Joshua Acevedo | UT El Paso
Joshua Acevedo was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and has been a part of that community his enitre life. He graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso in December of 2012 with a Bachelors of Science in Microbiology with a Concentration in Microbiology. In order to become the most well rounded person he could be, he decided to apply for graduate school. This time he decided to leave the College of Science and pursue a Masters in Political Science at The University of Texas at El Paso in August of 2013. With his undergraduate background in science, he uses this expertise to research policy like health care. He also has a profound interest in voting behavior and presidential elections, as well as public policy. In research, he is attempting to find some significant findings with the use of social media in elections and he most recently researched the implementation of The Affordable Care Act and the use of social networks. In the second half of 2014, he plans on beginning his thesis and hopes to find a direction that will deal with policy or presidential elections. Joshua will intern in the office of U.S. Congressman Beto O'Rourke this summer.
UT School of Public Health
Benedicta Anikputa is currently a graduate student at The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health (UTSPH), where she is pursuing a Master's degree in Public Health in the division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. Benedicta earned her Bachelor's degrees in Human Biology with a second major of Public Health from The University of Texas at Austin. Her interests are geared towards protecting vulnerable populations, in particular eliminating health disparities. She has interned at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine on projects focused on helping underrepresented populations. At UTSPH Benedicta is active in the Board, a student led organization that fosters the development of leadership and management skills. She also volunteers at the Houston area food bank. Her long term goals are to work in the health field in projects that help the vulnerable population. Benedicta is interning with Special Olympics International this summer in the Health, Research and Evaluation Department.
Alberto Espinoza | UT Pan American
Alberto Espinoza is a graduate student at The University of Texas – Pan American where he is pursuing a Masters in Public Administration with a focus on public policy. He has worked at the Center for Survey Research where he has participated in various regional, state, and nation-wide surveys. Alberto has collaborated with political science faculty to analyze the quality of, and access to, health care in the Middle East prior to the Arab uprisings. Currently, he is a graduate teaching assistant where he is responsible for educating students in the use of statistical software to analyze data and make informed decisions. Alberto hopes to pursue a career in International Relations with a focus on Iranian politics. He will intern at the Osgood Center for International Studies this summer.
Corey Howell | UT Austin
Corey Howell is a Master of Public Affairs candidate at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. Corey has several years of experience in the Texas Legislature, where he has worked on natural resource and agriculture policy issues. Most recently, he served as the Director of the House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism, where he advised the Chairman on all legislation before the committee, managed the committee's staff, and advanced the Chairman's legislation through the legislative process. Corey has also worked on several political campaigns, most recently serving as a Regional Political Director on the Romney for President campaign. Corey is a Sergeant in the Texas State Guard and holds a BA degree in Government from The University of Texas at Austin. This summer, Corey will be working for Ernst & Young in their Office of Public Policy.
Tharani Devi Krishnakumar | UT Arlington
Tharani Devi Krishnakumar is pursuing dual Masters degrees in Social Work and Urban Affairs and a certificate in the Geographic Information System (GIS) at The University of Texas at Arlington. She is from Salem, India and received her Bachelor's in Electronics and Communication Engineering. In India, she volunteered for numerous non-profit organizations and was inspired to work for a humanitarian cause. She received the Outstanding Master Student award in Social Work at UT Arlington. She is part of the Students Relations Committee, UTA volunteers, Green Team and the UTA Office of Sustainability. Currently, she is working as a Graduate Student Assistant on-campus. She is interested in finding solutions for social and environmental issues. Her ambition is to work for the United Nations.
UT School of Public Health
Christina McCauley is a graduate student at The University of Texas School of Public Health, pursuing a Master of Public Health in Health Services Organization. She is a proud graduate of Texas A&M University, class of 2013, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Health. Christina was inspired to pursue a career in Public Health after spending two summers working with advocacy and health education efforts as a counselor at a residential camp for children with type-1 diabetes. She is currently a graduate assistant in the Center of Health Promotion at the School of Public Health and has completed an administrative internship in the Office of the President at Baylor College of Medicine. This summer she will be interning with the National Coalition on Health Care in the Paul G. Rogers Memorial Health Policy Analysis and Advocacy Scholars Program.
