Meet the 2018 Campus Election Engagement Fellows
Our Election Engagement Fellows are students who receive stipends or academic credit to work with college staff and student leaders. These fellows carry out our nonpartisan approaches on their campuses, helping their peers participate in America’s democratic process. We’re piloting a small group of Spring 2018 Fellows, and will have a much larger group in Fall.
Krystal Kennedy is 20 years old and a junior at Florida International University studying Chemistry. She’s currently the Director of Alternative Breaks, a non-profit organization that sends college students throughout the world by fundraising to volunteer with social issues such as Homelessness, Education, Youth Development and Health. After graduation, she aspires to get into medical school to be a forensic scientist working with the FBI.
Maurice Morrison is a 21-year old sophomore at Barry University studying Political Science and History. He currently serves as an active member of both the Barry University Black Student Union and Barry Model UN. He continues to pursue his passions by way of numerous organizations that feed his political and social hunger for reform of these two area, respectively. Once he graduates from Barry University, he intends to further his studies in law school. His ultimate goal is to hold the highest political office in Jamaica, hoping to serve as the Prime Minister at some point in his life.
Wendy Rodriguez was born in Hialeah, Florida and currently attends Miami-Dade College Hialeah Campus. Her major is computer science and she plans on transferring to the University of Central Florida once she finishes her Associate Degree. She has interned with NASA in their NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars (NCAS) program where she was sent to the Kennedy Space Center for a 4-day rover competition. During the competition, Wendy programmed her teams’ rover to pick up rocks and identity mineral colors. She is also the President of Finance for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers as well as the Vice President of Fundraising for Phi-Theta Kappa. She strives to always be the best she can be and go after any opportunity that will help her become a well-rounded individual.
Herby Zephir is a 21-year-old sophomore at Miami Dade College (MDC) studying environmental science. He currently serves as Vice President of the Student Government Association at MDC Homestead Campus. Herby is an active member in organizations on his campus such as TRIO SSS program, and Beta Mu Iota’s Black Male Initiative project. He pursues his passions through his involvements in various organizations regarding environmentalism and nutrition. Once he graduates Miami Dade College, he will attend State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. His ultimate goal is to become a registered Dietitian, and open up a nursery farm in South Florida.
IOWA – Coming Soon!
Elizabeth Hinckley is originally from Los Angeles, California and a soon to be graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor degree in Spanish and BCN with Honors. Her time at Michigan has been one of exploration, discovery, growth, and passion. As a member of the Lloyd Hall Scholars Program, team member on the Women’s Club Water Polo team, participant in the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, member of Psi Chi Honors Fraternity, social psychology research assistant, current principal investigator of her own research in psychology, yoga instructor, and now member of the non-partisan organization Turn Up Turnout, she has taken on many different roles in a variety of communities at the University of Michigan. Her academic and social passions are wide-spread but run deep- especially in terms of people, communication, and understanding. This theme rings true in Elizabeth’s personal life as well, as she is constantly looking for ways to challenge and improve herself, expand her worldview, and make real relationships with others.
Eric-John Szczepaniak is a double major studying secondary education and social studies at Grand Valley State University. Here, he is actively involved in Student Senate, most recently serving in a cabinet position. At 19 years old, he is the youngest elected official in the State of Michigan after having been elected in November of 2016 to a six year seat on the Kenowa Hills Public Schools Board of Education, the local district that he graduated from in 2016. While in high school he served for two years as a Walker Youth Commissioner where he learned about the role of local government. He is also an active member of the Walker Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Rapids Symphony Friends, the Michigan Center for Civic Education, and he is the umpire director for two local Little Leagues.
Maya Majikas is originally from Cleveland, Ohio and is attending Ohio State University. Her family was very politically active when she was growing up, so her interest in politics developed at a young age. At Ohio State, she is currently the Speakers Chair of the Honors Collegium, a Glenn College Student Ambassador, an Office Assistant at Raney House, the co chair of the Marketing Committee for OSU Votes, and a member of College Democrats. In her two years at Ohio State, she was selected to attend both Propel Ohio, a leadership program that promotes civic engagement and transforms undergraduate students into Ohio’s civic leaders, as well as NEW Leadership, a weeklong bipartisan program that addresses the underrepresentation of women in politics by teaching them how to become effective political leaders. Due to my passion for women’s rights and voter rights, she would like to attend law school after graduation and eventually become a civil rights lawyer and policymaker. Her dream job would be working at a non profit organization such as the ACLU. In her spare time, she like to play sports, read, and watch documentaries.
Brandon Willinger is a 21-year-old junior studying Political Science at Bowling Green State University. He comes from a very politics-focused family. He marched in his first political march in 2004, when he was just 8 years old. When he was 12, he started to show interest in politics in the wake of the 2008 election. He started to learn about policy, systems of government and started following campaigns. After the 2008 election, he knew he wanted to spend his life working in politics. When he got to college, he found a passion for campaigning. He has volunteered or worked on three separate campaigns in the past three years, spending countless hours on voter engagement. He hopes to make a career focusing on voter engagement and education after graduation.
Aileen Assumma is a senior at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and an English major. She is a federal work study for WCU and responsible for the success of Dub C Votes, a nonpartisan election engagement initiative on campus. Through Dub C Votes, Aileen created a video encouraging voter registration and participation which has been viewed many times across campus (click here to see). She is also on the Executive Committee for her school’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.
Ellie Sullum, is a Philosophy Major at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Honors College, Forensics Speech and Debate, and WCU Hillel. Ellie plans on building a career as an activist and community organizer. She believes civic engagement empowers the voice of the individual, and strengthens the power of communities.
Kathryn Draper is in her third year at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. She is a Sociology and Women’s, Gender, Sexuality Studies major with a minor in Ethnic and Racial Studies. She is interest in election engagement because voting is a way for students to let their voices be heard. The people and issues they are voting on affect them directly. She also wants to make sure that students know how to vote and are educated on what they are voting on.
Nicholas Kositzke is a junior at UW-Stevens Point studying Education with a specialization in Secondary Social Sciences. He’s been interested in civic engagement for years and got very involved during this school year with student government and non-profit groups around the state. He can’t wait to start working with CEEP and learning more about civic engagement!
Scott Small is a senior majoring in Political Science-Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. He is passionate about voter registration because many students find the process to be complicated, and it is. He finds it is his job is to simplify and facilitate the student vote so that our voices are being heard.