Meet the Fall 2021 Civic Influencers™
Civic Influencers are committed to ensuring young voices and votes matter in our democracy. We use real-time data to draw attention to democracy power outages on campuses and in communities and fight for youth voting rights and the policies that impact young people and Black, Indigenous, Youth of Color communities (BIYoC).
Every Civic Influencers member is a valued part of our community. Our newly formed Alumni Association allows us to stay in touch with previous Civic Influencers Fellows. To see our 2020 Civic Influencers, as well as those from 2019, 2018, and 2016 click here.
University of Nevada – Reno Fellow Testimonial Video
In Fall 2020 we sponsored 352 Civic Influencers on 247 campuses that enrolled nearly 3.5 million students. See here for their photos and stories.
Kylie Reese is a senior at the University of Alaska. She was born and raised in Eugene, OR. She attended Seattle Pacific University for 3 years in which at the same time she worked in the King County Prosecuting attorney’s office. Last year she transferred to the University of Alaska Anchorage where she studies Economics and Political Science and is a member of the gymnastics team. She is excited to be a Civic Influencer fellow because it will allow her to engage with students on campus and open the arena at UAA and in Alaska for more civic engagement in the future.
Lynz Baxter is on her second semester at Cochise College in Sierra Vista, Arizona. She is working on her degree in Social and Behavioral Science with a concentration in Political Science and is currently the Vice President of Public Relations for the Student Government. She wanted to join the Civic Influencers to help educate others in her community about voting and democracy.
Samantha Renteria is a sophomore at Cochise Community College in Douglas, Arizona. She is a motivated student who believes it’s important for students to know about voting and how to use their voices to make a difference.
Sarah Schneider is an aspiring senior at the University of Arizona majoring in Political Science and Judaic Studies. Sarah was involved in a nonpartisan get out the vote campaign on U of A’s campus in 2020 and has had a passion for elections ever since. She became a Civic Influencers fellow because youth voters are critical to making real change in our democracy. Sarah wants to be able to promote voting on campus and help students become more civically engaged.
Cameron Teel is from Prescott, Arizona, and is a sophomore at the University of Arizona. Her major is PPEL (Philosophy, Politics, Economics & Law), and her minor is in Middle Eastern & North African Studies. She is excited to work as a CEEP Fellow because she is passionate about bringing people of diverse backgrounds and ideologies together to have productive political dialogues, specifically about voting/civic engagement. In the future, she hopes to work in the fields of foreign policy, national security, and/or intelligence.
Creanne Butler is a Senior studying Aeronautical Science at Florida Memorial University. Creanne is ecstatic to be a Civic Influencers Fellow this year because this allows her to shed light on the importance of voting and how one vote can make the change. She believes that it is imperative that first-time voters, such as herself obtain access to the resources and knowledge needed to cast a vote.
Tyler Kasmir was born in Homestead, Florida and has lived there for all 20 years of his life. He attends the Miami Dade Homestead and North Campus, and he is studying in the Cyber Security concentration of Computer Information Systems. He was interested in voter registration and civic engagement ever since high school where he had multiple in-depth government AP classes. Tyler has been a Civic Influencer fellow for multiple semesters and loves the work he does here.
Maria Spearmon is a senior at Clark Atlanta University majoring in both mass media arts with a concentration in Radio/TV/Film and political science with a concentration in pre-law. Originally from Chicago, Illinois Spearmon takes initiative towards the many political, social, and economical issues that our society currently is facing today. Throughout her educational experience she has always found that advocating for equal rights was an important of hers.
Aylon Gipson is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the civil rights movement. Gipson graduated from Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, Alabama, receiving awards in communications and law. Gipson received a full-ride servant leadership at Morehouse College, where he studies Economics. Aylon has a passion for service and is dedicated to helping his community. He currently serves as the Political Participation Coordinator for the Morehouse College Bonner Office of Community Service.
Jared Williams is currently a sophomore Political Science Major and Journalism Minor at Morehouse College in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. This is his first term as a civic influencer. He’s interested in participating, because of the opportunities and resources the program provides to help increase civic engagement on college campuses across America.Furthermore, whenhe’s not reading or doing schoolwork at the library, he’s in his room watching movies, the news, or listening to music. Additionally, hisother hobbies are playing Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, and photo editing.
