Sam Almeida | UT Tyler
Human Rights Campaign
Sam Almeida is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Tyler within the political science masters program. Almeida is co-founder of the Tyler Transgender Support Group (TTSG) as well as a board member and Upper North Texas Regional Co-Coordinator for the Transgender Education Network of Texas (TENT). After graduate school, Almeida plans to attend law school with hopes of working for a nonprofit serving marginalized communities in the future.
Nikita Agarwal | UT Southwestern
American Cancer Society - Cancer Action Network
Nikita Agarwal is a first-year medical student at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. She received both her bachelor's degree in biochemistry and biophysics and her master's degree in chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. In college, she was deeply involved in advocating for global health issues, such as Neglected Tropical Diseases, and coordinating a free clinic in West Philadelphia that provided care for the uninsured. Upon returning to her hometown of Dallas for graduate school, Agarwal continued her work in increasing access to health care by managing one of UT Southwestern's free clinics--The Monday Clinic. Her work with the uninsured has inspired her to look into more policy-oriented solutions to lack of access to care in the United States and globally. In the future, Agarwal hopes to pursue a career in academic medicine, using her experience in the Archer Fellowship to become a better patient advocate to lawmakers in the future.
Omar Araiza| UT Austin
U.S. Department of Defense - National Defense University
Omar Araiza is an MGPS student candidate at The University of Texas LBJ School of Public Affairs. Growing up along the U.S.-Mexico border, Omar was exposed from a young age to the various humanitarian issues surrounding forced migration. This personal connection led him to work with refugees, political asylees, survivors of human trafficking, and other displaced populations of people. He speaks English, Spanish, and French, and was selected as a Fulbright-Hays Fellow for the opportunity to advance his Persian language skills abroad. He joined the LBJ School this past fall as part of the Texas National Security Network's inaugural class of Chancellor's Scholars. Araiza was an Archer Fellow in 2011, and is excited to return to Washington, D.C., this time as a Graduate Archer Fellow. This summer, he will be focusing on security issues in the Americas.
Raymond (Ray) Banks | UT San Antonio
U.S. Department of Defense
Raymond (Ray) Banks hails from The University of Texas at San Antonio where he is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration. He is interested in serving his community at the local, state, or federal level.
Casey Boyles| UT Austin
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Casey Boyles is pursuing her master's degree in middle eastern studies at The University of Texas at Austin. She holds a bachelor's degree in politics from Princeton University. Currently, she is a Brumley Next Generation Graduate Fellow with the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law, co-president of the Middle Eastern Studies Graduate Student Association, and a Teaching Assistant for the Middle Eastern Studies department. Her policy interests include national security and intelligence with a focus on the Middle East and she hopes to pursue a career in national security working for the federal government.
Kingsley Burns | UT Austin
U.S. Department of Justice
Kingsley Burns is a master’s student in Global Policy Studies at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs. He previously studied international business and management of information systems as an undergraduate at the University of Oklahoma before turning towards public affairs.
Caitlin Caswell | UT San Antonio
Alliance for Excellent Education
Caitlin Caswell is a graduate student at The University of Texas at San Antonio pursuing her master’s in social work. During her time as an educator through Teach for America, Caswell became passionate about addressing the inequities in America's public education system. After graduating from UTSA, Caswell hopes to earn a doctorate in social policy and eventually work in a nonprofit or governmental agency to advocate for policy that promotes educational equity, especially for children of marginalized communities.
Andrea Chevalier | UT Austin
Office of Management and Budget
Andrea Chevalier is in her second year of the Education Policy and Planning doctoral program in the College of Education's Department of Educational Leadership and Policy. Her research interests are in public discourse and the racial politics of education. Chevalier is considering careers in academia or public policy.
Aaron Conrado | UT Austin
The White House – Office of Science and Technology Policy
Aaron Conrado is in his final year as a doctoral student in microbiology at The University of Texas at Austin. His research focuses on the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. He also co-hosts a weekly radio talk show, recruiting STEM researchers from the UT community to discuss their research to a general audience. After seven years of academic research, he now looks to apply his scientific aptitude in the realm of policy to help bridge the gap between scientists and lawmakers and enable evidence-based policy solutions. In his free time, he enjoys live music and disc golf.
