Meet the 2016 Campus Election Engagement Fellows
Our Election Engagement Fellows are students who get stipends or academic credit to work with college staff and student leaders and carry out our nonpartisan approaches on their campuses, helping their peers participate in America’s democratic process. In 2013, one of our first Fellows, Tonya McGinnis, led a team at Virginia Tech that registered 3,000 fellow-students in an election where the Attorney General turned out to be decided by 165 votes. This is a partial list of our 2016 Fellows, as not all provided bios and photos. But they were a powerful part of our team.
Marli Mayon is a public service and public policy major at Scottsdale Community College. Marli’s eventual goals include pursuing a career in law and policy making, and she has a strong interest in both the Teach for America and Peace Corps programs. Marli hopes that the opportunity to serve will aid her in better determining her plans to positively impact the world. Marli is really looking forward to engaging voters at ASU and learning more about the issues that matter most to her peers.
David Saul Acosta is a political science major and business management minor at the University of Miami. David is passionate about public service and civic engagement and has spearheaded efforts on campus aimed at improving civic participation through voter drives, outreach events and information sessions on government, electoral processes and voting. Upon completion of his degree, David will pursue a career in local politics.
Alan Brock is a law major at Stetson University College of Law. Alan hopes to use his law degree to help people and is driven by a desire to create positive change in the world. The old adage to be the change you want to see in the world is a guiding force in Alan’s life.
Monica Bustinza is a political science, history and women gender studies major at the University of Miami. Monica currently serves as president of a nonpartisan political organization, Get Out the Vote, Transfer Senator of the University of Miami’s Student Government, and Director of Curation for TEDxUMiami. Monica pursues her passions through her involvement in various organizations regarding political participation and hunger. Once she graduates, Monica will attend law school. Her ultimate goal is to hold political office in the state of Florida.
Artez Chapman is a computer programming and analyst major at St. Petersburg College. Artez believes that getting people on his campus involved in the political process is the first way to see change and progress in the community and in communities everywhere.
Jarvis Davis is a state-certified social worker. Jarvis loves being able to help people in need, no matter what the problem is.
Daryl Franklyn is a nursing major at Miami Dade College. Daryl is extremely passionate about healthcare as it pertains to mentally ill individuals. From a very young age, Daryl has been interested in speaking up for those who have been disenfranchised, misinterpreted, excluded, discriminated against or silenced. Daryl now serves as the president of the Mu Beta Tau (Minority Brothers Together) at Miami Dade College Medical Campus.
Jason Gonzalez is a law enforcement major at Miami Dade College. Jason loves working with the community, especially the areas that are known to either have criminal activity or homelessness. Jason believes civic engagement is essential on his campus, because the students must get informed on how their community is being affected by those that are in office as well as getting informed on the local elections that affect them heavily.
Brianna Nicole Hernandez is a political science, history and sociology major. Brianna will be attending law school in the fall of 2018 and aspires to work in corporate and constitutional law. Brianna’s passions include international relations, voice enhancement and social change.
Diamante Jones is a fashion design and merchandising major at Miami Dade College. Currently, Diamante is the president of MDC Pride (LGBTQ) club at the Wolfson Campus, where he encourages his members to get engaged and take action on and off campus.
Calvin Jordan is a communications major at Lynn University. Calvin hopes to use his education to craft campaigns for the government in order to reform the ailing education system. He also would like to use his skills to pursue diplomatic communication. Calvin believes that doing campus engagement work is so important, because he knows that his voice matters not only now, but in the future as well, and he would like for others to realize the same.
Krystal Lanier is a political science major at Miami Dade Honors College. Krystal is an active member of several organizations such as the Mu Epsilon Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society’s Vice President, Student Government Association’s Public Relations Director and the Political Science Club’s Secretary. Krystal hopes to promote democracy and awareness of this nation’s future.
Richard Matthews is a healthcare administration major at Florida Atlantic University. As a veteran, two of Richard’s passions are ending veteran homelessness and reducing the number of veterans who commit suicide. Engaging students to vote is important to Richard, because he believes everyone should make their voice heard. Richard hopes to get more students registered, educated on the issues and follow through by voting early or on Election Day.