Greetings, my name is Imari Jeter-Wilson and I am a Junior Political Science Major at Morehouse College. I aspire to attend Law School with the goal to earn my L.L.M degree, in effort to become a litigation attorney. I am highly interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers Team simply because I am confident that I will learn necessary skills that will be applicable to my future endeavors. I also am excited to be a part of the team because of the opportunity that I have been granted, which is to be a part of a team that will serve as a catalyst to change in various communities.
Chrystopher Moultrie, most known as Chrys is a First-Generation from Mobile, Alabama. He is currently a Sophomore at Morehouse College, where he studies Political Science with a minor in Education Studies. At Morehouse College, he serves as Sophomore Class Council Vice President. After his successful matriculation through Morehouse College, he plans to attend law school with an emphasis on Education Policy and Law. Back in his hometown, Mobile, Chrys has organized several Voter Registration drives and worked closely a several local and statewide campaigns. Chrys’s greatest passion is working on policy for Education and fighting for the disenfranchised right to vote. In his spare time, Chrys enjoys cooking, watching the Real Housewives franchise, eating seafood, and working on his podcast titled “The Chrys Show”.
My name is Isaiah Jackson. I am from Decatur,Georgia. I am a senior at Valdosta State University where I major in Political Science. I am also a Leadership Fellow and the vice president of VSU Rugby Club. This amazing opportunity as a Civic Influencer is a wonderful chance to give back to my community by encouraging them to use their voice by voting. I am excited to be a Civic Influencer and all the wonderful things this year will bring.
Hello this is Julia Pendley! She is a freshman at the University of West Georgia. She is a Political Science major and wants to be a Representative in Congress. She is interested in Civic Influencers because of the new life experiences that it could provide for her as well as new skills she could develop. She looks forward to meeting new people and being a fellow at Civic Influencers.
Shiannah Scott is a graduate student at the University of North Georgia working on her Master of Public Administration. Shiannah become a Civic Influencers fellow to further her belief that everyone’s vote counts. The 2020 election was her first election and launched her desire to encourage and educate others. Shiannah believes that everyone should understand the importance of electionsand participate in their civic duty of voting.
Samia Park is an exemplary student at the Unsinkable Albany State University. She is a senior, double majoring in psychology and health and human performance. On campus she serves as the Academic Affairs Senator in the Student Government Association, President of the Psychology Club, and the Health Chair of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Samia is a scholar-activist who seeks to improve the importance of voting in underrepresented communities, which is why she became a Civic Influencers Fellow. She plans to utilize her platform to encourage her peers to be more civically engaged, as well as teaching the importance of voting.
Carlee Sarna is a 16-year-old student at the University of West Georgia. She plans to double major in Criminology and Psychology upon graduation from her high school. She is excited to work with the Civic Influencers team because she loves being able to make a difference in her community.
Cole Tilley is a junior political science major at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Transferring from University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he became involved with non-partisan civic engagement organization Geaux Vote LSU. This led him to find a passion in voting rights and civic engagement. Currently, he serves as Social Media Director for Geaux Vote; although, most of his time is spent working within the LSU Student Government as a member of the Communications Department. When he is not spending his time serving the LSU community, he can probably be found at one of the many coffee shops or plant nurseries in Baton Rouge. In the future, he hopes to pursue a law degree and a career in government.
Ari Khan is a returning civic influencer at Eastern Michigan University studying Statistics and Public Administration. Ari is working with multiple departments and student organisations ranging from Orientation and Student Government to Optimize Eastern to create a voter-friendly campus environment. She hopes to address the accessibility gaps students often face when trying to register to vote or get to the polls and encourage students to see the great impact of their vote
Sophie Greenberg is a junior at the University of Michigan studying public policy with a minor in Spanish language literature and culture.Sophie has spent her time on campus working with Turn up Turn out, a non-partisan organization focused on increasing student voter registration, turnout, and education on campus.Ensuring equitable access to voter education and resources, especially in an unprecedented time for public health, sparked her interest in becoming a Civic Influencers fellow.
