Meet the 2018 Campus Election Engagement Fellows
CEEP Fellows are students who help carry out our approaches on the ground, working with the nonpartisan engagement teams on their campus. Reaching out to their peers, they help register their fellow students to vote, navigate them through daunting voting rules, distribute our nonpartisan candidate guides and other educational materials, and organize and carry out Get Out The Vote events. Assisted by volunteer teams that they recruit from their friends and contacts, they bring their own interests and passions to the challenges of nonpartisan electoral engagement, working with allies throughout the campus.
Here are some of our wonderful 2018 student Fellows. Click here to see our 2016 Fellows team.
University of Nevada – Reno Fellow Testimonial Video
2018 CEEP FELLOW RESOURCES
My name is Shelby Bietz, I am a Communication Studies major with a minor in Political Science at Northern Arizona University as a freshman. I am super excited to be working with the College Election Engagement Project because I believe that as US citizens it is our most basic duty to engage in our community, and voting is the easiest way to do so. I worked on a nonpartisan political campaign in 2016 in Washoe County (Northern Nevada) that worked to raise sales tax to benefit the capital needs of the county schools. This introduced me to the world of politics and how important nonpartisan issues are and how much of an effect they can and should have.
Hi, my name is Graham Earl Corp. I’m a second semester sophomore at Mesa Community College, currently attending to become a Special Needs Teacher for Title-1 schools here in Mesa. I’ve got a passion for public service, and I can’t wait to work together with my team in order to rally as many community members as we can to the polls this November to participate in our election. Remember, you matter, so go out and vote!
My name is Maria Dawes, sophomore at Mesa Community College planning on transferring to Arizona State University to pursue a B.S. in Public Service and Public Policy. I have been deeply involved in my community as a social welfare advocate for over 5 years, while raising a wonderful little girl to be a responsible, concerned and active citizen. The issues and organizations I have served, including PIRG Education Fund, AmeriCorps, and AZ Secretary of State Michele Reagan’s Millennial Advisory Board, are not just experiences, they are life. This makes it easy to be relentlessly passionate about my work.
My name is Nicholas De Mott and I am majoring in chemistry at Mesa Community College. I am currently completing the final year of my associate’s degree and am looking forward to transferring to Arizona State University next year. I have a year’s worth of experience organizing campus events on behalf of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement at Mesa Community College. I am very excited to use what I have learned to help CEEP organize events on campus and to encourage my fellow students to participate in our country’s democratic process.
My name is Ashley Espinoza, a sophomore at Mesa Community College. I am working towards majoring in Spanish and Japanese languages and would love to teach English as a second language one day. I am interested in social and political issues, and as a brand new CEEP fellow, I hope to help other students understand how to engage in their communities and bring positive change on a local level.
My name is Michael Newman and I have spent years in the private sector running small music businesses. Now I’m using my energy to improve my society through promoting engagement and public service. As part of that, I am in my first year of Graduate School, working towards a Masters of Public Administration. I was raised in Arizona, and I shall remain here for a long time because it’s beautiful.
My name is Phillip Peterson and I am a Political Science major at Eastern Arizona College planning to graduate in 2024. I have a deep passion for politics and making sure my college peers make their voices heard. I spend my time working on campaigns, studying elections, and one day hope to run for office.
Sara Robinson-Camarena is a Mexican-American college student working towards a cybersecurity degree. CEEP is important to her because she thinks it is necessary for people to vote so that their voice can be heard. Getting people involved and aware is one of the best ways to head towards where we want to be.
My name is Elizabeth Ward, a student at Mesa Community College. I have two more semesters before I transfer to Arizona State University. I work in The Center of Civic Engagement at MCC. I love my job and what I do. I also volunteer for a few non-profits. I love what they do and enjoy giving my time to help them be successful. My major is Justice Studies / Criminal Justice. Some of my interest on campus is making sure to stay involved in my community and my school. I’m excited to be working with CEEP as an ambassador for my campus. I look forward to spreading the word to students of the importance of voting and getting their voices heard.
My name is Sonia Abare, I am 18 years old and I’m from Nigeria. I’m a sophomore at University of Central Florida studying political science and under the pre-law track. I would like to go to law school after my undergraduate program and become a lawyer.
Deeva Agravat is a senior at the University of South Florida, pursuing a degree in International Studies. After graduation, she plans on attending graduate school and furthering her studies in international relief, disaster management, and working for NGOs that assist humanitarian crisis. She has previously traveled to Kenya, India, Dubai, and England.
Zoe Alfonso was born in China on May 13, 2000. She was adopted from China at the age of 14 months and brought to America where she was raised in Hollywood, Florida. She attended Cooper City High School where she was involved in National Honor Society and the Sound of Pride Band, and two clubs which she held leadership positions in. Zoe is currently a freshman at Florida State University, majoring in Interdisciplinary Medical Sciences. After she receives her bachelor’s degree, Zoe plans to attend medical school to fulfill her aspirations of becoming a pediatrician or neonatal specialist because of her love for kids. Aside from Zoe’s career goals, she loves interacting with people and participating in community service programs to better society.
Frances Asbury is a 21-year-old senior at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. She is studying Religion and Political Science and is a member of the Democracy Project on campus, which encourages student involvement in politics. She is also a Peer Mentor for incoming first-year students, President of the Philosophy and Religion Club, and a member of the Delta Zeta sorority. She’s studied abroad in Tunisia and loves to travel and plans to someday work as a United States Foreign Service Officer. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a double degree in law and political science.
Claudia Blandino is a student in the Honors College at Miami Dade College majoring in chemistry and seeking a career in environmental studies. She advocates for animal rights and environmentally sustainable living, as well as human rights and international policies. Claudia has participated in several academic and political conferences, such as the Global Citizenship Alliance in Salzburg, Austria, the Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Program in Tennessee and the Galvanize Women Conference in Miami. Her long-term goal is to spread awareness of the state of the environment, inspire change, and improve the living conditions for men, women, and children around the world.
Mona Burrows is a junior at Barry University. Mona is an active member in organizations on her campus such as Campus Election Engagement Project. She pursues her passions through involvements in various organizations regarding voting within the younger population and social right activist groups. Once she graduates from Barry, she will attend law school. Her ultimate goal is to become a lawyer and a politician.
Christopher Collie is pursuing an associate’s in arts degree at St. Petersburg College hoping to major in African American History. He is also employed as a line chef at a very busy St. Petersburg Beach location. Being a CEEP Fellow will be his first formal civic engagement involvement and hopes that this exposure will inspire him to continue growing in the areas of civic and community engagement.
Rachel Daniel is a junior at the University of Miami. She is studying Political Science, Latin American Studies, and Economics. She currently serves as a member of the University of Miami Supreme Court and the Miami International Relations Association. She is passionate about local politics, international affairs, and social issues. After graduation, she hopes to attend law school and work in the field of international trade.
Andres Delatorre is a 20-year old junior at Florida International University. He is currently studying psychology in hopes of pursuing a career in the field of Public Health. To him, the health of a given population is of the upmost of importance and he plans on using his education to tackle many health care issues, ranging from costs to overall availability.
Cesar Flores is a freshman at Miami Dade College. He is studying political science. Also, Cesar is an active member in organizations on his campus such as the Student Government Association and Campus Election Engagement Project. He pursues his passions through his involvement in various organizations regarding the rights of immigrants in the state of Florida. Once he graduates from Miami Dade College, he will attend Georgetown University. His ultimate goal is to become civil rights attorney.
Yentbert “Yen” Fuenmayor is a sophomore at Miami-Dade Community College. Yen is an active member in organizations on her campus such as the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and the Campus Election Engagement Project. She pursues her passions through her involvement in various organizations regarding civic engagement and education. Once she graduates from MDC, she will attend FIU to attain her bachelor’s in political science. Her ultimate goal is to practice corporate law.
After serving as a Sergeant in the Marines for six years, Victor Garnica decided to pursue an associate degree in Business Administration from Miami Dade College. While serving in Japan, he provided humanitarian aid with Operation Tomodachi after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, tsunami and radioactive disaster. He worked diligently with his team to distribute water and rations, decontaminate equipment, and evacuate families to safety. This experience helped him realize the impact a dedicated group could have on their community; he began searching for opportunities in South Florida to volunteer. Through his search, he became the President of Phi Theta Kappa and worked on service projects to increase student awareness and applications to scholarships and educate our community on the imminent dangers facing our oceans. The directly influenced both initiatives by removing over one and a half ton of trash from our beaches and significantly increasing student scholarship applications from 75 to 210 applications. He received the Gold Presidential Volunteer Service Award for his dedication to community service with these service projects and my contributions as a mentor to at risk and new students with MDC Scholars. He received a tremendous amount of support from MDC staff every step along the way, with their guidance he was fortunate enough to be a recipient of the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education, Coca-Cola Military Leader of Promise, and All-Florida Academic Team. His work is not done yet; he created a leadership club (LEAD) to enhance students skills and marketability in the competitive workforce, and he will help educate voters on the upcoming midterm elections as a CEEP Fellow.
Carlyn Haas is a 21-year-old senior at Eckerd College. She is studying biology and Spanish. She currently serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs for the Student Government Association at Eckerd. She is also a Resident Advisor and Ford Apprentice Scholar. She hopes to teach English as a second language in South America after graduation, then attend medical school. Eventually, Carlyn would like to become a primary care physician and medical school faculty member.
My name is Salena Hosaka, and I consider my hometown to be Navarre, Florida although I’m a military brat and have done plenty of moving around in my life. I’m a freshman at Santa Fe College with plans to transfer to UF in the fall of 2019, and I am a Political Science major!
Collin Kane is a freshman at the University of Florida interested in studying a combination of Sociology, Economics, and Political Science. In high school, Collin was involved with the Florida YMCA Youth in Government program, Florida’s premier teen civic engagement, leadership, development, and service learning program. It was through Youth in Government as well as his greater high school experience at Oak Hall School that Collin became interested in civic advocacy and engaging with communities to promote civic education and participation. Collin looks forward to learning from his experience as a fellow – combining real-life experiences with his academic studies to glean a larger perspective on today’s socio-political state of affairs.
My name is Hannah Klonowski and I am currently a sophomore at the University of Central Florida, but I was born and raised in Merritt Island, Florida. I am majoring in International and Global Studies, with minors in Diplomacy and French and a certificate in Intelligence and National Security. Though my degree focuses mainly on International Relations, my passion is domestic politics. I believe that civic engagement is incredibly important, and I love working with campaigns and the legislative process. I am a former intern for Florida House Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith and former Social Media Director for a Seminole County School Board Campaign. I currently work on campus with Volunteer UCF as a committee member with the Division of Civic Engagement, and we work to ensure that students are educated about and involved in the political process. I am very excited to be working with the Campus Election Engagement Project, and I cannot wait to educate more students on our campus and make sure that everyone knows how important it is to vote!
Ashley Lacey serves as a Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University CEEP Fellow. Ashley is a full-time graduate student who studies public health with a concentration in environmental health, she graduates in the spring of 2019. Ashley also works as an OPS Interviewing Clerk for the Florida Department of Health tracking cases of salmonella all over the state of Florida. Ashley became interested in working as a CEEP Fellow while being involved as the Secretary of Graduate Affairs for the FAMU SGA Organization. Ashley wants to become more active on her college campus by helping others understand how, where, and when to vote; Ashley believes that each citizen should have the right to vote respectfully.
