Washington, D.C.

Meet the summer 2019 interns for our Washington, D.C. program!

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Mustafa Ahmad
Global Cold Chain Alliance

About Mustafa

Mustafa Ahmad is a junior public health major with economics and geography minors from Houston, Texas. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a JD/MPH dual degree and work in health and environmental policy. While at Texas A&M University, Mustafa has developed his passion for public policy and service through involvement with the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs and MSC Bethancourt. He is also part of the University Honors program, serving as one of its ambassadors as a University Scholar. Mustafa has traveled abroad twice in his time at A&M; two weeks in Italy through the MSC Champe Fitzhugh trip and a week in Austria as part of the Broad Street Society, a freshman public health honors cohort. Furthermore, he spent a part of last summer researching the impact of telemedicine on rural health outcomes with the School of Public Health. For leisure, Mustafa loves to read (particularly non-fiction) and keep up with basketball. He is ecstatic to intern with the Global Cold Chain Alliance and learn more about food security, international economic development, and their impact on public health.

Juliana Berlanga
Green & Healthy Homes Initiative

About Juliana

Julianna Berlanga is from Mission, TX, a city in the Rio Grande Valley. She graduated from Texas A&M in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in public health. During her time at Texas A&M, she enjoyed participating in Aggie Habitat for Humanity.  As Director of Construction, Julianna had the opportunity to attend numerous builds, as well as advocate for housing policy change at the Texas legislature. Aggie Habitat allowed her to foster her passion of improving health by addressing social determinants of health through policy change. She has also been a pharmacy technician for four years, in which she has gained a better understanding of the impact health policy has on an individual’s access to treatment.  Julianna looks forward to interning at Green and Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) in Washington, D.C. this summer. She is eager to contribute to GHHI’s work of improving health by creating healthy and safe homes for low-income individuals. After interning in D.C., she plans to complete a year of service with AmeriCorps.  She then plans to pursue a dual Master’s degree in Social Work and Public Health. In her free time, Julianna enjoys cooking, going to concerts, and playing with her dog.
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Joseph Byrum
National Commission on Military, National, & Public Service

About Joseph

Joseph Byrum is originally from Tyler, Texas. In 2016, he graduated from UT Tyler with a bachelor’s degree in political science and soon began working full-time for the Literacy Council of Tyler as a GED and ESL teacher. After two years of helping adults earn their GED and improve their English language skills, Joseph moved to College Station to pursue his master’s degree in public service and administration from the Bush School of Government and Public Service. He is concentrating his studies on nonprofit management and community development. Joseph hopes to pursue a career in nonprofit administration back home in East Texas after graduating in 2020. At the Bush School, he is a co-lead for the Habitat for Humanity team with the Public Service Organization, a member of the Association for Fundraising Professionals, a Bush Board Fellow with the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce, and a new student ambassador with the Bush School Ambassadors Council. Joseph is passionate about public service and very much looking forward to his experiences in our nation’s capital.

Victoria Cashman
Office of Cybersecurity - U.S. House of Representatives

About Victoria

Victoria Cashman is a senior international studies and Russian double-major. She spent the spring 2019 semester studying abroad in Russia. This summer she will be interning with the U.S. House of Representatives Office of Cybersecurity. 
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Benjamin Hall
Office of Congressman Michael McCaul

About Benjamin

Ben Hall of San Antonio, Texas graduated in May 2019 with a degree in marketing. While at Texas A&M University, he has been involved in the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs (SCONA), the MSC Abbott Family Leadership Conference (AFLC), and MSC Freshman in Service and Hosting (FISH). Ben has been involved in MSC SCONA for the past three years, having served as the Chair for the organization’s 64th annual conference. The opportunities provided through these organizations have allowed for Ben to develop an appreciation for the public policy process as he seeks to gain a greater understanding of issues facing our nation. Ben will be working in the Office of Congressman Michael McCaul, representative of Texas’ 10th Congressional District. He looks forward to interning in Washington D.C. this summer and gaining experience while working in the nation’s capital. Following his internship, Ben will attend the Bush School of Government and Public Service for graduate school.