Maria P. Munoz is a wildlife ecology and conservation major at Miami Dade College. She has a strong passion for social justice, the environment and wildlife conservation. She aspires to one day be able to save and rehabilitate injured wildlife and release them back into the wild. Maria believes doing election engagement work at her campus is important because students have such an essential role in the elections and to keep democracy alive.
Rose Norton is a biology major at Miami-Dade College. She plans on transferring to the University of Florida, where she can begin her journey of research. She wants to conduct medical and chemical research on stem cells and new infectious outbreaks like the zika virus. As students, we have the potential to provoke change in many ways, being that we are the world’s future leaders. Voter engagement is so important on campus because it empowers students to illustrate their voice in the community and stand up for what they believe in.
Arsum Pathak is an environmental science and policy major at University of South Florida.
John Powell is a political science major and Spanish and French minor at Barry University. John is extremely passionate about international affairs, politics and foreign languages. In the near future, he would like to pursue a Master’s degree in International Development and Global Policy with a concentration on U.S. Foreign Policy in Latin America and the Middle East. He is excited about being a CEEP Fellow at Barry University because it gives him an excellent platform to engage, mobilize and educate the students about the importance of having their voices heard this election.
Destiny Reyes is an English and philosophy major with a pre-law focus. She hopes to graduate with honors and attend an Ivy League law school before becoming an attorney. She hopes to also write fiction, and is working on her first novel.
Liliana Valdes-Gamboa is a political science major at Miami Dade College. She currently serves as the Student Government Association President of the Hialeah Campus. She will then transfer to Florida State University in the Fall where she will receive her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and then proceed to attend their College of Law. In the future, she hopes to help people of low resources with legal services.
Indigo Williams has a strong passion for the environment, volunteer work and knowledge. She aspires to become a medical scientist and travel around the world to provide healthcare to those suffering and in need. Being involved in election engagement work on my campus is so important because she believes that the rate of young adults voting participation can be increased by reaching out to other students and providing them with information on how they can voice their concerns and views to the government via voting.
Taylor Odekirk is a journalism and marketing major at the University of Iowa. She loves to write and is passionate about learning new ways to creatively and clearly communicate with an audience. She would someday like to have a career in public relations and/or marketing. She believes doing election engagement work at University of Iowa is so important because students here need to know that their voice matters. Because the campus is so large, they have a great opportunity to reach a lot of students about the importance of voting.
Katherine Paul is a political science, religious studies and German major at Iowa State University. She is fueled by the desire to understand the world through the eyes of diverse sets of cultures, religions and lifeway’s in order to better communicate on the path towards conflict resolution in a local and international context. Upon graduating in the spring of 2019 she plans on studying law to further this mission.
Candice Crutcher is a political science major and public law and government minor at Eastern Michigan University. She spends her time outside of class volunteering with EMU’s college chapter NAACP to help get students registered to vote. She has been doing this for two years now as well as educating on voting rights for students. She hopes to finish her degree and use it to further educate the youth on the importance of the electoral process.
Harsha Devaraj is an art and design and political science major at the University of Michigan. Being an artist gives him the tools to engage an audience, and being an international student of US politics allows him to use those tools in unique and creative ways. Harsha believes that voters are distanced from the consequences of their political actions by partisan rhetoric, the growingly lucrative nature of public office, and one-sided news media. He is excited to be part of CEEP’s efforts to combat this by getting students engaged and involved in politics at the national as well as local level. We are working to directly strengthen our democracy, and he is proud to be a part of this venture.
Kelsey Disher is currently working toward her BSW. She is passionate about making the world a better place and advocating for those that cannot speak for themselves, especially children.