My name is Clayton Lott and I am in my last semester here at Santa Fe College. I plan to transfer to the University of Florida in the Spring Semester as a journalism major. Ultimately, I would like to practice law in the North-Central Florida area. I am a lover of all things history and government and am very eager to get to work serving the students of Santa Fe College in my fellowship capacity.
My name is Arina Martemyanova, and I’m a third-year Political Science major at the University of Florida. I became interested in politics in high school when I realized that the best actions we as individuals can take to uphold our democracy is to actively participate in civil society and to help other people do the same. In my spare time, I like to work out and go hiking. After college, I hope to go to graduate school to further my career opportunities.
My name is Axianax Merone. I’m a second-year chemical engineering student at Miami Dade College North, who values the importance of great leadership, hard work and dedication. As first in my family to go to college, I strive to be a great example for my younger siblings. I am also fully involved in my college as Director of Internal Affairs for our Student Government Association, and involved in IAMW (influential, ambitious, motivated women), and AUD (Art, Us and diversity). I hope to use these platforms as a way of bettering who I am as a leader and hope to be the change that I want to see in this world.
Madison Meyer is a 21-year-old junior at the University of North Florida. She is majoring in political science with a double minor in sociology and criminal justice. Upon graduating, she plans on attending law school to pursue a legal career in medical malpractice. Her passion for politics and voter engagement began at the ripe age of 10 when she visited Washington, D.C. for the first time and listened to oral arguments in the Supreme Court. Since then, she has devoted her time and energy to advocate against social injustices, promote voter registration, and educate others about government policies.
Jacob Milewsky is 21 years old, a Clearwater, FL native, and currently attends St. Petersburg College – Clearwater Campus. Upon completion of his associate’s degree he will transfer to The Florida State University to complete a bachelor’s in political science. During his time at SPC he’s attended several leadership trips to Tallahassee, one of which with former SPC President Dr. Law to meet the State Legislature, and another being an invitation-only conference hosted by Senator Bill Nelson. He has served as a Senator in Student Government and was elected as Political Action Director for BADEYA (SPC Clearwater Campus’ Black Student Union). Currently, he is an active and vocal member of Student Government, BADEYA, and Student Veterans Association. Jacob’s interests and passions include his Catholic faith, service to others, government, politics, and U.S. history. His plan after graduating from FSU is to earn a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration from Indiana University. Jacob’s future aspiration and career goal is to serve in Congress either as a Representative or Senator.
Diego Moreno is a sophomore in the honors program at Miami Dade College. He is studying Political Science and International Relations. He is currently the Vice President of the Student Government Association and serves as member in Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He is passionate about legislative awareness and social justice, after graduation he hopes to transfer to a prestigious university to study law.
Paul-Donavon Murray is a sophomore at the Honors College at Miami Dade College. He is studying International Relations. He pursues his passions through his involvements in various organizations regarding community service, civic engagement and, international affairs. He currently serves as Chapter Leader of GenUN and is a board member in the Rotaract Club of Miami. Once he graduates from the Honors College at Miami Dade College, he will attend the university that provides him the best opportunity to accomplish his academic and professional interests. His long-term goal is to pursue a career in the Foreign Service.
My name is Zachary Myers and I grew up in Broward County, FL before coming to the University of Central Florida in 2017. I was always raised with encouragement from my family, church, and school to always give back to the community. With that in mind, I joined my two passions together: civics and public service into the main driving force that fuels my involvement for just about anything I do. Now as a fellow for the Campus Election Engagement Project, Director of Civic Engagement for Volunteer UCF, Campus Representative for the James Madison Institute, and Senator from the College of Community, Innovation, and Education, my involvement is spread wide, but I do every single part with honesty and integrity. The Civic Engagement Division of VUCF is particular notable, as it is an excellent way for students to understand the impact they have on their government and the extent to which government affects all people. It should be the priority of VUCF and all other agencies to foster a culture of stewardship and coordinated growth. I am excited to facilitate the process by which students can volunteer and engage with government structures all the way from a County Board of Commissioners to the institution that is The United States Government. The more present UCF is in our community and process of government, the more students will feel empowered to become engaged citizens in the Democratic Process.
Nicolle Perez is a Political Science student in her last year at Florida State University. She hopes to one day continue her educational career and go on to law school. Nicolle has been politically engaged in campaigns and in legislative sessions. She believes everyone should be civically engaged locally and nationally. By joining the CEEP fellows, she believes she can make a difference on her local campus.
Elijah Pestana is a twenty-year-old pursuing an associate in arts degree at Miami Dade College. Elijah is currently a Production Intern for MDC TV and a Student Brand Ambassador for Amazon Prime, he is also an active member in organizations on his campus such as the Student Government Association at MDC West Campus, Beta Upsilon Gamma chapter of PTK, Dialogues for Democracy, and Campus Election Engagement Project. He pursues his passions through his involvements in various organizations regarding higher education, ending gun violence, and promoting social change through media literacy. Elijah aspires to become a Late-night talk show host; he will use his platform to share stories that not only entertain viewers, but educate them through engaging and informative content.
Joicy Proano is a fourth-year student at the University of Florida, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Communications Studies. As director of research for Chomp the Vote and a cabinet member for the Hispanic Student Association Office of Political Affairs, Joicy is highly interested in expanding the level of civic engagement on campus. After working on political campaigns for local candidates over the summer her passion for politics grew and hopes to be able to work in that area after graduation. Joicy also hopes to use all her experiences throughout and after law school in order to establish a well profound law career.
Leann Rabbani is currently a senior at Florida State University, double majoring in Political Science and International Affairs. She plans on going to law school to further expand her education. With CEEP she hopes to spread the message of voter education and use the tools acquired to later help her in her field.
My name is Gelybeth Rodriguez (pronounced Jelly-beth Rodriguez). I am a sophomore in Miami Dade College and my major is Political Science. I’ve always been very involved in the community and meeting people. People are very interesting. During high school, I was in the International Baccalaureate program in North Miami Senior High School. Humbly, I graduated top ten in my class and really got involved in the North Miami Community though special programs I’ve coordinated and been a part of. My future profession you ask? I can’t give you a definite answer. All I know is that I want to lead people for a positive cause and am going to own a future business.
Jamie Schulman was born on June 11, 2000 in West Palm Beach, Florida. She attended Park Vista High School where she was highly involved in Key Club, a national community service organization, which she held an officer position for three years including president. She also was very involved in the National Honor Society and English Honor Society. Jamie is currently a freshman at Florida State University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in criminology and psychology. After, Jamie plans to attend New York School of Law to fulfill her aspirations of becoming a criminal defense lawyer. Jamie is very passionate about community service work and loves working with and interacting with other people to make the world a better place.
Nisha Thanawala is a 22-year-old senior at the University of South Florida – Tampa Campus. She is studying political science. She is currently involved in many organizations on campus such as Phi Alpha Delta and Student Government. In her spare time she volunteers for the Aga Khan Foundation by raising money to alleviate poverty. She aspires to go to law school to get her juris doctorate and masters degree in public policy in the fall of 2019 and to work in public policy firms in the future.
Rashida Wilkinson is a 20-year-old Health Science major at Seminole State College (SSC) – Sanford/Lake Mary Campus. She has served as Student Services Chair of Student Government Association and has initiated an independent Black Student Union on her campus. Rashida enjoys discovering outdoors activities ranging from gardening to hiking. Her life goal is to return to the Caribbean and become a social activist for health and education while practicing dermatology and promoting holistic well-being.
Andrea Wright is a senior at the University of Miami studying marine science and geological sciences. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in marine geology. Outside of classes, she is a member of the Model United Nations Team, Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honors Society, and the Sigma Gamma Epsilon National Earth Sciences Honor Society. She is passionate about civic engagement and politics and is excited to be a working with the Campus Election Engagement Project.
Greetings, I am Taylor Young a senior public relations student attending Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. As a native of Orlando,Florida, I am a outgoing, fun, and optimistic person. I am heavily involved on the campus of rattlers, I am the Chairwoman of the 48th Student Senate Student Relations Committee, a First-Year Experience Peer Leader, and a member of Phi Sigma Theta National Honor Society.
Herby Zephir is 22 years old and recently earned his Associates of Arts Degree in Environmental Science from Miami Dade College (MDC). He’s the former Vice President of the Student Government Association at MDC Homestead Campus. Herby is an alumni of many organizations at Miami Dade College such as the TRIO SSS program, Beta Mu Iota’s Black Male Initiative project and the Dream Team. Herby will attend the University of Florida in Spring 2019. His ultimate goal is to become a professional conservationist as well as modernizing urban farming within inner cities of the United States. Also, he aspires to launch a start-up therapeutic garden and vegan cafe business.
Caroline Burnette is a 22-year-old, soon-to-be graduate from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s in Public Relations and a minor in Marketing. Caroline is an active participant in the Miss America Organization where her love of current events and politics grew. Caroline served as Miss International City 2016 and competed in the 2016 Miss Georgia Pageant. Caroline is an active volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association, Children’s Miracle Network, and an advocate for Mental Health Awareness. Previously, Caroline served as Vice President of Committees and Discipline chair for her sorority, Phi Mu. Caroline is a member of GS Miracle and PRSSA on campus. In her free time, Caroline is a huge Disney fan and has been to Walt Disney 39 times! She also loves cheering on the Eagles on game days, spending time with family and friends, and traveling.
Deshawn Raheem Jamison is a junior at Kennesaw State University, pursuing a bachelor of science in political science; he is currently studying for the LSAT and looking at law schools. He has a dedicated record of service in uniform, the Army Reserves, and now as a Cadet in ROTC, and outside in his leading of fundraising, and philanthropic efforts in pursuit of justice. He cares feverishly about jurisprudence, the destruction of “good ole boy” politics, due diligence and equal application of justice under the law. He understands the history of sacrifice that those before him had to endure in their pursuit of this right, and he has every intention to make sure that people are as motivated, mobile and active as he is.
Kevin Joachin is a 21-year-old senior at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College (ABAC) in Georgia studying History and Political Science. He currently serves as a senator for the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and as a writer for The Stallion. He is a member of the Georgia Latino Alliance for Human Rights and Mijente. Once he graduates from ABAC, he plans to further his studies in graduate school and with social rights organizations. His immediate goal after college is to reconnect with Guatemala and its ancestral past. He enjoys reading about Mexican, Central American and indigenous history, especially about their relationship with the U.S. during the last century. He spends most summers working in agriculture among campesino people, where he reconnects to a cultural foundation and understanding of migrants in this country. His ultimate goal is to learn an indigenous language from his father’s home in Guatemala and provide youth for generations with the cultural tools to speak out against injustice.
Alex Morley is a senior at Mercer University and a double major in accounting and business information systems. He is very passionate about serving his university and community and holds multiple leadership positions at Mercer. Alex currently serves as a resident assistant, vice president of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, vice president of finance for Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity, treasurer for Traffick Jam to help drive out sex trafficking, lead editor for the business school’s newsletter The Bear Market, and a manager for both the football and women’s basketball programs. He also serves on the Residence Hall Association (RHA) Programming Committee and the Sexual Assault, Hazing, and Alcohol Prevention Education (SHAPE) Committee to help students have a very safe and enjoyable time throughout college. He is a peer tutor and supplemental instruction leader for multiple business subjects. Alex cares that every student uses his or her voice to make a difference and also bring it to voting because voting allows every person’s voice to be heard.