Joshua Harris
Peace Corps

About Joshua

Joshua Harris is finishing his bachelor’s degree in International Studies and Anthropology with a minor in Arabic Studies at Texas A&M University. He is also pursuing a certificate in international affairs from the Bush School of Government & Public Service. While attending Texas A&M University, Joshua has been the Vice-President of the International Affairs Association, the Class Treasurer for the Class Council of 2020, and the High School Recruitment Chairman and Academic Chairman for the Singing Cadets. Working hard and serving others are at the center of his aspirations, and those pillars of belief led to Joshua’s most recent professional achievement: the founding of BookLeo International, Inc. BookLeo International is a nonprofit organization which aims to provide non-native English speakers the opportunity to develop their English language skills by supplying supplemental educational resources. Joshua hopes that these achievements, his international experiences, and the lessons learned from this incredible internship opportunity in Washington, D.C. will be a solid enough foundation to support his future goals of working in Foreign Affairs.
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Abbey Hotard
FEMA Office of Response and Recovery

About Abbey

Abbey Hotard is a New Orleans native and a second-year master’s student in the Master of Marine Resources Management Program at Texas A&M University at Galveston. Abbey complemented her master’s program with applied learning opportunities, such as the Sustainable Adaptive Gradients in the Coastal Environment Boston short course and the National Science Foundation Partnerships for International Research and Education Coastal Flood Risk Reduction Program in Amsterdam. These programs allowed her to observe innovative engineering, planning, economic, and architectural practices used in the US and abroad. Abbey developed an interest in coastal planning and resilience during her undergraduate studies in Coastal Environmental Science at Louisiana State University. Her graduate research focuses on how Gulf Coast residents perceive and respond to coastal environmental hazards. Specifically, her thesis explores relocation considerations of Gulf Coast residents after the unprecedented 2017 hurricane season. Upon graduation from her master’s program in August, it is her ambition to work for a federal or state agency to help solve the increasingly complex issues facing coastal communities.

Zachary Huebschman
Air Force Public Affairs

About Zachary

Zach Huebschman graduated from Texas A&M in May 2019. He obtained a bachelor's in Political Science and a minor in Spanish and Philosophy. While at Texas A&M, Zach participated in various organizations and has held several leadership positions. Following his time as a general member of Freshmen Leaders Advancing in Service and Honor (FLASH), Zach served as the Give Back Mentor for the organization and eventually went on to serve as the Director of FLASH. Through this experience, Zach had the opportunity to help over a hundred freshmen gain leadership experience and helped organize events to raise money for local non-profits around Texas A&M. Additionally, Zach was elected to represent off-campus students as a senator in the Student Government Association in 2018-2019 where he passed important legislation leading to a more equitable campus. Due to his efforts in Senate, Zach was awarded the Phillis R. Frye Advocacy Award through the Department of Multicultural Service’s Accountability, Climate, and Equity (ACE) Awards and the Senate Member of the Year award. Zach additionally studied European Union politics in several countries in the E.U. through the Summer European Academy and participated in the Potomac Summer Institute in D.C. Zach also participated in a range of other on-campus activities including Liberal Arts Student Council, Alpha Phi Omega (a co-ed service fraternity), and as a student worker for the Sociology Department.
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Lucero Marquez
Environmental Protection Agency

About Lucero

Lucero Marquez graduated from Texas A&M University in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in meteorology and minors in environmental geosciences and climate change. During her time at Texas A&M, she was exposed to several student organizations which have developed her leadership skills and passions for what she would like to do in the future. She began her colligate career with MSC FLI, a freshman leadership organization dedicated to promoting cultural understanding and international awareness among the Texas A&M community. Her passion to spread awareness of global issues does not stop there. During the same year she first joined MSC FLI, she also co-founded Wine to Water TAMU, a student organization designed to spread awareness of the global water crisis but to also find ways to do something about it. Lucero served as the vice president for this student club for the past 2 years. Additionally, she served as the president of the Texas A&M Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (TAMSCAMS). During her time at A&M and through her involvement with many organizations, she discovered her passion for policy change in regards to climate change. Lucero hopes that her experience with PPIP launches her forward towards a career in climate change solutions.