Jacqueline DeAnda| UT Austin
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Jacqueline DeAnda is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research and professional interests are in understanding the ways divorce and single parenthood affect child and family adjustment across the lifespan. Following graduation, DeAnda aspires to build her career around transforming empirical research findings into federal evaluation-based programs and policies that will promote well-being for fragile American children and families.
Zoe Douglas| UT San Antonio
America's Service Commission
Zoe Douglas is a second year graduate student at The University of Texas at San Antonio, studying to obtain her master's in clinical mental health counseling. As a lover of people and physical and mental wellness, it was clear that the mental health field was perfect for Douglas after taking her first semester of psychology classes during her undergraduate studies. While figuring out which route she wanted to take after graduating with her bachelor’s degree, she decided that she wanted to practice in a more intimate setting with her clients and put her active listening skills and objective thinking to good use by becoming a counselor. Douglas has worked as a case manager for Alpha Home, a substance abuse treatment center and is also a member of Chi Sigma Iota, International Counseling Honors Society. After graduating, Douglas plans to obtain her license as a Marriage and Family Therapist and help heal broken families and marriages.
Ryan Duffy | UT Austin
Scoop News Group
Ryan Duffy is a young writer hoping to work at the intersection of journalism and international security. He is pursuing a master’s of arts. in global policy studies at The Univesrity of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs and graduated magna cum laude from Boston College in 2017. His interests include U.S. foreign policy, intelligence, special operations, cybersecurity, climate change, and technology. A Dallas native, Duffy spent the last four years in Massachusetts, a summer in D.C., a six month stint studying abroad in Parma, Italy, and two months studying on a scholarship in Dubai. He is quickly growing fond of Austin, where he likes to run, explore the outdoors, and try new IPAs.
Lorena Garcia | UT El Paso
Lorena Garcia is a doctoral student pursuing a degree in educational leadership and administration at The University of Texas at El Paso. Garcia also has her master’s degree in K-12 educational administration and her undergraduate degree in teaching from The University of Texas at El Paso. Garcia has been working in the education field for several years in the El Paso region. She has predominantly worked with students who come from a low socioeconomic status, are considered at-risk, and are English as a Second Language learners. Garcia feels very passionate about helping students be successful, and would like to pursue a career advocating for students by contributing to creating better K-12 education policies.
Greg Grant | UT Austin
Greg Grant is a second year student pursuing his master’s of science in community and regional planning at The University of Texas at Austin. His interests in planning include transportation and GIS mapping technologies.
Terrance Harbin | UT Arlington
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Terrence Ra’Mond Harbin is currently a graduate student at The University of Texas at Arlington, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration. He also completed his bachelor’s degree in political science at The University of Texas at Arlington. Harbin’s focus is on local government, and public budgeting and financial management. Harbin truly believes that the budget is a true representation of the people priorities, and the key to strengthening the middle class is through financial literacy. He is looking forward to staying in Washington D.C.. and interning to learn about the budgeting process. After interning in Washington D.C., Harbin will be returning to Arlington, Texas, to finish his master’s degree in which he is looking to pursue a career in financial management and community organizing.
Eduardo Hernandez | UT Southwestern
Big Cities Health Coalition
Eduardo Hernandez is a first-year medical student at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and is concurrently working on a Master of Public Health from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. He completed his undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in biochemistry. At UT Southwestern, he is the treasurer of the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and regularly volunteers with the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP). Prior to medical school, Hernandez conducted organic chemistry research under the supervision of Brent Iverson, Ph.D. His broad career interests include public health policy development, particularly in regards to health disparities. In his free time, Hernandez enjoys playing soccer, working out, reading and cooking.
Vivian Ikoro | UT Arlington
American Enterprise Institute
Vivian Ikoro is graduate research assistant with the Department of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Arlington were she is also pursuing a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis area in public budgeting and financial management. Originally from Imo State, Nigeria, before she moved to the United States, Ikoro actively volunteered in a nonprofit organization advocating for local economic development and welfare rights, while maintaining a full-time job as a marketing associate with WEMA Bank in Abuja, Nigeria. Her research interest is tailored towards exploring the fiscal policies and financial system of both developed and underdeveloped economies and thier spillover effects on economic development. She hopes to work for organizations such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Sharon Jacob | UT Health Science Center - Houston
The Prevent Cancer Foundation
Sharon Jacob is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in public health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. She received her bachelor's degree in literary studies with a minor in neuroscience at The University of Texas at Dallas. Her interests include the mental health of children and adolescents as well as child advocacy. After graduating, Jacob hopes to use her skills and education to help families live happier, healthier lives. In her free time, she enjoys reading and trying out new recipes.