Noah Karcher is a senior at Michigan State University currently majoring in Philosophy of Law and Global Studies in the Arts and Humanities. They are an active member in their community including an additional on-campus voting organization committed to providing equitable opportunities for student voters. They are excited to continue their work with Civic Influencers by continuing to change systemic barriers to different groups and voters.
Maddie Thomas grew up in Macomb, Michigan and is currently attending Central Michigan University with majors in Political Science and Cultural Global Studies and minor in Spanish.As a daughter of two public school teachers, Maddie learned very early onhow important strong public policies and well-funded school systems are in the development of students and citizens. She is extremely passionate about expanding and simplifying access to voting and implementing civics learning curriculum within K-12 and colleges and universities.This passion drove her to apply to be a 2021 CEEP Fellow. After graduating from CMU during the spring of 2022, she plans to attendgraduate school to study education, civic engagement, and political behavior. She hopes to one day work in either education policy, election law, or academia.
Fernanda Cardenas attends Truckee Meadows Community College and she is a senior in high school aspiring to major in political science. As a returning Civic Influencers, Fernanda thinks it is important that college students and younger people take an interest in voting and participating in our democracy. There is real change to be made and Fernanda is determined to help educate and empower people to make a difference
Lily Geber is a junior at New England College in New Hampshire. She is a double major in Political Science and Communication. She decided to join Civic Influencers as she feels the need to help make sure that every individual understand their right as a voter. She also wants to help get as many registered to vote as she possibly can.
Tyler Baker is from Concord, NH and is a Junior at New England College majoring in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. Tyler plans to go to Law School after graduating. Tyler is the Treasurer of New England College’s Student Senate. Tyler is part of Civicorp which is a nonpartisan student club at New England College that hosts Presidential Town hall events. Tyler wants to be a Civic Influencers fellow because he wants to help students on his campus be informed about their impact on voting and use their voice. Tyler has lived in NH allhis life and to him it is important that students vote because of the First in The Nation Primary status that New Hampshire holds for the Presidential Primary.
Abby Theobald is a Politics and Sociology double-major, Environmental Studies minor from Saint Anselm College. She is also co-chair of the Civic Engagement Committee at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and has interned for CBS News and CNN. As a second-year fellow, Abby feels especially passionate about helping non-politics majors become civically involved. She believes that Civic Influencers provides a crucial platform that helps spark interest towards democratic processes in young adults!
Megan Roberts is currently a sophomore at The University of New Mexico. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Economics. Megan is interested in being a Civic Influencers fellow to inform other students on her campus know the rights they have and to help with voter turnout. She is very excited to start her journey as a Civic Influencers fellow as she heads towards graduation and going onto Law School.
Issa Shigekuni Wilks is currently studying Political Science with a minor in Animation at the University of New Mexico. Issa believes that everyone’s voice matters, and that democracy is strongest when people feel empowered to vote. Issa is looking forward to engaging with her community on issues that matter the most to them, and encouraging people to use their civic power to enact change.
Abby Florek is a rising star at the University of North Carolina in Asheville and is pursuing a degree as a political science major. Abby became interested in being a CEEP Fellow after seeing the turnout in the 2020 election, and she wanted to be a part of helping young voters understand the importance of all elections.
Annabeth Jones is a first year Levine Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she is double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. She plans to attend law school after college. Annabeth is from Durham, North Carolina, where she attended Jordan High School and worked with the climate advocacy group the Sunrise Movement for three years. She is passionate about justice, the environment, and voting rights.
Aigné Taylor is a fourth-year student at North Carolina Agriculture and Technology State University double-majoring in Political Science and Sociology from Havelock, NC. She has been advocating for equal rights and fair elections since March 2019. Her passion for voting rights developed after realizing NC A&T was split into two GOP congressional districts (also known as, “gerrymandering” or “cracking”). She served as the SGA Political Action Committee Chair (2019-2020) where she assisted the Attorney General with spearheading voter registration and engagement initiatives. She served as a Democracy Fellow for Campus Vote Project (2019) and currently serves as a Civic Influencers Fellow (2019-Present) where she educates her campus community on voting laws, registers students to vote and facilitates creative yet informative and educational programs. She currently serves as a Newman Civic Fellow, Voter Registration & Champion Training Lead and Institutionalization Co-Lead for her campus inaugural Civic Engagement Coalition where she will continue cultivating a civic engagement culture on her campus. Taylor is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Rayquon Edwards is a sophomore at North Carolina Central University, who is a passionate first-generation college student studying criminal justice . His plans are to utilize his degree to advance into lawschool and become an attorney. Rayquon decided to participate and be a part of the Civic Influencers in order to help others express their opinions and to allow their voices to be heard.