Cody Oglesby is a 21-year old junior at Dalton State College currently pursuing a BBA in Accounting with a minor in Forensic Accounting and a concentration in Actuarial Science. Once he graduates from Dalton State, he plans to pursue a Master of Accounting degree at Kennesaw State. He is currently serving a 4-year appointment to the Gordon County Board of Elections & Voter Registration. He is passionate about getting more people involved in the democratic process and hopes one day to run for office himself.
Grace Stafford is a sophomore at Kennesaw State University majoring in International Affairs. She is a member of the Kennesaw State Model United Nations Team and served as an assistant chair for the 2018 Kennesaw State High School Model United Nations conference. Grace is passionate about campus election engagement because our government was designed to serve the people and voting tells the government what the people want.
Kierra Thompson is a senior, double major at Georgia State University studying English and Public Relations. She is an experienced student with a demonstrated history of working in the non-profit organization management industry. Kierra has worked for organizations that include the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, and United Way of Greater Atlanta. During her time at these notable non-profit organizations, Kierra has implemented new strategies to help them bridge the gaps in local impoverished communities. Instead of being led by her career goals, Kierra is led by her passion and commitment to uplifting her community.
Asia White is a 21-year-old senior at Valdosta State University. She is a double major in English and International Business with a minor in Spanish. She currently serves as the president in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a member of numerous organizations on campus, some of those include: Enactus, National Society of Leadership and Success and Her Campus. Once Asia graduates, she will continue her education at Emerson University where she will pursue a masters in publishing. Her ultimate goal is to open her own publishing company in Atlanta, Ga.
My name is Caden Owens and I am a Political Science Major/Pre-Law at McKendree University. I was raised in Salem, IL about an hour away from McKendree University. As far as politics go, I grew up in a house that wasn’t very political. I don’t exactly know where my love for politics came from, but it started to sprout during and after the 2012 presidential election. Since then I have been involved in many different groups such as mock trial in high school, McK Debate team, Model UN group. I was also a student-athlete for about 10 years until this year when I decided to throw my time into debate, model UN, and fellowships like the CEEP’s. I am also currently involved in the All-In-Democracy Challenge Committee on my campus. Along with that, I am part of Residence Life which allows me direct interaction with my peers on a day to day basis. I am excited to grow through each and every one of these activities.
Greetings, my name is Jonathan George. I was born in Valdosta, Georgia but moved after four years to Aurora, Illinois. Ten years had passed, and my family moved to Elkhart, Indiana in 2008. I began my college career in Elkhart where I graduated from Ivy Tech with an associate degree in general education. I then transferred to Ball State University in the summer of 2016 and graduated in May of 2018 with my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Now I am a graduate student enrolled at Ball State University in the Master of Public Administration program. My favorite areas of study are Urban Planning, Elections, and American Labor. When I graduate, I hope to find a job in Indiana working for local government. Some fun facts about me, my favorite sport is Futball, favorite drink is Horchata, and my favorite movie is whatever I saw last being Marvel’s Infinity War. Asia White is a 21-year-old senior at Valdosta State University. She is a double major in English and International Business with a minor in Spanish. She currently serves as the president in her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a member of numerous organizations on campus, some of those include: Enactus, National Society of Leadership and Success and Her Campus. Once Asia graduates, she will continue her education at Emerson University where she will pursue a masters in publishing. Her ultimate goal is to open her own publishing company in Atlanta, Ga.
Sheila Gregory is a junior at the University of Notre Dame, studying Political Science, French and Public Service. On campus, Sheila is actively involved in several political groups such as College Democrats, NDVotes, and BridgeND. She also spends her weekends knocking on doors or making phone calls for local campaigns. Her interest in politics started early when her mom took her to an Obama rally in 2007 and ever since she has been hooked. She lives in Overland Park, Kansas with her mother and brother.
Brant Johnson is a 21-year-old senior attending Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis in pursuit of a Bachelor’s of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He plans on working in engineering and 3D modeling while pursuing his Master’s in Non-profit Management. His goal is to found a non-profit dedicated to bringing sustainable energy and farming techniques to communities in South America. Brant is also a member of Be The Match On Campus, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of registered bone marrow donors. As a donor himself Brant uses this platform to speak about his experiences and fight the stigma that bone marrow donation is an invasive and painful process. In his spare time, he also volunteers with Circle K International at IUPUI, a branch of Kiwanis, and takes part in engineering projects.
Alexandra Nickerson is a 20-year-old sophomore student at the University of Indianapolis. She is currently double-majoring in Communication and Political Science with an Honors concentration. Ally is passionate about voter engagement on her campus and believes that college students are uniquely positioned to make change in the upcoming 2018 election. She also sits on the executive board for UIndy College Democrats, and works as a resident assistant in a freshman dormitory on campus.
Regina Appleby is a sophomore at Buena Vista University. She is studying to become an elementary teacher and teach English as a second language. She is driven by her beliefs in feminism and equity (getting people the necessary resources, not just giving everyone the same information). This year, she hopes to improve her scheduling, calligraphy, and dancing skills.
Adam Bond is a senior at Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa studying Political Science. Originally from California, Adam is a Nike athlete who came to Cornell to play football and enjoy the unique block plan of Cornell. He is also a member of Greek Life Council, a member of Cornell College Lacrosse, and a Sourcing Associate at Roadshow Logistics.
Catherine Diaz is a senior majoring in Global Health Studies, earning a certificate in Fundraising and Philanthropy Communications, with a minor in Spanish at the University of Iowa. She is involved with two organizations as the social media marketer for HerCampus Media and volunteer at NextGen Iowa.
Caitlyn Grebner is a sophomore at the University of Iowa. She’s a Political Science major and working on a certificate in Human Rights. Outside the classroom she spends time as a member of the Undergraduate Political Science Association (UPSA) and on the Board of the Roosevelt Institute Chapter.
Sean Griffin is a sophomore who is double-majoring in Politics and Economics at Drake University. He currently serves as the Vice President of Mock Trial, is a representative on the Residence Hall Association Board, and a Peer Mentor for incoming students. Once he graduates from Drake University, Sean plans to continue his studies in law school. After finishing law school, he one day hopes to work for an NGO working in civil rights or labor law.
Ally Hecht is a third-year political science major at Morningside College. She is currently a part of the Morningside Civic Union, Pre-Professional Law Club, College Dems, Gender Undone, Sioux City League of Women Voters, Morningside Writing Center, and Morningside’s Stand against Sex Trafficking.
My name is Jessica Holtkamp and I’m a senior in Political Science at Iowa State University. On campus, I work at the Catt Center for Women in Politics, Parenting: It’s a Life, and I’m also an active member of the Cyclone Swing Society.
Candice Kleppe is a sophomore at Kirkwood Community College in Iowa City, IA. She is earning her associate’s degree in liberal arts. In addition to being a fellow with CEEP, she is a provisional member of PTK, a national honor society. She also volunteers with United Action for Youth and the Johnson County Crisis Center.
Lucee Laursen is a senior at The University of Iowa studying ethics and public policy and business administration. Lucee is also the opinions editor of The Daily Iowan. In her spare time, she enjoys watching documentaries and educating students about the importance of voting.
Levi Lefebure grew up in Fairfax, Iowa and is a junior at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. He majors in Mathematics, Political Science and History. At Simpson, he has served in roles within the Student Government, Iowa History Center, John C. Culver Public Policy Center programming committee, and as a Student Athletic Advisory Committee representative. He produced a video for students for move-in day to educate them on the ropes of vote registration and what they need to be prepared for when voting. Additionally, he competes in both cross-country and track and field for Simpson. Levi is very excited to be a part of this project with the goal of helping improve Simpson’s voter turnout rates for the midterm election.
Alexander Sandeen, a senior at Iowa State University, is a political science major and who is also minoring in history. He has always been passionate about studying history, politics, and international relations. During his time at Iowa State, Alex served as a competitor for the Iowa State Midwest Model European Union team, worked as a contributor for the campus magazine Veritas, and served within his department as a teaching and research assistant in international relations. He plans to further his education by enrolling in either graduate or law school to further prepare for a career in public service.
Matthew Voss is a junior at Iowa State University, studying statistics with minors in political science, economics, mathematics, and computer science. His interest in politics first grew when he was a junior in high school and served as a page in the Iowa Senate. While in college, he maintained that interest by advocating for students through ISU Legislative Ambassadors and by doing political research with the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, as well as being involved in other political organizations. He is working towards a career in politics or as a civil servant working in statistics.
My name is Nikia Watson. I am a fourth-year Political Science student at the University of Northern Iowa. Originally, I am from the south side of Chicago, IL which is where I conceived my love for law and politics! The lack of political participation in the inner-city of Chicago influenced me to make a difference for students with a similar upbringing. Since arriving at UNI, I like to stay active in my community and on campus. I founded a student organization aimed to promote diversity and self-expression. Aside from that, I am a part of three other student orgs: Black Student Union, Ethnic Student Promoters, and Northern Iowa Student Government. My purpose for joining the CEEP team is to make an impact on my campus by providing my peers with a voice!
My name is Holly Armstrong and I am a senior at the University of Michigan – Flint and I am a political science major. I am interested in CEEP and campus engagement because this is one of the most important elections in our lifetime and we need young people to start participating in elections. When we can a vote we are voicing our opinions where we want to see change. I don’t believe many people see how important that is, but they should!
Joshua Cianek is from Linwood, Michigan, and started at Saginaw Valley State University in Fall 2016. A double major in history and political science, he has served as Treasurer for SVSU College Democrats; Vice President for SVSU Law Club and SVSU History Club; as a member of the SVSU Moot Court team; as a member of the SVSU Model United Nations team; and as a representative for Student Association. Joshua works as tutor at the SVSU Writing Center and a Student Employee in the Political Science Department. Joshua is currently a part of SVSU’s Pre-Law program with hopes to attend Law School beginning in Fall 2020.
Pamela Mercado Garcia is a third-year senior at Eastern Michigan University, majoring in International Affairs and minoring in Spanish. She currently works for Engage at EMU as the Assistant Program Coordinator for Community Engagement. Her civic engagement in Campus Life consists of her participation in a variety of clubs and organizations. She has participated with Model UN, has been the Vice President of the Latinx Student Association for two terms, and is the Vice President of Chapter Operations at Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc. She is passionate about voters education and civic engagement because she is interested in making a difference in the civil life of her community.
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.
Jane Johnston is a junior at Grand Valley State University, studying Multimedia Journalism and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her high school government class instilled both an appreciation and fascination with local and national politics, which has only deepened throughout her college career. One day, she hopes to use the skills she learns in both her academic studies and her personal exploration of politics to write about gender issues for a national publication.
Tanasia Morton is a rising second year student in the Higher Education Student Affairs Master’s program at Eastern Michigan University. Born and raised in the inner city of Cleveland, Ohio, she developed a passion for politics and social justice. Tanasia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science at Eastern Michigan University. She aspires one day to serve on the campaign of the first woman president!