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Christopher Peña is a 5th year PhD student in the Cancer Biology program at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He is a native Texan and received his biology degree from UT San Antonio. Currently, he is generating data for a publication regarding the role of the immune system in invasive and metastatic behavior of different cancers. Though he enjoys making important discoveries in the lab, he is especially passionate about public policy, where his goal is to advocate for more government funding for science colleagues and all of the hard work they do, and for more programs geared towards promoting science education among underrepresented students. This summer Christopher will intern at the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) working on STEM Education Research.
UT School of Public Health
Bhumit Shah is currently a graduate student at The University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health, where he is pursuing a Master's degree with a focus on Health Policy and Management. He completed his undergraduate degree in both Biology and Economics at The University of Texas at Austin. He believes that public health is improved not only by access to medical care, but by creating an environment that fosters daily healthy decision making. Public Policy plays a major role in creating that environment. He current works with The University of Texas School of Public Health - Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science which provides research to guide the FDA's future tobacco regulatory efforts. This summer he will be interning at Special Olympics in both their Health, Research, and Evaluation Department as well as Government Relations department.
UT School of Public Health
Amy Wieczorek is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Houston Health Science Center pursuing a Master's degree in Public Health in the division of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, with an emphasis on global health and leadership. She received her Bachelor's degree in Community Health Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Amy is a graduate of the UNMC Great Plains Public Health Leadership Institute and has served as Miss Nebraska for the America National Teenager Scholarship Organization in 2010 and Collegiate America in 2011. Amy has worked in diverse areas of public health including obesity prevention, worksite wellness, sustainable communities, drunk driving prevention, as well as women's and children's health in foreign countries. Amy is looking forward to interning with the National Women's Health Network this summer.
A. Raye Allen
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Raye Allen is a Texas native, an advocate for women's health and civil rights, and is studying to be a Physician at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. During her first year of medical school, she has worked to create a women's health elective to address the many issues women face in access to quality medical care. In addition she also raises awareness of and participation in health care policy issues as president of her medical school's chapter of the Texas Medical Association. Her undergraduate background is in Astrophysics and in Plan II, a liberal arts degree that emphasizes breadth of study and writing. Throughout her life, Raye had been heavily involved in activism and community service, volunteering for more than 5 years with Habitat for Humanity, as well as supporting local women's and children's theatre groups in Austin. She is currently active in serving as a medical student volunteer healthcare provider at North Dallas Shared Ministries and Center of Hope homeless clinics. Raye will intern in the office of U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro this summer.
Blanca Davila | UT Brownsville
Blanca Davila is pursuing a Master's degree in Public Policy and Management at The University of Texas at Brownsville. She is interested in education policy, specifically postsecondary education, equality and equity related issues. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Applied Sociology with a minor in Business Administration from Texas State University. She participated in internships with the San Marcos Public Housing Authority and Latino Media Studies where she conducted research on services for the elderly and teenagers, managed and coordinated community events, festivals, and competitive documentaries on Latin related issues, gathered data and analyzed for final reporting. Blanca currently works as an All In Lead Student Ambassador where she leads and prepares other college students to become Student Ambassadors that go back to their alma mater to encourage high school students to earn a postsecondary credential with labor market value. Blanca is also engaged in her community by being part of Leadership Brownsville Class XXIX and Rio Grande Valley Mentors. Some of Blanca's hobbies are reading, dancing, traveling and watching movies/plays. Blanca is interning with Achieving the Dream this summer.
Trang Hoang | UT Dallas
Trang Hoang is a graduate student in the Public Affairs Program at The University of Texas at Dallas. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Management from the National Economics University in Vietnam. In 2011, she received the U.S Department of State's scholarship to study the U.S institutions and Environment Policies at the Utah State University, and 2014 Section for Women in Public Administration (SWPA) scholarship. Before joining the Masters program, she served for about two years in the National Economics University, the World Wildlife Fund – Greater Mekong and IBM Vietnam. She is an active U.S State Alumnus and acts as coordinator in community and civic engagement projects such as Small and Medium Enterprises Mentoring program, teaching English for disadvantaged students. Trang is interning at the Institute for Policy Studies this summer.
