Austin, Texas

Meet the spring 2019 Austin interns!

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Brandon Alaniz
State Representative Phil Stephenson

About Brandon

Brandon is currently a student at Texas A&M University where he is working on his degree in Economics. He plans to graduate with his Bachelor of Science in Economics in the spring of 2019. Brandon worked during the summer of 2018 in the Corpus Christi office of Texas's 27th Congressional District. He looks forward to interning this legislative session in Austin with the office of State Representative Phil Stephenson.

Julia Awad
State Representative John Wray

About Julia

Julia Awad graduated from Texas A&M University in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a minor in business. During her time at Texas A&M, she was involved in multiple organizations that she believes taught her lessons and skills far beyond what a classroom can teach. She has held leadership roles and general roles in organizations including COSGA, Delta Zeta sorority, Pre-law society, Freshman Liberal Arts Reaching Excellence (FLARE), Aggies United, as well as being a staff assistant for the Big Event. In addition, Julia was a member of Texas A&M’s moot court where she wrote, memorized and presented petitioner and respondent arguments as well as rebuttals based on the procedural history of the case at competition. She was able to build knowledge about criminal law and learn about legal argumentation. Julia further developed her professional skills when she interned for the district attorney of Lee County. She was quickly granted extra responsibilities because of her efficiency and dedication. She attended district and county court twice a week where she wrote reset letters and filled out plea agreements as set by the court. On office days, she worked closely with the felony department where she learned organizational, professional communication, and time management skill. After completing her internship at the Capitol, Julia plans to attend law school where she will specialize in criminal law. She believes in the importance of a fair judicial system and hopes to utilize the knowledge she gains from this internship to increase advocacy for criminal justice reform.
Intern Photo

Intern Photo

Grace Binger
State Senator Dawn Buckingham

About Grace

Born in Corpus Christi, Grace Binger is now from Kemah, Texas.  Grace currently attends Texas A&M University and is getting an bachelor’s degree in management from the Mays Business School.  Grace was invited to be a member of the academic organizations Phi Eta Sigma and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  She is the Marketing Director for her sorority, Chi Omega.  Grace is an active member of her church in College Station, serving two terms on the vestry board for the college ministry through St. Thomas Episcopal Church.  Post-graduation, Grace plans to continue to law school in Texas.  She comes from a family of four, with her younger sister attending A&M this year as well. In her free time, Grace enjoys hunting and sailing. She looks forward to interning this legislative session in the Office of State Senator Buckingham.

Montana Cortez
State Senator Lois Kolkhorst

About Montana

Montana Cortez is a first-generation Aggie and calls Richmond, Texas home. She is a senior political science major, minoring in comminications. Montana has an interest in public service and law. She plans to pursue law school after graduating from A&M and hopes to one day work for the United Nations. Montana is thrilled to be interning in the Office of State Senator Kolkhorst during this legislative session.
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Intern Photo

Spencer Krumholz
Texas A&M Engineering Government Relations

About Spencer

Spencer Krumholz is a loud and proud member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2018 from Houston, TX. He is graduated in December 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Business. During his time at Texas A&M, Spencer has been heavily involved with several student organizations including the Student Government Association, One Army, and Fish Camp. Spencer has also worked for A&M's Transportation Services. He plans on furthering his education in law school for the fall of 2019, where he hopes to eventually pursue a law career focused on child and victim’s advocacy. His passion for solving complex problems, establishing interpersonal relationships, and serving his community led him to the Public Policy Internship Program in Austin, where he will be hosted by the Texas A&M University System’s Office for State Relations. Spencer is extremely excited about this opportunity and is looking forward to exploring policy at the state level.

Koy Kunkel
State Senator Kel Seliger

About Koy

Koy Kunkel ‘19 is from Seguin, Texas, a smaller town outside of San Antonio. At Texas A&M, Koy is pursuing a political science degree with a minor in communications, with an emphasis in communication leadership and conflict management. He is currently a member of Traditions Council, an organization within the Student Government Association. He has been employed by the Department of Rec Sports since his sophomore year and is currently serving as a Facilities Supervisor.  In the past, Koy has been an Executive Officer for Aggies Reaching Out, an Assistant Director for Memorial Student Center Aggie Leaders of Tomorrow, and a Fish Camp Counselor. He has been an intern at the state capitol with Representative John Kuempel’s office, as well as with Rick Davis’s Texas Legislative District 14 Campaign. Following the latter internship, Koy was employed by Rick Davis & Associates as an assistant. Koy enjoys being with his friends, going to the Rec, bowling, cooking, grilling, watching movies and sporting events, and going on road trips. After graduation, Koy plans on pursuing a career in public service and earning a law degree. He looks forward to interning with State Senator Seliger’s office this legislative session.
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Intern Photo

Alejandra Luna
State Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.

About Alejandra

Alejandra Luna graduated from Texas A&M University in December 2018. She obtained a bachelor’s in political science, along with a minor in Spanish. She plans on attending law school in fall 2019 and focusing on immigration law. Being the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student sparked an interest in immigration policy. After studying abroad in Spain for a semester and exploring Europe, Alejandra was able to analyze other countries immigration policies and think about what could work better for our country. While in Spain she also tutored children in English. As a Regent Scholar, Alejandra was able to mentor other incoming freshman Regent Scholars. Her passion for mentoring, volunteering, and advocacy work grew throughout her time at Texas A&M by being a member of multiple organizations such as the Council for Minority Student Affairs, Teaching Every Individual African American Culture and Heritage (T.E.A.A.C.H.), the Mexican Student Association, and Student Bonfire. Alejandra believes being bilingual and participating with the Public Policy Internship Program will help her understand her future clients needs better and therefore be able to continue to help her community. Alejandra’s other interest include public policy in the public education system, Chicano culture, and Texas history.