Abigail Mathew
U.S. Department of Justice

About Abigail

Abigail Mathew is a sophomore political science major from Austin, Texas. While at Texas A&M she has been a member of Swaram Acappella, where she has been able to compete in numerous national collegiate competitions. Throughout her time on Swaram, Abigail has worked her way up to her current position of being Assistant Musical Director. This experience has taught her about working with people from various backgrounds, leading a team, and most importantly, has provided her with some of her most valuable friendships at Texas A&M. Abigail is also an associate of MSC Bethancourt, an organization that has given her the opportunity to meet several economically influential individuals and promote various campus wide seminars/symposiums throughout the semester. During her summers away from College Station, Abigail has spent her time gaining experience in fields related to her future career path. By interning with congressional candidate MJ Hegar in 2018, Abigail learned the ins and outs of the work that goes into a congressional campaign by organizing community events and assisting with policy research. Additionally, Abigail’s time spent working as a criminal rehabilitation coach for formerly incarcerated persons with Redemptive Work has given her the opportunity to hear incredible testimonies about life in prison. Because of these highly influential experiences, Abigail plans to pursue a J.D. in the near future. Eventually, she would like work for the government in some capacity regarding criminal justice, prison reform, and capital punishment. Her goal is to further her education in these subjects and aid the U.S. government in international affairs regarding these policy issues. Abigail is extremely grateful for this opportunity to intern in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice this summer and is looking forward to all  that she will learn during this experience.
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Morgan McMaster
U.S. Agency for International Development

About Morgan

Morgan McMaster is from Austin, Texas and graduated in May of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. During her undergraduate, career Morgan had the opportunity to complete an internship with Singaporean non-profit Yayasan Mendaki that fueled her love of international travel and an interest in women’s economic empowerment. While at Texas A&M, Morgan served in a number of committees at the Memorial Student Center (MSC) including MSC Student Conference on National Affairs and MSC Bethancourt both of which gave her the ability to bring discussions on complex issues to our campus through lectures and conferences. It was through her Arabic studies minor that she was able to discover her interest in Middle East regional development and counterterrorism strategy. After her internship in D.C., Morgan plans to pursue a career working in Middle Eastern policy at home or abroad.

Ricardo Mercado Arroyo
Federal Emergency Management Agency

About Ricardo

Ricardo A. Mercado Arroyo is a senior political science major at Texas A&M University. Born and raised in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, he has resided in the Houston area with his immediate family for over 10 years. Music is a personal passion for him, and he was a member of the All-State Men’s Choir his senior year of High School, as well as the all-male a cappella group Apotheosis for 2 years while attending Texas A&M. Academically, his interests lie in Latin American history and politics, as well as global and international affairs. Ricardo enjoys reading everything from poetry to texts on political theory and hopes to one day include writing as part of their life and career. He also holds a passion for coffee and has even been employed as a barista in the past. He loves learning new languages and interacting with all cultures, especially when it comes to sampling diverse cuisines! While on campus, Riccardo has pursued many avenues through which to promote initiatives related to diversity and inclusion, with special focus on the Latinx community. Ricardo has been a leader in organizations such as MSC Freshman Leadership International, Apotheosis A Cappella, the La Familia Senate Co-Candidacy Campaigns, as well as the planning committee for Texas A&M University’s first Latinx Graduation Ceremony. He is also the founder and President of the Puerto Rican Student Association on campus. In the future, he wishes to pursue a master’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. He holds a long-term goal of pursuing a PhD. Ricardo hopes that these, along with professional experience, can help him become a public servant in Puerto Rico to lend himself to the efforts of improving the conditions on the island for all Puerto Ricans.
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Hannah Murrow
American Public Human Services Association

About Hannah

Hannah Murrow is a public health major from Houston, Texas. In her time at Texas A&M, Hannah has been involved in several on campus organizations, including CARPOOL, National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and MSC FLI. Hannah is also a student employee in the Department of Residence Life at A&M. Her choice to be a public health major came from the empathy she has always had for the way American people are impacted by the disparities in health. Her passion for helping others is expressed in her 2 year service as a volunteer with CARPOOL, a non-profit organization providing free rides in the Bryan/College Station area on weekend nights. This past summer, Hannah helped a health policy professor with legal data entry and research, which fed her interest in health policy. After graduation in May of 2020, Hannah plans to find a career in a health related non-profit or government organization as a policy analyst. She is excited to take hold of all the experiences and opportunities PPIP has to offer. She is also excited to experience and appreciate all of the culture that Washington, D.C. has to offer.