Jill Kjellsson | UT Austin
Jill Kjellsson is earning Master's degrees in Public Affairs and Environmental and Water Resources Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. Jill chose to pursue these two degrees because she feels that many of the best solutions to society's environmental problems come from interdisciplinary collaboration and that improved communication is crucial to finding these solutions. Jill earned her Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Global Politics from Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California. While in school, she works as a Graduate Research Assistant studying the Water-Energy Nexus. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, skiing, traveling, cooking and baking. This summer Jill will be interning in the Office on Environmental and Climate Change at the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Lucas Lothamer | UT Arlington
Lucas Lothamer is currently working on his Master's degree in Political Science specializing in Congressional behavior, campaigns and elections, and public opinion at The University of Texas at Arlington. Early this year he presented research at the Southern Political Science Association on why public opinion for same-sex marriage has been increasing in recent years. Currently, he is researching his thesis on the motives behind congressional members' use of social media. He earned an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in English at UT Arlington. Ultimately, Lucas plans to pursue doctoral studies and become a university professor.
Ed Palencia | UT Tyler
Edgardo "Ed" Palencia is currently a graduate student at The University of Texas at Tyler working towards a Masters in Business Administration. He received his undergraduate degree from The University of Texas at Tyler in Business Management. While completing his degrees, he became an accomplished track and field athlete. He received awards such as Conference Athlete of the Week, Conference Champion, All-Conference, Academic All-Conference, All-American, and Academic All-American. He was also named to the Chi Alpha Sigma Athletic Honor Society. In addition Ed was active in the Student Government Association, where he served as an appointed member of the Judicial Review Board. As a member of the Judicial Review Board he examined cases of students under scholastic review in addition to verifying campaign results for Student Government elections. Ed is looking forward to interning in the office of U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert.
Sara Polk | UT El Paso
Sara Polk is a first year Master of Social Work student at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is about to wrap up an internship with Dismas Charities, a federally managed Bureau of Prisons halfway house in El Paso, where she has worked with federal offenders on successfully transitioning into the community at large. Sara is a first generation college student and graduated with a degree in International Relations from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. She served as an Americorps VISTA at a health department in rural Illinois and has worked as the executive director of local non-profits in El Paso, Texas. Sara has a passion for working with individuals that suffer from addiction and substance abuse, and hopes to become a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor after she receives her Master's in Social Work.
Jacob Thayer | UT Austin
Jacob Thayer is pursuing a Master of Public Affairs with a focus on Public Management and Leadership at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He previously received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The George Washington University. He joined the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary in November 2010. Since then he has served as founding Cadet Leader for Unit Washington, DC, and staff officer positions at the flotilla and national level. This summer he is continuing his service with the Auxiliary as he works at Coast Guard Headquarters. While in DC, he will also be continuing his role as Commander of Flotilla Austin, and as Project Manager for the Coast Guard Auxiliary University Programs.
Juan Yunda | UT Austin
Juan G. Yunda is an architect and student of the CRP Doctoral program at The University of Texas at Austin. Born in Bogota, Colombia, he earned his architect degree from the National University of Colombia. During his studies, in 2004, he spent a year at the Vienna University of Technology. From 2007 to 2009, Juan studied the joint MSc degree program of European Urban Studies between the Bauhaus-Weimar University and the Tongji University in Shanghai. He worked in the practice of GMP Architects in Berlin, where he collaborated with urban design and architecture projects in Spain, Bulgaria and Germany. Upon his return to Colombia, Juan has been researching and teaching architecture and urban design in the Piloto University in Bogota. Parallel to urban consulting for both public and private entities in the city of Bogota, on the subjects of mobility, social housing and zoning planning. Juan will intern with the Sustainable Cities Program at the Organization of American States.