Talyce Murray is a junior at Michigan State University where she is a member of MSU’s residential college, James Madison College. She is studying Comparative Cultures and Politics with a focus on Latin America. Talyce’s passion for politics and advocacy work stems from her learning about the realities of human trafficking. Over the years, this passion has continued on to her becoming Vice-President of International Justice Mission-Grand Valley, an international NGO focused on protecting human rights, specializing in human trafficking and police abuse. After graduation, Talyce plans to take a few years off from school to travel through South America and work with the populations she studies in school. She eventually plans to attend law school and work towards a career as a United States Foreign Service Officer.
Jacob Sugarman is a junior at the University of Michigan studying PPE (Philosophy, Politics, and Economics) and Bassoon Performance. He is a passionate advocate for social and political change through public policy and electoral politics. Working with the Roosevelt Institute, a student-run nonpartisan think tank, he has written and advocated for policies aimed at increasing democratic access for young people and marginalized groups. At the same time, he has committed countless hours working as a volunteer with political campaigns and ballot initiative movements, working to get students registered to vote and engaged with the electoral process. Jacob is also a musician and multi-instrumentalist, playing Bassoon, Saxophone, and Clarinet, while also performing as the lead singer in an Ann Arbor based rock band.
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.
My name is Samantha Uptmor and I am junior at the University of Michigan – Flint studying political science. I am extremely passionate about civic engagement and think it is extremely important to advocate for! I am a Senator on the Universities Student Government and my senatorial caucus is focused on non-partisan voter education and registration. I am excited to be given the opportunity to work with the Campus Election Engagement Project this fall, and am looking forward to seeing the impact we can make in the Flint community!
Zaynab Abdi is a junior honor student at St. Catherine University. She is from Yemen. Zaynab fled the war in Yemen and made it safely to the U.S. before three years and a half. She is also one of the Green Card Youth Voices of Minneapolis book author. Zaynab also works with immigrants and refugees youth ambassador. She has spoken on behalf of the United Nations and is a Malala Fund youth Advocate for girls’ education. She knows the struggles she faces as a refugee who came to the States knowing little to no English, but she won’t let that get in her way. She is a strong leader with a strong voice and wants to use it to better the world and give as many people as she can a better life. Zaynab is also a soccer player. She started a soccer team at St. Catherine’s for minorities to empower them to play soccer and to increase their confidence in them. She also the Civic Engagement Collective Work appointed a person at St. Catherine. She wants to make sure students are using their voting rights to make the great discussion for themselves to and to be active in the community.
Brittney Cockett-Ritchie was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii and moved to Minnesota in 2017 to pursue her education. She is currently a student at Minneapolis College wrapping up her Minnesota Transfer Curriculum and will be transferring to the University of Minnesota in spring 2019. She will be pursuing a degree in Environmental Sciences, Policy & Management. Brittney is the Student Senate Director of Health & Sustainability and President of the Three-Legged Frog Environmental Club. Her goals as a CEEP fellow are to make new connections, learn more about Minnesota elections and candidates, and gain experience in policy, planning, law and society.
Ben Ellgen is a junior at Winona State University majoring in Political Science, Public Administration, and History. He currently serves as the Treasurer of Student Senate and works as a teaching assistant in the Geoscience Department. After graduation, Ben is looking to further his education in law or public administration and establish a career in public service. He is eager to engage students in the political process and support the voting rights of his peers.
At the age of 19, Andy Hansen decided to leave college and join the US Army as a combat medic. During his time in the service, he was assigned to the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” prestigious “Iron Rakkasans” infantry brigade. He served one tour of duty in Afghanistan’s Khost district with the 101st, where he was awarded the Combat Medic Badge. Today, he is the president of the Inver Hills Community College’s VALOR student veteran’s organization and pursuing a degree in biology. It is Andy’s goal for the 2018 election CEEP program is to educate students on the importance of city, county, and state elections so that their voice has more of an impact.
Max Hurst is a senior at University of Minnesota — Twin Cities from Aurora, Illinois. He currently serves as the Director of Government & Legislative Affairs for the Minnesota Student Association (MSA), the undergraduate student government at the U, as well as the President of Delta Kappa Epsilon International Fraternity’s UMN Chapter. Max is an honors Political Science student minoring in Business Law. After he graduates in December, he plans to work in government or government affairs for a few years before pursuing a law degree.
Sofía Leyva is a junior at the University of St. Thomas. She is pursuing a degree in Justice and Peace Studies with a minor in Nonprofit Management. Sofía is a co-facilitator for UST’s Feminist Community and Vice President of the Queer-Straight Alliance. Through her internship at Headwaters Foundation for Justice, Sofía has gained a greater sense of philanthropy and the importance community-led grantmaking. Sofía believes she has a responsibiliy to use the privilege she holds to fight current systems of oppression and amplify the voices of those traditionally silenced.
Janet Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American student at Augsburg University. They are a senior, studying Political Science and Sociology. They are interested in working more with human rights and public policy, but have found themselves becoming more interested and involved in issues revolving around the Asian American diaspora in the United States, as well as issues revolved around People of Color. They are particularly interested in working with Students of Color to increase voter engagement and political participation.
My name is Ray Sookchain and I’m the Legislative Director of Student Senate at Inver Hills Community College. I am pursuing international business and plan on transferring to Iowa State University next fall. I joined CEEP to gain experience connecting with various people and informing them about the current voting season in Minnesota. My goal is to ultimately make a drastic increase in voting on my campus.
Andrew Trenne is a 20-year-old sophomore at the University of Minnesota State Mankato studying Political Science. He currently serves as the President of the Residence Hall Association on his campus. Andrew Spends most of his time working, studying, and traveling. After graduation wants to attend law school.
My name is Mushtaq Ahmad Wahidy and I am originally from Afghanistan. I am a biology major at Metropolitan State University. I love the world of study, innovations, socializing and interested in cross-culture knowledge. I always spend my extra time reading, talking to people around me and doing volunteer work. I am also a social activist and have established youth association in my community to help street labor and work on empowering women back in Afghanistan.
Paul-Donavon Murray is a 24-year-old student attending the University of Southern Mississippi and is in the history/English program. He is currently a secretary for many different clubs and is good with paperwork. He participates in political clubs and cares for his university and the surrounding city. Once he graduates from USM, he has plans to be a high school teacher in the area and hopes to teach students the importance of history/politics and caring about their community.
Ella Lawson is a sophomore at the University of Mississippi studying Arabic, International Studies, and Classics. Originally from Dearborn, Michigan, she became passionate about voting rights because of her time with the non-profit, non-partisan organization Mississippi Votes. She currently works as a Community Assistant for the housing department of the University of Mississippi. On weeknights, she hosts the show “Playing Favorites” on Rebel Radio. Her most valuable time is spent volunteering through the Community of Sant’Egidio and Mighty Milers. She is also a member of Alpha Delta Pi and serves as Junior Panhellenic Delegate. In the future, she hopes to work in broadcast journalism.
T. Malik Ross, from Cleveland, MS, serves as the CEEP Fellow for Mississippi State University. Ross is a senior, acquiring a degree in Business Administration as well as a minor in Pre-Law. He specializes in Marketing and Public Relations, serving as the Marketing/ PR Coordinator for the Maroon Volunteer Center on campus. Ross promotes events utilizing social media marketing, as well as traditional print. Ross refined his marketing and public relations abilities through prior positions such as Director of Homecoming and Pageants for the MSU Student Association, Press Intern for House Committee on Homeland Security, and Marketing Intern for BattleBells. Above all, Ross demonstrates an insatiable desire to gain knowledge, experience, and wisdom in areas of politics, public relations, and marketing.
Aura Aguilar is originally from San Jose, California and the first-generation daughter of Salvadorean immigrants. She is currently at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis obtaining her Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Social and Economic Development. After five years of doing digital marketing for sustainable food brands, she found her passion in community organizing and working to understand the barriers underrepresented communities face and address them by giving them a voice. She looks forward to working alongside CEEP and the Center for Social Development at the Brown School to increase voter access and engagement.
Lauren Cavignano is originally from New Hampshire, where she worked as a field and finance fellow on a Congressional campaign in NH01, interned for a state party chapter, and still serves as New Hampshire’s 2018 Youth Governor. She has also interned for U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen and was a 2018 summer associate for the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms. Lauren is a freshman at Saint Louis University and served as a U.S. Senate Page in high school. She attended the Senate Page School in Washington, D.C. where she began her formal study of U.S. policy and legislation, which she is excited to continue as she pursues degrees in Health Management (BS) and Political Science (BA). Lauren is a member of pre-law organization Amicus Curiae, the SLU Economics Club, and Una: The Feminist Voice at SLU. She volunteers at a St. Louis public health organization and became passionate about urban community outreach and public health after spending a summer organizing educational opportunities in Jaipur, India.
Sherene Covert is pursuing an Associates in Arts degree at Metropolitan Community College before venturing out into the world. Raised in Kansas City, she loves music, arts, and unique eats. Sherene plans on joining and exploring food scenes around the globe after graduation to broaden her knowledge and pallet. Though she loves the thrill of traveling, Sherene finds the simplest way to explore is not through the airport, but the kitchen.
Aminata Diallo was born in Conakry, Guinea and grew up in Memphis, TN. She originally came to Saint Louis in 2013 to study at Webster University, but soon found her calling when she transferred to the University of Missouri in 2017. During her college career, Aminata was an active member of the Webster Speech and Forensics League where she practiced and honed her public speaking skills. She was awarded 2nd place at the 2018 Midwest Model European Union Conference as best speaker in the Commission and has routinely appeared on the dean’s list at UMSL. She is currently completing her bachelor’s degree in International Relations with the ambition of pursuing a Humanitarian Law degree after graduation. Aminata wants to use her passion for learning to cultivate the skills she will need to help develop her community and help as many people as possible.
Chase Dobler is originally from Airdrie, Alberta, Canada. He is a 26-year-old senior graduating from Missouri State Universityin December 2018. He will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Socio-Political Communication. Chase’s background is unique in the sense that he is a non-traditional student. He was recruited to play ice hockey for Missouri State University back in 2013. He attended his freshman year and then left to play professional hockey overseas in Switzerland for the next two years. He then returned to Missouri State in 2016 to complete his degree. Not only is Chase a student-athlete, but he is also on academic scholarship with the university debate team. He is also a member of the Honors College. Throughout his time at Missouri State University, Chase became the President of the Peer-Leader Association, Vice-President of the MSU Ice Hockey Player Board, and a SOAR leader. Chase has always done his best to break the athletic stereotype that has followed him throughout his journey in life. Becoming a CEEP Fellow is just another break out of that mold,
CJ Donegan is a junior at Maryville University studying Sports Business Management. She is the active president of Speaking Politics at Maryville (S.P.A.M.) that aims at engaging the campus community to openly and safely discuss political views to promote a better democracy. Along with S.P.A.M., she also is on the Maryville varsity golf team, Rawlings Sports Business Management executive council, student government, and is president of the student-athlete advisory committee. Following graduation, she plans on attending law school and continues to promote civic engagement throughout her life.