Chris Gregory is at Wayne State University’s College of Engineering Technology program. As a Navy Veteran, he brings leadership and management skills to the table of multiple student and community organizations. He is currently serving as Captain of the Formula Hybrid SAE team, Webmaster of the Engineering Student Faculty Board, served as prior IEEE branch Director of Student Activities and Seminar Coordinator and now currently serves as the branch’s Treasurer, Founder and current President of Warrior Innovations ( a growing Makerspace community on campus), Student Assistant for Anderson Venture Institute, prior Student Senate Director of Government Affairs and currently serving as Secretary, certified Southeastern US Master Naturalist, Founder and prior Director of a Green Sanctuary Equal Exchange/Fair Trade store at his prior congregation and currently starting a new one at his current congregation. He is a man of action and thrives in stressful situations. He hopes to work for an innovative automotive company or start his own business in the heart of Detroit after he graduates.
Nia Joyner is a public policy major and business minor. During her time as an undergraduate intern at the State of Michigan Headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union this summer, she took a particular interest in their new Let Me Vote campaign and corresponding Student Voting Made Easywebsite launch. Working hands on with this project gave her both the drive and the expertise to make a difference in student impact for this election cycle. She is thrilled to bring this enthusiasm and experience to Campus Election Engagement Project. Nia loves engaging with student organizations and is heavily involved on campus. She is the Secretary of her Pre-Law and Public Policy Professional Fraternity, Kappa Omega Alpha, and the Vice-Chair of the ACLU Undergraduate Chapter at the University of Michigan. She is a member of the Black Student Union and the Black Undergraduate Business Society. In the future, Nia hopes to combine her interests of policy and business into a meaningful profession.
Tazia Miah is an international studies major at the University of Michigan with the subplot of global environment and health for her Bachelor’s Degree in hopes of attending a MPH/MD program. She hopes to become a doctor in pediatrics or the emergency room who provides quality care and listens to the individual voices of the patients. In the public health field, she is strongly interested in nutritional sciences and epidemiology to also be able to provide assistance on a more global scale. Tazia is a Peer Advisor in the Health Sciences Scholars Program. As a peer advisor, she is able to mentor first year students with their transition to college, academic progress, and pre – health resources, which she feels was crucial to her own college transition.
Zoe Pidgeon is a political science and economics major with a minor in French at Wayne State University. She currently serves as head of the Environmental Action Committee and is a staff writer for The South End, Wayne State’s official paper. It is her hope to inform and engage the younger demographic in Detroit in order to ameliorate social and environmental abuses in the city. After graduating in three years with her undergraduate degree she plans to attend law school to begin affecting positive change for citizens in need as soon as possible. Zoe believes that the key to inspiring this change in society is by motivating those to vote who either did not feel it was important or did not have the tools available to them to do so. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to get citizens involved in all levels of politics with the CEEP and to see American democracy strengthen and flourish.
Annie Somerville is a political science major at Eastern Michigan University. Annie founded a nonpartisan/ grassroots student organization focused around campaign finance reform. This summer she was chosen to represent Student Government as the Director of Governmental Affairs for the 20162017 academic year. When she is not organizing or doing research, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She likes to paint, read, and bake for fun.
Clinton Topp is a general business major and political science minor at Henry Ford College. Clinton currently serves as president of the African American Association. Clinton is also president of his block club, Montrose Friendly, where he helps to beautify his neighborhood. Clinton is the former president of a nonprofit named Cody Rouge Community Action Alliance in which he managed the board of directors. Clinton helps residents understand the voting process as the precinct Delegate in the city of Detroit, he is currently running for the position of Community Advisory Council in this upcoming election, Nov. 8. Clinton holds membership in the Detroit chapter of NAACP and Better Detroit Youth Movement. Due to his activism, Clinton received the Spirit of Detroit Award and selected as one of HFC’s student of month. Clinton’s goal is to be a better public servant.
Michael Olinger is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has interned with The Fresno Bee, producing two Hearst Journalism Award nominated articles. In 2016 he served as the Fred W. Smith Chair Fellow with News21, a national news fellowship operating out of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State. While there he produced two investigative articles focused on voting rights that were published by The Washington Post and NBC News in addition to several other outlets. Michael is a political science minor and has cared deeply about politics from an early age. He hopes to work for The Washington Post or Salon when he graduates, creating feature stories and investigative pieces with depth and impact. He is a massive nerd who spends his off hours either attending, reviewing, or writing movies. Photograph by Brandon Quester, News21.