Samantha Mares
State Representative Craig Goldman

About Samantha

Samantha Mares is a first-generation college student from Arlington, Texas. She graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in philosophy. Samantha also received an Associate of Arts Degree with double honors from Tarrant County Community College in Fort Worth, Texas. During her time at Texas A&M she was a member of the College Republicans Club, and served as a member and Coordinator of Facilitators for the MSC Student Conference on Latinx Affairs. Her junior year she served as a campaign staffer and intern for Governor Abbott’s 2018 re-election campaign. Samantha has presented two Ted Talks within the past five years, one on communication between high school students in reference to emotional intelligence, and the other on media technology as a barrier to effective communication. Throughout her college career, Samantha studied abroad in Austria and Italy, through which she was able to gain a cultural understanding of inclusion and diversity. She has a passion for constitutional law, education, and border security policy. Samantha hopes to pursue a dual degree program of a Juris Doctor and PhD in philosophy.
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Intern Photo

Lindsey Moore
State Representative Four Price

About Lindsey

Lindsey Moore will graduate from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management in December of 2019.  Since her freshman year, she has been dedicated to Best Buddies, an organization designed to create one-to-one friendships with adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. She currently serves as the treasurer. Lindsey is also an advisory board member for the Maroon and White Leadership Program where she serves as fellows chair. She has a passion for developing and fostering intentional relationships with others. Because of this desire, she has also served as a peer leader for the Freshman Business Initiative at Mays Business School where she guided freshman business students in their development of personal and professional competencies. Lindsey is anticipating an exciting internship during the duration of the 86th Texas Legislative Session.

Erin Smith
State Representative John Raney

About Erin

Erin Smith is a member of the Loud and Proud Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2020 from Cleburne, Texas. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in political science. Along with being a student at Texas A&M, Erin serves as a Patient Care Technician with CareFlite, a non-profit EMS Provider in North Texas. Also, Erin works as an Emergency Medical Dispatcher for Texas A&M University EMS, and recently obtained his national certification from the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch in July of 2018. Following graduation from A&M, Erin plans to attend law school and practice civil, real estate, and family law, and has entertained the idea of running for public office at the state level. Erin has always had a passion for giving back to the community and for public service and is extremely thankful and excited for the opportunity to gain insight into the policy making process in Texas, and to help write policy for the State during this upcoming session. Erin will be working with the office of State Representative John Raney, who represents House District 14, inlcuding the Bryan/College Station area.
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Intern Photo

Maggie Sullivan
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

About Maggie

Maggie Sullivan of Montgomery, Texas, is a junior environmental studies major with minors in both geography and communication. In her time at Texas A&M, she has balanced her passion for environmental advocacy with student leadership and service in a number of student organizations, including Aggie Fish Club, which is a Freshman Leadership Organization, Aggie Miracle, the Pre-Law Society, and the Environmental Programs Involvement Committee. In her position on the executive board of Aggie Miracle, an organization which raises funds and awareness for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, she has had the opportunity to apply her passion for bettering the lives of those around her, while developing key professional skills, including communication, problem solving, and adaptability. Additionally, Maggie has served as an intern with Keep Brazos Beautiful, an environmental nonprofit, throughout the summer and fall of 2018, where she assisted with environmental education and outreach to the Bryan/College Station Community through researching various environmental issues, coordinating volunteers, developing curriculum, and producing educational media. After completing her bachelor’s degree in May 2020, Maggie plans to continue her education and complete her J.D., with a specialization in environmental law. She is incredibly excited to intern in Austin, Texas this spring, and hopes that the experience will provide a strong foundation in public policy and the legislative process, which will be applicable not only to her experience as a law student, but as a professional in the field.

Noemi Valiente
State Representative Jim Murphy

About Noemi

Noemi graduated from Texas A&M Galveston in December 2018 with a B.S. in University Studies (Marine Science) and double minors in marine biology and chemistry. During her time at A&M Galveston, Noemi was the vice president of the Pre-Allied Health Society and the public relations officer of the Texas Academy of Science. She indulged her time towards research in coastal wetlands ecology, seafood and safety microbiology, and neuroscience and cell biology. She sought to incorporate leadership within the community amongst the youth, and became a part-time mentor as well as a support staff member for Galveston Independent School District. Now that she has graduated, Noemi anticipates applying to medical school with intentions of becoming a primary care physician within the Texas community. 
Intern Photo

Intern Photo

Armando Vendrell-Velez
State Senator Pete Flores

About Armando

Armando Vendrell-Velez is a senior at Texas A&M University pursuing dual degrees in International Studies and Spanish with an emphasis on Latin American Politics and Diplomacy. Through his time in college, Armando has been involved in several organizations. He is a Maroon Coat for the Texas A&M Foundation, Coordinator for the Class Agents’ Team of 2019 and a member of One Army, a men’s service and leadership organization here on campus. This legislative session, Armando will be interning in the Office of State Senator Pete Flores. He has also accepted a position with the Teach for America Corps, where I have committed to instructing bilingual elementary education for two years starting in the fall of 2019. After his time in TFA comes to an end, Armando has hopes of going to law school and pursuing a career in international corporate law. Ultimately, Armando desires to apply his knowledge in places that not only utilize his skills but allow him to be a resource to the community in which he is placed.