Kathleen “Katie” Fields was born in O’Fallon, Missouri and she is currently a senior at Webster University. Her majors are Business Administration and Management. She loves her school and is thankful for the international presence on campus, as she has friends from around the globe. Thus far, her favorite memory of college was being selected to attend a leadership summit at Webster’s campus is Vienna, Austria in 2017. She is committed to disability rights, a passion she discovered while interning with the Starkloff Disability Institute, a non-profit in St. Louis dedicated to making the world a more accessible place. She just served as the Volunteer Coordinator for FestAbility, the first festival in St. Louis to celebrate disabilities. She is a Student Career Advisor at Webster’s Career Planning & Development Center, a Student Ambassador representing the Office of the President, and a WebsterLEADS participant. She looks forward to growing more as a global citizen and doing what she can to serve her community.
Andrew Goewert is a 20-year-old student from St. Louis, Missouri. He currently attends the University of Missouri, studying Political Science with minors in Peace Studies and Leadership and Public Service. Andrew represented students from the College of Arts and Science in Mizzou’s undergraduate student government senate for two years. Last spring, he was chosen to be the Campus President for the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM), a student-funded, and student-run lobbying organization which advocates on behalf of students in the Missouri State Capitol. After graduating in May, Andrew plans to attain his Masters in Public Administration or his law degree.
Mike King is a student at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City studying business. He started his own small business as a DJ and hopes to continue learning in order to grow his company. Mike also has had the opportunity to be the face of MCC, proudly sporting the new Mascot costume to build community across campus.
Tylor Miller is a student at St. Charles Community College in St. Charles, MO and will graduate in December. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri and raised in St. Louis County. He relocated to St. Charles County in the town of Wentzville where he graduated high school. Tylor has an older brother and sister, and two nephews who currently live with his family and are the joy of his life. Tylor plans to attend Lindenwood University to study Secondary Education and go on to teach high school. He is a United States Army Veteran and was stationed at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Tylor is looking forward to this semester and for the opportunity to get college-bound and college-age Americans interested in voting!
Jennifer Mossgraber grew up in Rochester, New York and moved to St. Louis, Missouri by way of Portland, Oregon. She enrolled at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMS) after nearly a decade-long hiatus from higher education. A drive and desire to become more civically engaged helped inform her decision to return to school to study political science and public law. Jen serves as the president of UMSL’s Political Science Academy, a student organization that fosters civil discourse on campus by hosting debates, discussion panels, and an annual lunch with legislators. Jen also serves as the Assistant Legislative Director of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri (ASUM), a student-run lobbying organization which advocates on behalf of Missouri’s public university students. Jen plans to graduate from UMSL this spring and is currently applying to law schools. When not on campus, in the capitol, or working for a campaign, Jen can likely be found making a mess in her kitchen.
Audrey Nelson is a 22-year-old senior at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Audrey’s family emphasized the importance of participating in politics from a young age and that has directly influenced her life as an adult through her passion for government. She will be graduating with a degree in Psychology and Political Science and a minor in Spanish with Honors. After she graduates, Audrey hopes to go to law school or pursue a graduate degree in public administration. Through either path Audrey hopes to make a positive impact in her community. She is passionate about civic engagement and is eager to make a difference on her campus.
Telayah Arshanti Richards was born and raised in Springfield, IL. She is a 4th-year communication major, attending the illustrious Harris-Stowe State University. During her years in college, she was involved in Royal Court where she served as Miss Freshman. She also served as a residential assistant where she received the Outstanding Residential Assistant Award. Miss Richards also served as a general member of the campus activity board. She currently is a peer mentor and serves as the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), she has held this role for the past three years. While President, her NAACP chapter has won Organization of the Year twice in a row as well as Cultural Events of the Year. Telayah is also the Community Service Director of a non-profit called Divine Daughters whose mission is mentoring broken girls from the ages five to twenty-five. She’s a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she serves as the Educational Enrichment Chair. Telayah also serves as the 14th Miss Harris-Stowe State University.
Janelle Saunders is a third-year student at Maryville University majoring in Accounting with a minor in Cybersecurity. She will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Business Data Analytics after graduation. Janelle loves being involved on campus and is involved with Student Government, the Accounting Association, Speaking Politics at Maryville, and Residential Housing Association.
Kaylee Sharp was born and raised in Savannah, Missouri and currently attends Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri. Kaylee is finishing her degree in political science and plans to attend law school. Throughout her undergraduate studies, Kaylee has been involved in numerous extracurricular, volunteer, and work activities. She served as a student senator, vice president of Legal Studies Association, and a resident assistant, while also maintaining her devotion to academic research. Kaylee has completed independent research on superfund sites, studying environmental racism is Missouri, and the impact of Amicus Curiae briefs in lobbying tactics of the ACLU. Her latest project was focused on teaching CLE English at Taunggyi University in Myanmar as an intern for the NGO, BABSEACLE.
Elizabeth B. Sites is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and a soon to be graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a bachelor’s degree in communication Studies with honors. Her university experience has been one which led to the affirmation of different passions including research, travel, and working with others. She serves as the Vice President of Membership Education for her sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha; Vice President of Administration for the College Panhellenic Council; Advisory Board member for American Public Square; the student liaison between the College of Arts and Sciences and the students in the political science department; and is a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the Mercury Association. Elizabeth spent the summer working in Lisbon, Portugal doing research on environmental sustainability for Galp. While fulfilling academic duties, she also works for the World Trade Center- Kansas City as an International Research Assistant.
Carrie Spanton was born in Minnesota and grew up on Kentucky Lake. She worked in her family’s restaurants from a young age and continued to work in the service industry for twenty years in New Orleans, Las Vegas, Bentonville, and Kansas City. At the age of thirty-nine, she enrolled at MCCKC Penn Valley and strives to be a good role model for her son in high school. Carrie considers the decision to change careers life-changing and has become immersed in student activities. She worked on campus as a Peer Mentor, Si Leader, and assistant to the Director of Student Life and Leadership. Carrie is honored to have earned student of the month and President the Phi Theta Kappa chapter at Penn Valley, where she helps create projects that will improve the Penn Valley student experience. Carrie has a commitment to community service and spends her spare time helping refugees resettle in KC, community garden projects, North Kansas City Hospice, and Penn Valley’s food pantry. Carrie’s academic goal is to pursue a doctorate and continue to work in academia. Her passions include research, reading, travel, wellness, family, and her two dogs.
Sidney Steele is a junior studying Convergence Journalism and Political Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is a part of Kappa Delta sorority, ASUM – The Associated Students of the University of Missouri, and Mizzou Alternative Breaks. Sidney is currently working on a political documentary with the political science and documentary journalism departments at MU. She enjoys NPR podcasts, traveling and cooking in her free time. Sidney hopes to someday do political reporting for NPR.
Jennifer Sutterer is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and currently attends the University of Missouri-Columbia. She is double-majoring in Political Science and Philosophy, with minors in Spanish and Service Learning. She interned with Senator Caleb Rowden of the Missouri General Assembly and with U.S. Senator Roy Blunt and Congresswoman Ann Wagner in Washington D.C. On campus, Jennifer holds a variety of leadership positions, such as serving as the Director of Financial Obligations for the Delta Delta Delta sorority and an academic senator for the Missouri Students Association. She is also involved in a myriad of other organizations including MU College Republicans, the Kinder Institute, and the Chancellor’s Standing Committee for Student Conduct. Following graduation, Jennifer plans on attending law school with an ultimate goal of working in criminal law and politics.
Valeria Becerra Camargo is a 24-year-old graduate student at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Social Work. Her undergrad was also in Social Work with minors in Spanish, Human Development and Family Studies. She is currently a graduate teaching assistant at UNR, and interning with Assemblywomen Teresa Benitez-Thompson. Her previous work includes policy making, child advocacy, and community organizing. Valeria’s passion is working on macro issues that include race, immigration, and youth. Her future goals are to be able to touch all levels of social work, while advocating for and empowering those who are often overlooked.
My name is Lex Coulter and I grew up in Reno, Nevada where I learned to appreciate the outdoors. My upbringing inspired me to travel and discover new landscapes and cultures, which led me to Asia. During my travels in Asia, I developed an interest in other governments as well as involvement within the politics locally and in my school. In Spring 2018, I was selected as a Senator at Truckee Meadows Community College. In my free time, I collect rocks, enjoy reading about the different governing parties in China throughout history, and taking walks outside.
My name is LaShanda McGowan and I am thrilled to join the College Election Engagement Project. I am a Master of Social Work student at the University of Nevada, Reno and a special education teacher. I was born and raised in Alaska and taught for the Anchorage School District (ASD), the most diverse school district in the nation. As an educator and advocate for social justice, I believe in the power of the vote and empowering people to take advantage of this right. I look forward to the good work that will be done in this arena.
Allison Stersic is a senior at the University of Nevada-Reno where she is completing the Bachelor’s of Social Work program. She is passionate about working in macro social work where she can advocate for vulnerable populations and fight for social justice. She believes that campus organizing is not only important in cultivating the habit of voting, but necessary for educating and empowering people to be democratically engaged throughout their lives.
I’m Magdiel Lara Torreza, a student at Truckee Meadows Community College seeking a degree in business. I am excited to participate in the CEEP Fellows Program because I want to influence more people to participate in our democracy. I am passionate about helping people become informed voters and choose candidates from real information rather than surface understanding. When we are informed and understand each other, we can make a real social change.
Hieu Van Le is a junior attending the University of Las Vegas Nevada. He is majoring in Political Science and Computer Science, with a focus on Cyber Security. The reason why he wants to do campus organizing is to unite students who care about our government, our education, and OUR voting. Being in his College Student Government got him more involved with campus life and sparked his light into Social Justice and Equality for all. He is hoping to get everyone registered and passionate to vote, no matter what party they are affiliated with. Remember, “It’s not WHO you vote for, It’s WHY you vote!”.
Kevin Wong is a sophomore at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), non-traditional student, civil rights advocate, and formerly convicted felon. Wong transferred to UNLV from Middlesex County College, following his discharge by the State Parole Board of New Jersey. He is majoring in Political Science. Wong is currently serving as the Advocacy Coordinator for the UNLVolunteers community service organization on campus, in addition to interning for the Campaign Legal Center wherein he is organizing to restore the rights of those whom have been systematically marginalized by felon disenfranchisement laws—particularly concerning voting. After Wong graduates, he intends to attend law school. He aspires to practice criminal defense.
Amanda D’Aniello was born and raised in Connecticut. She is currently a junior at Dickinson State University and is double majoring in Political Science and Creative Writing. She also serves as secretary for her campus League of Political Scientists. After graduation, she intends to pursue a career in law.
Nicholas Waddell was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and currently attends the University of Mary in North Dakota. He is a senior earning a major in Politics and Communications. Nicholas serves as the President Pro Tempore in the student government. Nicholas also serves as a resident assistant, a job he started his first semester of freshman year. He is also President of Marauders on Politics, the on-campus politics group. Besides politics, Nick loves traveling and camping. He has visited over 30 national parks and would love to visit every single national park. Nick’s other interests include photography, film, reading, and fashion. Nick is excited for the opportunity to engage his fellow students in the election process this year through CEEP.
My name is Liza Askey and I am a freshman at Youngstown State University. I am majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Foreign Affairs and I plan to declare a double minor in American Politics and Peace and Conflict Studies. I enjoy being involved politically and within my community and I am extremely happy to be a CEEP fellow this semester.