Cynthia Sandoval is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno. She is a huge fan of Disney and a pop culture enthusiast, but when she’s not singing along to Disney songs or keeping up with the Kardashians, Sandoval is actively working towards her dream of working in broadcast media by taking advantage of every opportunity that comes her way, She wanted to seize this opportunity to work with CEEP because she feels that she can tell political stories in ways that will be interesting and encouraging for her peers.
José Rodarte-Canales is a history major at Dartmouth College senior currently doing a transfer term at his home state university, the University of Nevada, Reno. In the future, he hopes to work abroad before returning to the U.S. to pursue a graduate degree. He has been involved in activism and community organizing on campus and in his community. He’s passionate about racial and socioeconomic justice and believes that it’s imperative to secure the full and equal participation of all Americans in the political process. When he’s not thinking of ways to make the world a more just place, you can find him perusing modern art or sipping on single origin coffee and reading the New Yorker.
Jeffrey Domínguez is a biology/ethics, law and politics major at the University of Nevada, Reno. He is President of the Latino Student Advisory Board, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization on campus that engages and strives toward the enhancement of Latino students. He plans to apply to film programs in Los Angeles and New York City after graduation. “While I share strong interests in diplomacy and politics, I want to explore the possibility of creating visual content in the Fine Arts that can eventually evoke social change or tell visually striking stories. The reason I am doing election engagement work is because representation is important. I think people feel more comfortable and inclined to engage when they see someone that looks or speaks like them. Overall, engaging students (youth), faculty and staff of all levels is a great opportunity to get people to participate and bridge the gap in our democracy.”
Bonnie Hensley is a business major at Truckee Meadows Community College. Previously, she attended Craven Community College in New Bern, NC where she earned an Associates degree in computer programming. Upon graduation, Bonnie’s career goal is to become a CPA. Bonnie is the widow of a US Marine Corps veteran and is interested in veteran issues and the welfare of older Americans.
Itane’ Coleman is a political science and African-American studies major at UNC Greensboro. Itane’ is a social justice and diversity peer educator and a University Marshal. This summer, she was an intern with Democracy NC’s “Democracy Summer.”
Timira Conley is a political science and foreign languages (Arabic) major at NC State University. Timira is currently serving as the Director of Diversity Outreach for NCSU’s Student Government, and she is a former intern with Common Cause NC.
Ann Cox is an international studies major at Meredith College. She is president of the college’s history and politics club and was a leader of the nonpartisan Meredith Votes program in 2014. In past elections, she has been a campaign volunteer and poll monitor.
Thomas Gallagher is a political science major at Appalachian State University. Thomas is also ImpACT Team Co-Chair in the ACT (Appalachian and the Community Together) Office and a former orientation and alternative break leader.
Sydney Gouani is a social work major at UNC Greensboro. She is also a Civic Engagement Fellow in UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service-Learning, and she is a part-time AmeriCorps member with NC Literacy Corps.
Nicholas Greene is based at Central Piedmont Community College, Cato Campus. Nicholas is Co-Chair of Student Government Senate at Cato Campus.
Devon Hester is a history and political science major at UNC Pembroke. Devon is an SGA Senator and officer in UNCP’s political science club.
Matt Lederer is a political science and history major at Warren Wilson College. Matt has been active in Student Government since his first year at WWC and recently was part of a team that re-wrote the SGA Constitution. He is an active member of the voter engagement issue team.
Patricia Martinez is a justice and policy studies major at Guilford College. She is a Bonner Scholar and a student leader of the Prison Education Initiative and has served as a poll worker in California.
Rachel Maynard is a political science major at UNC Asheville. She is a leader of the recently formed political science club on her campus and an SGA representative.
Margaret Nelson is a political science and sociology major at Queens University of Charlotte. She has been an orientation leader, and SGA representative, and led campus voter engagement efforts in 2014 through her work with Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.
