CEEP Fellows Overview & 2019 FELLOWS
Campus Election Engagement Project Fellows Overview
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. CEEP’s Fellows have a powerful impact on student voter participation while developing valuable leadership skills, with many calling their experience “life-changing.”
“I’m first in my family to go to college. As a CEEP Fellow, I became educated, aware, fully engaged in this year’s election. I became an influencer, a voter and a proud being who isn’t as lost as she used to be. Many people are highly confused by why I’m so engaged in voting issues as a STEM major. I simply answer, ‘CEEP taught me how.’” — Axianax Merone, CEEP Fellow, Miami Dade College
CEEP’s previously supported Fellows only in major election years. Click here to see some of our 259 2018 Fellows and here to see our 2016 Fellows team. But we’re now doing a pilot to keep on a small number of top-performing 2018 Fellows, so they can continue to engage schools while building for 2020, when we’ll add a full complement of Fellows for every state we engage. Here are some of our wonderful 2019 student Fellows.
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 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.
Zachary “Zak” Myers grew up in Broward County, FL before going to the University of Central Florida in 2017. He was always raised with encouragement from my family, church, and school to always give back to the community that he lived in. With that in mind, he joined his two passions together: civics and public service into the main driving forces that fuel his involvement for just about anything he does. It should be the priority of UCF and all subsequent agencies to foster a culture of stewardship and coordinated growth. He is 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.
Katie Rasmussen is a junior studying Psychology and Anthropology at the University of North Florida. She has been involved with politics and civic engagement from a young age and has always felt a sense of priority to be an active citizen. Both of her parents work in politics so civic duty was always the heartbeat of her home. As a result of those values, when she was given the opportunity to work with CEEP she was really excited to get to work.
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.
My name is Jenna Yoss, I am a junior Political Science major and Sociology minor at the University of Florida. I am really excited to be working with the Campus Election Engagement Project because I believe that as increasing voter engagement in college-age citizens is crucial. I have worked for a congressional office in constituent liaison and with a local political party office in Gainesville, Florida. These experiences have sparked my interest in our election system— especially in the role of voter outreach. I’m looking forward to working with CEEP in order to make a positive impact at my university.
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.
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’s also the social media marketer for HerCampus Media.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!