Jackets Engaged: Political Engagement Team is a non-partisan group of student leaders working together to increase Baldwin Wallice University students’ engagement in elections & politics, and understanding of how they affect them and our community. Members of the 2018-19 team are: Alex Milosevic, General Member: Junior, Political Science major; Allyson Crays, PR & Social Media Coordinator: Junior, Public Health and Political Science major; Angelique McGuire, Education Coordinator: Senior, Sociology major; Evan Ellacott, General Member: Sophomore, Broadcasting & Communications major; Peter George, Voter Registration Coordinator: Senior, Sport Management major; Ryan Simmons, Community Engagement Coordinator: Junior, Political Science & Public and Non-Profit Management major
In addition to voter registration, voter education and get out the vote activities, Jackets Engaged is working on engaging BW communities members is civil conversation across difference.
Hello! My name is Ladan Barnes. I am a senior at Otterbein University soon to earn a Bachelors of Science in Public Health Education. I plan to go to medical school after graduating. Although, I have a passion for prevention and treatment science I also have an immense passion for civic engagement. I commit to this passion by leading a group on my college campus called Raise Your Voice. Raise Your Voice is developed through our Center for Community and Engagement office at Otterbein. Our objective is to increase overall civic engagement in Otterbein’s community. We now intend to extend this mission with CEEP and I am excited for all the good things coming our way!
Luke Beckwith is a junior studying Electronic Media with a minor in IT at the University of Cincinnati. He has volunteered in local Cincinnati politics for the AMOS Project which petitioned to get Issue 1 on the Ohio Ballot in the midterm election, Nov. 6th! He hopes to work as a sound mixer and editor after he graduates UC.
BGSU Votes is a student-led non-partisan initiative out of Bowling Green State University’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement. BGSU Votes was started in 2012, and has grown in both size and impact in recent years with the help of student volunteers, on and off-campus partnerships, and national level organizations such as CEEP and the Andrew Goodman Foundation. BGSU Votes is focused on creating a positive political climate for BGSU students through voter registration, voter education, get out the vote initiatives, removing barriers to voting, and civic learning.
Hello! My name is Joey Derrico and I am a freshman at The Ohio State University studying political science with a minor in public policy. I am very passionate about civic engagement and the democratic process. Along with my position on CEEP, I am an ambassador with OSU Votes, a nonpartisan voter registration and education group. In addition to civic engagement, I am passionate about education policy and reform. I am involved with a group called Adopt-A-School where I act as a second hand in a nearby, struggling middle school. After college, I hope to become a Teach for America corp member and eventually attend law school to become an attorney. Outside of school, I enjoy playing golf, basketball, and going out with friends.
Tyger Devore is a freshman at Columbus State Community College majoring in Political Science. She plans on transferring to The Ohio State University to complete her degree and eventually continue her education to obtain a Master’s Degree in Communications. Growing up with parents who were very politically active allowed her to have the chance to campaign for President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and also Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. This is her first semester as a CEEP fellow and she is excited to have the opportunity to get her peers involved in democracy! She hopes to be a campaign manager herself one day and be able to continue to advocate for movements she’s passionate about.
Juliet Essien is a graduate student at the University of Findlay studying Environmental Safety and Health Management. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Forestry and Environmental Management from Michael Okpara University in Nigeria. She currently serves as a member of the Findlay African Student Association (FASA). Juliet plans on building a career as a Safety Professional. She strives to always be the best she can be and her ultimate goal is to give back positively to the society.
Halen Gifford is a sophomore communication major at The College of Wooster. She is a member of her College’s student governing body, Campus Council, where she works as the Service and Civic Engagement Representative and Budget committee chair. Halen is from Louisville, Kentucky area and is a graduate of Community Montessori School. Halen serves on the executive board for the College of Wooster Democrats as the Treasurer and the Director of Outreach. She also works in the digital collections office in her campus’ library. Halen is passionate about local politics and voting rights.
My name is Aubrie Hargenrader and I am a freshman biology major at Youngstown State University. I was so interested in serving as a CEEP Fellow because I had a very influential AP US History and AP Government teacher in high school. He promoted civic engagement and emphasized the importance of every vote. He explained to us that many times the people in history who were not voting were the people that needed to be heard most. I hope to explain this to others and promotes a more active student voting population and therefore a better-rounded democracy.
Deanna Henry is a rising sophomore at The Ohio State University. She is pursuing a major in Political Science, as well as minors in Peace Studies and Public Policy. Motivated by a desire to learn and help others, Deanna is active in several organizations on campus including Politics, Society, and Law Scholars, College Democrats, and OSU Votes. With plans to work in Washington, D.C. upon graduation, Deanna is excited to be part of the Campus Election Engagement Project to increase civic engagement in her community.
Mitch Isler is a 20-year-old third-year student at the University of Cincinnati. He studies political science and economics and plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy or public administration after graduation. Outside of classes, Mitch volunteers with a local animal shelter and is a member of the University Honors Program and the Vice President of Membership for UC’s chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. He has worked as an intern for a state executive agency, a public relations company, and a political campaign management firm. Mitch has received a grant to write his senior thesis on the factors that influence political participation among young people. Through this research and the CEEP fellowship, he hopes to improve democratic processes and motivate the people around him.
Maranda Jory-Geiger is a senior at the University of Cincinnati double majoring in Political Science and Ballet Performance, and also earning the International Human Rights Certificate. She is an advocate of democratic principles, including peace, equality, civil rights, and voter education and mobilization; and her goal is to bridge cultural divides through diplomacy, education, and dance. She was an intern at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, a nonpartisan organization focused on education, advocacy, and empowerment to create a just and peaceful world free of nuclear weapons. She was also awarded a full scholarship to go to Moscow, Russia as part of the National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y) program funded by the United States State Department, where she was immersed in Russian language and culture and danced at Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet Academy. This experience, combined with her studies at the University of Cincinnati, helped her understand how sharing art and culture can allow people to empathize with each other and connect in a way that drives humanitarian and peaceable causes and overcome political differences. After graduation, she hopes to continue pursuing cultural diplomacy through dance.
Azalea Laverde is a 3rd-year student at the University of Cincinnati studying political science and international relations. Azalea spends her time outside of the classroom assisting a state senate campaign, as well as contributing to Cincinnati’s thriving art community. She plans to pursue a career helping vulnerable international communities
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.
Shanyce Matthews is a student at Mount St. Joseph University. She will graduate in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Victim Studies and Criminology. It is very important to Shanyce that we change the public school system climate as well as our political climate. She is looking forward to making a sustainable change to campus culture and working with people from all backgrounds.
Kimberly McNeil is a dual admissions honor student at Owens Community College and will be transferring to Bowling Green State University to pursue degrees in Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies and Communications. Kimberly is the mother of a bipolar child and the legal guardian of her three grandsons, two of whom have ADHD. She has spoken before the Michigan Children’s Ombudsman regarding family rights and ethical reporting and investigative standards for Child Protective Services. Ms. McNeil is passionate about many issues including mental health, equal rights, family rights, and healthcare. Her goal is to become an advocate for cultural diversity and to leave the world a little better than she found it. Ms. McNeil strongly believes even small actions by an individual can bring about large-scale change.
I am Jessica Mendoza, a student at Columbus State Community College. I work as a student ambassador and major in psychology. As a woman and minority, I encourage the youth to voice their own opinions through voting as a CEEP fellow.
Hello! My name is Jada Miller. I am a currently a second-year student at Cleveland State University. My field of study is engineering with a minor in environmental studies. The reason I just the CEEP fellowship is because I want to see my generation actually get out there and vote. There are many issues that we want solutions for but we don’t go out and vote.
Tabby Reyes is a sophomore at Denison University, majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. Her hometown is Santa Ana, California. In 2016, she helped organize a city-wide “Student Ambassador Competition” to increase voter registration and civic engagement. She believe civic participation is necessary to push society forward. With a lot of passionate students working together, she’s hopeful we’ll see a stark increase in voter turnout.
My name is Taylor Ronnebaum and I’m a sophomore majoring in political science at Wright State University. I hope to attend Vanderbilt Law School after graduation. Myself and the other CEEP fellows want to foster an environment where students are politically empowered and believe that their voice matters. Helping people take an active role in our political system is not just important to me, but to our society as a whole.
Christen Swayer is a senior in the Williams Honors College at the University of Akron, majoring in Emergency Management/Homeland Security, with a certificate in Conflict Management Resolution. She has been named to the Dean’s List during her academic career, as well as the President’s List for the last two semesters. Christen is on the executive board of the UA chapter of the International Association of Emergency Managers. She is currently completing her internship in the safety department at J Rayl Transport. Christen enjoys local politics, traveling, and hopes to complete a Walt Disney World marathon.
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.
Shana Zelenka is a senior at The College of Wooster studying political science with a concentration in United States national politics. She is the co-president of the political science club, a writing consultant for the Writing Center, and a peer mentor. Over the last two years, she has had the opportunity to attend the week-long policy seminar PLEN Women in Policy, the NEW Leadership conference at Ohio State, and the Kenyon Legal Scholars Seminar. Through passionate advocation and a desire to effect change, she hopes to help students learn more about voter efficacy and inspire them to register and vote in every election they can.
Brittany Bradley is a college freshman at Shippensburg University. Brittany is currently majoring in Political Science, and upon graduation, she plans to attend law school. Brittany is a member of the Martin Luther King program at Shippensburg University. Brittany’s interests include swimming, music, and dance. Brittany loves to act, she worked on a movie entitled Eighth Grade produced by Bo Burnham, and she worked on the TV series Gotham.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style. – Maya Angelou
Hanna Donohue is a senior at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is majoring in Political Science with a focus in International Relations, as well as two minors, Spanish Language and Latin American Studies. She is also an active member in Cru, the Off Campus and Commuters Association and Pi Sigma Alpha: National Political Science Honors Fraternity. Hanna is passionate about immigration and hopes to continue advocating for immigrant populations through a law degree. She believes in the power of the individual to affect change and mobilize change within a community.
Thomas Fisher is a junior Political Science and Psychology dual major at Shippensburg College and this will be his second election cycle working with CEEP. As a Political Science major, the right to vote and the use of that right are so incredibly important to him and he is grateful for the opportunity to work with CEEP to promote and facilitate the use of this right. As a Psychology major, he sees every day the effects of a broken mental health system and the opportunity to improve the system through legislation and increased funding, two objectives achievable through electing officials that are conscious of the issues surrounding mental health, again highlighting the importance of active participation in elections.
Conor Freeley is a senior Political Science and Global Studies major at Temple University from Boston, Massachusetts. While in college, he has worked on federal and local campaigns, and in the offices of elected officials in Philadelphia and Boston. Conor also spent the spring 2017 semester abroad in Berlin, Germany. After graduation Conor hopes to continue working for elected officials and eventually pursue elected office.
Christopher Gentile is a 35-year old Junior at California University of Pennsylvania studying Political Science with a focus in pre-law and a minor in History. He currently serves as a member of the commuter council and belongs to the wildlife society. He is a member of the Sierra Club and NORML. Christopher has a passion for rescuing pit bulls. Once he graduates from California University of Pennsylvania, he intends to further his studies in law school. His goal in life is to be a good provider for his family and follow in his father’s footsteps as a lawyer.