Harrison Pegram is a business administration major at UNC Pembroke. He is an engagement guide in the Office of Community and Civic Engagement, an SGA senator, and a leader in his fraternity.
Luke Perrin is a political science major at NC State University. Luke is Student Senator and chairs the Student Government’s Committee on Government Regulations. He is also active in the political science club and is a University Scholar.
Cassie Radcliffe is a political science and international studies major at UNC Wilmington. Cassie has served in student government as VP of community service, was on the leadership council of Seahawks Links, and held a leadership role in a regional association of residence halls.
Elise Wilson is a history and pre-law major at UNC Wilmington. She is an engagement guide with the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement where she focuses on voter engagement and education equality.
Nicole Tatum is a nursing major at Durham Technical Community College. She is president of the Gamma Beta Phi honor society and a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and she will serve as the NC/DTCC College Debate Delegate this summer.
Safaa Tazzit is a computer and electrical engineering major at Wake Technical Community College. She is an SGA Senator, a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and an active community volunteer through the Office of Volunteerism and Leadership.
Kirk Bampton is a public affairs major at Columbus State Community College. He is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society and co-founder and Chairperson of a campus organization. Kirk was recently the proofreader for a book on election protection and is in the process of editing two other books. He also has experience volunteering for local and national political campaigns.
Hailey Berliner is an urban planning and geographic information systems major at Owens Community College. A recent transplant from Melbourne, FL, she has previously worked with HIV/AIDS outreach and LGBT rights organizations.
Steve Carnahan is a political science major at Columbus State Community College. Steve enjoys rock climbing, cycling and has a deep love for the environment. It’s his love for enjoying the outdoors that drives him to political action and by registering voters with CEEP he hopes that we may find a greater voice in our shared interests.
Christian Cooper is a social science education major and a political science minor at Wright State University. Democracy is taken for granted in our society today, and we need to fulfill our constitutional duty and vote for our local, state, and national representatives and leaders.
Dorian Durant is a mechanical engineering technology major at the University of Cincinnati. Dorian is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc and the National Society of Black Engineers. Dorian looks forward to being a part of CEEP in order to help students become more aware of what they need to do to become responsible voters.
Leslie Edwards is a human nutrition major and sociology minor at The Ohio State University. She serves as a peer mentor and is involved in pancreatic cancer research. Leslie cannot wait to begin working with CEEP.
Tess Gerdemann is an international politics and marketing/sales major at University of Cincinnati. She is currently the Student Government Director of Federal Affairs and spends her free time watching TEDTalks or trying to decide where to travel to next.
Hannah Good is a political science major at Kent State University. Hannah is also an active brother of Alpha Phi Omega – Epsilon Psi, plays cello in the Stow Symphony Orchestra, and is a Student Service Leader at Kent State.
Charles Kennick is an anthropology and political science major and a history minor at Miami University. Charles is passionate about studying state and local government and urban planning and hopes to attend graduate school to become a bureaucrat or law school after graduation.
Connor Mcmahon, is an accounting and management information systems major at Ohio State University. He’s looking forward to participating in CEEP’s Fellowship because the democratic process has become a personal passion.
Madeline Melin is a business communications major and a marketing minor at Kent State University. She is from Chicago IL and loves running as well as getting people involved in something that she truly cares about.
Derek Potts is an international studies and history major and a German minor at The Ohio State University. Derek has always had an interest in civic engagement, particularly in helping others become more civically involved.
John Ryan is a political science and economics major at Bowling Green State University. He’s a member of multiple political organizations around campus and looks forward to bringing enthusiasm and political engagement to his entire campus.
Kia Smith is a health science major and a chemistry minor at Cleveland State University. Upon graduation Kia intends to apply to Physician Assistant programs in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
Uliana Spiridonova is a public administration major and political science and dance minor at Cleveland State University. She’s a Student Government Association Senator At-Large, member of the CSU Dance Company and Viking Dance Team. In the future, Uliana plans to pursue her M.A. in Political Science and work in the political field. She loves traveling and has lived in Russia, China, Vietnam, India, Holland and the USA.