Madison Poe
U.S. Department of Justice

About Madison

Madison Poe is a political science major, with an economics and philosophy minor, from Denison, Texas. During her time at Texas A&M she has been involved in The Wells Project, the Pre-Law Society, Sigma Phi Lambda, MSC Bethancourt and founded the Global Legal Empowerment Brigades chapter. Entering into Texas A&M her freshman year, she had her heart set on starting Global Brigades and it has quickly become her passion project. Through Global Brigades she has had the opportunity to take TAMU student volunteers to various Central American countries where they work to provide pro-bono legal resources to under-resourced communities - a activity she hopes to incorporate into her future career. Apart from her involvement in a diverse set of organizations, she has invested her time in various research endeavors across campus by serving as a research assistant for Dr. Lueck in the communications department. Madison also currently works at the Hernandez Law Firm in Bryan, TX as a student intern. When she is not at school or work, she is actively involved in her local church, Antioch, and in her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and trying new things. Proceeding graduation, Madison plans to pursue law school, after which she hopes to obtain a career in international development with a focus on human rights. This career interest was cultivated through her organization Global Brigades and was solidified this past summer when she worked overseas for a non-profit refugee and asylum seeker center. Madison hopes to continue pursuing this job field this upcoming summer through her internship with the Department of Justice's Office of International Affairs, where she will have the opportunity to learn first-hand how our government legally interacts with other nations.
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Lauren Slusher
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Lauren

Lauren Slusher is junior majoring in business honors and management pre-law at Mays Business School. She is also pursuing a minor in philosophy, a pre-law certificate, and an international business certificate. She currently serves as the Secretary General of Model United Nations, a research and debate team that competes nationally. Lauren volunteers regularly with the Student Counseling Helpline, and with Aggies Read, where she helps special needs students improve their reading comprehension skills. When she is not busy with homework or clubs, she’s playing video games or cooking with her boyfriend, and attempting in vain to take care of her houseplants. During breaks from school, she visits her mom, dad, sister, and dog in her hometown of Lufkin, Texas. In the future, Lauren hopes to obtain a Masters in Global Policy Studies, with a focus on China and Asia studies and then work in the policy research field or for the State Department.

Reagan Spexarth
U.S. Department of Commerce

About Reagan

Reagan Spexarth is a junior Cornerstone Liberal Arts Honors student with a major in political science and minors in English and economics. While at Texas A&M, Reagan has served on the officer boards for the MSC Student Conference on National Affairs, <em>Explorations</em>: The Texas A&M Undergraduate Research Journal, <em>The Eckleburg Project</em>: The Texas A&M Undergraduate Literary Magazine, and the Texas A&M Fencing Club. Reagan is also an avid researcher, having completed projects on environmental disaster response, international governmental stability, and Eastern European democracy. She is particularly interested in global economic development, and hopes that this internship will give her the skills she needs to better understand and impact federal policy decisions. Reagan hopes to continue to pursue these interests by seeking a masters degree in public policy and public affairs after graduation.
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Emma Watson
National Academy for State Health Policy

About Emma

Emma Watson ‘20 is a recent Public Health graduate from Highland Village, Texas. During her time at A&M, she had the privilege to participate in many facets of life on campus from her role as an A2A Peer Diversity Educator to a member of the School of Public Health’s honors community to her position in the women’s leadership organization--Maggies. Emma was also able to be connected to great work opportunities such as the summers spent in AT&T’s home office and on-campus work at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the Program on Disability Research and Community-Based Care. All of these experiences have helped foster skills to make her a confident advocate and leader to catalyze positive change. This summer, Emma is using such skills and her BSPH to work with the National Academy of State Health Policy before continuing her education through NYU Wagner’s MPA program in the fall.

Leslie Wilson
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

About Leslie

Leslie Wilson is a Senior Community Health Major and Business Minor student at Texas A&M University. She is originally from Dallas, Texas and is expected to graduate in August 2019. Throughout her time in college, Leslie has been involved with several organizations. She is an Ambassador for The Association of Former Students, member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, and a 2019 Muster Host. In the past she was a Staff Assistant for The Big Event and Camp Counselor for Aggie Transition Camps. Leslie was also selected to represent Texas A&M at Orange and Maroon Legislative Day 2019 in Austin, Texas and met with state senators and representatives to advocate for funding to support higher education. Her experience from working on campus at Texas A&M University Student Health Services has developed her customer service and time management skills greatly. Her past internship at UT Southwestern Medical Center taught her to be an assertive communicator and to work well with others in a diverse environment. All of these experiences have helped foster her passion for leadership and creating positive change in her community. Leslie will be interning with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in Washington D.C. for Summer 2019. She is extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity to give back and gain insight into the policy making process. After her internship, she plans to attend the Texas A&M School of Public Health for a Master of Health Administration (MHA) graduate degree in Fall 2019. Leslie has a passion for health and hopes to further understand the complexity of our nation’s healthcare system.
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