Rachel Greenberg is a 21-year-old graduate student at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is pursuing a Masters in Clinical Social Work with specializations in mental health and sexuality. She has been involved in the Social Work Honor Society, She’s the First, Temple College Democrats, the Students Alumni Association, and Undergraduate Admissions during her time at Temple. Her goal is to become a clinical therapist and remain a political advocate for vulnerable populations.
Quinn Litsinger is a freshman at Temple University, pursuing a political science degree on a pre-law track. He is involved on campus in organizations such as the Political Science Society, College Democrats, and the Running Club. He views CEEP as an opportunity to spread a belief in the notion of political efficacy and fuel his passion for civic engagement.
Madison Ogborn is a 2nd-year Communications studies major at West Chester University minoring in Journalism and Spanish. Aside from academics, she enjoys hanging out with my friends, going to concerts and writing for the campus newspaper. She also works as the delivery manager for the paper and works weekends at a retirement community as a waitress. She is a huge advocate for increasing youth voter registration and is very excited to be working with CEEP!
Benjamin Oh is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a concentration in Public Policy and Governance, and pursuing a Masters of Science in Social Policy. He now leads the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organization’s Young Leaders Program, which advocates for social progress through community and civic engagement, as well as helps lead other volunteering and cultural identity initiatives. In the future, he hopes to use his skills to empower minority communities and push for tangible change on a national level. Benjamin is interested in research and policy issues relating to interminority coalition-building, education, inequality, and equitable urban development, as well as cute animal videos (particularly bunnies, red pandas, and otters), cooking, and finding a perfect skincare routine.
James Pappianne is a sophomore at Drexel University and is majoring in Music Industry. He is an avid audiophile and also loves to play guitar. In fact, he became interested in civil engagement while registering voters at concerts and other live music events.
Sarah Resanovich is an 18-year-old sophomore at Drexel University, double majoring in Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts & Sciences with a minor in Business Administration. She is a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma, a national service sorority, and the Pennoni Honors College. She is interested in election engagement because she wants to motivate students to become active citizens, and to make sure that every student knows that their vote matters.
Nia Robinson is a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, studying at the Wharton School of Business. Starting a civic engagement club in her high school, it quickly became the largest club in her high school earning her the Distinguished President Award. Nia is passionate about financial literacy and spent her time in high school writing articles about saving, credit, and budgeting in a Chicago magazine that published to over 9,00 Chicago teens. Nia believes in the power of mentorship and was a mentor through Girls in the Game during high school. In college, she plans to join clubs that revolve around community engagement and politics.
Raia Santos is a second-year student at the Community College of Philadelphia. Majoring in English, she hopes to transfer to Sarah Lawrence College in New York State and go into political public relations upon graduating. Raia currently volunteers her time to many organizations in the greater Philadelphia area, such as Junior Achievement and the Women’s Outreach & Advocacy Center and currently works for the Community College of Philadelphia as their events and civic engagement co-coordinator. Raia also enjoys public speaking and has given a number of speeches on social issues, like colorism and the importance of self-defense.
Nicholas Syrgabaev is a junior at La Salle University and a History major. He is an active member in the Histories and the John Quincy Adams society. His passion for politics was always present due to a family that had studied in or lived through the Soviet Union. This truly emerged during the 2016 election, when he actively marched alongside and helped campaign for grassroots candidates. Finally, he plans to help reach out on as many platforms and in as many spaces as possible in order to reach the most students in order to keep them informed and motivated for the process even after the 2018 election.
India Washington, known by her close friends as Indy, is senior at California University of Pennsylvania. She is a political science major with minors in history and African-American History. She works on Congressman Conor Lamb’s campaign, which has been a great experience and has expanded her interest in campaigning. She will graduate in May 2019 and she hopes to continue her education of politics into a graduate program.
Kathleen D. Weber is currently a 21-year-old senior at West Chester University pursuing a major in international relations with minors in both Spanish and communication studies. She has a passion for understanding the experiences of marginalized peoples in our society, helping them find a voice while encouraging inclusion and justice. On campus and in the community, she is actively researching immigrant women’s empowerment through migration. With this research, she plans to present my findings at West Chester University’s Latino Communities Conference as well as the 50th Annual Northeastern Political Science Association Conference in Montreal, Canada. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a juris doctorate with the intention of further supporting marginalized people in our society.
My name is Katherine Allison and I am from Seattle. I am a first-year graduate student in the Community Development and Action program at Vanderbilt University. I am focusing on root causes of poverty – particularly wage inequality, food justice, and environmental racism. I am excited to be joining CEEP to help increase voter engagement and interest in the political process. I’m particularly passionate about changing voter disenfranchisement policies so that all citizens are able to vote without penalty or difficulty.
Emily Badgett is a junior at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. She is studying American Studies and Religious Studies. She is a part of a new Certificate Program for Civic and Global Leadership where she combines her community engagement internships with academic work in Development and Human Capabilities. She currently serves as a Philanthropy Intern for Office of Civic Engagement in addition to her role as a CEEP Fellow. Emily is an active member of the Residential Life Staff as a Proctor (RA). She also works in the University’s Chapel as a Sacristan and member of the Invite Welcome Connect Team. In her work academically and professionally, Emily likes to foster community where everyone’s voice is heard and understood. Her political activism stems from her home church in Concord, North Carolina that has help to fill the gaps in her local community like Earlyhood Child Education, Poverty, Domestic Violence,Affordable Housing for the Elderly, and most recently Racial Equity. Emily hopes to take her academic and professional work to eventually have a career in nonprofit work around community development.
Alexandria Chastenet is a 21-year-old senior at Sewanee: The University of the South. She is double majoring in International Global Studies and French, with a minor in Art. She plays for the Women’s Basketball team and participates in other school programs such as the swing dance club, and Full Embodiment: An Empowering Dialogue, an interactive program to create and raise awareness of female body positivity and sexuality. She continues to pursue her love for politics and hopes to continue her education at law school after obtaining a graduate degree. She has worked as an intern for both the Peace Corps as well as Siskind Susser Immigration law firm. These experiences have inspired her, and her future hope is to become an immigration lawyer.
Meredith Crockett is a sophomore at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. She is studying at the Fred D. Gray Institute for Law, Justice, and Society. Meredith currently works as a member of the Student Voice Team at the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, coordinates service trips within Lipscomb’s SALT office, serves as an officer of the Black Student Union, and is a member of the Diverse Student Coalition. Meredith sees a career for herself in the public sector, and believes voter engagement is crucial in creating, implementing, and sustaining meaningful policy. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, baking bread, and listening to Pod Save America.
Allison Cyrus is a senior in the Political Science, Public Law program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. After completing her undergraduate studies, she plans to attend law school. Her ultimate career goal is to become a Senator for her home state of Tennessee. She is a member of the Tennessee Intercollegiate State Legislature, and very excited to serve as a CEEP Fellow. When she is not studying, she enjoys running, hiking, and almost every other way to enjoy nature and the great outdoors.
Monica Haun is a 21-year-old senior at Middle Tennessee State University studying political science and public relations. She currently serves as the President of the American Democracy Project and was the former Executive Vice President of the Student Government Association. She enjoys being involved with local nonprofits and engaging in political advocacy. Upon graduation she hopes to enter into graduate school to further her study of politics and one day open up her own political consulting firm.
Katherine Heidecke is a senior at Belmont University studying Social Entrepreneurship and Writing. She is a founding member of the Thistle Farmers Club, a campus organization that works to support Thistle Farms, a company that empowers women who are survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Katherine also values being an active member of her campus ministry U-Kirk Nashville and the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority. Over the years, she has held many positions, including Vice President of Operations for her sorority, interned for U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, and interned for AL Media, a political advertising agency. After graduation, she plans to continue pursuing her passions through a career in social justice and politics.
Alexander Abel is a senior majoring in Health Administration, Systems Management at George Mason University. He is a first generation college student and is involved in various organizations on campus. As a naturalized citizen, he has had to pleasure of exercising his rights of a fully engaged citizen, when he engaged in the democratic process of voting for leadership, both on the State and Federal level. He wants to encourage those that have the same rights and privileges to do the same.
Kathryn Marmolejo is a 21-year-old senior at James Madison University studying Political Science. As well as deeply enjoying her studies, she volunteers with the non-profit bereavement camp, Comfort Zone Camp. She also served as Outreach Co-Coordinator for Camp Kesem at JMU, and studied and received a license in massage therapy during her junior year of college. She looks forward to serving as a CEEP Fellow and participating in JMU’s Center for Civic Engagement during her last semester in school. Following graduation, she looks forward to the D.C. job search, continuing her Spanish and French, and self-guided learning on the historization of various political theories before pursuing graduate school.
Sai Pethe is a junior at George Mason University, majoring in Government and International Politics, with a minor in Spanish. She went to high school and community college in Northern Virginia and appreciates it for its diversity and culture. She wished to encourage her peers and the members of her community to vote and participate in the political processes on the local and federal level. She wants to study either human rights or constitution law after graduating with her bachelor’s degree. Sai will also serve as a head human rights policy at a policy think tank called the Roosevelt Institute at George Mason University.
David Coram is a senior at West Virginia University majoring in accounting. He is a member of Sigma Chi fraternity and serves as the chapter treasurer. David is also currently working at the university’s treasury department while pursuing his degree. During the summer of 2016, he served as an intern on Capitol Hill for his U.S. Senator from West Virginia. David has previously volunteered on various political campaigns for local, state, and federal office and has served in student government. He aspires to attend graduate school for accountancy and obtain the designation of CPA, intending to practice in the area of campaign finance.
Zachary Fancher is in his sophomore year at Fairmont State University studying to obtain a bachelor’s degree in history and political science with a minor in French. Since a very young age, he has been interested in politics. He believes, regardless of political belief, that voting is an important and fundamental principle of our country’s democratic process. Also, he strives to empower others to find their voice and speak out on issues that are important to them. Through his work, he hopes to encourage positive political discourse and make a real and lasting impact on his community.
James Liotta is a New Jersey native attending West Virginia University. He is a sophomore finance major and has joined CEEP to become more engaging with his peers and classmates. James hopes to make a change and show all students that your voice can be heard through civic engagement and being involved throughout your academic career.
Paige Looney is a junior political science and history major at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Though raised in Southern Ohio, she was born in West Virginia and doesn’t hesitate to call it her home. She is a member of Marshall University’s Yeager Scholars Program, the highest academic scholarship offered by the University. Through the program, she’s had the opportunity to study abroad and participate in several interdisciplinary seminars. She is a member of The Thundering Word, Marshall’s Speech and Debate team. She also serves as the Marshall Pre Law Club social media manager.
Madison Parker is a senior at Marshall University studying Elementary Special Education and Political Science. She is a member of Student Government Association and serves as a Presidential Ambassador. Madison feels blessed to be an office assistant in the Marshall University Office of Disabilities where she works with students to make Marshall accessible and inclusive to all. This past summer, she served as a Congressional Intern on Capitol Hill where she worked alongside constituents to ensure their voices were heard. Madison loves to work with children with disabilities which is evident by her dedication to disability groups across the state of West Virginia. Upon graduation, Madison hopes to attend law school to study Disability Law and Education Policy with the hopes of one day working on Capitol Hill as a Disability Policy Specialist.