Stanton Williams is a political science major and a sociology minor at Bowling Green State University. He grew up in with bi-partisan parties and has taken a little from each party to form his own political view. Stan recently interned with a media company where he managed a $10,000 budget media campaign and recreated the company’s interview guides.
Donnell Allen is a criminal justice major at Montgomery County Community College. At one time he worked at two different private security companies while being a full time student. He quickly found out that school itself is a full-time job and that he must dedicate time and effort to achieve his goals. He is a person that believes one must have resiliency. Despite minor setbacks and obstacles, he remains focused and willing to put forth the effort. He is currently in a Law Enforcement Program that engages with the community and train cadets to prepare for the police academy. Being in the PA Army National Guard is such a great honor. He likes how he can have a civilian career alongside a military career. Networking has always come easy to me. He associates himself with different organizations and has the ability to meet new friends daily.
Aileen Assumma is an English major at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is a federal work study for WCU and responsible for the success of Dub C Votes, a nonpartisan election engagement initiative on campus. Through Dub C Votes, Aileen created a video encouraging voter registration and participation which has been viewed many times across campus (click here to see!). She is also on the Executive Committee for her school’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity.
Troy A. Bundy is a social work major at the Community College of Philadelphia. His major passions are to assist and try to give back to the community, like it was done for him. He is the President of the Student Government Association with a 4.0 GPA. While campaigning for the student office one of his platform statements was informing fellow students about the importance of voting and what it means to vote. He is looking forward to working to help inform the students at the Community College of Philadelphia. Many students on campus feel that their vote doesn’t count and he wants to inform them that it indeed does.
Ramean Clowney is a political science major and a business administration minor at the Community College of Philadelphia. His long-term professional goal is to take a seat in Philadelphia’s City Council and eventually run for mayor. Given an interest in serving and enhancing his community, the Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) is an initiative that attests to my future endeavors. Allowing young adults to understand how crucial it is to vote, in not only a national level but, more importantly on the local level is critical as the latter really decides the impact and change you wish to see in your community. That will be his mission in CEEP, which is to assist college students in not only registering to vote but, also becoming more knowledgeable about its long-lasting impact as a full and contributing citizen to his/her community. Moreover, expressing that this is our moment to decide if they want to see a better Philadelphia, a better Pennsylvania, and a better country, then their vote could be the deciding difference.
California Campaign Consultants (CCC) is a multidisciplinary organization at California University of Pennsylvania that teaches students the basics of professionalizing campaigns, including: campaign strategy, voter mobilization, and debate techniques. The club does our best to provide programs and events to encourage students to engage in politics and inform them of current events. Two campus leaders laid the groundwork for the unique group, which is funded by the Student Association, Inc.
Nathan Emery is an international studies and business major at the University of Pennsylvania. International relations have interested him since high school, where he participated in Model UN, and for business he is thinking of a Marketing or perhaps Business Analytics concentration. He hopes to work for a firm that makes a difference in the world so he can be passionate about the company and work he is doing, perhaps in the marketing department. Election engagement work is so important to him because he has studied international relations and knows how important the right leaders are in managing economics and society. He wants his peers to help us pick the right leaders instead of doing nothing and potentially hurting our county.
Isabella Farinas is a political science and physics major at Montgomery County Community College (MCCC). She is extremely passionate when it comes to civic engagement and community service. As a democracy, we are given the privilege to participate in the governing and electoral process. In 2016, there are so many avenues for access and participation. She believes that today’s youth lack the confidence and the tools necessary to make informed decisions. As a result, our electoral system is unresponsive and closed to the issues that impact college students. Each and every citizen must be educated and empowered with the confidence and knowledge to be an active participant in the political and governing process.