Judith Jones | UT San Antonio
Judith Jones is a "change agent" and her interest began when saw how teenagers were declining in obtaining their education and increasing in teen pregnancy and substance abuse. She has a degree in Substance Abuse Counseling, Bachelor of Social Science and she is currently completing her Master degree in Social Work at University of Texas San Antonio. She has received several scholarships including the World Foreign Affairs Council and she has presented at the National Research Symposium at Texas A&M San Antonio on "Women and Workplace Stress." Judith has been featured in Our Kids Magazine and she is active in community collaborations. Her current mission is to address the affordable housing crisis in America.
Rachel Kocian| UT Health Science Center - Houston
The Office of U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke (TX-16)
Rachel Kocian is pursuing a master's degree in public health at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health - Austin Regional Campus. She received her bachelor's degree in nursing from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013. Kocian currently works as a RN case manager for adults with intellectual disabilities. With a focus on management, policy and community health, she plans to address the health disparities of mental illnesses and developmental disabilities, particularly in the public education system.
Desiree Le| UT Austin
National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement
Desiree Viramontes Le is a doctoral student in the Educational Policy & Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin. She was awarded the Graduate School Recruitment Fellowship to support her journey towards making policy into equitable practice for K-12 systems. During her master’s studies at UT Austin, Le conducted participatory action research for the community and school development of college and career exploration for pre-adolescent students in collaboration with the United Way and Department of Education Teach to Lead. During master’s work at Southern Methodist University and study in Cuernavaca, Mexico, she explored the path students take as Mexican immigrants into the United States public education system from rural and urban schools. While attending UT Austin, Le is the homeless and foster care coordinator for Round Rock ISD. Le has been a public school educator for over a decade serving in the capacity of IB coordinator, social studies instructional specialist, department chair, grade level chair, ESL teacher, social studies teacher and grant writing lead. She has had the opportunity to develop, create, implement, and sustain district-wide and campus-based programs for homeless and foster care students, teaching and learning, service learning and community involvement.
Luis Leal| UT Rio Grande Valley
Hispanic Heritage Foundation
Luis Leal is a philanthropy enthusiast and youth advocate. He has spent the last five years of his life involved in fundraising initiatives, data analysis and human development. Leal was born in Mexico and moved to the United States with his family in 2011. He graduated from The University of Texas-Pan American with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in management in 2015. A year after earning his degree, He decided to further his education, applied and was successfully accepted into the Master of Business Administration program at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and will graduate in December 2018. He enjoys traveling, experiencing different cultures, public speaking, public service and volunteering.
Adrianna Maberry | UT Dallas
Lone Star Project
Adrianna Maberry is continually looking for ways to incorporate her two passions, data and politics, and has explored this intersection through her masters program in Geospatial Information Sciences (GIS) at The University of Texas at Dallas. Maberry served as a Texas Civic Ambassador for the 2017-2018 school year and has worked as a public servant for the City of Dallas since 2015. She also volunteers for organizations that align with her values and is a founder and research director of Lone Star Parity Project, a non-partisan online publication dedicated to sharing stories of women involved in Texas politics.
Amanda Macune | UT Austin
Education Reform Now
Amanda Macune is pursuing a master's degree in public affairs at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs. She holds a bachelor's degree in political science and policy studies with a minor in poverty, justice, and human capabilities from Rice University in Houston, Texas. Macune has taught with Teach for America and has worked with students at the university level. Her policy interests include social policy on a broad scale with a specific interest in education policy.
Chioma Mba| UT Austin
Education Reform Now
Chioma Mba is a Ph.D. student in the Educational Leadership and Policy program in the Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin. She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/statistics/computer science at the University of Calabar, Nigeria. Soon after, Mba migrated to Houston, Texas, where she taught High School Algebra and Geometry for over 10 years. During her time teaching, she developed a keen interest in educational equity. She received a Master of Education degree in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has dedicated her post graduate studies towards understanding the interaction between policy, leadership and practice and how they can be leveraged to meet the needs of minority students.