Jacob Redman is a senior political science student with an emphasis in international relations at Marshall University. Upon graduating, Jacob intends to pursue a Master’s degree in international relations. His previous experience comprises of consulting, policy, and campaign work. The palette of student organizations Jacob participates in are serving as the president of Pi Sigma Alpha, the political science honorary society and vice president of the Pre-Law Club. His passion for civic engagement is driven by being raised by a selfless mother who works close to eighteen-hours each day and an ever loving Dad who raised him to believe that anything is possible with hard work. Politics aside, family, friends, and friendly pets consume his time.
Caitlin Attaway is a current junior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is majoring in Political Science and History with a certificate in African Studies. She currently serves as the Vice President of her campus’ political science honors fraternity, Pi Sigma Alpha. In addition, she is an editor for the on-campus magazine, the Wisconsin International Review, which reports on topics focused on international relations and foreign policy. She strives to play an active role within the Madison community, serving as the Advocacy Chair for the local United Nations Association. She has plans to pursue a masters degree in public policy upon completion of her undergraduate studies.
Morgen Bembenek is a 21- year- old senior at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (UWGB) She is double majoring in Political Science and Democracy and Justice Studies with an emphasis in Women and Gender Studies. She was active in a few organizations on campus, such as Feminist for Action, Women of Color, and was a board member for Multiethnic Student Organization. Bembenek has always had a passion for voting and believes in making sure her peers know about elections and the voting process. Her current passion is learning about voter ID laws to help educate her peers about their rights to vote. Her dream is to work for the ACLU or start her own organization with a similar mission.
Christopher Benny is a 21-year-old Senior at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UW-SP). He is a Pre-Med Biochemistry Major. He currently serves as the President of Reformation and Improvement of Society and Environment, a socio-environmental organization that he helped found in Bangalore, India and expanded to UW-SP. He is the founder and two-time elected Chair of the UWSP Alliance of Multicultural and Diversity Organizations. He also serves as the President of the UWSP Inter-Greek Council and as the Inclusivity Director for the UWSP Student Government Association. Additionally, Chris is an active member in organizations on his campus such as Phi Sigma Phi National Fraternity- Kappa Chapter, and TEDx UWStevensPoint. He pursues his passion through his involvements in various organizations regarding social justice, sustainability and inclusivity. His ultimate goal is to become a general pediatrician to work for Doctor Without Borders and return to the United States after about ten years of service to work on healthcare reform and social activism.
Krystal Dodge is a senior at University of Wisconsin-Parkside studying psychology. Krystal’s goal in life is to make the world a better place, and she believes the best way to achieve this is by being actively involved in her community.
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.
Olivia Fetcho is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh studying political science. Elections and election cycles are some of Olivia’s main interests within political science, and she encourages those around her to read the news and educate themselves on the candidates
Guillermo Gomez is a current student at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. He is currently studying Democracy and Justice Studies, Communications, as well as Computer Science. He’s most known for his position as a UWGB Student Government Executive, where he serves as the Academic Affairs Chairman. His passion of a better, brighter future is reflected by his involvement in various GOTV efforts and involvement in local non-partisan elections.
Andrew Gray graduated from Illinois Central College in May 2018 with his Associate’s in Arts in Theatre and is now pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Practices at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. An award-winning author and published playwright, Andrew is dedicated to the craft of storytelling. He believes that each one of us chooses their own path and in all his work strives to empower the individual to create the story they want to live in.
Austin Gulbrandson is a Junior at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Currently, he is double majoring in Political Science and History. Austin is involved with the student government on campus and works to promote shared governance. He has previously worked to increase student participation in elections, most notably with CEEP within the last year. He is excited to continue his work with CEEP, hoping to break records of participation on campus.
Zach Herriges is a 19-year-old sophomore at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He is studying political science. He currently serves as the Vice President of Students for A Democratic Society on his Campus. He is an active member on his campus within his Fraternity, Delta Chi. He pursues his passion through his involvements in various organizations regarding political theory and critical analysis. His ultimate goal is to get a PhD in political science, teach at a university, and write books on various political topics.
My name is Donna Heyer. I am a non-traditional student and a lifelong learner. I am currently in the Human Services program at Western Technical College in La Crosse Wisconsin. Most recently I assisted in the steering committee for a Trauma Conference held here at Western last spring. This conference was an incredible learning experience for all of us that attended and assisted in the organizing of this conference. I would also like to include the many clubs such as the Human Services Club and Phi Theta Kappa that I am a member of here at Western. Being a member of these clubs gives me a chance to be a part of one of the many opportunities they provide here on campus. Prior to being a student here at Western, I worked for nearly 40 years in accounting, and also I volunteered for 22 years in my hometown Fire and Rescue group as the Events Coordinator/Secretary and Rescue Captain.
Emily Hutchins is a senior at University of Wisconsin – Madison studying political science and environmental studies. Emily recently worked as a finance and communications intern for her US Senator in Wisconsin and Washington, DC. She also works as an information guide for the University of Wisconsin where she assists incoming students and community members. Emily is passionate about improving voter representation and engagement in the United States. Her goal after college is to work on a presidential campaign.
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!
John Lawlis is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. He is studying Political Science and Public Administration and is extremely passionate when it comes to topics of public policy, governmental relations, and civic engagement. John serves as the State Affairs Director for UW-La Crosse’s student government, a position which advocates for UW-La Crosse’s student body in the Wisconsin State Legislature. John believes that student voices should be heard, whether it be through vocalizing opinions or putting pen to paper and voting! John wishes to engage the students of UW-La Crosse, and hopes to illustrate the importance that voting has on a liberal democracy, as well as to allow others to realize that voting really is COOL!
Levi Latoz is a 20-year-old junior at Carthage College. He is studying International Political Economy. He is a member of Model United Nations at Carthage, and is also a Resident Assistant within the residence halls on campus. Levi made the transition to studying International Political Economy during his sophomore year and has since made it his goal to involve himself within the different areas of his field of study in order to better familiarize himself with the field.
Sydney Lee is a 21-year-old junior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). She is majoring in psychology with a minor in women and gender studies. Sydney is a founder of a UWM Campus Organization called Organizing for Change. She is also a member of the Women’s Advocacy Committee and is Caucus Diversity Chair for the College Democrats of Wisconsin. Sydney’s ultimate goal is to become a lawyer and to start a mentorship program for young minority girls to help them reach their full potential.
Sage Lefebvre is a 21-year-old senior at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP). She is a philosophy major minoring in biology, chemistry, and sociology with a Pre-Medical emphasis. Sage serves as UWSP Student Government Association’s Health Services Student Director and is involved in organizations on campus such as the Alliance of Multicultural and Diversity Organizations (AMDO) and Reformation and Improvement of Society and Environment (RISE). Sage also manages the on-campus food pantry at UWSP. She is passionate about making sure students are aware of resources available and to make sure no one goes without necessities. Sage hopes to continue her education by going on to Medical School and one day working for Doctors Without Borders.
Sydney Mastey is a 21-year-old senior at the University of Wisconsin-Superior (UWS). She is majoring in Legal Studies and minoring in Conflict Resolution. She is a Civic Newman Fellowship recipient, and is a member of two community response teams as an activist to help plan events and educate the community on the issues of domestic abuse and sexual assault. Sydney is the current treasure of Pre-Law Society and the Criminal Justice Honors Society at UWS. She is also a member of two different campus planning committees to help further expand and develop opportunities at UWS for current and future students. Sydney plans to attend law school upon graduation where she will continue her work with survivors of abuse and assault. Her future goal is to become an attorney and prosecute cases of domestic abuse and sexual assault in order to give victims justice. Sydney believes in social change, and she plans to spend her life empowering others to see their potential.
Matthew McCoshen is a 21-year-old senior at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He is studying both History and Political Science. On campus, he is currently the President of the Political Science Association and a member of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, both of which keep him involved campus-wide. Matt is also a member of the D3 men’s golf team for UWS and works an on-campus job as a Zamboni driver. After UWS, Matt is looking to attend graduate school somewhere in central or western Canada to get his master’s degree. After he finishes his education, Matt hopes to make a difference by working for an NGO or a non-profit to work with a government.
My name is Ian McDonald, I’m a 20 year old sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and I’ve been interested in politics since high school. My interest mainly came from my own doing and stemmed from the ability to change others situation for the good. In the future I hope to run for a political office or run a presidential campaign. In college I’ve entered into political internships with politicians and other non-partisan organization like the American Democracy Project, which focuses on voter registration and education. I was also invited to participate in the UW-Oshkosh Honors College so I can continue to challenge myself. This past summer I spent time in Washington, DC learning about the political processes and working with a Wisconsin Senator, Ron Johnson. When I’m not looking to improve my political skills, I tend to focus on my communication abilities. I competed in a speaker series competition through the communications department at UW-Oshkosh and look forward to more involvement with communications throughout my college career. In my free time, I enjoy running.
Michael Montalvo is a 22-year-old senior at Whitewater University (UWW). He is studying Public Policy and Administration with an emphasis in Business and International Peace and Justice Studies as a concentration. He currently serves as an at large senator for UW-Whitewater’s Student Government. He teaches fitness classes, Catechist classes and is part of the Navigators Ministry on Campus. After graduating in December he will join the United States Peace Corps for 2 years and continue towards his career goal in homeland security.
Gabrielle Newman is a 20-year-old junior at The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (UWO). She has chosen to major in communication while also pursuing a minor in business. Gabrielle is a member of her campus’s Honors College and their chapter of The National Society of Leadership and Success. As both a resident and a student in the city of Oshkosh, she enjoys all of the opportunities for interaction and involvement within her community, especially with her customer service experience from working at a popular restaurant in town. Her ultimate goal is to further her education after completing her undergraduate studies by attending graduate school to obtain her MBA.
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.
Samantha Stohlman is a senior at Concordia University Wisconsin majoring in Psychology and Political Science. She is the President of College Republicans and Comfort Dog Club on campus. In the summer of 2018, she led a group of students to Chennai, India for a mission trip and is actively involved with many service projects on campus. Samantha is passionate about service and engaging students both on campus and the community.
Melanie Uhlenhake is a senior at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater scheduled to graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in criminology. She plans to go on to law school in the Fall of 2019. When she is not in class, she is playing rugby with UW-W Women’s Rugby Team.
Katherine Watson is a senior studying history at Alverno College. On campus, she serves as President of College Democrats and works in the Campus Ministry department, where she works to promote interfaith programming and coordinates a group of volunteers who serve meals at a community meal center. In 2017, Katherine was honored to represent Alverno as a Newman Civic Fellow through Campus Compact. Katherine is extremely passionate about politics and civic engagement and is eager to mobilize the Alverno community for the November election.
Thong In Xiong is a junior at Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) and is pursuing his Early Childhood Education Associate’s Degree. He is currently the Wisconsin Technical College Systems (WTCS) Student Ambassador for FVTC, the President of the Hmong Student Union (HSU) club and a veteran who has taken the oath to defend this country. He also gets involved in the community by volunteering with United Hmong American Association (UHAA), helping the youth achieve their goals, as well as volunteering for the Salvation Army where he translates and bell rings for the holiday. This helps him pursue his passion to help the youth to reach for the stars and follow their dreams. His ultimate goal is to become a Post-secondary education counselor where he will continue to serve and consult the youth to strive for excellence.