Thomas Fisher is a political science major at Shippensburg University. Thomas’s major passion in life is serving others. He believes the best way to feel fulfilled is to spend free time helping those in need. He conducts most of his community service through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. To date, he has helped raise over $11,000 for the organization to invest in new life saving treatments. When he is not volunteering, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, enjoying the world that we live. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in political science, he intends to attend law school and eventually become an attorney with the Legal Aid Network that provides attorneys free of charge for civil cases to those in need. He feels completing an election engagement project at Shippensburg University is important in order to ensure the voices of all of his fellow peers are heard. Too often the younger demographic feels excluded from decisions that affect them, but through voting it does not have to be that way. We all have the right to vote, and we should all exercise that right to create the society that we want to live in.
Mijuel K. Johnson is based at the Community College of Philadelphia. His major passions are Politics, History, Urban Planning, Environmental Sustainability and International Development. He believes resolutely in the values of democracy and that in the words of Thomas Paine “ We have it within our power to begin the world a new.” Election engagement on the campuses of the Community College of Philadelphia is imperative as the student body thereof is representative of the city in miniature the students, faculty, and staff hail from across the city and beyond and can harness their influence to engage not only the campuses of CCP but other area colleges and universities and broad community.
Kimberly Pham is a social work major at Temple University. Kimberly is a community activist and a member of the National Council of Young Leaders, which focuses on advising and working with elected officials and others in power on the issues and solutions that affect the opportunity youth population. Kimberly is also a member of the Project U-Turn Collaborative, which focuses on learning and implementing best practices and strategies for opportunity youth in the City of Philadelphia. Kimberly has also supported her city on another collaborative effort called “Digital On-Ramps” focused on improving the system of training and workforce services in the City of Philadelphia. She received the very first Distinguished Alumni Award from District 1199C Training& Upgrading Fund, NUHHCE. She enjoys spending her time mentoring young people in her community. Kimberly continues to strive as a person for the people. She is devoted to change the injustice and inequalities in her community and country.
Ellie Sullum is a philosophy major at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Honors College, Forensics Speech and Debate, and WCU Hillel. Ellie plans on building a career as an activist and community organizer. She believes civic engagement empowers the voice of the individual, and strengthens the power of communities.
Sam Ressin is an economics-statistics and political science major and a public service minor at the University of Pittsburgh. Sam aspires to do policy work after college relating to energy and democracy and is considering going to law school. “Our democracy belongs to us only because we influence it through civic engagement. As soon as we stop contributing our voice, it will cease to be ours.”
Shalom Werkheiser is a political science major at Northampton County Community College. Future plans include attending graduate school to study Social Psychology. She would like to become a public relations specialist in her early career and move on to be a researcher in a think tank. She enjoys politics and raising awareness on a variety of social topics. Engagement is so important because it surrounds millennials and will assist in shaping our future. It is vital that we start taking responsibility of our nation and the policies we must live by.
Samantha Boateng is interested in pursuing a history or English degree at the College of William and Mary. Samantha believes that election engagement is important to ensure that all students’ voices are heard in the upcoming election and that they are aware of everything that is going on politically as well.
Ashton Brower is a social work major at Christopher Newport University. She wants to attend graduate school at VCU after getting her Bachelors degree. She is passionate about volunteering, especially at her church and with children. She feels that registering voters, getting pledges to vote, as well as educating students on her campus is important because students voices can have a huge impact on an election – if they turn out to vote.
Jessica Diaz is a history and political science major at Virginia Commonwealth University. She hopes to attend VCU for graduate school to earn a masters in teaching and then begin teaching Social Studies in Richmond Public Schools. She grew up in Richmond and is very excited to be doing election engagement on the VCU campus to engage students in this wonderful community. While there is a lot of focus on the national election, she hopes to also engage students on the importance of local elections. Richmond has so many exciting local elections coming this November and it’s important for students to know how the decisions made by the Richmond local government affects them.
Kelsey Disher is a BSW major. She is passionate about making the world a better place and advocating for those that cannot speak for themselves, especially children.
Leah Fisher hopes to be a Social Worker on the community level, working on policy, and large scale change. Election engagement on campus is very important because college aged kids typically have the lowest voter turnout. College aged kids are the future, and voting and being involved in the election is one way that they can influence the future, and use their education to make changes.