Priyanka Mehta |UT Southwestern
Priyanka Mehta is a first-year medical student at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with minors in biochemistry and business from Rice University and an Master of Public Health in epidemiology and global health from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health. Mehta is passionate about addressing the racial, gender and other socioeconomic inequities leading to ill health. After medical school, she plans to enter clinical practice, as well as use her expertise to inform the development of evidence-based health care policy. She also hopes to someday run for public office.
Princess Ogidi|UT Health Science Center - Houston
Sabin Vaccine Institute
Princess Ogidi is a second-year student pursuing a master's degree in health services organization and research at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She received her bachelor’s degree in health science studies from Baylor University. Ogidi's interests fall into the broad scope of disadvantaged populations, with a keen interest in maternal and child health. Passionate about the intersection of health care delivery, education and policy, Ogidi wants to help improve access to care, resources and education for individuals in lower socioeconomic status.
God'swill Osa | UT Dallas
God'swill Osa is a political science masters student at The University of Texas at Dallas. Osa serves as the assistant coach for UT Dallas’ Pre-Law Advocacy Moot Court Team and as a graduate senator in UT Dallas’ Student Government. Osa’s research interests include understanding the effect new and more restrictive voting laws had on voter turnout in U.S. elections. She earned a bachelor of science in biology at Texas A&M University and is a Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science Alumni.
Alyse Gray Parker |
UT San Antonio
Alyse Gray Parker is pursuing her doctorate in education leadership and policy with an emphasis in higher education at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Parker recently received her master’s and specialist degrees in school psychology from The Ohio State University. With this educational background, she currently assists college students at Trinity University (San Antonio) who identify as having a disability through the accommodation process that allows them to have equal access to all aspects to higher education. Parker’s research interests include investigating how colleges and universities utilize educational policy in conjunction with institutional research to address issues of access and equality.
Hannah Poteete | UT Dallas
Center for International Policy
Hannah Poteete is pursuing a master’s degree in public administration at The University of Texas at Dallas. She grew up in Goddard, Kansas, and received her Bachelor of Science from Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama. Before beginning the master's program, Poteete taught as a middle school English teacher in Oak Cliff, Dallas. After teaching, she became more involved in the Dallas scene while working on community engagement at KERA, North Texas' public radio station. Poteete volunteers as a mentor at Girls Inc. and has a passion for public service and advocacy. She is currently working on publications centering on the organizational structures surrounding women in decision-making positions through the international lens. As an Archer Graduate Fellow, she hopes to learn how global policy can address the gender gap in leadership positions around the world.
Amanda Reat| UT Health Science Center - Houston
Center for Science in the Public Interest
Amanda Reat is pursuing her doctorate degree in epidemiology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health - Austin Regional Campus.. She has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in human nutrition from the University of Houston and Texas State University, respectively, and is also a registered dietitian. With her nutrition background, research knowledge, and experience with federal food assistance programs, Reat’s work focuses on promoting nutrition policies to reduce disease and disparities in the U.S. Ultimately, she hopes to work at the national level to research, implement, and evaluate policies that address nutrition practices and food inequalities.
Kelsey Ritchie | UT Austin
American Enterprise Institute
Kelsey Ritchie is a graduate student at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs, where she is pursuing her master’s degree in global policy studies. Ritchie is interested in the intersection of national security and religious studies. She currently works as the graduate assistant at the Clements Center for National Security and serves as the head global writer for the Baines Report policy journal. She plans to enter a career in national security or foreign policy after graduating from the LBJ School and eventually get her Ph.D. and teach at a university.
Sarah Rush | UT Austin
Bread for the World
Sarah Rush is pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs at The University of Texas at Austin LBJ School
of Public Affairs. Rush holds a bachelors in government and English from The University of Texas at Austin, and a masters of liberal arts in gastronomy, food policy from Boston University. Her focus is on food security as it relates to international development and national security. She plans to pursue a career in developing policy solutions at the federal level that acknowledge the role that food security plays in global development and stability.
Melissa Salgado| UT Tyler
United Nations Information Centre
Melissa Salgado is a graduate student pursuing a master's degree in political science at The University of Texas at Tyler. She currently holds a bachelor’s degree in political science at UT Tyler. She is the assistant director to the Model United Nations program on the UT Tyler campus. In this role Salgado has helped guide students to further their interest in international issues. She has recently organized a high school Model UN conference to help foster interest in global issues. Salgado is passionate about human rights and hopes to work towards improving human right conditions across the globe.
