. House of Representatives during the spring of 2009, when he worked on the House floor and attended school in the Library of Congress. While at UT Dallas, he served as Vice President of Student Government his sophomore year and represented the university on the UT System Student Advisory Council. While on the Council he served as Vice Chair of the Financial and Legislative Affairs committee and helped present recommendations to the UT System Board of Regents. This past fall, Cody worked as an intern at Southwest Airlines with the Community Affairs and Grassroots team, where he analyzed social media usage by Members of Congress and identified legislative engagement opportunities for the airline. He is looking forward to interning with the staff of U.S. House Budget Committee this spring.
Ofirah Yheskel | UT Austin
Ofirah Yheskel is a graduating senior at The University of Texas at Austin. She is pursuing a dual degree in Communication Studies along the Political Communication tract and International Relations & Global Studies with a focus in international security. During her time at the university, she has gained experience on all sides of the political spectrum, beginning first as an intern on Ted Cruz’s campaign for United States Senate. She then went on to become a community organizer in east Austin with Organizing for America, President Obama’s grassroots group, mobilizing voters in six precincts for Election Day. Most recently, Ofirah has completed a legislative research internship with the nonpartisan nonprofit group Project Vote Smart and hopes to continue working to empower voters in the future. During the summer of 2011, she had the opportunity to study abroad and enhance her Spanish speaking capacity in northern Spain. This fall she completed a thesis about the security implications of terrorist groups becoming political parties; the concepts of democracy building and consolidation are especially of interest to her. She looks forward to interning with the U.S. Department of State.