Sumra Qadir is a political science major at Virginia Commonwealth University. Sumra hopes to become an attorney one day. Her passions are traveling, reading, hiking, photography and her religion, Islam. She also enjoys eating at different restaurants around the city of Richmond. Sumra decided to participate in this election engagement work because she wanted to become more involved in this upcoming election. She was eager to learn more about the process of voter registration and voter engagement on campus because it is so important to get fellow classmates to become apart of this world-changing event. Also, Sumra had experience interning with politician Dan Gecker last year, and thought she could bring more to the table when it comes to organizing and engaging in events.
Thiaa Rahman is a political science major at Norfolk State University. In August 2017 Thiaa will be attending law school. Upon graduation she will begin her law career with work in public interest law such as civil rights law, non-profit law and constitutional law. She plans on building an impactful career within a 5-10 year range in public law before maneuvering into a career of politics.
Claudette Woodhouse is a history major seeking Teacher licensure in Social Studies at Old Dominion University. She is a non-degree graduate student seeking a teacher licensure in Social Studies who has a passion for civic engagement and promoting civic awareness in her respective communities. In her spare time she has an extreme passion to be involved in the development of youth. Her ultimate career aspirations are to become a principal or superintendent while still working with the public sector, specifically non-profits. Claudette finds election engagement work on her campus extremely important. Claudette believes that nothing is the same, but everything is connected, which represents her belief that political apathy in youth needs to be reversed and hopes that through her engagement on campus she can help her peers connect the dots to see the importance of participating as informed citizens in our country’s political system for the betterment of all people and future generations.
Kimberleah Bledsoe is a meeting and event management and hotel in hospitality major at Milwaukee Area Technical College. She aspires to open a nonprofit organization in Milwaukee that services the community in the area of economic development, financial literacy and homeownership. She is doing election engagement work on campus because she knows how hard her ancestors fought and sacrificed for her to have the right to vote. As someone who appreciates our constitutional rights and civil liberties, she understands the importance of voting and getting as many people engaged in the democratic process.
Allyson Brunner is based at UW-Milwaukee. Her passions include advocating for those who may need help finding their voices, encouraging hope and resilience to children who live in poverty, and creating equal opportunities to improve quality of life for all humans. In the future she hopes to hold an elected position within Milwaukee to represent the vibrancies and diversity the city has to offer. She would also love to found a successful international non-profit organization that advocates for human rights worldwide. Allyson feels college campuses are a place to explore who you are and find out what kind of world you want to leave when you’re gone. UW Milwaukee helped her to find her voice and individuality through education and unparalleled experiences. By taking on her new position as a Campus Election Engagement Fellow, Allyson’s excited to bring excitement; compassion and a judgment free environment to help students, faculty and staff find their voice starting with a simple conversation about voting.
Matt Lindberg is a political science major and a social welfare and justice minor at Marquette University. After graduation in May, his plan is to stay in Milwaukee and hopefully find a career that will allow him to be engaged with the city and its people. He hopes to continue committing his time toward elections and voter outreach. Election engagement work is so important to Matt because he feels it provides citizens with the opportunity to decide the direction of their neighborhood, city, state, and nation. Voting is democracy on its most fundamental level, and Matt believes our country cannot truly flourish if its people do not vote.
Nastacia Smith is a journalism, advertising and media studies major and a political science, German and communications minor at UW Milwaukee. Nastacia hopes to work as a Lobbyist someday or for a politician, that she believes in! She is inspired by the fact that everyone needs to know their rights and find empowerment in help people find their voice.
Porche “Che” Tyler is based at Waukesha County Technical College. Che is passionate about education, children, and global equality. Her aspirations include becoming a financial advisor to businesses and or individuals, owner of a boy’s group home and working with families to create sustainable food gardens. Che believes that we all make choices and decisions based on what we know. It is in the best interest of us all to make informed decisions, however in order to do that we must first be informed. It is important to me for everyone who wants to vote be provided with essential and vital information that affects his or her right to vote. Students deserve to be armed with information they need to make their vote count.