Sara Luber is a third-year student at North Carolina State University, majoring in Political Science and double-minoring in Environmental Science and Sustainable Materials & Technology. She serves as the Student Government Chief Justice at her college, aswell as the Associate Vice President of Government Outreach for the UNC Association of Student Governments. As a CEEP Fellow, Sara hopes to promote civic engagement on college campuses, as well as making voting accessible for all communities.
Levi Sweat is a freshman at Western Carolina University majoring in Math and Computer Science. He developed a passion for politics and political activism during the COVID-19 pandemic and is especially interested in combining journalism and youth voting data to share important stories in his communities and increase voting registration and education with STEM students. In his free time, Levi loves playing, watching, and referring soccer along with hiking and visiting waterfalls.
Diane Pfeifer is a retiredInformation Technology Manager, previously employed by the state of Utah. Along with her family, sherelocated to a 100-acre farm in North Carolina for heat, humidity, and topursue herdream of becoming an attorney. She iscurrently attending the University of North Carolina at Pembroke majoring in Political Science, Pre-Law. She worked in agratifying career as a public servant and looksforward to being part of such an awesome fellowship.
Jakob Lucas is a sophomore at Denison University studying Communication and Politics & Public Affairs. He strives to foster more awareness and participation in local elections on his campus. He believes that showing up can make all the difference and wants everyone to cast their ballot. Jakob also hopes to use his role as a class senator to engage more students in campus governance.
Elayna Storts is a sophomore at Wright State University, majoring in clinical psychology with a minor in German. She is very involved in a variety of different organizations at her college and finds this fellowship as another great opportunity to get more involved. She wants to help empower her fellow students through exercising their right to vote, this is what made her so passionate to become a Civic Influencers.
Joel Howe is a senior International Studies major at the University of Dayton. Joel is also studying Political Science and Spanish and is from the Cleveland area. Joel decided to become a Civic Influencers because of his interest in serving as a leader both on campus and in the community. Through his fellowship, Joel hopes to engage students on campus, specifically first-year students, by encouraging them to register and vote in local and national elections.
Victoria Villanueva is a junior business economics major at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, minoring in political science and history. She’s part of the University Honors Program and involved in the Associated Student Government, student-run credit union, and pre-law office. She hopes to pursue a law degree and go into intellectual property law. She is excited to continue to be part of the Civic Influencers to further the ties she has built and help make Civic Influencers’ mission more long-term on Miami’s campus.
Nya Grantham is from Jacksonville, Florida and attends the illustrious Claflin University located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She is a junior with a major in political science and a minor in business management. After graduation, she plans to attend law school. Nya is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencer team because her passion is centered towards the justice system, and making sure individual rights are being heard. She is excited to make a difference in the community and working with the team!
Wes Un’Sel Guyton is a young man of imagination and integrity. He is currently a Senior Business Administration Major attending the illustrious Claflin University located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Wes had been raised in a home where his family are prominently known in their community. His parents and mentors worked to lay the foundation before me; as a result, Wes connects with figures who tackle political and social issues. As a writer and volunteer in community services, Wes intends to understand all aspects political engagement so that he can teach his peers the importance of Civic duties.
Julia Koehl is a student at University of Pittsburgh studying political science and history. She is super excited to be a part of CEEP this semester. Voting is very important to Julia and she wants to do whatever she can to engage other students on campus. Pennsylvania is a major state in this year’s election, so there is an extra emphasis to increase voter turnout, especially with students.
Nick Mlakar is a student-athlete at Carnegie Mellon, where he studies international relations and politics. He has previous electoral experience, including working as a member of the field operations on a congressional campaign. He looks forward to leveraging this background as he works with Civic Influencers to embolden any and all potential CMU voters.
Demont Davis goes to the California University of Pennsylvania. He is currently studying business finance with a minor in political science. He is a part of student government and many other originations on campus that will aid him in reaching people. He wanted to become a Civic Influencers fellow because throughout his time at CalU, he has noticed that many people don’t know or have any information on voting.