Clarissa Sanchez | UT Health Science Center - Houston
Clarissa Sanchez is an Master of Public Health student at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston majoring in health services organization. She holds a bachelor's degree in health science with a concentration in health policy and a minor in nutrition from Arizona State University. Sanchez’s public health background includes studying communities' responses to extreme heat emergencies. She plans to continue studying the impacts of environmental barriers on vulnerable populations.
Nora Tassabhji | UT Dallas
Public Health Foundation
Nora Tassabhji is pursuing a master's degree in healthcare leadership and management at The University of Texas at Dallas. Tassabhji graduated with her Bachelor's of Science in Healthcare Studies in the Fall of 2017 where she fast-tracked and was qualified to take graduate courses as an undergraduate student. Tassabhji aspires to attend law school after pursuing her master's degree and plans to use her health care background to become a health care attorney. Tassabhji currently interns at a law firm in Dallas and partakes in several organizations at UT Dallas. She is the vice president of the Healthcare Management Association, the vice president of public relations for Net Impact, a competitor of the Model United Nations and Mediation teams, and a member of the John Marshall Pre-Law society, Phi Theta Kappa, and the Muslim Student Association. When Tassabhji is not studying or interning, she enjoys jogging, swimming, learning Spanish, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Natalie Thomas | UT Arlington
Natalie Thomas is pursuing a master's degree in political science at The University of Texas at Arlington. She is from Las Vegas, Nevada, but grew up in a military family, which brought her to Texas. As an undergraduate, Thomas completed her Spanish minor in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Thomas worked for the Relationship Violence and Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Prevention Program, Student Conduct, and is currently a graduate assistant for the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. She is most passionate about preventing sexual and interpersonal violence and researching policy initiatives to improve care for survivors nationwide. She enjoys hiking, camping, reading, spending time with her friends and Zeta sisters, and dance.
Lily Trieu | UT Austin
Lily Trieu is a Master in Business Administration candidate at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. She is concentrating in management, social enterprise, and public and governmental affairs, and is interested in the intersection of the public and private sectors. She aspires to utilize her private sector background to influence change and reform public education in Texas. Trieu is an active part of Texas advocacy; she has been a fellows manager at Organizing for Action and has volunteered with organizations such as Battleground Texas, Human Rights Campaign, Harris County Democratic Party, and Annie’s List.
Harris Weisz | UT Medical Branch
Government Accountability Office
Harris Weisz is currently a doctoral candidate in the Human Pathophysiology and Translational Medicine program at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. His research focuses on understanding long term genomic changes after traumatic brain injury, which could potentially serve as targets for therapeutic or biomarker development. Utilizing his extensive scientific training, Weisz is keenly interested in researching and crafting informed, evidence-based science policy that addresses the present and future needs of the United States.
Antoinette White| UT Dallas
EU Delegation to the U.S., Policy & Outreach Partnership in the USA
During her childhood, Antoinette White grew up in both the United States and Mexico, spending the majority of her school years in Mexico. She decided to study her Bachelor’s Degree in the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico, and her major was Psychology. Afterwards, White obtained a Masters in Forensic Psychology from a university in Spain (Instituto Superior de Estudios Psicológicos). She is interested in bettering the welfare of society as a whole, taking into particular consideration the needs of those most vulnerable. White wants to achieve the latter through changes in public policy and the necessary regulations, while taking into consideration stakeholders.
Daniel Ymbong| UT Rio Grande Valley
National Gallery of Art
Daniel Ymbong is a art history major whose life devotion, obsession, and proclivity are fashion and creative expression. As a child he was drawn to Catholicism and religious iconography, collecting images of the Virgin Mary and the saints. He wore veils, lit candles, offered flowers, and sang Ave Maria. Since age 15, he’s produced fashion shows and styled photoshoots. He pursued fashion studies in Asia, but fell ill with immune system damaged by topical steroid withdrawal. Severe alignment befallen, Ymbong did not stop as he came back to Texas to study art history and contributed fashion to the university magazine with national awards, graduating magna cum laude in art history. Ymbong is currently pursuing his master's degree in art history specializing in Spanish colonial art. He recently published an article on the Virgin of Guadalupe on NETSOL academic journal.