Alex Dutra is a first year student at the Community College of Philadelphia, majoring in International Studies. They are originally from Sacramento, CA, and relocated to the East Coast in 2018 to serve in Hurricane Sandy recovery through AmeriCorps. They are passionate about social justice and creating a government that represents every American. When they are done with their Associates Degree, they will transfer to an Undergraduate program in Global Studies before applying to law schools to study Immigration and International Law. They are excited to be a Civic Influencers fellow and help more youth get engaged with their community.
Kylie McGovern is a sophomore at La Salle University. She is majoring in political science and has minors in communications and leadership and global understanding. She is from the Philadelphia area and enjoys spending time outside, exercising, and trying new restaurants. Kylie was interested in being a Civic Influencers fellow because she thinks that young people have not only the opportunity but the duty to vote and be politically engaged for a better future for our country.
Kylie Dykgraaf is a senior at Middle Tennessee State University studying exercise science and psychology. She is interested in the Civic Influencers program because she wants to make an impact on her community and promote civic engagement. She is the president of the American Democracy Project, Club Volleyball Team, and Rotaract Club at MTSU.
University through CEEP and for new innovative ways to engage students during this election year.
Trinity Altemeyer is pursuing a major in Political Science, with a focus in International Relations and minor in French at Stephen F Austin State University. I value education, human rights, and effective change. For me, the Civic Influencers provides a platform to make individual level influences that much more impactful and necessary to create equitable and inclusive democracy.
Jack Houston is a Junior studying Government and International Politics Student at George Mason University. After graduation, he’s interested in working for the State Department or in the Intelligence Community. Jack has volunteered with several other Elections Rights/Reforms groups in the past and has a passion for making Democracy work better for everyone.
Greetings and salutations, my name is Priscilla Akpalu I am a junior Political science Major at the illustrious Virginia State University. I am interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because I want to help educate and support my students on my campus when it comes to voting. I hope with my bright and bubbly personality I can encourage them to be more interested in voting and knowing their voting rights.
Preeti Pandey is a sophomore at Virginia Tech studying political science and legal studies on a pre-law track. Through her work with different political campaigns and learning about the electoral system of the United States, Preeti has noticed the lack of young, engaged voters. She is excited to work as a Civic Influencers and help provide young voters with the resources to recognize how essential their participation in national, state, and local elections is.
This is Amber Brown. She lives in Stafford County, Virginia and attends the University of Mary Washington (UMW) in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She is a senior double majoring in Communication/Digital Studies and Political Science. While at UMW, she has worked as a fellow for NextGen America (2018), Campus Vote Project fellow (2019), and now Civic Influencers to make her campus a voter-friendly campus. She joined Civic Influencers because she is eager to challenge herself to be a part of the change rather than wishing for it.
Kucirious May or better known as Ciri attends Norfolk State University. She is majoring in political science and minoring in mass communication. She became interested in Civic Influencers after her chair department advisor shared the opportunity. She naturally likes to help others and thought of no better way to help students on her campus than to get them registered and informed about their voting rights.
Sorin Caldararu is a high school senior who is dually enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through his extensive participation in competitive debate, Sorin has developed a keen interest in politics, economics, and civic engagement; he hopes to double-major in Math and Economics in college. While working with an organization that advocates for reforms to welfare programs, Sorin realized that the disconnect between legislators and constituents isn’t as large as it seems to be, so he became a Civic Influencer because he hopes to teach other people how to better engage with their government.
Alannah Ray a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is pursuing an MS in anthropology and a certificate in museum studies. Alannah believes civic engagement is incredibly important because it directly affects the communities where we personally are invested. One way to be engaged is to vote. Alannah is excited to be a CEEP Fellow because voting is a way for the collective voice to be heard and create change. Addressing the challenges voters face in engagement, education, and accessibility ensures more voices can be considered for the decisions that affect our lives on both a local and national level.
Zachary Young, a freshman attending the University of Wisconsin: Stevens Point, is a double major in political science and in media studies. He chose to be involved in Civic Influencers to help college-aged students to get out and vote in our elections. Zack’s plans in the future are to join as a sitting member of our government.